When embarking on an Italian Cycling holiday, there are many things that you will need to take to ensure that you can function to the same level as when riding at home, and enjoy the same level of comfort.
While the stress on your luggage allowance can sometimes cause you to rethink and then repack what is important and what is essential, others reason that they can do without some items for a few days, and then really miss not having them on tour.
Our approach is if you regularly have it when you ride at home, then you should bring it with you on your Italian bike tour. We also believe that it is better if you are completely prepared for all conditions, so that you enjoy every moment on the bike on tour.
Often there will be items that you require during the days on tour that you won’t need post tour, so we always suggest to guests the option of sending home a box of cycling gear post tour, so you can continue your European holiday with ease.
Here we have compiled a list of what we think guests should bring on tour and a rationale of why.
On the Bike
Your A’QTO Kit including jersey, bib shorts, plus….
Cycling Bib Shorts x 2
Three full sets of kit is our recommendation. Kit is washed every second day, and it’s good to have another set up your sleeve in case you encounter bad weather.
Cycling Jerseys x 2
Base Layers x 3
If you use base layers, one for each set of kit is a good number to have with you.
Depending on the region and the season, layering is the key to ensure that you are comfortable on the bike at all times.
Long Sleeve Jersey
See above, but mostly only required on May and late September/October tours.
We always hope to be blessed by the weather gods, however it does happen that the weather can turn and it is better to be prepared with the right kit in the support van, which you can access as you need.
Arm & Leg Warmers
With terrain at varying heights above sea level, and tours at different times of year, the ability to add or remove a layer quickly is necessary.
Cycling Shoes & Socks
Don’t forget these, as we may not always be able to get a bike shop, particularly if it’s the weekend or a public holiday.
As above, if you are hiring. Your hire bike does not come with pedals so you need to bring your own.
This is a requirement to ride with us on tour and you need to bring your own.
Summer gloves are good to bring with you if you are used to riding with gloves, and even full fingered gloves can be useful, particularly when you are at altitude.
They just make perfect sense, really.
Replace your cleats before you leave and also buy a 2nd pair as we are not always near a bike shop to buy replacements and even if we are, they may not stock the brand you require.
A good idea to protect your cleats and lengthen their life.
Drink Biddon x 2
It’s always better to know that you have two bottles for those hot days.
If you are bringing your own bike, you will need to bring the things you normally take on a ride, including spare tubes. We have had riders roll through the tour without a flat or mechanical and then have had others with 7 flats for the week, so it’s best to be prepared. Spare tubes can also be purchased on tour.
An old school approach, but you just never know what you may need.
If you are bringing your bike computer and have hired a bike, ensure you bring the mount as well.
This is to minimise the chance of someone grabbing your bike off the street as we enjoy lunch or coffee. We do have more robust cables and locks for our night security, however these are not always possible to access when on the road, so we recommend you to bring your own.
Front & Rear Lights
There are different tours and different days when we will be riding through tunnels, so it’s good to have lights with you. They are a requirement for L’Eroica.
Self explanatory. We always have some available but if you have a particular requirement, it’s always good to have a tube on hand.
Off the Bike
Smart Casual Clothing & Shoes
For dinners each night and long lunches, our dress code is smart casual.
A good choice in Italy with all of the cobblestones that we encounter and perfect for non riding partners on some of our hikes and extended walks.
For walking, sightseeing and enjoying time out around hotels and towns post ride.
Bathers/ Swimming Attire
Including shorts for pool & beach, and thongs (or flip flops).
To ensure that you do not pick up any germs or flu as you fly in, and to minimise the possible spread to other tour guests. We always have some available but it’s always good to have a tube on hand.
This includes your Passport, Driver’s License, Medicare card and Insurance docs, and copies of each of these.
Phone with International Roaming turned on.
This is a requirement on tour. The apps can be switched off or the phone set to flight mode, but it is in your own interest to be able to activate your phone and call the tour team, if by chance you take a wrong turn while riding and become lost, or for other unforeseen circumstances.
Ensure it is for Europe.
For your phone chargers, leads to connect your camera, bike computer, laptop or ipad, and other electrical equipment.
So that we can wash rider kits and keep everyone’s gear separate. It is preferable with your name on it.
If you are on any medication, prefer a particular brand of painkillers, or need other specific items, we recommend you bring them along and carry a letter and/or prescription from your doctor for any additional medication that you may require from a pharmacy.
First Aid Supplies
Italian pharmacies are very good and we have a First Aid Kit with us at all times, but it is good to bring with you anything you feel you may specifically need.
While we understand that minimising luggage is always a goal when travelling, all of these suggestions are to ensure that you and all the other guests, have the best possible experience whilst on tour.
For guests joining us on our Italian cycling tours, we have compiled the above list as a check list which we send to you to download and use as you pack pre tour.