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8 essentials for cycling

Here are eight essential items we suggest you never leave home without.

1. Water

Pack at least one full bottle of water, even on a cold day. If you are riding more than 50km, it’s recommended you have two water bottles with you.

2. Food

Choose a food that you enjoy, that’s easy to consume on the go, provides the energy you need, and will fit in your jersey pockets easily. Consider packing bananas, muesli bars, biscuits or Winners energy bars.

3. Pump

Pumps can either attach to your frame or slip into your jersey pockets, but they are essential for any ride as you never know when you’ll get a puncture! Before you buy one, be sure to check that it suits your type of bike and will connect to your valve type.

4. Spare inner tube/s

Always carry at least one spare inner tube with you on every ride. Ensure that it is the correct size and valve type for your wheels and that it is in good condition before you go. If you do get a puncture on a ride and need to change the inner tube, be sure to either take the punctured tube with you or place it in a bin.

5. Tyre levers

If you do get a puncture, you’ll want to get your tyre off your rim quickly and easily. Some people have herculean-like strength in their fingers, but for us mere mortals we often need tyre levers. Tyre levers are a pair of plastic spoon like shapes that you squeeze between the tyre and tube to ‘roll’ the tyre off the rim. They are also handy for getting the final section of the tyre back onto the rim after you’ve replaced the tube. There are plenty of YouTube clips explaining how to do this if you’re unsure.

6. Mobile phone

Ensure it is fully charged before you go. You might want to place it in a zip lock sandwich bag to protect it from sweat – or there are a number of neoprene phone pouches available on the market that will perform the same job too.

7. Cash or bank card

Be prepared! You might get five flat tyres and need a cab. Or you might run out of food and need to buy something to give you the energy to get home. Or you might simply want to buy a latte when you reach the café with your riding buddy! Whatever the reason, it’s always handy to have a small amount of cash or a bank card with you, just in case.

8. House key

As great as you look in Lycra, you will want to make sure you can get back into your house when your ride is over!