What You’ll Need to Take a Long Bicycle Trip
Let us take a closer look at the Essentials For Your Cycling Trip.
Few forms of travel will leave you with a more universal understanding of a place than biking through it.
Long bicycle trips can be incredibly liberating, and there’s no limit to where you can go.
Many of America’s lesser used two-lane highways, made obsolete by nearby superhighways, will allow you to see the real, authentic America with plenty of time to stop and smell the roses.
Before you decide where you want to go, let’s discuss what you’ll need.
Essentials For Your Cycling Trip
12 speed road bike
With the correct bike you should be able to average between 80 and 100 miles a day. You should do the majority of your biking in the early morning and the afternoon, taking a long lunch break during the hottest part of the day.
Used high-end road bikes may be your best bet. Despite what bike aficionados (otherwise known as snobs) will tell you when you ask for advice, yes, you can take a long trip without a 4,000 dollar bike.
I personally biked from Chicago to New Orleans (a 1,000 mile trip) in 20 days with a $268 used Japanese road bike I bought on Craigslist.
If you’re going to throw your money at anything at all, make it the seat. Having a soft but unsupportive seat can lead to an outrageous number of blisters and rashes on your undercarriage and end your trip in a hurry.
Leather seats are a bit rough at first, but slowly begin to mold to the shape of your body. The snobs (aficionados) are right on this one. Get a leather seat.
Trailer or Panniers
Panniers in the non-biking world are called saddlebags. They sit to either side of the back wheel. If you’re planning on staying in hotels, you can get by with just the panniers. If you’re planning on camping, panniers won’t have enough space and you’ll have to invest in a trailer.
Trailers are a bit more expensive, but I recommend them for several reasons. Firstly you have more space.
Essentials For Your Cycling Trip will make your tour enjoyable and comfortable.
Secondly, they don’t put too much pressure on the back wheel and cause frequent flat tires like panniers do. A basic trailer with an open top (you’ll have to strap your gear down with bungee cords) goes for as little as $125.
When you’re done with your trip it’s excellent for trips to the grocery or lugging stuff across town!
Lots and lots of spare tubes and patch kits
Nothing throws a wrench (literally) into a long bike ride like being stuck without a tube for a popped tire. You may find yourself 60-70 miles from the nearest bike store. If you’re lucky there’s a Walmart nearby, but it’s better to play it safe than sorry and overbuy on tubes. Bring two pumps as well.
This goofy-looking accessories won’t be necessary if you’re taking a trip of under 10 days. Anything longer than that and you’ll be putting your buns at serious risk for rashes and skin infections.
There’s a huge range in prices. If you’re going for a 5 month trip, spend a little more money on your bike shorts.
If you’re going for a week, forget about them altogether.
Essentials For Your Cycling Trip
Reflectors for helmet
Reflective flag for trailer
Mirrors on both sides of handlebars
Lots of sunscreen
Sunglasses with strap
Phone with Data and GPS
High protein snacks
Yes, Essentials For Your Cycling Trip
Once you’ve bought ALL of this stuff, then start looking at the different routes. One fun way to plan a trip is to choose a destination city and look at the possible routes that would get you there.
There are hundreds of long-distance bike trails that span multiple states.