What to Pack on Your B&R Bike Trip
Over my years of guiding and travelling with Butterfield & Robinson, I’ve pedalled through some of the most beautiful (and challenging!) landscapes out there. I must say, no matter how lovely the scenery may be, when you get caught unprepared in the rain or cold, you’ll regret that you haven’t packed the right gear.
You won’t have to worry about bringing the following, as these are always available for your B&R bike trip:
– B&R water bottle
– Mounted bike bag (to hold small things like a phone/camera or sunscreen)
– A bike helmet
– Gel seats (if you need them)
Here’s how to pack smart for a bike trip, with some key items that will make your trip as good as it gets.
Stay comfortable for hours in the saddle with a good pair of cycling shorts. I like to bring two pairs so that I can wash and wear them on alternate days. (Yesterday’s spandex isn’t optimal for back-to-back rides—especially in warmer weather). My wife likes to bring along a cycling skort for different options on the bike.
Casual bike shorts
If you want to keep the look more casual yet functional for the streets on shorter rides, I’m partial to this pair of men’s shorts. There’s also a similar version for women—though without a chamois.
It’s preferable to wear a bike jersey for its sweat-wicking properties, and handy pockets on the back so you can easily access any small items. I simply choose from my selection of B&R jerseys over the years, but also like Primal Wear for its wide selection of colours and styles. (That’s who we use for our custom jerseys.)
To clip in or not to clip in? If you don’t have cycling shoes, just be sure your shoes have a stiff sole to spread the pedal pressure over your whole foot. A decent pair of tennis shoes work well but running shoes, which have flexible soles, will cause your feet to go numb. Otherwise, if you have your own clip-in cycling shoes, be sure to bring your own pedals, which your guides can mount for you.
And a quick word of advice—if you’ve only worn clip-in shoes during spin class, it’s best to try them on a real bike outdoors. You’ll be glad to have mastered the art of clipping in/out while in motion before setting out on your B&R trip.
You never know what the weather will bring, from the odd sprinkle to a gust of wind, so I always have a light jacket on hand. I’m fond of my Sugoi jacket (available for both men and women), which offers wind and water resistance; plus, it really pops at night with its reflective details.
Regulate your temperature with merino wool layers which are both lightweight and anti-stink…perfect for the road. I prefer Icebreaker’s long-sleeved base layers or jackets.
Cut the glare of the sun and protect your eyes from dust and dirt. We love the technical capabilities of Rudy Project sunglasses, designed for the rigours of cycling. They can also do prescription lenses.
Hitting that century ride and need a playlist to keep you going? These wireless headphones won’t get in the way of your helmet, and bone conduction means you can still hear what’s going on around you.
These are optional, but consider bringing a pair of cycling gloves to protect your hands from vibration on the road. Sugoi has some great ones.
The right suitcase
You can’t go wrong with German precision. RIMOWA has been making suitcases since 1898; I’ve had mine for years, and its durability (and easy steering) has been my go-to travel hauler.