Bike month is here! If you have not yet taken your bike out, give it a try, enjoy the nice weather and the benefits of biking. You don’t need a lot of prep or spend much money on equipment to get started. Here are a few tips to help you get started if you are less than confident in your cycling skills:
- Get a bike that fits right and has a comfortable saddle; bike shops are best able to fit your bike to you.
- You don’t need an expensive bike to get started – local bike shops can help you find an affordable one. If you want to start with a used bike, check out the Trenton Bike Exchange, their proceeds support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mercer County.
- Find a route you are comfortable with. Choose roads with bike lanes and slower moving traffic when possible. You can find biking maps on our website or Google bike maps. DVRPC recently launched a service called RUTI, a text-message-based planning tool that finds bike routes with the least amount of car traffic, or traffic stress. You can find RUTI here.
- Find a helmet that fits well. You can find tips on how to properly fit a helmet here.
- Be predictable and signal your intentions to others – point right or left for turning, hand down for stopping. Here is video on how to properly use hand signals.
- Make yourself visible, wear bright colors, something reflective, have a white light in the front of your bike and a red light on the back.
- Be heard. Announce that you are passing someone with a bell and/or your voice.
- Make sure you have a comfortable saddle – your local bike shop can help you find one that fits well and is comfortable.
- Learn a few simple bike-maintenance tips here.
- Take it easy, bring a water bottle and a snack, and have fun!
And don’t forget to sign up for our Bike Month You Ride. We Give campaign. For every pledge, we make a donation to the Trenton Bike Exchange or the New Brunswick Exchange. Pledge to ride and you’ll be riding for Good and for fun! To learn more and take the pledge, click here.