Helen’s packing day!!

Can you remember the bag in the Mary Poppins film?  Well check this out…

Today is all about packing for the big European trip.  The big trip is explained on the ‘About’ page, so if you’ve not had chance to have a look, please do.

Although we bought them in readiness for this trip, we’ve decided not to use the side panniers and top box, but instead are going with a dry bag for the pillion seat and a ruck sack.   Although we’ll be travelling for over 3 months, we reckon that we will only really need a week’s worth of stuff that we can then recycle.  On that basis we have carefully chosen clothes that are lightweight and quick drying so that we can ‘wash and go’!  The reasoning behind this also relates to ease of riding.  Panniers make for a much wider bike and without them, we can ride through city traffic with more confidence.  We’ve tested the dry bag – mine’s a Triumph brand – and even in the rainiest rain in Scotland, it did what it said on the tin.  It’s also really easy to carry around so it’s nice and easy at the end of the day to lift it into the accommodation.

What bike gear?

In terms of bike gear, I’ve gone for a Dainese ladies Zima jacket and trousers.  The thinking here is that they are both Gortex and have a waterproof, breathable membrane, so good for wet days as well as dry, and also removable warm liners so that cooler days are not an issue either.  Not a lot of venting to be honest, but I suspect the idea is that the breathable fabric alleviates the need for it.

The lid is the latest Shoei Hornet.  The design has been improved to make it easier to remove the visor and I’ve bought a tinted visor for the sunnier climes.  Fitted to the helmet is a SENA 10 bluetooth headset and intercom which means we can be in easy communication with other whilst riding.  This is great for general needs e.g. identifying when we need fuel or a coffee stop, but I’ve also found it really useful as a new rider for confidence building.  Being able to ask Tim a question or two on the go is really helpful.

On my feet, I have a pair of excellent Sidi adventure boots.  These really are waterproof and are also very comfortable both to ride in and to walk around in.  They’ve had quite a bit of use already and so far have been really good boots – very happy with those.

For gloves, I’ve got two pairs of Alpine Stars – one summer, lightweight pair and one gortex multi-season pair.  I suspect the summer pair will get the most use, but needed the back up, waterproof pair for the wetter rides.

We both have Garmin Zumo satnavs and Tim has done weeks of mapping on Basecamp which he can then download to help us on our way.

So, back to the Mary Poppins bag

For day to day gear, we’ve made a short video which sets out what I’m packing in my dry bag and in my rucksack.  I’m amazed at how little stuff I’ve got to be honest but feel confident that it will do the trick – I’ll just see the shoes and dresses that had to be left behind when I get back….

You can also check out our kit list and reviews.

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