packing for this tour, i was most concerned about comfort and weight. i have to carry everything i bring in my panniers, so keeping a light load makes climbing those big hills a lot easier. but you also want to make sure you’ve got enough to keep you covered for all weather. this means breaking it down to only the most esential items. so this is what i brought:
women’s daily riding pants courtesy of outlier: i am so happy to have discovered these riding pants. they’re made of a super stretchy and lightweight material that is so much more comfortable than the spandex bike shorts and pants i used to wear. they’re less restrictive and far more fashionable, and they stay completely dry all day. i also like that they miraculously repel dirt, so they stay clean for days. seriously, i cannot recommend these enough and i am so glad that outlier was kind enough to send me a pair to try out for the tour when i contacted them.
canari gel liners: the only draw-back to the riding pants is that they don’t come with a chamois, but i’ve got myself covered (literally) with this pair of cycling “underwear.” i feel especially lucky because canari happens to make the most comfortable gel chamois liners for me. it can be trial and error finding just the right padding to keep yourself comfortable, but fortunately, i’ve found the right pair!
american apparel chambray shorts: i think after trying the outlier pants, the ideal shorts would just be the same pair, only hitting somewhere at the mid-thigh length. but since i didn’t have anything else, i opted for these shorts to keep cool on those hot days in southern california. they are made of cotton, so beware sweat.
outlier ultrafine merino wool tank courtesy of outlier: i’ve already told you how much i love wool for cycling and camping. when cotton gets wet, it stays wet and gets smelly, but a high quality, ultra-fine merino wool will regulate your temperature, and never gets stinky. don’t believe me? try it and see!
j.crew chambray shirt: this was the first time i took a shirt like this on tour and i actually really liked it. i can layer it over a tank top if i get cold while riding, and layer it under a wool sweater at camp. the only drawback is that it is 100% cotton, so some mornings it was still slightly damp from the previous day of riding.
urban outfitters wool cardigan: again, i love wool and this was a cute and fashionable option that is working out perfectly for me on this ride. but really, any merino wool sweater, hoodie, or cardigan would work just fine.
jeffrey campbell oxfords courtesy of modcloth: i picked these because they’re fashionable, but they have nice big cut-outs at the side for ventilation. i can’t stand sweaty feet while riding, so these are perfect. when we ride in a really hot climate, i often just wear simple flip flop sandals to keep my feet from overheating. i know they make special bike shoes that clip into pedals, but then you have to bring an extra pair of shoes for camping and going out for meals. i just have cages on my pedals and wear one pair of trusty shoes the whole time!
giant crochet riding gloves in cream and tan, and another pair of black and brown crochet riding gloves i scored at the thrift store: extra padding for your hands when you’re riding long hours is definitely helpful. they protect my hands from blisters, and i like the vintage feel of crochet gloves.
rayban round wayfarers: to protect my eyes while riding, even if it’s not sunny. they make special “sport” sunglasses, but i already owned these and they work just fine for me.
smartwool long johns and socks: i mainly bring these in-case it gets too cold while camping at night. smartwool makes a really lovely soft and ultra-fine merino that keeps you extra toasty when it gets chilly out.
a helmet: mine isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s crucial for safety on the road. i was posing for these outfit shots at the campsite, so i’m not wearing it, but you’ll notice it’s always on when i’m on the road.