So I have my packing list and have it divide up into seven categories.
- Personal items
So over the next few days I thought that I would cover each category, what I carry and why.
Today's category is Clothing. This is actually sub divided into two categories Cycling and Town/Camp.
- Cycling Shorts.
- I use cycling shorts because the cause less friction (saddle rash, etc) than standard clothing. There is a reason that there is specific cycling clothing and it is not just for professional cyclists. For touring I like to use the mountain bike style shorts that have pockets and uses a separate under-liner that contain the chamois pad. Using this style you can pack more liners and use the shell for multiple days, you don't need to pack both a shell and a liner for each day.
- Cycling Jerseys
- I use the cycling jersey for the same reason, they are made for cycling. I wear the looser (club fit) style jersey vs the pro style. Cycling jerseys tend to dry faster that cotton shirts. This makes a big difference on descents after long climbs. Cycling jerseys also give you extra pockets to store items that you want easy access to while riding.
- Cycling socks
- Never use cotton socks, they retain water too much. Use cycling specific sock or ones made with nylon and Lycra that breath better.
- Cycling shoes
- If you are getting into cycling you should invest in a good pair of cycling shoes that are the 'clip-less' style, vs the clip-in style (toe cage). I use a touring style shoe that is better for walking in than standard cycling shoes. Remember you are touring and you will want to do some sightseeing without having to change your shoes every time you want to walk around.
- Skull Cap
- Some people use cycling hats, others use nothing. I have a tendency to sweat a lot on the hill climbs and the Skull caps help keep the sweat out of my eyes. I can also take my helmet off when I stop for lunch or sight seeing and not have to worry about 'helmet hair'
- Toesies (shoe toe covers)
- Just because some mornings are cool enough that you will want to keep your toes a little warmer. They are also very small and light weight.
- Rain gear
- I pack a rain jacket, pants, helmet cover and shoe covers. Showers Pass makes some of the best gear out there, IMO. Most of my riding is in the Pacific Northwest and when you are doing a multi-day ride the clear and sunny weather that was predicted all week can change to heavy rain after only a couple of days. I would rather have the gear than wish I had the gear.
- You really do want to get out of your cycling gear when you reach your destination for the day.
- Comfy cotton socks feel great after spending all day in your cycling shoes.
- I pack both long and short sleeve shirts, it may be warm when you first finish, but the nights can start to feel cool once the sun goes down.
- I pack both for the same reason as the shirts. You are finished riding for the day, make sure the clothing you have for camp/town make you comfortable, you need rest before the next day comes and comfort is key.
- Comfortable walking shoes: You want shoes that are easy to walk in, and this gives your cycling shoes a chance to dry out.
- Shower shoes (flip flops): While I really don't usually wear these, they are great for when you are using showers at a campground. The floors of those shower stalls can get awfully dirty, your feet will stay clean using these until you get changed and regular shoes put on.
Stay tuned for Part 2: Cycling items