We’ve put together a handy little guide for those who want to start riding in a group, but it’s also a useful reminder for more experienced riders who may have forgotten the odd bit or have a habit of skipping the odd step like myself.
None of us want to be standing by the roadside with our jacket un-zipped hoping to tempt the next gentlemen who passes to fix our mechanicals or sitting down whilst we wait for a friend to have time. By following the handy checklist below you can greatly reduce the risk of developing bike problems whilst out on your ride.
Preparation before the ride - Go to a Bike Shop (soon we will supply you with a list of Women Friendly Bike Shops);
- Tyres – firstly make sure it is sufficiently pumped up (7-8 bar), then check for any deep cuts or bald patches on the rubber and make sure the tyre looks ok on the wheel and isn’t bulging at any point.
- Chain and Cassette – have a quick look at your chain and cassette and make sure it is free from large amounts of grease and it sounds good when you run it through the gears.
- Brake Pads – Make sure you’ve still got some life left in your pads; it can be too late if you only find out when out on the road. Most pads have a line indicating when they are unsafe, check this each time you set off.
Once your bike is ready for some rock and roll we always bring the following with us during the ride!
What to bring during your ride;
- Always take an inner tube, tyre levers and a pump with you. You can put this either in your jacket or you can have a bag below your saddle
- Make sure you have enough food (one bar/banana/cake or whatever you prefer) with you. You need to eat at least something every hour to keep up your energy and drink 1 bottle. If you don’t do this it could be that you end up somewhere in the middle of the nowhere asking for food
- Make sure you put enough clothes on. If it is 5-10 degrees you don’t ride with bare legs but instead ride with bib tights or legwarmers to avoid injury. On the flip side if it is nice and hot make sure you dress appropriately and are well vented – remember that sun cream though! Whatever the weather always bring a spare jacket or gilet with you so that you can deal with sudden changes in temperature or climate.
- Lights, if you are riding in the evening.
We will talk more about all these subjects in the coming months, but this is what you need to do for sure. So zip up your shirt because you will never stand alongside the road with this advice anymore!
About Marit Huisman
Marit used to race when she was younger. Since stopping racing she has devoted her time to developing women’s cycling and creating projects and initiatives to get women on the bike. Her best moments on the bike are riding with friends through beautiful areas and challenging each other. In her spare time she likes to play guitar and really hopes that she can play in a band one day!
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