Everyone we met had a different approach to how and what gear they carried. Above, are our bikes and the bicycles of some of our friends we met along the way. They are parked on the Golden Gate Bridge.

We had an ideal in our minds of two cycling nomads pedaling to the rhythm of Pacific ocean.

Our aim was to travel cheaply and light, camping and eating around a stove. This also meant aching backs, cold mornings, sporadic showers and rather too much time spent inside a tent together, but it wouldn’t be an adventure without a bit of discomfort, would it?

With this in mind we proceeded to stuff eight panniers full of far too much gear which we then had to lug 2,000 miles. Our one piece of advice would be, don’t take too much! The happiest fellow PCH cyclists we saw had two rear panniers with a tent on top and perhaps a bar bag. We dumped clothes and underwear quite early on. Travel light, travel happy.

Here’s the gear list we drew up before we cycled the USA’s Pacific coast highway. We ended up taking more!

Bikes and luggage

  • Dawes Horizon touring bike (James), Specialized Tricross sport (Pierre)
  • Schwalbe Marathon tyres x4
  • Ortlieb roller classic panniers front and rear x8
  • Speedometer x2
  • Lock


  • Two man tent
  • Sleeping bag x2
  • Head torch x2
  • Pot, pan, cutlery, chopping board, good knife


  • Hi-vis cycle shirt
  • Windbreaker / jacket
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Helmet
  • Cycle shoes
  • Cycle gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Lightweight trousers
  • Casual shoes
  • Underwear

3 responses to “gear

  1. hi Guys , well I wish you folks lots of luck , my Wife an I are heading out on same trip July 2 from Van. B.C.
    This is one of my bucket list items , looking forward to the adventure ,
    great way to see the world .
    Oh we are from Nova Scotia , so if you ever get out this way look us up , there will be a place to stay an tour guide.
    keep the wheels turning

    • Thanks for the kind words Willard and good luck to you and your wife on your ride. I agree, I can’t think of a better way of exploring the Pacific coast than on two wheels.

      And thanks for the offer of a place to stay on in Nova Scotia. We may just take you up on it one day!

      Enjoy your ride, and who knows – if we get a lot of punctures you might catch us up!


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