A part of every trip, big and small, is packing. This can bring on some excitement and nerves as anticipation builds and the time draws near to leave. For me the process of getting ready is all about planning and preparation…giving myself enough time to find things, fix things, borrow things, or buy things so my mind can be at ease when we set off. This means I can focus on enjoying the ride and not have to stress when situations change as I know we are as prepared as possible.
Now the goRide families are preparing for an adventurous ride. We are going to ride a part of the Tasman Great Taste Trail over 4 days and 3 nights! Yes biking and camping two great outdoor activities mixed together and commonly known as bike touring.
To follow is the story of how we “got ready” for the personal safety part of our trip and here is the link to our goRide essential personnel safety check. This check can be really simple if your ride is short, familiar and the weather is good or it can be a little more complicated like ours was. Either way this check is a routine that all people who ride should form.
AM I SAFE TO RIDE?
We choose a day about a week out from our tour and Rhea begins with her checklist. Rhea is 9 and has been riding since she was 4yrs old. She is the second oldest child in the group and will be riding unassisted for the whole tour. Her responsibility for this trip is to check our personnel safety, do this for others or make sure they have done it themselves. All of these things need to be checked at the very beginning of the tour. Some just at the beginning of each day e.g food and water. Some every time we get on the bike e.g. do I have my helmet on?
Bike & Helmet: We will be dealing with 4 bikes and 4 helmets in our family, so Rhea follows the goRide essential pre-ride bike check. She also asked each person in our family to give some feedback on anything they may have noticed lately concerning their bike or helmet. If there are any issues make a plan to get them fixed.
Visibility: We won’t be on the road the majority of the time so not a huge consideration. We don’t plan to ride at night but we definitely need lights in case we are caught out so Rhea gathers our lights and checks them over – looking for flat batteries and broken attachments (See Bike Light Buying Guide for more info on bike lights).
Clothing: Choose comfortable clothes that will allow movement & stretch when biking. Shorts & leggings tend to be what the kids like to wear. Protect their bottoms with padded bike underwear (goUnders for Kids). This is important for their comfort over big days of riding.
Kit: We will carry the goRide essential tool kit with us plus extra tools as these are long rides and multi-days. Rhea decided who is carrying which tools in their kit and for one of the adults to carry a first aid kit.
Security: Two long coil bike locks to be carried. More in support car for night time security.
Water & Food: Every person needs to be carrying their own water. For the kids this involves drink bottles, while the adults can carry camel paks. Food to be carried in an adult pannier. E.g chocolate brownie, muesli bars, bananas, oranges, sandwiches.
Weather: Long days at the beginning of autumn so thermal layer & jacket to be carried. Sunscreen applied at start of day and to be carried in first aid kit.
When she has finished we created a list of what we needed to get/do/buy/fix. There are some examples in the list below.
- New helmet for Rhea – one of the occipital adjusters has snapped
- Rhea has noticed her brakes screeching when going down hill so she would like them looked at
- Need to buy a spare 20 inch tube for Isaac’s bike
- Need to add to our essential bike tool kit – small adjustable wrench, chain link, chain lube, zip ties, duct tape, multi-tool
- Put new batteries in the front bike lights and add them to our kit.
- Look for recipes and choose a day to bake some goodies
As you get it – place it together and check your progress. We check together the night before we leave. Now the day arrives and Rhea can do a quick check knowing that she is really well prepared.
Good luck with your planning & prep. Let us know how your trip went!
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