That One Thing You'd Bring

August 5, 2014 - By Darrah Rogers

In less than two weeks’ time, I will be participating in my very first Adventure Cycling Guided Bicycle Tour in Oregon. I’m excited on so many levels: from making new friends with my fellow participants to spending time with Adventure Cycling event staff and leaders that I’ve never met, to the chance for some rare one-on-one time with one of my closest friends in the world (who is accompanying me on tour) … But most especially, I’m excited for the riding, the scenery and the new places I’ll visit that I’ve never been to before. 

As I was thinking about what I need to pack for a fully-supported bicycle tour, not only did I re-read the packing list from the Before You Go booklet, I got to thinking about the wisdom of the ages and the wealth of experienced riders around me here at Adventure Cycling headquarters. I got to thinking of how I like to pack very minimalist, but still not miss the essentials. I also like to not take packing too seriously, as it is never perfect and you always seem to be missing something. So I approached a few my cycling co-workers/comrades who I know have packed, re-packed and cycle-toured way more than me — and I asked them: “What if your bike, your food and water were all taken care of — what item would you want to bring on your bicycle tour if you could only have one?”  The answers ran from truly essential to the truly unique. Here is a sampling of those responses from our seasoned Adventure Cycling tour leaders, staff members and friends:

“My camp pillow, with a hot cup of Earl Grey tea in the morning as a close second!”
  –Tammy Schurr, Event Director, NM

“My down sweater — for its multi-purpose functionality.”
  –Alex Campbell, Tour Leader/Staff, MT

“My trombone.”
  –Don Gisselbeck, MT

“I’d take my flip flops.”
  –Cory Soulliard, MT

“My Big Agnes Pillow ‘cause a good night’s sleep is essential.”
  –Jenn Milyko, Routes and Mapping, MT

“I’d bring my Bohnanza card game.”
  –Paul Hansbarger, Harrisonburg, VA

“My credit card.”
  –Mandy Hale, Tours Specialist, MT

“My lightweight camping chair.”
  –Julie Huck, Membership Director, MT

“I would like my sleeping pad AND pillow.”
  –Geoff McMillion, Cyclosource, MT

“That’s easy; definitely my single cup French Press!”
  –Arlen Hall, Tours Director, MT

“That item would be my camp pillow!”
  –Teri Maloughney, Sales & Marketing, MT

“I’d bring wipes.”
  –Meghan Holler, MT

Personally, if it was up to me and I was being very practical – I’d like to have my Swiss Army Knife (the one that has just about everything on it!) But my fun-loving self would want to bring either a game (like Paul) or a musical instrument (like Don) because having fun with your friends on a cycling tour is where it’s at for me. So if it were up to you, what would be that one thing that you’d like to have on tour?”

ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Emma, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2018 Guided Tours today!


Brian Managan August 11, 2014, 6:07 PM


I'd never, ever, ever do a bike tour without it!

Especially one in Oregon!

Top Best Reviews August 10, 2014, 1:36 AM

Good tips. These tools are essential while riding. But I always bring a GPS.

Toni Romp-Friesen August 6, 2014, 8:25 PM

I make sure I always bring my black lace bra with the little pink rose on it, so at the end of a hot, dusty, hilly day when I'm covered in salty sweat, sunscreen and dirt, I can take a shower, and feel like a girl again....

BERNARD HALPIN August 5, 2014, 10:21 PM

Don't forget to bring a sense of humor along with a nice easy smile!!

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