It didn’t seem like a big deal. I had put three bucks into a baggie, along with my cell phone. I had two bottles of water with me, which would get me to our rest stop, a convenience store where I could easily refill the bottles. If needed, I could buy some kind of energy bar.
We got there, as I reported in the last post, and I felt fine. I hadn’t drunk enough water, and one of my bottles was still full. I topped off the other one, and we started back.
My friend David was slowing on the return leg, and I let the other riders in our group go, to stay with him. We had maybe eight miles left to go, when I stopped at an intersection to wait for him.
“Do you want to stop at this convenience store?” I asked.
“I’m all out of water, and I’ve got no money,” he replied.
“Well, here,” I said. “Take this, and buy what you need.” Not that three dollars would buy much.
But it turned out that this place priced Gatorade G2 the same as bottled water. David bought the Gatorade, and drained the whole bottle.
“I figured with the cooler temperatures today, I wouldn’t have the same trouble I have in the middle of summer,” he said. We started our ride at 55 degrees, but by now it was in the low 80s.
I decided not to buy anything, or even top off my bottles. I still had one full one, and could make it the rest of the way home on that easily.
We did make it the rest of the way back, but were moving slowly by the time we got within the last mile or so. After waving bye to David, I headed to Starbucks to rendezvous with other club members. Instead of going inside to grab a coffee or iced tea, I brought one of my water bottles to the outside table, and sipped at it while we talked.
Several years ago, I learned to pack money the hard way. I was on a 52-mile ride, with no money at the halfway point. Even though I had an energy bar with me, I really needed some kind of electrolyte drink, and maybe more nourishment than the bar could give. I bonked hard on the way back and was lucky the ride offered sag support. I caught a ride back to the start. Ever since, I’ve made sure I carry money if I’ll be riding any distance from home — and even around home, sometimes.
I think it’s time to make a New Year’s resolution: Bring more money on rides. Three dollars won’t cut it. Ten is a more reasonable amount. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll pack a credit card along as well.
Do you have a preferred amount of cash you carry on the bike?