Here's the nice thing about bike tours: you're not backpacking. That means you get to carry all your stuff in bags attached to a vehicle instead of in a bag attached to your back. It also means you get to take a few luxuries that backpackers would never DREAM of packing. Even so, my little toiletry bag only weighs 1.5 pounds, and I use every single thing in it.
Now I am a lady, a femme lady even, but I am not a fancy lady. I generally don't wear a lot of makeup or use hair gunk so I won't be able to tell you how to magically stuff all your beauty products into your panniers. You have to draw the line somewhere, ladies. But sticking to this packing list will at least get you through your trip feeling clean and put together. And I won't judge you if you bring your favorite tube of lipstick.
-brush, bobby pins, extra rubberbands, shampoo and conditioner
I have long hair, so there's no question that lack of management for six whole weeks would leave me with dreadlocks. Go for the mini sizes in the travel section of CVS or Target. Your hair SHOULD be covered by your helmet all day, so you're not going to win any awards for best hair on tour but there's no reason it shouldn't be clean and brushed.
-toothbrush, toothpaste, chapstick, facewash, nail clipper, crystal deodorant, Keeper
Some of this is pretty straightforward: everyone brushes their teeth and every woman in America uses St. Ives Apricot Scrub. But what's this magic crystal deodorant? I'm a farmer, so I work outside every day (in FLORIDA) so I have tried lots of deodorants that don't have aluminum in them. I'm not trying to get breast cancer, y'all. The Crystal is awesome. It's made of salt! And it works! You have to start out with clean armpits that don't smell, then wet the Crystal and apply it like normal deodorant. The salt inhibits the B.O. bacteria from forming. Cool. And what's a Keeper? Well this trip IS going to last for more than a month, so you know what that means... I haven't used tampons in over ten years because I have a Keeper. It's a little rubber menstrual cup that sits up in there and collects period blood. When it's full, I dump it out, rinse it, and stick it back in. Why not just use tampons? The vaginal canal is extremely absorbent, and tampons are full of nasty things like bleach and carcinogenic dioxin which end up in women's bloodstreams. And the average woman uses 12,000 tampons in her lifetime! Not only is that a lot of $$$ ($2600 for 40 years of menstruating), but that is a lot of trash in the landfill. So yeah, menstrual cups are basically the bomb.
-razor, beard trimmer, tweezers
This is when the real luxury comes in. Sorry everyone, my hairy leg and armpit days are behind me. I like the way I look better when my legs are smooth and my eyebrows are shaped, and I feel way sexier after I've done some manscaping down there. Maybe if I were doing a solo trip I'd leave these things at home, but I would prefer to feel as attractive as possible for my man during a long tour. I have a lucky boyfriend.