By Laurel-Lea Shannon
I’m one of those people who tend to think of worst-case scenarios. Before heading out on a bike ride I think of all the things that could go wrong. I’ve been trying to change that habit because it tends to make me a bit nervous. The only benefit I gain from it is that, like a girl guide, I’m always prepared. When I go for a day-hike I’m the one lugging the largest backpack and the heaviest weight, carrying all the survival gear and extra food I might need, “just in case we get lost” and have to spend a night out in the bush.
But when it comes to the bike, I have to cram my survival gear into a very small saddle bag. Here’s what I carry:
1) A spare tube: I should probably carry two.
2) two C02 cartridges and valve. I’d also like to carry a pump, just in case, but there isn’t room.
3) Two tire levers. Three would be better—in case one breaks.
4) Written instructions on how to use the C02 cartridge in case I forget between flats. The only problem is I wear contact lenses when I cycle and can’t read the tiny print on the document. (I should also carry a pair of reading glasses but no room.)
5) One road bike multi-tool
6) A tiny billfold with ID, health insurance card and money. The card in case of accident, the money in case I have to make an emergency stop for espresso, or food.
7) A couple of hand wipes. To clean up after changing the flat.
8) A small vial of arsenica, a homeopathic remedy useful for injuries and shock. Hmmm…maybe I should take this before I leave home.
9) An extra energy bar. You can never carry too much food!
10) A tiny container of sunscreen (Sport SPF 45!).
11) A cell phone, in case everything else fails.
What do you carry in your saddle bag? Please leave a comment below.
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