I’ve got things down to a science in the packing department. Here is what you’ll find on my bike during the summer months when I’m just riding around town:
ON THE BIKE
I have two wrap around rubber lights (one white, one red) for the handlebar and back rack. (The dynamo charges a front light for me and my tires have reflective walls that make me visible from the side.) Two water bottle cages with two bottles of water. Panniers hanging from the back rack.
I check the weather religiously. If there is even a 10% chance of rain, I pack a jacket. No jacket if there is no precipitation in the forecast.
I pack two locks. One’s a u-lock and the other’s a heavy chain. This is by far the heaviest thing on my bicycle, but obviously totally essential. If I know I’ll be going a place where I can bring the bike inside, I just take the chain lock as back-up.
ON MY PERSON
Helmet, sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves and sometimes padded bike shorts.
IN A POUCH
Cell phone, small wallet, keys, pant leg straps, bike map, sunscreen and, new addition, a hair brush.
Yes, I’ll admit, if I breakdown, I’m walking… but once I get that skillset down, I’ll add a multi-tool, tire repair kit and tubes to this list. But until I figure out how to do all that (especially daunting with my internal hub, disc brakes and dynamo living on the wheels), there’s really no point in having any of that stuff yet.
And where will I learn to do all that and more? At the Bike Depot’s Women’s Mechanic Class taking place mid-October.