Not sure what to pack when going out for a ride? Don't want to be lugging around a heavy bag?
Here are 10 essential items to bring along when on a bike ride, without weighing you down.
Our first essential when it comes to a bike ride is to buy a backpack. Buying a durable backpack is key to withstand adverse weather conditions or any damage on your rides, and is especially handy as it is convenient to wear on your back without the worry of attaching fixings to your bike to hold your bag. A tip when purchasing a backpack is to find one with reflective panels to make sure you are visible on the road, and one without long cords which can get caught in your tyres.
Ensure that you always have a water bottle on hand to avoid dehydration and keep your energy levels up on long or short bike rides. People normally underestimate how draining a bike ride can be, especially on hot, summer days. You can buy a water bottle cage at any bike store, making it easy to attach to your bike to lighten the load of your bag.
3. Sun Protection
Rain, hail or shine, it is important to make sure you are protecting yourself from harmful UV rays. When going on a bike ride, particularly during Summer, lather yourself in sunscreen, pop on a hat and some sunglasses to keep you sun safe.
4. Small first aid kit
It is always better to be safe than sorry, this is why it is key that you carry a first aid kit every time you ride. A first aid kit is not only for any accidents that you might be in, but if you encounter any injured cyclists, you have a kit at hand.
We never want something to happen to you but that doesn’t mean it won’t. A pile of wet leaves is enough to cause an injury and Bicycle NSW has your back. In simple terms, we cover everything but the bike ( and racing)
6. Energy snacks and Electrolyte drinks
Who doesn’t love a snack? A snack is important to pack on a long bike to make sure to keep your energy levels up. The best snacks for a bike ride are bananas! Their potassium and carbohydrates are great for fuelling your muscles, as well as a trail mix or some energy bars. Energy drinks, while not ideal, can also help refuel any electrolytes lost in sweat. The bonus with bringing along some snacks is that they don’t take up much room and are quick and easy to eat- they’ll get you back up and riding in no time!
7. Pump or Mini inflator
Carrying a pump in your bag may not seem like a good idea, but these are vital for any long bike ride. A flat tire can happen and you want to be prepared in case it does. A mini bike pump or inflator is small enough to fit in your pocket or it can be attached to your bottle cage with some clips. Quick tip, don’t just pack a pump without knowing how to use it. Search up some YouTube tutorials or go to a bike maintenance workshop.
Bicycles NSW has its own cycling course called Beginner Riding Skills which runs on the first Saturday of each month, which costs $20 for members and $10 for non-members.
Find out more details here.
8. Mobile Phone
Make sure you have a charged mobile phone with you, especially for long bike rides in remote locations. Off-road trails are notorious for accidents, having your mobile phone on you allows you to call emergency services if you are in any trouble. Another bonus of bringing your phone is to take awesome photos of the places you visit on your bike ride, which is quite often when you’re on one of Sydney’s amazing bike routes.
9. Patch Kit
A patch kit is one of those things that you never think you’ll need it until you do. These are handy for any damage to your bicycle’s tubes which requires a quick fix. Filled with the essentials, a patch kit usually contains adhesive and a couple of patches, to get your puncture repaired for the ride home.However, it is best to replace a punctured bike tube when possible.
Make yourself noticeable on the road with a headlight! Riding on the road can be a risk, especially at night on low-lit roads, so wear a headlight to ensure that you are seen. Not only this, but a headlight is can help you to see the road at night to avoid any obstacles or rough terrain. These headlights can be attached to your helmet and can be purchased at different strengths, so choose the headlight which suits your needs.