Weight is a big issue when cycling long distance day after day. A heavy bike means that more energy is needed to haul yourself up the many hills that you will face cycling LEJOG. Deciding what clothing to take with you is a careful balance of being prepared for every eventuality while keeping the weight down.
Having enough clothing for on and off the bike while managing weight and bulk is something I looked at closely when planning my ride. I wanted enough clothing for at least 3 days on and off the bike with an aim to tray and wash clothing as I went along.
As it happened I had the opportunity to wash my clothing on three occasions during my 21 day LEJOG ride.
On The Bike Clothing
Cycling Jerseys – I took two cycling jerseys with me on the ride, both we short sleeved. It turned out that wore one over the other on most days.
Bib Shorts – I took two pairs of bib shorts with me however I only wore one pair throughout the whole ride.
Waterproof Cycling Jacket – I bought a new waterproof high viz cycling jacket before I started. Even though my ride was in June, the unpredictable UK weather means that rain is never far away. In reality I did not use this until day 20. I was around 6 miles South of my planned stay at the Crask Inn and the heavens opened. The following day was a wet one so I wore it for the whole day.
Base Layer – I packed two long sleeved base layers to wear under my cycle jerseys if needed. Again I only used one of these as the weather was mostly kind and a short sleeved jersey was all I needed for most days.
Cycle Gloves – I took one pair of fingerless cycling gloves with me. These were a cheap pair bought from Decathlon Sports. One thing I did find on my ride was that the gloves got very grubby and when I had the opportunity to wash them, I didn’t. This resulted in me throwing these away and buying a new pair in Edinburgh.
Snood – A snood in my opinion is a must for any multiday ride. The practicality of a snood is usfeull for both keeping your head warm on cooler morning starts and also keeping the sun off your head on sunny days.
SPD Shoes – I purchased a new pair of SPD Shoes before my ride. I wanted a pair of shoes that were comfortable to be worn on and off the bike. I chose a pair of Shimano MT7 shoes and I have to say that I was pleased with them. They offered plenty of support and could be worn comfortably off the bike when needed.
Sunglasses – I bought a cheap pair of sunglasses from Decathlon and they ended up being a really good purchase. I was blessed with really good weather on most days and having eye protection was a must. I also wear contact lenses and the protection a pair of glasses give against dust and insects meant that I had no issues.
Evening Clothing When Cycling LEJOG
You have cycled all day and worked up a sweat, on arrival at your evening accommodation having something comfortable to wear is a must. I do not recommend packing a heavy pair of jeans and your best jumper. Packing some good functional light weight clothing is a must. If you are like me, I went for functionality over style, I did not care what I looked like. I found when settling down for my evening meal and a pint in the local pub, nobody cares what you look like.
Shorts – I wear shorts all year round so why did I need to change this. I packed two pairs of hiking shorts purchased from Decathlon. Both had pockets and are extremely light weight.
Dry Weave T Shirts – I packed three dry weave t-shirts, these offered a light weight option and were very comfortable. The dry weave meant that they dried quickly when washed.
Lightweight Trousers – I packed a pair of lightweight Regatta walking trousers. These were never used during my ride but it was nice knowing that if things got cold or the Scottish midge began to bite, I had some cover for my legs.
Underwear – I packed for pears of underpants and 4 pairs of socks.
Jumper – I took two lightweight jumpers with me, both exactly the same and were purchased from Decathlon.
Shoes – A pair of light weight, comfortable shoes is a must. Spending all day in my SPD’s I wanted a change of footwear when off the bike. There are many options for this and I decided upon a pair of memory foam, slip on trainers from Marks and Spencer’s. These ended up being a great purchase.
Washing Clothes While Cycling LEJOG
During my 21 day ride I was able to wash my clothes on three occasions. I found staying in Youth Hostels gave me this option which was a great added bonus. Most hostels have washing facilities.
Whatever you decide to take with you on your ride, make sure it is comfortable and above all light weight. It is not a fashion parade and looking back, if anyone saw me each evening,