You don’t want to pack too much stuff on a bike tour. Every ounce of stuff you bring is an ounce you have to carry. That’s why bicycle tourists spend a bit more money on lightweight tents, sleeping bags and whatnot.
But then you have to balance that out with what you want to have with you for six weeks on the road. I did a pretty good job the last time I toured; the only thing I didn’t really utilize were the spices I brought for cooking. My plan for that bike ride was to make my own meals the entire time. I did that, for the most part, but instead of cooking from scratch, I’d just buy a can of Dinty Moore Stew. And there’s no need to spice up Dinty Moore, because it’s good as is.
This bike tour is different in that I’m not going solo; I’ll be touring with Kait, and she likes to prepare food (and eat “real” food). With that in mind, I went to the spice store and purchased some garlic, a California pepper, a lemony salt, and Arizona Dreaming (a dash of the Dreaming makes anything taste better). Yes, these spices will take up some space in the pannier, and it will be added weight, but the intent is to eat well while on this ride, which means making your own food, because most of the small towns we’ll be biking through will only have the culinary option of bar food. That’s not a knock on bar food; I enjoyed traveling solo because I could feast on it. But this is a different trip, in large part because I want to enjoy the good company of my daughter, and what better way to do that then make food, and eat food, together.
In preparation for the trip, I also downloaded the digital version of a bicycle cook book–Bike Camp Cook. Some good recipes here, as well as solid advice on the culinary art of bicycle cookery.