What gear should I bring on a cycling tour?

This is not a required list of cycle gear, but rather suggestions for what you may need and find useful to make your cycling tour as enjoyable as possible. Nor is it meant to be a comprehensive list – toothbrush is not listed, but bring it and  whatever other stuff you usually travel with. Above all, please pack clothing and equipment that you find comfortable and useful! Do test out the gear you are bringing, especially your shorts/seat, to make sure they are comfortable for the average daily distances you will be riding during your tour – i.e. average 70km per day on the intermediate/advanced tours and average 25km per day on the novice/intermediate tours.  Check out this video for some tips on keeping your nether regions happy and healthy during your ride.

Cycling Gear

  • HELMET  is a must!
  • Buff or similar for under the helmet and lots of other cool uses
  • Cycling jerseys with back pockets are useful but not necessary, but jerseys with a wicking fabric are cool and comfortable. Check the expected temperatures the week before you come to make decisions about whether to bring short sleeve or long sleeve jerseys.
  • Arm warmers – these are useful with a short sleeve jersey for those days when it starts out chilly and then warms up.
  • Wind/waterproof jacket – we will proceed with riding in light rains. A cycling rain jacket that is cut to cover your bum while in a cycling position is preferred, but not necessary. These are also handy to wear if we have a cooler day.
  • Gloves – check the expected temperatures the week before you come. For most of our trips, short-finger gloves should be fine, but there may be the occasional day when full-fingered gloves are necessary to keep your hands warm.
  • Padded bike shorts and/or a very comfortable seat. Ensure that whatever combination of shorts and seat you are bringing is comfortable for several hours of riding a day.
  • Chamois cream if you need it. Click here for more info.
  • Long tights (pants) may be necessary on some days. Check the expected temperatures the week before you come.
  • Shoes – for those doing intermediate/advanced tours, cycling shoes with cleats and clipless pedals are strongly recommended. For those doing novice/intermediate tours, a stiff-soled running shoe or day hiker would be OK – but you read this article and consider some of the advantages of clipping in.
  • Whatever undergarments that are comfortable for you (sports bra, undershirts, socks, etc). Remember – no undies under the bike shorts!
  • Water bottles – preferably two 750 ml bottles. Oh yeah – and cages to hold them!
  • Sunglasses – hopefully you will need them for sun protection on most days, but they also provide some protection from wind when you are whipping along at lightening speed!
  • Sweat-proof sunscreen.
  • A standard repair kit for your bike is recommended (spare tube or COcartridge, tire levers, multi-tool, etc).

Non-Cycling Gear

  • Season-appropriate touring clothes for off-bike times.
  • Bathing suit.
  • One business casual outfit, as occasionally dinner spots have a dress code, eg one spot on the  6-day Signature Georgian Bay-Muskoka Tour.
  • Insect repellant. This is not usually needed for cycling, but there may be some mosquitoes at dusk, and sometimes bug repellant makes sitting out and enjoying a lakeside sunset a bit more enjoyable.