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Canada Day ride: What is in your saddle bag?

Do you have all the essentials for your long ride this weekend?

With the long weekend just around the corner, you are probably already eyeing your bike dreaming of your planned long ride. In our excitement, we may fall short of packing that one ride essential, our saddle bag. It has everything, tools, tubes, pumps and cash; you can even throw in some food. The results of our neglect can be inconvenient, unpleasant and ruin a day of great training.

If you don’t have the right tools to deal with a flat tire or minor mechanical you could end up stranded. If you are riding with a group, you could be that rider who forget their stuff. Don’t be that rider; you may end up having to buy the post-ride meal for everyone.

If you want to avoid all that, you’ll want to make sure you have all these ride essentials in your saddle bag.

1) Spare tube, mini-pump or Co2 cartridge and tire levers

Fixing a flat is probably the most common mechanical mishap you’ll encounter on a ride. Knowing how to fix one isn’t enough, you’ll also need the tools required and a spare tube.

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Do Always have the tools to fix at least one flat tire, but throwing in a patch kit and a second tube isn’t a bad idea if you are heading somewhere remote.

Don’t Rely on others for tubes, especially if you’re going out on a solo long training ride for your next long course race.

2) Money

Whether for an emergency or just a mid-ride croissant and coffee, always carry some cash with you while out riding.

Do Bring a credit card and cash. It never hurts to be too prepared.

Don’t Forget a little plastic ziplock bag to put your card and cash in. It is not as bulky as a wallet and keeps your cash dry.

3) Multi-tool

A slipping saddle or handlebar, a loose bottle cage, a minor mechanical mishap, all can be fixed with the right tool. Multi-tools are a handy way to have a bunch of useful tools at your disposal, and chances are you’ll put it to good use during the season.

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Do Bring it on group rides because someone who didn’t bring theirs might need it.

Don’t Buy the bulkiest one with every single tool on it unless you intend to rely on it. If it’s just for everyday riding, make sure it has the tool you need and it fits nicely in a pocket or your saddle bag.

4) Identification

It’s important to always carry some form of identification on you when you are out riding. It is even more critical if you have a medical condition or allergy.

Do Consider purchasing wristband ID or another way to carry it without needing to remove your card from your wallet every time you ride.

Don’t Leave it loose in your pocket or it could be at risk of falling out when you reach for something else.

5) Cell-phone

It’s a no-brainer to bring your cell phone with you. It can help you navigate if you get lost and call for help if you are stranded. Also, how else are you going to be able to update your Instagram account with the latest ride pictures?

Do Put the ringer on so if someone calls, you don’t miss it.

Don’t Leave your phone in a pocket where it will get wet if it rains, sticky from your ride food or scratched by your keys or something else in your pocket.

6) Fuel

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For your long ride, you are going to need to refuel. Instead of relying on gas stations or a café, it’s good to know you have something to eat when you get hungry in your back pocket.

Try making homemade granola bars as well; it’s a great way to experiment with your ride nutrition.

Do Bring a banana, energy bars or gels and drink mix to use when you refill your bottles.

Don’t Toss your waste on the side of the road. Secure it in a designated pocket and make sure it doesn’t fly out while you are riding.