We all want to feel prepared when we go out on a ride, but by carrying too much can slow you down and make your ride more uncomfortable.
There are 3 main things you need to consider:
You are dressed correctly for the weather
You have adequate hydration and food to keep you fuelled for the ride
You have basic tools, identification and money if you do have a mechanical or unfortunate accident.
The summer months are easy. Just put on your summer kit, but in more changeable climates a gilet can be packed up into the back pocket of your jersey. Arm warmers and leg warmers can be quite useful also.
In chances of rain you can get a light weight rain jacket that can fit into the back pocket of a jersey.
For the winter months, just wrap up with layers and you will probably we wearing them for the duration of the ride.
Food and Hydration
I would say that this can be helped by a good level of planning. If you don't plan to stop during your ride, then make sure you have enough food on you to get through the ride. Aim to each every 40mins for longer rides and fill 2 bidons up with water.
It's useful for longer rides to plan a stop, research where you can get water and any quick snacks, petrol stations are good as they also have toilets. Alternatively stop in for a leisurely break at your favourite cycling cafe.
Mechanicals and Emergencies
Ensure that you always have basic tools with you whilst out on your bike, this would include a multitool, tyre levers, 2x spare inner tubes and a mini pump. This should all fit into a saddle bag, with your pump mounted to your bike, or in your back pocket (even if you don't feel 100% confident in fixing a flat yourself a friendly cyclist will often stop to help). Also have with you your phone and some cash should you have to get a taxi home.
In case of an accident, it is recommended that you carry on you some form of identification and and the name and phone number of an emergency contact.
So don't feel that you need to bring the kitchen sink on your rides, but having a few essentials will make you feel secure and get you through your ride feeling free and strong!
Book a Discovery Call to find out how online coaching or our cycling camps can help you be a better prepared cyclist.