If you are one of the millions who regularly get on your bike, you will require a number of essential items to ensure the riding experience is both safe and enjoyable. Cycling on public roads does demand a high level of visibility, not to mention wearing the right clothing, and if you have decided to join the many others who are enjoying cycling, here is a checklist to make sure you have everything you need.
- Helmet Protection – You will, of course, need a cycling helmet, and the modern versions are very durable and extremely light. This item must be securely fastened when riding, as even the slightest knock might remove it before you hit the ground, and with the right size, your view will not be hindered in any way.
- The Right Clothing – Some people think that any old T shirt and shorts will do, and while it is possible to ride wearing regular clothing, you will soon realise why riders wear specialist clothing. A cycling jersey is designed to allow sweat to penetrate the fabric, and that helps to keep you dry, especially in the warmer months. Cycling shorts will ensure that your skin is not chaffed, as the continuous peddling motion can cause serious skin irritation, if your shorts are ill fitting.
- Water Bottles – One or even two water bottles can be fitted to the frame of your bike, allowing you to carry water, and with so much physical activity, you must avoid dehydration. The added benefit to having water bottles, is you can drink without stopping, which isn’t restricted to professional road racers.
- Lighting – You must have lights on the front and back of your bicycle, and modern LED units offer bright light and easy attachment to the bike frame. You can also buy cycling attire that has special reflective strips sewn in, and anything that makes you more visible to motorists is a good idea.
- Puncture Repair Kit – This is essential, and they take up very little room and the small pouch can be attached to the rear of the saddle. It isn’t difficult to repair an inner tube puncture, but you should practice at least once, just to be sure you know the process. You might want to include a screwdriver and an adjustable spanner, although modern cycles all have quick lock mechanisms that hold the wheels in place, and a quick release mechanism makes it easy to remove a wheel for repair.
- First Aid Kit – This will hopefully never be used, but should you have a tumble, the chances are you will be grazed, and a first aid kit would include some plasters, cleaning alcohol, cotton wool pads, and one bandage with some tape. The first thing you should do with a cut or graze is to clean the wound thoroughly, and even if that is all you do at first, it should keep the wound free of infection until such time as you can have it looked at by a doctor.
The only item not on the list is the bike itself, and great care should be taken when selecting a machine, as this will be your mode of transport for many hours, as you explore the countryside.