Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bike Gear

There are a few things that I never go out on a ride without.

  1. My riding jacket.

    I practically always wear it on my bicycle, and I usually wear it on my scooter. It is uber-reflective. I consider it to be the opposite of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. I think it actually has wattage. It also has two side pockets, a breast pocket, a long pouch along the back, and lots of pouches on the interior; it can hold a ton. The sleeves a zipper all the way off if it is really warm, or just partially, to create more air flow in case it’s just a little warm. It is an awesome jacket.

  2. My helmet. Duh.

  3. A bandanna.

    I usually wear it pirate style under my helmet, which has excellent ventilation, and which would otherwise leave me with irreparable helmet hair. It can also serve as a thin but precious layer between my ears the cold wind in the mornings and evenings. Besides that, there are infinite uses for a bandanna; it is, along with a good pocket knife and an ink pen, a thing that I consider it mandatory for me to have on my person at all times. This morning, I was far enough ahead of schedule that I stopped to pick up some fast food breakfast, which I was able to strap under my saddle using my bandanna.

  4. Safety glasses.

    They cost about eight dollars at Ace Hardware, and I wear them every time I ride. It is against the law to ride your scooter or motorcycle without eye protection in Colorado, and the same concerns apply directly to cyclists. A bug or rock in the eye sucks at any speed, and can be deadly at 12 - 18 MPH when in traffic and trying to keep your balance.

That’s it on my mandatory apparel. Sometimes I bring gloves. This morning I rode with my wool gloves even though it was over 50 degrees and not really cold, because my hands have been so dry and cracked lately. I blame it on the wind exposure on my rides.

The other thing I always carry on my rides is what I think of as my bike bag: an old bum bag (fanny pack) filled with wrenches, a patch kit, a spare tube, a small air pump, and my “clean up” kit which consists of deodorant, antiperspirant, talcum powder, and baby wipes.

That’s about it. I do have precautions I take, and things I consider necessary that a lot of people do without, but I don’t consider any of it superfluous or ridiculous. I don’t wear spandex or bike shorts or tights, and I don’t have any of those neon colored bike jerseys. I don’t have special socks or shoes. My bike process is very reasonable.

I'm the dude in khakis and a t-shirt, enjoying the hell out of his 40 mile ride.

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