Bikepacking | Problems, prevention and tips

Riding 70 km a day, carrying everything for your trip on two wheels. What could possibly go wrong?

Note: Emanuela and Eros are bikepackers currently cycling the length of their native Italy. In this series, Emanuela covers bikepacking basics, trip-planning and gear, as well as travel challenges and how the duo overcame them. 

Santiago-León

We booked a lovely flat, with a beautiful balcony looking out over the pedestrian zone.

After we tossed and turned all night long because of the noise of the never-ending happy hour, the people finally went home around 3 or 4 am. Then garbage collecting began! We spent the rest of the hours staring at the ceiling.

How were we feeling the following day? Two zombies pedalling around!

Tip: For a good night’s sleep, avoid accommodation in the city centre.

Saint Jean Pied de Port – Finisterre

Never strap a bottle of water around a fork leg. While riding down a rough slope, due to the vibrations the bottle ended between the fork leg and the wheel. The wheel stopped rotating and I fell over on thorny grass! Lovely experience! From that moment on, no more clipless and extra bottles of water on our bike pack.

Tip: Make sure your first aid kit is well-stocked. While you’re bleeding is not a good time to realise you’re out of bandages.

Seville – Santiago

First day:  50°C

After 50 kms we called a taxi. It was impossible to pedal! We woke up at 3 am for the following 5 days, and started pedalling at 4 am, till we reached Lisbon. Our set of emergency lights was of vital importance!

Tip: Stay healthy by being flexible with times and distances.

Hamburg – Legnago

Not a single day without raining. We forgot our water shoe covers. We used some shopping bags to keep our feet warm and dry. Our laundry clothesline and small clothespins were quite useful.

Tip: Always check or ask your host for a washer and a drier. If not available, ask for a hairdryer. It can help you dry your clothes.

Coming soon: Emanuela and Eros talk about bikepacking across Italy.

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