Same as you, your bike can get worn out from riding. Chainring and cassette teeth can get ground down to dull nubs, which will cause your chain to slip when changing gears. A stretched chain and cables can also derail your road cycling aspirations. Treat your bike to a tune-up to replace worn out parts, tighten loose screws, clean accumulated road sludge, and replace fluids, like chain lube and hydraulic brake fluid. A tune-up will go a long way in preventing mechanical issues that’ll put the brakes on future road rides.
A bike bell mounted to your handlebars lets you announce your approach in a friendly, light-hearted way. The non-threatening “ding” of a bike bell makes road rage a thing of the past and hey, it may even brighten up someone’s day.
It’s the little things that count, like being able to maintain your forward momentum while out on a ride. It’s a fact that if you bring a spare tube, pump, tire levers, multitool, and a saddle bag in which to carry everything, the probability of getting a flat or minor mechanical goes way down. In addition to security, a bike lock will also give you peace of mind to know that your bike will be there when you return. Reflectors — those underdogs of safe cycling — are also a brilliant way to make sure you’ll be seen in traffic.
Seeing someplace new by bike offers a heightened vacation experience because the slower pace combined with off-the-beaten-path routes reveal sights, sounds, and places that are often yet undiscovered by the masses. Your best bet is to schedule your trip 3-6 months out and plan backward from there to get some riding in and organize your gear needs.
A new bike grants you access to adventure, exploration, and a new form of exercise. A bike also allows you to take command of your own mobility, and a bike can even help introduce you to a new social activity. These all come with the nice side effect of improving your fitness, so buying yourself a new bike is less about investing in a piece of property and more about making a commitment to yourself.
Here are some general necessities for anyone who rides a bike:
- Socks, caps, and gloves for cycling will make you more comfortable, resulting in a better ride experience.
- Sport sunblock to protect your skin from burning will make tomorrow’s ride even better.
- Sport nutrition like bars and gels, because cycling on an empty tank won’t make you fast or fit.