Cycling is one of the best ways to find adventure. Sometimes, a cycling trip can take more than one day. For this type of adventure, it’s important to pack all the right essentials. While an overnight cycling trip can seem a bit intimidating, it can be one of the most exciting trips you’ll ever take. To make sure it goes smoothly, be sure to pack these items with you:
The Perfect Bag
Depending on how long your trip may be, it can call for a different type of bag to carry all of your essentials. The best bags to bring along with you are a handlebar bag, seat bag, or frame bag. If you are carrying a lot, these bags place less strain on your body than a backpack. The handlebar bag is great for the items you won’t need all day since it can be difficult to open and close. It’s great for keeping sleeping items or food you won’t eat until much later.
If you need your ride to be more lightweight, you can omit the handlebar bag and substitute it for a seat bag. A seat bag is perfect for storing everything from clothes, food, and sleepwear, which is perfect for longer trips. Grab a frame bag for heavy items such as tools or a water filter if you’re going off the beaten track.
Remember to get waterproof bike bags with zips that don’t let water through. More on that later.
Having your phone on hand and visible is super essential while riding in unknown territory. Your phone helps keep track of where you are and it’s great to have it out for emergencies. This is why a phone mount is essential for those long, overnight trips. Apart from easy navigation and emergency situations, having a phone mount for your bike is also great for access to music, podcasts, and a camera while cycling. I personally find the QuadLock case and mount really good.
Some people are more rugged than others, and happy to sleep out under the stars. If that’s you, then it’s a good idea to have a sleeping bag, tarp or tent in your bags. However, if you’re more like me, and like a shower and a firm bed at night, then plan your trips around motels. If you don’t want to pre-book hotels, it’s wise to plan your ride to end in a town or village that will have some accommodation options that you can turn up spontaneously for the night.
Essentials You Can Fit
On an overnight cycling adventure, it’s important to pack light. You are going to be riding all day and having too many items will easily weigh you down, making the ride less enjoyable. Always have essential bike tools, water bottles, snacks, a change of clothes, phone charger and a small toiletries bag. Remember that most of your days will be in cycling kit, so you don’t need much in terms of “civilian” clothes.
Also remember, rain can be unpredictable, so bring a roll of sturdy bin bags and even some large snap lock bags to put your spare clothes in, that way if it is a rainy ride your clothes are double plastic bagged (in your water-proof bike bag).
If you’re staying in a hotel or motel overnight, you can wash your cycling clothes from that day in the shower and leave them to dry overnight – that way you may choose only to have one set of cycling kit (although a spare is wise).