Chapter 13 - Various Bike Accessories

Well, now that the fitting is done, surely now we can start riding...
Oh no no, there's still something we have to do, Risa-kun.
What, still?
If you're planning to do some real pottering, then there are some things you're going to need.
It's like taking a leisurely stroll on your bike. Cycling for weight loss is just one kind of pottering.
Ohh... It sounds kind of cute.
...Hm? Did someone say Pota Pota Yaki? Rice crackers are okay for a change of pace, I guess. Don't mind if I do.
Reo-sama, no one said that...
Here you go, Reo-sama.
What? You have some?!
The way things have been going, it shouldn't have been hard to predict♪
Thanks a bunch! Mmm, that salty-sweet flavor is irresistible~
Would you like some too, Risa?
N- No, I don't... Why'd you even bring something like that?!
I told you, it's just a snack... Hehehe.
Sheesh... Hey, where's Satsuki-san?
She said she was going to get something from the storeroom. She said it would be easier to explain if she could show you.
Oh... I should go help her.
It's fine, it's not that much. Let's start with something familiar first.
What I'm wearing right now is cycling gear.
Some people prefer to wear more regular clothes, but in my opinion you can't beat specialized athletic wear.
That's right. A T-shirt and sweats are fine, but specialized gear is pretty well thought out in its design.
Is it really that different?
Regular clothes aren't very aerodynamic when you're riding, so the wind resistance slows you down. That's why so much cycling gear is custom fit to your body.
Sit back down, Miya.
Now... Speaking of special features of cycling gear, do you know what this is?
Take a look at the lower back area here.
Instead of breast pockets, it has two big pockets on the back, see?
On the back...?
It's because of the forward-bent posture. With breast pockets, whatever you had in them would fall right out.
Oh... That makes sense.
That said, if you're just doing some moderate-speed pottering, you shouldn't have any problem with just regular athletic wear from some place like Uniglo♪
That's good, I browse at Uniglo all the time, even when I don't really need anything.
I think Rikka-chan likes to do that too.
Yeah, that sounds just like her~
I hate to interrupt your cheerful little conversation ladies, but would you mind if I continued?
Oh... Sorry about that.
You can get by with athletic pants for the bottom too, but I personally recommend racing shorts...
Racing shorts! *clatter!*
Sit back down! Wait, what's wrong with your eyes...?
I'm on the edge of my seat...♡
Hey, you know about racing shorts, Miya-kun?
But of course! Please bring me every kind you have in stock in Risa's size.
Please don't!
You're going to buy out our whole inventory, huh, Miya-kun?
Yes, money is no object! ...Haah, haah♡
Why are you panting like that?! Satsuki-san, please don't sell those to Miya.
Risa, you're interfering with our transaction.
Darn it, Miya!!
Azumi Risa's losing it again... What's wrong with that girl?
Hmmm, how should we calm her down?
Just leave it to me... Miya-kun, Risa-kun, what you wear is certainly important.
However, it's not the first thing you need to buy.
The first thing you need is this.
Whoa, is that a bicycle helmet?
It's a fundamental safety precaution.
Come to think of it, those people I see zipping around on bikes all wear those.
Ohh, I think I've seen that in a manga before. But it seems like it'd mess up your hair.
You need one if you don't want to split your head open on the pavement, Reo.
Hnnh, you don't have to make it sound so scary... I don't ride a bike though, so I don't need one.
I've already purchased one.
What? How come?
A helmet is the most basic of all basics. Besides, I'm always one step ahead of you no matter what it is, Risa.
Nnnh... I was the first one to be interested in bicycles though...
Next is this.
Hmh? Gloves?
These are cycling gloves. Not only are they're effective at improving your grip, but they also help prevent numbness in your hands from the vibration of the handlebars.
Oh, I see.
Naturally, I...
Yeah yeah, you already have them, don't you?
And then there's these.
Oh, are those sunglasses?
Yep. They keep the wind from drying out your eyes, and dirt from getting into them. And of course they cut down on UV rays and glare from the sun.
These don't even have to be specially designed for cycling♪ As long as they're intended for athletic use, you can use whatever kind you like.
And of course, the already-mentioned...
Racing shorts, right? Racing shorts♡
That's enough!!
*The following are artists' renderings.
Naturally there are a lot of people who think it's "too embarrassing" to wear racing shorts when riding in the city, but as long as you're riding, I don't think people will notice too much.
They cut down on resistance too, so it's easier to move your legs, and ideal for pedaling.
I don't even understand how people can make athletics into something so dirty...
Oh, it looks like my dear Yuuno is serving as the conceptual model♡
I- I was wondering who that was...
*Continued artists' renderings
There's a cushioning pad in the shape of the seat located between the legs, which relieves discomfort on your bottom.
I recommend a thicker pad for beginners. A surprising number of people throw in the towel citing pain down there as the reason.
Oh, and there are also different pads for men and women, since their pelvis is shaped differently. So watch out for that when you're shopping.
So like I said, even though you wear them without underwear, there's a pad between the legs which prevents anything from showing, so there's no reason to worry♪
Hrk... What did you say?!
...Why do you sound disappointed?
And if you're still leary of racing shorts, there are things called underliners which are designed to be worn underneath your regular shorts.
They're padded just like racing shorts, but to make them breathable, they're made from mesh fabric.
Mesh fabric?! See-through?!
For the last time, will you sit back down?!
Recently, something called a "cycling skirt," designed specifically for girls who ride, has been getting popular.
*Continued artists' renderings
You wear them over your racing shorts though... They're really more about fashion than function, I think.
Some people also wear arm guards along with long "racing tights" to protect against the sun.
Aw, that sounds cute♪ Actually, don't a lot of girls who hike wear skirts over their leggings? I saw that on TV.
Leggings are handy... But it's a little embarrassing letting everyone see the outline of your hips. Something like that would address more feminine concerns♪
So you can wear a skirt over your racing shorts...
*Continued artists' renderings
There seems to be a rise in fashionable cycling gear aimed at women these days.
Eeee♪ That frilled skirt is so cute! If I had something like that, I'd actually want to wear it~♡
Oh, yes... Ah, my Yuuno does look adorable, doesn't she♡
Ngh... I didn't anticipate my plans for Risa to go pantiless in racing shorts to come under this sort of attack! Although it's hard to dismiss the thought of her in a miniskirt as well... Nnngh!
Next I'll introduce you to some cycling essentials. First is...
Oh... That's to put air in, right?
It's a floor pump. I suppose if Miya-chan already has one of these too, Risa-chan could probably borrow it.
Y- Yeah, I guess...
Hehehe, but of course I have one.
Sheesh, what's with the smug look?
Why, this is how I always look. I'm always displaying my superiority over you, Risa.
Next is a cable lock. It's to prevent theft.
Sports cycles are light, so to keep people from walking off with them, you fasten the cable around a pole or rail in a bicycle parking area.
That said, if you don't want to have to keep up with a key, I recommend you not park your bike for extended periods.
Right... I'll keep that in mind.
And this is a light. If you don't have one of these, you could get in trouble with your local authorities, so watch out.
I don't want the police to yell at me...
And one of these is absolutely essential for safe riding at night. There are lots to choose from, so you should pick whichever one you like best.
Wow... I had no idea there were this many different kinds of lights...
Other things required by law are a bell or other audible device, front and rear brakes, and a red rear reflector.
Brakes are kind of a no-brainer, and around here most bikes come with them pre-installed.
Oh, there are also rear reflectors that come with an LED light. They're much more visible to drivers, so you should consider one if you're going to be doing a lot of riding at night.
And then there's the bell...
I imagine Risa ringing hers constantly, hehe.
That's rude, I wouldn't do that!!
That's right, you shouldn't ring your bell at people.
Wait... Really?
It's easy to want to ring it to let people know to move over a little, but as a general rule, you should only ring it in areas where you see that sign telling you to.
I- I didn't know that...
Anywhere else, think of it as something you can ring only in situations where it's absolutely necessary to prevent an accident.
Hnnh... I'll remember that.
Phew... I didn't realize I needed so many accessories... So all this comes out to...
You aren't a cheap date, are you. Hehehe.
If we just total up all the strictly necessary things, it's not that expensive. All the little things do add up, though.
They sure do... Well, for today let's just...
For the helmet and the gloves, if you go with last year's models, it's quite a bit cheaper.
What? Really?!
I'll also throw in the light, LED rear reflector, cable lock, and a puncture repair kit as a bonus.
Thank you so much♪
And since you're buying from us, I'll also give you a year's worth of inspections, free of charge. You should come in for your first inspection in about a month.
Helmet, check. Skirt over racing shorts, check. All systems are go♪
It looks like you've got all your gear in order, Risa-chan.
Yep, everything's just right.
But this is still just scratching the surface as far as riding gear. You should have gone with something more serious... You should have gone without the skirt...
That's enough, already!
But at least this is enough to finally start riding.
That's true. However... Hmmm...
What's wrong, Miya-chan? You look pensive all of a sudden.
At the moment, both Risa and I are in our full gear, as are you, Mai-sama...
Yes, that's right.
But in the portraits, we aren't wearing helmets or anything...
M- Miya, what are you...?!
Ummm, Miya-chan? It's best if you don't worry about that...
Fine, fine, fine! Can we hurry up and start riding yet, Mai-sama?! Let's go, let's go!
W- Wait a minute, Risa-chan?!

Pota Pota Yaki is a brand of rice cracker snack, seasoned with sweetened soy sauce.

To be continued... Next time♪

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