Be prepared for anything!
When it comes to going for a bike ride, a little preparation goes a long way. Whether you're planning a three-mile pootle or a 20-mile leg stretcher in preparation for Prudential RideLondon, be prepared for anything with these cycling essential ideas, put together by our friends at TfL.
Staying hydrated is really important on a ride of any length, even in cold weather. So don’t forget to pick up your water bottle or hydration pack before you head out. And if you're planning a long ride then some energy food (banana, nuts, flapjack etc.) will help you keep going.
Tools and tubes
Be prepared for the inevitable and bothersome flat tyre with a spare inner tube, puncture repair kit and a set of tyre levers. Even if you’re not sure how to fix a flat, having the right tools on hand may encourage a passing rider or Good Samaritan to stop and help.
Pump it up
Another essential piece of kit is a bike pump. Once you’ve patched or replaced your inner tube, it will still need inflating. There are lots of mini bike pumps out there, from ones that fit in your saddlebag to others that can be mounted to the frame of your bike.
Cash and ID card
It’s worth taking a small amount of money with you in case you need to stop and buy some food or extra water. Also it’s important to carry some form of identification with you, should something happen while you’re out riding – a driver’s license works best.
Carrying a bike multi tool in your saddlebag or backpack is a wise decision. Should your bottle cage or mudguard start to come loose and rattle (or worse, fall off completely) you can make a quick pit stop and tighten it up.
We all know that sometimes things don't go to plan when you’re out for a bike ride, which could mean not making it home before nightfall. So, just in case, take a set of lights with you – they'll help you get home safely.
There may be the odd occasion when you suffer a ride-ending mechanical problem or are involved in an incident. If this happens, having a mobile phone means you can call a friend or family member to come pick you up.
Keep it secure
Planning to stop off for a rest or a bite to eat while out on your bike? Be sure to take a lock with you. The last thing you want is to leave the café after a coffee and a bacon sandwich to find out that your bike has 'disappeared'.
If your appetite for cycling has been whetted, TfL has lots more tips for cycling in London. Now there's nothing stopping you from enjoying a fun, care-free bike ride!
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