After over a year of living in the new normal created for us by the global pandemic, things are slowly, if disjointedly, easing up. But even as restrictions are loosened and shops reopen, life as we knew it will not suddenly return, which is giving us time to reconsider how we want to live in the world.
As a longtime commuter by bike I'm obviously delighted to have so many more two-wheeled friends. The most important thing I've learned in the two years I've been cycling half an hour a day to and from work is that a ride is only as slick or as safe as your accessories. The impulse to jump on and go without any of the requisite equipment is understandable but not worth it – anything from a car to another cyclist or just a rogue branch could knock you from your bike. Only by wearing a helmet can you protect yourself and reduce the risk of a serious head injury by up to 70%. And it's not just your head! Essentially, without tools to make you more visible, safely carry your wares or secure your bike, you are putting yourself and your bipedal friend in danger.
But all is not lost! Personally I embrace the 'safety first' attitude, which means I look, frankly, like a massive nerd on my daily commute but in no way does that mean you should, too. A host of independent brands are making bike-specific pieces which are as convenient as they are chic, meaning you can be as safe as you like on your socially distanced jaunt around the park. Toot toot!
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.