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Recommended Items to carry on a ride

There is a lot of stuff that cyclist ride around with but we are going to discuss the bare necessities in this article.  These few, basic things that you need to carry on the ride depends mainly on weather, distance & duration for which you are planning to ride.

Water: The amount of water that you need to carry depends on weather and your sweating tendency. A bicycle frame has fitting space for 2 bottle cages but there are bottle mounts available for handlebars and saddles as well. You can put a couple of bottles in your cycling jersey back pockets too. However, it is better to carry a hydration bag in case if you need to carry 2 litres or more water instead of juggling 3 or 4 bottles.

In moderately hot weather (29~31 degree Celcius for Pakistan), an average person needs to hydrate at the rate of 1 litre per hour of riding.  This should be adjusted upward or downwards depending on the weather severity and sweat rate. Plan to carry and/or take refill stops for your water bottles/hydration pack accordingly.

Mobile Phone:  You need it primary to call for help in case of any emergency. Of course you will also take pictures & selfies during the ride. Other than that, there are ride tracking smartphone apps for recording your ride data (speed, route etc). We shall be covering popular GPS apps in a future post.

ORS sachets or Lemonade:  If you intend to ride two or more hours in summers, carry a couple of ORS sachets with you. Your body salts will be depleted in about 2 hours ride during hot weather and you need to replenish these otherwise you will start feeling light headed or dizzy which can be very dangerous while riding a bicycle.  People who are medically required to watch or restrict sodium intake should replace ORS with home made Mint Lemonade. 

 
Energy bars, Dates, Snickers:  Your energy reserves start depleting after an hour's ride and you need to eat something. Dates make the best refuel snack. You only need 3,4 dates to provide another hour worth of energy.  Snickers and Granola / energy bars are widely available and 1 bar per hour is good enough to keep you pedaling happily.


Band aids/Saniplast & Wet tissues: Everybody falls from bicycle eventually...even experienced riders. So it makes sense to be prepared to at least clean and cover minor wounds/scratches until you can reach a medical care facility. Couple of band aids/Saniplast and Wet tissues sachets can be easily carried without any concern about weight or space. Wet tissues are also useful to clean hands after putting the chain back on the chain ring or after fixing a flat tyre.

If you are riding for only an hour or so then it means that you're likely remaining within the city limits where you can find a rickshaw to carry the bike home in case if you end up with a flat tyre or mechanical failure (broken chain).  However for longer rides that can take you outside city limits or in remote locations, following are some additional things that you should take along.

You can carry the following items in a saddle / frame bag or a small waist bag.  If you wear a cycling jersey which typically have back pockets then you can carry these in your jersey pockets as well.

  • One or more spare inner tubes (check & carry correct sized inner tubes)
  • Multi-tool
  • Tyre levers (if Multi-tool does not have these)
  • Patch kit (in case if you have repeated flats)
  • Mini pump (these usually come with a mounting bracket that fits on the frame under your bottle cage).

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