Make sure you and your bike are road-ready so you can take advantage of the biking season ahead. These 10 maintenance tips and rules-of-the road reminders can help.
For your bike:
- Inflate tires, which may have gone flat over the winter. You can find the proper pressure on the side of the tires.
- Check wheels to make sure they don’t wobble when you spin them. If they do, it’s time for a trip to the bike shop.
- Lubricate your chain and check the derailleurs. Use a product specifically made for bikes, and be sure to shift gears a few times to evenly distribute the oil before riding.
- Change batteries in your lights. Also, consider a lighting upgrade.
- Test-ride the bike. If the brakes grab or anything seems off, it’s time for a tune-up at the bike shop.
- Check your helmet to ensure a proper fit. While helmet laws have changed since last season in Seattle and other parts of King County, Wash., continuing to wear a quality helmet is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your safety.
- Verify your route hasn’t changed. If there’s construction or detours, you’ll want look for alternatives.
- Ride with the flow of traffic, not facing traffic.
- Check local laws before riding on the sidewalk. Surprising to some, it is legal in many places. If you do ride on the sidewalk, yield to pedestrians and limit your speed.
- Register your bike on Bikeindex.org. This free database allows you to capture identifying details of your bike that can help you recover it if it’s stolen and make it easier for you to file an insurance claim.
Want to know more about biking in the Northwest? See our PEMCO Poll on how well (or not) bicyclists and drivers share the road.
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