I was so excited when I bought my first high-quality and expensive bike. Not only that I thought it is a great way to stay fit without hitting the gym, I also thought there was no more to it – just sit on it, start pedaling and enjoy. I thought there was no more to it – just sit on it, start pedaling and enjoy.
And I kept on my routine for quite some time until recently an acquaintance who had been cycling for a long time gave me a couple of useful tips that actually improved the whole experience and showed me that you need to know a couple of things other than just how to ride a bike.
1. Always have two chains
Putting just a secondary lock on your bike won’t always be enough. You could easily have your bike stolen at some point if you don’t buy two different locks, one preferably a chain one and the other can be Kryptonite lock. That way, you can be sure your precious bike won’t get into the wrong hands.
2. Learn how to ride properly
It’s not all just about plain pedaling. Surprisingly, there are cycle training courses where you can learn how to cycle assertively. There are various cycling techniques that proved to be very useful in traffic, for example establishing eye contact with the drivers coming your way or how to avoid getting into dangerous situations while on the road.
3. Study some bike maintenance
You probably paid quite an amount of money for your bike – wouldn’t you like to know how to keep it in great shape for as long as possible? There are plenty useful videos on the net on how to take care of your bike. You will save some money if you know how to fix the problem on your own instead of taking it to a professional. And you could also find yourself having fun while discovering how your bike actually works! Ok, you are very well equipped if you watched a course on bike maintenance, downloaded an application helping you with that or checked out some videos online. Still, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn a couple of things in practice! Ask somebody to really show you how to deal with certain problems with the bike – that way you’ll have real experience in fixing your bike.
4. Deal with a punctured tire
This is a really annoying thing to happen when you’re on an open road. That’s why you need to learn how to solve this problem on your own without having to push the bike the rest of the way. Another smart thing to do is to get puncture proof tires if you’re ready to be extravagant when it comes to your bike. They are very reliable, so you needn’t worry when you find yourself on a lousy terrain.
5. Carry a floor pump with you
Floor pumps are a great piece of equipment because their pressure gage allows you to pump the tire quickly and up to the best level of pressure. You should carry it with you when you go cycling – it will prevent your tires from puncturing and also improve your performance.
6. Proper bike locking
You may have two locks but there are a couple of other things you need to pay attention to. First, you should check how to properly lock bikes online – the frame, the wheel and the object you are securing your bike to should be locked together. Also, choose busy places for leaving your bike and don’t lock it to a post that can be lifted over. The lock shouldn’t be too close to the ground and it should always be put, even if you’re going to leave your bike for just a minute – thieves are excellent opportunists.
7. Slow down at traffic lights
If you’re cycling at full speed, it’s very hard to slow down as you’re approaching a traffic light. Not only it’s hard, it’s also way of hurting your knees. Remember to start slowing down earlier if you know there’s a traffic light ahead – this will give the time needed for the red light to switch to green light and you won’t need to stop at all.
8. Lycra shorts – no underwear
Maybe you’ll resist wearing lycra shorts at the beginning, but you’ll try them out eventually – they are great for long routes. If you choose to wear them, don’t make a rookie mistake – wearing underwear, too. Lycra shorts shouldn’t be worn with underwear.
9. Keep your cool
You are just one of many traffic participants, so don’t be surprised if a pedestrian cuts you off or another cyclists gets in your lane. This is an everyday thing, so try not to get irritated right away. Just keep on cycling and enjoy the ride, and remember that it is ever so important to keep your mind and body at their peak!
10. Use route planners
Maybe you still aren’t aware of all the possible routes that you can make on your bike. Maybe you think that heavy traffic with angry drivers and careless pedestrians are your only option. Think again! There are some excellent route planners on the web that you can check out and start using. For example, CycleStreets route planner offers you completely different scenery where you can really enjoy the ride. And if you like making plans while on the road, you may let your imagination run wild with BikeHub, which you can easily download before the ride.
All in all
Owning a bike is almost as precious as owning a car – for some people, even more. The real cycling enthusiasts will understand this. If you enjoy a pleasant physical activity where you get to both do something for your health and enjoy the constant change of scenery – cycling is the perfect choice. Your bike could quickly become your good buddy, so make sure you really know how to take care of it and how to get the most of each and every ride that awaits for you.
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