Bikers who Like to Tour – Take your Gear with you in Panniers
Whether you are trekking across a few of America’s best roads, taking a trip round Europe or just riding around your local area, every biker would be lost without his panniers. Sure, they might be bulky, but if you want to have a truly epic journey then there are various essentials that you will need to take with you.
If you are planning a trip, spontaneity might not always be the best thing – plan ahead, pack carefully and you will have an awesome time.
Safety Tips before you Set Off
To ensure you have a safe journey, there are a few things you need to check before you set off:
- Tyres – tread, pressures etc
- Brake Pads – good working order
- Lights – clean, bulbs working (consider taking spare bulbs)
- Coolant level – motorbikes only of course
- Chain – check tension, cleanliness, lubricated etc
- Engine Oil – again, for motorbikes only
- Insurance – both road bikes and motorbikes
- Road Tax – motorbikes
Best Destinations for Bikers
For bikers, there’s nothing better than a long, smooth stretch of road to ride along. Scenery is important for making your journey as pleasant as possible so choose your routes wisely to make the most of your journey. In the UK, the Cat and Fiddle is a famous winding motorbike route that runs through the heart of the Peak District, giving you a great chance to soak in some of the beautiful English countryside. But it’s just as good if you are a road cyclist.
On the other side of the pond, the Pacific Coast Highway in California is one of the most breathtaking roads you will ever ride down. Sitting directly along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean, the view is spectacular. Start near Malibu and go past San Francisco and you will want to do the journey over and over!
Another great scenic route is located down under – the Ravensbourne Loop between Brisbane and Queensland in Australia is a great rural route with a smooth surface and great surroundings, and even though it’s twisted, it is still an easy route to travel along.
How and What to Pack in your Panniers
If you are planning a mid to long trip, you will need some vital basics with you. Packing light is the only way a biker can travel – panniers don’t hold a lot. Sturdy panniers are popular with many bikers because of their strength and ability to keep everything dry – just remember that you have them attached before you try and fit between narrow gaps in traffic!
Food and related implements such as a stove, plate, cup, knife, spoon and fork should all be packed in the same pannier. When it comes to clothes, you will obviously be wearing your normal bike gear, but make sure you also pack a rain jacket and trousers, fleece, a towel, extra t-shirt, few pairs of underwear and pegs to hang washed clothes out to dry.
Pack a small toiletries bag and keep dry clothes at the top of your pannier for easy access when you stop. Try and pack items vertically so that you can see and reach them easily as well, and you’ll have a fun, smooth trip!