What to Pack Before a Ride

Q: What should I pack before I go on a mountain bike ride?

A: What you pack for a ride depends on how long/far you will be going.  What you will need to go around the block will differ from an all day ride.  Following is a list of 15 items to consider before your next ride.

  1. Water: This determines your “luggage” for the ride (Camelback or water bottle).
  2. Flat repair: Patch kit for tubes, a patch for a ripped tire (a dollar bill can be used in a pinch), tire levers (2), a spare tube (keep in a sock to use as a rag and/or to drag across tubes for finding thorns), and a pump (hand or CO2).
  3. Multitool
  4. ID: driver’s license, insurance card and/or your sports id.
  5. Mini kit: using an Altoids tin or an empty supplement/pill bottle (much better than a bag), fill it with the following items: SRAM master link (or two), spare chain (leftover from your sizing), super glue, spare shoe cleat screw (in a pinch a brake rotor bolt can be used if you have a torx with you), presta valve stem core, nut & cap.
  6. Rubber gloves.  Nothing like working on a greasy chain and then sticking your hands back into your high-dollar gloves.  Some people prefer wipes (also work well for cleaning before patching a tube), or both.
  7. Zip ties (all sizes)
  8. Electrical tape and/or duct tape (MacGuyver would be so proud).  Duct tape can also be used in a pinch for a tire repair.
  9. Pen and paper
  10. Headlamp: Frees your hands and can also be used as an emergency backup light.
  11. Cell phone
  12. First Aid/Emergency Kit
  13. Money
  14. Insect repellent (during the bug months).
  15. Swiss Army Knife

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