Ah, so many choices, so little time. You have to agree with me when I say it’s not easy for us 21st century people to get a hold of our lives, and start making more of the healthy choices, especially for those of us who are part of the concrete jungles. While in the past workaholics were pointed out as a bad example, nowadays there are so many, that for most of us it’s deemed as something to be proud of – a life full of accomplishment and success.
Now, no matter how proud we may be, it’s a fact, working your days away leads to stress, then as a result to anger, and to quote the insightful and memorable Yoda : “Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”.
Unless you want to be grumpy on a daily basis, with a bunch of extra kilos at that, and illnesses, it’s more than essential to spice your life with some hobby, particularly if it’s one that involves physical activity, like good ol’ biking.
As the sport suitable for people of all ages, biking is still as popular as ever because of its contribution to shedding extra kilos, preventing cardiovascular illnesses, cancer, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, improving sleep, and the immune system, and most of all, increasing the lifespan – what’s not to love about biking?!
So, it would seem, now is as good a time as any to make this healthy hobby part of our lifestyles. Yet, the process of convincing yourself to do so every day, or at least more times a week, may be slow (trust me, I can tell from experience), though it shouldn’t be regarded as discouraging; if you want to get into the habit quicker, this is where biking accessories come in handy.
Why? Because when you equip yourself with all the bits and pieces professionals have, you start feeling like one of them, and you can actually feel this hobby is really a part of your life, and take it seriously. Getting only the bike may be enough to get some of the people motivated to it, some of the time, but if you want to make the most of it, turning it into a habit to conquer streets, parks, and hills every day, to stay in shape, and reap all the benefits, the key to success lies in the acquiring of the adequate biking accessories.
Starting off by finding the reliable retailer, you can expect to come across a wide range of products, at affordable prices, from various brands – this goes for bikes, as much as it does for the accessories. At a first glance, it can be confusing due to the many options available, so here are the essentials you need for a safe, easy, and comfortable ride, to make this purchase less of a headache for you.
Using the bike as the means of transport, you’re going to park somewhere. Having this in mind, it’s important to get the peace of mind and ensure your bike wouldn’t be stolen by investing in a quality lock. That includes chains, as much as it does D-locks, so it’s up to you (and your pocket) to decide, just don’t forget to put this item in your shopping cart, unless you want to be buying a new bike every now and then.
Going from A to B with a bike also means you’re going to be carrying things with you (after all, it’s your transport, not just exercising means!), at least a few snacks in the form of protein bars for when on the road, to keep you energised, water and hydration mixes to keep you hydrated, electronics, additional clothes… and the list goes on. The bike can be as suitable for luggage as a vehicle, as long as you buy the right bag.
If you don’t mind getting a sweaty back and carrying the load yourself, you can go for one of the many choices of backpacks, just make sure there’s enough storage, in the form of compartments, and pockets, as well as helpful features, in the likes of sternum straps, and insulated pockets to keep things cool.
Leaving it to the bike to do the heavy carrying, there are many bags that would wow you with their properties, be it weather resistance, or storage, like the saddle bags, and rack-top bags. You wouldn’t have to worry about their safety either knowing there’s a lock designed especially for them, so word of advice is if you get one of the two, invest in a suitable lock too.
Other essentials of biking accessories have to do with the weather, since unlike vehicles, you are directly exposed to the outdoor conditions. When this is your daily exercise, and transport, day in and day out, season after season, it’s natural you won’t always take to the road when it’s sunny, but also when it’s raining, and even snowing. In terms of this, it’s more than important to invest in specialised waterproof, breathable, and visible clothing.
If you don’t have the budget to fully equip at the beginning, you should start off with the jacket, then as your rides get longer and longer, you could move on to wearing biking clothing with pride from head to toe, from all-things Lycra (like a true biker!), to specialised biking shoes with sturdy soles to withstand all the pedalling. You would no longer fear soaking!
Speaking of soaking, there are other biking accessories that would further help protect you from the weather, such as the mudguards. They are created to have your back, literally, so you can go on riding even while it’s raining, without getting your back soaking wet.
Additionally, there’s the helmet, and eyewear. The helmet isn’t as necessary as it might seem, because biking is all in all a safe sport, however, if you want to get the extra protection, make sure when you go on the quest for the ideal helmet that it’s the perfect fit, is stylish at the same time, and provides comfort.
As for eyewear, sun is always there – even on cloudy days the UV rays can be damaging, thus you can’t avoid this purchase. Then again, you wouldn’t want annoying insects getting in your eyes, would you? The cost-efficient alternative is the one with interchangeable lenses.
Once you start enjoying biking, there’s no going back! You’d get the urge to go for rides no matter the time of day, or night (having in mind night rides have magic of their own). Taking this into consideration, you can’t leave home without having the proper light source with you, both front and rear. While lights light your way, they also make you visible to the rest of the traffic, so they are a way of protection too.
If you want the best of the best, go for LEDs. Throughout the years, LEDs have undergone a great deal of changes, which made them that much powerful, and yet affordable as well. Along with the mighty beam, they are usually equipped with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and a design made of weatherproof materials, so you can count on durability. No wonder they are the prime choice of mountain bikers.
Years pass by, and we still require as much help as we can from tools. Biking is no exception. Sure, you may not be a handyman, as of yet, but the more you are in the company of your bike, the more you begin to understand it, and differentiate when it works properly from when it doesn’t.
Since you can’t always know when a repair might be needed, it’s advisable to carry your own toolkit with you whenever and wherever on the go, having a pump, and spare parts you can count on in times of need. Don’t forget relying on specialised literature can also save the day, so if you don’t feel like carrying a biking book, at least download some in electronic form because no one goes on rides without electronics.
Now that you know more about the biking basics, it’s time to take to take to the road, and cycle away to health!