Because my panniers are not waterproof, I wrap all my stuff in ziplock freezer bags. All the clothing I take matches everything else.
My bike is loaded with a rear view mirror, small back pouch, (which contains a spare tube, patches, tire irons, bike tool) two back panniers and a front handlebar bag. I also take a helmet, front headlight, U-lock, pump and two water bottles. The back bags weigh about 18 lbs (9 each) when I leave.
If I have more than 20 lbs in my rear bags, it's too much and I need to discard something(s).
Here is my packing list for France:|
pajamas Blue Indian Shawl House keys to neighbours eye pencil, lipstick Itinerary for house sitters toiletries, don't forget hairbrush! 2 bars ivory soap (I use one for handwashing) necklace, bracelet, 1 earrings watch bathing suit 4 underpants, 2 bra peaked hat sewing kit helmet 1 shorts diary, small notebook, pen 2 pants address book 1 skirt 3 silk scarf drinking cup, spoon, corkscrew, knife 2 cotton handkerchiefs 1 dress sweater 2 long sleeved shirt French dictionary, Lonely Planet 3 short sleeved shirt 4 socks (3 gym, 1 dress) 2 tights 1 bicycling/walking shoes clothesline & clothespins 1 black flat shoes (dress) 1 pair thongs (flipflops) lightweight cloth shoulder bag 1 squall jacket 2 bungee chords 1 dress jacket rain cape and pants small umbrella dark glasses plastic bag for bicycle seat sunburn lotion witch hazel, alcohol camera and film ointment, bandaids marsupio (with extra small comb) headache medicine maps water bottle passport, airline ticket and money salt extra glasses glasses case keys (extra keys in different spot) belt Paris restaurant names & addresses
You'll notice that I take only one pair of shorts. They are river rafting shorts so they dry really quickly. As soon as we arrive at our hotel, I wash whatever is disgusting (ie: everything) from what I've worn that day. However, depending on what time of year we are going, I may switch to 2 shorts, 1 pants. But we have generally had pretty cold weather each time we've gone. The tights have come in very very handily. You can get good quality cheap cheap tights at a KMart or Zellers or whatever those stores are called now. The Indian Shawl is a light weight cotton organza, almost as big as a lungi; it doubles as a wrap for churches and dressing gown in hotel rooms.
Clothespins are essential (about 8 are sufficient). You can strategically pin whatever laundry is still damp to your panniers when you set out in the morning. (PLEASE do not mortify and embarrass the others by following T's example of pinning your underpants to your front bag in such a way that it's impossible for even the semi-blind not to know immediately what they are - especially if they have a scorchmark in a very unfortunate spot from hanging them on a light fixture to dry. To add insult to injury, on the day that T so unwisely did that, we kept passing houses that had swimming pools and were constantly regaled by choruses of "Good thing I have my shorts right here in case I piscine my pants....")
As I mentioned at the beginning, I wrap all my stuff in ziplock freezer bags because my panniers are not waterproof. (It compartmentalizes things in a handy way too.) I actually write on the bag what goes in each bag because of course, you basically have to unpack just about everything each night. It makes packing very much easier and reduces the chances of inadvertantly leaving something behind.
Everything I take matches everything else. The short sleeved shirts that I take double as my dress outfits for dining and town wandering. The next day I wear the one I wore the night before and the laundered one dries. I only took two short sleeved shirts one year and found it was a mistake because they didn't dry completely. It was the same with the underwear and socks. The pants I take are really light weight, wide legged palazzo style. I don't ride in them; they are strictly for walking around town. I could certainly get away with one pair of pants and one skirt but I'm vain so I jam one more item in.
The shoulder bag is to carry my diary and various groceries. I strap it to the back of the bike with the bungee chords.
Once again, if I have more than 20 lbs in my rear bags, it's too much and I need to discard something(s).
© ejm 1997-2000
Toronto Ontario Canada