What to pack when commuting on a bicycle to class
Commuting with a bicycle to classes has become a viable alternative for many students. Travelling with a bicycle, however, is not as simple as getting on and pedalling. To ensure you get the best possible experience, and to make cycling a convenient means of travelling to your class, you should pack a few things before heading out with your bicycle.
Starting off, the one thing you should always keep, regardless of wherever you go with your bicycle, is a helmet. Considering how reckless some drivers are on the road, and the sheer chaos that ensues during rush hour, the helmet is an absolute must for all cyclists. You can buy one from your nearest bicycle store or order online. They usually go for around BDT 700 and around BDT 1,000 for higher quality ones.
The next thing that you should always keep with you is a water bottle. Most of the time, classes are scheduled during the morning or the afternoon. Hence, the bulk of our travelling is likely to be around that time. Heatstroke is a very real problem that we risk facing when going outside, especially when doing something that requires physical effort like cycling. Consider fitting a water bottle holder on your bicycle's chassis as well, which makes carrying a heavy bottle less of a nuisance.
If your school or university is further away from urban centres, you should also carry a tube repair kit with you. Bangladeshi roads are often riddled with debris and sharp objects, and having your tube punctured away from the city may mean that there is no handy bicycle repair shop nearby to fix it, which can be problematic if you're short on time or haven't travelled far enough to complete the journey on foot. With a tube repair kit, you can fix a leaked tube on the spot and continue with your commute to the campus. The kit, which can be used multiple times, costs around BDT 150.
The final thing that you should get is a bicycle mirror, which sits on your handlebar and is an incredibly helpful tool to have when switching lanes or crossing a road. Smaller-sized ones go for around BDT 140 a pair. If you're travelling at night, you should also get reflective stickers, or alternatively, a rear light to alert incoming drivers that there's a cyclist on the road.
There are some other optional extras which you may look into for the sake of convenience, such as a top tube bag, which provides you extra storage to keep things right on your chassis, as well as an LED headlight, which can be convenient to have if you're travelling at night on roads that have no streetlights.
If you're looking to commute to your classes with a bicycle, you should definitely carry the aforementioned things with you. That way, you'll save yourself a lot of time and frustration, and have a good and safe cycling experience.
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