People often ask me what they need to get started bike commuting. The list may vary depending upon the circumstances surrounding their commute, but here’s my short list.
- A bicycle. Any reliable bike will do, so long as it’s appropriately geared for the terrain. Puncture proof tires (or tire liners) are a good idea.
- Lights. A pair of small, modern LED lights are sufficient. I’m a fan of the Planet Bike Superflash and Blaze 2W.
- A repair kit. It’s good to carry a small multi-tool, a patch kit, and a spare tube for those inevitable roadside repairs.
- A lock. A high-quality U-lock is a must. Even if a person has secure bike parking, it’s good to carry a lock for shopping, meetings, etc.
- A way to carry things. This could be as simple as a small backpack or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers. My favorite for everyday use is a simple grocery pannier.
- Motivation. The most important element is the desire to get out of the car and do a good thing for oneself and the planet.
That’s about it. Of course, a person can get much more elaborate if they so choose, but the fact is, bike commuting is a simple activity that doesn’t require much in the way of specialized equipment or training. For our readers who are already bike commuters, feel free to chime in with your short list of bike commuter “must haves”.