Hit The Road: Spring Essentials For Your First (Or Next) Ride
Full disclosure here: I am a triathlete and cyclist and, while I can handle my road or triathlon bike quite well, I am pretty certain that I do not have the type bike handling skills that translate well to allow me to safely ride the twists and turns and the up and downs of our local mountain bike trails. I know where I belong vs where I am just a hazard to myself and others. So, after a long 6 months of indoor riding, I finally dusted off the helmet and shoe covers and took my baby out for a spin. However, I had to do some preparation first to make sure it was ready to go. Here are the top things I needed to sort out:
1. Flat repair kit
Obviously, I don't need it when I'm riding indoors so I had to re-attach it. I've never had a flat tire on Zwift but, out on the road especially with all the spring dirt and debris on the road. So, I pulled out the mini saddle bag and made sure it had a fresh tube, a CO2 cartridge, an inflator and tire levers.
2. Shoe covers
I have a low tolerance for cold feet so shoe covers are a necessary item for me. Plus, why be cold when you don't have to be, right?
3. A cleaning
A lot of us thing that our bike stays clean if we're riding indoors but there is stlll an accumulation of dust and the lube loses any moisture it has. So, a light cleaning a re-application of lubricant is recommended.
I had to find it. But it's worth taking a few minutes to make sure your helmet is still in good shape. There is no industry wide standard for the lifespan of cycling helmets yet but it has been under review and a topic being researched. Generally the recommendation is 3 to 5 years. If you don't remember when you bought it, consider looking at a new helmet sometime this year.
Check to make sure the lights are all charged. Lights are now lighter weight, more powerful and less expensive than they were a 10 years ago. And now, most are USB chargeable and easy to move, mount, remove for charging. Lights aren't just for illumination now - they are also useful for enhancing our visibility which will hopefully make us safer on the road. If you don't ride with lights already, it's time to think about it since there are so many great and affordable options. On our e-commerce site, we've now got a mini motion sensor rear light that can be set to function like a car's brake light: it illuminates when your bike decelerates.
6. Jackets and Vest
After my spring and fall ride gear made their last appearance last fall, I actually managed to make sure they were all stored together in an appropriately marked bin. All I had to do was find the box (thankfully, I put it where I thought I had) and bring it down. There is one jacket still mysteriously missing but I have faith it will show up. We now have an even better jacket here in the store, though, the Zap Jacket from Sugoi. It takes "high visibility" to the next level and it is a really great weight for slightly cooler days and days when there is a chance of getting some rain.