YOUR BIKE EQUIPMENT
We’ve talked on other occasions about aspects of our own security and that of our bikes. This month we’re going to look at things which can make our journey on two wheels more agreeable. The first and foremost, as it directly affects our health, is hydration. The typical thing to do is carry a water bottle. These were first made of plastic and later have been made from aluminium, with double ceramic bottoms which help maintain the desired temperature, normally cold. In these hot-hot days, when it’s almost always over 30 degrees centigrade, it’s really important to keep yourself hydrated even if you’re only going for a short wheel-a-round.
There is another way now of keeping yourself hydrated which is much more comfortable, and that is a hydration bag. I have at times been laughed at by other cyclists…ha ha ha, looks like a baby’s bottle, and so on. But the truth is they end up convinced by the system and asking you for a bit because their bottle has dried out. The advantages are obvious… you can store up to 2.5 litres of liquid, when a bottle designed for a bike rarely takes more than 750 ml. With the rucksack hydration bag you have a tube connected to the bottle which reaches close to your mouth. All you have to do to drink is move your head a bit and take one hand off the handlebar to get it into position. So it’s both easy to do and means you can comfortably carry more water with you.
Drinking water is fine but it’s good to mix the water with some isotonic powder on these hot days or doing any long route. My favourite, one of the classic and better known ones, is Isotar, a powder which is dissolved in water and gives you mineral salts and other necessary components for challenging trips or climatic conditions. There are also energy bars and fruit jellies that can help you replenish your strength on a long trip.
We have also talked about the importance of wearing helmets before…but the writer of this piece doesn’t venture out without other pieces of equipment including: glasses (because when you are careering downhill at 60 km an hour, you don’t welcome a mosquito in your eye); and gloves (for the similar reasons that if you fall, the first thing that touches the ground is often your hands. Gloves can mean not having to wear bandages for weeks after a nasty fall.) The last item on my personal list of essentials is a pair of cycling shorts, with a padded bum to protect you from uncomfortable rubbing.
As always, we remind you that Orange Bikes can kit you out with these items to make your bike trips a more comfortable experience, from water bottles and hydration bags to gloves and cycling shorts.
Editor Manuel Aguilar,1