What to Bring
bring the right gear to your ride
Knowing what to bring with you on the ride sets you up for success. Below we have laid out both the required and recommended items you will need when setting out with your fellow club members.
It is strongly suggested that you bring a multi-geared road bike for most rides over 25km in length. Other styles of bike may work, but you will likely expend more effort and have some trouble keeping up.
The bike should be in good operating condition. This includes proper air pressure in tires, chain lubed, brakes aligned with sufficient braking power available, components in working order, etc.
If the ride leader deems your bike to not be in rideable condition, you will not be able to participate in the ride as it is a safety issue for the group.
If you bring a Time Trail bike, you will be asked to ride "on the horns" so that your hands are close to your brake levers at all times. The same guidance goes for bikes with clip-on aerobars.
This is required, you will not be able to ride without a helmet.
Your membership card
Not every ride leader knows every member. You may be asked to present a valid membership card (e-mailed to you when you joined) to confirm you are insured and can ride.
Your cycling kit
Ideally, this would be our fancy RCCC Kit, but it is not required. It is highly recommended that you bring a pair of padded shorts and a cycling jersey. These will keep you comfortable (top and bottom) over the duration of the ride. For colder rides, you may wish to bring layers and/or arm/leg/knee warmers. Keep in mind, as you ride you may warm up and these will need to be packed away.
Spare Tube / Puncture Kit
It is inevitable that you will get a puncture while on the road. It happens to everyone at some point, sometimes multiple times per ride. Make sure you have a spare inner tube that fits your tire, tire levers to get your tires off and some way to re-inflate your tire such as a hand pump or a CO2 cartridge.
Emergency Contact Info
You should be able to reach out to the ride leader or another contact in the event of an emergency. A cell phone may not always stay charged, so it is good to carry this information in hard copy somewhere on your person or bike.
On most rides, you will need water and food. Nothing is worse than being an hour away from the nearest town and running out of energy. Plan on one bottle of water for every 45 minutes of activity and torching a few hundred calories per hour at a minimum. It is highly recommended to bring an energy bar (~250 cals) and a few gels (100 cals each) to any ride over two hours. Bananas are great portable energy too. Eat them before you get hangry (a combination of hungry and angry, which happens when you wait too long to eat).
For early morning rides, rides in the evenings as daylight fades and quite frankly to continue to be visible on the road, you should have lights for your bike. In most circumstances, a white front light and a red rear light will suffice. However, if you are riding pre-dawn, or in dusk, you should have a front light with enough power to allow you to see road hazards (500-800 lumens).
Ready to join a club with other local cycling enthusiasts?