One of the things I discovered very quickly was a day trip on a motorcycle isn’t like a day trip in a car or truck. I guess I figured this out even when I was occasionally riding on the back of Scott’s bike but when you have to pack your own bike it becomes more obvious.
To make getting out the door quicker I have a bag hanging with my helmet. The bag contains the things that have to go along on a ride regardless of distance: My glasses, gloves, sunscreen for my lips and sunscreen (in a ziplock bag) for my face and arms and several different hair coverings to choose from. Having these ready to go and in one place means I won’t be running around the house when we need to be heading out the door or leave without something I need.
I guess it is not a “must have” but I take my camera on every ride, even short dinner rides. I don’t always take a lot of pictures but I want to have it just in case. My cell phone also goes on every trip, just in case. The night before a trip we both charge our camera batteries, make sure we are starting with empty media cards and charge our phones.
I also keep a few things in my saddle bag: My First Aid Kit, a small towel, a long sleeve shirt, a lock for my front tire, a spare set of glasses, both day and nighttime, and a Kickstand Plate. Scott and I both keep our first aid kits on our bikes and in the right saddle bag. This means that if there is ever an emergency we both know where to look without really having to think about it.
When we are geared up all I have to do is fill my thermos with ice water, grab my bag and helmet and out the door we go! Less time running around the house looking for stuff means more time to ride.