One thing’s for sure, spring can be unpredictable. Balmy blue skies can quickly transform into rain and then, just as you’re shouting from the rooftops, “It’s tank top weather!” a merciless return of snow. Here’s our survival guide to make the most of spring cycling.
Basic repair and maintenance kit
There are a few items you should bring with you for bicycle mechanical emergencies. All these items can fit in a small seat bag. The basic supplies you should have in your kit include a spare inner tube, tire levers, patch kit, mini-pump, and a folding multi-tool. In case of a chain break bring a chain master link. A small paper clip or zip tie can help keep the chain together to limp the bike home. While not considered essential items, some cyclist take their basic kit a bit further and include other items like a small amount of duck tape, zip ties or rubber bands.
Water and/or sports drink and a light snack
Staying hydrated is a necessity on a ride of any length, even in cooler weather. You might think that on a shorter ride, a snack is not necessary, but a breakdown or other unforeseen circumstances might put you out on the road or trail longer than you expected. Given that gels and bars are small, just slip a few in your jersey pocket to have on hand.
Cash, ATM card, Personal Identification
You don’t need a lot of cash but a little cash, say $5 or $10 just in case you want to stop for food or water. Also, it’s important to bring some sort of identification. A drivers license works best; others prefer to wear a RoadID. If you don’t wear a RoadID, you will want to carry something that has contact information in case of an emergency.
The right cycling apparel
Whether you want to ride in the new spring cycling styles or spin in your usual cycling gear, the main point to remember is to have clothing options available to you while riding. The weather turns quick and a rain shower or quick drop in temperature can make the best of rides turn sour quickly. Consider having a standby bike ready bag available. Pack it with arm and leg warmers, a headband or cap, rain jacket, and lube.
Despite the fact that most rides go well, there’s a lot that can go wrong on a ride and the chances are they’ll go wrong when you’re at your farthest point from home. Make it easy on yourself and have the right bike parts, cycling accessories, and bicycle tools with you.