The Best Commuter Bicycle Gear

 

If you like to bike places: to work, to see friends, to go to the grocery store, and just to bike, breathing the air and feeling the breeze, all times of day or not, rain, snow, or shine, then here are a few bicycle gear items that may make a tremendous difference in the quality of your life:

Panniers.

Trust me on this one. Treat yourself. If you have been biking with a backpack for years, thinking ah, those pannier things look intriguing, but I don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a bike rack and buying panniers… think again. They are great. Consider investing in a pannier, yourself (all that extra biking you can do, getting milk from the grocery store), and the planet (one less car on the road).  Just make sure you try them out first to make sure you can install ones that are far enough back so you’re not going to hit them with your heels.

Fenders.

Keep your face from getting sprayed with oily water. Worth it.

Rain Pants.

Essential for biking in the rain, and staying warm in cold weather. Just make sure you also have those little velcro strap things (they don’t have to be attached to the pants, you can buy a couple separately) to keep the bottoms tight to your legs so that you don’t tear your pants on the gears.

Overshoes.

These are amazing. I’ve got some overshoes called Neos. They make bicycle commuting much easier in nasty weather conditions. Just pull them on over your boots. They have the added benefit in rainy weather of being high and waterproof enough to pull your rain pants over them, and velcro strap them tight to make a seal where water won’t run down into your boots or splash up underneath.

Happy biking! And read here for some safe biking tips.

HT to K.W. and the Pedal People.

If you like to ride a bicycle, here’s a website that might save your life.

I ride my bicycle every day, to and from work, even in the winter. My girlfriend told me about studded tires, from Finland, that I picked up at Northampton Bike Shop. Before I got them, at the beginning of winter, I skidded out on some ice at the school where I work and fell down. Thankfully, as I wasn’t going very fast, I suffered only from a slightly bruised ego. After getting the tires, I have been able to bike over icy patches and still maintain traction — they’re great! They definitely slow you down a bit because they are so grippy, but if you’re riding shorter distances in places with ice and snow, they are definitely worth the expense.

And now, here’s a link to what I hinted at in the title of this post:

http://bicyclesafe.com/

This website has some excellent riding tips, complete with diagrams, that might even save your life. I highly recommend reading it if you bike at all.