Having the correct bicycle, accessories, and clothing is key for proper training and for having an enjoyable and safe ride. Make sure that your bike is in good condition and that you bring the proper gear with you on a ride.
Bicycle Equipment and Gear
Whenever you go out biking, you need to carry some small essentials. Every rider should have a small bag on their bike to keep small items such as tool kits, snacks, bandaids, lip balm, and money. There are various bags that can attach under your seat, to your handlebars, or between the frame of the bike. Even on Hazon rides, when we transport your luggage and have various on-road support, it is still a good idea to carry these things.
Bike Computers and GPS
When training, it is very useful to record your distance and speed, so you can track your progress. There are various bike computers units that provide your speed and mileage. We recommend getting a computer that also measures your cadence or pedal speed. Having such tools can also improve your cycling skills.
Each day of a Hazon ride we will provide a turn sheet or basic map which explains the daily route. These will have mileage markers for turns, climbs, or other landmarks along the route. Knowing your distance is key to having an enjoyable ride.
You can alsoB get a GPS unit to mount to your bike, and our routes are usually available to download. You can also use websites like www.ridewithgps.com, www.gpies.com, www.mapmyride.com to map out routes that can be downloaded to GPS units. There are now some smartphone apps that can have many of the same features.
You should always be drinking copiously when cycling, even if it is not especially hot. When training you should always have at least one water bottle on your bike. If going on a longer ride, you should carry two. Most bikes can fit two water bottle cages on the frame, or you can put a bottle in the pocket of a cycling jersey. If you are uncomfortable handling water bottles while riding, a Camelbak or other water carrying system is a great way to drink while riding. Remember to drink before you are thirsty.
Tool Kit, Pump, and Tubes
If you are riding frequently, you should expect to have a couple of flats throughout a riding season. Learning to change a flat is not difficult, and we encourage you to take a class at a local bike shop. We recommend carrying two bike tubes while riding, as well as tire levers and a mini pump which can attach to the side of your bike frame. We also suggest carrying a patch kit to fit minor punctures in tires. You can also get a mini-bike tool with hex-wrenches and a mini screwdriver in case you need to adjust anything on the road.
Lights and Reflectors
In many places it is the law for bikes to have reflectors and lights if cycling in the dark. They are also important for riding in the rain, through tunnels, and in heavily trafficked areas. We suggested having a strong LED light in the front, a reflective red light in the back, and proper reflectors on both wheels.
Hazon sells various cycling apparel from previous events through our online store.
It is mandatory to wear a helmet when riding with us as they are the most effective way to prevent a life threatening accident. Find a helmet that fits snugly, comfortably, and allows maximum visibility. Your local bicycle store should be able to properly fit a helmet for you and sell you a good quality product.
It is highly recommended to invest in biking jerseys to maximize your riding comfort. Biking jerseys come in all styles, from sleeveless to long sleeved and are made of special fabrics, like thin lycra which wick the sweat and are extremely breathable. Most come with pockets on the back for you to put lightweight items in, like snacks or your phone. You should invest in a riding jacket or lightweight rain coat in case of weather.
Do not wear cotton shirts or sweatshirts which absorb moisture and become extremely uncomfortable.
To protect your hands from blisters and slipping on the handle bars, invest in biking gloves as part of your gear. Look for gloves with padded palms for added protection. They also come in handy for wiping sweat from your brow.
Choose shorts made of Lycra Spandex. The padded liner is essential to a comfortable riding experience and you wear bike shorts without underwear (to prevent chaffing). Riding shorts come in many different styles, including baggy shorts, capri length, and even skirts. Make sure to find what fits best and makes you feel the most comfortable.
Do not wear jeans, sweatpants or pants made of cotton as they hold moisture and cannot breath like modern fabrics.
Feet are sweaty so it’s important to have breathable socks. Choose technical fabric socks made for cycling that will wick the sweat away.
It is essential to wear comfortable and supportive closed toed shoes while cycling. For advanced cyclists, try biking shoes or cleats which literally snap into a receptacle on the pedal. You will have greater riding efficiency with clipped into pedals. Another great option for beginner and intermediate cyclists is to wear sneakers or running shoes. Even if not “clipped in,” having a cycling shoe with a sturdy bottom will give you more power when you pedal. You can also install plastic “cages” on the front of your pedal which keep your feet in place.
Do not wear sandals, boots, flip flops or open toed shoes while cycling.
Cold and Rain Weather Layers
When cold or raining, you need to wear layers to keep yourself warm and dry, but want to make sure that your body can still breathe. For mild weather, you can get lycra arm warmers or leg warmers. There are also long sleeve jerseys, cycling jackets (with pockets and mesh areas so you don’t overheat), and padded cycling tights. If riding in very cold weather, you can get thicker protection for your hands, feet, and face.
Need to buy a bike? Read about the right kind of bikes for you.
More information coming soon