Everything You Need for a Successful Weekend Bike Ride

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Photo: Jordan McMahon

There are lots of things that, unfortunately, we can’t do right now. Maybe you’re missing the gym, or being able to go out and spend a day in the park. Whatever itch you’re trying to scratch, cycling is a great way to spend time outdoors and get a good workout in. Plus, it’s a nice way to venture out and find spots outdoors where you can still socially distance. Before you head out on that exciting new trail, though, you should make sure you’re equipped with all the necessary gear for a safe, enjoyable ride.

Stuffed to the brim
With things heating up outside, having a backpack stuffed with all your gear strapped to your back is bound to leave you feeling sweaty and gross at the end of your ride. A handlebar bag will let you lug around all your necessities without creating any unnecessary back sweat.

I like Road Runner’s Burrito Bag, which comes in plenty of nice colors, but due to COVID-19, it’s going to be a while before you can get your hands on it. In the meantime, you can get a nice pack like this bag from REI Co-op that has enough space to pack a light lunch, and offers enough structure to keep everything inside safe and secure on long rides.

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Image: Road Runner

Pump it up
You should always make sure your tires have plenty of air before your rides, but it’s also good to have a pump handy in case of an emergency. This pump from Topeak is small while sturdy, and has a long enough hose that it can reach into tougher positions. It even has a fold-out footpad for extra support.

All the right tools
You never know when you’re going to need to tighten a few spots on your bike. Having a multi-tool handy will make sure you can do any last minute tuning, like adjusting your seat, and keep you safe from too many mishaps. This multi-tool from crankbrothers is packed with 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm hex wrenches, two Philips and two flathead screwdrivers, and four sizes of spoke wrenches, so you should have all your bases covered no matter what your bike setup is.

Protect the goods
If you’re going to be out on your bike, you absolutely need a helmet. There’s plenty of great options out there, but if you’re looking for something safe and stylish, the City helmet from Kali Protectives is a great option that’s comfortable even on long rides.

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Graphic: Gabe Carey

Light up the path

Unless you only plan on riding in the brightest conditions, you’ll need to have a light handy for when the sun’s not out. The requirements will vary depending on your state, but you should get a bright light with adjustable settings so you can change it based on your surroundings. I use this light from Light Motion, which can emit up to 700 lumens, and it’s weatherproof so you can keep pedaling even in the rain.


Stay cool
Hydration is key to a safe and enjoyable ride. Any old water bottle will do, but this insulated bottle from Camelbak will keep your water cold throughout your ride, and it’ll look nice mounted on your bike.

There’s a map for that
Nothing brings down a good ride like getting lost. If you plan on heading out on some new trails, or just exploring a new area of your neighborhood, make sure you have a phone mount handy so you can keep an eye on your maps, and a portable charger so your phone doesn’t run out of any juice mid-trail.

Patchy work
Sure, you might think you dodged that big rock on the trail, but it’s always good to have a tube and tire repair kit in your bag, just to be safe. With three tire levers, six patches, and one piece of sandpaper, this kit from Park Tool has everything you need for a quick patch job.