First bike ride - what are the essentials?

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Determined, Apr 29, 2003.

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  1. Determined

    Determined Guest

    I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles. What are the
    essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1... For that matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need to
    go along with the bike? What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike
    shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my car, and a helmet. Planning on
    attending some classes on the basics like shifting properly, making repairs, etc soon.

    Thanks again!

    determined
     
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  2. Sorni

    Sorni Guest

    "determined" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles. What are the
    > essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1... For that matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need
    > to go along with the bike? What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike
    > shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my
    car,
    > and a helmet. Planning on attending some classes on the basics like shifting properly, making
    > repairs, etc soon.
    >
    > Thanks again!

    First of all, congrats again on coming into the sport -- Rule #1 is have fun! (Safely and
    responsibly.)

    Second, 15 miles is not necessarily "low-key", unless you're staying on paved roads or gravel paths
    or something. If you're doing rugged terrain, don't push yourself TOO much very first time out. Pay
    attention to your body, and if you start to feel really tired ("bonking"), stop/rest/turn
    around/walk if nec/etc.

    Third, you'll need to get a basic "trailside repair kit". If you start out riding with an
    experienced partner, then he or she will have what's required, and you can add stuff piece-by-piece
    until you're self-sufficient. But if you're going out solo right from the get-go, then go get at
    least the following:

    Spare tube and patch kit; pump (and maybe CO2 down the road); tire levers; multi-tool, including a
    chain tool (have someone show you how to use it, too).

    To carry all this, you'll need either a saddle-bag or a "hydration system back pack" that has room
    for storage.

    As for clothing, you don't need bike shoes (yet :) but you REALLY should buy some padded shorts!
    Your butt will still hurt like hell at first, but(t) nothing like it will if you go unpadded. Also
    buy some gloves.

    I'm sure I've forgotten something, but this should at least get you started
    :)

    Bill "with a name like 'determined' you're already ahead of most newbies" S.
     
  3. Bruce Edge

    Bruce Edge Guest

    On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 16:17:50 +0000, determined wrote:

    > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles. What are the
    > essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1... For that matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need
    > to go along with the bike? What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike
    > shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my car, and a helmet. Planning
    > on attending some classes on the basics like shifting properly, making repairs, etc soon.
    >
    > Thanks again!
    >
    > determined

    First of all congrats on jumping in with both feet.

    Must have: spare tube patch kit gloves some kind of padded shorts mini tool-kit

    Nice to have: bike specific shirt good sunglasses with vented lenses so they don't fog up cell phone
    spare chain links (although on a brand new bike you should be OK for a bit) depending on your
    aggressiveness level, gauze & tape. bandaids are useless.

    I'm sure everyone else will fill in what I missed.

    -Bruce.
     
  4. determined wrote:

    >I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles. What are the
    >essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1... For that matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need to
    >go along with the bike? What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike
    >shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my car, and a helmet. Planning
    >on attending some classes on the basics like shifting properly, making repairs, etc soon.
    >
    >Thanks again!
    >
    >determined
    >
    >
    >
    >
    Water is essential. Not only for the ride, but be hydrated before the ride, especially as the hotter
    months ramp up.

    Food. Eat well before, take a snack along.

    Repair kit. At a minimum, have the stuff you need to fix a flat. Other tools are handy, but only if
    you know how to use them. When I managed a shop, I would always try to amke sure that folks had a
    working concept of how to use the tool they had just purchased. A set of allen keys are handy for
    many things on the bike. A chain repair tool is always a plus. A philips and a flathead screwdriver
    can be useful as well.

    My camelback has accumulated all sorts of items, many of which are perhaps not essential, but
    certainly handy. A spare derailleur hanger (I've seen too many people bend or break theirs and say,
    "hey it's good thing I have a spare at home". Carry it with you, Dawg!), a spare cleat, various
    small bolts (didja know that a water bottle cage bolt makes a decent emergency cleat bolt?) tire
    boots, a bandanna, 37 cents and many small unidentifiable plastic bits.
     
  5. Steve Petree

    Steve Petree Guest

    Besides water you may want a little snack, such as a banana, or fat free fig newton. Also the least
    tool you'll want are what you'll need to fix a flat; air pump, and pry tools, spare tube, and pouch.
    If it's really muddy where you're at, an extra pair of socks, for the long ride home. a rag or
    bandana to help with the sweat, & grime. The funky bike shoes are only required for the pedals, if
    they're SPDs. A good comfortable, sturdy pair of sneakers will do. A good rule of thumb is never
    wear anything your not willing to walk in for 15 miles. Have fun! Be sure to post an RR here when
    you get back. BR Steve

    determined wrote:

    >I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles. What are the
    >essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1... For that matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need to
    >go along with the bike? What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike
    >shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my car, and a helmet. Planning
    >on attending some classes on the basics like shifting properly, making repairs, etc soon.
    >
    >Thanks again!
    >
    >determined
    >
    >
     
  6. John G

    John G Guest

    determined wrote:
    > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles.

    15 miles for first ride..... I'd suggest a cell phone and a credit card
     
  7. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    Steve Petree wrote:
    > Besides water you may want a little snack, such as a banana, or fat free fig newton.

    why fat free? Are you doing a special diet or something? Fat ( in appropriate amounts) is an
    essential componet of a good balanced diet... espeically for someone doing a sport that requires a
    lot of energy out put.

    Penny
     
  8. Cinder Girl

    Cinder Girl Guest

    "determined" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles. What are the
    > essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1... For that matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need
    > to go along with the bike? What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike
    > shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my
    car,
    > and a helmet. Planning on attending some classes on the basics like shifting properly, making
    > repairs, etc soon.
    >
    > Thanks again!
    >
    > determined
    >
    >
    Welcome!

    ~CG
     
  9. Bomba

    Bomba Guest

    determined wrote:
    > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles.

    Depending on the terrain you ride, 15 miles is not really a 'low-key ride' - especially for your
    first time out. Even if you're fit, you're going to be using different muscles. The one thing you
    don't want to end up doing is getting very tired or in pain when you're still a long way from home.
    You want to leave yourself keen for more.

    > What are the essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1...

    Water's always a good idea. After you've really started getting in to it, check out www.camelbak.com

    For that
    > matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need to go along with the bike? What do I need in a
    > repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is
    > the bike, a rack for my car, and a helmet.

    Right the essentials (IMO)... Kit: You want gloves - they help keep your hands soft, and will offer
    protection should you have a hand / ground interaction. Full-fingered is good. Glasses - a pair of
    clear wrap-around glasses are a great investment as they keep bugs, branches and bits chucked up
    from the wheels from going in your eyes. No need to go Oakley or the like, just something cheap'll
    do - some people here even use industrial goggles. Shorts - Not really worth skimping here as you'll
    pay for it in pain.

    In the backpack: Bike tool - your LBS should be able to advise you Spare tube and puncture repair
    kit Small medi kit (including any medication) Food - there's another thread around at the moment on
    this subject. Bananas are a bad idea - they don't like being chucked around a backpack with tools,
    etc. Mobile - I believe you folks across the pond call it a 'cell phone'. For those of us in
    Europe, coverage is complete, so it's worthwhile, but obviously pointless if you don't have
    coverage where you are. NB - only to be used in an emergency. Like ordering pizza. Cash - never
    know when you'll need to buy food, drink or pay for a taxi when you're stuck in the mountains with
    hypothermia <ahem>... If there's a chance of rain, pack a mac. PCs and Solaris boxes don't work so
    well. Arf arf...

    Planning on attending some classes on the basics like
    > shifting properly, making repairs, etc soon.

    Bike maintenance is very important and fortunately, it's not rocket science. People here will be
    able to guide you, as will your LBS.

    Don't forget to have fun and then come back on Monday and write a RR (ride report).
     
  10. Pete Jones

    Pete Jones Guest

  11. Bb

    Bb Guest

    On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:11:40 -0500, Anthony Sloan wrote:

    > 37 cents

    ...in case you have an emergency need to mail something?

    --
    -BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
     
  12. Bb

    Bb Guest

    On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 16:17:50 GMT, determined wrote:
    > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles.

    > What are the essentials?

    I know its been mentioned a couple of times, but I want to re-emphasize getting biking gloves. Get
    'em at a bike shop, not at Target!

    Where are you going for your first ride? If its Hagg Lake, you probably want to start with an
    out-and-back; even then it may be too muddy to ride without messing up the trail. A good first ride
    is to head west from the boat ramp A, then head back when the trail ends (at the road). If you have
    any energy left at the end of the ride, do a shorter out-and-back on the trail that goes west from
    the boat ramp.

    Map: http://www.co.washington.or.us/deptmts/sup_serv/fac_mgt/parks/haggmap.htm

    If you're riding Leif Erikson or Banks/Vernonia, you should have no problem. Especially Leif -
    there'll be so many riders there that you'll never worry about being stranded.

    --
    -BB- To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
     
  13. Spider

    Spider Guest

    "determined" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles. What are the
    > essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1... For that matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need
    > to go along with the bike? What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike
    > shoes? Padded bicycle shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my car, and a helmet. Planning
    > on attending some classes on the basics like shifting properly, making repairs, etc soon.
    >

    My first ride, I didn't take anything but me and the bike. It wasn't a long ride, nor was it over
    anything technical - just a dirt trail and my so-called "MTB."

    Others have provided a list, and I will duplicate them some:

    Water (you already said that - good call) I like to flavor mine with a little lemon. The acid in the
    lemon juice seems to help keep the beasties out of my hydration bladder. No proof, just conjecture.

    Some small amounts of tools/parts: Helmet. MTB Gloves. Spare tube/flat-fix kit. Pump to pump up the
    new or repaired tube. Multitool with allen and screwdriver bits. Chaintool and spare links. SRAM
    PowerLinks are decent (well, they work for me. Not everybody has the same opinion.) Some cash. Cell
    phone in case you crash and break yourself (and have reception where you are.) Decent compass and a
    good map of the area. Getting lost ain't no fun. If yer good, you'll take along a pencil and
    straightedge so that you can locate yourself on the map from any two large, visible reference
    points. Since I cycle alone most often, I prefer to be self-reliant in this regard.

    I have never needed padded shorts, but maybe I'm just weird. Part of it is that I don't spend all
    that much time in the saddle.

    I have those funny shoes, but often, when I do new trails, I use hiking boots instead. On the trails
    I know, I wear the funny shoes.

    I layer my clothes, so that if it gets suddenly cold or warm, I can adjust the clothing level to
    suit. Eye protection.

    A snack? Only if yer gonna be out for a while. 4 or more hours? I see it mostly as excuse to take a
    break. Most of us are quite drought and famine resistant, and could stand to go the whole damn day
    without eating. Those with blood-sugar issues might disagree. Banana and a small square of
    chocolate.

    It may sound like a lot of gear, but it really isn't bad. You already have all the expensive bits.
    Now just the little things, some of which can be applied to other activities. Like, a hydration
    daypack is also nice for hiking. As is the compass and map.

    Good luck.

    Spider
     
  14. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    Spider wrote:
    > I layer my clothes, so that if it gets suddenly cold or warm, I can adjust the clothing level to
    > suit. Eye protection.

    IFnothing else, safety glasses (clear) from t hardware store. they mkae a real fashion statement and
    protect you from sticks and bugs.
    >
    > A snack? Only if yer gonna be out for a while. 4 or more hours? I see it mostly as excuse to take
    > a break. Most of us are quite drought and famine resistant, and could stand to go the whole damn
    > day without eating. Those with blood-sugar issues might disagree. Banana and a small square of
    > chocolate.

    Hmm... I always have food. Even if it's just an 1.5 hour quick loop, there's always at least an
    emergency cliff bar from last season in the bottom of the bag.

    penny
     
  15. "John G" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > determined wrote:
    > > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles.
    >
    > 15 miles for first ride..... I'd suggest a cell phone and a credit card
    >

    What no beer? Hopefully it's 5 laps of 3 miles ;-)

    --
    DTW .../\.../\.../\...

    I've spent most of my money on mountainbiking. The rest I've just wasted.
     
  16. Technician

    Technician Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > On Tue, 29 Apr 2003 12:11:40 -0500, Anthony Sloan wrote:
    >
    > > 37 cents
    >
    > ...in case you have an emergency need to mail something?
    >
    >

    Pay phone

    ~Travis
    --
    travis57 at megalink dot net

    travis5765.homelinux.net, Primary Administrator TF Custom Electronics, Owner/Founder/Developer
    (current project: Automotive exhaust flame-thrower)
     
  17. John G

    John G Guest

    D T W .../\\... wrote:
    > "John G" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >>
    >>determined wrote:
    >>
    >>>I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles.
    >>
    >>15 miles for first ride..... I'd suggest a cell phone and a credit card

    > What no beer?

    There is a beer-cache hidden at the top of Hall Mt.
     
  18. Technician

    Technician Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Spider wrote:
    > > I layer my clothes, so that if it gets suddenly cold or warm, I can adjust the clothing level to
    > > suit. Eye protection.
    >
    > IFnothing else, safety glasses (clear) from t hardware store. they mkae a real fashion statement
    > and protect you from sticks and bugs.

    Or for a real fashion statement, try Biology goggles ;-)

    > >
    > > A snack? Only if yer gonna be out for a while. 4 or more hours? I see it mostly as excuse to
    > > take a break. Most of us are quite drought and famine resistant, and could stand to go the whole
    > > damn day without eating. Those with blood-sugar issues might disagree. Banana and a small square
    > > of chocolate.
    >
    > Hmm... I always have food. Even if it's just an 1.5 hour quick loop, there's always at least an
    > emergency cliff bar from last season in the bottom of the bag.

    I don't know what's scarier, the fact that you have a cliff bar from last season, or that fact that
    it lasts that long.

    Chocolate i know can lasts for quite a while (the unsweetened dark variety), but don't cliff bars
    have things that go bad, or is there just lots of preservatives?

    ~Travis
    --
    travis57 at megalink dot net

    travis5765.homelinux.net, Primary Administrator TF Custom Electronics, Owner/Founder/Developer
    (current project: Automotive exhaust flame-thrower)
     
  19. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    Technician wrote:
    > I don't know what's scarier, the fact that you have a cliff bar from last season, or that fact
    > that it lasts that long.
    >
    > Chocolate i know can lasts for quite a while (the unsweetened dark variety), but don't cliff bars
    > have things that go bad, or is there just lots of preservatives?
    >

    Oh, I have fresh ones too... but the emergency bar is just buried in there for an emergency. They
    just get kind of hard and chewy.

    shut up guys.

    penny
    > ~Travis
     
  20. Westie

    Westie Guest

    "bomba" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > determined wrote:
    > > I bought my bike and am planning a low-key ride this weekend of about 15 miles.
    >
    > Depending on the terrain you ride, 15 miles is not really a 'low-key ride' - especially for your
    > first time out. Even if you're fit, you're going to be using different muscles. The one thing you
    > don't want to end up doing is getting very tired or in pain when you're still a long way from
    > home. You want to leave yourself keen for more.
    >
    > > What are the essentials? Water I'm guessing is #1...
    >
    > Water's always a good idea. After you've really started getting in to it, check out
    > www.camelbak.com
    >
    > For that
    > > matter, what type of gear/accessories do I need to go along with the
    bike?
    > > What do I need in a repair kit? Is it neccessary to buy the funky bike shoes? Padded bicycle
    > > shorts? All I bought is the bike, a rack for my
    car,
    > > and a helmet.
    >
    > Right the essentials (IMO)... Kit: You want gloves - they help keep your hands soft, and will
    > offer protection should you have a hand / ground interaction. Full-fingered is good. Glasses - a
    > pair of clear wrap-around glasses are a great investment as they keep bugs, branches and bits
    > chucked up from the wheels from going in your eyes. No need to go Oakley or the like, just
    > something cheap'll do - some people here even use industrial goggles. Shorts - Not really worth
    > skimping here as you'll pay for it in pain.
    >
    > In the backpack: Bike tool - your LBS should be able to advise you Spare tube and puncture repair
    > kit Small medi kit (including any medication) Food - there's another thread around at the moment
    > on this subject. Bananas are a bad idea - they don't like being chucked around a backpack with
    > tools, etc. Mobile - I believe you folks across the pond call it a 'cell phone'. For those of us
    > in Europe, coverage is complete, so it's worthwhile, but obviously pointless if you don't have
    > coverage where you are. NB - only to be used in an emergency. Like ordering pizza.

    I don't get complete coverage but i always take it with me. You'd be surprised sometimes where you
    can get some little pockets of coverage even in the remotest areas. And should i have some tragic,
    unrepairable fault or damage to myself, limping to the nearest point of coverage is usually much
    closer than limping to the nearest point of civilisation. Last time I did that was when I had a
    major sidewall tear (the bike, not me) and everything that I tried fixing it with failed. The g/f
    found me happily sitting by the roadside munching a Mars bar while I was waiting. I also live with
    the optimistic hope that should I be lying unconcious lost at the foot of a ravine that the search
    party, knowing that I always carry a mobile, would have some high tech piece of equipment capable of
    finding a rogue cellphone signal amongst the wilderness....

    > Cash - never know when you'll need to buy food, drink or pay for a taxi when you're stuck in the
    > mountains with hypothermia <ahem>... If there's a chance of rain, pack a mac. PCs and Solaris
    > boxes don't work so well. Arf arf...
    >
    > Planning on attending some classes on the basics like
    > > shifting properly, making repairs, etc soon.
    >
    > Bike maintenance is very important and fortunately, it's not rocket science. People here will be
    > able to guide you, as will your LBS.
    >
    > Don't forget to have fun and then come back on Monday and write a RR (ride report).

    I'll second the ride report! Let us know how it went! I'll add that water (bottles in a cage or pack
    is fine), a patch kit, plastic tyre levers and a spare tube (and knowing how to use them), and
    padded shorts would be on my list of very basic essentials. Oh, and if alone be sure to tell someone
    where you are going and roughly how long you'll be.
    --
    Westie
     
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