Cycling affords the freedom to visit places you would never dream of visiting otherwise, giving you the opportunity to discover hidden gems in exotic locations off the beaten track.
Without a train ticket, bus pass or taxi fare to worry about, you can absorb the vast green pastures, tranquil fresh water lakes or the lavender fields of the British countryside all at your own pace.
The benefits of cycling
Cycling is not only an ideal route to fitness; it’s a way of escaping from the norm and a chance to be out in the outdoors, riding in solitude and seeing nature in all its glory.
It all sounds rather splendid doesn’t it? However, without wanting to sound like a killjoy, there are some very real dangers that can occur, particularly if you are out riding on your own. Sometimes incidents happen, whether it’s a mechanical fault with your bike or a roadside collision, so it is vital that you are well prepared for whatever is thrown your way.
While cycling insurance policies cover you theft, loss and damage (as well as a personal accident), it is paramount that you carry with you a number of cycling essentials. We recommend that you carry everything from tools that will help deal with bike malfunctions, a mobile phone so that you can call for help, to identification documents in the unfortunate circumstance that should you be knocked unconscious.
Never leave the house without…
Spare tubes: Punctures are a right pain, but providing you carry the right tools and spares, they needn’t be something to worry about. On any ride, carry a minimum of two tubes. If you get a flat, you can quickly change a tube instead of fiddling around with a puncture repair kit.
Multi tool: A decent multi tool will have everything you need to make any roadside repairs. A snapped chain is almost impossible to fix without a chain tool, so make sure you have a chain splitter with you too.
Pump: A lightweight mini-pump will be able to get enough pressure into your tyres for you to safely complete your ride.
Tyre levers: On cold days when fingers freeze, trying to change a tyre is hard work. Tyre levers can make the job quicker and easier.
Mobile phone: A phone is your only point of contact when out on the road. Should you be caught in terrible weather, you will be able to phone for help. Likewise, if you fall or your bike becomes damaged, a phone will be a lifeline.
Cash: It’s always a good idea to have some cash to hand and prepare yourself for any eventuality, whether it’s a cup of coffee to get you warmed up or in the instance that your bike is beyond repair and an emergency taxi is required.
ID: If, in the unfortunate event that you fall off your bike and are rendered unconscious beside the road, it is essential that any individual who comes to your aid will be able identify you and have emergency contact details. Many companies now sell Road ID cards, tags or bracelets, which contain all essential personal information.