Backpacking on Wheels


Cyclists getting ready for a safe race

Sam R., Blogger

There is a common misconception with bike riding. A decent amount of people who have ever ridden a bike think that if they go slow and be careful, they don’t need the proper equipment. That is completely false. When going on a bike ride, no matter how slow or far, you need the following supplies to keep you safe and to make sure you get home in one piece.

The list includes:

  • a helmet
  • a water bottle
  • protective eyewear
  • bike gloves
  • close toed shoes
  • sunscreen

Without the proper equipment, biking can be more dangerous than shooting a gun. Wearing a helmet protects you from breaking your skull on impact with a surface. A water bottle will keep you hydrated and aware of your surroundings. Protective eyewear can be sunglasses or regular vision glasses too. These will protect your eyes from any dirt or other debris that might be flying from in front of you. Wearing bike gloves will protect you from getting blisters on your palms and lower finger areas from holding the handle bars for too long. Closed toe shoes are incredibly important for a few reasons.

This is what a professional biker looks like in a race


Number one; they will keep sharp objects from cutting your feet. Number two; they will protect your feet from sunburn. Number three; if you fall, your toes will not break upon impact. One of the most important items on the list is sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen can be the difference between having an enjoyable ride, or a torturous ride. Wearing sunscreen will protect you from sunburn (obviously) and it will also protect you from insect stings if you buy the right kind. Certain types of sunscreen make bees stay away. Getting stung by a bee while riding your bike is no fun. I can tell you from experience. It’s happened to me twice. You will want to have anti venom to be safe.


There are multiple injuries that you can get from bike riding, the most serious being death. At the lowest level, you can get a scraped knee or elbow from falling. You can get a gash in your arm from falling too. You can get dehydrated from not having enough water. You can get sunstroke from not being careful about how long you’re exposed to the sun. You can get first degree burns from not wearing sunscreen.


In the summer of 2016, I went on a 50 mile bike ride. 5 minutes into the ride, another rider in my group had a pedal fall off. This can be dangerous for many reasons. Number one is; if your pedal falls off, you don’t have control over your bike. The second reason is; the pedal could get caught in the tire, flipping the bike and injuring you.

This could be you if you don’t have the proper equipment. He looks fine despite the fall. He probably suffered minor bruising and scrapes. Other people aren’t so lucky…

This man fell off of his bike and broke his collarbone even with the proper safety equipment. This just goes to show how dangerous biking can be.


So just remember, when you go on a bike ride, bring the proper equipment.