2020-02-28 17:00

For the first twenty years of my life, biking was just a mechanism for getting from point a to point b. I became a proud cyclist when I started a job during a university summer which required me to bike 12km, work outside for 8 hours, then bike home 12km (I only crashed once that summer, too). Then I got my first nice bike, a Milwaukee Cycle single speed. At that point, I now had a light, trim, fast bike where I didn't have to worry about how gears worked. It was incredible.

After a few years passed I started getting interested in touring and doing longer rides. I was probably 25 or 26 when I first started thinking about it. I admired people who had done bike tours for much longer, but I started researching it more actively.


On anything > 20km the below is stashed into a 4 litre waterproof handlebar bag (which doubles as a shoulder bag):

  • Emergency Patch kit:
    • Co2 canisters (I don't know how to use these yet)
    • Tire levers
    • Patch kit
    • Multi-allen key
    • pump
    • Leatherman
  • Phone/Keys/etc
  • Snack
  • Sunscreen/advil
  • Sketchbook/paints if there is room.

On Long Rides

I have only done two overnight rides, and am still hoping to find a mentor to accompany me on a multi day trip. My attempts at doing anything longer have been unsuccessful. Regardless, I've learned the following from doing a few intercity rides.

  • take your time
  • the last bit is the hard part
  • get directions right, while getting lost can be fun, you'll be annoyed at wasting energy backtracking
  • put your phone on airplane mode while you ride and know where you are going. It saves battery.
  • I find waving to other bikers makes it feel more communal if you are riding alone.
  • if you fear sunburns like me...wear gloves or put sunscreen on your hands... Or... Rip holes in the extra pair of socks you brought and use those.
  • bring more water.
  • bring good snacks.
  • know how your panniers are organized
  • bring lipchap, moisturizer, sanitizer.