I am writing this after a recent conversation with a friend and a subsequent post on Cheshire Mavericks Facebook page about cycling accessories.

cycling accessoriesIt all started with a conversation as to what we carry in our seatbags/ jacket pockets/ tool tubes whilst out on our bikes. There were many suggestions, and some very informative and inventive ‘necessities’ people carry around with them.

I haven’t included a phone on the list below, as this is one thing most of us do not leave home without in any case.

What’s in the bag then?

So here we go with your Top Ten of what we (should) carry whilst out on the bike:

  1. Spare Inner tube(s) – you never should go anywhere without spares and always take any used tubes back home with you for disposal, don’t leave them as litter.
  2. A means of inflating the above inner tube – be that a pump or CO2 inflator and spare cartridges.
  3. Multi tool (with tyre levers and chain splitter) – these essential tools can get you out of a multitude of situations.
  4. Tyre Boot – If a tyre splits this may be the only way that you will be able to get home under your own steam, of course you will need the above two items as well, as invariably the inner tube will ‘split’ at the same time as the tyre!
  5. Inner tube patches – if all else fails a patch can repair one of the tubes you are carrying home with you.
  6. Spare chain link – inexpensive, light and the only way that a chain can be repaired effectively.
  7. A waterproof jacket – usually carried in your back pocket, it doesn’t matter what the weather is like when you leave to go out, being the British Isles this means nothing, expect the worst!
  8. A supply of food for whilst out on the bike, there is nothing worse than suffering the dreaded ‘bonk’ and being unable to ride.
  9. An emergency rear light – this is an excellent idea and can be a necessity when you need to don the waterproof jacket – even in the middle of the day.
  10. Cash – last but not least, for cake, espresso and if really desperate, a means of getting home.

Everybody has their own necessities whilst out on the bike but the above is a good means of ensuring that you stay safe whilst out and have the ability to be able to get your bike back on the road and get home, and also have some cash to have a drink or refuel.

And so to the weird and the wonderful…

I was amused by some of the suggestions that came from the post and some of the more inventive are below:

  • A copy of last weeks Racing Post – obviously a necessity for protecting your chest when on those Cheshire ‘Alpine’ descents
  • A Happy Meal – really?
  • I have a top tube bag – with a 5 course meal. Now that is planning.
  • A £20 note folded makes the best tyre patch – possibly someone with too much?

And my personal favourite:

  • A copy of Yellow Pages – in case I want to buy some flowers on the way home. Very thoughtful.

One item missing from the list above is a First Aid Kit, it’s an emotive subject and one we all hope never to have to need. But a few plasters and some antiseptic cream may be a lightweight and non-bulky solution to meet those minor needs.