Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Cycling and the tools you need to carry wih you
When you are out on a cycling run, whether training or for leisure there's a number of items I would never leave the house without.
I always carry at least two spare tubes with me. In my experience punctures are like busses and come in twos. I've been saved plenty of times by carrying spare tubes and would feel vulnerable without them.
Instant stick puncture patches
Patches that require no glue and stick instantly are a part of my cycling equipment I always take with me. Just in case I use my tubes having another back up plan is always a good idea. They're easy to carry and give me that extra reassurance when out.
Refueling is essential for a decent distance ride so I always carry a few things to give me an energy kick. I like bananas, easily to consume without making you thirsty like the serial bars tend to do. If I'm heading through a number of villages where I'll pass some shops, I won't carry too much extra rations. If I get hungry I'll do a pit stop at one of the shops.
At least two bottles for a decent ride after topping up before setting off. I tend to avoid the serial bars because they make you thirsty and use up your water supply too fast. Keeping hydrated is crucial to ensuring you don't hit an energy dump.
I'd never leave home without a good pump. I like the good old fashioned small quality hand pump. There's not much that can go wrong with them and they've never let me down yet.
A decent set of tools is essential to have with you. Fortunately today, you can carry virtually everything you need in a fold up set. With the advances in bike and tool technology, the days when you needed a mechanic's toolkit in a big saddle bag are over. A little fold up set that slots nicely into a small saddle pouch is more than enough to get you out of minor trouble.
I always carry my mobile. If I get through both my spare tubes and have used all my instant patches, which would mean I've had eight punctures. Or I've run down a pot hole and buckled a wheel or suffered some other calamity, I call the wife to come and rescue me. I've only had to call her once and she came happily. These are my favorite items that I consider essential to take on a bike ride. After years of cycling I consider them enough to get out of most things that could happen.
Paul has been cycling for over thirty years. He is a great believer in the health benefits of cycling and is the author of the blog Defensive Cycling where he discusses all aspects of cycling. Call in to Defensive Cycling and get your free book "Cycling For Life" Watch the videos on bike maintenance and get lots of other great cycling tips.
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