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June 13, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 1

Ride Easy: The Quick Guide to Biking Accessories

By Jeff from SLN More Blogs by This Author

As you may have read last week, bicycles are a great money-saving option to get around town. Whether you use pedal-power to get to work or just to run errands, they provide a cost effective means of transportation that can reduce wear on your car, or even take away your need for it all together! That’s right, they’re Superbikes! But what’s their krypton-bike? Certainly not sloppy puns! But sloppy roads are another matter…

It’s a miracle of physics that makes allows for a man or woman to balance on two wheels, but what if you run into an obstacle that takes away your locomotion? If you frequently depend on your bike to get around, it’s good to have a few small trinkets to get you back in motion. They aren’t large, so you could even carry them in a “saddle bag” attached to the underside of your seat.

Bike Rack

  • Tools for a flat. The biggest problem for the routine cyclist is a flat tire, so be prepared. It helps to have a spare tube or two, along with the tire irons to get the tire off and back on the frame. You may choose to bring some patches to try and seal a puncture if you have the patience. And, you’ll want something you can inflate the new tube with. No need to tote around an air compressor (and don’t mind me taking pictures if you do), you can opt for a small tube pump that can attach to the frame of your bike, or a nice CO2 inflator.
  • Money. Just a reminder that you need money to buy things, so bring some. You can bring a credit card if you'd like. You can bring your whole wallet if you'd really like.
  • ID. It’s worthwhile to carry some ID in case of an accident or just in case you want to… I don’t know, register to vote. I’m fairly certain people still do that.
  • Cell phone. I saw someone texting on their bike yesterday, but I can’t say I recommend it. Regardless, a phone is still good to have for all the other newfangled goodies they pack into it these days. For instance, GPS is nice if you get lost, the camera is good for capturing those charming chipmunks on the side of the road, the actual phone function will let you call your mommy for moral support if you feel drained, and you can even use the camera flash as a headlight to shine your path in the dark! Oh technology!

* Though it may not be as much a necessity, you should probably pack a multi-tool for other fixes you may anticipate. Further, you can always pack other items as you see fit to smooth out the creases of your travels.

Everyone’s Got Baggage

You want to carry more than the bare necessities? Nature’s secret recipes? Don’t fret, there’s hope. However the real question is: Do you want to carry your parcels on your back or attach it to your bike?

For the biker who plans on ditching the bike outside their destination but take their cargo inside with them, a messenger bag might be a good idea. They’re also a good idea if you like a durable bag to sling around your side and claim it isn’t a large purse, which they aren’t. Really. If you’re looking to get something cost efficient, try getting a used Chrome bag – they are durable that it could be justified to buy used for the right price – or even a shoulder bag from an army surplus store. Army surplus means it’s manly.

Messenger Bag

If you’re looking to get the load of your back, I don’t blame you. Who wants an unnecessary burden? Not me, that’s why I trust in the Lord. However, if you’re talking about cargo on your bike, a rear rack is a good option. There are different styles of how they attach to the bike, but I just prefer one that has a middle section that’s filled to serve as a fender and keep the spray from a puddle off my back.

Once you have the rack installed, you can set a “trunk” on top – just a bag/box to keep your things - which may or may not have “panniers” that hang to either side of the rear wheel. But be careful with packing these panniers. You want your bike easily weighted from side to side. The last thing you want is to make riding upright a struggle; it could make things frustrating and dangersome. The ideal for packing up your bike is to keep things low and balanced.
Keeping the bike on lockdown

One last thing you may want to have on hand is a lock. What good is a bike if it won’t be there when you come back out of the library? Books: they give people all kinds of ideas. There are, of course many options out there. But you’re reading my blog, so here you go:

Lock

Buy a U-lock, preferably one that guarantees your bike won’t be stolen. However, if you aren’t riding the nicest bike and theft isn’t heavy on your mind. You may be willing to settle for a cheaper model.But why a U-Lock? Well, a U-lock is just easy to carry and difficult for thieves to break. So, U-Lock it is! Kryptonite will show you how to use one properly.

You’re welcome

So now you should be all set. Get out there on that bike of yours and get things done! Don’t let the little trifles of life get in your way, unless those trifles are children. Please stop for children.

P.S. – If you really liked that air compressor idea, you could get a bike trailer.

References:

Bryan. "The Bicycle Seat Bag – What Should You Carry in It?" Biking To Live RSS.Biking ToLive, n.d. Web. 06 June 2013.

Bryan. "The Bicycle Seat Bag – What Should You Carry in It?" Biking To Live RSS.Biking ToLive, n.d. Web. 06 June 2013.

REI. "Bike Racks and Bags: How to Choose." Bike Racks and Bags: How to Choose. REI, n.d. Web. 06 June 2013.

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