Your bike gear packing list on a cycling and photography tour will be different than what you would normally ride or travel with. So what should you bring? I like to be ready for anything, and that means I often pack more than I need to. Even if you’re an avid traveler and you can pack a bag for a three week international trip in the dark without waking anyone else in the house; I encourage you to take a look at this list and plan ahead just a bit.
When you're done here visit the travel planning page for other planning tips and articles to prepare for your cycling vacation.
- Cycling shoes & socks
- Pedals that match the cleats on your cycling shoes
- Your own bottles
- Chamois cream
- Clothes and shoes for when off the bike
- 3 pair of your own bike shorts (we can get laundry service every 2 to 3 days)
- A bag just for your riding gear - convenient for both you and our support staff.
If you like to ride with any of these then bring them. You probably will not be able to pick them up when you arrive.
- Rain jacket
- Possibly light gloves for cold mornings
- Padded gloves
- Arm warmers
- Leg warmers
- Tail blinker
- Any bike bags you like to ride with
- Computer or cadence sensors plus zip ties to mount them
Things you don’t have to bring
These will be provided for you. If you are particular about your bike seat, helmet, ride snacks, hydration drinks, etc then bring them with you.
- Bike seat
- Your own bike (and any maintenance parts unique to your bike)
Things you should not bring
A mechanic will have these for you should you need them.
- Patch kit
- Chain lube
- Extra tubes or tires
I have a bag packed for every occasion, or at least a checklist for every occasion. When I travel for a photography trip I take a specific set of gear and clothes. When I travel for a cycling trip I take a different set of gear and clothes. I just grab everything on that list and head to the airport without thinking too much.
Bike Gear packing list for a supported cycling tour
When preparing for a cycling and photography tour it’s important to balance needs with wants; and with airline weight regulations. Since we are not carrying our gear for a long time, bring a few things that will make you comfortable. You probably won’t be able to purchase your favorite ride snacks when you land, and you can’t count on getting chamois cream, extra bottles, or bike shorts in your size.
If you wish to take photos during rides, a small pocket camera or even phone camera is recommended for your cycling kit. The support vehicle carries all gear for us, and while they are with the ride group at all times we don't stop during the rides to take photos.
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t bring everything that you normally would for a cycling event at home. If you are accustomed to bikepacking this advice goes double for you. A support and gear vehicle is with our group at all times. Your bike tools, extra tubes, extra chain, slime for tubes, patch kit, can all stay at home.