Before you roll out on your next ride, you need to make sure you’re prepared for an emergency. Now, we don’t mean you necessarily need to bring an entire first aid kit with you (although for you mountain bikers out there, it’s probably not a bad idea). What we mean is making sure you can get yourself home safe and sound without bonking, flatting, or getting lost– or at least being able to make The Call if you do.
- Phone: No matter how short your ride, always bring your phone with you and make sure it’s charged up. There are a million situations that might lead to you need to make The Call for a ride: you might crash, bonk, get one too many flats, break a chain, etc… You just never know. Plus, it’s great for taking Instagram photos along the way.
- ID, Emergency Contact and Medical Info: Always bring a photo ID with you on your ride. In addition, write down your name, home town, and emergency contact number, plus any important medical info (previous injuries, medical conditions, allergies) on a sheet of paper and keep it in the plastic baggie with your phone. That way if you crash or are involved in a car accident, the EMT’s and police will know who you are, who to contact, and what treatments you may need. There are also products like Road ID that make bracelets you can wear with your emergency info. It might also be a good idea to put an ICE (in case of emergency) number in your mobile phone.
- Cash: Cards are awesome, but cash is still king. Many country stores don’t take cards or have minimum limits on how much you can put on a card, so if you need food you may be out of luck. Plus, you can always use a folded up bill to boot a tire in case of a sidewall cut to keep the tube from pushing out of the hole.
- Map or GPS: Even if you think you know the route really well, always bring a map or GPS with you. Whether it’s a map printout, your phone, your Garmin 510, 800 or 810, or something else, always make sure you know how to get home.
- Flat Repair Kit: Nothing will end a ride faster than flatting without a repair kit. Always bring your repair kit with you, and make sure you include: spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, Co2 cartridge and chuck or mini-pump. Do not ever try to ride on a flat tire; you’ll just ruin your wheel. Don’t know how to fix a flat? Check out our handy how to.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section below.