Bicycle Tour


Being a complete novice at bicycle touring, the planning can sometimes get a little overwhelming. There are a multitude of things to think about, including;

  • route
  • visas
  • budget
  • equipment
  • time
  • work

For someone like me, who changes plans and makes alterations along the way, finalising anything can get a little problematic. For example, the route is still undecided. This is mainly due to weather and visa requirements Ideally, I’d like to begin the trip by cycling out my front door and heading away from home. This meets with one problem, in that I hope to begin the trip on 1st February, and the weather in the UK and Northern Europe can be a little unpredictable at that time of year.

For that reason I have thought about skipping Europe, flying to Istanbul, and beginning the tour from the gateway to Asia, however this meets with another small issue I am a little concerned about my girlfriend not being able to obtain a visa from the Turkish Consulate in London, due to residency issues. I am currently in email correspondence with the Turkish Consulate to alleviate some of my concerns.

I have also thought about flying to Beijing, or Kuala Lumpur, or Bangkok, or Mumbai and starting the trip from one of these places, however visas and budget are currently stopping any progress in this matter

The route won’t be finalised until we’re back in the UK in mid – December, and we can know for definite what visas we can get from the consulates of various countries in London.

As the route isn’t finalised, choosing the equipment is a little tricky as well. As an example, I don’t want to buy sleeping bags until I know the climate in which we’ll be using them. No point buying a top 4-season sleeping bag if we will be using it in 40 degree heat in India.

Tents are not so difficult, I basically want a decent tent wherever we go. Same with the camera.

Budget does not take too much planning either. I have a budget in my head and we’ll be trying to stick to that. From my backpacking trip in 2005/06, I know that the main expenses were transportation, accommodation, and alcohol. On this trip, I plan to cut down on all three. Transportation will be my own two legs, I am taking my own accommodation in the form of the tent, and alcohol consumption will be drastically reduced.



In April 2009 I wrote an article outlining my wishlist of equipment for the tour. Below is a general list of items I feel will be required. At the bottom of the page a downloadable PDF file is available which contains more detail of specific items and prices from online retailers.

UPDATE: The purchasing process has commenced! First thing bought are the panniers. Now I need to buy some other things to put into them!


2 bike(s)
4 tyres
2 saddle(s)
2 cycle computer
2 set(s) rear panniers
2 rack packs
2 set(s) front panniers
2 saddle bags
2 handlebar bags
2 locks
1 compass

Spares and Tools

4 inner tubes
2 tyres
3 puncture repair kit
1 toolkit
1 screw driver set
1 WD40 / Grease
5 spare spokes
1 tarpaulin
2 penknives
1 pump


1 tent
2 sleeping bags
2 sleeping bag liners
2 sleeping mat
1 cookset
1 stove
1 fuel bottle
1 fuel
1 cutlery
1 plate set
2 plastic mugs
1 torch
2 pillow

Clothes – Bike

2 pairs shorts
2 cycling tops
2 hi-vis vests
5 pairs socks
1 pair warm socks
2 helmets
1 pair leggings
1 CAT boots
1 pair sandals
1 rain jacket
1 windproof sweater
1 cap
2 pair cycling gloves
1 pair warm gloves
1 set hankerchiefs
2 bandana
1 watch
1 balaclava
1 poncho
1 set(s) waterproof trousers

Clothes – Off Bike

1 pr(s) trousers
5 pr(s) boxers
3 t-shirts
1 shirt
1 pr(s) flip flops
1 jumper
1 pr(s) shorts
1 pr(s) swimming shorts
1 pr(s) long johns


1 contact lenses
1 soap
1 conditioner
1 toothbrush
1 toothpaste
1 skin cream
1 towel
1 sarong
1 sewing kit
1 earplugs
1 sunblock
1 pk(s) baby wipes


1 diary
1 notepad
5 pens
1 passport
1 book
1 map
1 washing powder
1 pack ziploc bags
1 roll duck tape
3 bungee cords
1 business cards


1 laptop
1 ipod
1 SLR camera
1 compact camera
1 tripod
1 pair walkie talkies
1 ipod solar charger

Click on the image below to download the detailed version of the Equipment List, together with item manufacturers, models, online retailers and prices.