For Those About to Pack

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fully packed bags for Switzerland trip next week

Biking from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh in April I learned a little about overpacking, specifically because I brought along some non-riding clothes – extra t-shirts, a dress shirt, pants – that I thought I’d need at night. When we left West Virginia on the second day, I said goodbye to all the non-riding clothes besides one short-sleeve dress shirt. And now, embarking on a 10-day ride across Switzerland next Friday, I am trying to pack light(er). The hard part is that this time we’re camping some of the time – so a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat are necessary.

Still, I am able to fit everything I need (besides tent poles) into the water-resistant Avenir panniers mounted on my rear rack. The tent poles will be attached to the top of my rack with bungee cables. The bags are not light – neither is my bike, though it’s not supposed to be – but compared to what I’ve seen a lot of touring cyclists drag around (trailers, front racks, backpacks, etc.), my setup is sensical.

I’ve spent the last month hitting popular Boulder-area rides hard, including Jamestown via Lee Hill (five times), Ward (twice including tomorrow), Boulder to Denver (thrice including this Sunday), and Poor Man Road (four times). My panniers have been purposely packed for those training rides, but not nearly as packed as they’ll be when we arrive in Geneva next week and start climbing hills like nothing I’ve ever seen.

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So this weekend, when I ride from Boulder to Ward and back Saturday and from Boulder to Denver and back Sunday, I’ll be hauling exactly the gear I’ll be hauling in Switzerland.

sleeping bag
tent
sleeping mat
waterproof compression sack
tent stakes
tent poles
extra tube
patch kit
tire levers
multi-tool
chainlube
pump
riding gloves
full-fingered gloves
lock
iPod
iPod USB cord
European plug adapter
USB charger
cell phone USB cord
cell phone
digital camera
camera charger
poncho
floss
toothbrush
toothpaste
deodorant
credit card, passport, Kaiser Permanente card
headlight
helmet
extra socks (2 pair)
extra underwear (2 pair)
cycling jerseys (2)
short-sleeve dress shirt
Ibuprofen
vitamins
pens
notepad
survival kit
padded cycling shorts
padded tights with bib
sunglasses
hoodie
cycling cap
baseball cap
sunscreen
wet wipes
cribbage board / deck of cards

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