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Bike Trip/Sightseeking

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    Bike Trip/Sightseeking

    Hello all! This is my first post on the forums and I'm eagerly awaiting the delivery of my first TB bag, which is scheduled to arrive tomorrow (not that I've been obsessively tracking it, or anything...). It's an Aeronaut 30, with assorted cubes and a couple stuff sacks. It looks pretty spiffy.

    I'm going on a 7 day bicycle tour of Italy in June, and will following that up with 3 or 4 days in Rome before I fly home. I've done bike trips before, but never with a carryon! I usually bring an EC knapsack with rolly wheels which is juuust a bit too large to carry on (about 50L); but my trips are usually longer than 12 days so I think I can do it. Also, it will be pretty hot in Sicily in June, so I won't be bogged down with down jackets and whatnot.

    I should note that I won't be hauling my Aeronaut during the actual cycling; our bags are being transported.

    Any tips for light packing re: bike trips? I'm bring 2 pairs of bike shorts and a bike short/skirt combo; given that (ahem) I don't wear underwear underneath them, I will need to wash them after every day's use; I'll need more than one pair, because the chamois takes a bit of time to dry.

    Also, I have seen the scrubba mentioned a couple times; it looks a bit unwieldy and I usually do my laundry in a sink or with a big ziploc, but if people think they're worth the weight/space, I'd consider it.

    I've read the general packing light tips thread and it was very helpful. Everyone here seems really nice, and I'd appreciate any advice!


    Hi Cathy!

    Welcome to the forum!

    Your trip sounds very exciting!!

    I have thought about taking my Brompton as a means of transportation at my destination, not for purposes of doing a bike tour. That may happen this summer -- let's see!

    You mentioned the cycling shorts and short/skirt. I imagine you'll have a couple of cycling jerseys, a couple of pairs of socks, cycling shoes, toiletries, 3 changes of non-cycling attire and a non-cycling pair of shoes? Will you need to bring a travel towel and water bottle? Personal electronics, a book? What else are you envisioning you'll want for your trip?


      The scrubba is great for washing a few things at a time. If you are washing one pair of undies each night, the hotel sink is just as easy, or saving up a massive load, than use a washing machine. For anything in between, the scrubba is very effective and worth carrying in my experience. It is also good for carrying dirty or wet items.


        maverick, that all sounds about right. I've got a couple of short-sleeved jerseys, and a couple of lightweight tank tops; two bike-shorts and the skirt/short combo. I may bring my water bottle, which stores flat. That's for the biking.

        For general wandering, I'm bringing a pair of cotton-blend pants that dry quickly and one (maybe two) skirts, with a 3 or 4 tops that mix well with either. I might bring a sundress, we'll see how much space I have. I'll throw in a merino sweater as well, it doesn't take up too much space, and a very light rain shell. Of course, depending on how big all this makes the bag, I can do some pruning.

        As you can maybe see, I'm the type who will fill a bag to the brink, which is a habit I'm trying to break myself out of.

        Luckily shoes aren't really my 'thing' - i have an old pair of sneakers that I'll be using on my bike, they are on their last legs so I'll chuck them before I go home, which will make some space; I've got a pair of tevas that don't take up much space and are comfy for long walks, and some flat shoes for the plane.

        I've been to Italy a couple times before so don't need to go crazy on souvenirs, and my Kobo takes care of my reading needs. I've got a tiny makeup bag and bought one of the TB clear sided organizers for shampoo and stuff. I'm not planning any dressy evenings so makeup and jewelry will be pretty basic. I don't bring a curling iron or hair drying or anything like that. I will bring my trusty Rick Steves clothesline, it wouldn't be a trip without it

        And my iPhone!!! Smartphones have to be the single greatest innovation in travel since our ancestors figured out how to saddle donkeys. Remember having to pack maps? And a guidebook? And a walkman? Gak. I've also got a power bank to be on the safe side. I also bring my garmin runners watch to track my route.

        I'm intrigued by the Brompton. Have you ever flown with it? Does it have some sort of plane-friendly container? Cycling is always the most fun to explore a new place, you should certainly give it a whirl!



          Ooh, you're doing the kind of trip that's next on my list. Who are you going with? I've been wondering if I could one-bag such a thing and I have an A45. My biggest issue is that I'd want to bring my own cycling shoes (and pedals if the company didn't provide) and helmet and they would take up quite a bit of space. The old tennis shoe approach makes more sense if you don't need the extra stiffness of cycling shoes. The shorts are definitely an issue - I wish someone would come up with a quick-dry chamois (maybe they have?). When I've had to wash them on the go, I usually just scrub the shammy, so I wouldn't bother with anything special for washing.

          I would eliminate at least one bike top for a 7-day trip. I have an Icebreaker wool jersey that I like for stretching over multiple days. It will dry overnight if I even bother to wash it. If I thought I was going to encounter some chillier weather and/or high elevations, I'd bring a set of arm warmers. For Sicily in June, I'm thinking that two tank tops would do it, or one tank and a short-sleeve.

          I look forward to seeing your packing list and how it all fits.


            Thanks for the suggestions, binje! I think you're right about chucking at least one of the shirts. I'm also going to try and limit myself to the bike skirt and one pair of shorts, too. The last trip I did - which was in the Netherlands - I'd wash my shorts at night and if they weren't dry in the morning, affix them to the back of my bike with a bungee cord. It wasn't the most elegant looking solution, but it worked!

            The route doesn't look particularly hard, so I think the sneakers will suffice. I think the longest day has about 55kms, but most days are around 35 - 45 kms, and there are only a couple serious climbs. Here's a link, if you're interested: https://www.biketours.com/italy/southern-sicily/.

            I can fit everything in the Aeronaut 30, but it's pretty tight. Tossing out the sneakers and my underwear (I bring a couple pairs of ex-officio travel underwear, and the rest are old undies that I toss along the way) will free up some space to buy a few small keepsakes, and I'm hoping that the space restrictions will keep me from spending money on the nonsense I usually spend money on (I do NOT need any more mugs!).

            Part of me is considering the purchase of an Aeronaut 45, but I've already used the Aeronaut 30 a couple times and I'm quite fond of it. I think the 45 will be too heavy for lugging around. I will do up a packing post a couple weeks before the trip!