One of the interesting thing about having children is that – at least for the early years – each time you leave the house it is like preparing for a space mission. Spare this, spare that, stuff to make mess, stuff to clean mess, just in case stuff, and absolutely necessary stuff, and importantly, food stuff. Yep, your days of travelling light are over for a while. But as they get older you reach the magical age where even the spare undies can be given the boot and you are free to leave the house unladen.
Well almost…. when you leave the house on your bike there are a few essentials you should have with you. Storing them on your bike will make that effortless.
Minimum Equipment List #1
Here is the minimum that I take for a quick short trip: round the block, to the local playground, dairy (corner shop) etc.
- Injury covering device: handkerchief, tissue, bandana, sticking plaster.
Minimum Equipment List #2
These are things I always keep on the bike or always have on or near my person. If you use your bike for everyday cycling like I do, keeping these items on your bike (or in your pocket) mean you can just pick up your bike and go.
- Items from list 1: Helmet, Bike, Phone, Injury cover
- Bicycle Pump
- Spare tube and/or puncture repair patches
- Tyre levers
Boy scout (“be prepared”) add-ons
Except for the lock, these items fit into the underseat bag on my bike, and I feel better having them there. As I use my bike for everyday errands (like dashing to the shops or library), I need to be able to lock it up when I get there. I hate that sinking feeling of getting to my destination and realising I can’t lock up my bike, which is why I keep the lock on the bike.
- Bike lock
- Multi Tool (bicycle tool in the format of a swiss army knife that helps you do up any loose bits on your bike and helps anyone who comes to your rescue and knows what they are doing to fix your bike if you have a mechanical problem)
- Emergency cash (for catching a bus or taxi, or calming coffee)
Where to keep it?
On your bike. Here are some options:
Top Tube Bag with side pockets
Smaller top tube bag, sometimes called Bento bags
Rack top bag
And of course if you are lucky, there a beautiful bike baskets too!
Let there be Light
If there is any chance you will be out on your bike during dawn, dusk or darkness then you will need lights on your bike. Silly not to really.
And always take your smile!
What is your approach to equipment on your bike? Do you wing it or carry the kitchen sink?