Safety is a language spoken fluently in my household. Mr. SAG is in the police and emergency response business. I work in healthcare. My training is in physical therapy, but having specialized in orthopedic manual therapy for over 30 years, my joints started to say “no more”. With ergonomics expertise in my repertoire, I transitioned into employee safety about ten years ago. We both train people in our community on how to be prepared for and respond to emergencies through the CERT program (Community Emergency Response Training). We are also both private pilots and safety is taken into account before and during every flight. We have food and water storage that can take us through at least 72 hours and go bags are ready in our home. Emergency kits are in each of our cars and we have one packed that we take on the plane. Miss SAG even has one in her dorm room since she’s been trained from day one.
Given that background, one would hope safety comes into play when I cycle. I do my best – if not for me, for Mr. and Miss SAG.
People frequently ask about what I bring along on my rides keeping safety in mind. So…
It starts with a checklist. I learned somewhat the hard way that at least for me, at this point (age) in my life, a checklist is essential. And it starts with a safety check of my bike – tire psi, bolt tightness, chain/derailleur, lights – and then all the things I should have with me.
I believe lights are essential. I run one or two blinking red lights on the rear and a blinking or steady white light on the front. My lights are rechargeable, but I have backup ones that run on batteries. I carry solar and rechargeable usb power banks just in case.
I ride mostly solo and long distance so I have a satellite tracker and back up phone aps that send signals for Mr. SAG to see where I am at any given time. If my phone is out of commission (charge or service), I can still send customized messages asking for help.
I take fuel and water on every ride – unless I’m doing the 5-mile loop around my house. I take plenty of water with me whenever I ride. I have the ability to take 3 water bottles if necessary, and on really long rides through the middle of nowhere, like Nevada’s route 50, I carry a Camelbak. I also have a life straw in my trunk bag just in case.
I usually have some form of fuel with me. If I’m out on a hundred-mile or more ride, I pack meals. Otherwise, I usually have a banana or orange, some nuts and dried fruit, some Clif bars (or similar) or Clif blocks. I usually don’t eat much, but they are handy to have if you get into trouble.
Other items I have along: first aid kit, sun screen, lip balm, space blanket (extra from my plane kit), jacket, multi tool, extra tubes, mini pump, chain master link, duck tape, air horn/dog deterrent and maps available on my Garmin device and phone aps.
Aside from all that, I wear high vis/reflective clothing, reflective ankle straps, a helmet, gloves with good padding and glasses (either polarized for sun, or clear lenses). Sometimes I use Cat-Ears which are wind noise reducers. They are the things that look like side burns. I didn’t think they did all that much until I stopped using them. They really make quite a difference!
It might seem like a bit of overkill, but it gives me and Mr. SAG peace of mind. Be safe out there!
Song of the day: