Whenever you’re out on a ride you never know what you’re going to encounter. You can run into a series of issues. Regardless of issues, its a good idea to carry a few things that can be considered “essentials”. Here’s a list of 5 things that we think you should always carry with you no matter how long or short your ride may be.
1. CYCLING APPAREL
We’re not saying that you need to step out in full spandex every time you go out. Kit up with the essentials – that includes a helmet, closed shoes/cycling shoes and sportswear.
A helmet is absolutely essential. Even if its just a grocery store run you will definitely need to wear a helmet at all times. Remember, safety first.
Apart from a helmet you’re going to want to make sure you wear shoes that cover your feet completely. Wearing sandals or flip flops are an absolute no-no. You could easily have your feet get stuck in that situation and have a fall.
Another thing I see often is people wearing jeans while cycling. That probably the worst thing to wear while cycling – as a rule, avoid all kinds of trousers. You want as much freedom of movement as possible. Besides, cycling shorts are purposefully comfortable. For shorter rides even causal or sport shorts are fine.
2. BASIC REPAIR KIT (SPARES)
Mechanical issues can take place anywhere – even on the shortest of rides. It’s better to have a kit on your bike that’s always there. This way you don’t need to remember to carry it every time. Keep a saddlebag attached to your saddle at all times. Even small saddlebags can store your essentials and will be there at all times.
WHAT TO CARRY IN YOUR SADDLEBAG:
Ensure that you have all of these items in your saddlebag and you’ll be ready for just about anything. Apart from these items always carry some small cash incase of emergencies.
3. HYDRATION AND NUTRITION
Staying hydrated and well-fueled is another crucial part of any ride. Always carry one if not two water bottles when you head out. Most of us are already under-hydrated even before we start our ride – drink a good amount of water well before an upcoming ride.
If your ride is more than 15-20 kms we’d recommend carrying some sort of nutrition along. An energy bar or some gels are great and compact to carry on rides. Remember, eat before you’re hungry and drink before you’re thirsty.
4. MOBILE PHONE
Most cyclists carry their phone – usually to track their rides or just to get pictures, which is great because phone can also serve as safety devices. In case of an accident or in case you get lost you can call for help or to let friends and family know where you are.
Phones are also a great tool to help you out with navigation especially if you’re exploring new routes. Be cautious and avoid looking at your screen when on the move. If you need to use your phone you can stop to the side and then use it.
5. FIRST AID KIT
A good bit of kit to keep in your saddlebag at all times. You never know when you’ll need it. If not for yourself, you can help a rider in need. This kit need not be super extensive. Make your own first-aid kit. This will keep it compact and useful. Here are some things you can keep in there:
- Antiseptic cream
- Cleaning liquids (Dettol)
That’s all you really need in the event of a small mishap. Anything more serious will require professional medical assistance.
The items above are all you really need on any ride. Try and fit as much of it as possible in a saddlebag. This way you won’t have to remember what to carry every time.
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: Merida One Twenty 9.600 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010