Getting Started With Biking

Biking will be one of the best activities that one can enjoy during weekends. Roaming around your neighborhood is the great thing and it can even consider as a form of exercise.

If you’ve ever ridden a bike before, even as a kid, getting started again is easy. They say once you learn, you never forget. This section deals with getting you back on a bike and cruising your community in safety and comfort.

Better Biking Than Ever

The explosion in popularity of road biking in the last decade has meant new products and new technology that have improved biking enormously. For example, indexed twist shifters mean no more fooling around with those little levers on the bar stem to find just the right position – just twist the handle to the next number and presto- you’re shifted! New “flatless” tires reduce the risk of puncture on the road to absolute minimum. The emergence of “comfort bikes” and recumbent bicycles with full backrests and plush seats has totally taken the pain out of riding for older bodies. And there’s so much more.

On the other hand, there’s more traffic and it’s going faster. And, in city area, drivers aren’t expecting to see a lot of cyclists. We have to take more precautions and be more aware of what’s going on around us. However, the recent development of rails to trails for hiking/biking and the great trails make a terrific time to get back to bicycling.

Whatever your reasons for biking, there are a few basics you can’t avoid. Like finding a bike. Like knowing how to keep it running. Like learning how to ride safely. And there are some ideas and equipment you’ll find helpful in getting the most out of your rides. I hope this section will help you and your whole family, including your kids, do just that!

Staying Safe

Utility bikers generally take safety more seriously than road bikers, many of whom tend to rely on speed and superhero costumes to keep them from harm. Perhaps carrying a load of groceries, pulling a trailer or hauling your kids tends to make you feel more vulnerable on the road. Many riders use one or two flashing bright blinkies (even in the daytime) and a flag. Another hint is to avoid rush hour for your shopping trips – bikes are harder for cars to see when traffic is congested and drivers are stressed out.

Locking Your Bike

One of the problems you’ll face as a utility cyclist is a lack of secure facilities for your bike at the stores you visit. Few stores have bike racks; frequently you’ll need to find a tree or pillar to lock your bike to. Stores in large malls or smaller strip malls usually have light posts in the parking lot with large concrete bases you can use. Fortunately, there are relatively few areas where you can expect vandalism, so theft and damage problems are really minimal.

Mostly you’ll have to protect yourself against grab and run thieves, and this can be done by securing your frame. Many cyclists also run a cable through one or both wheels as well. Some riders also detach computers, lights, saddles and other valuable accessories and carry these into the store in their trunk bags. Your patch kit will be small enough to stow in a seat or handlebar bag, which can be removed and carried with you. I leave my accessories in place and have not had a problem, nor have I ever heard of anyone else’s accessories being lifted locally. However, you should consider the relative safety of your neighborhood.

Finally, the safety is always the main factor that you have to consider no matter how busy or rushing you are. Have some time to consider the things mentioned in this article and you will enjoy biking activity without having to worry at all.

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