After almost 7 years of cycling, getting ready for a ride is a no-brainer. I could get away with calling it a ritual at this point. Okay let’s be real, sometimes I do forget to charge my Hammerhead (GPS unit) but I always have my phone as a backup. For some, getting ready is as simple as grabbing the bike and heading out the door for a ride but in order to be better equipped, here are a few of the steps I take in order to prepare for a successful adventure on two wheels.
Are you ready?
To protect myself from injuries, I do a couple of stretches before any ride. These can include anything from glute activation exercises, core strengthening, or something as simple as toe reaches.
What to wear.
I always dress according to the weather. Therefore, before going for a ride, I check the mountain weather. It may be sunny outside my door but once I get to a higher elevation, the weather can vary anywhere from 10-30 degrees. I like to wear a well-fitted and comfortable kit and if I am riding anywhere over 10 miles, a short/bib with padding also known as “chamois” is preferred. Your seat bones will thank you! I stay away from materials such as cotton and stick to moisture-wicking fabrics, and of course, I always wear a helmet regardless of how close my destination may be.
Mechanical problems are inevitable, but I try to do whatever is under my control to prevent them. I double-check to make sure my tires are pumped to the recommended psi level. I do a quick safety inspection of my bike’s shifting and brakes and make sure that everything is working properly.
Like I mentioned earlier, mechanicals is inevitable so just in case a mechanical does arise, I always have a tool kit with me. I carry extra tubes, CO2 canisters with their corresponding adapters, a pair of tire levers and patches, a set of Allen keys, and a tubeless plug all tightly stowed in a saddlebag to prevent any rattling.
What to bring with you for the journey:
Depending on how long the ride will be, I make sure to have enough food and water to give me the necessary energy to prevent “bonking”, a term used amongst cyclists which refers to a state of feeling completely exhausted. Trust me, you don’t want to be there! With that said, I always bring water and snacks with me and make sure to have at least 300 calories and a bottle of water per hour.
Another thing I like to bring along is my handy Nomadix mini towel. During or after getting all sweaty, dusty or muddy, it’s really nice to wipe down and feel just a bit fresher. And the mini towel is really light and packable but rinses off and dries fast so I can use it several times during a ride without it getting gross.
The last thing I bring with me is a positive mental attitude.
Now let’s ride!
You can follow Gemma's adventures on IG | @gemmavegan