I woke up this morning at 4:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep, which is highly unusual behaviour for me given that I’m a total snooze hound and rarely see 9am. It’s because we’re leaving in 9 days. 9 DAYS!!! It also has something to do with the fact that last night we mapped out our first 50 mile cycle; it will take us on an almost continuous 4500ft ascent over a huge but extremely beautiful Spanish mountain.
In the words of my teenage-self, circa 1993: “I’m totally kekking my pants”, or, to say it in a more up to date fashion: “Eeeeekers!”, ie I’m quite scared about this now! But good scared. Excited scared. This is gonna be totally amazing scared.
I took the bonus early morning hours to pack my bags, then spent quite a lot of time panicking and making jokes about how heavy my bike was, then, more productively, went for a quick ride up the nearest hill to convince myself that it was indeed physically possible to ride a bike that I can barely lift off the floor. I should get up before 9am more often.
Anyway, one of the most frequently asked questions I get asked about my trip is how much stuff I’ll be able to take with me , so here it is laid out, all my worldly possessions for the next few months.
My bags weigh 14kg altogether. That might seem shockingly heavy to those super lightweight cycle enthusiasts who refuse to carry anything over 5kg, but we are, afterall, travelling around Europe for 4 months, not just spending a couple of weeks cycling from one point to another. I don’t think 14kg is too bad – but ask me again when we get to the top of that mountain and I may think differently!
Poor Nev is carrying a bit more weight than me (23kgs), which I’m hoping might just slow him down to my pace. 😉
If you’re planning your own cycling trip and want to compare packing checklists (I know I did this when I was deciding what to take), here’s a full list:
Waterproof jacket with pictures of rabbits on;
Small fleece type jacket;
Lightweight trousers with elephants on (I’m strangely attracted to clothes with animals on);
Shorts x 4 (three for cycling in, one for casual);
Leggings for cycling;
Sports bras x 3;
Normal bras x 3;
Socks x 6;
Knickers x 5;
Bikinis x 2 (yes, I know two seems a tad excessive in the circumstances, but they are pretty tiny);
Buffs (headbands) x 3;
Other tops x 4;
Playsuits x 2 (for potential evening soirees away from the campsite);
Trainers (Although these will usually be on my feet);
Shorts x 3;
Boxer shorts x 8 (just realised he’s taking more undercrackers than me. Interesting.);
Tops for cycling x 3;
T-shirts x 4;
Socks x 7;
Buffs x 3;
Suncream x 3 (various spfs);
Dry shampoo (although I have dreads I do suffer from the inevitable helmet hair. I’m hoping dry shampoo may be the answer);
Baby wipes (for the ultimate in ‘festival wash’ cleansing);
Hair clips x2;
Camping and cooking stuff:
Mugs x 2;
Chopping board (a really cute one in the shape of a turtle that we named Lonesome George after the world’s last living Pinta Island tortoise);
Film cannisters with herbs for cooking x 4;
Bottle opener with corkscrew (ESSENTIAL item when travelling through Rioja);
Spare cable – brake and gear;
Inner tubes x 2;
Puncture repair kits x 4;
Cable ties (there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a few cable ties);
Duct Tape and GT85 (relying here on the faithful adage ‘if it doesn’t stick and it should: duct tape. If it does stick and it shouldn’t: GT85’).
2 dry bags;
Heart rate watch and straps;
Shaver (which can be charged by usb – a Lidl bargain!);
First aid kit.
Phew! Wow that sounds like a lot now I’ve written it all out! I’m sure we’ll realise there are things we don’t need as we’re going along, if so, we’ll just ditch them along the way to lighten the load. Roll on 18th June!