Running errands with your city bicycle is a great way to tackle two birds one stone: getting things done and exercising. However, you need some equipment and forethought to make your trip efficient. Here are nine tips for making your errand run as productive as possible.

1. Bring a Messenger Bag

You probably have a few things you want to bring with you, especially if you’re going to multiple places. A messenger bag can hold large items comfortably without interfering with your ride. If you’re not a fan of messenger bags, you can opt for a backpack instead.

2. Don’t Forget Water

With all the physical activity you’re doing, you’re going to get thirty. Make sure you bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather. You’ll want to get a sizable water bottle that’s sturdy enough to withstand being dropped.

3. Wear a Helmet

Safety is paramount when you’re out and about on a bike, so make sure you’re always wearing a helmet. Everyone should wear one to protect themselves from life-changing head injuries, but it’s especially important for cyclists who share the road with cars.

4. Lock Your Bike

On your errands, you’ll probably be going in and out of stores. In most places, a bicycle left alone is at risk of theft. To prevent this, bring a lock to secure your bike while you’re away. If your area is especially prone to theft, you may want to get a U-lock as opposed to a chain lock, as U-locks are harder to cut through.

5. Keep Tools in a Saddle Bag

One of the worst things that can happen when you’re running errands is your bike breaking down. To prevent yourself from getting stranded, you should have a few basic tools in a saddle bag:

  • Allen wrench
  • Screwdrivers
  • Chain pliers

6. Install Shopping Baskets

Even if you don’t have a beach cruiser bike with basket installed, you can find ways to carry things around. For example, shopping baskets are a must if you want to go to the grocery store. Whatever you choose to install, make sure you’re not hanging bags from your handlebars, as this can interfere with your ability to steer.

7. Get a Bike Light and Reflectors

You probably don’t plan to be out after dark, but it’s always good to be prepared. Make sure you have reflectors and a bike light to ensure you’re visible to others.

8. Keep up With Maintenance

Just like a car, your bicycle needs regular maintenance to stay in top shape. Make sure you take time to inspect the following on a regular basis:

  • Chains
  • Brakes
  • Tire pressure

If you notice something off or if your ride feels sluggish, bring your bike to a professional shop for a tune-up.

9. Plan Your Route Beforehand

To ensure you’re not wasting time and energy, make a list of all the things you need to get done, then plan out your route before you leave home. This will keep you from having to double back.

Men’s and womens bikes are great vehicles for running errands, especially if you live in a bicycle-friendly area. With the right preparation, you can make this activity an enjoyable part of your lifestyle.