Over the years I’ve done a lot of experimenting on my bike trips. Every trip has been different and I’ve brought different items with me on each of my tours.
After nearly eight years of bicycle touring, I’ve learned what I need to bring with me and what I should leave at home. And even though I’ve learned a lot over the years about some of the unnecessary items you might be temped to take with you on a bike tour, I’ll likely bring some more stupid things with me in the future.
Here are some of the things I brought with me on tour, that I really did not need:
- A soft-case ice chest.
- A full size tripod for my camera
- A full 3-piece cook-set
- A solar panel in Europe (The sun hardly ever came out and there was
simply no need for a solar panel)
- My cell phone when I went to Europe (It didn’t work at all and I had
to carry it around the whole time)
- Pepper spray (I’ve carried it on numerous tours and never used it.
I won’t be carrying it anymore.)
There are likely a lot of other stupid things I’ve brought with me, but I can’t think of them at the moment. I’ll think of them as time goes by and update you on my stupidity by posting in the comments section below.
One of my favorite stupid things I ever saw someone carrying with them on a bike tour was a stuffed jackalope. This rider was obviously carrying the stuffed animal as a joke, but this is quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen strapped onto the back of a traveling cyclists bike.
Another favorite of mine is the Coconut Head that Ted Schredd carried with him on his tour around the United States. You can read more about Ted Schredd and his epic bike ride in his book, “The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head”
What is the dumbest thing you have ever brought with you on a bike trip? Or what is the stupidest thing you’ve ever seen someone else carrying with them on a bike trip?
12 thoughts on “The Dumbest Thing You’ve Ever Brought With You On A Bike Tour”
My husband makes fun of me because I insist on taking wine glasses with us. I just don’t enjoy drinking wine out of a water bottle.
On my 5th bike trip through Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia I brought my skateboard with me. A number of other bicycle tourists made fun of me for bringing it with me, but I had a lot of fun stopping at skateparks along the way. I’m a horrible skateboarder, but it gave me something fun to do besides ride my bike all day long.
You can see pictures of me and my skatebaord here: https://www.bicycletouringpro.com/articles/2005tour-WA2OR.htm
Something I brought that actually turned out to be quite useful was a machete. It was strapped, very visably, to the outside of my bicycle. I never really ended up using it (except to hack apart a fallen tree that had blocked the path to someone’s house), but it served as a great deterrant to theft and muggings. In central america (where my only real bike tour has taken place) muggings at machete point are common place in touristy areas. While on the side of the road replacing spokes in Costa Rica, a drunk had come up to me, and had started to get a little too close, until I used my machete to dish him up some pineapple. He left promtly after that.
Machete. Nice. I’m going to bring a machete and bear mace.
The dumbest thing I ever brought on a bike tour were 2 cow bells. It was on the June Bike Ride Across Georgia, which gets approximately 3000 riders. I attached them to my duffle bag. When the support van guys tossed the thousands upon thousands bags out of onto the unloading area, the bells could be heard for about 50 yards. I no longer thought it was truly dumb, as I knew immediately how to find my duffle bag. : o ))
Dumbest thing I ever brought on a bike tour? Lead. No seriously… lead. I was doing the greatest tour known to man (well, maybe) through Banff and Jasper national Parks, Alberta, Canada when I decided to collect those lead weights that are used to balance automobile wheels.
They fall off cars all the time and, well, wouldn’t it be fun to see how many I could collect and carry back home?? Dumb idea. Apparently I was exposing myself to a few too many UV rays. Lead weights and cycling are probably in some dictionary under “highly incompatible”. Oh well… it was a blast anyway!
Lead! Ha. That’s a good one. How many of those lead weights were you able to end up carrying? Or did you finally ditch them after a certain amount of time?
War and peace… Never got read. After a long day cycling strangely I was never in the mood!
Way too much food. Probably enough for a week. I had a five pound bag of mostly freeze dried food with me and I passed numerous stores each day.
Long-sleeve wool jerseys and heavy tights on a cycle tour of the Florida Keys. It was 32C in November. We shipped them home (to the chilly Olympic Peninsula) via UPS from Key Largo. We’re ready to adopt the Jack Reacher mode of travel–buy clothing appropriate to where you are, and trash the old ones (or ship them home if you have one…) I did buy my first-ever sleeveless jersey in Hollywood, FL, which I use for an over-layer at home…
My regular, fully stuffed make-up bag for my first summer tour. Talk about dumb. When it’s boiling hot out and your sweating bullets wearing a face full of makeup is not the best idea.
A small cookstove. I NEVER cook at home. I have no idea why I thought I’d give cooking a try on a bike trip! (I lived in my last home for 13 years with the stove unplugged. I only use a microwave…)
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