You’re going to need a few new bits of gear to make sure that all your cycling needs are met and that you remain safe on the streets. Most of these can be purchased at your local bike shop and the sales people can help you pick the right accessories for your lifestyle and budget.
Here are a few of the basics to keep you safe and make your bike trips hassle-free.
- Good bike lock
- Bell or horn
- Lights and Reflectors
- Multi-tool, patch kit and mini air pump
- Pant strap
- Rain gear
A simple and elegant solution is the front bike basket. Just the right size for a grocery bag or a six-pack of soda – sometimes this is all you need.
The bike rack
Bicycle racks, both rear and front, enable you to carry panniers (bike bags) on your bike, and allow you to carry quite a load. Most bike shops or even outdoor equipment stores will carry these.
Backpack or messenger bag
For fairly light-weight applications, you can’t beat a backpack or messenger bag for their simplicity and accessibility.
If hauling a small bundle on your back just isn’t your thing then try panniers. These bike specific bags that attach onto a rear or front bicycle racks are excellent grocery-getters and come in a variety of styles, including waterproof some with external straps so they are easy to carry off the bike too.
If you’re carrying really big loads you might want to invest a in a bike trailer. These hitch to your bike much like a car trailer hooks up to a car. Many trailers styles exist allowing you carry children, pets and more.
Several bicycle manufacturers are beginning to address the urban bicyclist’s cargo carrying needs. Specialty bikes like the “Yuba” or “Xtracycle” and Dutch “bakfiets” make trips to the grocery story, nursery or even picking up the kids a breeze.