Perhaps you live in a small town and don’t want to spend a lot of time every day sitting in your car. Or you’re wondering how to go through the prequalify car loan process and need temporary transportation.
If any of these apply to you, you’ve probably considered the other transportation methods available. After running the pros and cons of them all, you may have landed on riding a bike. It’s cheap, it’s healthy, and it’s good for the environment. What’s not to love?
Even knowing the benefits, going out on the street riding on nothing but some pipes and wheels can be scary at first. An inexperienced cyclist could be a danger to others but especially themselves. Here are the five most important things we think a cyclist should know for the new commuter or even an experienced rider looking for a refresher.
Learn the Rules
Pretty much every driver has had a bad experience with a cyclist. I’ve heard stories about them swerving into traffic, riding in the wrong lane, and running through red lights like they’re nothing. To avoid being “that lunatic” getting ranted about by someone’s uncle, check up on traffic laws for bikes, which may differ depending on where you live.
Choose the Right Bicycle.
Though they may all look identical to a newbie, bikes are incredibly diverse. Make sure you choose one made for what you’ll be doing. A BMX may not be the best choice if you’re going to ride it to work. Likewise, picking up a bike that’s too big, too small, or meant for a seasoned cyclist can lead to serious problems. If you aren’t sure where to start, there are many guides out there to help choose the best beginner bike for you.
Get a well-fitting Helmet.
This tip might go without saying, but helmets are important. Common complaints, however, are that they mess up your hair, “look dumb,” or are uncomfortable. These issues are caused primarily by people picking up the first helmet they see or using one second-hand. Helmets come in various shapes and sizes, and finding one fit for your head is more important than you think.
Invest in Lights
Investing in lights is another way to focus on safety. So many cyclists, especially the newbies, don’t know how important lights are for biking in a city. Even if you don’t plan on biking at night, you never know when you might have to. Not having lights is a disaster waiting to happen. The best advice I can give is to look for some decent lights, they’re cheap and may save your life.
Learn some Basic Repairs
If you ever rode a bike as a kid, you might already know some of these, like setting the chain back. But getting stuck with a punctured tire in the middle of nowhere is a nightmare if you don’t know how to fix it. Picking up a manual or reading a simple guide on bike maintenance can let you avoid this headache.