Helmet — of course! You should wear one every time you ride, and you
must when you ride in Bike MS. Modern helmets are lightweight, airy and stylish
Shorts — cycling shorts are not a gimmick. They are key to minimizing
chafing and other discomforts when sitting on a saddle for any length of time.
Good shorts have a large, smooth, lightly padded liner (“chamois”). If you
don’t care for the skintight look of Lycra, opt for the “baggie” mountain bike
style that looks like casual shorts but still has a liner. Being a loose fit,
though, means they could bunch uncomfortably during long rides.
Jersey — a cycling jersey with three rear pockets is handy for carrying
snacks, your wallet and other items. Summer jerseys are usually made from a
material that lifts moisture way from the skin, keeping you drier and more
comfortable. Plenty of casual riders simply pull on a T-shirt, but realize that
sweat (or a rain shower) makes cotton heavy and clammy. We are delighted to
welcome Primal Wear as the official jersey of Bike MS and invite to check out
the special offers they have in place for our cyclists.
Gloves — short-finger cycling gloves absorb perspiration for a safer grip,
protect against raw spots and blisters, and pad your palms to reduce road
shock. Most have a terry back that gives you a way to wipe sweat from your eyes
or energy drink from your chin.
Shoes and socks — dedicated cycling shoes, either for road
riding or mountain biking, are the best choice. The reason? Very firm soles
that let you press as hard as you want without feeling uncomfortable pedal
pressure. You can use mountain bike style shoes with or without toes clips and
straps, or with clipless pedal systems. Plenty of casual riders simply wear
running shoes, but their softness makes them less suitable for longer
distances. Socks are important for comfort and sweat absorption. Choose the
low-cut style if you’re worried about a funny tan line.
Sunglasses — it’s best to use a sports model with unbreakable lenses that
have 100% UV protection. The wraparound style will reduce bothersome wind, a
boon if you wear contacts.