In case you are in any doubt, I am not a seasoned cyclist. Far from it. Twenty years ago I used to commute from Whitechapel to Shepherds Bush, which kept me fit, and off the tube. But I haven’t cycled on a regular basis since.
I have been giving a lot of thought to what I should be taking with me, and about what would be practical to carry in my panniers. Whenever I discuss kit, my cycling friends invariably offer the same advice: Make a pile of everything you think is essential, then halve it, and halve it again!
Where I really lack knowledge is with the cycling clothing. I have never knowingly worn anything made with lycra before, so I just don’t know how many layers I should be wearing. And why are mountain bikers allowed to wear reasonably civilised shorts, whilst road cyclists are obliged to wear those genital-hugging horrors?
I am not planning to camp, other than in an emergency, and so I do not have to consider tents, sleeping bags, mattress pads or cookware. So surely this will make a massive saving over what many long distance cyclists tend to carry?
So this is my provisional kit list, already halved once … And which will no doubt need to be halved once more.
Merino base layer x 3
Cycling tops/ jerseys x 2
Padded cycling shorts x 2
Cycling outer shorts
Waterproof socks x 2
Lightweight trousers x 1
Cotton t-shirts x 2
Buff x 2
iPhone bike mount
Edirol audio recorder & accessories
Lumix GF6 camera
Lumix 45-150 lens
Go Pro 4
GoPro bike mount & accessories
Rechargeable battery pack
Portable hard drive with SD card slot
Garmin Edge 810
Edge bike bar mount
SD cards, Micro SD cards & batteries
Ibuprofen & Paracetamol
MS injections & medication
The feedback so far is that I am heavy on electronics, and I would probably agree. Having said that, I’m worried that recording all my video via an iPhone will not produce the best results. And as audio has played such an important role in my publishing career, I am loathe to leave my trusty Edirol audio recorder behind.
What do you think? Does the list look sensible? What have I left out? What could I easily do without? I’d really like to hear your views.
PS I’ve just spotted that there is no mention of a toothbrush! Suffice to say, I will pack my washbag.