Monthly Archives: December 2023

Preparing a great trip

When one decides to start a great bike trip, it is always a good idea to think in advanced about what objects to take. Here you have a proposed list:

  • A bicycle: Obviously a bike is needed, but consider incorporate a rear rack and a front rack to carry all the necessary. Do not discard additional racks. As it comes to the bicycle frame, it is a good idea to choose a steel bicycle frame.
  • Mobile phone: Even if one of the targets of practicing cycle tourism, a mobile phone is helpful in a critical situation. Turn it off in order to save battery and focus on your path.
  • Cash: It is possible that you can not find cash machines or use cards in your great trip. Having cash at hand, without having too much, can open some doors.
  • Water: Hydration is basic when pedaling long distances. Approximately determine your daily stages to calculate whether or not you will be able to replenish your bicycle jerrycans.
  • Gloves: They protect from cold and humidity. Even good gloves can protect you from a fall.
  • Rain jacket: Select the lightweight one which do not take up too much space so as to avoid downpours.
  • Saddlebags: If you are thinking in a great trip, it is recommended to carry a triple saddlebag on the back carrier: one on each side and the third on the back carrier. Additionally, some rider use a smaller, double saddlebag on the front carrier.
  • Helmet: It uses to be compulsory outside cities. Select a helmet with good ventilation and better if it incorporates lights.
  • Powerbank: If you carry gadgets, you need a powerbank. Remember charging it when you have the possibility.
  • Lights: Front and rear lights are compulsory in most traffic regulations. If they are charged through USB, you can use the powerbank.
  • GPS (if your mobile phone does not include it): To check what is your next path. Or you can also bring paper maps.
  • Sleeping bag: There are several types of sleeping bags in the market and choose the most appropriate one depending on the climate and temperatures of the planned dates.
  • Multitool: A multitool can save your day when you have a mechanical problem in your bike. A multitool with a chain cutter is always a good idea.
  • Tire levers: When you are riding and suffer from a wheel puncture, tire levers help you to strip the inner tube of the wheel. It is better carry plastic tire levers rather than metallic ones since you will save weight.
  • Patches: Essential objects to solve a wheel puncture.
  • Two new inner tubes: This way you solving a puncture will take you less time. Moreover, if you change your inner tubes because of punctures, do not forget to solve the problems.
  • Rainproof trousers: Pedaling when raining is an experience, but too much rain can cause you problems. With rainproof trousers you can avoid them. Another option is to look for a cover place and wait until rain stops.
  • Glasses: Even if you do not use it normally, pedaling with glasses is a good idea to protect your eyes from sun and avoid mosquitoes entering your eyes.
  • Bike pump: A small one. When you solve punctures or put a new inner tube, you need to blow up it with a bike pump.
  • A basic first-aid kit: Bandage, hydrogen peroxide, plaster, gauze and anti-inflammatories.
  • Underwear: Three as much. You can wash them when you stop.

And remember, the most weight in your saddle bags, the most effort you make in your great trip.

How not to make a bike line

One of the strategies to improve the use of bicycles is to build bike infrastructures like buildings, bike lines, bike parks and so on. Bike lines should flow on roads and avoid sidewalks. It is better to put barriers between bike lines and car lines like bollards, bushes or cement or plastic objects. In some cases, only paint is used giving pictures such as the bellow photograph as a result. Interestingly as you can see, the bike line goes opposite way the car line which is also a one-way bike road. As a result, bicycles can ride the two sides. The problem that I see is that allowing cars to park so close to the bike line could provoke a clash between a distracted car driver and a biker (take into account that this picture was taken in Spain in which left-hand driving is official). Moreover, I feel there is little room in the street and some bad car drivers, like the one of the red car, take advantage of it by invading the car line. It would be better to transform the left parallel parking into a segregated bike line. This way the potential crashes would not take place.