Hydration packs work extremely well for storing water and supplies needed for epic adventures, but for rides of shorter duration they are often overkill. Last year I returned to my roots and installed a bottle cage on my bike and left my pack at home. Rediscovering the freedom of riding sans pack has really enriched my regular riding experience. Removing that weight on my shoulders it feels like I have way more energy, and climbing is no longer the chore it once was.
There happens to be a potable water source at my local park, which means I can get away with a single water bottle and a handful of tools. For longer rides though, a single bottle isn’t enough, and I’ve begun looking into solutions for carrying adequate hydration. If I could tote one more bottle easily it would really make a difference.
In the meantime, I’ve been trying to hydrate more on the way to the trail, (and not just with coffee, my usual routine) in the hope I don’t get too thirsty.
The first and biggest change I’ve made has been going back to a traditional cycling jersey with rear pockets in order to have enough space to adequately carry my essentials. Shorts with good pockets have been a must as well.
At the moment, my minimal every ride carry (ERC) consists of the following:
- Tire levers
- Multi-tool featuring a chain tool
- Cliff Shots, gels and bars
- iPhone (wrapped in a ziplock)
- Lightweight jacket or vest/armwarmers
This is as light as I feel comfortable going, and doesn’t include a tube, which is attached to my bike. My bike is well maintained, but this is a pretty minimal carry, and I’m not even toting a master link.
Not enough? Are you comfortable getting away with less? What’s your carry?