Making sure you are safe whilst riding your bike is a priority, there are a few things that can help protect you and your bike when you are out on a journey.
A visit to your local bike shop will reveal that they don't just sell bikes but many other accessories, some of which are essential for security and safety.
Lock it or lose it! Most cycle theft is an opportunist who comes across a bike that is not locked up or secured badly. To avoid this make sure you don't just lock your bike up but make sure you do it properly - even when you are just 'popping in a shop quickly'.
There are many different types of lock available to protect your bike when you are leaving it unattended and the London Cyclist blog has a good guide to choosing the correct lock.
Click here for to learn how to keep your bike yours, the do's and don'ts of locking your bike up and some safe storage solutions.
It is against the law to ride a bike on the road in the dark without lights.
There are a wide variety of cycle lights available for both the front and rear of your bike. See the Why Cycle website for more details on bike lights.
The helmet is designed to be worn whilst riding a bike to protect the head, in particular the brain, from any damage potentially caused by an accident.
Currently there is no legislation in the UK to enforce cyclists to wear a helmet and the argument remains hotly debated as to whether or not wearing a helmet will actually save your life, so the decision to wear one has to be down to the individual rider. You can get more information and links to the current status of the debate by visiting Why Cycle.
If you are going to wear a helmet it is important to make sure it fits you properly, read the Bike Hub guide to fitting your helmet properly.
Puncture repair kit (and a pump)
Possibly the one bit of bike repair that every cyclist will find themselves doing at some point. Punctures are common and the last thing you want to happen is to be stranded should you get a shard of glass through your tyre. A kit consists of patches, glue, chalk and sandpaper for better adhesion.
A set of tyre levers and a pump also come in handy when you are out on a journey and many cyclists carry spare tyres with them to save time, but make sure you choose the correct valve.
See the bike care section for more information on tyres, valves and how to repair a puncture.
The basic tool kit should consist of Allen Keys, a Phillips screwdriver and an adjustable spanner, but as you start to improve your bike maintenance skills you will need more tools. Doing a Cytech course is the best way of learning these skills and learning about all the different tools there are for fixing bikes.