Ireland is a global hotspot for bike touring. From our rolling roads to our breath-taking coastlines, you don’t have to go too far to find the perfect roads for touring. With the birth this year of the staycation, there has never been a better time to throw the bike in the back of the car and adventure around some of the countries finest spots or even just start peddling and see where the road takes you. Its always advised preparing for such activity however as just a number of items can really make the difference between a tour to remember and one to forget.
Prepare for the elements
Unfortunately, in Ireland rain is never far away and a good waterproof jacket and bottoms will be the difference between reaching your destination or having to postpone a day’s cycling. Altura makes a fully waterproof jacket and over-trousers that’ll keep the water out as you get through your days cycling. As the old saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” and this statement is especially true when it comes to cycling.
You can never be too careful
The next important item on my list is a puncture pack. I always make sure I have my saddle bag packed with the essentials which include 2 tubes, a set of tire levers, a chain tool, and a quick link. I make sure I carry either a pump or a Co2 canister kit as well. This will allow you to fix a good 95% of mechanicals that you encounter while out cycling and will be a lifesaver if you find yourself stuck out on the road.
Storage is always king
The next item on my checklist is a good pair of panniers. It is essential when purchasing panniers to make sure they are fully waterproof. This ensures that no matter what conditions you get caught out in, you’ll always have a fresh dry pair of clothes to change into. Getting a pair of panniers that are reflective and bright is a good way to kill two birds with one stone, which brings me onto the next item on my checklist.
Let there be light
A good pair of lights is imperative to your safety. Even during the day, it’s important to have a good set of lights. For daytime cycling, a front light with 100 lumens with a flashing rear light will suffice. Buying lights that are USB rechargeable will make your life a lot easier and you won’t have to worry about sourcing batteries. All you need to do is bring a cable and just top them up when they run low.
Invest in high-quality headwear
The last item then on my checklist and easily the most important is headwear. For me, this includes my helmet and glasses. I refuse to get on my bike without my helmet. It’s essential for me on every bike ride and I’m at the point where putting my helmet on is just second nature. I always wear sunglasses as I struggle on bike rides without them with the rare blinding sun we get. I recommend getting a good pair like the Tifosi intense interchangeable sunglasses which I am currently using which are high quality, and keep the sun out and those bloody flies! Just these couple of items will make sure you can tour safely and smoothly.
This is my checklist before anytime I go touring, is there anything on your list that’s not on mine? Leave your tips & tricks below.