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Finally! The weekend is here and you’re embarking on a long ride or fun-filled bike-camping weekend. Question is, what should you bring with you on the ride? Being properly prepared will help ensure that you have a great time and can enjoy all the sights, sounds, and smells of a favorite or new trail. Nothing is worse than getting stuck out on the trail without the right things. We’re going to tell you what essentials you should consider bringing on a ride with you, but of course, this is not an exhaustive list and you can include whatever else you might need.
1. Water – Water is essential to every living being and should absolutely be with you for the duration of your ride. Make sure you’re staying hydrated and consuming the proper amounts of water throughout the day, refilling your hydration pack/water bottles whenever possible. Nothing is worst than running out of water on a ride. Nothing, except maybe unknowingly using poison ivy as toilet paper.
2. Snacks – We can’t even leave the house without snacks, let alone go out on a long ride without any. Make sure you have some snacks to keep you fueled up, such as granola bars, energy bars/chews, fruit, nuts, etc. Think about things that are going to be easy to carry and keep you feeling energized and sustained for a long period of time.
3. Basic bike tools/equipment – Carrying an extra tube, compact bike pump or CO2 cartridge, tire levers, lubricant, and a set of alan keys will help you solve the most common bike maintenance issues you’ll encounter when out on the trail. Obviously, anything can happen when you’re out in the middle of the woods or desert, so being prepared is key. These basic tools will help you get back on your bike, without having to walk however many miles out.
4. Moisture wicking clothing – Having the proper bike clothing will help ensure that you stay as dry and comfortable as possible, when out on any length of ride. Wearing moisture wicking fabrics will help wick away the sweat and dry quickly. Sure, cotton can be comfortable, but polyester and lycra blends will be your best bet for moisture management and ultimate comfort while riding.
5. A good pair of chamois and/or chamois butter – This should probably be #1, as nothing feels more important than having a comfortable tush and other regions when riding. If you and the saddle are not one with each other, your ride could be miserable. The chamois is best worn without undies, and you can use specially designed chamois butter to make everything a little more comfortable. The foam in your chamois deteriorates over time, so make sure to replace your chamois regularly, just like you would with a pair of running sneakers. Comfort in this region is key.
6. Helmet – Duh. Wear your helmet every time. No exceptions. Make sure your helmet fits properly and you replace it if it gets old or damaged.
7. Sunscreen/bug repellant – You don’t want to get feasted on by mosquitos or other bugs while riding, nor do you want to get scorched by the sun, so make sure to put on the proper sun and insect protection before beginning your ride, and maybe even carry a small bottle of it so you can reapply later.
8. Small first aid kit/medication – Bringing a compact first aid kit containing bandages, gauze, and antibiotics will help treat small cuts and scrapes during your ride. Obviously, if someone is seriously injured, make sure to get them medical attention right away, but having a basic first aid kit will help with many issues that may occur while out on the trail. Likewise, if you take any medications or need to carry an epi-pen or other device, make sure to have those with you during your ride.
There you go! A basic list of things to bring with you on your bike ride. It’s essential to be prepared so you can enjoy yourself and not have your day ruined by dehydration or a flat tire. Of course, it’s smart to bring your identification and some cash as well. You should bring whatever else you may need, but remember, the more you bring, the more you have to carry around all day, so pack smart! Happy riding!