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?