It’s that time of year again when I’m starting to pack for my annual bike tour in Europe— this year will be the Dolomites in Italy! Since this bike tour with 44|5 Cycling is fully-supported, there is no need to pack too much. It can get really annoying packing for a bike tour however because I have to bring all my gear, AND clothing for my usual continuous travels through Europe prior, but I am willing to suck it up because I love cycling so much.
You can’t pack for a bike tour and not have your kit. I’m trying to travel light this year as I may be staying in Europe for a couple more weeks (still haven’t decided yet), so I will bring:
- 2x bike shorts
- 3 x tops (basically for variety in #cyclingpics being the #vaincyclist that I am)
- 1 x mesh base layer
- 1 x fingerless gloves
- 1 x windbreaker
- 1 x vest
- 1 x pair of cycling shoes (I always put on new set of cleats when starting a bike tour)
- Saddle? I’m renting a bike this year and some people prefer to bring their own saddles but I never really have problems with saddles.
Cold weather gear since we are riding in the Alps. Imagine my horror when John + Gerry reminded us to pack winter gear for chilly descents. But it’s summer! 🙁 Wah. Since I learned my lesson, I will be packing:
- full-fingered merino wool gloves
- toe covers
- knee warmers
- thermal vest – this Rapha insulated gilet one is one of my favorite + most versatile pieces
- rain jacket – I layer this over my thermal vest, then a wind-breaker which is normally warm enough for me when it gets chilly… still suffer for a bit but I know I’ll get over it quickly.
- a cute circle scarf I can also use as a face mask
Gadgets I will pack for my bike tour in Europe:
- Go Pro Smart Remote – I got a GoPro for my birthday last year and I only JUST started to tinker with it a couple of weeks ago, in preparation for my trip. Not really a gadget person, but I really want to start recording my bike tours for my own memories. They are soooo epic.
- Garmin + Go Pro Mount for my rental bike this year.
- Wireless Headphones – Every ride is different. Some days I listen to music, sometimes audiobooks/podcasts, sometimes nothing.
- Multi-USB charger — must have in our gadget-filled world.
Other miscellaneous items:
Tide Travel Pods – Laundry has always been my biggest annoyance when bike touring since we usually miss the laundry cut-off times by the time we arrive at hotels. Since I normally travel after my bike tours and I don’t want to being a kit for each day, I’ve grown accustomed to hand-washing everything and air drying. This is the only part of “roughing it out” on these fully-supported tours. 😉
Bottle Cleaning Brush – Trust me, this will make your life 100% easier! If there was one thing I’ve always disliked about cycling, it was cleaning my water bottles.
Contigo Mug – Been traveling with trusty Contigo’s for 3+ years. I also drink hot tea on hot summer days so always have to have one with me.
Huma Gels – 44|5 Cycling Tours provides sports nutrition but I prefer to bring my own gels because these are the only ones I like.
Baby wipes – Don’t ever travel without wipes. We get pretty nasty grinding and sweating in the sun for hours and hours at a time, although it is completely worth it. Baby wipes feel like a luxury after all that hard work we put in! Don’t ever deprive yourself of luxury. 😉
I’m going to be super active and probably going to be eating very well, no drinking (wine doesn’t count as “drinking” in France or Italy) so I don’t normally bring my whole stack with me. It’s good to take a break from routine anyway. Traveling can be stressful however, so I do bring some simply for my own peace of mind which may include:
- Vital Protein collagen – I’ve been using this daily for 2+ years with amazing results for hair, skin, nails, and gut & joint health.
- Fish oil – It’s very important (for me) to get my omega-3’s
- Glutathione – Strong antioxidant support with many other benefits
- Curcumin – Anti-inflammatory benefits + I find it helps with healing from sports-related discomfort.
- Contemplating on bringing my CBD-infused Tiger Balm but not too sure if I want to risk traveling with it.
One interesting thing to note is that when I’m in Europe, I don’t even have to travel with my lactase pills. My lactose-intolerance is not an issue when consuming cheese, cream, butter, and milk on that side of the world. Makes you think what is going on over here in North America, right?
Toiletries which may include:
- First Aid Intensive Lip Balm – my favorite one and the only one that does not dry out my lips. Been using this for the past 3+ years.
- Vitamin C Serum – helps repair, brighten, and hydrate my skin from all hours and hours of exposure to the elements and other free radical damage. As a pretty frequent outdoor cyclist, I use to have major uneven skin tone from being exposed to the elements for long periods of time and this serum has done WONDERS for my skin. I swear by it!
- Lavender toner – I mix Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel with lavender essential oil in a spray bottle I travel everywhere with. The lavender REALLY helps with calming my skin down after our excessive [sun] exposure and irritation. I also have a bad habit of wiping the sweat and nasties off my nose + upper lip area so my skin would be completely ripped after every ride, and ever since I discovered this lavender balm I bought off a witch in Croatia, it’s been my saving-grace. You can also use this as a refreshing spray on a hot day, a spritz before you go to bed, when you want to relax, etc. Always travel with lavender!!
- Brave Soldier Antiseptic Healing Ointment – This has healed a deep gash on my cheek from a crash in less than five days. I never travel without it. Just in case, right?
- Rodan + Fields Radiance Defense – When one of my closest friends became a consultant, I wanted to support her so I bought a few products for my us to try. I’ve been actually using a few Redefine regiment consistently for 4 months and have been seeing pretty amazing results, especially with the conditions I put my skin through. I thought my Vitamin C serum was good but I added this regime on top of it and I saw dramatic differences especially at the 2 month mark. I love this tinted moisturizer because it’s sooo light. I’ll also bring the eye cream, and the Intensive Renewing serum with me this trip.
- Sinus spray. I have sports-induced asthma which makes it harder for me to breath when I do intense workouts, and a constant runny nose which really sucks for an athlete… but you get use to it and adapt.
Sunscreen is sooo important especially when we are spending hours and hours in the direct sun. I wear a cap to try to minimize sun in my face but I also bring:
- Sunthera3 Face Stick SPF60 – I carry this with me in my jersey pocket. I know we are forever doomed as cyclists since I sweat off the sunscreen the minute after I apply it but it makes me feel so much better, okay.
- EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 50 – I keep this in the SAG to reapply.
- Kiehls Super Fluid UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 – I use this on top of my Rodan + Fields moisturizer that already has SPF30.