Don’t need to explain this one – could save your life. A comfortable, good-quality helmet is no load, and designs are getting more and more attractive. If you’re going for a cycle with children, ensure that they have properly fitting helmets too.
Water (and a banana):
To stop from getting dehydrated on the road, carry a water bottle in a frame cradle. If you intend going on longer tours, fit a second cradle to carry a second bottle. Alternatively, plan a place into your itinerary where you can be sure to get a refill, or where you’ll be able to buy more. One almost-too-ripe banana will give you an energy boost when you need it most.
If you pinch the beads of a flat tyre together all around the wheel, you may be able to get the tyre off with your bare hands. If not, you need to carry 2 good-quality tyre levers to fix punctures.
Spare Tube / Puncture Repair Kit:
A spare tube is faster to change than it is to mend a puncture, and an essential spare for bigger cuts. You don’t need to throw it away afterwards – you can simply fix the puncture later at home… For pin-prick holes (or punctures to a new tube!!), a small repair kit can do the job.
To get you going after a flat, you need a compact bicycle pump. Carbon dioxide inflators can also work well, but there’s no feeling worse than finding out that the cartridge is empty when you’re ‘pumpless’ and far from home…
A multi-tool is essential for adjusting things on the move. If your saddle or handlebars start to move on the road, the multitool will get you out of trouble and back on the road in jigtime.
To stow all this gear, you’ll need a tidy seat bag. It won’t contribute to drag as it’s hidden behind and under your body, and it can hold all your tools, kits, etc., and even your phone. Just don’t forget to take it with you if you leave your bike unattended.
Good shorts keep your power muscles warm and keep you comfortable on those longer rides. It’s normally too late when something starts chafing…
Protecting your eyes from UV light with close-fitting sunglasses is good for long-term eye health. However, cycling glasses can also protect against grit, sand, or spray thrown up by passing vehicles. And getting a bumble bee in the eye at 30 kmh is like a right hook from Katie Taylor…ouch!!
Phone / Cash:
In the interests of safety (and practicality), taking your phone is essential. It is your Plan B in the event of getting lost on longer treks or for unforeseeable breakdowns, not to mention if you or another road user are involved in an accident of any kind. Some cash can also be a saviour if you get hungry on the go.