While bike touring women face difficulties unthinkable for men. Obviously every girl is different and has different needs but we all like to feel attractive from time to time. It isn’t easy to accept the fact that you are not going to feel that way any time soon. It’s hard to imagine that your outfit alternatives for many days will be not more than a grey t-shirt and a cycling tricot. You are going to spend most of the trip wearing padded shorts in which very few woman look truly nice.
The good news is that most of the time you are too tired or too overwhelmed by the places you visit to actually care about it. Even better is the fact that once at home you will put on your favourite clothes and literally feel like a beauty queen.
On the road you won’t really notice how your body has changed. Your legs suddenly look sculptured to the image and likeness of Greek gods. Your arms are so lean and well shaped it makes you feel like Michelle Obama herself.
Your tan skin is blooming after months without make-up and your hair, oh look at your hair! Never blow-dried and braided for months under your helmet; now they shine like never before!
While bike touring, there are no means for women to dress up. You quickly devalue the importance of having extra clothes on the account of travelling as light as possible.
Nevertheless there are ways to make your travel equipment compact and still smuggle in a few items to make yourself comfortable. Here is what I have learned during our adventures:
1. 2-in-1 cosmetics are your best friends
While preparing for your trip try to pack cosmetics you can use for many purposes. Your sunscreen is a good enough moisturiser thus you don’t need another cream. Your lipstick can be used as a blush and shampoo is a soap as good as any other.
2. Mooncup is indisputably a must-have item
I can’t imagine life without a mooncup now. It makes everything so much easier. It’s not only super hygienic but also helps me spare space I would normally use for extra pads and tampons. With a mooncup there is also no garbage to dispose so you don’t have to worry about it after a night of wild camping.
3. Women feel cold much faster than man
That is a very important issue and it should be addressed. Remember that you need warmer clothes than your male travel buddy, so think twice before taking an extra dress and consider thermo underwear instead.
4. A super compact make-up set can save your day
If you don’t use it at all, this part doesn’t concern you. But believe me, if you wear make-up daily, not having it on a trip can spoil your mood. For me it’s a concealer, a mascara and a lipstick. That’s enough to make me happy on a night out.
5. Sandals should always be on your packing list
I don’t have to mention that your feet need some rest and air after a whole day in cycling shoes. They are also helpful if you are forced to shower in not very hygienic places or in a river with a particularly rocky bottom. Sandals are light and frankly it’s nice to take a break from your daily sportive style.
6. One dress-up outfit is as necessary as your cycling gear
There will be evenings when you park your bicycle and go out to meet people, have a dinner or go to party. On these occasions you don’t have to and probably don’t want to advertise your cyclist lifestyle to the whole world by wearing a tricot. For that reason it is advisable to take some clothes you feel comfortable and pretty in. A comfy, light dress or shorts and a cute t-shirt will do as long as they are also suitable for exploring cities, trekking or as regular clothes which you can put on after your bike strokes at the evening. Multi-purpose clothing is the key!