Nothing beats the joy and freedom of riding a bike during the long, languorous days of summer. Packing for a successful bike trip, however, requires advanced planning. All two-wheeled adventures require safety essentials like hydration, a tool kit, protective eyewear, gloves and a helmet, plus comfortable cycling clothing and other items that may be hard to find at your destination.
If you plan to rent a bike, reserve one in advance — lingering Covid-era supply-chain issues have made it increasingly impossible for manufacturers to keep up with demand. For the most comfortable fit and safe ride, communicate with the shop the kind of riding you plan to do and your skill level. Most reputable ones will ask you to send body measurements: height, weight, inseam, arm reach and a thing called your “ape index,” a comparison of your arm-span to your height, which helps calculate how stretched out you’ll feel on a rental bike.
The better you plan and prepare for your trip, the more you can relax and enjoy the ride. Here’s a list to help you plan for each specific adventure with suggestions on makers of the appropriate gear.