Biking is a very common human activity. While many people engage in biking as a sport, others use it to move from one place to another, or simply as leisure. Whatever the case, there are important things you should take with you when you go on a ride. I have put together 7 cycling essentials for beginners.
7 Cycling Essential Items to Take With You on a Bicycle Ride
1. Water/Sports Drink:
Rehydration is key when it comes to riding a bike. As you pedal on, you lose so many calories, which is good, especially if you’re on a weight loss program. However, the point of riding a bicycle is not to gas out. That is why you need a drink for rehydration. Water is a very good way to rehydrate. A sports drink is also a good choice.
In fact, this is something you should not take for granted. You would understand if you have ever been on a biking trip and felt like you were going to drop dead if you didn’t get water. Even more amazing is the fact that you can actually just do with this, except you really need to replace calories. This is why I have made it the first item on my list of 7 essential things to take with you on a bicycle ride. Now want to know something on hydration Pack? Just have a look here Hybrid Bikers
2. Repair/Maintenance Kit:
Whether you know how to fix or replace a tire, or even carry out minor repairs on your bicycle or not, you should take your basic kit with you when you take a ride. You will most likely find someone who will help you fix your bike. It will be easier if you have your tools ready. Items in the kit should include a patch kit, spare tube, levers for tires, a mini-pump device, and some other basic tools.
It is important to properly arrange everything in the kit to avoid damaging things like the tube which can be pierced by any sharp tool you might have.
Let’s take a look at some of the items that should be in your kit;
This useful device comes handy when you have a flat on the way. It is durable but small enough to fit into your kit. Good ones usually feature a pressure gauge and ensure that your tires stay pumped up.
Sometimes you can actually have a flat tire. With a tire lever, you can easily change your tires without much hassle. You don’t wanna be stranded anytime your tire goes bad. So you should have a lever in your kit.
Just like every car has a spare tire, your bicycle should have a spare tube, and it will do you much good to take it with you when you go for a ride. You don’t have to take the long walk back when you have a flat tire. You can replace it.
If you want easy and quick inflation of your bicycle tire, you should also take this important tool with you.
Spare Derailleur Hanger:
When biking accidents happen, maybe your rear derailleur hits a rock or some other hard object, the derailleur hanger is usually the most vulnerable to damage. Having a spare close to you will save you a lot of trouble.
You know all those small portable tools that you unfold to reveal its many benefits, that’s what a multi-tool is. You have those little screw drivers, spanners and other tightening and loosening tools all in one little package.
If you use modern suspensions, then you know that they both require air shocks. This is why you would need to go on that trip with a shock pump. You can just park by the trails to make some adjustments along the way.
3. Hydration Pack:
Don’t get confused by the name. It is called a hydration pack primary because it’s where you keep your water bottle or drink. It is a good option because it has an attached straw from which you can drink on the move without having to stop on the way. It is usually a backpack built for convenience so it doesn’t get in the way of your ride.
In addition, the repair kit can also be kept in the hydration pack. Make sure you get the one that has enough room, but not too big as to cause discomfort. Snacks and any other kind of nutrition can fit into your hydration pack as well so you don’t have to worry about having an attached pouch on your bike.
4. Cash or ATM/Credit Card:
You actually never know when you’d need a few bucks on the road. It is always better to carry cash though, especially if you’re going to make only a little purchase. Most stores have minimum limits for a credit card or ATM purchases, so take some light cash with you, preferably 1 dollar bills.
This can help you get some extra water, drink or even snacks. You might also need to make emergency repairs on your bicycle and could need more than just a few dollar bills. That is why you should always be with your card. You definitely don’t want to be stranded midway in your bicycle ride because that can make the whole experience go awry. Having your cash or card is definitely on our list of 7 essential items to take with you on a bicycle ride.
5. Identity Card:
Going on a ride requires that you’re extra careful. Nobody wishes for anything bad to happen, but you want to be ready for when it does. In the event of an accident, an identity card is important for rescue operatives to properly identify you. Don’t be a John Doe. You could also get pulled over by traffic police for one offense or the other, you need to be able to identify yourself, or you could be in serious trouble.
You may even need to have more than an ID with you. Most other forms of identification will do. A medical insurance card or information will be helpful for when the worst happens and you need to be taken to a hospital.
6. Mobile Phone:
A mobile phone with a camera is preferable. You can stop along the way to take pictures of sights and events, especially when you’re having a long city ride. Apart from this, a cell phone is your best chance at safety when you ride late into the night without a head or tail light to ride back home. You can simply put a call through to a friend or member of your family to pick you.
There is also the possibility of getting involved in an accident. The pictures you take of the scene may be valuable evidence for you in the future. Calling for directions, calling for repairs, and calling during emergencies are some other reasons you should have your cell phone with you.
7. First Aid Box:
Whatever you do, safety is key. It would usually take between 5 and 15 minutes before the medics arrive. Unfortunately, that is not enough most of the time. First aid usually provides that needed bridge between the time of an accident and the time the health personnel arrives. Having one on a bike ride is crucial for you other road users.
Sometimes, you’re not the one who needs it, but you could just run into an accident scene and be the one with the first aid kit. This single act of caution can prove to be lifesaving when you least expect it. This is why it is making my list of 7 essential items to take with you on a bicycle ride.
Why You Need These Items on a Bicycle Ride
There are several reasons why these items can make your bicycle ride a worthwhile experience. To understand the importance, you should consider how much damage and disappointment you can experience when you don’t have them.
The first thing to consider is your safety. From the water you need to rehydrate, the food you need to replace calories, and the cell phone for making calls during emergencies, to the First Aid kit that can literally save a life, these things guaranty your safety.
Another major reason is COMFORT. Imagine riding as far as 100 miles and having to ride on a flat tire back home because you didn’t have a mini pump or a spare tube, you don’t want to experience that. Apart from the extra energy you have to expire to pedal back home, you can even do more damage to your bicycle. If you decide to just push your bicycle home, that’s a very long walk to take.
Your convenience is another reason why these 7 items are essential when you take a bicycle ride. The Hydration Pack, for instance, makes it easy for you to rehydrate without having to open the bag. Cash or Credit card also ensures you get what you want on the move to make your ride exciting. You don’t have to regret any moment of your ride.
One other important factor is the pay-it-forward attitude that bikers have in common. The essence is to have these items with you in case another rider is in need of any of them. But you shouldn’t leave without a message. Tell them to pay you by ensuring they have these items the next time they go on a ride, so they can offer help to other riders who may not have them.
If you can join the several other bikers that do this, imagine how many lives you’re going to save in the process. It’s amazing to know how much so little can do for us and others. It is always better to be a part of the solution and not the problem, so it’s best to have yours.
Final Words About Cycling Essentials
This list of 7 items to take with you on a bicycle ride is not all exhaustive. They are some other things you might want to add to make your biking experience more pleasurable. Whatever the case, ensure that these items are included. The number of items you carry should also vary according to the distance you intend to cover.
This is one sport that has all-around benefits, whether it’s health, leisure or even as a commuter. It is easy to ride, costs very little to maintain, does not require gas or battery to work, and can save us a lot of time when there is traffic congestion. However, the above items can make it even better. So, keep cycling, and keep having fun.