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What you should take with you on longer cycle rides

03 August, 2013 0 comments

What to take on long cycle rides

 

What should you take with you on longer rides?

Long bike rides can be unpredictable – you never know when the weather will suddenly change, or what kind of adventures the workout has in store for you. Whether you’re planning to do your first 60-miler this weekend, or you’re gathering the courage to finally go for a two-hour ride, the best advice is to take a good dose of motivation with you on the road. On the practical side however, here are some things you might consider adding to your bike bag or attaching to the bike – so you can be sure of being ready for anything that happens on that long ride.

  1. Bicycle pump – In case you get a flat tire, or you need to change a tire and pump the new one full of air, it is good to carry a pump with you. There are very lightweight pumps available that you can attach to your bike.
     
  2. Spare tube – Even if you’re going for a short ride, a spare tube should be an essential thing to carry with you. It’s a lot like an umbrella – just when you’ve left it at home is when you suddenly need it the most! Therefore, make sure you have a suitable spare tube with you at all times while on the bike. If you are headed for a long ride away from the city, this is even more important. Additionally, if you’ve never changed a flat bicycle tire, ask somebody to demonstrate it for you or have a look at video instructions on YouTube – so that you don’t end up clueless at the side of the road.
     
  3. Patch kit – Patch kits make it easy to repair a number of tire problems. If a friend get s a flat tire, or you’ve already used up your spare tube and something pokes a whole in the new one, you’ll be happy you took it with you.
     
  4. Multi-tool for the bike – If you want to be ready for any repair work you might have to do, get yourself a multi-tool for bicycles. These usually carry tools like Allen wrenches, a chain tool, screw drivers, hex bolt wrenches.
     
  5. Tire levers – To make changing or repairing tires easier, pack tire levers in your bag. These are used to get the tire off the frame in a moment.
     
  6. Identification – In case something were to happen on the road, it is a good idea to have some kind of identification with you. If you don’t want to carry important documents, make yourself a copy and keep it in your bicycle bag for safety.
     
  7. Money – You never know when you might need to buy something to eat or drink, or to repair your bike. Therefore it is good to have just a bit of money with you for these occasions.
     
  8. Mobile phone – If something happens, it is good to be able to call relevant authorities or family members at once to ask for help. Or in case you get lost, a mobile phone with GPS can help you find your way again!
     
  9. First-aid kit – For any injuries, you can take a mini first-aid kit with you. If you don’t want to take the whole thing, at least pack a few band-aids into your bag in case you get blisters or fall off the bike.
     
  10. Hydration – During a long ride, it’s important to get proper hydration. Therefore, make sure you have enough water or sports drink with you, or that you are sure you will be able to fill up your bottles on the way. It is best to have a drink that has electrolytes in it to prevent cramping, as this tends to happen frequently during long rides.
     
  11. Energy food – To power through your workout, it is a good idea to have some fast carbohydrate sources with you. You may opt for granola bars, bananas, or even just glucose tablets to keep your glycogen stores full.
     
  12. Headlight – If you think it might get dark while you’re away, take a headlight with you. This way, you’ll be able to still cycle efficiently when the sun goes down.
     
  13. Sunscreen – During the summer, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of the sun. Therefore, in addition to applying sunscreen before leaving home, you should take a small tube with you – it is advised to reapply sunscreen every two hours to avoid sunburn.
     
  14. Cycling glasses – If the sun gets intense, or if you happen to be in the middle of a dusty roadwork, you’ll be happy to have a pair of protective glasses in your bag.
     
  15. Spare clothes – Depending on the weather, you might want to prepare for cold, wind or rain.
     
  16. Camera – If you’re leaving for a long ride, you won’t usually know what you might encounter on the way. Therefore, you might want to take a camera with you to capture any interesting moments or breath-taking nature to show to your loved ones once you’re back.

Bottom line

Better to be well prepared than miss something important while a long way from home! What do you pack for long rides? Do you have any good suggestions to add to the list? Share them in the comments!


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