In my previous article I explained why bike is the best mean of transportation and why this is the best way to explore thing. If you are convinced, good ! Grab your bike and go across the country. Oh wait, you might need some equipment before leaving. Let me present you a short list of what you should bring with you. This is based on personal experience and I if you find something that misses, please let me know in the comments !
First of all let me give you some advises on the bike you are using. Pick a simple one. Avoid complicated break system (go to Hell disk break, hail to the V-Break !), prefer steel over aluminium, use robust tires (the best ones are the Marathon, by Schwalbe), etc. If you choose something simple, you will have no problem changing broken pieces 😉
Once you have your bike, you need something to carry all your stuff. There are two main containers that can be used: bike trailers and bike bags. The first one are attached behind the bike. They allow you to carry big “normal” bags but they can be quite heavy and complicated to use in rough terrain. I personally prefers bike bags attached on the carriers, either the rear or the front one (rear carriers are more common though). They look like that:
I use two bags of 20L each plus a small 5L bag attached on the handlebar and a 25L waterproof bag where I put my tent and my sleeping bag, tied to the carrier. This is largely enough to carry all the stuff you need.
Speaking of that, lets see what you need during your trip. First of all, you need a shelter to sleep. I am a huge fan of the combination hammock + tarp, light and usable nearly everywhere. Tents are however more commonly used. Whatever you chose, be sure that it is waterproof and resistant to wind. These two elements can make your life difficult if you are not protected enough. Also try to pick light equipment. The lighter the better for your legs 😉
Be sure to take a camping stove with you. I made my own wood stove out of tin can. It works perfectly as long as you have dry wood. If it starts to rain you will definitely prefer a classic gas stove !
As far as clothes are concerned, I gonna let you judge what you need. Do not take all your wardrobe though ! And waterproof jacket and pants are always useful, especially if you travel in autumn.
Last but not least, always take with you your curiosity and your desire to explore new countries ! Be free and travel differently…