When you mountain bike alone (which you should never do) or ride with a friend what steps do you take to prepare for your ride?
What do you do, or suggest we do, when preparing for a club ride?
Is there more preparation for a night ride than a Sunday ride?
What do you think?
Periodically my opportunities to mountain bike don't match someone elses so I do end up riding alone. I usually will let someone know where I will be riding and approximately how long I plan for. That way if I'm not back in a reasonable amount of time they can send the dogs after me, or at least make a couple of phone calls.
In preping for my rides I have two bags - one for gear and one for a change of clothes. In the gear bag I have helmet, (BOTH sets of shoes), gloves, bandanas, ace bandage, frisbee, maps, spare tubes. I also bring my biking tool box with spare pedals, small parts, cables, brake pads, lubes, cassette brush with probing tool on the other end.
Then there is my CamelBak that hopefully has whatever I may need on the trail - spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, multi tool, shock pump, tire pump, first aid kit, mole skin, cliff bars and gels, small parts etc. that I keep in an old sock which doubles as a rag if needed - in it is spare cleats and shoe bolts, length of narrow Duct Tape wrapped around a broken pencil, seat bolt and clamp, deraillieur hanger, assorted other connecting bolts that would mean the difference between walking out or making rideable to get back to parking.
Cell phone, full reservoir.