What I usually ride with
I don’t like to ride with a backpack so I usually have some sort of frame bag, a seat pack and/or handlebar bag. I recently got a Planet Bike Versa Rack so that means I can use that for rain gear and pretty much everything else. I still need a bag up front for my external GoPro battery, my phone and maybe some gels and whatnot.
I usually ride with cleated mtb shoes but switch to flat pedals/Five Ten Freeriders if a hike-a-bike is planned, or even fishing wading shoes if a bike/fish adventure is in store.
I use my right front cage for a bear spray holder. I bring a light, a tube, Co2 canister, nozzle, levers, and a pump if I have room. My ride usually starts with a ~40mph downhill bomber to get to my gravel so if it’s chilly, a windbreaker is a must. I’ll stash it in a bag when I start the uphill. I have given up on having a rain jacket that actually works so it’s more about heat/cold management. I love a mesh undershirt, a jersey, a light down jacket and a wind breaker over that but it can get sweaty. I still love my old Novara winter gloves and have recently gotten rain shells for them, but have real cold weather gloves too. Cold hands and feet suck – I found a sweet pair of Specialized waterproof boots on a killer deal and as long as the rain pants are long enough, my feet actually stay dry and happy.
Riding in the Pacific Northwest is pretty messy much of the year so you really need to apply Rule 5 if you want to be ready for kiliing it in the Spring.
Overall, just stay fluid – If I’m going long, I’ll bring 2 tubes, extra water/food, external battery pack, maybe corner marking material, maybe a paper map / compass. I intend to come home safe after every ride. You have to account for animals, a-holes and mechanical braekdowns. You do whatever it takes to get home.
I need to go ride now, see ya.
Spring riding gear
- Best rain jacket you can afford
- Rain cover for helmet
- Waterproof boots
- Waterproof gloves
- Fogproof glasses
- Cap for rain/sweat
- Peleton / Zwift
Some tools of the trade
Your gear list should become just common sense – what do I need to get out there, do my thing, then get back.
I run tubeless but if I have a tire issue, I have ways to fix that – at least one tube, tube patch kit and a plug kit. If I have chainring bolts or shoe cleat bolts come out and get lost, I have extras. If I see a bear or cougar, I can try to fend them off with noise and harsher spray. If I’m taking a questionable turn, I can mark the corner with distinctive cloth. If I’m running late and it gets dark, I have a light. If I’m hellabonking, I have salt tablets.
Of course I’ll have my fully charged phone, plenty of water and some gel shots, plus my Campbell Global tree farm pass.
- Extra cleat parts and chainring bolts
- Salt tablets
- GU shot
- ID, cash
- Bear spray
- Air horn
- Extra light
- Waterproof bag for id, cash, CG pass
- Crazy corner marking strip
- Pink levers
- Patch kit
- Co2 canisters (padded for quiet)
- Specific allenhead wrenches
More stuff to consider
I often ride with a GoPro so that is its own thing. The stock batteries for GP 10 are total garbage so I have 2 of the upgraded batteries but actually run it with an external battery pack. I have wrapped this battery in fleece to keep it warm since it’s always freezing ass cold in the PNW except for about one month of “summer”.