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.
No matter if you are tackling the mountain ranges on the west coasts of Cork, the Donegal coastal routes on the Wild Atlantic Way or beautiful scenery along the Beara Way – preparation is key.
Last time, we talked you through the clothing you are advised to bring on your self guided cycle tour. 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. Do I need to bring my bike?
This is completely your decision. If you just can’t say goodbye you can bring your loyal steed with you! Our tours are all priced without bike rental included.
However, if you would prefer not to lug your bike across the continent, the country or even the world, we will glaldy set you up with a local bike for your tour in Ireland.
When you book a self-guided cycling holiday in Ireland, we will provide you with the option to hire a state-of-the-art hybrid bicycle, a top quality road bike or – for added comfort – an eBike.
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. Our Hybrid Bikes come with panniers and a basic repair kit.
A Road Bike is more “racey” than a hybrid, usually used for fitness riding and road events. Generally they wouldn’t be quite as comfortable as a hybrid. Our Road Bikes come a basic repair kit.
An eBike is a “power assisted” bike – ideal for those who need a little help taking on the hills along our Irish roads. Our eBikes come with including panniers and a basic repair kit.
2. Do I need to be experienced?
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. What electronics will I need?
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.
In 2019 we introduced our own GPS app to help you navigate each day. It is also full of interesting facts along the way, and advice on where to eat each evening. This service is included with all cycle tour bookings. The great thing is you can download all the information before you arrive so you will not need to use your mobile data on the routes – all you need is GPS.
Navigation makes life so much easier during a cycling holiday in Ireland. With Ireland Walk Hike Bike you will be furnished with both the GPS app as well as old fashioned paper route notes (if requested).
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 tour offers 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.