Friday Group Ride #417

Friday Group Ride #417

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?

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8 comments

  1. Jeff vdD

    I’m of the be-prepared school. A few extras like full-fingered gloves, a base layer, and arm and leg warmers take up practically no room at all. As for kit basics, one set for every two days, maybe more if a washing machine is available. Nutrition depends totally on the environs, but I lean away from my tried-and-true endurance fuel and toward whatever the local commerce offers, perhaps augmented by peanut butter and jelly sandwich or two.

    Don’t forget tools. While you can probably get away without a repair stand or lube/cleaning supplies, you may be thankful for a bit more than a compact multi-tool. Consider a full set of hex (and torx!) keys, a pedal wrench, a double-ended slotted/phillips screwdriver for derailleur adjustment, and a floor pump.

  2. W

    really dude? you do the same trip every year. bring the stuff you need.

    sorry for the snark cause I love you–Im just saying…

  3. Andrew

    For one week:
    Gravel bike (most flexible)
    Helmet, shoes, etc.
    Jersey/baselayer/bibs/socks x 3
    2 water bottles
    Floor pump
    Rain jacket
    One warm baselayer (you never know)
    Garmin and charger

    I think that’s about it.

  4. scottg

    Its summer right, I still have my souvenir bib tights from a tour.
    I also had a set of souvenir Michelin Lithion tires, finally gave them away.
    My wife has an actual souvenir Brones BIke Shop jersey from that tire expedition.
    More seriously, a sack of Nunn and a traveling kit of tools and BB prop stand
    of any adjustments.

  5. Aar

    I vascilate between being over-prepared and minimalist. Currently in a minimalist phase. If there’s a washing machine, no more than 2 kits that are appropriate for the weather you WANT to ride in. Credit card for nutrition but I take my drink mix because I persnickety about that. If there are bike shops in the area that carry stuff (tubes, lube, chains, etc) that fits your bike, only take your roadside repair kit and floor pump. It’s only a week and you’re on vacation!

  6. Michael

    About the only thing I’d add is that, at least in the places I tend to vacation, there may be no towns to refill on water, often for 60-80 miles. So, I have learned to bring along a nice little Jandd seat bag that is big enough to hold a one-liter platypus bag, so I have a way to carry enough water to get me those sorts of distances. This is also big enough to carry a water filter instead, if I choose to go that route (and there are streams). I hate wearing backpacks/hydration packs, whether I am riding in the dirt or on the road, so this is my work-around.

  7. Dan Murphy

    Sounds like you’re headed to the Cape.

    Since it’s mid-summer, just a bunch of shorts and jerseys. Traveling by car, you can bring a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of fireroads, so a gravel bike can be handy, especially to avoid summer traffic hell.

    We’re taking off for about a month at the end of August with our RV trailer. For that long a time, I don’t screw around and take everything – all tools, workstand, spare parts, tons of clothing, Seven Evergreen with two sets of wheels.

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