It’s a daunting feeling being out without anything to help you if your bike decides to have a problem and believe me it’s not a nice feeling being 30 miles from home and to not having the tools to sort out your bike. It will be a long walk home and it won’t make your partner happy if they have to come and pick you up.
We decided to make a cycling essential post so you don’t get left on the roadside or trails
1- Spare tubes/ patches
Spare inner tubes and patches are a must if you are away from home especially with the debris on the roads and all the thorns and stones etc on the trails means that punctures are likely to happen. I don’t think your mates or even you would be happy if you were left stranded with no spare tubes or patches to fix your flat.
Personally I take one tube and patches out and use patches first to fix the puncture, unless the hole is too big to repair then I will use the tube I have.
2- Pump/CO2 Patches
It is no good having spare tubes and nothing to pump your tubes up after you have repaired your puncture or replaced your tube.
I have been left stranded as I only had 2 CO2 canisters and ended up having three punctures so I tend to take co2 and a small pump.
3- Tool kit
Sometimes you might need to adjust your pedals or your handlebars might slip slightly which you are riding and if you are carrying a small toolkit you can make adjustments by the side of the road. Tool kits tend to contain allen keys, screwdrivers and usually a chain link remover just in case your chain decides to break.
What cyclist doesn’t like a cafe stop? I always keep a note folded up in my saddle bag or a zip pocket in my jersey (if the jersey has one) it’s also handy if you need to buy a new tube or once a new tyre was needed but we got very lucky as the shop loaned a tyre with a deposit to a guy that was with us and he popped back later to pay the rest.
If you forget your saddle bag then a phone is always handy, if your lost and have a Smartphone then you can get directions back home. I have been unlucky to have had a problem and used my phone to buy a replacement part whilst on the phone to my partner who gave our bank details to the local bike shop.
This is key to surviving a day out in the trails or on the road. Hydration and feeding is key to keeping your energy levels up and I quite like a few energy gels, bananas, malt loaf and every so often some jelly babies and electrolyte tabs in my water to keep me hydrated