Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bicycle refresher 101

Photo courtesy of the Lawrence Unchained Bike Coop. 
Our friends at the Topeka Community Cycle Project have passed along some great tips for cyclists. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a long time cyclist there are good facts to know. 

A basic bike check when leaving every time:
A is for Air
B is for Brakes
C is for cranks and chain
Quick is for quick releases
Check is for check it over
Photo courtesy of Bike Walk Wichita
Helmet fitting:

To find the right size helmet, put one on your head without fastening the straps.
The front of the helmet should be level and two-fingers width above your eyebrows.
Shake your head from side to side: There should only be a little movement.

Share the road
Bikes are vehicles and should act and be treated as such
Laws that apply to motorists also apply to people on bikes

In choosing a route to ride an errand or go on a ride with the family, choose roads that parallel main streets, slower neighborhood roads that will be just as efficient, but without the amount of traffic main streets have. It may be a slightly farther distance, but it will be a higher quality, less stressful riding experience!

When first riding to work, or trying a route you plan to use frequently, give it a try on a weekend afternoon or a time of less traffic. This way you can get a feel for the distance and other factors. Plus you won't be feeling stressed in case something comes up and you can't make it to your destination by a certain time.
Bike to School 2016. Photo courtesy of Bike Walk Wichita. 
Don't forget to bring a lock if you intend to place your bike outside at your destination. Try and bring the bicycle inside if you plan to be there overnight.

If you are commuting by bike to work, try bringing an extra set of clothes the first couple times you try it. If you find you don't sweat to a point where you're uncomfortable wearing those clothes, just ride in your work clothes and take a more leisurely pace. 

A front or rear rack you can get at a local bike shop can make any short trip more enjoyable depending on your preference for riding with items or bags on your back.

A front and rear reflector are required in Kansas. A front headlight is required at dusk, but a taillight is great idea for your own visibility as well!

To try and avoid flats while out riding, check the appropriate air pressure on the side of your tires and refill every few weeks!

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