All the Baths in the World (by bike)
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Gear for the trip

Looking for personal recommendations of gear that can stand up when the going gets tough? Here's our take on some of the items we've found useful in thousands of miles' touring round the world.

Saunders Spacepacker Two-person tent with two bell ends: no crawling over each other to escape for a pee in the night, and loads of storage space; just 1.8kg light (the same as a four-pack of beers, Rob notes). Prior to our London to Athens trip we did much research into tents and everyone recommended this one. We can vouch for its performance in rain and snow but, hopefully, this time, we will be able to test its mozzie-proofness and find out how it copes in the sun! Saunders: 0181 500 2447

Rebecca's panniers
Freedom Bikepacking Explorer SL/STD rear pannier set (50L/pair). My originals took us from London to Athens and have been used daily for everything from transporting heavy loads of shopping, through taking waste for recycling, to taking flowers to my mum (ah!). The snap-lock mounting keeps the bags secure yet means you can remove them instantly - invaluable when travelling by train or when seeking refuge from rain! Freedom Bikepacking: 01209 717734;

Rob's front panniers
Explorer Limpet (26L/pair), from Freedom Bikepacking, as above. Buggers to get on and off - great security! - but invaluable for extra carrying capacity. Well, we'll need loads of water on this trip, because the weather is going to be so good, isn't it?

Cateye Halogen HL-500 front light kindly provided by Zyro. Neat, bright, lightweight design, I have fitted the unobtrusive fixings on both forks so I don't have to remember to swap them over when I tour abroad.

Rebecca's bike
Nigel Dean World Tour with flat bars, no decals and sprayed screaming pink. Bought from Brixton Cycles, SE London, in around 1993.

Rebecca's tyres and Rob's spare
Conti Top Touring 2000. Rebecca used this design from London to Athens and since then on my hack bike. They have proved reliable and resilient on the road. Cambrian Tyres: 01970 626777

Rebecca's shorts
I asked a couple of people for recommendations for shorts designed for women that would protect my bits while biking but which would dry overnight. The name Corrine Dennis came up most often... I chose the Supplex model (elastane-Lycra mix) for its quick drying properties. This design also has slightly longer legs than other CD shorts - to keep the wearer warmer? Protect her from sunburn? Or to preserve her modesty? I'll let you know...