This is the cycling gear that will take you back to the saddle

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In the old pre-pandemic days, I used a combination of sports and gym time to keep fit. A regular schedule basketball, soccer, and pickleball collection suitably supplemented a handful of weekly workouts in the gym. From the coronavirus covered the United States yet my the gym has been closed and social distancing protocols have put kibosh in all group sports.

In March, I took my 2005 Lemond Tourmalet out of the garage, put on four layers of heat clothes and I went for a walk. Since then, I have been riding every other day, and I have done more miles on my bike in the last 60 days than in the last five years.

Read more: Peloton Top Alternatives: 4 Great Indoor Exercise Bikes That Cost Less

Angela Lang / CNET

Part of my cycling gear was overdue for an update, and I've been testing a variety of new products and technologies that have made my rides much more enjoyable and safe. Please note that I have not thoroughly tested any of these product categories; this is just a sample of my best personal picks.

Read more: Gym closed? Here are some of the best home exercise options.

Quadlock

There are many people who travel to leave emails, text messages and calls behind, but I prefer to have my phone handy when I am in the saddle. (Obviously, I pull over to the side of the road if I want to get involved with the screen.) Until recently, I was stuffing my phone in the pocket of my jersey, which was often under a jacket, making it difficult – and insecure – access while rolling. Then I got this Quadlock case and stand. It has been a total game changer.

The Quadlock mount sits on the bike's stem, and I'm quite confident in its ability to keep my phone safe, even when driving through bumpy terrain. When the trip ends, or I have gone out of the way to take a photo, it is very easy to release; simply pull up on the bracket lock mechanism and rotate it. The Quadlock phone case is strong, there is a raised bump on the back that fits into the mount, and I am confident that it will skillfully protect the phone in a crash. But when my trip is over, I switch to my preferred Catalyst case.

Adidas

I will not suggest that listening to music while riding a bike is the safest option. Many cyclists disapprove of the practice of wearing headphones while riding a bicycle, arguing that all their senses should be alert to danger. I think it makes a lot of sense and I'm not going to convince you otherwise.

However, if you listen to music when you ride (or run), you can mitigate the risks with a set of headphones that don't completely turn you off from the outside world. A pair that has some version of transparency mode, like the Apple AirPods Pro, is a good bet.

Otherwise, I recommend the Adidas FWD-01. They are comfortable to wear, easy to control with one hand and strong enough to listen, even in windy conditions. They have a built-in microphone, so you can jump into a call when necessary. The knitted cable, which is waterproof, is lightweight and tangle-free. And the battery life is excellent.

blacksmith

He had been wearing the same bicycle helmet for a long, long time. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends replacing your helmet at least every 10 years, and mine was at least that age. After doing some research, I opted for a mountain bike helmet, even though I mainly drive on the road, for added protection and, in my opinion, a cooler look. After trying several, I decided on the Smith Forefront 2, and so far, I love it.

Most importantly, it features the MIPS architecture, which can mitigate the force of an impact on your brain. It is relatively lightweight and breathable, and has Koroyd on the inside, a layer that offers additional protection against shocks and a way to eliminate errors.

Smith Optic

I found these comfortable to wear and secure on my face, quite light and stylish enough. If you rummage around, you can find a deal: I found a pair for $ 35 at Backcountry.com, though they're listed at $ 100 and up, depending on color.

Amazon

Where I live, it is cold and windy all year round, except for a glorious stretch of 10 weeks or so in the summer. We have not yet arrived, and I would not have been able to leave on any trip without the protection of this jacket. It kept me warm and dry, without making me feel suffocated, constrained, or bogged down. And while it doesn't have pockets, there are zippered slots that allow access to the jersey pockets.

Sarah Tew / CNET

I have been using Strava to track and share trips (and races and hikes) for years. But in March, I upgraded to Strava's premium subscription service, called Summit, which costs $ 8 per month or $ 60 if you prepay for a full year. I did it primarily for security reasons: Summit's Beacon feature allows you to choose a contact who can monitor your whereabouts during each trip. But there are a few other cool features, too, including advanced workout metrics and leaderboards.

More essentials for training

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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