Your first long distance bike ride can be daunting; it's the first time you will be cruising unimaginable distances with nothing but your bicycle, a bag and your grooviest pair of spandex shorts (hopefully not). So what accessories do you take with you? Here's our top picks for a long distance ride.
This is the ultimate back pack for cyclists. It's lightweight, practical and comes in all shapes and sizes. It's got a handy hydration compartment that holds your water and gives you easy access to it through a built in straw. Most of the packs are waterproof and have ventilation on the back panel so you don't get overheated. You can either order these online or from a bicycle specialist like 99 Bikes.
This is a nifty little device that keeps track of your speed, distance, trip time, temperature, and more depending on how much you'd like to fork out. It's an easy and functional way to log your amount of travel without having to rely on smartphone technologies.
Given that you are cycling on different terrains, you need to be prepared in case of an accident. Your first aid kit should include bandages and bandaids, antiseptic cream, tweezers, painkillers, magnifying glass, sewing kit, muscle cream to reduce aches, anti-chaffing cream and sunscreen.
Regardless of how sturdy your bicycle is, you may need to do minor repairs and maintenance while on the road. You don't need to take all the tools in your shed, just the bare basics. This includes, a pump that can be mounted onto your bike, a patch kit, spare tubes, assorted wrenches, zip ties, rags, bolts, flashlight, pliers, batteries, Swiss army knife and most importantly duct tape. It can't be stressed enough how convenient duct tape is, from punctured tires, to ripped bags, it is a gift from the travel gods.
While it's necessary for cyclists to run a set of lights during the night time, it's particularly important to use them during an unpleasant weather day as it will make you more visible to drivers. For this, it would be beneficial to invest in a Smart Tail Light, a device that snaps onto the seat post and has a built-in sensor that allows it to detect the bikes motion. It will illuminate once your bike is in motion and subsequently turn itself off after one minute if no movement has been detected. It also has a break light feature for when it detects rapid deceleration which alerts drivers that you are coming to a stop.
The correct clothing
Riding without the right cycling gear won't get you very far. Imagine if you had an accident in the middle of the night and you're only wearing black, it's going to be hard for anyone to find you. It's recommended that any rider should wear visible and reflective clothing that has plenty of padding.
Forget pouring over maps, get yourself a GPS instead. While they may set you back a few bob, there are many high quality devices available in the market just for cyclists. With easy attach features, a top of the range GPS will have a compass, calorie counter, altitude change, pre-loaded maps, waterproof and shockproof features and street maps for turn-by-turn bike navigation. What can you not live without on the road? Let us know in the comments below.