Not in the bag

Cycling away from the sun

The cycling to work has been going well so far, and although not making the trip every day, I feel as though I’ve now got a proper routine. In February, riding to work, without wanting to sound like a martyr, can be a right pain in the backside. The weather is one thing (although of late it’s been really nice for Feb), but it’s the amount of baggage I seem to be carrying around that is noticeable.

I’ve two bags for my trips between Rissington HQ and home. The Rapha Fixed bag holds my MacBook and day to day stuff like glasses, phone and a 85W power supply because I’ve been too lazy/mean to buy a second. The second is the Altura Dryline panniers where I keep my many change of clothes, towel and packed lunch - when I remember to pick it up.

So I’ve two bags, but what really makes sense is to keep all the bike stuff away from these two bags. These apply to all year round really, so, these are what I consider to be the essentials that should go everywhere.

1. Topeak mini pump

Had this a few years, but thankfully doesn’t get used too often. I swear by Continental Ultra gator skins.

2. PRO pretend bottle

A recent edition. Basically a water bottle with a lid. In here lives a spare tube and a quick lock. Good at the moment, but what will happen when I need 2 bottles?

3. Topeak Mini Aero Wedge

I’m on my second one of these* as, although clever, the velcro part that straps to the seatpost tended to come clear. It probably wasn’t helped by my saddle position but some hacking with a Stanley through the main plastic shell means it’s probably better than new. This contains tyre levers and…

4. Topeak Multi tool

If you’ve nothing like this, buy one now, and with the chain link extractor. Mine is a few years old now, but pretty much the same as this.

5. Basic and backup LED lights

Now the days are drawing out, these are more for being seen rather than seeing. Handy when gloomy and overcast.

Bonus. Polar s710

Knowing your distance/time/work rate is important for smug value. Mine? Still working happily after 5 years, although a replacement battery is about to set me back £25. This seems rather high. Pondering.

* Topeak clearly not going for the accessibility or SEO route with their site.

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