Most of us know the things that we should bring on every ride. Safety equipment, lights for riding at night, and our roadside repair items with that minipump, a spare tube or two, tire levers, and patch kits. There is even a secondary set of recommended items for those who just want to be ready for every contingency: a minitool, a chain breaker and a quick link, or even an extra tire for those of us who are going long or heading to places with no access to bike shops.
But here we’ve compiled a list of things that are not at all essential, but can be absolutely helpful. Here we go:
If you’ve ever had to do roadside repairs, you will know that even a rear tire puncture means touching your rear derailleur and your chain. You will also know that grimy lubricant on your hands is never fun. It gets worse if you have to deal with a broken chain. Bringing a pair of plastic gloves makes the task a lot cleaner. You can even put some of your roadside repair items in the plastic glove to hold them together when not in use!
Microfiber cloth (in a sealed plastic bag)
One of the most hopeless feelings in the middle of any ride is getting sweat or grime on your eyeglasses, and realizing that there’s just no way to clean it. This is especially sad at that moment you realize that everything you’re wearing is sweaty, and using your jersey or your shirt on the lens of your glasses just spreads more sweat on it. If you keep a small bit of cloth sealed in a plastic, you can save yourself from this kind of sadness!
Moist towelettes or wet wipes are another non-essential item that can make rides a lot easier. Whether it’s for removing the shame of that chain tattoo you have on your leg mid-ride, sanitizing your hands when there’s no way to wash them properly, or removing that extra oil on your nose bridge so your sunglasses aren’t slipping down—wet wipes can be a good friend to have along on a ride.
Sealable plastic bag
Rain showers in Manila often don’t give you much warning and can sometimes feel like someone is suddenly pouring a bucket of water on you. This is why it helps to just be ready for it by keeping your things in sealable plastic bags. This way, you can just keep riding along even when rain begins pouring, and your wallet, mobile phone, and other valuables get to stay safe and dry. It helps to keep your phone’s display facing outward, as it lets you use the touchscreen even through the bag!
Extra face masks
Lastly, we recommend bringing extra face masks because the efficacy of a mask can be compromised when it is wet. This means it helps to bring extra masks to keep yourself safe while riding during the pandemic.
The best thing about all the items we mentioned above is that carrying them adds very little weight or bulk to your load. Which means that even if they aren’t really needed for safe riding, there really is no reason not to bring them along for extra utility and comfort.