Whether you’re trying to save on petrol costs, are doing your best to be environmentally-friendly, trying to save a few more bucks for rent payments or simply love the feel of a breezy commute to work, biking to work has a plethora of benefits. It has become increasingly popular as more people discover just how wonderful it is for your wallet, health, and mindset.
If you’re thinking of picking up this healthy habit or have already started, there are certain items you’ll need to make your ride as smooth as possible. We’ve listed 5 must-have items that will make all the difference on your next ride.
1. A Raincoat
One of the few downsides of bike riding to work is that you’ll have to face the elements head on (pun intended!). Bike riders don’t have the luxury of being protected by a car roof or an umbrella. But that doesn’t mean you have to get soaking wet! The best option is to invest in a good-quality raincoat.
After all, you don’t want to be that rider who is already absolutely drenched and is trying to cycle as fast as possible to get out of the rain.
So what qualities should you look for in a raincoat? As Huffington Post notes, beyond looking for a fabric that’s adequately waterproof and weatherproof, you’ll need to find one that is breathable too. They also advise to check that the seams provide proper protection as well.
2. A Waterproof Backpack
Speaking of protecting yourself from the elements, don’t forget about your belongings! You won’t want to let a single drop touch them—especially if it’s work equipment or important documents.
That’s why a waterproof backpack is absolutely necessary.
As Jenny Jarvis from Adventure Digest says:
“Whether you’re the adventurous type, someone who camps, or you just walk outside for any portion of your commute to work, a waterproof backpack can be a life-saver.”
If you thought you can get away with just carrying everything in your regular backpack, you may want to reconsider. Is it really worth explaining to your boss why your computer has been water damaged when you could just buy a backpack that will avoid this awkward situation entirely?
Plus, you don’t need to reserve it just for rainy days either—there are many stylish options available that do the job while looking smart so you’ll feel confident bringing it into the office. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to use your backpack whenever you need somewhere to store your belongings on your next outdoor adventure, whether hiking or river tracing.
3. A Bike Lock
Unfortunately, bike theft is a very real problem. Opportunistic thieves look for unlocked bikes as easy steals to make. Why even present them with the chance by not having a sturdy bike lock on your two-wheeler?
This is particularly important if you’ve spent a small fortune on your bike. Needless to say, if you have a more upper-end bike it will be much more of a target. But even if your bike isn’t worth too much in monetary value, just think of all the unnecessary hassle that will be caused if your bike gets stolen.
Not only will you have to fork out to buy a replacement, you’ll have to find the time to do so. If you have insurance on your bike, you’ll also have to put in the time and effort to file a claim, and wait for it to be processed. This makes the simple one-off action of buying a bike lock (and making sure to always use it!) a no-brainer.
4. & 5. Seat cover and cushion
We’ve included two suggestions in one that concern your all-important bike seat. First of all, we suggest buying and using a seat cover to protect your seat from the elements. There’s nothing worse than returning to your bike after a hard day’s work only to find it completely soaked from an afternoon shower. A seat cover will save you from this trouble by ensuring your seat stay dry and comfortable.
Which brings us to our next suggestion—a seat cushion. If you want to make your ride as comfortable as possible, bike seat cushions are designed for this very purpose. With their plushy silicon filling, they will help you to avoid discomfort while you’re riding and will help to prevent bruising or muscle soreness in your lower half. Biking should be a pleasure, so set yourself up for this by making use of a seat cushion whether you’re riding to work or elsewhere.