If you’re heading out on a bike ride, you will need to take some essential kit with you to prepare for all conditions. Some items may vary depending on whether you’re heading out on the mountain bike or the road bike, but on the whole, the core items will be required across both disciplines.
Generally when riding on the road, you will want to travel pretty light. The more kit you have to carry, the heavier and less aerodynamic you will be, making things a whole lot harder when the gradient starts rising! Heading out with the mountain bike, aerodynamics don’t really come into it, so you can afford to take a few more items in a rucksack or Camelback that will help make your ride more enjoyable.
Travelling light doesn’t mean leaving all your essential kit at home though! As a rule, you should carry at least those items listed below:
- Enough water to last your intended ride duration (Bottles on a road bike or Camelbak as an option on the mountain bike)
- A spare tube and puncture repair patches
- A suitable mini pump with the appropriate valve adaptor for your tubes
- A multi tool with chain tool fitted and a spare joining link if you have one
- Food / Gels / Sustenance
- A fully charged mobile phone with I.C.E. number stored
- Money for the coffee stop (if there will be one) or to get a ride home in an emergency
- Baby wipes to clean your hands if you get a mechanical
- A waterproof ‘sandwich’ bag to put your phone in to protect it from the elements
- A waterproof jacket if the weather could turn sour a long way from home!
- A basic first aid kit
- Lights if it’s likely that the light could fade or if inclement weather makes them a requirement
- A sense of humour (Probably the most important thing you can have with you when all factors conspire against you!!)
There should be enough space in a basic cycling jersey to fit all the items you will need, however you could always take a saddle bag to carry additional kit of you think you need it. Again, all these items should fit easily into a small rucksack on the mountain bike (along with a map and the knowledge to use it properly!).