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How to plan a cycling trip? There is no one universal answer to this question. Each of us is a different person and has different expectations. The most popular trips are “travel light trips” where you don’t need to take too much luggage. Recently “bikepacking” has become fashionable with cyclists who, in addition to one-day trips, also choose multi-day trips with the minimum necessary luggage. It has been known for a long time that the weight of luggage on a bicycle is of great importance, especially when one has ambitious plans, for example to take part in the “Pomeranian 500” ultramarathon, which, incidentally, leads in large measure along the roads of West Pomerania. Limiting the weight to the necessary minimum makes it easier to push the bike up a steep hill, get through fallen trees on the road, or simply cover more kilometres in less time. A small amount of luggage can also be a disadvantage, for example during a sudden change in weather when you need to put on a jacket and something warmer. This is where cycle tourists come in, with their kit packed in pannier bags. They travel on their bikes for weeks, months or years. Their home is their tent and their wardrobe is their pannier bag. Like turtles, they carry their home on their bikes. But don't let that fool you! Many a pannier cyclist has better legs than a national-level race cyclist does. After all, a heavy bicycle is the best coach. You will meet all kinds of pannier cyclists: they travel alone, in pairs, with whole families, with a dog or a cat.
What do all these people have in common? A bicycle: trekking, road, gravel, mountain, tandem, cargo... as long as it has wheels and pedals. But even here, there is no unanimity among them, no one-size-fits-all choice, let alone when it comes to packing things for a trip. A book, rather than a short article, could be written about how to prepare for a trip or a bicycle expedition, which bike to choose and what to take with you. Fortunately for us, several such books have already been written, so in order not to knock down an already open door, we will recommend a few items to you:
“GlobRower - A Cycling Traveller's Guide” - Marcin Korzonek;
“Handbook of Cycling Adventure” - Anna and Robert (Robb) Maciąg;
“A Small Handbook of Great Expeditions" - NINIWA
“The Bicycle is the World” - Karol Werner
Of course, these few items are not everything. There are countless websites with advice for cyclists about what to take with you on a cycling trip. We will share only one written by Ewcyna - https://www.ewcyna.com/cycling-poland-practical-info/ that covers especially traveling in Poland.
We will give you one tip that is universal for everyone, regardless of where you are going, for how long and on which bike. In addition to all the necessary equipment, above all take with you a good dose of good humour, it weighs nothing (just like half of your belongings), and it is a great way to boost the morale when you lose your way, get caught in the middle of the rain, have a flat tyre or your chain breaks. Or all at once. Good humour and the right attitude is the key to having a great cycling adventure.
So let's hit the road. Good luck!