4 accessories every biker should have

New accessories are making it easier to ride bikes in the city. (AFP pic)

Cycling has never been more popular than it is today. Whether you cycle for health and fitness or just love being outdoors, it’s imperative to stay at all times.

Despite the many benefits of cycling, however, fear of accidents, inhaling pollution, or the possibility of rain can be discouraging.

Here is a short list of accessories to help you jump on a bike.

1. To be seen: light

Whether at night or during the day in sub-optimal conditions, it is important to be able to properly signal your presence on the road.

Lighting accessories can be attached either to the front or the back of the bike and can be powered by fixed batteries or a dynamoelectric system connected to the pedals.

To top off your visibility, there are many different types of fluorescent vest. Those at the very top of the line have integrated headlights, blinkers and brake lights.

The Lezyne and Cosmo brands offer good products.

When well-equipped with lighting and trying to stay within bike lanes, the risk of accidents is greatly diminished.

2. To avoid getting lost: a smartphone holder

It’s always a bit tricky using GPS while trying to steer.

Expert bicyclists boast about being able to bike without both hands, but it’s best to opt for a smartphone holder, especially if you’re just starting out.

Here as well there is a large array of models and price points on offer. Stability varies with price, but for about $15-20 you can get a good case.

3. To avoid choking: a mask

Many of the world’s capital cities break new records for air pollution every year. Even on foot, we’ve all experienced the choking experience of getting a faceful of car exhaust.

The solution for this is found in wearing a mask, which we’re already getting rather used to these days.

There are technologies which allow for comfortable breathing when their filters are regularly changed.

The only small drawbacks are the fog they can create on eyeglasses and the moisture from condensation they can hold against the face.

4. To stay dry: a rain cape

To avoid ruining a perfect blow-dry or wrinkling clothing while in transit, rain ponchos and capes are the solution.

They offer a lot of coverage and many have elastic banding on the inside to attach them to the handlebars to prevent splashback from the front.

As a result, you’re dry from head to toe – or at least to the knees, and without hampering pedalling.

Some models have hoods or front pockets in which the poncho can be folded after use for easy carrying.