The days are getting longer and warmer, and the winter blues are slowly melting away with the last of the season’s frost. As the bike lanes and bike racks begin to fill up again, our weekend rides get longer and more adventurous and our commutes home from work involve a few more unplanned stops to meet friends and bask in the season’s sun. While a working bike and maybe a pannier or backpack is all you really need to make the most of the seasons, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite accessories for city biking – or two-wheeled escapes to the country – to add a little flavor to your ride.
The boomBOTTLE H20 is Schosche’s most outdoor-ready wireless speaker yet. The bluetooth-enabled speaker is completely waterproof and dust-proof, and it even floats. It’s designed to fit into a bicycle’s water bottle cage, and with a 50mm up-firing speaker and passive subwoofer, packs a serious punch. Long, leisurely daytime rides are always improved by your favorite tunes, and this little beast gets the job done.
BeetleBag is a frame bag/ backpack perfect for those days when you only need to carry the essentials. It has three compartments for your things with a water bottle holder on top. Toss in your keys, wallet, phone and a light sweater, and strap it on to your crossbar. When you reach your destination, this little bag converts into a backpack by unzipping the back, then the straps fold away again when you’re ready to ride. It’s great for short trips around the city or longer cruises out into the country, where you never know what kind of hikes you’ll find once you get there.
Summer is hot. Beer, ideally, is cold. Green Guru Gear solves this fundamental problem for bicyclists with the Carbon Cooler pannier, a 22L cooler – complete with cutting board – which attaches conveniently to your back rack. The cooler has enough room for a 12-pack, some snacks, and a lightweight picnic blanket or sweater. It has an adjustable strap for ease of carrying off bike, and like of all of Green Guru’s products, is made almost entirely of used materials such as upcycled billboards, truck tarp, and metal hardware, meaning each unit is both environmental friendly and aesthetically unique.
There’s nothing quite like the warm glow of a candle, and in a compact, travel-safe form, this little beauty adds the romance of candlelight to any bike adventure. The collapsible candle lantern adds a touch of rugged charm to an urban picnic, or a touch of city chic to a camping trip. The candle burns for 9 hours (and once burnt out is easily replaceable from UCO or any outdoor retailer). The lantern also features a pop-out LED flashlight on the bottom, with a 40-hour run time. Stash the lantern in your panniers to add a little romance to a spring dinner, or a little convenience to an overnight bike tour.
Not everybody has their own bicycle. And even for those who do, some of us occasionally ride publicly-used bicycles, such as bike share bikes or spin class bikes. Three friends and entrepreneurs in NYC are looking to “keep things fresh” for urban cyclists with CitySeat, a removal seat cover for public bikes. These cute little slip covers are available in a huge range of colors and patterns, and are also available with padded options for those who spend a lot of time in the saddle.
The Burley Flatbed is the perfect non-car solution for the spring and summer’s errands or BBQs. With 100lb (45kg) of hauling capacity and an open front, top, and back, the Flatbed is able to carry around most of what you need to move in the summer. Use it to haul firewood, a cooler and a camping chair for your next beach party, or on trips to the garden store to pick up a few bags of soil and a shovel or two. It assembles in minutes – mostly tool-free – and when not in use folds down to nearly flat for easy storage under the couch or in the hall closet.
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