British cycling is at its best in late summer and early autumn. It’s not too hot, there’s often a nice breeze and, fingers crossed, you shouldn’t get too many showers about either. If you’ve got children, then getting out and about on a bike is a great way to tear them away from their screens and enjoy a bit of family time.
If you’ve all got bikes, then that’s pretty much all you need to get going. That said, if you want to make sure you’ve got every base covered, there are a few accessories that are pretty useful, if you’re going to make route cycling a regular thing. The cycling UK website has a pretty good list, but we’ve rounded up the essentials here.
A good quality helmet to save your life
It may not be mandatory to wear a helmet when you’re out cycling, but it’s certainly a good idea. Sure, if you’re an experienced cyclist it never seems likely that you’ll fall off your bike and hurt yourself. But it only takes one rut, pothole or slippery slope to send you flying. And if you land on your head when you fall, you’re in big trouble. So, always, ALWAYS wear a helmet.
A solid lock to deter thieves
It’s sad to say but there are a fair few bike thieves out there, especially if you live in and around a city. So, one thing that’s absolutely worth investing in is a good lock. This is especially the case if you or your children have mountain bikes or hybrid bikes. Bike locks usually come with either bronze, silver or gold badge on them, which indicates how tough they are. Always aim for silver, if not gold, when you buy.
A good set of lights for when it gets dark
During the summer months this isn’t too much of a problem. But once you get into September time and the days get shorter it’s well worth investing in some bike lights – and the brighter the better. Put simply, once it gets dark, you become pretty much invisible to other road users. So, you need to do your best to make yourself seen when you’re cycling. Pick some bright LED lights that flash and consider investing in some hi-viz clothing while you’re at it.
A set of saddle bags or a waterproof rucksack
If you’re route cycling when it’s warm outside, you’ll want to carry a water bottle with you. Multiply that by the number of family members cycling with you and... you’ve got a lot to carry. A rucksack might seem like an easy solution but you’d be surprised how quickly you start to ache when you’re carrying several litres of water on your back. If you can, it’s worth investing in a luggage rack and a set of saddle bags. Not only does it make it more comfortable to ride, but it means you can carry more with you too.
A clever way to store your bike indoors or in the garage...like the Bike Nook
If you’ve got a lot of bikes to store but not a lot of space, the Bike Nook is what you need. It’s an ingenious device which lets you store your bike in an upright ‘handstand’ position. So, rather than having your family’s bikes lined up horizontally in your garage, you can line them up along a wall, stood up vertically.
The Bike Nook works with just mountain bikes, road bikes, racers, kids' bikes, beach bikes & more. Plus, it’s so simple to use even a child could do it. You just roll the back wheel of your bike into the ‘nook’, click it into place then lift the handlebars until the bike is vertically upright. Instantly you’ll find you’ve got more floor space...and your bikes are secured ready for the next time you go cycling.
Find out how you can store your family’s bikes safely and securely with Bike Nook here.