How to Maintain Your Bicycle Parts

There are several parts that you absolutely have to make sure you check routinely. You must check the tires, brakes, wheels, and the handlebars.

The tires are one of the most important bicycle parts on your bike. The tires bear most of the weight when you are riding and are therefore prone to deflation. You will need to regularly check the air pressure in the bike tire to make sure that it is optimal and fill it up with air when necessary. Bicycle manufacturers often include the correct air pressure measurement in the instructions with the bicycle or on their company websites. You should also take a close look at the tire and check for wearing, tearing, or rips that might have occurred.

The wheels are one of the bicycle parts that tend to need some of the most repairs and tweaking. Look them over closely for dents or twists in the wheel due to impact damage. You should check the wheels every time your bicycle makes contact with a hard object or if the bike falls. Checking the wheels is pretty simple. Spin the wheel quickly and look for unusual movement. If the wheel moves side to side the wheel has sustained some damage.

Another group of bicycle parts that are of great importance for maintaining your bike is the spokes. The spokes are the part of the bike responsible for helping to distribute and support your weight when getting on the bike. If these are damaged it can cause serious accidents and ruin your bicycle. The spokes should be tight against the rims of the bike. If they are bent or broken you should replace them immediately.

The handlebars are also one of the most critical bicycle parts you need to maintain in order to make sure your bicycle is safe to ride. Make sure to check the elevation of the handles regularly to make sure they are not too high up or too low. You want to have a comfortable ride and be able to reach the handlebars easily. Check to make sure the handlebars are properly aligned with the bicycle’s front wheel. This maximizes your ability to steer the bike and can help you avoid accidents should you need to swerve suddenly.

The brakes are the bicycle parts that are the most critical for the rider’s safety. Checking the brakes regularly can prevent many bicycle accidents and injuries. You can check the brakes by using your hands to squeeze the levers that control the brakes and making sure the pads are coming into contact with the tires to prevent them from moving forward. If your wheels move at all as you move your bike slightly forward you will need to tighten the cables or replace them.

How to Ride Your Bicycle Safely After Dark

While most people can ride in the afternoon or evening or Saturday Mornings when it is daylight due to my schedule I often have to get my riding time in before daylight. This means that I am often riding in the early morning hours and before it get light or as it is getting light. Riding at night is considerably different than riding in the daytime though there are some things that never change.

When I ride at night I take numerous precautions that I do not feel would be needed during the daytime hours. I have two small battery operated lights that are attached to the handlebars on my bike. I have devised a small dashboard for my bike which I made from a piece of PVC tubing and is held on by cable ties. These are removed when I race, but I leave them on for training. I also have a flashing blinkie light on the seatpost that is programmable.

I put Nu-Tech tires on a while back so I no longer have the lights that I used to have on my valve stems, because I no longer have valve stems but that is a subject for another article.

At night the idea for a cyclist is to be seen and to be able to see. To make sure I am seen even if I am not on the bike and that I can see whether or not I am on the bike I have a bike helmet light that attaches to my helmet in the front and lights up an area in front of me with a white light and I have a red triangle light on the back of the helmet. You can see pictures on my MySpace page.

At Caroline’s Ride in August 2009, I was the ride director and one of the vendors and sponsors was Joe Mizerek of Road Guardian out of Tallahassee Florida. Joe furnished me another device that makes me more visible. The device is a bright yellow reflective vest with a round circular light in the center of the back. The light starts in the center circle that resembles a target and progressively works it way toward the outside of the circle. Works great I get a lot of comments when I ride into WalMart at 5:30 AM.

I have also gotten comments from motorists that it was easy to see me or something to the effect: you really want to be seen, don’t you?

If you ride at night you really do not have to do all that much to make your bike and you safer and you more easily visible. The law in almost every state requires that you have a white light on the front of your bike that is visible by oncoming vehicles for at least 200 feet. The law in most states also requires that you have a red reflector on the rear of your bike. Georgia law also requires that you have reflectors on your pedals.

Note also that you will probably want to ride a little slower when it is dark outside, you can come up on something fairly dangerous pretty quickly at 15 plus MPH. You may scare and animal and it attack you because it feels threatened. You may not see something in the road that causes you to fall or could damage you bicycle.

So when you ride after dark, at night or early in the morning take precautions to be seen, be able to see and slow down, be safe not sorry.

How To Choose The Right Bicycle Accessories That Will Make Riding Your Bike Fun And Safe

If you like riding your bike then you know it’s hard to ride without the best accessories. Especially when you know a lot of the best accessories out there are for safety as well.

The one bike accessory that you will always need to wear and own is the bike helmet. A lot of states have made riding without one illegal. So you should wear one anyways to be on the safe side.

Also when you are taking a little bike trip on the road you need to be motorist friendly. Even though a lot of drivers are good ones there are bad and you are also on a bike. Accidents happen and you can’t stop them so do the right thing and just wear a helmet.

Another thing that is bad to do when riding your bike is to take a ride at night. The best thing that you can do to protect yourself if you are going to ride at night is to buy some type of light source or reflectors for you and your bike. So people can see you at night when you ride.

Something else you can buy is reflector striped shirts or pants possibly. So when you ride at night when you move your legs and arms the reflectors will shine off the lights of the cars and you will be seen and not road kill. You can probably buy any type of light or reflector source at any bike shops near you.

Another accessory that you can add to your bike can be lights to the handle bars or to the back of your seat to shine and show others you’re on the road too. When you get rained on or you are going on an early morning ride and there is fog lights will help you in some way. Some you can buy can be attached to where they can’t ever come off others you can get that are detachable and you can bring with you where ever you go.

The other good bike accessory to have is a horn. This is so if some bad driver is swerving you can honk. I would recommend and air horn of some type something that is really loud and will get the attention of the driver.

Bike accessories can be a very good way to upgrade your bike. There are also the things that you will need anyways to ride like mentioned the reflectors, lights, light clothing as well will always help, and remember to wear your helmet. These are the things that you need to buy and remember to do when you go riding whether it be at night or during the day.

Keeping a Happy Marriage Can Be Just Like Riding a Bicycle

For those of us who have been married for a long time, we are obviously used to the fact that we have this other person to cherish and provide for, but as time passes, what can we do to keep the relationship a happy and loving one, which will still also be a lot of fun? Well, a happy marriage can be compared to riding a bicycle, and while this may seem odd to you, here I’ll explain why.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to compare your husband or wife to an old bicycle, well maybe a little, but just as you would look after your bike as it ages, so you must take extra moments to show your loved one that you care. Here are a few pedals that you could turn:

Riding a bicycle is the most natural of tasks to undertake, once your mom or dad has taken off the stabilizers of course. You just zoom off, then there’s no stopping you. That is the same when you first get married, it’s such a wonderful feeling, the honeymoon, being together and then you are both on your way to ride into the sunset of marital bliss. So, for your relationship to remain exciting, keep in your thoughts when you first learned to ride, and equate it with when you first wed. The next step is for you both to think about where you are now and how far you have advanced. This thought will re-affirm your love for each other and should also bring a smile to your faces, just like when you were kids.

Have a tune up once in a while. When you feel a little lacklustre, it may be time to organise a break away, or a change of scene. Just like oiling your bicycle chain, a trip away or a treat will loosen you and your partner up and stop the rust from setting in. When you return, you will feel relaxed and in a better position again to cope with the daily routine, with that renewed gusto.

Change gear if you are fighting an uphill battle. As you would move into an easier gear on your bicycle to get up that hill, so change to a lighter approach if you can sense a bit of tension building up between you and your loved one. Arguments aren’t pleasant, and by adopting a lighter attitude, you may avoid the hump and be able to sort out any issues a lot more quickly. If you remember to take this approach it should definitely help, as once the problem is sorted, it’s all free-wheeling again.

Have spares just in case. As you will need to regularly replace the tires on your bike over the years, so will you need to have back-up plans in your marriage, to keep it happy and tickety-boo. You may wish to put away some cash for a rainy day, set aside a budget for a special gift, a meal out, or try and set yourself the task of drawing up a list of things that your partner loves. Then you can treat them to each item or occasion one at a time. This will keep your marriage interesting and fun. Don’t forget the romance too, incorporating that loving feeling is important, so why not fall in love again? A special romantic gesture will always be well received. Remember then to keep spares, little treats for your better half.