Expert advice on what to pack for a cycle trip in the UK

By Guest Blogger,
Cyclists by river and bridge

Photo credit: David Bentley

Cyclist by National Cycle Network sign post

Photo credit: David Bentley

Saddle Skedaddle water bottle

Photo credit: Lighttrapper Photography

A cycle trip can be a great way to enjoy being on your bicycle, spending time with friends or just relaxing whilst keeping active. If you are new to the world of cycling, we've gone to a cycle trip expert to give you their top tips on how to pack for the perfect cycle trip. 

Saddle Skedaddle are the UK’s leading cycling holiday specialist, offering 252 holidays in 32 different countries around the world including many right here in the UK on the National Cycle Network

With a wealth of cycling knowledge gained from more than 20 years of taking people on cycling adventures, Skedaddle are always happy to pass on their two-wheeled advice. Here we ask them to share with us the number one question people ask as they’re about to set off on a cycling trip in the UK. 

One of the most frequently asked questions Saddle Skedaddle get asked before people head off on one of their UK cycling holidays, is what to pack.

So, here are their kit bag essentials and top tips for anyone considering exploring the UK on two wheels.

1. Hydration is key:

Staying hydrated whilst cycling is essential. We recommend taking a large bottle of water as well as an energy drink to keep your blood sugar levels up and to stay energized. Drinking frequently and alternating between these two drinks will enable you to stay both alert and hydrated. 

2. Keep a good stock of cycling snacks: 

Perhaps considered one of the most exciting items to pack are, of course, the tasty treats to keep you smiling en route. The food you’re going to take will re-fuel you whilst on your journey, so it is important to choose wisely. Popular treats include a banana, renowned for its high levels of potassium, which not only tastes great but provides a good source of instant and slow energy. Other favourites amongst cyclists (and our own guides) include energy bars, nuts and jelly beans. Yum!

3. Always carry a puncture repair kit and multi-tool:

A healthy bike leads to a happy ride! Packing a puncture repair kit and multi-tool is a must for any cyclist on the move. Always being prepared for whatever problem your bike may encounter will ensure you can fix it quickly and continue on your way, or at least temporarily until you find a local bike repair shop.  Anyone hiring a bike from Saddle Skedaddle for one of their holidays will find these trusty steads come with both items as standard. Talk about handy!

4. Don't forget a waterpoof jacket: 

The UK is stunningly beautiful to cycle through but our weather is certainly not among the most reliable. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for a shower (or two) with a waterproof jacket. Then, if a cheeky rain cloud floats your way, you can throw on your jacket and keep pedalling (or skedaddlin’) on.

5. Invest in a waterproof backpack: 

As well as keeping yourself dry, we strongly advise you to keep your belongings in the same condition too! We recommend investing in a waterproof backpack, because there’s nothing worse after a day in the saddle than opening your bag to find all of your possessions are dripping wet. 

Check out the Sustrans shop for Sustrans Ortlieb Velocity Rucksack

6. Travel light: 

No one wants to be weighed down when they travel and the team at Skedaddle knows it! When you book your UK cycling holiday through us you’ll enjoy the benefit of having your luggage transferred to your accommodation for the night, so you can travel light during the day.  But for those eager to do it alone, panniers are an essential item for storing any extra items needed on the move. The fully waterproof Sustrans Ortlieb panniers are an absolute cyclist’s favourite.

7.  Top tip: 

"I always recommend to customers who undertake a cycling holiday in the UK to bring plenty of layers, it's as simple as that! The weather can be a little unpredictable during any season and it’s best to be prepared for any eventuality, especially when you stop for a snack or to take a picture. Having that extra layer to put on or take off will make all the difference, believe me!” Alison, UK Product Manager. 

Feeling Inspired? 

Whether you’re after a classic place-to-place challenge such as the Sea to Sea (C2C) or Hadrian’s Cycleway, or fancy a more relaxed center-based experience exploring one of the UK’s many beautiful landscapes, Skedaddle offer a range of cycling holidays in the UK for every level and type of cyclist. 

Thinking about going on a cycle tour? Follow our top tips for cycle touring

Read our guest blog; "How I accidently cycled around the world"