Equipment supplied and what to bring
Everything you need to tour
What follows is a list of all the equipment we will supply as standard, all-in-the-price for your cycling holiday. You'll see that you need bring nothing specialist beyond your cycling clothes and that all the equipment we supply is really good quality. Though you don't need to bring any equipment yourselves we quite understand if you have a favourite sleeping bag, or camp mug - bring them by all means;-)
All customers will get..
1 - Bike
2 - Panniers (45 litre capacity)
3 - Plastic bags to line the panniers
4 - Detachable front bag (5 litre capacity) with strap and map pocket
4 - Helmet (if requested - they are not compulsory in France - see the 'safety' page). Note - as these have been used by several people we have no idea of their history and therefore efficacy - we sell new helmets for 20 Euro.
5 - Per group - Detailed turn-by-turn route, map covering the area, lock, pump, puncture repair kit and spare inner tube. For larger groups we can supply multiples of any of these.
6 - Water-bottle filled with the brightest mountain spring-water...
Campers have the following extra equipment.
6 - Tent (we have 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 place tents and will supply the combination you want.
7 - Sleeping-bag and liner.
8 - Foam camping mat.
9 - Plate, mug, knife-fork-and-spoon.
10 - 'Trangia' cooking stove and full fuel bottle.
11 - Straps for attaching tent and camping mat to the outside of the bike.
12 - Plastic groundsheet (optional).
What Should We Bring?
This is merely my personal take on a 'pack-list' for our holidays, many of you will have other ideas...
For the lowdown on how many clothes to bring go and read my article on the 'Rule of Three'. However this is specifically for campers, and though it works equally well for those on a hotel tour, you do have a lot more free space and could quite easily carry enough clothes for a week.
The important thing is that most of your clothes should be suitable for cycling and that rules out heavy, non-stretch trousers like jeans. Not only are they restrictive and so energy sapping, this becomes very bad if they are wet. But perhaps worse of all they have a big chunky seam right where you don't want it. Personally I ride in cycling skinshorts, but Kate generally just uses normal shorts, making sure they are light and have a flat seam. Most hiking/sports shops have lightweight shorts and trousers which are ideal. For ladies stretchy leggings sometimes worn with a short skirt, are ideal as they don't restrict you and dry very quickly.
For tops the ubiquitous 'fleece' pullovers work very well, and that combined with T-shirts or thin-cotton, collared shirts will mean you don't let the side down.
Of course underwear and socks need to be carried and similar rules apply, light, fast drying, comfortable...
Waterproofs - It's possible to spend a fortune on these, but to be honest a thin, cheap nylon waterproof is fine, packs small and though you'll sweat in it, so will you in an expensive breathable jacket if you are cycling... Some people use those plastic shower capes and they work very well.
Make up a simple first-aid kit, don't forget your passports, and a torch is handy, just a small LED one will do as it doesn't get dark until 10.00 pm or later.
This is just my personal list... Book, MP3 player, Phone (if you can, leave it behind!), earplugs (you never know, I've inadvertently camped next to a rock festival, or the guy in the next room may snore for France...), eye shades, suncream, baseball cap (keeps rain off my glasses).