Trail Ride Checklist
Pump up your tires
Read the PSI markings on the side of the tire to ensure that you are putting the right amount of air in.
Inspect your helmet
Make sure that it is not cracked or impaired in any way, be sure that it fits properly, and tighten the straps as appropriate.
Check your bike
Make sure that your brakes and chain are working properly. It is much easier to make adjustments at home than on the trail. Also, check that your reflectors are clean and that you have a light if you anticipate riding after dark or through a trail tunnel
Bring more than enough water, especially on a hot day or if riding in a remote area. Sometimes even that guaranteed water refill spot is not available for one reason or another.
Nuts, granola bars, or compact foods that provide a protein punch are the perfect items to take along to keep energy up. As with water, always pack a little more than you think you will need.
Prep your phone
Make sure that your phone is fully charged before heading out.
Plot your route
If you are heading out on a new trail, do not forget to download directions to trailheads and research parking locations. Note where restrooms, water fountains, bike shops, and other services are located within close proximity to the trail. Also determine if your trail requires a fee or permit.
Review your clothing options
Depending on the time of year and conditions on the day that you are riding, consider whether a rain poncho, an extra layer, or gloves are necessary.
Pack a lock
Even if you do not anticipate stopping, a lock is nice to have in the event that plans change.
Bring bike supplies
Be sure to have an extra tube (make sure it is the right one for your bike) or patch kit, as well as tire levers, a cyclist’s multi-tool, and a pump.
Wear sun protection
Do not forget sunscreen and sunglasses, even on an overcast day.
Review other gear
Other items to include in your pack: a band-aid or two, anti-friction chamois cream, lip balm, tissues, cash and a credit card, identification, and your health insurance card (which hopefully you won’t need). If it is a new route, you may also want to consider bringing a map, directions, and a camera.