Part 2: Equipment
As we have mentioned in our previous blog, it is of great importance that you come prepared when you book a cycling vacation in Ireland.
Last time, we talked you through the clothing you are advised to bring. Today, we will tell you more about equipment that you may or may not need during your trip.
The team of Ireland Walk Hike Bike have created a useful cycling checklist, which gives you essential information on this matter.
Whereas we discussed clothing in the first part of the “Things to bring” series, we will now focus on equipment.
Here are 6 tips that come in handy when you pack your bags for a cycling trip of a lifetime.
1. Leave your bicycle at home
Weren’t we going to discuss the things you DO have to bring? Well, yes. However, this first item is an exception to that rule. It is actually one thing to leave at home: your precious bicycle.
That’s right, you will have to turn your back on your loyal training buddy. Although this message may be hard to take in, there is some good news to share, too.
When you book a self-guided cycling holiday in Ireland, Ireland Walk Hike Bike will provide you with a state-of-the-art hybrid bicycle, including panniers and a basic repair kit.
A hybrid bicycle is a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike and is most suitable for conquering the small country roads of the best cycling routes in Ireland. If you are willing to peddle, of course…
2. Bring some knowledge
As you most likely are a keen cyclist, you probably understand the importance of having some knowledge about minor bike repairs.
Don’t worry, our bicycles are in perfect condition when you arrive. The team of Ireland Walk Hike Bike will do everything in their power to hand over well-maintained, good quality bikes.
However, knowing how to change a tyre after a puncture could save you from many miles walking. In the end, you did sign up for a cycling holiday.
Sometimes it is necessary to do some minor adjustments, like changing your saddle height or pumping a low-pressured tyre. As our cycling holidays are all self-guided, some DIY knowledge regarding bike repairs could be very convenient.
For any major problems, you can always contact the support team of Ireland Walk Hike Bike.
3. Electronics and your Irish cycling holiday
When it comes to electronics, the first thing that comes to mind is probably your phone. And rightly so.
Nowadays, phones are capable of doing anything. Taking spectacular photos, navigating, looking up useless, but interesting facts about puffins; there is nothing a mobile phone can’t do. And then we haven’t even mentioned calling.
Bear in mind though, that a cellphone has limitations too. Most importantly, your phone battery dies quite quickly when you use the device for all the above. Therefore, bringing a charger and a power bank could save you from never knowing how puffins mate or from getting lost.
Our advise is to save the battery of your phone for navigation and calling purposes only. By doing so, you can safely get from A to B and reach out if necessary. Any important questions about puffins could be looked up later or discussed over dinner.
Navigation makes life so much easier during a cycling holiday in Ireland. With Ireland Walk Hike Bike you will be furnished with both the old fashioned paper map and the brand new Ireland Walk Hike Bike navigation app, to make make life (and navigation) just a little bit easier. You will get it for free and use it to navigate the Irish roads without any hesitation.
Again, make sure the battery of your phone can be charged at any given moment. If that is not the case, you will end up staring at your paper map at every single intersection you come across.
Of course, we can imagine you want to capture all the breathtaking views you encounter whilst cycling, let’s say, the Ring of Beara. The team of Ireland Walk Hike Bike advise you to bring a separate camera in order to do so.
A separate camera will save your phone battery from dying and will give you the freedom to take as many pictures as you want. Clearly, you’d want some spare batteries for your camera, too.
One last tip when it comes to electronics is to bring an adapter. The Irish sockets may differ from the ones you use at home. The adapter makes sure you can use the Irish power without any problems.
4. The importance of a first aid kit
One invaluable item to carry in your rucksack is a basic first aid kit. We are not asking you to bring loads of bandages, but some basic items may make your cycling trip just that little bit more enjoyable.
An item that should certainly not be missing in your first aid kit is vaseline. Besides the fact that vaseline is good for your lips, it helps you to prevent chafing in the groin area.
If you unexpectedly do bruise or sprain anything on your cycling trip, Arnica could be of great help. Arnica is a homeopathic cream that reduces inflammations and eases pain.
Something else you could come across during a cycling holiday in Ireland are minor cuts. Therefore, we advise you to bring disinfectant cream and band aids. A small pair of scissors comes in handy here, too.
In our previous blog, we mentioned the importance of lip salve and sun cream. In addition, it would be good to bring some after sun cream and a good pair of sunglasses. We cannot emphasize enough that sunshine WILL be part of your adventure. Make sure you are ready for the presence of that big, shiny star.
When you usually use medication, do not forget to bring that either.
5. Travel essentials
It may be obvious that you need a passport when you travel overseas. Well, you will not be the first person to find out you forgot to bring it to the airport.
Besides a passport, cash and bank cards are essential to make the most of your holiday. While bed and breakfasts are included, you will still need to pay for dinners, additional food and beverages along the way and presents to bring home to your family.
6. A water bottle
The last item we would like to mention in this list is a decent water bottle. You will for sure get thirsty while climbing that steep hill, for example during your cycling holiday on the Ring of Kerry. Wouldn’t it be a huge relief to find a filled water bottle in your rucksack at that point?
Average water bottles contain around 750 ml of water. This would be a bare minimum to carry with you on a day out in the Irish hills.
One last advice is to add just a little drop of syrup to your water, in order to give you a little extra energy. Do not make the mistake of adding too much of the sweet stuff. Your drink stop will then leave you even thirstier.
You are ready to cruise the Irish countryside
As you now know everything about the suitable clothing on an Irish cycling holiday and about the equipment you should bring (or leave at home), you are ready for your epic Irish cycling holiday.
We at Ireland Walk Hike Bike certainly hope you feel ready and prepared for a little cycling adventure. Please, check out all the amazing cycling trips we offer on our website.
Whichever trip you choose, our team will do our utmost to give you the perfect experience during your self-guided cycling holiday in Ireland.
This blog was written for Ireland Walk Hike Bike by one of our regular clients Judith Kimenai
“Judith is a Dutch text writer that is always on the lookout for new cycling and hiking adventures all over the world. Ireland has always had a special place in her heart. In 2019, she lived on the Beara Peninsula for 8 months.”