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People On Bikes

Know Your ABCs Before You Ride Your Bike

If you’re looking to escape outdoors and plan on dusting off your bike, make sure it’s in good working order for safety and performance. For riders of all ages, an easy-to-remember cue for looking over your bike is “ABC Quick Check” for air, brakes, chain, quick release and check! 

A is for Air: Be sure you have enough air in your tires. Check the sidewall of the tire and inflate tires to the rated pressure indicated. While you are at it, check if there is any damage to the tread or sidewall of the tire, and replace tires if needed. 

B is for Brakes: Look to see that your brake pads and cables are not worn down. For hand brakes, give them a squeeze to check cable tightness. Or give your coaster brakes a test before hopping on the bike. 

C is for Chain and Cranks: Always check that your chain is clean (free of gunk) and lubricated (rust-free). Spin your pedals and pull on your cranks to ensure they are not loose or do not wiggle from side-to-side. Finally, make sure your derailleur – the device that moves the chain between gears – is straight and clears your spokes comfortably.

Quick: Check your quick release skewers on your wheels. Make sure they are tight enough to keep your wheels on.

Check: Take a trial ride down the block to check if derailleurs and brakes are working properly. Inspect the bike for broken or loose parts; tighten, fix or replace them.

We also suggest D is for Dress:  A helmet is the most important thing you wear on a bike ride. A major study of bike helmet use from more than 75,000 cyclists found 78% of adult cyclists and 88% of young riders who suffered head and neck injuries were not wearing helmets when they were injured (Brain Injury journal, Sept. 2019). And in Florida, it’s the law that you must wear one if you are under 16. Click here for tips on fitting your helmet.

If you choose to ride your bike at night, it is also important to wear reflective clothing so drivers can see you. Plus, front white and rear red lights are required by law.

The last thing you need is a smile on your face! But we are certain that a ride on your bicycle will provide that. 

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