Checklist of Stuff to Bring
___ Your essential equipment – helmet, shoes, gloves, full water bottle, cell phone, watch
___ Hand pump, co2 cartridge, tire gauge, 2 extra tubes, patch kit, and tire levers
___ Basic first aid kit
___ Food and extra full water bottles
___ Bike lock
___ Bike computer to monitor your pace and watch
___ Rags for cleaning up after repairs
___ Toilet paper or tissues
Why bring two tubes on a ride? Two tubes is the perfect number. You’ll need one to fix the flat you know will come eventually and one more in case you have a bad day. You can also use it to help another BCC member who may forget an extra.
How often should I upgrade my helmet? Replacing your helmet once a year is probably reasonable for a high-mileage cyclist (2,000 miles a month), and the rest of us should consider a replacement after two years unless you’ve had a crash. The closed-cell foam that protects your head is a one-time deal; once it has been compressed, it will not dissipate the shock as well the next time. If you crash hard enough to scar the shell, you should buy a new helmet. Six seconds in the hospital emergency room costs more than the best helmet made-don’t sweat the price.
How many CO2 cartridges should I carry?
Carry one cartridge and a tiny hand pump (Lezyne makes the best ones). Only use CO2 cartridges when you are in a time crunch-like a group situation where others are waiting for you to fix a flat. CO2 fillers are foolishly wasteful in an environmental sense (although they are recyclable), and a hand pump can refill a thousand tires without running out of air. Before you reach for that steel cartridge, consider a hand pump.