I know what you’re thinking. Cycling is pretty awesome already, what with the sense of freedom, being outside, getting fresh air and exercise. But here are a few tips gathered from around the internet and the inside of my own brain that can take your riding experience to the next level.
- Carry ID and emergency contact info, or wear a Road ID. Nobody goes out for a ride planning to crash, but if it happens you want responders to have access to your emergency info.
- Give a friend your route, or use Strava Beacon.
- Stuff a twenty in your pocket. A little cash comes in handy if you need to stop for food, and it can also be used as a boot. What’s a boot? Find out here.
- Carry your phone inside a sandwich baggie to protect it from a surprise shower, not to mention your own sweat. While you’re at it, throw your $20 in there too so it doesn’t get soggy.
- Changing a flat leaves your hands greasy, and the last thing you want to do is wipe your hands on your expensive kit. Makeup wipes or hand wipes do the trick. For a reduced waste option, instead of carrying single-use pouches, try stashing a couple wipes in sandwich baggie that you can reuse multiple times.
- Riding early in the morning is a great way to fit your ride into a busy schedule. But that early morning alarm can be brutal. To make it a little easier to get going at the crack of dawn, lay out your gear and get your bike ready the night before. Picking out a cute kit that makes you feel good can also help rev up your morning mojo. Missed your chance to buy the bikekitz cute kit? Give us a shout. If we have enough interest we can reopen the store.
- Everybody has a favorite nosh for riding. Barden likes to carry baby food pouches. Duby is a fan of Untapped. For others, it’s a protein bar or the tried-and-true PB and honey or jelly. Some people swear by Uncrustables because they are less messy.
- Got a rooftop bike rack? Got a garage? The two don’t go together very well. Consider putting your garage door opener somewhere other than the visor, like the glove compartment or center console. The extra step just might remind you that your precious cargo is up top, thereby preventing catastrophe.
- When changing a flat, stop to consider that something caused that flat. Take the time to check the inside and outside of your tire for the culprit. Leaving it in place will puncture your fresh tube.
- Next time you’re mountain biking, spare yourself from Beaver Fever and use a hydration backpack like Camelbak instead of a water bottle to keep muddy water off your bottle spout and out of your mouth.
- If you ride mountain bikes and road bikes, you may have different pedals on each bike and consequently need different cleats. Ever shown up to a ride with the wrong shoes? To prevent this ride-buster, store your shoes clipped in to the bike.
Did you read all 11 tips? You’re a rock star! Tell me—did you read them out of interest, or to avoid work for a while? Leave me a message in the comments!