What to Bring on a Ride

Here are some items separated fairly subjectively into 5 categories by number; 1 being the most important for you to bring along, and 5 being things that it is often a good idea expressly not to bring along:


Driver’s license
Proof of insurance
Vehicle registration
3+L H2O (I bring a 3L water-bag)
Cell phone w/ ICE1 number in contacts
Snacks - lunch may be on the trail

Show up @ the shop with a full tank!
 1In Case of Emergency
2All The Gear, All The Time (wear it!)
3A Spirit of Adventure!


Shade hat
Warm and cool clothes
Basic tool kit for your bike
Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card*
More Snacks
First Aid Kit
Petty Cash
*That is, your membership card to the
motorcycle towing service of your choice.


Air pump
2-Way radio
Pressure gauge
ICE list to trade with another rider
More Petty Cash
Spare Fuel


Tow rope
Map of general ride area
Extensive tool kit for your bike


Over-sized egos
Illegal substances
Household pets
Street tires

There are as many more items that could increase or decrease the amount of fun or satisfaction or safety or overall rolling weight you have on a given ride, as there are stars in the sky. Keep in mind that we are only out for the day, and that in general, when it comes to bike handling less (weight) is more. When loading up for the day, balance that thought out with how prepared you need to be to feel comfortable.

No matter what you bring, you may well want one more item - a backpack to carry all your stuff in:

Saddle bags & top cases are acceptable, but we've found that for day rides especially, the most versatile & functional way to carry a day's gear is with a backpack. A rider can wear a fairly light backpack, but a couple bungee cords get the weight off the back and on the rear seat. Some backpack / bike configurations can even be tied down securely with only the straps built into the pack. This distributes weight fairly well, keeps your system light, & comes off the bike easily - & keeps you from over-packing for a local day ride. A nice system includes a dedicated hydration pack on your back, with little or no extra carrying capacity, & a smallish backpack strapped onto the back seat for the rest of the gear. Maintaining hydration is extremely important, & this system makes it easy to drink regularly.

On the other hand, if you've got saddlebags or some other system for carrying gear that you want to get more comfortable riding off pavement with, bring it.

One last thought on the subject: Tank bags are almost always a detriment to good off-pavement riding position.