If you are setting off on a long distance cycling trip, such as a charity London to Paris bike ride, there are some things you should bring with you and other things that you should leave at home. Understanding the difference between the two will ensure that you have not packed anything unnecessary that will slow you down, but you have packed the essentials you will need.
Here are some of the things you should bring and should not bring on your long distance cycling charity challenges:
What Not to Bring
An Expensive Cycling Jersey
If you want to buy an expensive cycling jersey you can, but it is not necessary for your trip. They can look very cool and they are made from high tech sweat-wicking fabrics, but an ordinary t-shirt will work just fine if you are on a budget. Don’t let the expense of the custom cycling clothing be what stops you from taking part in a long distance cycling ride.
You might think that you would want to listen to headphones while you are cycling so that the music can motivate you, but this is actually a dangerous thing to do. When you are cycling with headphones on you might not be able to hear a car approaching behind you or another cyclist wanting to pass you – putting yourself at risk for a collision. Leave the headphones at home so that you can be aware of your surroundings.
Hair Dryers, Make Up and Other Beauty Items
Bring along the essentials such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste to keep yourself clean, but don’t worry about bringing hair straighteners, dryers, make-up and other beauty supplies. They are bulky and will take up too much room in your luggage. There is no need to look pretty when you are riding your bike down the side of the highway and the wind and sweat will ruin your hair and make-up anyway!
A Solar Phone Charger
You might think that a solar charger is a fun gadget that will allow you to charge your phone using sunshine power, but it really isn’t necessary. You will usually be able to find a power outlet no matter where you are, good examples are campsites, gas stations, libraries, gift shops and other stops along the way.
What to Bring
Don’t forget to bring your bike shorts when you are going on a long distance ride – your bum will thank you! Sitting on a bike saddle for hours every day can be very hard on your posterior and it can result in aches, bruises and saddle sores. Bike shorts with padding are designed to cushion your delicate nether regions so that you can ride for a long time in comfort.
For the safety of your own brain, don’t forget your helmet! It is essential for protecting your head if you happen to crash and it might be the thing that saves your life. Make sure that you choose a helmet that is comfortable, fits well and provides you with a lot of ventilation.
A Repair Kit
Make sure that you bring a small repair kit so that you can fix your bike on the road if it breaks down on you. It should include spare inner tubes, a lightweight pump, a puncture repair kit and a multi-tool. Before you go on your trip you should practice using these tools, so that if you have to carry out a repair on the side of the road you will be prepared and you will know what you are doing.
A Good Set of Wheels
A high quality set of wheels is one of the most important components of your bike and will make a high difference to your cycling. They will absorb the bumps of the road and help you to gain traction and speed. It might be a little bit expensive to invest in high quality wheels, but it is certainly worth it if you will be taking part in a lot of long distance cycling trips.
What you bring along with you on your long distance cycling trip is equally as important as what you don’t bring along with you. If you are carrying too many unnecessary things it will slow you down and impede your progress, so make sure that you only bringing what you need. With the right gear you will have a comfortable and successful long distance cycling journey.