So you’ve bought your bike, you’re ready to ride, right? Not quite — there are some crucial accessories you’ll need first.
Wherever you leave your bike at work — even if it’s in a dedicated bike stand inside your workplace’s property — you’ll need to lock it up. We’d recommend buying two different types of sturdy lock, at least one of which is a D-lock. These will be heavy, so leave them locked up on the bike stand each evening when you ride home.
Even at the height of summer you might need to work late into the hours of darkness, so cycle lights are absolutely essential. The options available have never been wider, with everything from low-cost blinkers to high-power beamers. We’d recommend a nice, bright LED rear light and possibly a dynamo-driven headlight up front.
To go with your lights, a high visibility jacket is essential. This doesn’t have to take the form of a garish yellow option, more and more manufacturers are making relatively reserved but hugely reflective garments. There are also self-illuminating jackets available, which light up thanks to an in-built battery, but don’t forget that visibility both in daytime and night is equally important.
Make sure the jacket is waterproof, too, so you will survive the rain in comfort. Don’t forget a helmet as a final piece of safety gear. And for comfort a pair of cycling shorts (wear them underneath trousers if you don’t like the Lycra look).
Other accessories you might want to consider are: a rear rack and pannier bags, which are a much more comfortable way of carrying heavy files than using a rucksack; a saddlebag with puncture repair kit; a nice loud bell for attracting pedestrians’ attention; and a pump.
At cycleplan we have policies that cover all your accessories, as well as your bike itself.
And don’t forget, if you’re nervous about cycle commuting, many bike instruction organisations run cycling proficiency-style courses showing you how to safely take to the roads.