Cycling is one of my favourite sports – I love commuting on my hybrid ride, and I like a little bit of mountain biking in the summer. It’s a light and enjoyable form of exercise that can take you to amazing places.
I’ve cycled around San Francisco, its redwoods, and the Golden Gate Bridge the other year, which was fantastic. Last year I went on a surfing holiday, and my main means of transport was a bike. Nothing beats a nice ride by the beach in the sunset.
Whatever kind of cyclist you are, you need a good kit to keep out of trouble and have a comfortable ride. Halfords have put together a great guide to year-round essentials for cycling. It is pretty handy for anyone wanting to take up cycling or cyclists who want to try out a new form of this sport, such as mountain biking.
My kit always features a helmet, a long sleeve base layer, thick socks, a lightweight backpack, and waterproof gloves and jacket. I’ll only leave the gloves and jacket at home when it’s warmer than 22-25 degrees, which is pretty rare in the UK.
I find wearing long trousers useful for MTB riding, as they protect your legs from the mud.
A water bottle is definitely essential for longer rides, as you need to keep hydrated. Having a bottle cage makes it super easy to drink on the go.
I opt for long lycra tights for the winter and Capri leggings for the summer with a base layer all year round, but serious cyclists opt for these more technical bits of kit. These are more suitable for long road rides.
For my commute, I always make sure to wear my waterproof reflective backpack cover and turn on my lights. It’s so much easier to be spotted by drivers when you take all these precautions. I also always keep a pair of waterproof trousers stacked at the bottom of my backpack if it rains heavily.
A small bit of kit I’ve recently ordered is a bike bell. I hope it’ll help let cheeky pedestrians know I’m coming when they cross on a red light.
Carrying a puncture repair kit is very important, especially when out on a long ride. I always try to take mine with me when commuting to work, so I don’t get stuck halfway to work without a means of transport.
A less essential but all the same great accessory to take with you is an action camera. I have the GoPro Hero4 Silver and use it on bike rides when out in nature. You can take some great videos or shots with it. I find watching the videos from a lovely ride in the woods very relaxing.
However, I know many commuters in London use helmet cameras to record their journey, just in case they have an accident. This is more of a pessimistic approach, but it’s very useful if you need to make an insurance claim.
Another essential I always take with me is a lightweight lock in case I want to stop somewhere for a drink after a nice ride in the woods or to get some groceries on the commute home. I also have a U-Lock that I leave on the bike rack at home for secure overnight parking.
The one thing I’m missing from my current kit is shoes. I didn’t realize there are so many different cycling shoes and what difference they make to your ride. I’ll make sure to look into them soon. Halfords have so many to choose from!
What’s in your cycling kit? Do you have any other essentials to recommend?
*This is a sponsored post.