15.         Equipment, clothing and accessories - the Do's and Don'ts

(a)             Always wear a helmet which can reduce head injuries by up to 85 percent - select a helmet that fits snugly and sits flat or slightly forward on your head, so as to protect your face - modern helmets have an effective size adjustment knob at the rear, and the strap lengths should ensure your face is protected not the back of your neck, because it is a helmet not a sun visor.

(b)          Ensure at least one water bottle cage is affixed to your bicycle, fitted with a large bidon bottle of water or electrolyte drinks - Gatorade, Powerade etc.

(c)             Fit a large under seat pack to carry a -

              *        compact yellow windbreaker;

              *        2 inner tubes;

              *        2 tyre levers; and

              *        a light weight multi tool.

(d)             Ensure a light weight bicycle frame pump is affixed to your bike and learn how simple it is to pump up a tyre with either a Schrader or Presta valve.

(e)             Wear a cheap pair of sun glasses ($5 to $10) which are not too dark, even perfectly clear, as you need to see any potholes which may be in a shadowed road section.  Eye glasses reduce the likelihood of pollen irritating your eyes between early October and late December.

(f)              Wear mountain bike cycle shoes with recessed Shimano SPD pedals if you are likely to walk around during cafť breaks or over timber bridges.  Extruded racing cleats may provide a tad higher efficiency, but they are powerful difficult to walk around in at Nosh Stops or if you have to dismount and walk your treadley.

(g)             Wear short finger gloves for three seasons as they pad your hands for a more comfortable ride, and protect your hands in case of a fall.  They also soak up perspiration during the hotter weather, thereby avoiding hands slipping.  Wear light weight long finger gloves in Winter, as the short finger gloves can result in a painful sting along the top of the fingers on a steep, early morning descent mid-Winter - avoid heavier gloves which can restrict your handling and control.

(h)             Arm warmers and leg warmers are popular in Winter.  However, they are prone to slipping down, causing irritating cold gaps which are particularly noticeable on early morning descents in the dead of Winter.  A tight fitting long sleeve T-shirt and a pair of black (ladies) tights are a lot cheaper to purchase and more effective.

(i)           Use lights at night - The law requires a -

              a)        white headlight (visible from at least 150m ahead); and

              b)        red rear reflector or red flashing taillight (visible up to 300m from behind).

(j)           Dress appropriately - In rain wear a tight, bright waterproof jacket. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes.

(k)          Wear tighter fitting clothing so as not to get caught in a front wheel or chain

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(a)         Never wear audio headphones while riding a bicycle.

(b)         Donít carry a loose fitting shoulder bag which could fall into your front wheel.

(c)         Donít apply sunscreen above your eyes.  Tie a colourful cotton bandanna (cost $3 to $4) across your forehead which will keep perspiration out of your eyes and out of the front sponge in your helmet.  Most bicycle helmets have a sun visor particularly useful in Summer time.

(d)         Don't get stranded. Carry a mobile phone, which have the phone numbers of a few other cyclists in your group rides.