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Planning A Bicycle Tour? Get These Essentials First!

Planning A Bicycle Tour? Get These Essentials First!

Bicycle tours can be a fantastic way to explore a region and satisfy your desire for adventure. But before you hop on your bike and head out to parts unknown, you need to do some planning. Once you've decided where and when you want to go, and who you want to ride with, you'll need to pack carefully. Since you'll be carrying everything with you, it pays to be choosy. Here are five essentials you can't afford to leave behind on your bicycle tour.

  1. Bike Gear

Outdoor enthusiasts spend over $10 billion per year on bicycling gear and accessories. While you won't need to break the bank, this does illustrate the importance of having high-quality gear. While there are all types of comfortable bike seats to choose from, you'll want to go with one that's built for long-distance rides rather than racing. By and large, cyclists find that the most comfortable bike seats for touring are made of leather. Be sure to get your bike checked out to spot any potential issues before you leave. You'll also want to bring a repair kit with you too, just in case.

  1. Clothing

Of course, you'll likely be wearing your cycling clothing, but you'll probably want to pack a couple extra pairs of cycling shorts and shirts for longer trips. You should also bring water-resistant options and warmer layers for rainy and/or cold weather. If you plan on getting off your bike and exploring the sights, you may want to bring "town clothes" (i.e., non-cycling gear) along as well.

  1. Food

If you plan on roughing it, you'll probably need a portable camp stove to cook your meals. At the very least, you'll need to bring along some snacks that are high in sugar and carbs to provide energy while you ride. Don't forget your water bottle! Hydration is incredibly important. If you're traveling light, you may want to invest in a filtration water bottle to ensure the water you drink is safe.

  1. Camping Equipment

Most touring cyclists want to embrace the great outdoors as much as possible. That means you'll need to bring along your camping gear. A camping tent and sleeping bag are probably the two necessities that are also the easiest to carry. Some cyclists opt for an air mattress, but that can be more trouble than it's worth. In addition to your stove, you'll need a cook pot and utensils.

  1. Documentation

You are going to need certain forms of documentation with you, as well as money. Don't forget to bring your photo ID (like your drivers license, state-issued ID, or passport), your ATM and/or credit card, and emergency cash. You should also carry emergency contact information and your health insurance card. You may never need most of this, but it's best to have them on-hand.

Biking tours can be a lot of fun, but they can be stressful or even dangerous if you forget to pack something important. Before embarking on tours, cyclists need to ensure they bring all the necessities: food, water, camping gear, and bike accessories -- including the most comfortable bike seats around. If you remember these essentials, you'll be prepared for virtually anything.