What follows is not meant to be used as comprehensive list of what you must bring with you but should be viewed as a guide and starting point for helping you decide what to pack.
If there's anything listed that you don't own then please post in the Facebook group and see if someone has a spare you can borrow. Items marked with an asterisk are either optional or something not everybody needs to bring.
Finally, if you have any questions or concerns then let me know and I'll do my best to answer you.
Bike - A touring/hybrid is going to be the best choice for this adventure if possible with at least 8 gears. Thin wheeled road bike will be fine as the majority of our riding will be on tarmac but there may be times you will need to push on some small sections. You could do this on something with big fat mountain bike tyres but they are not going to be ideal as you'll be using up a lot more effort than the rest of us with the added friction.
What ever you're riding make sure it's in a good condition and fully working order. Check the tyres are fully inflated, both breaks work and you can change between all gears nice and smoothly.
BIKE ACCESSORIES & LUGGAGE
- Helmet (100% compulsorily)
- Good lights for front & back with fresh batteries
- Spare inner tube
- Puncture repair kit*
- Simple bike multi tool*
- Pannier racks or frame bags
- Pannier bags (carrying your equipment in a rucksack for 200 miles will become very painful and not an enjoyable experience so is not recommened)
- Dry bags
- Water bottles attached to bike for easy access
- Spare spokes*
- Simple bike lock*
It's likely we'll be cycling in cold & possibly wet weather so please ensure you dress appropriately. It can get very cold when on a bike so bring enough layers with you to ensure it doesn't become a hindrance and make the whole ride miserable for you.
As a guide you should consider bringing:
- Padded shorts
- Leggings or trousers to cycle in
- Breathable long sleeve base layer
- Waterproof & breathable jacket
- Fleece or warm top
- Neck/head buff*
- Waterproof shoes and or socks
- Warm clothes for the night and when we're off the bike
- Woolly hat
- Something to sleep in if your sleeping bag won't keep you warm on its own.
- Cycling glasses* (clear or tinted lenses depending on weather)
When cycling you'll easily build up body heat but your extremities will still be vulnerable. Always think about and protect your feet, hands & face.
- Tent or Bivvy. It's only one nights camping so a bivvy would be fine but check the weather and if it looks like rain then a tarp to go over the top is highly recommended.
- Sleeping mat (roll or inflatable)
- Sleeping bag (check the temperature & make sure it's suitable)
- Sleeping bag liner*
- Food for Breakfast
- Food for lunch (we can buy day twos lunch on route)
- Energy snacks to eat on the go
- Sweets and treats for both physical & psychological help when the going gets tough
- Hipflask filled with your favourite tipple
- Travel & health Insurance
- External battery if you need to keep your phone powered up*
- Ferry reservation & ticket
- Return travel reservation
- Euros and/or Credit Card
- First aid kit*
- Torch (or just use your bike light)
- Baby wipes/toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
- Empty bag for rubbish
No one ever wishes they had a heavier bike once you hit the road so pack carefully and think about each item you put in your bag. We're not cycling off in to the great uncharted wild so will always be within a reasonable distance of a town and shops should you have got things really wrong and need to buy something.
If you're relatively new to the idea of a multiday cycling adventure and this kit list has got you worried that you don't own any of the right equipment then don't panic. Take a read of the following from experienced cycle tourer and all round splendid guy Tom Allen on why kit doesn't really matter and it's all about the attitude.