Anyone who’s biked for extended distances can tell you the importance of keeping a few handy pieces of gear on hand. Some are important for safety, some are important for staying comfortable, and some make the ride more enjoyable. What you might need to take with you depends a lot on the weather, ground conditions, and the type of surface you are riding on (roads, dirt, snow, etc.). Here are a few tips for what to take along on your next bicycle journey and why they might even help save your life by avoiding traffic accidents. We have done our best to consider the most important items to bring along on a ride, and these have made the cut:
“Safety first” is a good motto to live by for a long, healthy life. Preparing for battling traffic or other impediments on the road is absolutely essential. You don’t want to become another statistic following a serious accident. There are two parts of safety gear – those designed to prevent accidents and those for surviving accidents when they do happen with the least damage possible. On the prevention side, a flashing light in the daytime can help the cars you share the road with to see you, according to WB&T. Also consider reflectors placed around the bike as well as on your back by wearing a special vest. Wearing bright colors is another good idea. Many accidents involving bikes and cars are due to poor visibility, especially at night. Also, wearing a helmet and knee pads can help minimize injury if you do have an accident.
Many athletes use essential oils to boost performance and prolong their ability to exercise. Peppermint oil is commonly believed to boost performance, allowing you to ride stronger and faster than under usual circumstances. After your ride, an essential oil blend like Fire & Ice can help you to soothe sore muscles and allow you to recover faster so you can get back in the saddle. Also, rashes are particularly common among bike riders who spend several hours riding. Some essential aromatherapy may help relieve symptoms and soothe irritated skin.
Cyclists should make sure to stay hydrated. Always bring more water than you think you might need. How much water you need to drink on the go will depend on the weather. Bog Sports recommends drinking up to 16 ounces of water per hour on cool days and up to 64 ounces per hour on hot days. For serious riders, insulated water containers worn on the back that provide quick and continuous access to water can cut significant time off your ride. You can also store extra water bottles behind your seat after installing a cage or attach a bottle holder to the frame of your bike. Some biking jerseys are even designed with pockets for carrying water bottles.
Cycling can be a fun activity, but it’s important to be prepared and safe while you’re doing it. Being a prepared cyclist means you'll have a smoother, more relaxed time on your next ride.
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