If you need to secure your bike or are riding at night you will need a lock and lights. Although not necessary, additional equipment may make your ride more enjoyable.
Lock your bike whenever you are not using it, even if you will only be away from it for a short time. For short-term storage, lock your bike in accordance with your municipality's ordinances and properly use a good lock. For overnight or long-term storage, it is best to store your bike in a secure area or bring it inside.
Choosing a lock
Choose a lock specifically designed for bikes. While there are many brands and designs of good bike locks, generally U-locks are considered the most secure. Thin cable locks and chains with padlocks are easily cut. While a good lock can be expense, it’s cheaper than a new bike. Check out your local bike shop for options.
How to lock your bike
The most important part of locking your bike is to ensure the lock is both around your frame and the solid metal object you are locking to. Do not lock to an object that is movable or easily cut, like a chain link fence. Depending on your bike and lock, you may be able to use your lock to secure your rear wheel and your frame. You may use additional locks or a cable in conjunction with a U-lock to secure both wheels. Make sure to take any easily removable accessories with you.
Where to lock your bike
Lock your bike in a visible location. While bike parking rules vary by municipality, generally you may lock your bike to bike racks and sign posts on public property. Do not lock to trees, light posts, traffic signal poles, handrails or anywhere that will obstruct access to or use of the sidewalk. Check with your local ordinances for exact bike parking and locking rules.
A front light and rear light or rear reflector are required at night. There are many different types of lights. Check with your local bike shop to see what options are compatible with your bike. If you use removable lights, remember to take them when you when you lock your bike.
Fenders help keep you and your bike clean and dry. There are many different designs. Visit your local bike shop for options for your bike.
For many people, the easiest way to carry stuff is in a backpack or shoulder bag as this does not require special equipment to be installed on your bicycle. However, it can be uncomfortable to carry large or heavy items on your person. Having a rack on your bicycle is a great way to carry more stuff. With a rack, you can strap your backpack or items to the rack. You can also attached a milk crate or basket. This is a great inexpensive way to securely carry all sort of things on your bike.
There are also various types of bags that attach to racks or directly to your bike. One common example are panniers, bags that are designed to attach directly to a bike rack. These are often waterproof and are a versatile way to carry things. Check out your local bike shop for the many bag different options.