Bicycles have been around for what seems like an eternity. This is due to the fact that they have been, and probably will always be, incredibly useful to the common person. No matter who you are, where you’re from, or where you’re going, a good bicycle will serve you well as long as you know how to ride it. Of course, bicycle owners know exactly what perks come along with owning a bike, as well as how to get the most out of your trusty pal with two wheels.
For new owners or future adopters, however, some of the more important information about owning a bicycle may be unknown. Therefore, this handy little guide will cycle through five important tips that every bike owner should know.
1. Practice Your Cycling
While bicycles are relatively safe modes of transportation, they can still be dangerous around vehicles or pedestrians. You don’t want to be riding around town when you come upon a steep downward descent and find yourself racing towards an uncontrollable speed that may find you zooming into traffic or another person. It’s best to find a safe spot to practice riding your shiny new bicycle that is both safe and capable of challenging your skills before you take on the open road.
2. Always Check Your Bike
Before any journey, big or small, it’s generally a good idea to take a close look at your bicycle. Make sure it’s ready to ride and that you won’t be caught off guard by any unexpected issues. Air up those tires, check the brakes properly, and clean your chain thoroughly. If this isn’t something that you’re familiar with, there’s surely a bike mechanic near your area who will gladly inspect it for you.
3. Know the Area
Planning is everything for those who will be using their city bikes every day. Knowing the routes that will take you all over your town or city is an important part of making your daily commute as swift and leisurely as possible. Simply taking a free day to explore on your bike or taking stock of your local map can give you a much better understanding of all the best paths to all of your most pressing destinations.
4. Always Obey the Rules of the Road
This should be common sense, but I feel it bears repeating. Just because you are on a versatile, seemingly harmless bike does not entitle you to ignore the rules put in place solely to keep you safe.
Always stick to going the same direction of traffic, obey stop lights, look both ways before crossing the street, try not to run people over accidentally or on purpose, etc. It can’t hurt to abide by those rules, but it is possible that ignoring them could hurt more than a few somethings. As the old saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.”
5. Make Yourself Visible
The average driver should always be well alert and their attention should be fixated on the world around them. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on people being competent drivers who automatically see bike riders. It is up to you to take charge of your own safety, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is to wear light reflective clothing and lights.
These items are typically easy to find and simple to install, plus you can possibly find neat ways to create custom designs or patters on your bicycle or clothing, should you desire. Making your presence known is well worth the safety that comes along with it.