It’s here! Spring is finally here! It’s time for fair weather commuters and year round commuters alike to get their bike ready for spring and for everyone to get excited about Bike Month and Bike to Work Week.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting your bike ready for spring:
- Check you chain
- Check your tires
- Check you brakes
- Check your wheels
- Check if your toolbox has everything you need
Here is how you can check all of these things yourself. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, we recommend taking your bike to a bike shop for a tune up.
For those of you who thought of bike commuting and don’t know where to start, here is a list of things you need:
- A bike that has the right fit – the right fit increases your comfort and maximizes the efficiency of your pedaling. The saddle on your bike is worth some attention, the type of saddle you choose can make a big difference in comfort.
- Pick a route you are comfortable with. Choose roads with bike lanes and slower moving traffic when possible. Ask us if you need help finding a route based on your level of comfort.
- Choice of clothing – if you have a short commute (under 5 miles) you could ride in your work clothes. Just go at a reasonable speed, adjust your gears depending on the terrain (you can push yourself on the way back from work if you want a little workout). If you can, leave some clothes at the office to make sure you always look your best.
- If you have a longer commute and do not have a shower at work you could get some Action Wipes, they will do the trick.
- Invest in a panier you can put you bag/backpack in so you do not have to carry it. This is both practical and important for your safety since your hands won’t be busy holding things.
- Carry spare tubes and tools and know how to change a tire. You can learn here .
- Know how to lock your bike. If your office does not have a safe storage spot for your bike, here’s somebike locking advice .
Once you have everything you need and you are ready to hit the streets, here are a few safety tips consider when riding:
- Be predictable and signal your intentions to others:
- When you turn left, extend your left arm to your side
- When you turn right, hold your arm up an “L” shape or extend your right arm
- If you want to stop or slow down, hold your arm down in a “L” shape
- Go with the flow of traffic not against it
- Be ready to stop at driveways
- Make yourself visible, wear something reflective, have a white light in the front of you bike and a red light on the back, mirrors, and bell
- Wear a helmet
Be safe and have fun! And don’t forget to register for Bike to Work Week, log your miles, and share your pictures (selfies welcomed), and your experiences with us. We have great prizes again this year from our generous sponsors: REI Princeton, Kopp’s Cycle, Greater Mercer TMA, Wegmans Princeton, Whole Earth Center, St. Lawrence Rehab, and Zvelta.