by Matt Phippen, Scheels Expert
Going on a bicycling trip can be exciting and stressful all at the same time… Stressful due to the fact you are going to be on a bike for a set number of days and you want to make sure you have everything you would need.
Two Common Trip Types
1. Riding the entire route self-contained. This means everything you would need for the ride will be carried on the bike. This can be very stressful because you want to make sure you have everything, but the more you take the heavier your bike gets and climbing up those big hills you want to be as light as possible.
2. Riding the entire route supported. This mean you have a sag vehicle that will carry all your gear, follow you along the way and take care of any bike issues if you break down. These sag vehicles are great, because they take your gear from Point A to Point B making the ride stress free. It’s just you on the bike, no extra weight, enjoying the sites.
When you arrive at your location, your gear is there waiting for you.
Don’t Forget These…
Everyone is different when it comes to riding self-contained or supported. I’m riding the RAGBRAI Pre-Ride route across Iowa completely supported. I plan on packing one large waterproof duffle bag that will carry all my gear from town to town. Below, in no particular order are the items that I feel are a must to get me through 7 Days of a Supported RAGBRAI pre-ride.
1. Bicycle Helmet: The most important piece. You should never get on a bike without one.
2. Bike shoes: A good pair or biking shoes can make your riding experience more comfortable and efficient.
3. Biking socks: A pair of biking specific socks for every day you will be riding. An extra pair just in case they get wet. If you have the option to wash and dry clothes then you will not need as many.
4. Electronic Device Portable Charger: There is nothing worse than your battery dying. Keep all your electronic devices powered. You never know when and where you will need a charge. A lot of cycling apps (i.e. Strava, mapmyride drain cell phone batteries very quickly).
5. Sunscreen: Don’t leave home without it. A bad sun burn can ruin your experience. A spray sunscreen is easy to apply multiple times during the day without getting your hands all messy.
6. Soap to wash clothes: Make sure to put in a small secure container. There is nothing worse then laundry soap leaking all over your gear.
7. Bike Clothing: 7 Days = Up to 7 shorts/bibs and jerseys, unless you are going to wash and dry them every day.
8. Plastic Waterproof case: Anything small you want to keep dry, electronics, etc.
9. Zip Lock Case for Money, ID, credit cards, etc: Small, fits perfectly in your jersey pocket
10. Money: $10, $5 and (5) $1
11. Medicine/Emergency Kit: Aspirin, Tylenol, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, Electrolytes for dehydration (There is nothing worse than aches and pains)
12. Daily toiletries: Toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, etc.
13. Clothes for 7 days: Shorts, Tee Shirts, socks, underwear, shoes or sandals. Less if you have access to a washer and dryer.)
14. Chamois Butter: Any anti-chaffing lotion is recommended. Your backside will thank you.
15. Spare Tubes, tire levers, portable pump and tool: I recommend at least two tubes. More if your bike requires a funny size tube. It’s better to have extras and be safe not sorry.
16. Arm Warmers/Sun Sleeves: Perfect for cold mornings or days with a lot of sun.
17. Cycling Gloves: Perfect for wiping off sweat and preventing blisters.
18. Road ID: Bracelet with all your current information, in case of an accident. roadid.com
19. Rain Jacket: Hopefully you’ll never need it but just in case.
20. Sunglasses: A must for every day. Multiple lens options for different weather (Overcast, Sunny, Cloudy, Rainy)
21. Bike Wipes: Perfect after a wet, muddy ride to keep your bike looking like new.