Even if you’re only going a short distance, there’s nothing worse than being stranded somewhere with a broken bicycle. A simple, pleasant ride can turn into inconvenient phone calls for a pickup or dragging a disabled cycle to a safe place.
If you use your bike for commuting or pleasure riding, here’s your simple guide to everything that you need in a bicycle emergency kit. And if you just started riding, read our more extensive piece on road bike safety tips for new cyclists.
A Basic Bike Multi-Tool
Perhaps the greatest invention there’s ever been, the multi-tool is the number one must-have for cyclists in Iowa. This tool can be used to perform basic tasks, like raising or lowering a bike seat, to more complex ones. What’s more, the device is tiny, fitting in even the smallest of bike packs.
Bicycle Tubes and a Patch Repair Kit
Of course, also necessary for avid bikers is an extra tube—or two—as well as a patch repair kit. Inner tubes are easy to replace, and a patch repair kit can be a lifesaver if your bike gets multiple punctures and you’ve already used up your extra tubes.
Of course, don’t forget a handheld pump. Many pumps can very easily attach directly to the frame of a bicycle, taking up little room and adding very little weight.
Mini First-Aid Kit
Even if you have saddlebags, riding with a lot of extra weight can be a pain. To avoid carrying anything heavy, choose a mini first-aid kit to carry in your bike pack.
The kit should contain, at the least, the following three things.
Extra Water and Snacks
Whether you’re riding in the summer or the winter, keeping an extra water bottle on you and a snack item—like a granola bar, jerky, or trail mix—is a good idea. If you do end up having a problem and have to wait for help, water and food can help keep your blood sugar from getting too low, and will keep you hydrated.
Cell Phone and Money
Always keep your cell phone and some cash available in your emergency kit in case you need it. You never know when you might need to call for help, or need to stop somewhere for supplies.
Always Stay Safe While Riding
A bicycle emergency kit is one way to help keep yourself safe while riding. You can also improve your safety by reading our bicycle/pedestrian accidents blog and familiarizing yourself with the rules of the road. If you ever are in a bicycle accident in Iowa, call Walker, Billingsley & Bair for legal help at (888) 435-9886, or fill out our online contact form.