It’s happened. You’ve shown up for a ride and realized that you are woefully under-prepared. Since you’re in the middle of nowhere, you have two choices, ride and pray that you have no issues or drive an hour back home to gather what you need. Whether you’re new to the sport or a seasoned vet, all of us can use a little reminder on what essentials we should have on our bikes for every ride.

A well-stocked flat kit. You’ll want to make sure that you are ready to change a flat tire by carrying a well-stocked flat kit on your bike. This should include a bike tube that fits your tire, a tire lever, CO2 Cartridges and some type of CO2 Inflator.

Our favorite: The XLab Tire Mate CO2 Inflator and Mini Pump. The mini pump can serve as an emergency backup!

Adequate Hydration. You may or may not pass a gas station or have SAG support on your ride, so it’s important that you carry adequate hydration for the duration of your ride and be prepared for any mishaps that may keep you out on the course longer than planned.  Plan on 1 -1.5 drink bottles per hour depending on how hot it is and how much you tend to sweat. You may need to add additional water bottle cages or hydration systems to your bike.

Our favorite: Try the XLab Torpedo Versa. This aerodynamic bottle is adjustable to any size aero bars and the bottle is very easy to clean.

Adequate Nutrition. Like hydration, nutrition plays an essential role on the bike. If you’ve ever been in a situation where you ‘bonked’ (experienced sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles), then you’ll understand how important your nutrition can be on the bike.  No one wants to be 15 miles from home base when they hit the wall. Nutrition is a highly individualized decision for the athlete and long rides are a great time to try out different types of nutrition. Like hydration, it’s best to be over-prepared with your nutrition in case something goes wrong and you end up out on the bike longer than expected.

Our favorite: We love the new Picky Bars for the bike. All natural and easy to carry in a bike jersey, they are an excellent source of nutrition (about 200 calories per bar) and satisfy your rumbling stomach on those long rides.

Directions. Whether you’re riding with a group or riding solo, it’s easy to get lost on a route and depending on where you are, you may encounter spotty cell service. At a minimum have a printed map but you may also want to upload your directions to your garmin or bike computer.

Our favorite:  The New Wahoo ELEMENT Bolt. Wahoo Fitness products pride themselves in being easy to set up and the new design has the most aerodynamic surface for your best performance.

Lights. Even if you don’t plan to ride at night, foggy or rainy conditions will make lights an essential part of your bike set up. At a minimum have a rear light that is large enough to be visible to cars or other riders and ideally a front light as well.

Our favorite: Blackburn 2FER USB Front/Rear Light. As the name implies, you get two for one with this light. The settings can be adjusted to be used as a front or rear light and it is USB chargeable.

Be the most prepared rider on the road this season by stocking up on these essentials at


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