So I am off to Bragg Creek again tomorrow to ride some more singletrack trails with a friend. I figured this would be a good time to share what I pack and what I check on my bike before each ride.
Getting The Gear
The night before is when I get the bulk of my stuff ready. It’s when I pack all my crap and give my bike a good check. I will also check the weather the night before just to make sure it’s going to be smooth sailing. Tomorrow is going to be a hot day with no clouds, so short sleeve jersey, shorts and sunscreen are a definite!
Next I start packing my bag. First things first I check that my multitool, electrical tape, sunglasses, gloves and bandanna are all in my bag. Next up is snacks. I like to have something to eat for every hour I am riding. Granola bars, trail mix and fruit leathers are my go to.
I do a quick check to make sure my water bladder is working right and in my bag ready to be filled the next morning.
Last but not least is getting breakfast prepped for the next morning. I will usually have a muffin, some fruit, toast and most importantly a cup of coffee, with another one for the road.
Bike Check – The Basics
Before I get to the bike I will usually get the bike rack on the trunk. Double checking to make sure everything is on right so it doesn’t dump my bike on the highway. I throw the bike on real quick to make sure the straps are tight under load. Then I toss all the extra crap I need for strapping down and protecting the car on the lid of the trunk.
Next up is going over the bike.
A Is For Air
First up I give the tires a good once over. I use my bike pump (no dedicated pressure gauge…yet) to check the air pressure and add air if needed.
I also give both sides of both tires a close inspection looking for tears or sidewall damage. Give the quick releases a check to make sure they are tight and give them a spin to make sure they are aligned properly.
B Is For Brakes And Bolts
I usually give my brake handles a quick squeeze with the tire spinning to see where the tire locks up in relation to how much I have to pull on the brake lever, adjusting the tightness if it is too much pull.
Next I start at the front axle and check bolts with my multitool, going in an “M” shape from axle, up to the handle bars, down to the cranks and front derailleur, up to the seat, then back down to the rear axle and derailleur.
C Is For Chain
While I am down at the rear axle I do a quick check of the chain. make sure it is properly cleaned and lubed up. Dry lube for dry and dusty terrain, wet lube for muddy and damp days.
Also make sure your chain is running through all your pulleys nicely and check that the master link is in good shape.
Ready To Ride
Overall this should take around 10 minutes, and the more you do it, the quicker you get at it. Making sure everything is in tip top shape before you go means you can get right to riding as soon as you get to the trails!