Are the tires holding air? Don’t bring a bike with flat tires to the Playa! Replace leaking inner tubes. If that valve stem is cocked to one side, deflate and straighten it or better yet, replace the inner tube. Is the tire worn? Do you see any threads of belting at the sidewalls? Replace that tire or you’ll be walking back to camp!
Have any loose or bent spokes tightened or replaced. If the wheel doesn’t look round when you spin it, the wheel needs to be re-trued so it’s back in the round. And if the hub makes a clicking sound, you’ll need to have those wheel bearings serviced.
Does the chain look dry or rusty? That’s not good! It should spin freely with no kinks. If it’s not lubricated and flexible, you need to have it taken care of because it will only get worse in the dust. And unless you have a single-speed cruiser, check that you can shift through the gears without binding and clattering. (Otherwise, that mountain bike is reduced to a single-speed… permanently fixed to the most inconvenient gear!) And need I say; pedals should spin freely and not wobble!
Can’t stop without ‘em; make sure they work! If you have caliper or disc brakes, the cables need to slide freely when you squeeze the brake levers, and the pads need to contact the wheels evenly and squarely. If you can’t reliably brake to a stop in your driveway, you sure can’t avoid a collision on a crowded Esplanade!
Whether its built for comfort or speed, that seat is useless if it’s not tight and aimed forward!
Is anything else flapping around or tangling up? Don’t bring it out in that condition; it’s not getting any better on its own!
You’re likely need one yourself; be a hero to someone else by having an extra! They’re inexpensive but make sure you buy a size that matches your wheels (like 26” diameter, 0.95-2.1” wide) and valve stem (Shrader—same as a car, or Presta—which is skinny).
While you’re unlikely to need this if you’ve replaced any worn tires before you head out, you don’t need one until you need one.
Silicone-based, dry lubricants are great but an aerosol can of WD-40 can flush-out dust just as well. Blot off the excess with a rag or paper towel so less dust adheres.