Riding a bike as your main mode of transport is a great idea: It’s cheap, you get your daily dose of exercise and with the right bike you look unbelievably cute riding it!
But if, like me, you’re a little nervous about riding one because you are completely uncoordinated, then fear not because a couple of bike enthusiasts and seriously inspiring women have some tips for us.
TV personality Sarah Wilson is a serious bike lover and has a host of tips for the eager bike rider on her blog. “My philosophy is this: When more people ride bikes in cities, the safer that city is for cyclists,” Sarah says.
“I know many of you get stuck on how to start out riding — how and where to buy a bike. So let’s get back to basics.”
These are Sarah’s tips on owning and riding a bike.
- Always test-ride. Bike shops will always let you do this. If you live in a hilly area and are planning to buy a single-speed, test-ride up a hill.
- Try a three-speed. The retro look is rad. But if you’re new to riding, having no gears can be tough. Think about a hybrid — retro in look, geared in functionality.
- Switch to slick tyres if you have a mountain bike. It’ll make your bike faster, and cleaner if you’re keeping it indoors.
- Get a bike lock that you can sling over your shoulder. You can then stick the key in your pocket or down your bra (with an ATM card or $20) and the lock over your shoulder and off you go. No bag. No clutter.
- Look for clever storage options to keep your bike inside your apartment.
If that isn’t enough to inspire you to get on the saddle, Lynette Chiang might just change that. Lynette rode around Cuba on a bike and wrote a book about her travels called The Handsomest Man in Cuba.
It’s been more than 20 years since she’s owned a car, so Lynette knows what she’s talking about. Here’s her advice on bike safety.
“[Bikes and cars] can co-exist in your life,” Lynette says. “Be friends with cars — they’re still bigger than you — and they’re a blessing if the weather turns foul and you can get a ride.”
And if you want to be able to just throw your bike into the boot of the car on those rainy days, then Lynette suggests a folding bike. “What’s not to love about a low stepover for all ages and stages that you can take (mostly) indoors and on mass transit?” she says.
Whether you want a bike for those daily commutes to work, or if you just want it to ride around on the weekends, safety is always important.
Lynette’s bike safety tips
- I never get on my bike without my Traffic Cone Bag in orange mode. Never.
- Have eyes on all 12 sides of your head.
- Do yoga to help increase flexibility for those “look behind you quick” moments.
Now, if you’ve been thinking about buying a bike, get on it and have fun!