Hi, I would like to go along totally with what Whittierider has to say - very basic sensible stuff. My only but would be footwear, having toured extensively and obsesive about weight I prefer to ride in Trail Shoes to give me the option of carrying one pair and being able to walk about normally instead of looking like a duck
I fit toe clips on which also makes me feel safer in heavy traffic as will often just have one foot in and one out.
I know there are alternatives but this has always been my preference and feel it has saved me several times from cars in town usually coming too close.
Carrying stuff on your back is I think a total no no. It unbalances you, makes your back ache and sweaty, not nice! Definitely fit panniers back and front. I rode for a while with a guy carrying his liquid on his back always seemed very uncomfortable, plus always a good to have a reason to take a break if you want more than a sip from your bottle.
Whatever you decide good luck and have fun www.bike4gus.com
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