Going to places by bike might be one of my favorite things to do. I even do it almost daily. However, a longer trip by bike takes a bit more effort to organize. But do not fear, I have a bike trip checklist made for you.
What to do in advance
For me, a trip starts as soon as I plan it. With a trip by bike, it’s even more important to do some preparation. Technical difficulties can ruin your plans, and that’s the last thing you want. So here’s a short bike trip checklist to check before the trip.
Check tires and pressure
Take a proper look at your tires. Are they still in a good state? Checking if the grooves are still deep enough and if you have enough pressure in them. If needed, change the tires and pump some extra air in them.
You need well-inflated tires so the long trip isn’t too tiring on your muscles.
Do some maintenance
I asked my local bike shop to do this. They went over very little detail and it only cost me 60 euros. My chain was lubricated again, the spokes and axels of my wheels tightened, and my brakes made a bit looser as they were dragging.
You can also do this yourself if you are a bit more technical.
Get a proper backpack
Depending on how long you plan on being away, you need a big backpack. For day trips or even two-day trips, I use a backpack by Vaude I got from Bikester.be. For longer trips, it can be handy to get yourself a trecking backpack.
Things to pack on your bike trip checklist
There are a couple of things you should bring with you on a trip, whether you’re away for only a day, or two weeks.
Rainpants + raincoat
Especially in the part of Europe, I live in, it can rain anytime. Bringing rain clothes will help you to keep comfortable. I had a little compact raincoat a while, but thanks to Bikester I also have decent rainpants now. Which was on my wishlist for a long time.
It’s important to have enough energy to get through the day. Not only your breakfast and lunch are helping you to collect those kilometers, you also need a snack while riding.
In your favorite sports shop, you will find plenty of energy bars and food mixes to help you out. I also like to bring biscuits with fruits and nuts in them, but that’s just personal taste.
Looking for inspiration for a cool bike trip? Maybe my story about my trip from Antwerp to Texel will inspire you.
Even more important than snacks is water. You won’t make it without a bottle of water. I always have a reusable one with me, even for shorter distances. I can recommend a decent water bottle or camelback, whatever works the best for you.
The chances are high that you might do a bit of evening cycling too For instance if you think that 100 kilometers in one day with a couple of stops is perfectly doable, and then the headwinds hit you. So bring a couple of lights you can strap on your bike in case you find yourself still riding in the evening.
The opposite of the bike lights are sunglasses for during the day. Of course, you wish for lots of sun during your trip. Bringing a pair of sunglasses will help you keep your eyes on the road and the sun out your eyes.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen too!
It can help you keep your pace up when you find yourself struggling. Also, after a while, you will be out of things to discuss with your friends, so maybe a bit of music can keep up the spirits. Make sure to bring light speakers though, you don’t want to carry around too much extra weight.
You never know what you will encounter. It can be a silly thing like a flat tire you just need patching up a bit. Or something more complex as a chain that gets loose. Bring a standard reparation kit with you to help you solve these issues.
The printable bike trip checklist
Wearables to put on your bike trip checklist
A couple things to put on yourself while biking around the world.
A bike computer
I use a Huawei Band 2 as a wearable heart rate monitor, steps counter, and sleep monitor. On my bike, I also got a bike computer from Bikester to keep track of my kilometers and average speed. Not only is it fun to know, but it also helps you to navigate without having to look at your maps too much.
I had no idea how useful these are until I tried them on. They keep your butt safe when you spend the entire day sitting on your saddle. Make sure to bring enough of these, as you wear them without underwear and you are sweating a lot in them…
It’s a bit hypocritical, but I should recommend this. It’s safer to wear one, especially if you plan on going fast. I should wear one more often, but it’s something I tend to forget. Whoops.
Comfortable shoes will help you peddle for a longer time. There are also professional biking shoes, but those are usually a bit more expensive. I use Nike running shoes to keep comfortable on my bike.
What would you like to add to this checklist? Let me know in the comments!