WHAT YOU NEED TO HAVE ON EVERY BIKE RIDE
If I’m riding from the house, it’s usually not a problem. Driving to the place where I’ll start and end the ride, it will happen. Doing an event or going on an all-day or multi-day ride where I need to pack, it happens on every bike ride.
You know what I’m talking about. Yes. Forgetting stuff. Forgetting to bring one of the essential things you need to take on short or long rides.
Stuff that I need to have on every bike ride, like water bottles. Stuff I forgot to transfer from my other bike, like pedals. Stuff that my wife says to do and will see (and tell me) that I didn’t, like sun screen. Stuff that I really wish I had packed ahead of time, like a towel for that welcome shower after the 6-hour ride.
I’m taking that shower anyway.
Like most enthusiasts, there’s almost never an issue of what to do before the ride. Your bike is ready because you ride it all the time. You keep it clean, the chain lubed, the brake pads aligned and banish every last creak. You also know how to eat and sleep well before your ride. Not a problem.
No, the problem comes with what you need to have for the ride. Or better said, what not to forget to carry and feel stupid about before, during or after the ride.
If you are a cyclist and none of this connects, you are either younger or better than me. Or both. There’s a fair chance of that.
If you are a cyclist like me that occasionally forgets something or wants to avoid doing so on an upcoming ride, I offer you this checklist:
What You Need To Have on Every Bike Ride
- Heart Rate Strap
- Base Layer
- Chamois Creme
- Bib Shorts
- Headwear – hat or sweat band
- Weather Layer (leg/arm warmers, vest, rain jacket)
- Front, Rear Lights
- Saddle Bag
- CO2 cartridges and pump
- Extra tubes, patches
- Tire levers
- Spare derailleur hanger
- Extra chain quick link
FOOD & DRINK
- Water Bottles
- Ride Food
- Electrolyte tablets
- Cash/Credit Card/Wallet
- ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact on paper, not just in phone
- Ziplock Bag for above
- 2nd Ziplock bag with dry cloth, tissue
- House/Car Key
- Download route
- Clean cycling sunglasses
- Put on sunscreen/lotion and lip balm
- Inflate tires
- Zero offset power meter
- Start computer/GPS
DRIVING TO OR DOING AN EVENT?
- Event Packet, Racing License, etc.
- Reading/Driving Glasses
- Post-ride Recovery Drink
- Phone Charger
CLEANING UP AFTER A LONG RIDE OR DOING A MULTI-DAY RIDE?
- Wash Bag – soap, shampoo, etc.
- Fresh Kit for additional days
- Change of Clothes
- Charger Cords, Batteries for electronics, GPS, lights, etc.
- Regular Sunglasses
- Plastic Bag for dirty kit
- Bottle Opener
Tell us, my fellow road cycling enthusiast friends, what have you forgotten to bring?
And, what did I forget to put on this list? Tell me below and I’ll add them as you comments come in.