It's easy when you know how. Our six essentials for big rides or little adventures.
Bike Packing Bags
Lightweight and big on volume, bike packing bags from Apidura and Ortlieb are great for frames without pannier mounts.
Versitile saddle packs carry clothes and the Velcro straps make the bags easy to adjust, fit, and compact down. Both brands have bags with robust, weatherproof materials, as well as 'drypacks', which are fully waterproof solutions if rain looks likely.
Plan with RidewithGPS.com
RidewithGPS.com is free to use and makes it simple to plan routes and add in notes about water stops or tricky junctions. The website adds turn-by-turn notifications to your route. Once you've created your ride, you can import the file into your Garmin device in a matter of clicks. Any notes or turn notifications are displayed on screen mid-ride.
Rider tip: Break longer routes into two or three files. It makes it quicker and easier for the GPS devices to load as there aren't as many data points.
USB Back-up Batteries
Get a USB back-up charger from Argos or any electronics store, and plug it into your phone or lights to add juice mid-ride. USB back-up chargers weigh virtually nothing and are super small, too.
Rider tip: Don't leave home without a USB rechargeable front light, even if you're riding in summer. Lezyne's ultra-powerful Macro Drive light projects a strong beam onto the road for over five hours.
Cheap, light, and low volume. Flip-flops are perfect footwear if you're stopping overnight. Instead of clomping about in your cycling shoes, wearing down the cleats, stow a pair of 'slides' in your bag.
Write Top Tube Notes
Note key towns and important distances, food stops, or just a list of villages. Stick the notes to your top tube to help track your progress without having to refer to your phone.
Fuel on Nuts
Packed with protein, fibre and essential fats, nuts are great when you've had a day of munching sweet snacks and crave something savoury. The best thing about nuts is they don’t get easily squashed, melt in the heat, or freeze in the cold.