Commuter Kit: Bike Commuting Made Easy | The Green Issue | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Special Issues & Guides » The Green Issue

Commuter Kit: Bike Commuting Made Easy

A few things you'll need when taking to the roads on your bicycle.

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One of the simplest (and most fun!) ways to flex your green muscles is to commute by bike. With gas ringing in at $4 per gallon, lots of folks already do it, but we suspect there are even more out there who like the idea of a pedal-powered commute. They just don't know how to go about it. In bike-crazy Bend it can be intimidating to get out there and mix with the racer nerds astride their high-zoot contraptions. We're here to lend a hand. This list will help you organize your commuter kit in the hopes that you, too, can take your ten-speed to the streets.

Helmet: This is definitely a must. But these days, you can get cool looking lids inspired by the skateboarding community

Everything-proof jacket: A key element in all seasons. Even on summer nights you'll need something to keep you warm and dry on your way home from the bar

Blinky lights: Red in back, white in front. You're safer if you can see and be seen. Plus, it's the law

Fender: Essential for keeping your ass dry

Rack: Helpful for transporting groceries, pets and other oddly-shaped objects

Sunglasses: Good for keeping bugs and wind out of your peepers. And for looking good/unidentifiable

Beard: It'll keep you warm in the colder months (women should wear scarves or neck gaiters - they're less itchy)

Weather-resistant backpack: Good for storing and transporting all of your bike commuter odds and ends - extra layer, bike lock, change of shoes, thermos of warm drink, laptop, six-pack, etc.

Gloves: If your hands are warm, the rest of you will be warm.

Alterations to your pants cuff: Whether you roll 'em up or incorporate the high-vis reflective strap, you need to keep those cuffs clear of that chainring

Tools to change a flat: You should know how to do this. And you should carry the tools in a seatbag or in your backpack. A frame pump makes this job easier

Bike lock: No, this isn't New York or Philly, but you at least need a minimalist-style lock to keep your ride safe from filthy bike thieves

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