Electing to balance yourself upon a collection of metal parts and rubber tubing can be thrilling, freeing, or simply a convenient form of transportation. Before you hop on your bike, there are ten habits relating to your body, bicycle, and network that can help you avoid injuries and prepare for the ones you cannot.
Regardless of what kind of cycling you prefer, you should always keep a decent layer of foam on the dome. With a variety of helmet options out there, it is important to find one that suits your needs and your precious brain case. No one wakes up and decides that they are going to crash today. It is a matter of when, not if, a crash occurs.
With all the dirt, bugs and unforeseen objects that suddenly aspired to become projectiles from that passing car, wearing protective eyewear is a must. Sunglasses do the job just fine, but a pair that fits securely will save you the trouble of fidgeting with them during your ride. Glasses like POC’s DO Half Blade are specifically designed to fit with a helmet and SHRED’s Belushki line looks good on and off the bike.
We don’t always want to think about the what could happen out on our ride, but the old idiom of ‘better safe than sorry’ holds true. Carry more than a driver’s license, it is a common misconception that hospitals and police can access more data about you or contact you next of kin with it. Try adding other forms of identification, such as our wristband or helmet sticker, that allow first-responders to access your medical profile and notify your emergency contacts. So take that sick jump that with an added level of security and confidence.
For most, this electronic item is a given. Just make sure your phone has plenty of juice before stepping out of the house to tear up your commute, weekly crit or downhill domination.
Break out the bold and the bright! While it doesn’t have to be safety orange, donning more colorful threads allows you to be more visible than their darker counterparts.
Rolling on jelly donuts or wheels decked in duct tape is not only a nuisance, but a potential hazard. Check your wheels for any punctures, deformation of the sidewalls or any unusual wear and tear. Keep those puppies aired up to the proper pressure depicted on the sidewalls of your tires.
Ready to go, go, go, but you need to make sure you can stop, stop, stop! Whether your bike has disc or rim brakes, there should be no rubbing when you spin the tires and the wheel should track straight and smooth. Ride around a little and test all of the levers to ensure proper functionality. Detailed checks of the all brake components and housing should be made periodically.
“Crashing is part of cycling as crying is part of love”
- Pro rider Johan Museeuw
Part of cycling and mountain biking is being able to trust your bike. To trust your bike, the components need to be well cared for to perform optimally. Make sure to apply a small amount of lubricant to the chain before a ride. Avoid using too much oil, as it will collect dirt and create wear on the drivetrain.
#9 The Quick Release
While riding your bike can feel freeing, the same privilege is best denied to your front tire. Check the quick release to make sure your hub is secured properly to your front fork. Feel free to keep your chicken free range, but let’s keep those tires inline.
Your Network#10 Share Your Route
One of the best practices to make into a habit, but not uncommonly overlooked, is keeping people in your network informed. Make sure a friend or loved one knows where you plan on riding and when to expect you back. Those with the an ICEdot account can have their loved ones track an active session via text or online map.
Don’t let your adventures end because of an injury or fear of one. Practicing the right habits with the right gear will keep you doing what you love to do. So peddle on road warriors, commuters, cruisers, and off-roaders alike. Always remember to Adventure Responsibly.