Bike isn’t ready! So in the mean time, here’s some stuff Matt and I found when we were pulling my bike out of the Pile Of Garage Items the other day. This is all stuff I think every biker should have.
1. A helmet. I know, I know. They suck. They make you feel like the biggest dork on the planet when you’re wearing one riding down the road, but people it could save your life. You should be wearing a helmet no matter what kind of bike you’re riding, but since I’m riding a street bike I think it’s even more important. I’ll be hunched over going as fast as my little feet will let me pedal and the last thing I want is to crack open my skull if I decide to eat asphalt for one reason or another. Helmets; seat belts – just wear them. Mine is a sexy blue to match my bike and I opted for the extra nerdy accessory – a sun visor.
2. A bike lock duh! Once you get where you’re going, you want to make sure your ride doesn’t ride off into the sunset without you. I’ve been using a U-Lock with one of these ropes for years and (FINGERS CROSSED!!! KNOCK ON WOOD!!! I’M ABOUT TO JINX IT!! NOOOOOO!!!!) so far, my bike, nor any of its pieces have disappeared. Yes, I said pieces. Enterprising bike thieves might try to steal bits of your bike if they’re not able to take the whole thing. Your front and back tires are prime targets and so is your seat. The rope will allow you to loop both of your tires to the U-Lock so they can’t be separated from your frame. Unfortunately, the only sure-fire way to make sure your seat doesn’t disappear is to remove it and take it with you when you go inside. I haven’t ever taken that step and all through college my butt had a place on my bike. But it is a risk – when purchasing a bike it’s always wise to get one with an easily removable seat if you want to take it inside with you (though they should be anyway because you can always upgrade them).
3. Gloves. I love, love, love my bike. But if there was one thing I DON’T love about it? It’s how it makes my hands go pretty much completely numb. I know not everyone has this problem, but I do like crazy. It’s something to do with the angle I’m sitting when I’m on the bike and how I put pressure on the heels of my hands, and probably how shitty my shoulder strength is. Without the gloves my hands just go completely numb. These have a nifty gel padding right where I need it and they make a HUGE difference. (don’t you love my sexy blue fingernails? Jeez, I look like a crazy person with all this blue. Totally unintentional – I JUST LIKE BLUE OKAY??!!!).
4. Lights. I almost forgot I had these until my friend Keith reminded me of how important lights are. I’ll be commuting to and from work and Winter is Coming – that means it’s going to get dark a lot earlier so I’ll be on the road at night. I really, REALLY do not want to meet my end because a car didn’t see me in the dark. I picked up these lights back in college and I honestly didn’t use them that much when I was in school because I only rode during the day. These things are going to get a ton of use now. They have 3 settings, solid, flashing and more different flashing so hopefully cars will see me. I’m planning on picking The Most Obnoxious Flashing so that I’m super visible. Hopefully if I’m ever in an incident I can say “but officer, I picked The Most Obnoxious Lights and they hit me anyway. Book ’em!”
5. Tire Kit. What you see here is one of the sexiest things I own. It’s a patch kit and spare bike tube that fits right under my bike seat. If i’m ever on the road and one of my tubes gets punctured, I can change it on the spot and get back on the road (or I can hop on the light rail, get to work and then fix it when I get there). I also have a super sleek hand powered pump so I can put air in there (phrasing!).
6. Something to cary all the
sh- stuff. Have I mentioned that I’m biking to and from work? No? Well, I’m biking to work okay? So in addition to all the stuff above I mentioned, I need to bring a change of clothes, though I think my coworkers would LOVE to see me in spandex all day (especially on event days). I also occasionally take things home with me to continue my workaholic nature. So I charmed Matt into buying me this monstrosity and it’s pretty darn awesome. It’s got a pocket for shoes, a space for my clothes, plenty of space for bike gear and my giant event binders that I bring home from time to time. I also opted for the grey with bright green because 1) it looks more awesome than the black one they had and 2) it’s bright colors which should help me be more visible at night. I’m considering purchasing some super snazzy reflector tape to make myself even more VISIBLE!!
So tomorrow I’ll be picking up the ride. It will probably be a couple of days at least until my first bike to work day. I want to test my route (another great suggestion from Keith) before I dive into it full force. My weekend is starting to get a little busy, but I’m doing to try and knock it out so I can start biking to work on Monday. Wish me luck!