What You Should Carry

saddlebag

Being an independent rider goes a long way.  A solitary ride, setting your own speed and workout, can be a nice change of pace or, for some of us, the norm.  But you don't want to be that guy/gal standing on the side of the trail or road with a flat and a forlorn look--but no tools or air.  Almost as unpleasant is bonking (depleting your energy stores) and not being prepared with an energy bar, gel, or homemade substitute, or at least some cash if you are fortunate enough to run out of steam within striking distance of a convienence store.  

Here's a list of the must haves for every ride.  All of this is small enough to fit in a normal size saddle bag although some hard core riders carry all of it in the pockets of their jerseys (which is why those pockets exist) and eschew the extra weight of the bag.

Getting Women 'UpOn A Bike'

AnnieLonBikeTwo years ago, out of shape and overweight, I pulled my bike out of the garage and swore to a more committed relationship with my 12 year old Lemond Buenos Aires.  I’d always been an avid cyclist, both on the mountain and the road, but kids, sporting events, and many other enabling excuses had allowed my devotion to wane and my weight to, well, do the exact opposite.

Having fought with the same thirty or so pounds many times over the last two decades, something clicked this time.  Maybe it was desperation I felt as I approached mid-middle age, maybe it was my kids were capable (although not always willing) to fend for themselves so I could limit my exposure to refrigerator grazing.  Whatever the reason, I lost 45 pounds and, more importantly, changed the way I eat in order to keep the weight off.

Although changing my diet was crucial, cycling played the biggest role in my success.  .....

Moab, UT

a9-9amMoab is incredible.  On my second trip back I had fresh legs and I was on a mission to rediscover camping and tackle the trails with more confidence.  Mid-October can be risky with night time temperatures dipping towards freezing but I was very lucky and the weather was picture perfect, as was my campsite.  

Sparing you the details and cutting to the chase, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared.  In fact, camping was pretty good.  The slight loss of sleep caused by a middle aged back on a 1.5 inch pad was totally and completely overshadowed by the breakfast views.  I took my morning coffee (Starbucks instant packets--HIGHLY recommend them...and I am a coffee snob) down to the river and watched the sun paint the eastern wall of the canyon while simultaneously casting a perfect mirror image onto the glassy river.  

Gift Idea for the Cyclist in Your LIfe

After a conversation with a friend this afternoon I offered to make her a cycling gift basket as a Christmas present for her hard to buy for son.  I thought I would share some thoughts on what might work for the cyclist in your life (or yourself)!

The basket:

I happen to love organizing and have always been fond of containers with pockets.  I also like my equipment to be all in one place so I can get in a car and go in hurry to ride without leaving stuff I need behind.  Having a basket for tools and a bin for cloths in my garage or in my car has saved me many times.

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April 28, 2013
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