If you’re looking to get cycling this spring, then you’ll want to secure yourself a bike. But beyond that, there exist many accessories which will help to make the pastime a great deal more pleasurable, and which will ensure that you get the maximum utility out of it.
If you’re going to be using Google maps while you’re cycling around, then you’ll need to be able to refer to the screen very quickly, without taking your attention from the road for any significant amount of time. That’s where a phone-holder comes in – they’re designed to clamp onto your handlebars, providing a map that you’ll be able to safely keep an eye on. Of course, there’s some debate as to whether such accessories are truly safe, or whether they pose an unwelcome distraction – ideally, you’ll want to pair yours with a set of wireless headphones, so that you can hear upcoming turnings before seeing them.
Cars have horns to allow road users to alert their fellow travellers to their presence. Bicycles have a similar device – but it’s one that’s a lot less suitable for expressing road rage. A bell will allow you to alert oncoming pedestrians to your presence – and so it’s invaluable for avoiding accidents and preventing injury. And it’s far preferable to simply yelling out a warning that you’re approaching.
If you’re going to be cycling from place to place, then you’ll certainly need to protect your head while you’re at it. While a helmet isn’t a requirement of the law, it’s a requirement of good common sense – since the overwhelming majority of fatal cycling accidents occur as a result of head injury.
Cycling helmets come in a range of shapes and styles, but a basic standard of functionality is ensured by each of them thanks to EU regulations. If you’d prefer to pay extra to secure superior comfort and breathability, however, then feel free to do so.
Thanks to modern technology, it’s now possible to record eye-popping action shots from the front of your bicycle. You need only secure a small, portable camera to the front of your bike, and get riding. Naturally, you’ll want to attach your camera using a professional-quality mount. This will ensure that your camera won’t fly off and smash against a nearby tree when you next come off your bike!
To ensure that you’re carrying the least possible weight, keeping your wind resistance as low as possible, your body temperature as constant as possible, and that you’re visible to other road users, you’ll need to invest in the right cycling clothing. If you’re going to be cycling a lot at night, then visibility will be paramount – so invest accordingly in a pair of reflective armbands. Or, even better, a fluorescent jacket.
By the same token, fitting a set of lights to your bicycle will help to ensure that you’re seen when then sun has gone down. Be sure that yours are securely attached and clearly visible – you can even get red-tinted rear lights.
The right footwear is just important to the cyclist as it is to any other sort of outdoor athlete. They’re the means through which the action of your legs translates into the rotation of the pedals – and any inefficiency here will result in a lack of power, and more exertion for the cyclist.
The best cycling pedals work in much the same way that skis do – they attach to the shoes and ensure that every motion translates effectively. They’ll also pull the pedals up as well as pushing them down, resulting in a considerable boost in pedalling efficiency. Best of all, however, they’ll detach in the event of a crash in much the same way that skis will, ensuring that you won’t run an unnecessary risk of injury.
If you’re going to be cycling outdoors, then you’ll need a means of getting your equipment to your preferred route. This means either shoving your bike into the boot of your car, or mounting it somewhere on the exterior. The former option will demand a boot liner, which might come in handy if you’ve got a dog that needs transporting from place to place, too. Such devices only work if your boot is large enough to accommodate your bike, however, and for this reason external bike carriers are often preferred. If you’ve got a trailer that needs to be towed, then a towbar fitting with a cycle-carrier built-in might make an ideal solution.