Using the bicycle as a means of transportation has many advantages for us and for those around us. But… what does it take to start leaving the car at home and start using the bike?
1. A bicycle
You probably already have a bike somewhere in your house. If it has no malfunctions, if it walks and locks, then it does! There may even be a bit of rust here and there, as long as the frame and key components are intact. And nothing like an old bicycle to relive old adventures. It may need cleaning or tuning, but no problem: even if you do not know how to do it, just take it to a bicycle shop and the mechanic will try to get you ready for your trips.
But if you do not have a bike yet, then the best is to buy one. It does not have to be an expensive model, but it should have some quality. The highest prices are on competition bikes, which few advantages bring to anyone who wants a utility vehicle. Check the existing models and what kind of accessories they bring. There are brands that look cheap but do not include some useful or even essential extras, such as a good set of lights or the mudguards.
2. Lights and reflectors
They are mandatory and absolutely necessary for those who make their daily bicycle trips. Even if you do not intend to drive at night, you may have an unforeseen situation that requires you to travel at a later time or with a cloudy sky. The lights and the reflectors, along with an always attentive and defensive driving, will be your best measures of security.
There should be two reflectors on each wheel, plus a white reflector at the front and a red reflector at the back. It should also have a white(fixed) light at the front and a red light(also preferably fixed) behind. They can be batteries or dynamos, the important thing is that they work well and help to see and be seen.
3. Basket, crate and/or tank bags
When you start to use the bike, you will want to carry some objects on the bike: a piece of clothing, a poncho or waterproof suit, a laptop, some books, lunch or snack, some grocery shopping, etc. Although a simple backpack allows to remedy, the truth is that it is much more comfortable if the luggage does not weigh in our backs, but in the ones of the bicycle. We sweated less and we managed to carry many more things on the bike, without complications. That’s why it’s worth choosing a bike that has a basket or luggage rack and tank bags, or else equip it with these accessories, which are currently on sale at any bicycle store.
Something that can not be missing is a good padlock to secure the bike while you handle your business. There are several models, but the safest ones are usually U-shaped ones.
An air pump and a set of tools may also be useful for tightening some bolts.
Finally, mudguards and chain guards prevent mud and oil from dirtying our clothes. If your bike does not have these accessories, a mechanic can install them.