I’m in love. I’m exhilarated. Optimistic. Refreshed. And yes, a little out of breath. As usual, rain or shine, I’ve biked into work this morning, and feel awesome and excited to start my day. Who am I in love with?? Don’t worry honey, yes, it’s still you, but my new bicycle is the hot new love of my life. It’s a girl-bike which means I can wear a dress, my uniform of choice instead of a business suit, and it’s a retro styled Amsterdam upright two wheeler, in raspberry with wood trim and leather seats. Mmm-hmm!
I’m especially excited because we launched our Bike LOVE, a program born out of our passion for cycling and encouraging people to bring their bikes with them when exploring a city.
Years ago when I cycled across Europe solo I discovered that biking was by far the best way to see a country. Though I don’t tour as much anymore with 2 little kids in tow, we almost always travel with our bikes whether it’s to go mountain biking, explore the city, or to keep fit while on a business trip.
For more details on our Bike Love program, click on the link and in the meantime, here’s my Top 5 things you should do to get your bike ready for summer:
1) Blow the dust off it. It’s been a while hasn’t it!
2) Put air in the tires. Look on the side of the tire and it will tell you what the proper inflation is. Or just do the squeeze test as I do… squish, squish… feels good to me! One thing I notice biking around town is how many people do not have properly inflated tires. Soft squishy tires makes bike riding a slog and a misery. Properly inflated tires is like taught slingshot. Be careful to not overinflate as you can get a flat. Unsure? See #4.
3) Oil the chain. You don’t need a lot, because excess will just fly off and get all over you. Not cool. You just need a little light lubrication in the spring and summer. Unsure about how much? See #4.
4) Visit your local bike store and have it tuned up. In addition to putting air in your tires and oiling the chain, they will make sure that your gears are adjusted and shifting properly, your brakes are in good working condition, the steering is aligned and that all the crucial moving parts are well lubricated. A good bike shop will also help insure your bike fits you properly. For instance, making sure your seat is at the right height, your handlebars are in the proper place, you are comfortable and the size is right. They also might tell you if it’s time to replace that relic you’ve been dragging around since Grade 9.
5) Go for a short ride before you go for a long one. It’s a great idea to cruise around the neighbourhood first to get used to traffic and to make sure that everything is working properly.
P.S. remember to enter our Bike Love contest on until July 31, 2011