The Summer Biking Season is here. Are You Ready?

Safe summer biking tipsOne of my favorite summer activities is bike riding. After a long winter, getting back on my bike is a treat.

I’m not training for competition or trying to see how far I can go. I ride to relax and enjoy the scenery. Exercise is an added benefit.

When it comes to riding, I’m lucky. There are nice, rural roads about five blocks from my home with few cars and trucks to worry about. When riding, I can focus on the scenery and fresh air.

Here are a few common-sense tips get ready for the season: 

  • Take a few moments and get last season’s dirt and crud off your bike and its mechanisms. This helps extend the life of your bike and its components.
  • Inspect your brakes. Brakes not only stop you, they prevent you from going too fast for your comfort level. You don’t want to be going down a hill only to discover you can’t slow down or stop.
  • Inspect the chain, pedals, gears and derailleur. Make sure everything is clean, properly lubricated and functioning properly.
  • Make sure the tires are in good condition, have plenty of tread and don’t show any cracks or other signs of wear. Properly inflate them, too. The last thing you want is to be miles from home with a flat tire.
  • Check the brake and gear shift cables. Cables that are clean, in good condition and at the proper tension make changing gears and braking that much smoother.
  • Don’t forget your helmet and reflective clothing. Riding isn’t a stealth operation – you want to be seen. There are lots of options for bright, reflective neon colors to increase your visibility. When it comes to a helmet, get a good one. You don’t have a $10 head, so why trust it to a $10 helmet.  
  • Remember traffic rules. You have the same responsibilities as auto drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic, use the rightmost lane and signal all turns.

Following these simple tips can give you a summer of great biking. If you’re not comfortable making repairs or adjustments to your bike yourself, most shops offer spring tune-ups by reputable mechanics.

Summer is too short to spend indoors. Give yourself a lift and go for a ride.

Editor's note: Where do you like to ride? Leave a comment and share your dream cycling getaway spot. Enjoy the ride!

by Eric Wolf on Tue, Jun 18 2013 2:31 pm
Posted by Eric Wolf on Tue, Jun 18 2013 2:31 pm

1 Comment

Patricia said on Aug 22, 2013
Oh man! I feel you. While Portland is yet to get the summer memo (when we drove back into town on Monday it was, ssrpriue! Raining just minutes after getting into city limits), my visit to California was a whole other story. Our last day in town was 105. Bleah! I always *think* I want to see the sun, but whenever it comes out, guns blazing, I'm the first to whine about the heat!

Add new comment