Contemplating a car-free commute is an endeavor that needs some planning up front. While this wasn’t a difficult decision for me, it was one that I’ve mulled over and done a good deal of research about, sought the advice of fellow Tour de Fat car-for-bike traders throughout the U.S. and made lists of what I think I need.
Over time, that list has changed and it will likely keep changing as I become fully immersed and invested as a bike-commuter. I prefer to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple and straightforward) though there may be some reasonable and rationale justification for special gear. Here’s a good video produced by the City of Fort Collins on winter bike gear.
Here’s my (current) list:
- A bike – needs to be comfortable, flexible for riding in different conditions and on multiple surfaces, well built with durable, high quality components
- Bike trailer – ideally, one that can carry my pups, Gus and Bailey
- Wheel sets – different wheels/tires for different road conditions
- Fenders – got to keep the road muck off of me as much as possible
- Lights – white on the front, red on the back for safety and, because it’s the law in Colorado
- Disc brakes – more stopping power in all kinds of weather is why disc brakes, versus rim brakes, are important
- Mirrors – for safety and to help me get a “heads up” about what’s approaching from behind
- A basic tool kit and repair kit – hex wrenches, tubes, patches, milk lever, etc.
- Tire pump
- Racks and packs – waterproof and easy to hook up/remove for storing tools, clothing, snacks, water, etc.
- A bell – letting other’s know I’m coming around the corner, entering/exiting tunnels and blind turns and passing along side is important to increase safety
- Bike helmet – with a light on the front and back
- High-visibility jackets and pants – waterproof, windproof
- Merino wool – baselayers, midlayers, hats, socks and glove liners. I LOVE merino wool in the summer too! Breathable and naturally resists odors
- Eye protection
- Shoes – insulated, waterproof, windproof
- Bike lock – U-lock and cable lock is a must in FTC! Bikes are a hot commodity in the front range and get stolen frequently if not locked up or out of sight
Am I forgetting anything? What would be on your list?