It’s the perfect time of year to take your bike out for a spin! Before you hit the trails, here are some ways to make sure your bike is in tip top shape.
- Clean your bike!
Keeping your bike clean will extend its life and the life of all its parts. Take a basic cleaner (bonus points if its biodegradable), a towel, and a toothbrush and clean everything.
- Check your brakes.
Stopping your bike is kind of important, so make sure that those brakes are working before you join traffic. Check your brake pads for uneven wear and replace if necessary. When in doubt, bring in your bike to a local shop to be inspected. Better safe than sorry!
- Inspect your tires and wheels.
Changing a tire in the middle of your commute isn’t fun, so make sure your tires are in good shape! After you inspect the rims for nicks and other damage, elevate one end of the bike and spin the wheel, making sure that it moves smoothly. Check your tires for cracks, tears, or excessive wear.
- Know the rules of the road!
Do you know how to bike in traffic? Make sure you know your hand signals…
- Left turn: Extend your left arm straight out to your side (horizontally).
- Right turn: With your elbow bent, hold your arm in an “L” shape. (And alternative but less common, right turn signal is to extend your right arm straight out to your side.)
- Stop or sudden slow down: With your elbow bent, hold your arm down in an upsode-down “L” shape.
Be sure to ride in the direction of traffic and always wear a helmet! Now go out and have fun!