A quick check of your bicycle before riding your bicycle can help prevent those long walks home. It only takes about two minutes. Make it a habit and your chances of a breakdown are greatly reduced. Always wise when cycling to Ride Safe, Ride Smart. Check here for tips.
_____ Check the quick release levers -- Make sure that your quick release levers on your wheels are installed correctly and are properly tight. A runaway wheel is a nasty surprise.
_____ Bounce the Bike -- Pick up your bike 4 or 5 inches off the ground and bounce it once or twice. Listen for unusual rattles, they can indicate loose parts about to fall off.
_____ Check the Brakes -- Check the front and rear brakes separately. Give the levers a good squeeze to make sure they are tight and the cable is securely fastened.
_____ Spin the Wheels -- Lift the front of the bike of the ground an inch or so and spin the front wheel. I should spin freely with no brake rub and should be relatively true. Listen for grinding sounds in the hub that indicate the need for maintenance. Do the same for the rear wheel.
_____ Check the Cranks -- Make sure that the crank bolts are tight and the chain rings are true and are not missing any teeth.
_____ Check the Headset -- Hold the front brake down and gently rock the bicycle forward and back. Loose or worn bearing will make a distinct click. Tighten or service if necessary.
_____ Check the Tires -- Make sure your tire have the correct amount of air pressure and examine them for rips, tears or sharp objects stuck into the tread. Check brake and derailleur cables for fraying.
_____ Check the Handlebars -- Make the handlebars and stem are securely fastened. Visually examine the handlebars for bends or crack. If you find any, replace immediately.
======The City of Los Angeles offers many advantages for cyclists; elevation tends to be slight, and weather conditions above average. Since it rarely rains, consider these tips whenever the roads are wet and you choose to ride:
• Keep sharp eye for potholes, avoid puddles since they may be deeper than they look.
• Don’t lean into corners; ride upright so your weight is centered.
• Slow down and ride with an increased awareness of what is a ahead to avoid suddenly needing to stop.
• Periodically tap your brakes, to ensure they are ready to be used when stopping. Ride with even more expectation of needing to stop.
• To obtain better traction, some suggest reducing air pressure 5 to 10 pounds.
• Avoid increasing speed on curves.
• Avoid painted and metal street surfaces, at railroad tracks ride straight over rather than crossing at an angle.
Rain or shine: Always choose whenever you cycle to ride wearing a helmet, possessing bright front and rear lights, and at least one working brake.
+++++Remember to hydrate, eat healthy year round, and ride wearing sturdy footwear and with layers of clothing so you add or remove a layer depending upon the weather.
Ride Safe, Ride Smart. You'll be happy and so will your loved ones.