I am currently in Sri Lanka getting ready to ride 1400 kilometers around the entirety of this island country. The ride is part of a charity fundraising event called Around The Pearl that helps purchase wheelchairs for children with Cerebral Palsy. Cycling trips are inherently easy to pack for as you spend most of the day on the bike, but below I will highlight a few pieces of all the gear I brought with me.
Pearl Izumi Select Escape Print Short ($65): Normally not one for short bike shorts, I am making an exception for Sri Lanka given how dang hot it is there. The V-shaped waist band on these bike shorts together with the Tour 3D Chamois will keep me comfortable for those long, 6+ hour days on the bike.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O Escape Bib Short ($165): With consecutive 80-90 mile days and a mountain bike race thrown in for good measure, these high performance bibs will keep me cranking out mile after mile. Made from Pearl Izumi’s Transfer In-R-Cool fabric, they not only offer sun protection but will help keep me cool on the bike. I refuse to wear bibs on all-day rides unless they have a drop tail and these Pearl Izumi bibs deliver–who wants to get dressed and undressed a million times a day?
Pearl Izumi P.R.O Gel Vent Glove ($45): Spending hours on your bike day after day can do a number on your hands. Ventilated gel padding on the palms dampens vibration while not leaving your hands a sweaty mess. And don’t forget the ever important nose wipe on the thumb.
Columbia Freezer Zero Neck Gaiter/Arm Sleeves ($30): With temps in the 80s at 6:00 am and only rising stiffly from there, these arm sleeves and neck gaiter will not only give me much-needed UPF 50 sun protection, but will also help keep me from melting thanks to the Omni-Freeze Zero technology.
Nuun Energy ($7) and Resqwater: As I expect to sweat profusely, I am going to keep one of my bike bottles filled with Nuun Energy at all times–a small caffeine kick in addition to the electrolytes will keep me going. I am also bringing a couple of bottles of Resqwater for quick recovery after those extra long days on the bike.
Julbo Zephyr Sunglasses ($180): With photochromic Zebra lenses that transition from Cat 2 to Cat 4, these ultralight sunglasses will enable me to see in all sorts of conditions. The full venting design and anti-fog treatment are essential in the hot and humid climate of Sri Lanka.
Gu Energy Chews ($1.30) and Gluten-Free Honey Stinger Waffles ($1.50): I know we will be fed very well on the ride and there will be tons of places to stop for local delicacies during the day much like Japan, but I like having some familiar snacks with me that I know work on the bike like these Gu Energy Chews and Gluten-Free Honey Stinger Waffles.
Royal Robbins Discovery Bermuda ($60): Apart from when visiting religious sites, shorts and T-shirts will most likely serve as my main attire off the bike. Made from a lightweight stretch nylon, these Bermuda shorts offer UPF 50+ sun protection and dry super quickly when I need to give them a quick wash. Wrinkle resistant, they make for the perfect travel shorts.
Chaco Cordova Sandals ($90): When I am not on the bike, I plan to be recovering at the pool, on the beach, or visiting a local cultural site. The Cordova sandals not only look way more dressed up than simple flip-flops but give me tons of support when walking around–something my feet will be thankful for after captive in cycling shoes all day.
Grayl Ultralight ($60): I am not sure exactly what type of water sources we are going to run into from day-to-day, so I brought the Grayl ultralight purifier to treat any suspect water before pouring it in my bike bottles. All you have to do is fill the outer bottle with water, then press the inner bottle with the filer at the base down inside. Quick and easy.