Toolkit and spares
-Eurohike multi tool
-Spare brake cable
-4 sets of M5 bolts, washers, and nuts.
-1 spare inner-tube (we took four, and never used one of them)
-Puncture repair kit
-Screwdriver (if not attached to penknife or multitool)
Bikes and attachments
-Bikes- cycling similar models, and same diameter tyres, minimizes repairs equipment you need in the group.
-Drinks holders x2 per bike
-Rear rack. We were advised to minimize our packing to what can fit on a rear rack. This is great advice… Be brutal with restrictions, as extra weight is costly.
-Panniers (either connected with 3rd compartment, or separate)
-Map bag (that hangs off handle bars) [ours was made by mum, and was excellent for easy referencing]
-Compass- you’ll need it LOTS. Ours hung off the break cables for easy reference. -Suitable handlebars, well-taped for padding. You need at least three obvious different hand positions, or you’ll get tendonitis. Standard cross bars are no good! (Butterfly handlebars are a simple solution to fitting variable position handlebars onto your bike without replacing v-brakes. See Anna’s bike…)
-Tent (Vango banshee 200/300)
-sleeping mat x3
-Sleeping bags (£25 Quecha 680g) [great though could have done with a sleeping bag liner to use on hot nights.]
Cooking and toiletries
-Saucepan x1 with lid
-Washing powder for clothes
-Trek towels- we were going to go without towels, but small, quick-drying towels are a good solution. -Cigarette lighter
-Fold up stove frame. Twigs, and cardboard packaging boxes used for fuel.
-Cycling gloves- essential.
-Socks x3 pairs
-Cycling shorts x2 (divided opinion as to which is best, padded or unpadded. Fear not; after day 2, saddle pain really isn’t an issue!)
-Sunglasses (essential for blocking sun, wind, and flies, and for looking pro…)
-Yellow cycling jersey, and one other
-Jogging bottoms/leggings for evening
-Mary’s meals shirt- turned out to be too hot to cycle in, so became our Sunday mass gear!
-Old trainers for on bike. Hard soled, proper bike shoes would be good if you’ve got the budget.
-Flip flops for off bike
-Camera and batteries
-Paper copy of address list and useful telephone numbers
-Pilgrim passports. Got these stamped in places along the way. Obtainable from www.pilgrimstorome.org.uk
-USB SD card reader-uploading photos to blog
-Phone per person. With charger
-Clothes pegs (pegging wet washing to bikes every day whilst on the road looked ridiculous, but dried everything.)
-Phrase book. We definitely could have done with an Italian dictionary though
-Travel insurance details
-Flight home details
-Shorter morning and evening prayer book
-Cycling computer (Sigma) (for recording mileage etc)
-Plastic carrier bags/sandwich bags for putting sleeping bags, essential papers etc that need to stay dry
First aid and medical
-Antihistamines- sedating and non-sedating. For hay fever and mosquito overload, and getting some sleep in dire campsites...
-Sports re-hydration tablets
-Cocodamol (for more heavy duty!)
-Penicillin, loperamide and doperidone- took these but didn’t need them.
-Sunscreen factor 30+ (sports sunscreen- creamy ones just melt off everywhere.)
Road cycling confidence- being tired blurs your judgement!
Good sense of humour
Will power- be prepared for the daily grind…