Four Basics for Beginner Bike Riders
There can be a big difference between people who know how to ride a bicycle without falling on their face and people who know about bikes. For people who already keep up with all the latest and greatest in biking equipment and gear, we sometimes take for granted that you have to start at the beginning. Here are four tips for those who are warming up to the world of biking.
Especially when biking alone, the thought of having a flat tire can be very intimidating. First of all, don’t try to continue riding on a tire that is deflated. You will regret it later on when you have to get new rims. Before panicking, remember that there is a possibility that you could just need to put in some extra air. You may have a slow leak and if it is slow enough, there is a possibility you may be able to make it home just fine once it is aired-up. Most gas stations or bike shops have access to air. If you have never fixed a flat, we recommend you stop by the store and let us give you a few tips.
If you go shoppin, there is no way you are purchasing a large television and carrying that home on a bicycle. Let’s be reasonable. But if you are going to pick up some groceries, it is a good idea to be prepared. One of the easiest things to do is carry a backpack. One with a strap that clips on your chest would be ideal to take the pressure off your shoulders. As long as your load is centered in the bag, you shouldn’t feel off balance. Purchasing a bicycle-specific basket to secure to the front or back of your bike is also an awesome way to get around the problem. It doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture depending on your needs.
Locking Up the Bike
Everyone has walked by a bicycle locked securely to a metal post with nothing but a frame. No wheels, no seat, no handlebars and no pedals. First of all, purchase U-lock and a solid cable. You may also consider changing the pop-off locks to solid ones so nothing can come apart easily. Practice at home before you get on the road. Sometimes U-locks can be tricky, but well worth it. Also make sure you are locking the frame to a solid structure that it cannot be lifted over. The cable should go through the wheels to lessen the chance of them being stolen.
A decade ago we would have recommended a paper map. Modern technology has alleviated that need . . . though you should make sure your cell phone is charged. Many mapping apps have bike routes included, so you can choose your destination and choose biking as your method of transportation. The only concern is that apps are typically dependent on available wifi service and if service is bad, there is a potential that you could get thrown off track or miss a turn because your blue dot didn’t move in the correct direction.
There is no shame in starting slow. Practice riding around areas where you are familiar with the roads and traffic. Bring your lock and your basket or backpack. Come by and check your tire pressure. Add some air if needed, and get comfortable riding around on two wheels!