I’ve been biking for more than month already so I know I have enough experience and authority to post this. Here’s an infographic about the basic gear you need to bring with you whenever you go on a bike ride. I’m also gonna give a quick description on each item.
1. Water Bottle – Hydration is an important factor in cycling, especially when you plan to ride for an hour or more. You might think that you don’t need one, or that you can buy water along the way, but it’s better to carry a bottle that you can refill lots of times. Your mouth will run dry some time and you’ll feel much better once you’ve rehydrated.
2. Spare Tube – In my latest ride, I got two flats on the same tube. The first time, I had it vulcanized which was cheap and fast. The second flat happened on another part of the tube and I had it patched because we went through 3 different bike shops that didn’t have my bike’s particular inner tubes in stock. So please, spare yourself the hassle, buy spare tubes and carry them with you on your ride. You’ll thank yourself when you get that unwanted flat.
3. Multi-tool & Tire Levers – When you’re on the road and far from nearby vulcanizing or bike shops, you need to be able to change a flat on your own. Tire levers are handy for pulling out the inner tubes and Multi-tools are used for quick adjustments to many parts of your bike especially if you don’t have quick-release levers and clamps.
4. Hand Pump – Again, very handy for flats away from civilization and for topping up your tires whenever you feel a drop in PSI. Try to get one with a gauge so you’ll know where your tire’s pressure sits.
5. Patch Kit – If you get a flat, you don’t need to replace the inner tube right away. Unless the damage is really severe, the flat tube can still be patched to make it useful. Don’t forget to search the tire for the object that could have punctured the tube before riding again!
6. Bike Lock – You don’t want your bike stolen, do you? The general consensus is that U-locks provide the best security. Personally, I just use a cable lock because U-locks are expensive and my area isn’t really known for bike thieves.
7. Lights & Spare Batteries – As a biker, you need to be as visible as possible without looking tacky. Christmas lights are out of the question, but with decent bike lights, you can travel at night with a good sense of security. Also, check your lights before heading out and if you don’t bring spare batteries, make sure your lights can last the journey.
8. Helmet – You might be sure of your safe driving skills, but you’ll never be in control of the thousands of others driving vehicles beside you on your ride. Plus you wouldn’t want to waste a person’s day cleaning up your brains from the sidewalk. Wear a helmet!
9. Wallet – Always bring emergency money and identification. I would’ve walked 15km all the way home if I didn’t have enough money to buy an extra inner tube. Just always be prepared. Also, you’d want to bring some money if you happen to ride by an enticing restaurant and want to try the food. The best part of biking is biking to new place to eat.
10. Phone – This is a thing that you always bring with you even when you don’t bike. So just bring it. Aside from calling and texting people, you can also take pictures and brag to social media that you’re biking. Installing a GPS on your phone is also a good idea.
11. Raincoat – Unpredictable weather is a biker’s peeve. I always keep a jacket rolled up in my bag for those times when heaven suddenly decides that I need a natural bath. A jacket can also keep you cozy in case of a drop in temperature.
These are just some bike things I try to bring with me on my rides. If you think I forgot something, feel free to comment. Ride safe!