A day-long bike ride can be one of the best ways to travel, as it will allow you to see things you may not normally notice when riding in a car. You’ll need to do more preparation when planning a longer ride. Here are some of the things you should make sure you have before heading out.
First and foremost, you’ll need to have the right safety gear before starting out on your ride. Wearing a helmet is a good idea, and reflective clothing and gear can help to draw attention to you. A blinking light on the back of your bicycle is also helpful in alerting motorists to your presence. The alternating color blinking lights are particularly good at drawing attention to cyclists. Although it is probably not a good idea, if riding at night, make sure that at the very least you have a headlight and a taillight.
Food and Water
You will need to make sure you have enough food and water to last you the entire trip in case you are unable to purchase any along the way. Taking a credit card or money is helpful in case you would like to eat at a restaurant, or if you need something you forgot. Try to keep the food you bring along compact and easy to carry. When it comes to water, a hydration pack would be an excellent choice. It will allow you to drink while you are still moving. Not only that, some hydration packs hold enough water to last an entire day. Water bottles work well too as long as you have enough water bottle cages on your bike to carry along enough for the ride or know that there will be a place to refill them along the way.
It might be somewhat cool when you first start out on your ride, which is why it is best to dress in layers that can easily be removed. Make sure that you can stow whatever you might want to take off. You should also wear socks and comfortable shoes – those with Velcro straps are nice because you don’t have to worry about shoelaces getting wrapped around your pedals. Bring a lightweight rain jacket and stocking cap with you just in case it starts to rain, or you encounter heavy winds. Sunglasses will help keep the bugs out of your eyes. Shatter resistant sunglasses or safety glasses can help if a large truck throws road debris in your direction.
It’s also important to have sunscreen and lip balm, no matter what time of year you are riding. A towel can be handy for wiping away sweat during a break. Since you never know when you might encounter canines, you could take along a dog deterrent. A mobile phone is also a must. As long as you have a signal you can make a call if necessary, and there are a few cycling apps that will track your ride. Some apps even provide miles per hour and calories burned.
When packing for a day ride, you need to find a healthy balance between taking the essentials and over-packing. Ideally, all the things you need for a day ride should easily fit into your on bike packs or backpack, and the total weight of everything should not be enough to slow you down.
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