Heading out on a WCC Special Event or weekend away requires a little pre-planning to ensure your event or trip goes as smoothly as possible. It's no good assuming the rider next to you will be carrying what you need – they may be thinking the same thing!
On this page we take a look at some of the essential items you'll need to ensure you're self sufficient and some things that are simply 'nice to have'. Please take a moment to review your own riding tool-kit and make sure you have what you need to make every mile, a worry free mile.
8 Essential Items – for every rider (applicable for local rides too)
A good quality cycle helmet is a 'must-have' on any WCC ride. Not just for the occasional 'off' a good helmet will protect your bonce from low hanging branches as we whiz through wooded areas.
Whether you're running tubed or tubeless tyres you'll need a good pair of tyre leavers when the worst happens. Cheap as chips, they may save your day - carry them!
WCC Events and weekend adventures tend to result in longer rides than those tackled locally. A great way to keep hydrated throughout the ride is to wear a Hydration Backpack.
With the myriad of wheel sizes now available it's no longer acceptable to assume someone else is carrying a spare tube that fits your bike. Carry a spare tube suitable for your wheel size.
Feeling deflated? Then you'll need a mini-pump to get you back on the trail. Normally universal for both Presta & Shrader valves - it's worth checking compatibility before you chuck one in your bag.
A spare tube is preferable, but as a minimum, please carry an inner tube repair kit or self adhesive patch kit. You may get more than one puncture on a long ride, so these can come in very handy.
There's no better way to ensure your day isn't spoiled by a minor mechanical than to carry a multi-tool. No need to buy an expensive one, just make sure there's enough bits for the essentials.
The derailleur drop hanger is unique to your bike frame, so it's a must-have on a long distance ride. Made to break in the event of a heavy 'off' they protect the frame and they do break – get one.
16 Non-Essential Items – make your ride a more enjoyable experience
This list is not exhaustive or prescriptive, just a few suggestions to help make your ride as enjoyable as possible. If you have something that you take on your rides that you think should appear here, just let us know and we'll include it in the next update.
A quality pair of gel-padded gloves will take the strain off your palms and make for a much more enjoyable ride. Handy too if you have little 'off' – Be kind to your hands – wear gloves.
The longer the ride, the more important your footwear choice. A worn out pair of trainers will not be your friend after the 20 mile marker. Not expensive, but a great investment.
Love your bum! There's no such thing as a 'comfy saddle' when distances get beyond 20 miles. A good pair of padded shorts will be your best friend, especially on a multi-day trip.
Bike specific shatter-proof sunglasses will not only make you look a lot cooler, they'll help you see where you're going too!
Lots of choice out there.
A decent waterproof can make the difference between a miserable ride and a half-decent one if the weather turns nasty. Lightweight for the summer, they pack away to nothing - very handy to have.
It's definitely worth investing in a spare pair of brake pads when we set off for our weekend adventures, especially in the winter, when pads can take real battering from gritty conditions.
If your chain snaps, and they do snap, then you could be in a for a long push home. If you're not confident using a chain repair tool, then pack a spare chain link. Check which type you need.
Anyone running tubeless tyres should have a small amount of spare sealant. No need to carry it on the ride, but to be able to top-up back at HQ after a puncture could just save your weekend.
Wishful thinking maybe, but if it's summer, and it's actually sunny, you'll be glad you packed some factor 50 and applied it before the ride. Slip, Slap, Slop.
WCC rides have a leader who will carry a paper map as well as having a GPS, but it's always nice to see where you are and where you've been. OS are the best.
Suspension settings can require a tweak depending on the terrain. A weekend adventure can throw up the need to soften or harden the forks and rear shock, so a shock pump can come in handy.
Certainly not essential but a real bonus if you'd like to keep track of where you've been or upload the route before you set off. Talk to the Windmillers before you buy - we've tried them all!
When we book accommodation we tend to go 'budget' which often means you need to provide your own towel (and bedding sometimes). A travel-towel is a good long-term investment.
Whether it's a pack of your favourite biscuits or a full blown cycling nutrition pack, it's always a good idea to carry a snack on the longer WCC rides.
A WCC tradition, started in Derbyshire in 2014, a Toffee Vodka shot at the end of a long all-day ride is hard to beat! We usually nominate a 'provider' so no need to bring one each!
Possibly the cheapest accessory you could pack but the humble zip tie has proved very useful on numerous occasions on the WCC rides. Chuck a couple in your bag - you never know!
Don't forget, WCC riders get a discount in all of the local cycle shops in Hitchin (except Halfords). If there's anything you need, they're sure to stock it.