Packing the Bike
This page shows how Wally, one of our leaders, packs his bike. This is the way he sets his bike up for every tour, whether it is for a week or three months. There are notes under each photo, describing what he does and why he does it that way.
Bike packed, ready to go.
This is the full bike setup. This bike is equipped with front and rear panniers, a tent on the top of the rear rack, and a handlebar bag.
Off-bike clothing collection
The off-bike wardrobe consists of (going from the upper left in a clockwise direction) a short-sleeve shirt, a long-sleeve shirt, a pair of convertible pants (where the legs zip off to change to shorts), a bathing suit and a pair of underwear.
That is it – a set of flexible clothing options that provides a full set of options with minimal clothing pieces.
On-bike clothing collection
The on-bike clothing set consists of (in a clockwise direction, starting from top-left): a short sleeve shirt, a second short sleeve shirt, long sleeve shirt (worn over one of the short sleeve shirts if chilly), a pair of unlined shorts that I can wear over bike shorts, 2 pair of bike shorts, and 2 pair of socks. Notice that the shorts and socks are identical. That way if a sock is lost, 3 socks are now in the rotation rather than 4.
Cold weather gear consists of a wool hat, fleece pullover top, fleece leggings, and a pair of long-fingered gloves (not pictured).
Never leave home without a full set of rain gear. Wally’s rain gear consists of a helmet cover, rain jacket, rain pants, Gore-tex socks, and rain mitts. All of this fits in one small bag.
Wally uses a sleeping bag, an inflatable sleeping mat and a shirt and shorts to sleep in. Sleep clothes protect your expensive sleeping bag from dirt and body oils so it lasts longer.
Wally uses a free-standing tent, the MSR Hubba-Hubba. It is a two-person tent, which gives a little extra room to move around in, and offers space inside for gear if it is raining.
Here is some other gear I carry. From the upper-left, going clockwise: a coffee mug, a tool kit (in the black bag), an iPad (why not), a packtowl and washcloth, a Tupperware eating dish along with plastic utensils, a first aid kit (in the green mesh bag), a pump, a mesh bag containing a number of repair items for camping gear, and off-bike shoes (slippers, actually). In the center is a toiletry bag, small compressible backpack (in the blue bag), and eating container along with a spork and knife.
The food container is worth mentioning, as this does double duty. It is a bowl and plate for dinner, and during the day, the lunch sandwich(es) are carried in it, where they won’t be smashed.
Packing the Bike
Here are the front panniers, and what goes in them.
The front-left pannier carries the rain gear bag (the orange bag) and the gear repair bag.
The front-right pannier carries the heavy tool kit and sleeping pad, rolled up in its grey bag.
Each pannier is about half full at this point. The remainder of the space is used for shared group gear.
Here are the rear panniers, and what goes in them.
In the left-rear goes the sleeping bag (in the blue and black bag), bike clothes (in the blue bag), the pump, mug, slippers, and toiletries.
In the right-rear goes the bike clothes (in the orange bag), the iPad, cold-weather bag, first aid bag and food container.
Here is the bike, ready to go. Note that the tent bag is held on by bungee cords. These bungees also serve as a clothes drying rack – each night, the riding clothes from that day are rinsed out. If they are not dry by morning, they are fastened to the bike by the bungee cords, and they’ll dry in the sun while riding that day.