We have new riders joining us almost every week.
I often get messages from new riders asking what they should bring on their first ride.
Aside from your bike and a helmet, let me run over some things you might want to grab at the bike shop before you come out.
Hydration is essential. Most of us use the standard 20 or 24 ounce water bottle. A good rule of thumb is to drink one of those every 30 minutes.
Granted, on cool days and slower rides, I often drink much, much less. But then, I might also be dehydrating myself on those rides.
Keeping your electrolytes in balance starts with good hydration. And, more novice athletes end up in the hospital from dehydration than from any other cause.
It is easy to go too hard and get yourself in trouble.
We’ve never had an issue with new riders, so don’t be the first! Most of our rides last about an hour or an hour and a half so bring at least two water bottles.
As you rush out the door from work to make it to the ride in time, it is easy to skip supper.
Additionally, some people don’t do well working out on a full stomach.
Bring along a small energy bar to help fill the gap. Some riders eat on the ride if they start feeling their energy wane, while others use it for a post-ride jolt to get them to their next meal.
Most riders will burn 400-600 calories in one evening, and if you are on the edge of your daily calorie intake, this will push you over into the “bonk” zone where you have no energy to move forward.
It is understandable that you wish to lose weight, but you can’t ride a bike on no readily-available energy. Make sure that you have eaten at least enough calories to fulfill the requirements of your basal metabolic rate before you show up to ride (and even then, you should have a snack just in case.)
Flat Repair Kit
Flats happen, and we look forward to helping you change your first flat. But make sure you at least have a tube along.
Of course, you will likely ride on your own. Purchasing a tube, tire levers, and a CO2 canister to re-inflate the tube are all you need to change out the inner tube when you have a flat.
And it can mean the difference between walking back to your car.
Road bikes tires are fickle. They need air at least once a week. Most of us carry pumps to top off our tires before the ride, and if you want to borrow one of ours, that is just fine. Just make sure to show up at least 10 minutes before the ride so we can get you set up.
This one is optional. But, if you are riding a lot, you should go ahead and get one as it greatly enhances your daily rides.
I hope this list makes your first ride with us better, not more intimidating.
If nothing else, remember: Helmet, Bike, Water, Snack.
Bring those four things, and you are ready for a fun evening. And remember that we have a no-drop ride so you won’t get left behind!