All of us have forgotten something when heading out for a bike ride. If we haven’t forgotten something then we’ve overlooked something on our bike that’s caused our ride to not go so good. I had one of those rides yesterday hence the reason for this post (big surprise). If each of us would take just a few short minutes to run through a quick checklist before heading out we could save a lot of heart ache (and feelings of inadequacy in my case). Here’s a few things to check:
- Make sure you’ve got your water bottle(s). I forgot mine several weeks ago and didn’t notice until about 10 miles into a 30 mile ride. Not good. They were still sitting on the car bumper when I got back.
- Tires are pressurized properly. I used to be very bad about this but now make it a point to check them, and usually touch’em up, before each ride.
- Your seat bag is stocked. Open up that seat bag and make sure you’ve got a spare tube, tire irons, multi-tool and whatever else you carry in there. If you’re with a group somebody is bound to have something you need but you don’t want a reputation of being a bum either. If you’re solo and don’t have what you need you’re screwed.
- Your clothing is in order. Shorts/bibs and jerseys are no-brainers but some of the other assorted articles you may need are easily forgotten. I’ve forgotten socks, sunglasses or a headband on more than one occasion.
- Your bike is mechanically sound. The real reason for this article today. I had the worst ride ever yesterday. My legs were blown after a mile and I couldn’t maintain any kind of respectable speed. I was getting passed by EVERYBODY including lots of people who had no business passing me. I was upset because I couldn’t understand why I was performing so poorly. Was my fitness/cycling actually declining when it should be getting better? I was seriously distraught. I fought it for 10 miles before packing it in. If I would have taken 20 seconds to spin each tire on my bike before starting out I would have easily noticed my rear brake rubbing the left side of the rim along its entire circumference. I know…I’m an noob. While spinning those tires stop’em with the appropriate brake to verify they work. You don’t want to plow into the rear of some unsuspecting cyclist…or car.
This is a pretty short list with plenty of room for other stuff. Let’s here about what you look out for before heading out to ride and how you remind yourself to bring everything. Got a good story related to forgetting something? Lets here it.