Summer is the perfect time to get your bike out of the shed and explore the beautiful cycling paths and routes across the UK. But as the days get brighter and hotter, you must make sure you stay cool and safe on your ride, which is why we’ve compiled a list of 7 essential cycling items you need this summer.
1.Helmet and cap
Ensuring you have a strong helmet is without a doubt the most important item, and during the summer months, you want to choose a helmet that is lightweight, aero and well ventilated. This is because keeping a cool head is vital during hot days, where there is a risk of overheating.
The B'Twin Aerofit 900 road cycling helmet is a great choice, constructed using In-Mold moulding technology to ensure that it's both lightweight, durable and structurally secure for the rider.
You will also need a cycling cap which sits under your helmet to keep the sun out of your eyes. They also give good UV protection for those not blessed with a full head of hair. Opt for a thin, mesh cap in the summer months, such as the RoadR 520 Ultralight cycling cap - made from an extremely light synthetic fabric that dries quickly, making it comfortable to wear even in hot weather.
2. Water bottle
Another essential item for your summer ride is of course, a water bottle. It can be surprising just how much you’ll need to drink to stay hydrated on a summer ride – especially when you’re working hard in the heat.
There’s nothing worse than running out of water mid-ride when you desperately need it, so it’s worth fitting an extra bottle cage – most frames have room for at least two bottle cages
The Hydro-Pro Water Bottles are a good choice, with a fast-flow super-soft silicone nozzle designed to offer athletes & adventurers the very best.
3. Bike lock
If you’re planning on stopping for a cake and coffee, make sure you have a bike lock with you, even if you’re stopping for just a few minutes. The last thing you want is to be stuck miles from home with no bike.
For maximum security, take a look at the Oxford Alarm-D Pro Duo Bike Lock, featuring a chunky 1.2 metre looped cable, to help extend its reach and to secure both wheels and frame. It also has a 120db weatherproof movement and shock activated alarm which will scare off any would-be bike thief.
Cycling in bright sunny weather is not only seriously uncomfortable, but it is also dangerous as it can hinder your eyesight. Sunglasses also help to keep bugs, debris and dirt from getting into your eyes.
Any sport specific or running sunglasses will do, as long as they are protective and will stay on your face.
The dhb UltraLite Sunglasses are a top (affordable) choice, providing 100% UVA and UVB protection and are made from a hydrophobic coating which helps repel sweat and water. Their venting feature also prevents the lenses from steaming up and rubber grippers on the arms keep the frames firmly in place, no matter how bumpy the terrain is.
5. Bike tyre repair kit
It is crucial to have a bike tyre repair kit on you, so that in the unfortunate event of a puncture, you can fix it mid ride.
The LifeLine Puncture Repair Kit will do the job nicely, containing six repair patches, a small piece of abrasive paper and vulcanising fluid - everything you need to repair a punctured inner tube.
6. Summer cycling jersey
As well as your head, it’s important you keep your body cool too. Lightweight, short-sleeve jerseys are the best option for summer cycling, and you should be opting for jerseys with mesh panels for ventilation. A mesh construction allows for a much more effective moisture wicking than regular jerseys making it perfect for when things get hot under the collar.
The Rapha Pro Team Aero jersey is a great fitting highly technical, very comfortable piece of kit for those warm summer rides. It features a smooth front panel and textured rear with dimpled arms and shoulders. It's a close fit too, without being constructive or riding up.
7. Lightweight waterproof jacket
Summer doesn’t always mean dry rides, especially here in the UK, so it’s wise to get yourself a lightweight, waterproof jacket for when the weather isn’t guaranteed.
The smart-looking Decathlon Triban RC500 jacket has a waterproof, breathable, stretchy membrane for maximum comfort when riding in the rain. The roll-up saddle flap also protects from splashes, letting you ride comfortably in wet or windy weather.
With a waterproof rating of 8,000mm, it isn’t the best option for truly horrendous conditions, but for summer showers and commutes it’s perfectly substantial.
Written by Kate, on behalf of Mackadams.
The story of the Land's End to John O'Groats cycling record is epic. Paul Jones has created a beautiful and gripping account about the people who have undertaken this record. The End to End is 842 miles and the current men's record holder did it in 43 hours, but people have been doing it since the 1880s. They are a fascinating collection of individuals that make the pages of this book so engrossing.
Although I ended up loving this book, my first impression was not great. This is because it opens with a grim account of the author starting his own End to End Journey. He doesn't hold back on his negative experience of Land's End. There's also a lot of introspection from the author because he is going through a challenging time in his life. I think I had this romantic vision of what riding Land's End to John O'Groats is like and these opening pages somewhat ruined that vision.
However, I read on and soon realised that this honest and realistic account is what makes this book so brilliant. It doesn't try to sugar coat a journey that can actually be hell, especially for those trying to break the record. It's a journey that involves unbelievable physical and mental challenges.
The author is going through challenges of his own and shares this with refreshing honesty and openness. Although I wasn't initially keen on the parts of the book where the author tells us about their personal challenges I soon felt that it was absolutely appropriate to the theme of this book. It's about men and women who have endured the torture of the End to End.
It is no exaggeration to describe this as torture. In trying to break the record attempt it was very common for riders to experience hallucinations and suffer extreme physical toil. Jones sets up interviews with some of the greats in the history of the End to End. He visits them in their homes and they tell him what it was like to undertake the record. It is a fascinating insight into what drives people to do extraordinary things, like the End to End.
I enjoyed this book a lot. It is very well written and the author has a talent for making you feel like you are alongside these End to Enders, on the road. Suffering with them and feeling the elation at completing the journey.
You can buy the book on Amazon:
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.