You have booked a cycle tour because you want to cycle, sightsee and generally soak up the culture of a foreign country – not to worry about doing your laundry and finding a place for it to dry overnight.
On a cycle tour - no matter whether it is a guided, self-guided or a bike and barge tour – it is best to bring along fast-drying clothing that is predominantly synthetic or of a synthetic blend.
Cotton holds onto moisture and can be a cyclist’s worst enemy. Not only does it look unsightly to be wearing a T-shirt and shorts soaked with sweat, but the moisture magnifies both heat and cold and can make things very uncomfortable.
Professional cyclists wear synthetic clothing for a very good reason – it is the best option to ensure they are comfortable all day long. Modern synthetic clothing also dries quickly, so after a long day on your bicycle all you need to do is quickly rinse out your clothes and they will be dry and ready to go for the following day.
It is also important not to forget to bring along wet weather gear in case it rains while you are riding. There is nothing worse than riding in the rain without a raincoat – especially if it is cold rain.
In the tropics riding in the rain can be a bit of fun, but in Europe or other colder climates it can be a nightmare. Once again all it takes to make sure you are comfortable on your bike tour is a little bit of forward planning.
Padded cycling knickers are another important inclusion for cycle tourists. Not only do they provide an extra layer of padding between your backside and an unfamiliar tour company-supplied bike seat, but they generally make extended rides more comfortable.
If you feel self conscious wearing tight fitting cycling knickers, you can either buy loose fitting shorts to wear over your cycling knickers or you can buy mountain bike shorts designed for both men and women that have the padded seat sewn into the lining of the shorts. With these not only will you be comfortable on the bicycle, but you will look great when you are sightseeing off the bicycle.
Bike jerseys with a number of pockets on the back are another good addition to your wardrobe for both comfort and convenience. The pockets can conveniently hold everything from snacks to cameras and money.
It is important to note here that if you shop around, you can purchase cycle jerseys that do not make you look like a Tour de France contender if you happen not to be a fan of looking like a brightly coloured mobile billboard.
The bottom line is to bring suitable clothing that is cycling specific that will ensure you are as comfortable at the end of a long day’s cycling as you were at the start.