This morning’s workout was another sunrise-filled bike ride. I was accompanied by my usual Running-buddy, Kate, and we looped around the mall, Rock Creek and Connecticut Ave for a total of 17.5 miles. DC-ers, staying inside today would be a crime – it is absolutely gorgeous out there!
Switching things up this week has been interesting! Just one month ago I realized maybe I could fit in a workout DVD before I got ready for work; successful! Then, I realized maybe I could get up earlier and get in a run; successful! Tuesday, with the knee still a little upset from old shoes/inserts + half-marathon, I wondered – could I manage a morning bike ride?
Of course I could! But, my initial issue was the time I take to ride; I like to go for at least 15+ miles (1 – 1 1/2 hrs, at least). The second issue was the time I tend to take getting ready for bike rides – it is very different than running! Since purchasing the bike, I’ve learned a Lot about the processes of cycling. The cost does not end with the bike itself – I’ve slowly accumulated my “gear”, adapted to the routine, and can finally say that, Now, I’m out the door in 10 minutes or less! Small victories here.
Lessons learned, I bring you this – DOTR’s Guide to Cycling Gear! I.e., the things that accompany me on every ride:
- Water bottle (Never leave without this, and fill it up!)
- Garmin watch, HR monitor
- Running shoes (No, I haven’t switched to Clip-in pedals, yet)
- Cell phone, Credit Card, ID, House Key/Car key, Sunglasses
- Zoic Women’s Cycling Shirt (with pockets! To hold all the crap you see up there. This is the best feature on cycling clothes. Runners, take note. These should start appearing on our shelves soon, don’t you think?)
- Giro Women’s Helmet (minus the visor, I removed it)
- Pearl Izumi Women’s Cycling Shorts ( Go Pearl Izumi, and you’ll never go back. Also, don’t try to cycle without those crotch-pads. Trust me, the lady in you will appreciate the gesture!)
- Spare tire tube & Mini-pump (always be prepared for a flat tire)
- Occasional extras: snacks and the iPod*!
*If I bring music, I always leave one earbud out (on the Left side) so that I am aware of my surroundings!
Quite the list, isn’t it? Yes, I could go without a few things (watch, HR strap, iPod, etc), but that is my list. Feel free to improvise and make your own!
The “gear” – shorts, shirt, helmet, mini-pump, spare tube – is what adds up. I linked to my exact purchases, but if you browse the Performance website you’ll find sales, alternate brands, and obviously things that might be more to your liking! Luckily for me, there is a Performance Shop a mere 2 miles from my office, so I can always go back and browse when I need/want to. The prices are definitely reasonable and they have a lot to choose from!
Cyclists, what’s on Your list? What are some of your must-haves when you’re out on a ride?
If you’re new to cycling, I hope this gave you an idea of what sort of “gear” helps make the ride! These things are not necesarilly “necessities” – I rode with a running shirt for weeks! Then, I wanted pockets – but will be helpful as your workouts get longer.