Tips for Bike Touring


Have you chosen a bicycle as a means of transportation to your next vacation adventure? Good for you! Not only will it be beneficial to your health and overall physical stamina, it’s also perfect for additional bonding time with your loved one or your family and friends. Cycling can also give you great pleasure provided you have all you need with you.

If you are planning to use your bike for traveling, you need to make a list of all your essentials you need to bring with you. Do not overdo it though. Most inexperienced cyclists pack too much and end up sending the excess stuff back home after realizing how little they need. Moreover, the fewer things you carry the more fun your experience is likely to be.

Here are some tips that will come in handy when preparing to go on a bike tour:


When planning your bike tour, you need to pack lightweight clothing that is non-bulky and versatile. You also need to choose the best clothes for the particular weather you are expecting. Do not think about off-the-bike and on-the-bike clothes as separate items; bring clothing that serves both purposes.

Opt for loose-fitting, long-sleeved, and light clothing if you want protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Layer your clothes to make them easier to remove when you feel hot. Cycling shoes, short, tights, and a helmet are some things that will make riding more comfortable.

Cycling shoes usually have stiff soles that enhance your pedaling efficiency and shield your feet from the continuous pressure of pedaling. If you plan to use your shoes off the bike, ensure they have some flexibility near the toes for easier movement.

Packing a Trailer

You need to keep your load below 45 pounds when packing your tour trailer. Most of your gear will fit inside the cargo bag that is sold with most trailers. For better stability, keep your heaviest gear at the front of the trailer. To find the best results, experiment with weight distribution.

Although most trailers come with a waterproof bag, yours might not. In that case, think about lining it with a plastic garbage bag to prevent your gear from getting wet. If you wish to keep some stuff handy while riding, like a small tool kit, food, and rain gear, you need to pack another bag and place it on top of your trailer bag.

Extra Bags

Start your trip with some space on your panniers for items you will pick up along the way. This space will make it easier to keep your wallet and camera in an easy-to-reach place. Also carry tools for fixing flats in your handlebar bags.

Test Run

Whether you are using your own bike or opting for a fun bicycle rental in NYC, it is imperative that you practice with your fully loaded bicycle before you leave. You might end up getting rid of some excess gear if you notice the bike is too heavy. The test run is all about finding out how much gear is necessary for a comfortable adventure.

Packing Your Panniers

When carrying panniers, you need to keep your load below 45 pounds. Your bicycle will be more stable if you place more weight on the front panniers. Just make sure that you experiment with weight distribution and find the best packing solution.

Items such as tools, food, and fuel bottles should go into the front panniers while sleeping bags and tents go into the back. Before you start packing, pay attention to line your panniers with waterproof bags to prevent your items from getting wet.

Suggested Equipment

Depending on your experiences and personal needs, your equipment list will vary. Just keep in mind that you will not need any more gear for longer tours than shorter ones. You need to bring your helmet, touring shoes, leg warmers, and rain gear. Do not forget to pack a lightweight towel.

Have you ever gone on a bike tour?


About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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