Friday Fives: 5 must-have biker accessories

by on April 24, 2009
in Friday Fives

In addition to setting up my bike with accessories that improve my riding experience, I also accessorize myself with some must-haves for the road. Today’s Friday Fives is all about the five personal accessories I can’t do without:

Leather jacket, chaps and lined gloves – By the time winter ends, I’m so ready to ride that I’ve been known to get the bike out if temperatures get to 45. (That feels SO warm when you’ve been in the months-long deep freeze, but when moving through the wind it’s really quite chilly!) There are some who go by the mantra, “All the gear, all the time.” This means they wear full leathers (or armored textiles) on every ride. I can’t claim to be that protective, but I wear my leather jacket, chaps and lined gloves for anything under 55 degrees; and, the jacket and gloves for anything under 65.

Helmet – Although in truth a helmet only provides limited protection, I wear one every time nonetheless. It’s gotten to the point where I feel naked without it. My current lid is a pink-and-pin-striped Fulmer half-helmet; it has the added bonus of being distinctive and memorable. (I swear: someone recently said to me, “I remember you – don’t you ride with a pink helmet?”)

Solid-gripping, ankle-protecting footwear – I used to wear a really nice pair of HD boots that were comfy even for all-day wear. Their only disadvantage was that they were lace-up and a pain to put on. Then I acquired a pair of red Ariat cowboy boots with good rubber soles, which I adore. And recently, I acquired another pair of HD boots also with rubber sole, but this time they lace AND side-zip for easy-on/off. A side benefit of all these boots – for me, anyway – is that they all have some degree of higher heel, which puts me flat-footed on the bike when I might otherwise not be.

Cell phone – do I even have to mention why this is important? Side benefit: mine has a built-in camera, in case I forget #5:

Digital Camera – Okay, sometimes I forget the camera. But I always kick myself when that happens. It’s important to me to document as many of our rides as possible, so that when I’m 90 and in a nursing home I can point to my pictures and tell the nurses, “You see? I used to be interesting too! And look – this hummingbird tattoo on my cleavage wasn’t always as close to my navel as it is now!”

What are the personal accessories you can’t live without?

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3 Responses to “Friday Fives: 5 must-have biker accessories”
  1. JuJu says:

    SO glad to hear I’m not the only one who considers a camera essential biker gear! LOL But I also don’t ride without my prescription sunglasses, and a pair of clear Rx glasses in case I’m out after dark. A bottle of water in the sissy bar bag is handy because I always get so thirsty while riding. And recently, I’ve fallen in love with my new sheepskin seat cover–ahhhhh……..

  2. BikerChick says:

    WOW, good tip on the clear glasses, I take those along too and have been VERY sorry on the occasions where I forgot and needed them! I’ll also second the sheepskin – had one of those on the bike when we went to Sturgis in 2006 and it really made a big difference – you’d think it would be hot, but it was very comfortable!

  3. Jenny says:

    My list is similar but different from yours.

    When I leave the house, I have my jacket, gloves, boots, jeans, and helmet on. The jacket has the following in the pockets. For me, these are a must:

    1. A pill box. I have my medication as well as some tylenol in case I get a headache.
    2. A comb. I admit it. I’m vain, and I like to comb my hair when that helmet comes off!
    3. A tire gauge. I check my tire pressure regularly, and by having that gauge in my pocket, it’s easy to remember to do it before I leave.
    4. My regular glasses and my prescription sunglasses (one in my pocket, one on my face).
    5. A handkerchief. This has saved me so many times. I don’t always use it for blowing my nose.
    6. Cell phone.
    7. House key. Yeah, I know, this sounds dumb, but I have forgotten that key too many times!
    8. My wallet with my license and registration.
    9. I have since removed the final item from my jacket because I’ve got a new bike. My old bike needed to have the mirror regularly adjusted. It had to be tightened every trip, and sometimes in between during stops. Yes, I have tools under my seat, but keeping a wrench in my pocket just made life so much easier!

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