Kit and equipment
We cyclists love obsessing about kit so if you're joining us on a road cycling holiday or training break, here's some things to consider when pondering your options.
Most people will already have all the gear they'll need for a road cycling holiday so booking one with us doesn't mean you have to hit Wiggle and buy more kit. The weather, terrain and the attritional impact of multiple days of cycling can give rise to some other considerations though, so here's some further information as a guide.
Bikes and Gearing
If you're lucky enough to have a choice of bikes, bring whichever bike you prefer. Obviously a light bike defies gravity a little better but in general I would say a comfortable bike is the most important factor for a cycling holiday. Whichever one you choose it should be a road bike equipped with two bottle cages and 2 bottles - it can get hot and you can't dish out the hurt day after day if you're insufficiently hydrated!
Cycling in our region provides a broad range of terrain from flat valley roads to long, steep climbs and everything in between. With this in mind I would suggest, as a minimum, you should bring (or hire if you wish) a bike equipped with a double or compact chainring and a cassette in the range of 11-28 is a good idea too. 12-27 is fine too but an 11-25 will take its toll over multiple days and whilst we all love a sufferfest it's nice to choose when and how!
If you are hiring a road bike or using one of our hybrids on our leisure cycling breaks we recommend you consider bringing your own saddle. This may sound like a bit of effort but you can't put a price on comfort!
Again, lighter is better around these parts and especially over multiple days. Some will be asking: carbon or alloy? and there is no right answer - except maybe which ones look the best! If you really can't decide between deep aero or standard rim then choose whichever one makes you feel more epic or will make the other guests more jealous!
There will be a small contingent of guests pondering the age old question of tubs or clinchers. If that's you, the answer is clinchers unless you're prepared to twist a pre-glued spare over your back and shoulders like the pro's of old and pray you only puncture once per ride. I love a tub but it's impractical for a cycling holiday.
This is a difficult one to answer as we're all different and have different ways of dressing for the conditions. Instead, I'll just say that layering is a good approach considering that we can't guarantee the weather. In April and May it's common to start out in the morning in chilly/misty conditions only to find you're peeling off the layers before lunch.
Bringing short sleeved jerseys and bibshorts that can be teamed with a base layer, arm and leg warmers is a much more versatile approach. A lightweight gilet or rain jacket is also advisable in case the God's aren't feeling so generous. Similarly, I'd advise bringing two pairs of gloves. One short and one full fingered pair for the same reasons as above.
A helmet and glasses are essential.
Some say that your level of fitness is the most influential factor in your enjoyment of a ride. Whilst I'm sure this is true I'd also say the same for food and I often find my best rides coincide with a good eating pattern both before, during and after a ride. This is never more true than for longer rides or consecutive days out so I'm keen to make sure everyone is fed and well fueled during their holiday.
We provide hearty breakfasts and evening meals each day but we also stock energy gels, drink powders and recovery shakes by High5 for during and after your rides and I'd recommend using these each day. However, if you have your own preference in energy or recovery food or drinks bring enough of these with you for each day of your holiday. If travelling to us by air you can save space by packing these in your bike box/bag and decanting things like powders into sealable food bags to save on bulk.
Riding your bike and enjoying your holiday won't be complicated but if you have any questions about what to bring or any other aspect of the holiday - just contact us.