Nothing worse than calling a spouse or significant other out in the middle of no where and asking if they can come get you! Or how about being in the middle of group ride and begging for food or asking for help in changing your tire.
I have some strong advice for you BE PREPARED! Most ride mates are willing to lend a hand from time to time but not constantly. Here are some things to be considered when being a self sufficient cyclist.
- Keep your bike maintained
- Keep your bike drive train clean and well lubed
- Don’t forget to keep your bike clean – you may find damage
- If you don’t have time to tune your bike make friends with the LBS
- Be able change a flat tire with out help
- This means carrying tire patch kit and tire tool(s)
- You also need to be able to determining where the leak is coming from
- Cary a small multi-tool on rides
- Inevitably something will come loose this is wear a small multi-tool is helpful
- Select a multi-tool with 2-3 sizes of hex keys and a 1-2 sizes of a Philips head screw driver
- Have the appropriate amount of food and water
- If riding an hour or less water is all you need
- If riding 1.5+ hours a sports drink and easy to digest foods are a must
- If riding 3 hours or greater bring cash for a store stop
- Dress appropriately
- Wear the right kit for hot and or cold weather – use layers
- Wear a helmet at all times!
- If racing or riding in a fast group wear gloves
- Don’t head out until your plastic sport glasses are on
- While not dress wear sunscreen
- BE ON TIME!
- If the ride starts at 5PM be there early
- Getting to a ride early give you time to air up tires
- It also give you time to think about what needs to go in your pockets
- Ride at your level
- If you are new to group riding tell the ride leader
- Do not get upset if you get dropped on group ride – it happens
- Select rides at or below your ability
- When you are ready ride with a faster group make sure you know how to get back.
- GPS and printed maps are helpful
While the above may sound very simple or even look like a list of pet peeves you will feel much less anxious when showing up for a new group ride.
Until the next tip get out and ride.