Fastest Way to Ride
I love riding my bike, but I hate getting ready to go ride. It’s a perfect catch-22 situation where I’m constantly stuck in a loop, battling my urge to ride with my dread for getting ready. Often my pre-ride ritual looks a little something like this: I start in my room dressing up in my riding kit and head down to the garage to lace up my old riding shoes. From there, I realize I forgot my socks, causing me to run back upstairs and back down to the garage only to find out I still need to run to the kitchen to fill my water bottle and grab snacks for later.
As soon as I run back to my bike, I quickly learn I didn’t set sag on my newest test rig, or the tubeless tires I set up the night before aren’t holding air. From that point, frustration sneaks in until my tires touch the dirt at the trailhead and I’m happy again. I’m sure many of you can relate to the horror of getting ready to go ride, so I put together a list of ways to save pre-ride time to maximize your time on the trail.
Do bike work early
A mistake I’ve made quite a few times is telling myself I’ll give my bike a good check-over in the morning. It often leads me right into a project that greatly increases the time it takes me to get on the trails. The simple task of airing up tires and lubing your chain, as well as checking bolts and other moving parts the night before, will not only lead to a safer ride but will also get you out on the trails faster.
Set up a gear bag
To avoid trips all over the house, try placing everything in one spot. For quick rides, I place my gloves, multi-tool and glasses inside my helmet so that I only have one item to grab instead of many. Another solution is re-purposing an old gym bag or purchasing a new gear bag from a company like Ogio so that all your gear is together and ready to be tossed into the car.
Leave the technology at home
The reason I like to ride is to get away from all the technology that invades my life. When I want to hit the trails fast, I leave it all behind—except my iPhone for emergencies or photo opportunities of course. Often, I couldn’t care less about the miles I rode or the KOMs I missed. I just want to get out and ride, so if it means leaving the heart rate monitor at home to get me in nature faster, I’m all for it.
Trade out traditional shoelaces
I know it seems silly to complain that tying my shoes takes too much time, but once you’ve tried Boa dials or similar Speed Lace systems, it’s hard to go back. I even have a pair of shorts with a Boa waistband that, combined with Speed Lacing shoes, cuts precious seconds off the time it takes me to get out on the trails.
Let’s hear your tips!
I’d love to learn some of the ways you save time getting ready to ride. Feel free to e-mail JohnK@hi-torque.com your tips and tricks, and we’ll share our favorite solutions in an upcoming “Trailgrams”.