My extra bits that make me feel feminine, sexy and just me, were the hardest for me to let go of and the most difficult for me to plan for. Now I have been on the road for two weeks I am already willing to shed a bit more and I have come to some conclusions on what staple items are really working for me and what items I would definitely be willing to invest more money into.
You absolutely must bring good biking/workout clothes. Unfortunately there is no way around this, you are on a bike tour!, so the majority of clothing is going to be for this purpose. The main challenge is keeping everything clean. We try to find accommodation where we can wash all of our clothes every few days.
I have brought the following items of clothing which has worked out well.
- Castelli thermal bib tights (sent these home in May because of the change in weather)
- 2 x nike dry fit tops – I really couldn’t live without these, they wash well and they dry super quickly, plus they aren’t super ugly.
- 2 x nike pro hyperwarm tops – I love these! they are actually cute enough to wear out and they double up as a warm layer when biking. I will probably get rid of one of these soon as the weather warms up. (I sent one of these home at the end of April because of the change in weather)
- Gore bike shorts – It took me a really long time to find these and now I am so happy with these shorts! I originally had Endura Humvee shorts that had really good padding but they were tight around the bottom of the leg. They also had a very heavy over short which I have now replaced with the lose over shorts. I wound up trashing the Humvee shorts unfortunately. Get very good bike shorts!
- Gore lose over shorts
- Btwin bike shorts – These were very cheap, which is great!, but the padding is just not up to standard for me and I have only kept them as an emergency back-up pair.
- 5 pairs of cycling socks
- 1 pair of waterproof socks
- 5 pairs of work out panties
- North Face Shinpuru gore-tex jacket – I spent a lot of time looking at best rain jackets and then picking the one that I thought was the cutest. This is a really amazing coat, but I would say it is pretty warm so may not work for all seasons and it does rip pretty easy. But I was right, it is cute!
- Waterproof trousers – Thus far I have only used these when camping, so I think I might ditch these when I have the chance.
- North Face waterproof trail runner shoes
- Nike sandals – You really need a pair of shoes that you can change into to let your feet breath in the evenings, also sandals or flip-flops double up as shower shoes when you are camping.
We will be camping throughout the trip so we needed to bring base layer clothes that could be worn in the tent – again hopefully I can shed some of this stuff when the weather gets warmer.
- Uniqlo light puffer coat – Pretty simple and can be worn out as well as a layer. (sent this home in May because of the change in weather)
- silk turtle neck – only to sleep in if needed
- gloves and winter hat (sent these home in April because of the change in weather)
My everyday clothes that work as staples for the trip are as follows. I wanted to feel good when I went out so I tried to pick clothes that worked as casual and smart items.
- Nike loose fitting black tank – I love this and will probably get another one. It is super light can double as a work-out top but still looks good as an every day item.
- H&M white loose fitting white tank – I will probably replace this with the above. You don’t have many opportunities to iron while you are bike touring so I have mostly just been wearing this to bed and it is much better to have tops that can be used for multiple uses. (I wound up getting rid of this as expected)
- Adidas loose fitting longer maroon tank – I wanted another top like the nike top that could be worn on the bike and out (I also wanted to add a bit of colour). This has been a great alternative to the white H&M top.
- Free People Te Amo Mini Dress – This would be considered a luxury item for most bike tourers, but I am so happy I brought this. Having a dress that you can wear out to dinner as well as around a city while you site seeing is a must.
- Sweaty Betty black leggings – Again I don’t think I could live without these now. I know that Sweaty Betty is an expensive brand, but let’s face it the leggings look great on! I literally wear these every day and they are my staple with pretty much every non-bike outfit.
- Longchamp back pack – It was important to me that when we were site seeing and relaxing with a drink after our ride that I didn’t look like a bike tourer at all times. I wasn’t going to bring an expensive bag with me mainly because it wouldn’t be practical and they usually weigh quite a bit. Longchamp is made for travel and the backpack is nice to wear out. This again has become a can’t live without item for me.
- Ballet flats – These are extra and probably not needed, but it is nice to have access to a pair of nice shoes. (sent these home in April because of the change in weather)
Make-up and Hair
I read quite a few blogs on the best make-up to take take travelling as well as what the best and smallest hair straighteners were. I didn’t take a blow dryer with me, because of the weight, and I figured I would probably only want to work on my hair when blow dryers were available where we were staying because I then I would feel comfortable enough to get glammed up.
Here is the list of the make-up that I have brought. It should be noted I have been wearing sun screen every day as well, which would make it difficult to keep on a good foundation.
- Clinique moisture surge mini moisturiser – Perfect small pot for travelling.
- Benefit they’re real mini mascara – I personally can’t live without this mascara and their travel size is perfect for this kind of trip.
- Clinique chubby peach blush stick
- Smashbox brow tint
- Smashbox always on liner
- Mac pro longwear paint pot eye shadow – This has to be my favourite new make up item. I wanted a gel eye shadow because I read that powder just breaks up. The great thing about this gel is that it goes on like a powder and the colour doesn’t smudge.
- Clinique longwear eye shadow – I bought this for the same reason I bought the Mac above, but I have found it to have the opposite effect. It is definitely worth spending a bit more money on the Mac product. (sent back because the Mac is enough for me)
- Eye liner pencil sharpener
For hair I bought a really good straightening brush that is also lightweight and even though it is heavy I always carry a large bottle of conditioner (unfortunately when your hair is covered by a helmet all day, you must, must must! moisturise).
For straightening I brought the Cloud 9 mini straighteners. These are amazing straighteners, but they are very mini and are probably only useful for short hair or fly aways. If you want to go full out on styling you may need to bring normal size straighteners with you.