Cycling is a popular hobby that's recommended by doctors for the health benefits it provides. But when you begin you may be asking yourself essential accessories and gear when you go cycling? Ok, obviously bike lights are good, but what else? There are many extras you can buy, so here are some recommendations:

1) Helmet. In some places a helmet is required by law, but even if it isn't, it could help you avoid a trip to hospital with brain damage, so it's well worth considering.

2) As mentioned, bike lights are good, in fact in most places they're a legal requirement after sunset. The type that flash rapidly are probably best (provided your local laws permit them) because the ones that have a distinct "on-off-on-off" pattern can be lost for a moment amongst other lights in traffic and that may be the difference between a vehicle avoiding you or hitting you.

3) Pump. There's no use in having a puncture repair kit if, after you've fixed a flat, you can't re-inflate the tire! Floor pumps are fine for home, but you really need a compact one that you can carry on your bike to save you a long walk back. A basic puncture repair kit should have a several patches, glue, a replacement valve, chalk to stop the inner tube sticking to the tire and levers to help you remove and replace the tire.

4) Water bottle. When going on long rides, especially in hot weather, it's easy to become dehydrated without realizing it. By the time you feel thirsty, you may already be getting dehydrated, so make sure you take plenty of fluids.

5) A multi-spanner. Bikes have nuts and bolts of different sizes, having one tool that can tighten them up if they work loose at any time (especially when you're out on the road) is a good thing.

6) High-visibility vest or tabard. If you're going to be cycling at night or in bad weather, you want every advantage you can get to stop someone running you down because they "didn't see you". Bright colors and reflective strips will help make you stand out from the background (but still keep your eyes open anyway!)