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Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Cycling is a great way to explore your city. For children, cycling gives them a glimpse of independence and opens a new world. They can meet up with friends or ride to school or their favorite destinations. For adults, cycling can be a mean to commute for work, run errands or for recreation with family and friends. 

Here are some tips to make your ride more enjoyable:

Plan your Route

If you are commuting to school or work, this is a must. Although main streets may seem appealing to ride, the volume of traffic may not make it enjoyable. Look for quiet side streets or wider avenues as your main route. Obviously, if the street is a designated bike route, it is conducive to cycling.

Bicycle Check

Always conduct an ABC check prior to heading out.

A is for Air

Check your tires to ensure they are properly inflated with air and that they are not worn or cracked. You can inflate your tires with an at-home air pump or at a local gas station.

Take the time to check the tires’ alignment. Lift the bike and spin the wheel to see if it wobbles or rubs against the brake pads. Try moving the wheel from side to side to check for loose bearings. Finally, check the tread and sidewall of the tires for wear.

B is for Brakes, Bar and Bell

To check the front brake, squeeze the front brakes and push your bike forward. The front wheel should lock and the back wheel should leave the ground. To check the back brake, squeeze the back brake and walk forward, the back wheel should lock and skid along the ground.

To check the brake levers. They should be at least 2 finger-widths between the handlebar and lever when fully squeezed. Finally check the brake pads. They should grab the rim effectively when squeezed. Finally, look for worn brake pads and worn or frayed brake cables.  

To test the handlebar, hold the front wheel between your knees and try to twist the handlebar side to side and up and down. If the handlebars move, they are too loose. Adjust your handlebars to the correct height. You should be able to ride comfortably without strain on your back, shoulders or wrists. Test your bell so you will be able to signal others easily. If any of these are not correctly set up, visit your local bicycle shop to assist you.

C is for Chain and Crank

Ensure your chain is well oiled and secure so that it doesn’t slip from the gears. Test the crank of your bike by running it through its various gears. Look for faulty exchanges or slips. If any of these are not correctly set up, visit your local bicycle shop to have it fixed.


Bear Wise offer some great tips to avoid bear encounters as well as what to do should you come across a black bear. To find out more, please visit the Bear Wise Website.