Cycling gear for a safe ride day or night

Dinah Chan cycling in full gear

Visibility is the key, especially if you are riding on the roads and you want other road users to see you. While lycra might be overkill for the novice cyclist, it is something to consider if one is doing cycling long-term because cycling-specific apparel can enhance comfort and performance. For example, cycling-specific jerseys are usually fitting to reduce drag while riding and the integrated rear pockets are useful for small items like your mobile phone, energy gels or wallet/purse.

Cycling shorts which come with padding (or chamois as cyclists call it) help provide much needed cushioning and support on the saddle, particularly for long-distance rides. Gloves help to provide some comfort while your hands rest on the handlebar and can potentially reduce injuries in the event of a crash or fall.

It is perfectly fine to use normal trainers or sports shoes for beginner cyclists-do not wear slippers or sandals as they provide very little protection. Those who become more serious will want to invest in cycling specific shoes which enable cleats to be installed and can be attached to the pedals. The advantages are obvious though it may be daunting to try them on. Firstly, it keeps your feet locked in a fixed position which aids in an efficient pedal stroke and next, it allows specific muscles to be built-up which are required for long distance riding. 

Last but not least, the helmet. Although it is not mandatory for cyclists to wear helmets here while cycling in Singapore, helmets are a must and essential in reducing head injuries as one will never know when he or she will crash and get knocked down by a vehicle. As the motto of a brand of helmet goes, “No brain, no game”, so you get an idea what happens if you have no helmet in the event of a crash or accident. Besides, what could be worth more than your brain and skull? 

Cycling in the day vs Cycling at night

Riding in the day will require all of items mentioned in the above section. If it is a very hot day, sunglasses are highly recommended and a water bottle to be brought along to ensure proper hydration. If the ride is long, it is wise to bring along two water bottles which can be mounted on the bike or kept in the pockets of the cycling jersey. Those who are worried about getting a tan will want to slap some sun block lotion on. 

When riding at night, particularly during night cycling in Singapore, visibility is doubly important; and the cyclist would require the assistance of front and rear lights so that they can be seen by other road users (and other cyclists). Most bicycle mounted lights are compact and run on batteries, these days some models are even rechargeable via USB ports on the computer. Rear mounted lights will normally be red in colour and front mounted lights in white.

Some cycling apparel will also have reflective strips to enhance visibility at night and those who wish to be more visible can attach more lights on their jerseys or even their helmet. 

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