So you bought a bike. Now what are you missing?
If you’re thinking about getting back into biking – which you should – there are a few other things you should think about getting in addition to the bike.
Alyssa Godwin at Charleston Bicycle Company shares with us the six things every beginner needs before hitting the road:
- Helmet – This seems like an obvious must-have item, but so many people skip out on it. Last time we checked, you’re brain is kind of important. Keep it protected – Get a helmet!
- Lights – The best way to avoid getting hit while biking is to be seen. Get a white light for the front of your bike and a red light for the back. Alyssa recommends keeping them on at all times. “Even just grabbing someone’s attention is very, very important,” Alyssa says. Hard to argue with that.
- Tire Pump – Nothing like going for a bike ride only to find your tire pressure is low. This is why you get a tire pump. “Keeping proper air pressure in your tires is going to go a long way in preventing flats and giving yourself an enjoyable ride,” Alyssa says. To find your tire’s recommended air pressure, check the sidewall of the tire.
- Bike Lock – If you plan on using your bike for daily transportation, you will need a bike lock. Wrap your lock through the bike frame, around an immovable object, and back through your front tire before connecting the lock. “Many bikes have a quick release on the front [tire] so it is easy to pop that right off and if it’s not locked someone can walk off with your front wheel.” No thanks.
- Chain Oil – This is an easy one to forget, which can be detrimental in the long run. A well-oiled chain helps keep your bike out the shop, and your pedaling at maximum efficiency.
- Cycling Etiquette – Cars still rule the roadway, so you have to learn how to play nice in order to avoid disaster. Do no ride on sidewalks; Always ride with the direction of traffic, and if there is not a shoulder keep to the outside lane; Obey all stop signs and traffic lights; Use clear signals/arm motions to indicate which direction you are turning. “All those things are very important in being a respectful cyclist, and beings a safe cyclist.”