Spring has sprung and boy, am I glad. After an especially harsh winter, I have been counting down the days till the sun shining and the temperatures warming up. One of my families most favorite things to do is go on a family bike ride.
Our bicycles have not seen the pavement in quite some time and have been sitting away in storage waiting for sunnier days and warmer temperatures. Unfortunately it could just not come soon enough.
Finally, the parks were starting to stay open later, and we were able to set up a time where our whole family could go bike riding after my daughter got out of school. When I pulled the bicycles out of storage, I was surprised to see that they were not in the same shape as they were before.
I guess a leaky old shed was probably not the best place to keep them through a harsh winter. I assure you, however, that I have learned my lesson and now will keep my bike maintained even though I am not riding it. My daughter’s bicycle had a flat tire, my husband’s bike seat was growing mold and mine bike frame was rusted in every place you don’t want to see rust. The first two could be repaired with some simple maintenance, however mine was a lost cause. When removing the back bike tire, I found that the gear derailer was rusted beyond repair. The bike itself had warped from a box falling on it and I was ready for a new bike.
Fortunately it didn’t take much to get myself up and running on a new bike. I did a little research and found the most reliable and friendly bicycle shop in town and they carried the perfect bike for me. I found myself sporting a brand-new blue cruiser style bicycle for a reasonable price with considerably better parts than the one that I had rusted at home. The price was right, the staff was friendly, and they even threw in a free coffee from their coffee bar on site. Within an hour, I had a brand-new bike customized with a basket for my purse, and fenders to keep my outfit from getting wet in the case I rode through a puddle. The bike was perfect and I absolutely loved it.
Now that spring time is back again and I realized how much I love riding my bicycle I thought it would be important for me to learn some simple bicycle maintenance. I now take care of my bike and look it over every so often to make sure that it is in good shape.
Here are five quick and easy maintenance tips that you two can do to keep your bike in good repair:
1. Make sure you clean your bicycle. A dirty bike isn’t a happy bike so if you have any dirt dried on it, use a brush and scrub the dirt away with warm water. Don’t blast your bike clean like at the car wash. Just brush it off and wipe off any area that needs it.
2. Take a look at your bicycle and check it for safety. If you don’t, you may suffer great pain in bicycle repairs, but also pain on your own body. Spin your wheels to make sure they aren’t wobbling. Do you have a puncture in your tire? Are your brakes working fine? Wiggle your bicycle and if anything jiggles, tighten it down.
3. Lube up your bicycle. Most modern bikes don’t require a lot of maintenance so one of the things that you really should keep your eye on is the chain. If it’s dry, lube it up a little bit. It is a simple as that.
4. Low tire pressure can make your bicycle feel slow and make the turns wobbly. Give your tires a quick squeeze. If they are low, pump them up. I usually pump my bicycle tires up once every 3 to 4 bicycle rides. Invest in a good floor pump with a gauge and you won’t have to do the guesswork.
5. This is the one I should have learned from the get-go. Store your bike in a good place. Where you store your bike has a great deal to do with how much maintenance your bike is going to need. Try to keep it out of the sun, or hosed by water. I learned the hard way that a cold, wet, and damp place is not the perfect place for a bicycle. Now I keep it in the garage with my car. Treat your bicycle with the same respect as you would your car, and you will be in good shape.