If you plan on going for a short ride, you can always get away by not carrying all the tools. But on a long cycling trip, where you go over a distance of hundred kilometers or a minimum 5-hour trip it is important to carry some must basic essentials in order to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable ride.
Here is a list of long-distance cycling essentials one needs to carry along on their cycling trip-
The most likely problem one usually faces on a long distance cycling trip is a flat tire. It is important to carry a spare tube along with you. It can be rolled up into a small ball and is very easy to change.
These kits come in handy as they are very compact and easy to use. They include puncture patches, glue, sandpaper; some also come along with tire levers that can help you mend a puncture when required.
You need these! They make your job easier and faster to get the tube out. Moreover, they are not too hard and won’t harm the tube. If you had to use a screw driver or any other substitute you are likely to hit the tube and end up with yet another puncture.
Portable hand pump-
Fixing a puncture is not complete without a pump. Carrying a portable hand pump can be useful to fill in sufficient air once the puncture has been fixed. The pump usually comes with a small stand and is attachable to your frame, making it convenient to carry along. Just ensure to do your research well before you buy one.
CO2 cartridges are also available, to help you fill up tires in seconds. However, it is expensive, needs practice and can only be used once.
These toolkits come with all the keys you would need to unlock your bicycle. Consisting of Allen keys, screw drivers and wrenches, these toolkits can prove to be extremely helpful. Available in different sizes, not only are they portable but just like a Swiss army knife, they fit in every bolt of your bike.
chain links- we would advise you to carry chain links along on your long distance cycling trip. You never know when you would need them.
Carry one only if your multi-tool kit isn’t already equipped with it. mobile phones- If you have one, take it along. A cell phone is handy to call for help in case of a breakdown, if you’ve lost your way or if you find yourself lagging behind the group. You could also use it to click pictures on your way.
It is important to carry some cash. In the case of a breakdown, you can always rent a vehicle(taxi etc.) to get you home or simply use the money to buy yourself some drinks and food.
In the case of accidents, this identity proof may prove to be a real life saver. Don’t forget to write important numbers of your folks on a paper. Most importantly, mention your blood group and allergies (if any).
Mini energy bars-
These bars give you the feeling of nirvana when you are tired and physically drained. It works as a bribe to fool your mind (and stomach) and push you to cover that extra mile. Times when there is no availability of food, these energy bars can provide you with the required nutrients.
If your trip is going to be longer than a day or two it would be great if you could carry an extra pair of clothes as one of the long distance cycling essentials. Don’t forget to run a weather check and carry appropriate clothing. Carrying rainwear during monsoon or winter jackets to beat the cold can be a smart decision.
Well, the list of long distance cycling essentials doesn’t stop here. The more you think and worry about issues the bigger your list will get. In addition, it’s important to ask yourself or make note of the following points before setting out on a long ride…
How good are my tires?
When was the last time I serviced my bike?
Are my gears and brakes good enough to survive the trip?
Do I need to carry food and extra water along with me?