Whether you are dusting off a bike that’s been crying for attention or starting off 2018 on a bike that nears best friend status, following the ABCs of a basic bicycle safety check will ensure your bike is in good working order for The Recovery Ride. Make it a habit to spend a couple of minutes on these simple steps before every ride:
• Air – Proper tire inflation not only makes for a smooth ride and optimal traction, but goes a long way to preventing flat tires. Rubber is porous and tires lose air over time, so pump your tires before each ride and check for tire wear and damage from debris. You may find a thorn or some glass before it has a chance to work its way into the tube resulting in a flat. On wet days, putting a little less air in your tires will allow for better grip on slick roads.
• Brakes – Squeeze your brake levers to make sure you’ll have the power to slow and stop safely. Look for fraying and stretched cables. Check that your brake pads are contacting only the metal surface on your rims. Remember when riding in wet conditions that your brakes won’t work as quickly, so allow a little extra time and distance for safe stopping.
• Chain – Inspect your chain and drivetrain making sure all components are clean and free of debris. Give your crank a quick turn to see that everything is working as expected. Take a little test ride and run through the full range of gears to identify any problems with rough shifting or chain slippage.
If you remove your wheel(s) for transport or storage, be sure the quick release is completely tightened and remember to close down your brakes after reinstalling your wheel. Hitting a downhill with no brakes is NOT the adventure we’re going for on The Recovery Ride!
Finally, if you have any doubts about the safety of your bike, have a mechanic at your local bike shop look it over. Servicing your bike on a regular schedule will give you peace of mind when it comes to safety on the bike. A safe ride is a fun ride.