Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bike and Personal Equipment I Found Useful for LEJOG

Handlebar Bag

  • Notepad and pens
  • camera and charger
  • torch
  • route maps in a plastic folder visible even when you are riding. I cut out relevant maps from “Collins Essential Road Atlas” and numbered each sheet.
  • guides. I copied the relevant pages from the "Lonely Planet Guide to Cycling in Britain"  and kept them inside a small plastic folder
  • chap-stick and sun-cream
  • snacks – I ate small and often during the day and never had a big lunch. And when I snacked, I made myself drink some water.
  • drink bottle – the other one can be in a pannier
  • I would recommend a gps
  • toilet paper
All in waterproof bags. I put all items in either dry bags, plastic bags or in light plastic containers.

I made up laminated tags with my name and address and a phone contact and attached them to each bag and myself. This was for quick identification if I had an accident.

Bike Maintenance Equipment

  • spare tyre, two tubes, 1 gear cable, 1 brake cable, small selection of nuts and bolts, light cable ties
  • tools – light crescent, screwdrivers, set of Allen keys
  • puncture repair kit, tyre levers
  • chain link and small tool to fit
  • small can of oil
  • bike lock, front and rear lights, reflectors on rear mudguard
  • Cat -eye bike computer
  • Bungy cords for strapping a rucksack on top of the carrier

Gear I wore while riding

  • two pair of cycling nicks
  • gloves. This time I had full finger padded gloves and found them good.
  • helmet
  • fluro jacket.
  • shorts
  • sunglasses and a storage bag
  • cycle sneakers, with velcro fastenings, not laces
  • socks
  • money/passport belt with credit cards, cash, lock key

    On the final hill before Edinburgh.


  • wet-gear: parka, leggings
  • thermal gear: beanie, thermal undershirts, one long and one short-sleeved, thermal longs
  • 2 pair socks, 2 long sleeved merino/synthetic shirts, two pair short sleeved. On arrival each day, shower, put on the clean clothes you will wear next day
  • one pair of long trousers, light-weight
  • two pairs of underwear
  • jandals or crocs to wear when off the bike
  • cap, maybe one posh shirt.
I preferred several layers to one thick one. If I hadn't used some article for a while, I questioned whether or not it was earning its keep.

Toiletries and medicines

  • soap ( for you and for your clothes), deodorant, toothbrush and paste, personal prescription medicines, nail file, clippers – it is vital to keep the toe nails trimmed
  • amoxycyllin
  • antihistamine cream
  • Deep Heat or similar
  • antiseptic cream
  • canesten cream for soggy toes
  • Voltaren or similar for muscular soreness
  • bum cream to ease......
  • plasters and tweezers


  • lightweight sleeping bag, silk sleeping bag liner and pillow slip
  • Thermarest sleeping mat
  • Emergency aluminium foil blanket
  • Swiss army knife
  • i-phone, mobile, tablet and chargers
  • knife,fork and spoon, light-weight dish and mug
  • spare batteries
  • spare plastic bags.
  • Food for the day or until you are know you can buy more
I laid out all the gear for a couple of weeks beforehand in my spare room, then took away bits or added till it seemed as good as I could get it

On the New Zealand trip, I carried all of the above on the bike. Total weight around 15kgs. All in two rear panniers and one rucksack strapped on the carrier and one bag on the handle bars.

For LEJOG, I carried gear in the handlebar bag (all listed above), and in one pannier, I carried: food, bike repair gear, wet gear, thermal gear. I did not carry the sleeping gear or the extra clothing as it was in the vehicle.

Rider and bike minutes after safely arriving at John o' Groats

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