Cycling is a very popular past time and method of transport today. Used as a great means of exercise and reducing our carbon footprint, riding a bike is always a worthy consideration. It is also a much cheaper alternative to filling up your car with gas every day. If you are thinking of making the switch to a cycling lifestyle, whether you’re doing it for recreational purposes or to save some cash, then read on to find out what you need to keep in mind when searching for your new cycle.
Choosing A Bike
This is where the fun begins. While it’s still an important step, and the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, you could spend hours looking for the perfect bike for you. First, you’ve got to determine what you want this bike for. Are you going to be spending a lot of time going up-hill, tackling the best bike trails in the country? Then you’re definitely going to grab yourself a sturdy mountain bike, such as a trail or cross-country make. Maybe you are just looking for a humble bike to get to the office or for riding around town.
If so, you will want to be looking at road or commuter bikes. There are even some more specialized types of cycles like folding bikes when storage space is an issue, but your commute is a bit too far to walk the whole way, or even electric bikes if you need that extra distance without being covered in sweat right before a big meeting! There are so many options, so make sure you decide exactly what this purchase is for before committing to it.
Important Things To Do – insurance, maintenance etc
Hitting the brakes slightly now, we shouldn’t forget the important parts of owning a bike. Maintenance is pivotal to the longevity of the bike and ultimately your safety. If you let your bicycle fall into disrepair, you may end up putting yourself into some serious trouble. Faulty brakes, rusty chains, and worn-down tires could all contribute to an unfortunate accident. That’s why we recommend finding a nearby bike shop that can keep yours in good shape.
Alternatively, you could educate yourself on how to maintain it, for ease and efficiency. You’ll also need to make sure you’re insured too. You may not think that it’s a complicated task getting your bike covered by an insurance policy, but it can be easy to make a mistake. For example, a lot of folks assume their bike is covered by homeowner or renter’s insurance. This tends to only count for if your bike gets stolen or damaged on your property. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you avoid common bicycle insurance mistakes, or you may be in for a world of disappointment if anything goes wrong.
Consider Your Cycling Etiquette When On The Road
You should always make sure you’re following the rules of the road, not just to avoid causing or being involved in an accident, but to prevent any unfortunate conflict between you and other road users. Remember to ride with the traffic and not against it—this is both a legal requirement and common sense. Drivers are focused on vehicles moving in the same direction as they are, so if you end up traveling towards them it can be very dangerous as reaction times are shortened, and it can also be quite disorienting.
Stick to roads and cycle lanes and don’t use the sidewalk. Nobody should have to be reminded of this, but it sadly happens a lot. The sidewalk is for pedestrians, not for vehicles, and a bike is most definitely a vehicle. And don’t forget to remain consistent in your cycling and stay focused. Swerving across your lane constantly is not only going to confuse you, but other road users too. Keep your eyes peeled, and keep your wits about you, and you should be fine.
Once you’ve got your bike and have spent some time getting used to being back in the saddle, it may be time to find some fun places to visit with friends or family. Of course, it depends on which bike you chose, but the opportunities are near-endless. If you’re looking for somewhere urban to spin those wheels, why not enjoy a weekend break visiting some of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, if not the world? A trip to the “happiest city in America”: Boulder, Colorado.
With over 300 miles of cycle paths and some phenomenal mountain trails for the adventurers out there, this city is ideal. If you’d want to focus solely on a city break, try somewhere like San Francisco or Seattle to experience the amazing culture and atmosphere. These cities have had a lot of focus put into improving their bike facilities, and most of the locals are quite comfortable with cyclists due to their abundance.