Tips for Tuesday
More and more, people are turning to bicycles for transportation. It may be to save money on gas. It may be for exercise. It may just be for pleasure. Whatever the use, a bicycle, like a car, must be maintained in order to make it last.
When pulling your bike out for the year, take it to a shop to be checked out. A store can check tires and inner tubes for damage, lubricate the gears and check the chain. They should also check the brakes and ensure that the saddle is secure and does not move. The bicycle frame should be aligned and undamaged, and the spokes should be straight.
Clean and maintain your bike throughout the summer. Have on hand the following tools:
· Long-handled brush and toothbrush for scrubbing
· Soft cloth for cleaning
· Screwdriver set
· Nuts and bolts specific to your bike (check your manual)
· Adjustable wrench
· Electrical tape
· Puncture repair kit
Mark your bicycle by etching the number and zip code of your home into an inconspicuous part of the frame. This would help identify it in case of theft. To prevent theft, always keep your bike locked up. If you use a chain, thread it through both wheels and around the frame. If your bike has quick-release parts, remove these parts when you lock it up so it won't be as tempting to steal. Remove any valuable accessories from your bike when you leave it.
To make your bike less attractive to thieves, paint colorful designs on the frame, or use colored tape. This will make it difficult to re-sell if stolen. Thieves will move on to the next bike.
Bicycling can be a healthy part of your routine. Keep it a safe one.