Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — Racing the Sun
Most often I am rushing home from work and any errands I had to accomplish, so typically I am in a bit of a hurry as I often am racing the sun. My finish line is the completion of my chose route and of course the sun’s finish line is the western horizon. So it is generally hurried, but since it is a ritual I can often accomplish my ritual quickly.
If have gone shopping and purchased things, typically step one after arriving home is to get that stuff in the house and possibly in the refrigerators, while I do not cry over spilled milk, I do get sick on spoiled milk, so taking care of groceries is important.
I usually have the route decided on by the time I get home and is dependent on the wind and how many miles I believe I will be able to ride before dark. That of course is determined by the way I feel as much as the amount of light hours left in the day.
Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — Gear Check
The first thing I do is my equipment check, which consists of checking my tire pressures and making sure they are in range. If they are not, I turn on my air compressor and top off the air in my tires. I use a pressure gauge and do not go by feel. Once or twice a season this inspection also leads to a inner tube change, which I had to do on my last ride.
Tires are not the only equipment needing a check but the rest of my bike receives a cursory inspection. Brakes, drive-train, lights, etc.
Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — Clothing Swap
Next, I change clothes from my street clothes into my bike clothing. Yes, it is form fitting and I prefer a pair of smart wool or synthetic socks. As we move into warmer weather this step is getting quicker as I am essentially down to one layer.
My bike clothing is a pair of bike shorts or tights upstairs it might be a piece of UA cold gear and a jersey or a windbreaker. Additional layers may include a fleece or a wool sweater. I typically like to wear a pair of Smartwool socks or a thin pair of synthetic material socks.
Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — Assemble and Pack the Pocket Gear
Which typically includes:
- A pair of reading glasses
- Cash, ID, and a Cash Card
- My Leatherman Multi-tool
- Glucose & Water
I need these in the event of a breakdown and I have to see fine detail, of course it is possible I would need the reading glasses to — read!
Not a lot of cash, but enough to buy some water or sugar in the event I forget to perform another step in my ritual. The cash card and ID come into play for bigger emergencies than forgetting to fill up my water bottles or bringing glucose along.
Yes, I have a mutli-tool in my saddlebag, but I figure it can not helpe to have YAT (yet another tool). This tool has a pliers, a knife, and multiple screw driver tips included.
This one sometimes gets forgotten. I like Honey Stinger chews, but sometimes I use other varieties (GU, Gatorade, and then sometimes they are gels). I generally take more than what I think I will need. I am not that crazy about bonking.
My cellphones. Yes, that is plural. I have a personal cellphone and a work cellphone. I do not bring the work cellphone along because I am waiting for work calls, but because I am allowed limited personal usage of that phone and use the two phones to run multiple tracking apps.
Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — CONTACT(s)
Now I am ready to ditch my glasses and put my contact lenses on. I do not want to break or lose my glasses and in any event I would prefer to wear sunglasses or other eyewear. Also, with contact lenses I do not have worry about adjusting my glasses or near or far vision when riding, I just have to look ahead. However, if need be, I have the reading glasses along.
Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — Eat and Drink
I now eat a banana and consume a packet of energy stuff. Usually I prefer the Gatorade Prime and then I drink down some water before the final step to ride.
Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — Final Steps to Ride
Now we are close to the road! I:
- Exit my house
- Put on my gloves
- Put on my bike shoes
- Grab the bike and leave the garage
- Reset my bike’s trip odometer
- Put on my helmet
- Mount the bike
- Turn on the phone tracking app or apps
Bike Pre-Ride Ritual — What About You?
Do agree with these steps? How about things you may do differently? Let us know!