As a cyclist, you will agree to the fact that cycling accessories are so necessary to have if you really want to cycle a lot.
The cycle touring accessories that I am going to talk about in this blog post will make your India cycling tour or especially cycling in the Himalayas, where you need to be prepare because there is no way of getting any accessories once you left the main city doing cycling. This list is considering you are going on a cycling tour on your own. So, accordingly, you can neglect the items if you are going on an organized cycling tour.
These cycling accessories should be enough for you if you are going on a 2-week long trip or more. So, the following are the cycle touring accessories that you should carry with you.
A helmet is not only mandatory on a cycle tour but anytime you ride a bike. You need to keep the head safe and sound as this is the most important part of your body. Invest in a good helmet not and not a cheap one made only from plastic which has no protection. Decathlon has some good options. If possible get a helmet with MIPS technology inbuilt in it as it guarantees better protection.
2. Sun cream
Believe me, as I am writing this blog post, the skin on my hands is peeling off because it was sun burnt on my last Sunday ride. Also, that Sunday was a cloudy day. I hope you must have understood the importance of using sun cream while cycling in India. The UV index is mostly high in all parts of India and you do not want to get sun burnt.
Use a sun cream with protection of at least SPF 35.
Gloves are equally important as sun cream. They will protect your hands and fingers from sunburn and during sunny and cold days. You do not want freezing fingers on your cycle because gear shifting and braking becomes too difficult. Gloves will also protect the skin on your hands from peeling off as you apply brakes and keep changing your grip on the handlebar throughout the day.
I am talking about both front and rear lights. Keep extra batteries with you as you may need it anytime or a power bank to charge them. Cycling lights can make you more visible on the roads during night time, during fogs, and during rains. You are literally invisible if you are cycling without lights in the dark. Although on your cycling tours you will mostly avoid cycling during the night, there might be times where you might need lights otherwise. For example in the Himalayas, foggy weather demands you to be more visible to car drivers and in south India, in case of heavy rains, lights will make you stand out on the road.
Get yourself a nice light-colored t-shirt or a cycling jersey. Try to look for UV protection features in your clothing. Invest in good quality arm sleeves too. Keep a lightweight and light-colored layer of clothes with you as a backup. You will need it in colder locations. Instead of using one heavy piece of clothing like a jacket, use lightweight clothes. Lightweight clothes are easy to pack and carry.
Carry a lightweight waterproof windcheater with you if you are going to a location where it has chances of rain. Cycling in the rain is fun but it can give you a running nose for the rest of your tour. Cycling clothing is designed to stick close to your body and make you more aerodynamic. It also helps to keep the odor away so that you can be presentable once you enter the hotel at the end of the day.
6. A Cycle rack and Panniers
A Cycle rack can help you in carrying a lot of stuff with you on your cycle without a lot of effort. On the other hand, a backpack can cause back pain at the end of the day’s tour. If you have a touring specific bicycle, then the cycle rack can be fitted to your bicycle separately with ease. If not then you can ask your local bike shop for some adjustment for your bike to fit the cycle rack.
Make sure you carry good-quality waterproof panniers on those cycle racks. Now panniers can be fitted on the front forks or on the rear carrier of your cycle. Keep the weight balance in check while installing panniers.
7. Waist bag or Top Tube bag
Have a waist bag or Top Tube bag to keep all your important documents like passport, visa, credit card, etc. You can also keep some cash or a Smartphone in it for quick access. You can use these bags to store quick snacks to munch on while you are cycling. Make sure it is waterproof and has a snug fit for a good experience. You don’t want the bag to keep falling down or changing its position while you are busy enjoying your tour.
8. Camping gear (Optional)
If you want to experience more adventure then carry camping gear. Go for a lightweight one. The joy of setting up your own tent and experiencing true adventure is unforgettable. Here are the things included in camping gear:
● Sleeping bag: For a good night’s sleep under the stars, if you want.
To support the sleeping bag and to give you more warmth in colder regions
● Flip flop
Because wearing shoes, again and again, is a task and it takes time.
● Microfiber towel
● Small stove: to cook basic food.
These are the essential items. You can add other things like a stool, inflatable pillow, etc
9. Repair kit
If you are traveling solo, then you must have cycle maintenance and repair it with you. Following are the things you must have:
● Allen keys: To tighten or loosen any screws of your bicycle
● Puncture repair kit
● Tube: Sometimes it is not possible to fix a puncture.
● Pump: Mini pump which attaches to your frame is better
● Chain tool: To remove your chain and replace it or to fix any chain problems.
● Lubes: Keeping your moving parts lubed will make them last longer and work smoothly. These are the essential items.
In cycle touring you always stop at hotels, for sightseeing, for a water or pee break. During those times, locking your cycle is very important.
11. First aid kit
Keep one with yourself. You never know when you will need it. First aid should include a cleaning solution, band aids, glucose, painkillers, cotton, and extra medical tape.
12. Power bank and a plug adapter
Charging your electronic devices and lights is an important task. They’ll help you in case you are lost and of course, how will you click those selfies if your battery is down. A charged light is significant to have in low light or low visibility conditions.
13. Multi USB charger:
You will want to charge your 3 to 4 electronic items at a time as it saves time. During your cycling tour, you’ll have a lot of things to do and if you forget to charge your devices, a multi-USB charger can save your time and give you peace of mind.
14. Hand sanitizer/Soap
Carry one with yourself because at many hotels/dhabas, that you stop in India, you will not find it over there. Also, while cycling you will be eating a lot of snacks and hence you will need your hands to be clean.
15. A notebook or camera
You do want to capture all your amazing memories, don’t you?
Original Post Cycling In India