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Rides and what to bring along!!
Hi peeps,

I recently found this website after being a regular in bikeradar. I wouldn't say I am a great off road rider but regularly ride round through local woods and anywhere that isn't asphalt. I've always enjoyed getting muddy and biking so am hoping to join you guys on a regular evening ride real soon.

Just wondered what I should be packing in my kit to bring along. Helmet (obviously) and other essentials like handbar mounted camera, but what else to you normally carry. I am thinking tubes or repair kit, lights or high vis etc (not that you would want to cover up those lovely jerseys you have had made).

[MOD]thread stickied due to usefullness of subject and reply.  Let keep this ON-TOPIC Wink[/MOD]
Lets keep it simple - this is what I actually carry on any ride longer than 1hr:

Tyre Levers (Park tools)
Pump - (Topeak mountain morph - THE best pump to carry)
Inner Tube
Repair patches
Small multi-tool with pliers/knife on
First Aid Kit (cheap from Wilkinsons)
Spare Power links for chain repair if it snaps.
Mobile phone (charged!)

The above "should" cover you for almost any eventuality and will pack into a small rucksack/camelbak.

Food/Drink wise

Usually water in a 750ml bottle (bike mounted)

Any ride longer than 2hrs I usually pack some food, either cereal bars or even a sandwich and more water and usually a camera.

Night Rides:
Just some spare batterys for my Fenix headtorches just incase we're out longer than necessary.

More "Sketchy" rides:
I usually take my Kyle Strait knee pads and/or 661 Elbow pads.

All of the above will packs into a camelbak mayhem.

With time, you'll tailor your kit to suit you, but the above I believe to be pretty much the standard to take for any involved ride.

For shorter or less involved road/fireroad blasts, I pack tools, tyre levers, inner tube and Co2 inflator into a saddlebag and ditch the camelbak for ease.

Clothing/Accessories wise, protective glasses are always advised, as mud/grit in the eye at 20+mph downhill isnt nice and will make you crash.
"BMJBOY" Wrote:Mobile phone (charged!)

How many have you broken ?  I managed to smash one at Afan after a very innocuous tumble  

I do sometimes question whether it's worth taking one as most of the places I've ridden have no signal when you're anywhere remote, and when you're not remote, you can be within screaming distance of civilization  Tongue  In Afan there seemed to be no 02 signal anywhere, this is why the Dropoff cafe lets you use their land line for a quid a go !

I guess it's much more important if riding alone, if there's at least 3 of you and anything bad happens, one can stay with the injured person while the other goes for help.
All mobiles phone can use any network for 999 calls so even if you have no O2 (I didnt there either), if theres Orange etc you can at least ring for help.

Its worth tuning off your mobile at Afan on that note or in similar places. Mine normally lasts a week but because it was constantly searching for a signal it died in a day.
Never broken one, although my last phone has some excellent screen scratches when nestled against my keys!  Sad

Any mobile in an emergency situation will pick up on all networks for a 999 or 112 call - so Im my opinion, they are vital incase the worst does happen.

My camelbak has a very good secure pocket for a camera or phone as it has 1" thick foam all around it.

Yeh O2 is non-existant at Afan - but if you have a fangle dangled phone like me, you can hook up to thier wifi and use Skype or email for contacting friends/family.

I would say a phone is more crucial at its obviously a place to hang yourself out a bit more and tackle some more "proper" mtb trails - regardless of who is with you or how far away from anywhere you are - any serious accident should be attended to ASAP - not worth the risk.
Not to sure if its been said already but a lesson ive learnt from the other day :

Some way of knowing where you are ... a GPS is great but if you cant afford one a map works.  Although the women we spoke to wouldnt take them for some reason :Smile (i think that was more because of the useless women jon spoke to!) if you are deep in woods and its not safe to move the injured rider GPS co-ordinates will be very helpful for ambulances/helicopters
That did sound daft - I know they want as much info as possible, but who knows what postcode they are in? stupid.

I was always under the impression these services can now pinpoint your location by the phone signal? - doesnt the AA/RAC do that now?

Actualy, from the RAC website:
"in 2003, RAC implemented Mobile Locate. This technology helps to pinpoint a customer’s exact location from his or her mobile telephone signal – a capability that no other major roadside assistance provider has yet been able to copy"

So if the RAC can do it, then Im sure the emergency services can.
For almost every ride I carry these tools:
2 x tyre levers
Puncture repair kit, with glue and instant stick patches inside.
Set of allen keys
Allen key big enough for crank bolts
- I should be carrying spare mech hangers (and I will when I get around to ordering them)

A spare tube is a good idea if you wanna carry it, but it's more essential to those running tubeless IMO, if I can't repair or limp home with a few patches and some air in the tube then it's my own damn problem..

A Hi-Vis is a good idea if your going night riding, and travelling back on the road, possibly without a rear light attached (for fear of losing it on the trail?)

I would recommend knee pads to anyone and everyone - It only takes 1 tree or slip and you might never walk again (or ride!!!)
My riding is more up and down than the damn area I live in! And the tart's knickers who lives next door - Combined!  :o
I do own a Aldi Hi Viz cycling jacket, and its actually very good indeed and styled quite nicely - I wore it a lot when doing some V early morning and/or dusky evening road rides - no excuses really, its common sense - was only about £8.

I was once on a night ride along the beach wearing it, and coupled with my lights, LOTS of chavs thought I was a copper and was all quickly putting their joints out and binning their White-Lightening! - genius. Their faces where brilliant when I was close enough for them to see I wasnt plod and they has wasted their stash!

To be honest, I do have most things for most eventualities now, but its taken over 2 years to collect, always start cheap and you can upgrade as you go.
I carry all the usual bits as mentioned above, but i also have a bag of bits with a chain tool, spare mech hanger, torx bit for break rotor bolts, spare cleat bolts, the spare bit of chain i cut off when fitting a new one, insulation tape etc plus some other bits i have learnt could be handy to have from previous incidents.

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