If you’re heading out for a ride on the roads, you need to stay safe and be self-sufficient. Government advice is clear that exercise is encouraged as we all take charge of improving our health. But it’s important to make sure that you carry everything you might need to keep you moving, and the tools and tubes you need to fix a roadside emergency if you come to an abrupt stop. Here’s what you need to stay safe while cycling.
We love how many calories we can burn by cycling, but without hydration, we can easily become dangerously dehydrated. Always carry a full water bottle with you for short rides, and consider a second if you’re heading out for a longer journey. Drink before you’re thirsty, and take regular swigs and slurps.
They may be called water bottles, but modern cyclists can choose from a huge variety of energy drinks that are engineered for performance. Slip a banana or fruit bar in your back pocket for a natural lift, or if you need it, pack an energy gel for improved performance too.
Whether you’re cruising in the country or enjoying traffic-free urban rides, a bike helmet is still an essential accessory. Modern cycle helmets are lightweight and ergonomic, with many light enough that you won’t notice it’s there.
While cycle helmets aren’t a legal requirement yet, when our emergency services are doing more than ever to keep us safe, we think wearing a helmet is the least we can do to contribute.
Sadly, not all thieves are self-isolating so your bike is still at risk if it’s left unguarded. If you’re looking for a D-lock then the Halfords 23cm D-lock is the one to carry. However, it may get heavy on a long ride, so you could think about a Hiplock Lite, which is designed to be worn around the waist.
The Evolution Mini 7 Lock provides gold-rated protection and weighs just 1.61kgs, which means it won’t weigh you down too much. If you prefer a cable lock, the 25mm thick Magnum Plus MagShield Armoured Cable comes with a high-security rating and a £1,200 anti-theft guarantee from the manufacturer, making it a solid choice. Even better, use two locks to ensure that your bike is safe and secure, making sure you cable-lock your wheels to the frame as well as to a sturdy bike rack.
All cyclists should be as self-sufficient as possible during this difficult time. Naturally, you’ll need to carry a pump, set of tyre levers and puncture repair kit or spare tube. We also recommend packing a multi-tool to tackle roadside emergencies. The more mechanically minded might want to chuck a spoke key in the back pocket and a couple of spare chain links if you’re being extra-prepared.
The gear you’re carrying is going to weigh you down a little bit, but it’s for your safety. If you need to pack extra, consider investing in a bike backpack. They may increase your wind resistance, but safety comes first.
If you’re cycling on your own, read our guide to safe solitary cycling. It’s packed full of advice on keeping yourself safe while on the roads. One of the key takeaways should be to plan ahead, share your route with a family member or friend and always pack a fully-charged mobile phone.
Bike lights are a legal requirement and an essential accessory day or night in Europe. In the UK, many riders are waking up to the importance of using lights at all times, with the added visibility this gives them. If you’re shopping for a new set, our Bike Lights Buyers Guide is packed full of information that will help you select the right, bright lights for your ride.
We also recommend investing in specialist cycling clothing, with a hi-visibility cycling jacket sitting at the top of the pile. Cycling jackets come with reflective strips and patches that will help other road users spot you more quickly, enabling them to safely slow down and pass you. If you’re watching the pounds, a Halfords Essentials Hi-Visibility Vest will keep you safe and seen.
If you want to cycle safely. You want Halfords.