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Old 08-04-07, 11:51 AM   #1
Motorad
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Pre-Flight Checks

Okay, pre-biking checks. I've discovered two pre-checks which would be a good idea to do:
1. Got Water? I have a couple of water bottles for the bike frame, and I either:
A. Take off with the water bottles empty ... but in the water bottle cages. Or ...
B. I have the proper planning to grab the bottles, fill them with cold water and put them in the freezer just prior to hitting the road ... and hit the road with the water bottles still in the freezer.

2. Check the brake cables ... and brake caliper opener thingie (that you open to remove front wheel). I've always favored my rear brake, which explains why I've made two 15 mile rides with the front brake caliper thingie wide open ... meaning no front brakes while zipping down hills at 20 MPH.

What else are good pre-biking checks when going out for a 2 hour ride from your house? And would there be different pre-biking checks you would do based on the temperature (100+ degree heat index this week), the season (Michigan winters), and metropark-MUP rides versus road rides?
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Old 08-04-07, 11:57 AM   #2
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Here's a few

ID on board?

Cell phone?

Is the bike bag closed and zipped up tight? (Learned that one from Granny Gear)
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Old 08-04-07, 12:28 PM   #3
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Don't forget to air up the tires.
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Old 08-04-07, 01:14 PM   #4
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Nutrition of choice for rides over 1 hr.
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Old 08-04-07, 01:19 PM   #5
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Nutrition of choice for rides over 1 hr.
Full water bottles
Air in tires
HRM strap
Power gel and clif bar.
Wallet and cell phone in sandwich bag.


Did I use the loo?
Do I need to?
Maybe I better make sure...

Ready to go.
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Old 08-04-07, 01:59 PM   #6
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I can remember my big 4: Cell phone, wallet, sunglasses, keys. Everything else I need reminders on. So, I refill water bottles and put them in the fridge...then I hang my gloves on the bottle cages so I'll remember the bottles. Wrap my HR strap around the handle bars to remind me to attach the Garmin. Zip lock bag with bar, banana and a couple of gels. Now if I just had a sure way to not forget my shoes.
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Old 08-04-07, 02:35 PM   #7
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It is surprising how many times I go out without some vital part of the bike or cycling gear.
Helmet always has gloves and glasses in it so those 3 will always go with me. On the bike are a tool bag that never gets taken off and I have one for each bike--The same with the pump. Computer is normally taken off the bike after each ride and is left indoors somewhere but is never forgotten for some reason. Water bottle always stays on the bike- Only one but after each ride- it is taken in for a wash and an empty one put in the cage- upside down. If it is a longer ride than normal then the Camelback gets taken on the ride and that is always a problem. I rarely use it on the road as Cafe stops and shops are handy for fresh water. But that camelback needs a thorough clean after use and I always forget to clean it. so it is a 1 hour wait while the Disinfectant gets to work if I want to use it.

So all those tips so that I never forget anything and the water bottle is often left upside down and empty. The repair kit in the tool bag is often left in the shed after I repaired a neighbours tube-and the same with the pump as I used that on the repair. Computer is never forgotten but I often have to use one off another bike as I can't find the right one. And I often can't find the camelback as last time I used it- The wife put it somewhere- instead of in the lounge where I left it to remind me to clean it out and Even she forgot where she put it.

Now when it comes to pre-ride checks- I always do it after a ride when I check the bike over- Other than Pump up the tyres with the track pump- the bike is always ready to go. Just a pity my Brain isn't.
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Old 08-04-07, 03:19 PM   #8
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You've convinced me to post a pre-ride checklist on the wall above where I store my bike. Thanks!
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Old 08-04-07, 03:35 PM   #9
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Condom?
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Old 08-04-07, 04:18 PM   #10
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Condom?
You can never have too much protection.
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Old 08-04-07, 04:51 PM   #11
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Contact lens rewetting solution.
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Old 08-04-07, 04:58 PM   #12
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I ALWAYS forget to check the charge on my cell phone!
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Old 08-04-07, 05:07 PM   #13
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When the wife goes with me on a ride she gets mad at me for "taking forever to get ready" but guess who gets to fix her bike if something goes wrong.
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Old 08-04-07, 05:19 PM   #14
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"ABC Quick Check", per the League of American Cyclists:

1. A is for air
* Inflate tires to rated pressure as listed on the sidewall of the tire
* Use a pressure gauge to insure proper pressure
* Check for damage to tire tread and sidewall; replace if damaged

2. B is for brakes
* Inspect pads for wear; replace is there is less than " of pad left
* Check pad adjustment; make sure they do not rub tire or dive into spokes
* Check brake level travel; at least 1" between bar and lever when applied

3. C is for cranks, chain and cassette
* Make sure that your crank bolts are tight; lube the threads only, nothing else
* Check your chain for wear; 12 links should measure no more than 12 1/8 inches
* If your chain skips on your cassette, you might need a new one or just an adjustment

4. Quick is for quick releases
* Hubs need to be tight in the frame; your quick release should engage at 90
* Your hub quick release should point back to insure that nothing catches on it
* Inspect brake quick releases to insure that they have been re-engaged

5. Check is for check it over
* Take a quick ride to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly
* Inspect the bike for loose or broken parts; tighten, replace or fix them
* Pay extra attention to your bike during the first few miles of the ride
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Old 08-04-07, 05:46 PM   #15
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I think all the essentials have been covered, but I also put on sunscreen before every ride. It protects my arms from sunburn and assures that I'll return home just as pale as when I left.
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Old 08-04-07, 05:53 PM   #16
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I learned this little routine from when I taught skiing (leaving a piece of ski gear behind is, um, worse?):

* Point to parts of your body, from feet up to your head:
shoes, socks, shorts, jersey, gloves, sunglasses, helmet. check.

* each pocket of the jersey (left to right for me)
nutrition; tube, pump (I wear mine, a Crank Bros), tri-spoke allen wrench and balled up rain jacket; cellphone, wallet, keys

* do the same with the bike:
air in the tires, saddle bag, water bottles (filled!)
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Old 08-04-07, 09:10 PM   #17
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I havn't seen anyone list a spare tube and pump or CO2 canisters. Maybe I missed it. Additionally I ALWAYS pack a Topeak multi-tool with chain breaker, Presta adaptor and 4" folding knife.
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Old 08-04-07, 09:31 PM   #18
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Condom?
Good for covering your computer if it should rain.
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Old 08-04-07, 11:13 PM   #19
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I thought I was the only one who takes forever to get ready for a ride. I think you guys have covered most of my list except sunglasses or other eye protection. And did anyone mention gloves yet?

Nevermind, I see stapfam and Superdex have it covered...
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Old 08-05-07, 05:19 AM   #20
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Good for covering your computer if it should rain.
Yes, they are prominently displayed in my LBS, right next to their cyclo computer display!
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Old 08-05-07, 05:25 AM   #21
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I thought I was the only one who takes forever to get ready for a ride. I think you guys have covered most of my list except sunglasses or other eye protection. And did anyone mention gloves yet?
Which is exactly why I have what I call my "Road Utility Bike."

It is usually totally ready to go, and it has toe clips. So, I can jump on it wearing whatever I might have on - regular shorts, sweat shirt, Levis in winter, whatever, including tennis shoes, and just pedal away. The only requirement is one rubber band on the right pants leg (I keep losing those thingies that are made just for that purpose, so I just have a large box of rubber bands.)

It has panniers so I can go to the grocery store and get stuff, etc.

Sometimes it just takes too long to get all duded up! Fast is good.
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Old 08-07-07, 07:24 AM   #22
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Don't forget to air up the tires.
But make sure you're cat (aka: The Gremlin) is not in the area. My new bike came with cool transparent presta valve caps. Aired up one tire, then the next, and poof: one of the valve caps was stolen by Smokey the Gremlin. My money is betting that the transparent valve is now in one of the black holes within the basement ... never to be seen again.

How mission-critical is it to have the valve caps on the wheels? For riding off-road through bushes, it's probably mandatory, but what about on-road riding?
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Old 08-07-07, 07:29 AM   #23
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How mission-critical is it to have the valve caps on the wheels? For riding off-road through bushes, it's probably mandatory, but what about on-road riding?
They're superfluous. Per Sheldon Brown:

In the case of Presta valves, which have non-removeable, built-in caps, external caps are unnecessary in use. The purpose of these redundant caps that come with Presta tubes and tubulars is so that the pointy end of the valve won't puncture your spare tube or tubular while it is rolled up. There's no reason to use them in actual riding
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Old 08-07-07, 08:00 AM   #24
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Turn my cell phone to vibrate only. I hate riding along and having the phone ring. I'd much sooner have it vibrate so that I can discretely pull over to the side, look to see who is calling, and either answer it or not without others knowing I've ogt someone calling me.
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