The basics: What you should pack for the first rides of the season

It’s “getting back out there” season and your bike is calling your name. Beyond the standard keys, wallet and phone, here’s a list to jog your memory as you get back into the routine of packing your pockets, saddle bag and (possibly) bar bag.

RELATED: Breaking down the saddle bag: What to bring on a ride and how to carry it

1. Snack(s)

It’s easy to underestimate how much food you’ll need when going on some of your first longer rides of the season. You might remember a route you did last summer being easy and painless, but, a combination of getting used to riding outside and a hefty spring headwind can really increase the amount of effort (and calories) you’ll be expending.

2. A mask

As we exit neck gaiter season, a mask is particularly important for any planned or unplanned stops. A little pocket hand sanitizer can also help ease your mind if you’re the type that will spend a few kilometers trying to remember if you accidentally touched a door handle at the convenience store.

image: Velocolour

3. Flat repair kit

The best way to carry a flat repair kit (spare tube, tire levers, c02 cartridge/inflator, patches) is in a saddle bag that stays on your bike at all times. Do some basics checks and adjustments before you head out—double check that you replaced your spare tube and c02 when you got a flat in the fall.

RELATED: Getting your bike out of hibernation

4. Multitool

It’s very likely that your fit will change over the winter, regardless of whether you’ve been riding on a trainer or not. A multitool is great to have on hand at all times, but it can be particularly handy during these early season rides. A quick, very small seat post adjustment can make all the difference in your level of comfort.

5. Liquids

It’s not hot out, but you still need to be replenishing your liquids. As with nutrition, it’s better to bring a bit too much water than not enough.

If you struggle with remembering to hydrate in cooler weather, you can try the Garmin’s “smart” hydration alerts that come built in to some models or can be added through the IQ store’s “Eat!Drink! Reminder” feature.

High angle view of white rattan tissue box and crumpled tissues on table - cold and flu season concept, grief, concept

6. A tissue

If it’s not allergies it’s the cold breeze, but pretty much everyone’s nose is dripping at this time of year.

7. Layers

You’ll thank yourself for brining a packable jacket or even arm warmers on those days where the forecast is looking a bit uncertain.

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