Cycling backpack – is it ready for your next bike tour?

10 things you should have with you for a daily bike tour.

Let me share with you the list of things that – based on my experience – are important to keep in your cycling backpack.

First of all, let me underline that each participant to the bike tour should take with him/her their own cycling backpack. Including kids. It is very important that each individual is self-independent and have easy access to a small set of personal stuff like sunglasses, tissues, camera, and the mobile phone, just to name a few. Allowing kids to take their own (little) cycling backpack, will be perceived as a sign of independence, trust and a way for them to help.

Moms – by nature – tend to have Mary Poppin’s style, carrying bags with millions of things ready to be used.

This is what I call the “just in case mindset”. I still remember my mom’s bag; the range of items she used to carry with her was impressive, from a sewing kit to medical patches, something to eat (at that time the food did not have a short expiration date as today), tissues, water, the comb, and much more.

Unfortunately, carrying on our shoulders heavy and big bag during a cycling tour is not recommendable.

Our legs and our back will not be happy, but also from a safety standpoint, cycling with a heavy ballast is definitively not recommendable and should be avoided whenever is possible.

The list of items reported below has been produced with the assumption that we are going take part to a bike ride at a leisurely pace, in a location where it is easy to find a place to rest and to refill our water bottle.

List of objects:

  1. Food – real food or energy bars or gels. It is key to have something to eat in case of need & water
  2. First-aid kit + medical info/emergency contact card
  3. Repair kit – Basic items needed to cover minor repairs and fix flat tires like a multi-tool, a good pump, a pair of tires, a roll of duct tape, chain tool, spare tires, lube oil, bike tire removal tool
  4. Paper Map of the location you are visiting as the backup in case your GPS/phone run out of battery
  5. Mosquito repellent organic cream (especially during summer season)
  6. Eye protection (sunglasses, clear lenses)
  7. Mobile phone (and power bank if available)
  8. Wind stopper jacket that can be rolled up very small and will fit into the backpack. If possible “breathable” in case you need to wear for the entire ride
  9. Sunscreen
  10. Tissues

One item that has been recently added to my “bike wardrobe” is the dog attack deterrent spray – citronella formula –  without harmful side effects. In my life, I have never been attacked by an aggressive animal, but this spray could be useful for my peace of mind.

Additional suggestions for your cycling backpack:

How to pack your staff. Unless you have a waterproof backpack or a waterproof cover, my recommendation is to put each item in a small plastic bag to keep them dry and clean. The items that you think you will be using more frequently should be easy to catch.

–  If you are thinking to buy a new cycling backpack, make sure that the area where the pack comes in contact with your back has a built-in mesh frame that holds the pack away from your back, allowing air to circulate across your back, keeping you cooler. In terms of capacity – for a 1-day tour – 8/10 liters should be fine. Frequently this kind of backpacks have also a dedicated bag for water (around 3 liters).

The riding position is very important. The lower your back is on the bike, the heavier the pack will feel, so having a more upright position on a touring bike can help increase comfort. If you are experiencing back pain, perhaps you need to raise your handlebars.

At this point your cycling backpack is ready and well-set; it is time to take it with you in a compelling cycling experience. What about bike tour around Tuscany? I would encourage you to take a look at our bike tours in Tuscany and pick the one that you like the most. Our dream is to exceed your expectations.