A journey on a bicycle is an amazing experience. Not only is it an eco-friendly way to travel, it’s a true test of your willpower. Once you venture out, you are completely self-sufficient, an exciting concept that can easily tour sour if you are unprepared. Unpredictable changes in the weather, a tear in your tyre and a wrong turn in the trail can turn a pleasant excursion into a misadventure – quickly. Here’s five items that you should never leave for a bike trip without.
Food and Hydration
Keeping your energy levels up while on the road is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s one that cyclists often overlook. Forgoing food and drink will make you lose concentration even if your ride is a short one. You need to keep your body fuelled for your muscles, repairing tissue, muscle damage and to replace electrolytes. Great snacks to pack are nuts, energy/muesli bars, dried fruit, bananas, sandwich, rice crackers and carbohydrate gels. As far as hydration goes, your best bet is good ol’ fashioned water, Gatorade or vitamin water.
iPhones have multiple uses that are so useful for any kind of adventure. Use it to take pictures of the surrounding scenery, or as a flashlight if regular sources of light are few and far between. It’s your best friend in times of an emergency and will tell you where to go via a map app.
You may have the top of the range bike, but that doesn’t make it exempt from accidents or having to perform maintenance. Bringing the appropriate tools with you will mean the difference between having to walk alongside your bicycle and gliding into the distance when you get a flat tire. Your tool kit should include, a tyre pump that can be mounted onto your bike and a shock pump for those riding full-suspension over a long distance, a patch kit, Allen wrench kit, zip ties, rags, bolts, a flashlight, batteries, a small knife or Swiss army knife, spare tubes and the one thing that no traveller can do without – duct tape.
Sometimes you can’t predict what the weather may do. The forecast said Fine and Sunny but you step outside and the clouds in the distances look ominous. Even if this isn’t the case, you should take into consideration the temperature at both the beginning and the end of your journey. If you’re on a long ride, there’s nothing worse than the mercury dropping a substantial amount, leaving you shaking in your shorts. Arm and knee warmers as well as a cross functional rain jacket are wise investments when deciding what to pack in your bag. A trip to your local bicycle specialist like 99 Bikes, will ensure you get all the correct gear.
First Aid Kit
While we aren’t all elite paramedics, a basic first aid kit and knowing how to use it could save a lot of pain later down the track. Your first aid kit should include bandages, bandaids, antiseptic cream for open grazes, tweezers for little things like splinters, painkillers, a small magnifying glass, a sewing kit, muscle cream like Deep Heat to reduce any kind of ache, anti-chaffing cream, sunscreen and aloevera – just in case the sunscreen was ineffective and you’re now a lobster.
Cyclists, what can you not leave home without?