Friday, November 20, 2009

How much stuff shall I carry?

Ok, I only do light touring because of my work commitment. Therefore, I can only do 1-2 weeks of bike tour.

I always remember Willie Weir said that the amount of luggage he carries for 3 days is the same for 3 weeks' tour. So, the key words here are 'travel light' and 'recycle'.

For me, a pair of medium size pannier at the rear + 1 handlebar bag is enough for my trip. Hence, there is no need for the front rack.

My bar bag is the 'tour control centre' as the late Sheldon Brown put it. It's where i keep my valuables- passport, cash, keys, camera, gps, road map, cellphone, and foodstuff e.g. chocolate bar, nuts, raisins etc. The rest of my stuff will be in my panniers. This bag is never out of my sight.

The heavy stuff will be put on the bottom (But no jeans please- it's bulky & heavy) and the lighter or things that I may need fast wil be on the top.

I usually store my stuff in large or medium size zip-on plastic storage bags for better organization & water-proof purpose. Whereas, the tools will be kept in small pocket of the pannier for easy access.

And the amount of clothing that I usually carry are:

1. cycling gear (2 sets- dri-fit/clima365 shirts, cycling thights, knee warmer) + rain jacket
2. sleeping/prayer attire (1 set- cotton t-shirt & track pants + sarong + light prayer mat)
3. sight-seeing/ casual clothing (1 set- shirt+track pants)
4. underwear (3-5 pieces- it's small & light)+ medium size towel
5. additional clothings (if required depending on the location)- sweaters/light weight jackets.No parka (thick and heavy)- i opt for layers of clothing instead.

I prefer Synthetic clothings because they are very light and easy to dry off.

So, in overall I will carry luggage of not more than 30kg (including my bike) when check-in. The heavy stuff (jacket + shoes + helmet) in small bag (exclude tools) will be hand carried (usually 7-10kg) and the rest will be checked-in- i.e. pannier + bike (in bag). So, I will board the plane with a small (but 'heavy) hand carry bag and my handlebar bag with shoulder strap (act as my camera bag- I usually carry my dslr) This is because some airlines only allow 1 hand carry bag but excluding laptop bag, handbag, camera bag, etc.

And it is advisable to carry a spare t-shirts/light pants/underware & toiletteries in your hand carry bag - I speak from my 'bad' experience after being stranded in heathrow during one winter blizzard - where all domestic fligts were cancelled and I had to spend overnight in the airport. The worst part was I only got my luggage 2 days after my arrival. I guess, this is common when you change your flight at last minute.

But hey, don't listen to me. This is just how I pack my stuff for a tour. It might not be suitable for you and your tour.

What you can do is to make your own list. Just remember not to overpack with stuff that you dont need. Actually, the less the better!

And if you tour with another cyclist, you can share some of the stuff like cooking utensils, repair tools, lubes, etc.

No comments:

Established in December 2006