So you’ve just got yourself a brand new bike. Welcome to one of the most fun ways to explore the world!
Cycling is an excellent form of exercise. It’s low impact so it’s good for your joints. It helps strengthen your legs, hips and glutes. It helps improve balance and coordination. It also helps strengthen your core. Why wouldn’t you want to ride a bike? Now that you’ve got your two wheels to freedom, there are some things to keep in mind.
Being a cyclist comes with a certain amount of responsibility. Bikes are considered vehicles and therefore, riders should obey the rules of the road. That means:
1. Stopping at stop signs and red lights.
2. Signalling your intent. There are specific hand signals to use but, I’ve found that pointing works just as well.
3. Riding on the road or designated bike path, NOT the sidewalk. If you are riding on a shared path, you should alert people that you are coming either by using a bell (which is mandatory to have on your bike) or by saying “Passing on your left”. Because bikes are considered vehicles, they must obey traffic laws. So you pass on the left, not on the right.
4. Not riding with headphones. You need to be fully aware of your surroundings. Wearing headphones on a bike is like distracted driving in a car. Don’t do it.
Walk into any bike shop and the sheer amount of stuff available for bikes can be more than a bit overwhelming. If you’re just getting into cycling and you don’t want to spend crazy amounts of money on All. The. Things. This is a list of the basics that will get you on the road ready to ride safely.
1. Helmet. This should be NON NEGOTIABLE. If you fall and hit your head and you’re not wearing a helmet, you could die. Plain and simple.
2. Bell (see points above)