If you ask 20 bikers what they bring with them on rides, you will get 20 different answers. However, unless you plan to stay within a mile of your home, there are somethings that you better have with you. I will list them as Necessary and Nice to Have. Once you’ve checked it out, then you can make your own list.
I tend to carry more than most, but I have used everything I carry! Yes I might save a bit of weight carrying a few less things, but I’d rather have it and not need it, then have to call for a ride home… But you make the call.
Before me make the list, you first need to have a way to carry the some of the stuff. A backpack will work, but I am telling you, it quickly gets old when its warm outside. This means you will need a bike bag. Some are small and fit under the seat, others, like mine, need a luggage rack, I have a Novara trunk bag from REI. The sides unzip to give small panniers for extra carrying (bottles of wine for example) or zip up to stay out of the way
Using this lets me carry as much or as little as I need, for the ride in question. Not everything I will list will go into the bag, but the larger things will.
Odometer. You will want to track your miles and see your progress with getting faster, you will need the odometer to do this.
White light for the front
Red light for the back
At least 2 water bottles
2 spare inner-tubes. I will guarantee you will someday fix a flat and end up with a second very quickly
Tire patch kit, because I will guarantee you will use up both spare tubs on one ride and get another flat!
Swiss Army knife, there will come a time you need to McGyver something.
Allan wrenches (you may need to adjust brakes or seat)
Money AND Debit card. (there will be a post later about what I have HAD to buy while on a ride)
NICE TO HAVE::
Duct tape because it always comes in handy
Toilet paper (nuff said there)
3 feet of rope (I take some rides that involve ferries, and the rope lets me tie up bike and keep it from falling over during transit)
CO2 cartridges, for tire inflation (easier and faster than the pump)
Pen and Paper
I have not listed food on purpose. I don’t carry snacks on every ride it just depends on the distance. I will post about food sometime soon. It deserves its own post.
Nope, I would say most people do NOT carry this much, but like I said, I have used each item I have listed more than once. And without some of them, I would have been dead in the water and calling for a ride So make your own list, and always keep it with you!