(a la Orwell)
Let’s hear it for cycling season–or in the spirit of “There’s no bad weather, only bad gear”, the warmer cycling season. So get your wheels back in shape and you safely back on the road.
Take your bicycle to a local bike shop for a tune up. Or, if you’d rather do it yourself, here’s a basic checklist:
- Check your brake pads for wear and clean the metal rims on your tires where they grip.
- Check to see if your brakes engage fully, is the cable loose or rusted?
- Clean your chain (old toothbrush and Dr. Bronner’s peppermint degreases like a charm) and apply your choice of fresh lube, I’m a White Lightening fan.
- Confirm that your tires are running true or if you need to adjust spokes.
Make sure your helmet meets current safety standards and really fits you. If you fall, chances are you’ll hit forehead first, pull that puppy down just above your eyebrows to protect your brain. Make sure the “V” side straps are tight under your ear. Your chin strap should be tight enough where you can open your mouth wide, but in no way loose. Print out how to change a tire so you’ll be ready. Pack your spare tube, pump, tire lever, patches, Slime, emerg and health insurance info in your bag.
Gather new bike path maps your local shop or online. Plan weekend excursions, the best daily commute path, or the best place to park. See if your front lock (through frame and front tire) and back lock (through post/pole, frame and back tire), and seat lock are in working order and that you have all your keys. Enjoy the weather and the ride!
Where’s your favourite place to ride?