Ken's Packing Tips

 Our bikes ready to roll in the morning

Our bikes ready to roll in the morning

Packing for a long bike trip is easy if you remember the fundamental principles: you don’t need anywhere near the amount of stuff you think you do, and, as far as possible, everything should serve multiple purposes. We have what we consider our basic riding outfit, which for Ken is shorts or long pants (weather dependent) bike shorts, & a short sleeve shirt. To that we can add the nylon pullover, sweater and even the rain jacket if need be. And if it's really cold, the insulated jacket. In evening, we wash what we wore that day in the shower or sink (unless there's a washer) and it's dry by the next day. Then something to wear out to dinner and that's all you'll need.

Here’s Ken’s Pack List:

Shirts: 1 long sleeve dress, 2 short sleeve, 1 Tee
     A nice packable dress shirt & sweater, and you can go out anywhere in France
Pants: 2 Shorts, 2 Long
     One pair of long pants are black sports pants, could be pajamas
Underwear: 2 briefs
Socks: 3 pair
Bike pants: 2
Rain Gear: jacket with hood, pants
     Rain jacket doubles as a windbreaker. Get good quality rain gear, it' worth it.
Nylon pullover
Insulated jacket (if needed)
Silk sweater: Handy if it's cold, nice for going out.
Dental kit/Toiletries
Medical kit
Small towel
Head lamp
Hat: Ken likes to wear a hat off the bike
Gloves: A lifesaver on cold mornings
Chargers & power adapters: (includes adapters for French outlets and power supplies for iPad/iPhones)
Bike Tools & inner tube
Water shoes (for riding in the rain, could be worn out to diner in a pinch))
iPads & iPhones

And that's it!  It all fits in in our panniers:

 Ken's bike loaded.

Ken's bike loaded.

 

 

We use compression sacks to reduce the bulk and help organize things:

sacks.jpg

 

Ken also has a handle-bar bag for bike tools & inner tubes. It also makes a very handy holder for the iPad:

iPad.jpg

And the  Tool kit:

 Pliers, Allen wrenches, tire levers, pump  and spare tube. That's all you'll need!

Pliers, Allen wrenches, tire levers, pump  and spare tube. That's all you'll need!

 

I also bring a backpack that generally rides on the rear like this:

Backpack on bike.jpg

Handy for lunch on days when that’s a picnic, and it's great for carrying the handle bar bag when you stop at a museum, chateau or restaurant along the way.

Finally, don't forget that the electrical system in France is different. It's 220V and the wall outlet plugs are not the same.  While most modern power supplies are dual voltage, you'll still need an adapter for the wall outlets.

 Ken's tech gear. The extension cord comes in very handy when the outlet is inconveniently located. The USB power supply allows us to charge all our devices at the same time. Note that the plug adapters have two outlets, top and front. Also useful

Ken's tech gear. The extension cord comes in very handy when the outlet is inconveniently located. The USB power supply allows us to charge all our devices at the same time. Note that the plug adapters have two outlets, top and front. Also useful

We've gone on trips as long as 21 days with nothing more than what's in our panniers. We pack them in our suitcases empty, and we pack all the other things we'll need on the ride in compression sacks to keep them separate from our other items in the suitcase. Once we're there, we just pack our panniers, drop of our suitcases at the hotel (see Travel Tips), and head off for the start of our adventure.