Cycling is efficient, healthy, and absolutely essential to city living where driving six blocks can take half an hour and every commute to work feels like a reenactment of The Odyssey. But when you’re on a bicycle, you’re exposed to the elements and to the not-inconsiderable danger of careless motorists. To stay safe and comfortable while you’re getting where you need to go, here’s a list of five essential accessories.
1. LED bike lights: are an important acquisition, this means that all cyclists should invest in a good set of lights if they are serious about safety. Not only are they required for use when it is dark, they can also be needed in the daytime where visibility is reduced. LED bike lights serve a number of functional purposes: they let other road users know that you are there and they allow you see clearly ahead.
2. Helmet: You can’t skimp when it comes to protecting your head. Invest in something that fits, and in something that’s sure to protect you in the event of an accident. Shoddy helmets lead to broken skulls.
3. Phone Dock: Mounted on the bike’s handlebars and firmly screwed into place, these docks allow you to set your Phone by your hand for navigation. It’s a heck of a lot safer than juggling your phone while pedaling and trying to figure out whether or not that turn you just took is going to make you late.
4. Rain Slicker: Getting to work on time is all well and good, but if you arrive soaked from head to toe you’re probably going to wind up losing an hour toweling off in the bathroom. A good rain slicker can keep the worst of the weather at bay, and if it has a hood it’ll be an invaluable visibility aid in poor conditions when you might otherwise be unable to cycle.
5. Water Bottle Holder: Sure CamelBaks are trendy, but extra weight on your back can throw off your sense of balance and hamper your maneuverability. Once you get comfortable using a water bottle while cycling, or if you just wait until you’re stopped to hydrate, having a place to store the water you need to stay healthy, alert, and functional is absolutely essential.
Safety and control are the rules of the road when it comes to city cycling. It’s hands-down the best way to get around easily through urban gridlock, but you’ve got to make sure that you’re equipped for the task. Suit up, gear up, and get to pedaling.