You’ve cleaned your bike, given it the once over and got your kit on, ready for your big ride. Surely that’s all you need? Unfortunately unlike pros we need to carry our on-ride essentials to ensure we reach the finish line in one piece and having enjoyed the ride.
Below, we have compiled a list of just some of the handy items you should not leave home or start a sportive without.
Let's start with the basics, you are probably going to spend 4 or more hours out riding, often in far-flung, remote places, so the last thing you want to do is get into trouble and not be able to contact either the event organiser, a friend or family member, or worst case scenario, the emergency services. Yes, it might add weight but don’t clip in without your mobile phone.
To keep your phone safe and dry, a case or wallet is a lightweight option.
Rain Capes and Gilets
A rain cape or gilet- We would like to think we are all weather forecasters and can dodge the showers, but inevitably you will get caught out. A neat, easy to pack away cape will fold seamlessly into a rear jersey pocket and could be a lifesaver if conditions turn nasty. The other benefit of a cape or gilet is on long mountainous descents it can keep the wind chill off and keep you warm.
You’re hurtling along and going for a gold time then suddenly you hear a hiss and soon after you get that deflating feeling, you’ve punctured, but that doesn’t mean you gold time goes out of the window. Carrying a mini pump can get you back up and running in no time at all. There are many different designs available offering rapid inflation for both Presta and Schrader valve types.
Of course you will also need at least one, preferably two inner tubes or a set of patches and a good pair of tyre levers. A tyre boot is also a nice addition, should you rip your tyre.
Pushing your bike hard can lead to problems, whether that be rattling bottle cages, loose seat clamps or handlebars. Hopefully you have checked your bike over before you set off but if problems do arise a handy multi tool can be your saviour. Try to get one with a range of hex keys and a chain tool.
It is easy to get carried away in events and have the dreaded bonk creep up on you. Avoid this by carrying energy food and liquid on the bike. A couple of gels, a bar, banana and two bottles should be a good starting point. Use event’s feed stops but don’t rely on them, look after yourself and as a general rule, drink every 10 minutes and eat a bar or gel every 30-60 minutes.
So we are now carrying all we need to make sure we have an enjoyable and successful ride. All that remains is to rest up before the start!
Let us know below If you're taking part in any sportives this summer and if so what's the vital items you wouldn't leave home without?
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