Bike Essentials

Bike-Essentials_mini copyWhen pushed physically, my impulse is “Why?” not “You can do it!”

Since we moved to Austin I decided to give two wheeling a try. After testing a few cruisers, I opted for a hybrid that felt good and had multiple gears for climbing.

Here are the basics I needed to get started:

Pump – For keeping tires in shape. Make sure you get one that fits your tire valve (Presta or Schrader).

Helmet – I’m not one for flashy gear. The Giro Sonnet was the perfect fit – lightweight, comfortable and understated.

Glasses – One beautiful summer evening I was riding and a bug flew in my eye. I promptly bought these online. They come with interchangeable lenses for day or night.

Bottle Cage – It helps to not have to lug around your water bottle. Attach one to your bike instead.

Lights – Comply with the law and stay visible at night. Bright white for the front, flashing red for the back, and rechargeable via USB! Try reflective decals for extra safety.

U-Lock – Cable locks are easy to cut through. Be safe not sorry and get a sturdy U-lock to keep your bike secure.

Repair Kit – Strap this under your seat to patch tires and for other en route mishaps.

Chamois – After riding more than several miles, my butt was pretty sore. These will get you through those longer than usual trips and can be worn under dresses and capris.

This past Sunday I rode 10 miles and it wasn’t easy. When pushed physically, my impulse is “Why?” not “You can do it!” So much of life is like riding. You just get on and go, dealing with the bumps and hills as they come, embracing the curves and protecting against what threatens to overturn us. I will get stronger. I will be more confident. I will have my special underwear on. The important thing is to keep going.

P.S. More tips on buying your first road bike.


  1. Maryn, so glad you’ve found biking as a great way to get around/exercise! The metaphor of life’s ups and downs very much applies! I highly recommend a camelbak for water if you have a small pack to put it in 🙂

    1. Hey John! I will have to look into one. I’ve seen them at REI and they are pretty stylish! I also want to get a rack so I can carry panniers for grocery shopping.

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