A bicycle can take you much further than the distance your feet can carry you back, to places where cell phones can't save you, places where the closest living being has fur and lives in a den. For these long rides it is often a wise idea to come prepared for what ever might happen. Many cyclists result in carrying a Camelbak or other hydration pack to help tote the bare necessities so they do not become a bear's necessity.
I usually break my Camelbak contents into two categories, Things for me and things for my bike. The things I bring for myself include:
- Food, anything from sports food like gels to a chipotle burrito.... (300 Calories per hour plus enough extra for an hour or two)
- Water, this is a tricky one but depending on temperature I generally carry 10-15 ounces of liquid per hour of riding.
- Sunblock, you can get burned in the woods just as easily as the beach!
- First aid kit, some carry more than others but I generally suggest, the supplies to clean and dress a cut, chamois lubricant, and ibuprofen.
Being a bicycle mechanic I carry quite a few things to fix my bicycle when I am on a long ride. There are a few things I would call a necessity when riding and some things I carry because they are nice to have in an emergency. The bicycle specific supplies that I consider necessary to any ride include:
- Spare tube (two on a long ride)
- Patch kit for tube/tire boot
- Tire levers
There's a second list of things that I carry that are nice to have but the general rule of thumb is to only carry the following things if you feel competent using them.
- Tire plugs if your riding a tubeless bicycle
- Zip ties to fix wild card mechanicals
- A small roll of tape such as gorilla tape for wild card mechanicals
- Derailleur hanger (much more important if riding off road)
- Spare pair of brake pads
- Spare chain link.
- Lights if your planning to finish within an hour of dark
With the things listed above, I have never been on a bike ride where I could not ride to the destination. Sometimes it can make the adventure even more fun when you have the extra challenge of surviving a long ride despite what the bike gods throw your way. If there's any question about the things I listed stop by the shop we can help you pick the right bag and the right supplies for your ride! While we cannot predict every thing that will happen on our bike ride we can always come prepared.