You’ve done it. You finally bought a bike to help you get to your destination at a time when ride-sharing and mass transportation have become huge health and safety risks. Bikes have become essential modes of transportation but the country’s not ready to embrace cyclists just yet. Still, biking has a lot of health, environment and mobility benefits so it’s still worth trying, especially to those who don’t have a car or a company shuttle.
Brushing up on your childhood biking beginnings (hello, memories of leg wounds and scars) can help you get started but there are a few more tips you need to remember for a safe city biking experience.
It’s no secret that roads are incredibly dangerous for cyclists. Lack of cycling infrastructure and protected bike lanes leave cyclists vulnerable. Before you go all out with biking, invest in safety gear like a sturdy helmet to protect your head, protective eyewear to prevent dust, bugs and particles irritating your eye and bike signal lights to help alert motorists of your presence.
Biking isn’t the fastest mode of transportation out there. Unlike automatic cars, bikes involve a lot of physical effort in order to move so it’s best that you remain comfortable during your bike ride. Choose a bike that’s optimal for your height, so you can easily reach the ground when you need to and you can saddle quickly when needed. The bike seat also has to be comfortable so you don’t experience any poking or flattening in the crotch area. A longer seat will generally serve you best and won’t get your butt too sore after a ride. Don’t forget to eat and drink well before a ride and pace yourself so you can reach your destination.
Familiarize yourself with basic techniques
You know how to pedal and you know how to brake, what else is there to do while riding a bike? A lot, actually. Bike accidents can usually be prevented with some basic technique, so think about these tips before you go careening off a major highway.
When turning corners, don’t go full speed to maintain your balance. Slow down appropriately so you can save effort from braking. Inclines need a lot of pedaling effort to keep the momentum; you can go for more powerful pedaling by pushing up and getting out of the seat. Remember to calm down on the brakes as well. It’s best to just lightly press on them while slowing to a stop instead of fully halting the motion of the bike and risking getting toppled over and thrown off the bike.