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ForwardMotion wants you to get cycling!
You don’t have to be a bike mechanic to do your basic bike check. Bike maintenance is easy and you can head to our YouTube channel to see for yourself! ForwardMotion has lots of videos on bike checks and basic maintenance. Or keep reading for your basic checklist for a great ride.
The simplest aspect of bike maintenance is having your tyres pumped to the right pressure. If you aren’t sure what the correct pressure is, it is on the side of your tyre! The manufacturer has recommended a range rather than one absolute pressure – this is so you can adjust the tyre pressure according to the conditions. For example, if you are going somewhere that may be damp and slippery, don’t pump your tyres too hard. But if it’s dry – fill them up!
We’ve all been on a saddle that isn’t the right height and we know just how annoying it can be. If the saddle is too low, it makes it hard to use your full pedalling range and leg power. A saddle that’s too high will have you straining and can lead to injuries. Make sure your saddle is set correctly so there is a slight kink at your knee when your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke.
Dress for the conditions
‘There is no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes’, so the old cycling adage goes, and most of the time, it’s true. With the unpredictable British weather, make sure you master the art of layering your clothes so you can cool down or warm up as needed.
Lock and lights
Even if your plan is to pop out for an hour, you don’t know where your day can take you. Taking a lock will come in handy for those impromptu café stops en route. The best type of lock for keeping your bike secure is a ‘D lock’, which is available from all good bike retailers. In addition, lights can save your life. If there is a chance of you being delayed beyond dusk and you aren’t wearing the right gear, lights mean that pedestrians and cars can see you. Have a set of lights fitted to your bike to reduce the risk of crashing and injuries.
Rucksack or Saddlebag of Essentials
If you are planning to go on a long trip having a few basic tools and a spare inner tube will help you cope with common mid-ride problems. A multi-tool with a range of attachments should help you to adjust most mechanical components, but you might like to think about packing some other equipment for longer, more rural rides. A chain tool (for fixing broken chains), tyre levers, a puncture repair kit, spare inner tube and a mini-pump are always handy to have to get you out of a jam.
For a free bike safety check, why not visit our cycle hub? https://forwardmotionsouthessex.co.uk/travel-info/cycle/cycle-hubs/
Confidence is key! New riders often think that the safest thing is to hug the curb as close as possible when riding, but this is not good practice for cyclists or other vehicles. Other road users may not see you or will try to squeeze past when there may not be enough room. Assume a confident position on the road, ride 1m from the curb and assert your right to use the carriageway.
Need a little extra boost of confidence when cycling around town, on sharing space or on the road? Book one of our cycle training sessions, these are on a 1:1 basis for two hours with an accredited instructor and will be tailored to your specific needs. Head to the events page or get in touch to enquire about sessions.
For more information about the sessions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org