The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of cycling is the three most important steps to make sure before you embark on your neighborhood stroll as instructed by my dad was to
- Check if the brakes are working
- Check if the bell is ringing
- Check if your shoelaces are tied
These were basic instructions taught or rather yelled at us courtesy our parents to make sure they never leave our psyche, our children, our grandchildren and generations that follow.
Although one would think that these deep-rooted basics are enough to cycle through life unscathed, they would soon come to the epiphany that embarking on a cycling tour is a whole other ball game of mere basics.
So here are 5 things to make sure while embarking on a cycling tour.
1) Clothing List
- Waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket and over trousers, preferably with pit-zips (both jacket and over trousers should be lightweight and compact when stored away)
- Fast-wicking cycling tops
- Cycling shorts with chamois insert, or lightweight trousers that have 360º zips around the thighs so that they become shorts in hot weather (North Face)
- Comfortable cycling shoes, trainers or lightweight hiking boots with a low-cut heel.
- Arm socks.
- Neck gear (for cold descents)
- Gloves (for cold descents and nights at altitude)
- Cycling Mitts
- Sunglasses, or surround sunglasses if you wear spectacles (bowls retailers often stock them)
- Fiber-pile hat (for cold nights)
- Spare clothing
2) Important Documents
- Money/credit card
- Travel insurance
- Photocopy all important documents and keep the photocopies separate from the originals. Make a note of credit card details.
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Small first aid kit including painkillers for headaches and so on
- Pack-towel and shower gel
- Toothbrush and paste
- Small torch (eg Maglite)
- Camera, films/memory card, and spare batteries
- Portable chargers for the smartphones
- Pen and notebook
- Swiss Army knife
- Pocket phrase book/dictionary
4) Bicycle Accessories
- Compact bike pump
- Bike lock (cable locks are compact)
- Front and rear lights
- Multi-tool kit. (Comprising Allen keys, screwdriver, flat blade, spanner, adjuster, tyre levers, tube repair patches/adhesive and file?
- Spare inner tube
- Freewheel tool
- Two or three spare spokes with nipples
- Spare gear and brake cable
- Chain tool
- Spare washers and spring washers
- Wipes or solvent-free hand-cleaning cream for removing chain oil from hands.
- Transparent gloves, often freely available at petrol stations, can also be donned during messy repairs
- Gaffer/duct tape
5) Camping Kit List
- Sleeping bag.
- Self-inflating mattress or sleeping mat.
- Cooking gear.
- Cooking pans, sieve, cutlery, cup, biodegradable washing up liquid and brush; salt and cooking oil in small, plastic containers/bottles
So gear up all you cyclopaths! Pack up these essentials, embark on that much-awaited cycling tour and capture some unforgettable memories!
Also read: Cycling a day, keeps these 6 Diseases away!
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