I’m pretty transparent in what I do here, I think. The Group Ride is one part bicycle free-association, one part diatribe, a healthy dose of help-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing, and the remainder in straight advice solicitation. Today’s installment is primarily the latter.
I’m leaving tomorrow for a week’s vacation. This vacation is an annual affair. It’s nearby, and we drive there (except when I ride there). It affords me a brief spasm of days in which a series of long rides is possible. I don’t always take full advantage, because I’m tired and lazy, and it’s vacation, not training camp, BUT, I do plan to ride a bit.
I have taken all varieties of bike on this particular trip, but experience has shown that a road bike is the right implement. This year I’ll be riding a prototype bike built by my friend Bryan, with a review to follow. The road bike is right because most of what’s rideable there is flat-ish pavement and bike path that flirts with ocean views and is, in many places, highly trafficked. I don’t let that bother me.
This year my wife has volunteered that she is eager to ride, too, which is unusual, and so I’m trying to put extra care into crafting rides and preparing gear, so that the experience is good for her. In usual, pre-vacation fashion I’ll be hitting the bike shop on the way home to get another tray for the roof rack, some fresh brake pads, and probably another small pile of stuff I might need. It’s all very frantic/ritualistic.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what do you take with you for a week of possible riding? Sure, there’s a bike, but how many kits? How much nutrition? It’s summer, so I’m presuming the weather will be a non-factor. Gloves? Warmers? Are you one of those bring-the-kitchen-sink riders? Or are you a minimalist? It’s only a week, after all. What could I possibly, beyond the bike, really need?