What are your goals and where do you want to ride?
- Get Fit and Exercise
- Get Outdoors and Ride a Bike
Video by Kevin Livingston "Beginner's Guide to Cycling"
- Road Bike- drop handle bars, narrow tires (road cycling)
- Hybrid Bike -straight Handlebars, mid size tires, more upright, comfort riding position(either road or trail use-not good for soft sand)
- Mountain Bike-straight Handlebars, widest tires(off road use)
- Hardtail- suspension on front wheel only
- Full Suspension- suspension on both front and rear wheels
- Cross Bikes- drop handlebars, medium size tires(meant to be carried over obstacles and remounted)
- Cruiser Bikes-raised handlebars, wide tires
- Utility Bikes- transportation, shopping
Video "How to Pick a Bike"
Jersey-special fabric to wick moisture, pockets in back to hold: food, cell phone, extra clothing, long zipper to ventilate heat in summer, bright colors are preferred to make the cyclist more visible.
Shorts- chamois to pad sit bones.
Socks- wick moisture from feet.
Leg warmers- elastic material to keep legs warm below shorts, can be easily removed when the ride warms up and stored in rear pocket of jersey
Arm warmers- elastic material to keep arms warm between gloves and jersey, can be easily pulled down during the ride when it becomes too warm and stored in rear pocket of jersey when you stop.
Gloves- short fingered in summer or long fingered in winter with padding to absorb road shock to the hands and give some protection to the hands in case you fall.
Jacket- wind and cold protection on descents or at the start of a ride(can be stored in rear jersey pocket or tennis ball tube on second water bottle holder).
Rain gear- clear plastic rain jacket/pants or goretex (the biggest problem here is during exercise as much water produced on the inside as rain kept out by a plastic barrier)
Shoes; hard sole best for cycling.
Clipless pedals are best to keep foot in proper position in relation to the pedal.
Video "How to Use Clip Pedals"
SPD mountain shoes are best for walking in.
Many different varieties of systems: SPD, Look, Speedplay (some require covers for comfortable walking).
Learn skill of clipping in when starting and clipping out before stopping( the inevitable falling over accident when stopping without clipping out).
Bike Seat (Finding one you can sit on can be the limiting factor of long far and long you can ride)Terry makes some women specific and one that I found comfortable, a Men’s Touring Model.
Many varieties available(Start out simple and upgrade as your needs change).
Need speed, avg. speed and distance as a start. It makes it easier to follow bike route direction where, for example)it says turn left and go for .8 mile.
Calibrate computer by marking position of stem on floor with a piece of masking tape and rolling bike with your weight on it until stem is at the bottom again and measuring this distance, check chart that came with your computer to set distance of one wheel roll.
This is required for club rides and a good idea anyway.
Take the time to adjust size with pads and straps until comfortable.
Practice fastening and unfastening straps.
A rear view mirror is a recommended: you can use the type fastened to glasses or sunglasses or a mirror attached to handlebars.
Video: "Bicycle Safety for Adults"
Brought to you by The League of American Bicyclists
Gear you need on every bike ride
- Water(1 bottle in winter, 2 bottles in summer or Camelback system).
- Food(Powerbars, Cliff Bars,Gels, Banana,Fig Newtons etc.)(Candy bars don't work well as the chocolate can melt in the jersey's back pocket and be messy).
- Cell Phone( for emergencies, pick up).
- Tire irons, 2 Extra tubes, patch kit, and pump or Co₂ cartridges(an under-seat bag is good to hold these)
- Money $5-$20 for lunch, emergencies.
- ID(CIBC membership card has a section you can fill out on the back).
- Bike tools.
- Spare fold up tire.
- Point-n-Shoot Camera.
- Packets of wet cloths for cleaning fingers after mechanicals.
Keep your bike maintained
- Purchase a good floor pump with a gauge and pump tires to recommended pressure before every ride.
- Lubricate chains/ derailleurs with a teflon lubricant(oil products collect dirt and make chains extremely messy during mechanicals).
- If wheels are not true get them repaired before your next ride
- Checks your tires by carefully examining the tread for glass or thorns before pushing them through the tube.
- Wipe down your bike after every ride with a soft dry cloth, a little Pledge can keep the finish like new.
Get your bike adjusted until you are comfortable.
- Cleat position on the shoes is critical.
- Saddles should normally be level with the ground.
- Stem length can be changed to provide the proper reach.
Video "How to Fit a Road Bike"
Shifting into the gear you need before you need it.
- Try to avoid sever chain angles(large chain ring on front and large on back or small chain ring on front and small on the back). This increases chain wear.
- Learn your bikes gearing (some people put gearing on a paper and tape to the top tube).
- Some overlap in gearing possible(20-speed set up may have only 15 useable gears).
- As you approach a hill shift-down(a large change in gearing occurs if you shift from the front large chain ring to a smaller one).
Video "How to Cycle on a Hill"
- Apply brakes evenly.
- Front brake had more stopping power but also the possibility of launching your body off the front of your bike if applied too forcefully!
Video "How to Brake on a Bike"
- Watch for loose debris in corners, sand or gravel can cause you to skid out of control.
- Put your weight on the outside pedal in the 6 o’clock position.
- Put your knee out on the inside of the corner.
- Bikes can descend a windy, twisty descent faster than cars.
- Use traditional car signals.
- Left hand up for right turn.
- Left hand out for left turns.
- Left hand down for slowing.
- OR Point in the direction you are going.
- Right hand point to right for right turn.
- Left hand point left for left turn.
Bicycling Street Smarts: Riding Confidently, legally and Safely
ABC 7 LA gives some basic tips
San Diego Bicycle Coalition put together a nice video
Follow Traffic Laws
- You are a vehicle in the motor vehicle code.
- Stop at stop signs and red lights.
- Stay to the right as practical.
- You may use left turn lanes to turn left but be careful.
- Ride single file in traffic.
- Choose routes with bike paths or bike lanes.
- Avoid heavy traffic areas!
Video "How to Ride Your Bike on a Road with Traffic"
Video "The Rights and Duties of Cyclist-Bicycle Safety"
Call and point out hazards when riding with other cyclists
- “Car back” when a car is overtaking.
- “Car Up” when a car is approaching from the front.
- “On the left” when passing another cyclist, runner, skater; especially on a bike path.
- “Rock” when you see a rock or other debris in your direction of travel.
- "Glass" when you see broken glass on the road.
Drink Frequently on a ride and before you are thirsty especially on a hot day(plan your trip so that water is available on long rides or hot days).
Eat Regularly and before you feel hungry (one of cycling’s dangers is the dreaded “bonk” where your body runs out of available energy). Check for Nutrition ideas HERE.
Flat Instructions HERE