I will be riding my bicycle from Czech Republic to London this April. Even though I cycle quite frequently, this is my first time I will be doing such a long distance.

I am not doing this for charity, awarness or whatever super meaningful reason (even though if you know some good cause I dont mind to slap a sticker on my jacket...). Simply I got new bike, moved to London and when thinking about how to get it there I thought why not to just ride it.

Here is map of my planned trip:

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As I planned it, it should take 13 days, 1600km, average of 120km a day. I don't think I am aiming for a crazy goal.

To the question:

To all of you who done some long distance around europe, what would you recommend for a gear to take with me? I have vague idea about what I want to take, but I probably missed something so better to ask. Would you recommend bringing tent and a sleeping bag? I am not against sleeping outdoor at all, but after all we are in europe and not middle of sahara, I think I will always be able to find somewhere to sleep, eat etc.

Any advice from experienced long rider would be much appreciated.

Update 1

The Bike I am going to be riding Kellys TNT 30

More info about the bike

This bike comes with very thick tires, I will be changing for thinner flatter tyres. something around 1.95 should be comfortable enough

  • My main concerns are that you're planning to ride on too many consecutive days. I would suggest 6 days riding and 1 day off. Also the plan calls for 120km per day. So some days might be longer, say 140km. Are you used to riding such distances on consecutive days? – andy256 Feb 10 '15 at 12:54
  • What kind of bike? Is this a touring bike built for racks? – paparazzo Feb 10 '15 at 13:15
  • @andy256 Yes I am a little concern about that as well. I think I can handle the way to the lake in switzerland, if I am too tired I might take day off there. And yes some days have as little as 90km, there is one day that has 150km... I can share my whole plan if anyone interested – Tomas Feb 10 '15 at 13:18
  • @Blam I updated the question – Tomas Feb 10 '15 at 13:22
  • @jimirings Again, same as in comments under answer from Blam, I am not sure why would this be too broad or whatever.. Michael's answer is perfect, not long, exactly what I was looking for. Now I would just like to see if other people can mention what they found important on their trips. – Tomas Feb 10 '15 at 16:44

I took part in a charity ride from Scotland to Italy in June last year, and that was made a lot easier with the use of a support team to help carry everything. Since you are going it alone, you need to consider quite a lot of things:

  • Directions

    • It's fine planning a route, but they often don't go to plan. Always be prepared to make alterations at the last minute. A detailed road map of the area / GPS device is essential for this.
    • Know roughly where you're going to end up at the end of each day. Plan ahead and maybe pre-book your accommodation. Most places allow you to reserver a room for free and pay when you leave, so it comes at no initial cost. If you don't make it to a given town, find somewhere else to stay. You suggest camping in a tent - although feasible, bear in mind the amount of kit you may already be carrying.
  • Nutrition

    • Undertaking long mileage takes its toll on your energy levels, so its important to replace the calories and replenish water loss. You can carry sandwhiches or even pop into caf├ęs, but another alternative is the use of energy gels and flapjacks etc. These are easy to carry and provide enough fuel to keep you going.

    • Hydration is really important, so carrying water or some other hydrating fluid is essential. Try mixing it with energy drink powder to hydrate and keep your energy stores up.

  • Spares / Tools

    • Long-distance cycling takes it's toll on your bike, but also increases the likelihood of hitting a problem along the way.
    • Carry a set of bike tools such as a chain link tool, spanners, hex keys to help you make adjustments and repairs along the way.
    • Inner tubes, tyre levers and a puncture repair kit (and a pump!) are also vital. You can always find a petrol station or another cyclist to help, but be prepared and be self-sufficient with repairs.
  • Clothing
    • Take a variety of clothing to help with the different weather conditions. There's nothing worse than getting into wet clothes when you could have had a dry set to hand.
      • Waterproofs
    • Hot-weather gear
    • Base layers

If I think of anything else I will add it to the list, but these are some of the main things to consider that I can think of.

  • Geat, thanks @Michael ! Everything you wrote I am accounting for in my list, thats great and please if you can remember anything else essential add it to the list! For the navigation, I hope I will be fine with map and compas. I already do have a rough plan in what town to end up each day – Tomas Feb 10 '15 at 16:41
  • 1
    You're welcome. I'd much rather you have a pleasant ride than suffer because of lack of preparation. I'm currently in work, so I'll dig out my notes from my ride when I get home and update my answer accordingly. – Michael Feb 10 '15 at 17:00

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