Just because you never forget how to ride a bike doesn't mean we don't all need a few reminders from time to time.
Rules of the Road
Though bicycles are not considered vehicles under Arkansas state law, there are do's and don'ts when it comes to riding on the road.
- TURN LEFT Extend your left arm.
- TURN RIGHT Raise your left arm.
- TURN RIGHT Extend your right arm.
- STOP/SLOW DOWN Put your left hand down by your side, with your palm facing backward.
Proper Helmet Fit
Though Arkansas state law does not require cyclists to wear helmets, we think it's a pretty good idea.
Step 1 Measure your head. Choose an appropriately sized helmet.
Step 2 Make sure the helmet is level on your head, with the front resting about two finger-widths above your eyebrows.
Step 3 Center the buckle under your chin.
Step 4 Adjust the sliders on the side straps so that it sits just below and in front of your ears.
Step 5 Snap the buckle together, and adjust all straps so that the helmet fits snugly on your head. You should be able to fit one or two fingers between the strap and the underside of your chin.
Step 6 Wiggle your head around. Does the helmet stay put? If so, then you're ready to roll! If not, make the appropriate adjustments until it does.
ABC Quick Check
A is for Air Determine the PSI (pounds per square inch) rating for your tires (it should be stamped on the sidewalls) and make sure they are properly inflated. Overinflation and underinflation can increase the risk of getting a flat during your ride.
B is for Brakes If your bike has traditional rim brakes, ensure that the pads are not too worn down. If your bike has disc brakes, make sure the rotor passes smoothly through the caliper. Test your front and back brakes by standing next to your bike and rocking it back and forth while compressing each brake lever. If either one feels soft or doesn't engage, investigate.
C is for Cranks & Chain Grab both cranks and pull away from the bike. If either feels loose, tighten it up. Make sure your chain is free of debris and build-up. If it's dry, dusty, or rusty, apply lube.
Quick is for Quick Releases Ensure that your quick release levers (these keep your wheels attached to the fork and frame) are closed. If you can't find them, don't worry—not all bikes have quick releases. Some take bolts to secure the wheels to the bike.
Check is for, well, Check: Give the whole shebang a once-over. Take the bike by the handlebars, lift it a few inches off the ground, and let go so it bounces a few times. The bike should feel tight, with no loose parts. If something sounds or feels loose, investigate.
*If you there's a problem you can't diagnose, or if you find something wrong that you can't fix yourself, take your bike to the mechanics at your local bike shop.