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Commuter Kit: Bike Commuting Made Easy 

A few things you'll need when taking to the roads on your bicycle.

One of the simplest (and most fun!) ways to flex your green muscles is to commute by bike. With gas ringing in at $4 per gallon, lots of folks already do it, but we suspect there are even more out there who like the idea of a pedal-powered commute. They just don't know how to go about it. In bike-crazy Bend it can be intimidating to get out there and mix with the racer nerds astride their high-zoot contraptions. We're here to lend a hand. This list will help you organize your commuter kit in the hopes that you, too, can take your ten-speed to the streets.

Helmet: This is definitely a must. But these days, you can get cool looking lids inspired by the skateboarding community

Everything-proof jacket: A key element in all seasons. Even on summer nights you'll need something to keep you warm and dry on your way home from the bar

Blinky lights: Red in back, white in front. You're safer if you can see and be seen. Plus, it's the law

Fender: Essential for keeping your ass dry

Rack: Helpful for transporting groceries, pets and other oddly-shaped objects

Sunglasses: Good for keeping bugs and wind out of your peepers. And for looking good/unidentifiable

Beard: It'll keep you warm in the colder months (women should wear scarves or neck gaiters - they're less itchy)

Weather-resistant backpack: Good for storing and transporting all of your bike commuter odds and ends - extra layer, bike lock, change of shoes, thermos of warm drink, laptop, six-pack, etc.

Gloves: If your hands are warm, the rest of you will be warm.

Alterations to your pants cuff: Whether you roll 'em up or incorporate the high-vis reflective strap, you need to keep those cuffs clear of that chainring

Tools to change a flat: You should know how to do this. And you should carry the tools in a seatbag or in your backpack. A frame pump makes this job easier

Bike lock: No, this isn't New York or Philly, but you at least need a minimalist-style lock to keep your ride safe from filthy bike thieves

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