ESSENTIAL CYCLING KIT
On a cycling related holiday, apart from your bike, your most important garments are your cycling kit. If you are like most of us then you have far too much kit to take everything away with you so we have asked Alder and Ben what they consider as essential to travel with. Fortunately, when you travel with us you receive 2 sets of Marcello Bergamo Bib-shorts and Jersey’s and one mid-season weight vest which is pocketable but it always pays to be prepared so let’s hear from the Pros.
Our Professional Riders/Ride Guides, Alder and Ben travel the world with their bikes and they spend large periods of time on the road so they need to plan for all sorts of conditions. Unfortunately for them they always travel economy class so they have serious weight restrictions as we do so we thought you might like to hear their top 5 kit tips….
- I’m really big on bringing a buff with me. They add a lot of warmth, are easy to stuff in a back pocket, and don’t take any extra room to pack.
- Cold weather can ruin any ride if you don’t have the right clothes. You don’t need a lot. Arm and leg warmers are a must. Coupled with a vest and undershirt you’ll be warm for most chilly days. Layer a rain jacket on top for extra warmth. My toes also get chilly so I bring toe warmers with me.
- I have a small case for my Garmin and HR strap in my bag. Organisers keep things in order and while travelling, order in your bag can save a lot of time and headaches.
- Speaking of order, a wash-bag keeps dirty clothes from clean and makes it easy to throw your laundry in with others.
- Lastly, riding is better without chaffing and burns. So don’t forget some sunscreen and chamois cream!!
Top 5 tips from Ben Hill
5 bits of kit I always like to travel with:
- Compression; I like to use compression socks and pants during travel and after stages. I think the science has mixed reviews but it makes my legs feel better on race day.
- Rain jacket that will scrunch up small; essential if it gets wet. Especially if it’s a long cold stage.
- Clear lenses; on those wet days went is overcast and dark you need glasses on to protect your eyes from the grit and water spray from the road but the tinted lenses are too dark and you cant see much so bring the change.
- Towel; handy for getting changed or drying off after wet stages
- Warm clothes; my mum always would ask when going anywhere “have you packed your jumper?” You never know how cold it’s going to get so I just pack some extra layers just in case.
And a follow up tip from both Alder and Ben. Don’t forget your cycling shoes as that can definitely ruin a trip!!
PACKING YOUR BIKE
Making sure that your bike arrives in one piece and that you have all of your equipment is fundamental to your cycling holiday so we have asked our Pro’s to give us some insight into how they manage this part of the trip.
Our Professional Riders/Ride Guides, Alder and Ben travel the world with their bikes and unlike their World Tour counterparts these guys travel with their bikes so we thought you might like to hear their top 3 bike travel tips….
- Carry your shoes and pedals on the plane at a minimum. Those are hardest to replace. I also put my Garmin in my carry-on because if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen!
- Pack your bike in a dedicated bike bag or box to make sure it’s secure and doesn’t move inside. If that isn’t possible, use bubble wrap, extra clothes, or foam tubes to suspend the bike in the box and keep it in one place.
- After checking the bike bag in, don’t leave it at the counter. Carry it to over-sized check-in or wait until someone comes to take it away. Make sure it’s been taken care of. Then you can relax and go have a coffee!
Top 3 tips from Ben Hill
- Get a bike bag/box with solid side. Hard plastic is good because it’s strong and light. Or one with a solid base you strap the bike onto so it doesn’t move.
- Take off anything that could get damaged when the bike gets thrown around in transit such as derailleur or Garmin.
- Use bubble wrap, it stops everything rubbing and scrapping on each other and weighs nothing.