Summer is finally here, which means: more time to ride your bike! In addition to your phone and wallet, there are a few summer essentials you should consider adding to your bike or scooter handlebar bag. As the days get longer and you spend more time out on the road, these warm-weather essentials will help you stay fresh, comfortable, and safe.
- Protective Gear
We don’t plan on leaving home this summer without a face mask and hand sanitizer. Bike excursions are no exception to that rule! Face masks help protect those around you on crowded bike paths, and sanitizer will come in handy if you touch something with your bare skin. Both will also be helpful as local restrictions loosen and you find yourself needing to stop at a store mid-ride. If you use a local bike share system, also consider carrying disinfectant wipes in your handlebar bag! Checkout other strategies for biking safely during the pandemic from founder Maria Bousted.
- Sunscreen Stick
Whatever you do, don't forget to pack a sweat and waterproof sunscreen before heading out! First, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Remember to apply fifteen minutes before you head out for your ride, and then every two hours after. Sunscreen sticks are compact and spill-proof - perfect to throw into your handlebar bag. (Have you already spilled sunscreen lotion in your bag? Fret not! Check out our Po Campo bag cleaning tips)
- SPF Lip Balm
The sun and wind can wreak havoc on your lips, which are made of thin skin that is particularly vulnerable to the elements. Whether you're out for a short commute or a long recreational ride, stow a lip balm with SPF in your bike or scooter handlebar bag. Easy access to this lip balm will help your skin stay hydrated and comfortable.
(we couldn't find any with SPF - if you know any products in this category made by black owned businesses, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post)
- Bug Spray
Most of us expect to get at least a few bug bites throughout the summer. While mosquito bites generally aren't dangerous, the itchy bumps can certainly take some fun out of your ride. Take steps to prevent them while you're out by packing a couple of individually-wrapped insect repellent wipes in your handlebar bag.
- Garner’s Garden DEET Free Bug Spray
- Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
If you're commuting somewhere, chances are, you won't have the opportunity to have a full shower after stashing your bike. Wet wipes are a portable must-have for your bike or scooter handlebar bag. Not only do they help you feel cool and refreshed on a steamy day, but they also can help you spruce yourself up quickly when you arrive at your destination. Planning to pop into a store while you’re out? Hand sanitizer is a must-have to sanitize before and after your visit. Bonus: many wet wipes are safe on bike finishes, so you can use them to quickly clean your bike!
When you're out riding on a hot and steamy summer day, all of that sweating you'll be doing might leave you a little stinky. Deodorant is a must have! Stash a travel-sized tube in your bike or scooter handlebar bag. Whether your summer ride ends at the office or at a brewery, a quick wipe down is the next best thing to a shower, and it will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for your activities ahead.
- Garner’s Garden Natural Deoderants
Always-Essentials for your Handlebar Bag
Regardless of the season, there are a few other essentials we always like to keep on-hand in our bike bags. While you’re out for a ride, you never know when you might need to fix a flat, repair a chain, or tighten up a loose bolt. These always-essentials can help you be prepared for the most common problems you may encounter on your journey.
When you're out on the road, your phone is one of the most valuable tools to have on hand. Not only does it allow you to use GPS navigation, but it also stores your emergency contact information and allows you to call for help if needed. In addition to your phone, it's also a great idea to carry your ID and your insurance card. By definition, accidents are unplanned, but being prepared for their possibility puts you in a better position - just in case. Cash also comes in handy, especially on long trips, if you decide you want to stop at a store for a mid-ride snack or drink.
A flat tire is one of the most common (but always unexpected!) mechanical problems we encounter riding bikes. Sooner or later it happens to everyone, but you can be prepared the next time it happens to you. If a small puncture causes your flat, a small patch kit with a piece of sandpaper, a tube of vulcanizer, and patches in a few different sizes will help you get back on the road in no time. For bigger punctures and tire blowouts, replacing the tube is probably your best option. Once fixed, you’ll need to inflate the tire, and that’s where a mini hand pump or CO2 cartridges which can be a smaller and more compact option - comes in useful.
A good multi-tool may be the difference between you riding home, and you looking for a new ride home. These tools are small, but their versatility packs a big punch, allowing you to make a wide variety of bike repairs while you’re on the go. Look for a multi-tool that includes the following:
- Hex keys (size 4, 5, and 6 are very common on bicycles)
- Torx wrench
- Chain tool
- Philips screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
Don’t believe that all of this can fit into one compact handlebar bag? Watch and learn. Our best selling Kinga Handlebar Bag fits on all handlebars (drop bars, flat bars, riser bars, bullhorns, aero, cruiser, butterfly, banana bars - we’ve got you covered). It has six pockets to keep your things in place while you’re on the move. Plus, the Kinga’s versatile straps make it easy to put on and off your bike, helping to make your life more mobile.
If you’re looking for an even more mobile solution, check out our new Kent Sling Handlebar Bag. Not only will the Kent fit all of your supplies, but its innovative design lets you use it in three different ways. You can wear the Kent as a trendy sling bag or fanny pack, and then seamlessly transition it to a handlebar bag for huge versatility.
However you pack your handlebar bag, we hope you stay safe and enjoy the ride.
Our Pledge For Change
Recently Po Campo made a pledge to support Black-owned business. When Black-owned businesses thrive, their families and communities thrive as well. At Po Campo, we stand for justice, equality, diversity, and anti-racism, and we recognize the need to be better. Going forward, we vow to be bold, be purposeful, and be engaged in our actions to support minority-owned businesses in every way we can. With an open mind and an open heart, we will use our marketing vehicles to help build up these communities in this time of need. We took the opportunity in this article to only feature products by Black-owned businesses when they didn’t apply to our brand. There are a lot of great brands and products out there which we might not be familiar with. Some are smaller and some are larger. We are hoping to help introduce you to a few and encourage you to support these companies by purchasing products when you can. We are all in this together.