When you book a self-guided cycling holiday in Ireland you can be happy in the knowledge that your luggage will be at your hotel when you arrive each day.
On an Ireland by Bike self-guided cycling holiday your bicycle or e-bike comes equipped with a front handlebar bag and a rear pannier. These are more than adequate to carry all the items you need for a day on the road.
Ireland by Bike and most other cycling holiday companies will provide you with a lock, a repair kit, a helmet and a high visibility vest or belt. The only remaining question is what else you need to pack for each day.
Before you set out we suggest taking a look at the weather forecast. Ireland is famous for its changeable weather, meaning the biggest priority on the day might be your sun screen, or your rain wear, or possibly both.
There are numerous apps that will give you up to date weather information. A good tip is to check the weather forecast on the night before each cycle or hike.
Depending on the weather forecast you might want to take the following with you.
Sun Block/Sun Screen
Cycling can leave you very exposed to the sun. A good sun block is essential on sunny days. It is important to re-apply sun block regularly, this becomes particularly important if you stop for a swim. It is important that you use the correct factor to give full protection. See this article from the Irish Health Products Regulatory Authority on using sun screen properly.
Have you heard that it sometimes rains in Ireland? It’s not necessarily bad news when it does. Without rain we wouldn’t have those dramatic rainbows, the fantastic cloud formations, or those famous green fields. With the right rain gear you can enjoy – even celebrate the rain.
Two items of rain wear are usually sufficient to keep you snug and dry. A rain proof jacket and rain proof pants. The vast majority of these will fold up neatly and be easy to carry. You could possibly include shoe covers and a helmet cover to be 100% sure of remaining totally dry. There are a whole host of manufacturers of good quality rain wear for cycling, at a large variety of price points. Some of these manufacturers include Altura, AGU, Basil, Endura
Swimming gear and a Towel
On most Irish cycling holidays like our Donegal Coastal Treasures Bike Tour, our Highlights of Donegal Bike Tour or our Causeway Coast Bike Tour, you will have numerous opportunities to stop for a swim (incidentally on some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see). It would be a pity to miss the opportunity.
Snack Food or a Picnic
You might be planning on stopping for lunch. Most Irish cycle routes have plenty of choice, from pubs serving food, to small restaurants and cafes and the ubiquitous hot food counter in almost all shops or supermarkets. However there are occasional days particularly in the most remote areas where the choice is limited or even non existent. For these days it is important to bring something that will sustain you until you reach your destination. A picnic can be a very pleasant experience and there are numerous picnic perfect (and picture perfect) spots all around the Irish coast.
Even if you are not planning on stopping for lunch some snack food is a good idea in any case. You never know when those hunger pangs might hit.
This should be on your list even on cooler days. Even gentle exercise will dehydrate you and leave you feeling exhausted. Sipping water is the simple solution. Thankfully almost all Irish tap water is drinkable and your accommodation provider will happily fill you bottle every morning.
First aid Kit
Bumps and bruises along with scrapes and scratches are part of life. Thankfully most of these are not so serious. A simple first aid kit will make treating them on the spot easy. For more serious injuries it will be necessary to seek medical assistance.
Mobile (Cell) Phone
It is always a good idea to bring your mobile phone. Who knows when you may need it? These days it will almost always double up as your camera and possibly your navigation device as well as a host of other functions.
A List of Emergency Contact Numbers
Not exactly something you need to pack but important that you have these with you.
These should include medical, police and particularly for hikers the numbers of local mountain rescue teams.
For most emergencies including medical, Gardai (Police) and Coast Guard diall 999 or 112.
You should also have your ICE (In Case of Emergency) number clearly written where it will be visible to medical personnel.
Enjoy the cycling!