Among all of the noble activities of lofty sportiness and leisure, riding your bicycle holds a rather special place.
You get to ride long distances you couldn’t possibly cover on foot, train your muscles, and also do some sightseeing along the way.
That’s right! Mile after mile, you can leave pieces of the landscape behind you, with only the wind, the elements, and copious amounts of insects to accompany you on your voyage. And cars. And lorries and tractors. And perhaps also a mule-drawn carriage or two. And maybe Matt Damon if he’s out cycling. (Don’t count on it if it’s too cold.)
Great stuff, indeed, but even the noblest and sportiest of activities have their fair share of bummers, and bicycles are no different. Whether it’s a flat tire, the aforementioned swarm of African killer bees or God forbid – a traffic accident, cycling can get pretty rough at times.
In this article, we’ll talk about the things that can go wrong with your trusty two-wheeler. Also, we’ll mention the preventive measures you can undertake to drastically decrease the likelihood of ever experiencing a bicycle-related misfortune while en route to your destination.
Right then, without further ado, here’s the deal.
The Things That Can Go Wrong with Your Bicycle and Some Preventive Measures
Checking Your Tires
Surely, one of the most common mishaps related to cycling would be a good ole blowout.
Whether it’s due to an awkwardly-shaped rock or you’re unlucky enough to ride straight into a bunch of spilled tacks, and no matter how tough your tires are – they’re still made out of rubber, and they will burst if a hole is formed in them this way or another.
Now, while you can’t really do much once you get a flat tire (other than to change it on the spot, of course), there are some things you can do in advance in order to prevent something like this happening in the first place.
(If you do end up having a puncture, you’re going to need a tyre puncture repair kit, by the way, so make sure you have one on you before commencing your ride.)
For example, simply inflating your tires up to a certain pressure can ensure they absorb some of the rough terrains beneath them. This is especially important if you’re out mountain-biking. Also, it’s important to use the appropriate sort of tire for different surfaces. Thin and narrow tires are perfect for smooth roads, while bulky and rugged ones will survive unhospitable terrains!
Mind the Lighting
If you’ve ever ridden your bike during the night, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
Unfortunately, a large number of traffic accidents involving bicycles happen due to inadequate lighting. Although a cyclist typically doesn’t take too much space on the road, a driver can easily drive into an unlit bicycle.
To prevent this, always keep in mind that you’re going to need some sort of lighting configuration installed on your bicycle before you head out on the street. Even if you don’t really plan to ride during the night, you never know what sort of situation you might encounter.
Get an Insurance Deal
Many people tend to wave off the idea of ensuring their bicycle, probably because it’s not a motor vehicle.
This is certainly a mistake, as bicycles are susceptible to a wide array of mishaps and misfortunes that are beyond your control and responsibility. Thus, ensuring your bicycle can be a wise move in the long run, especially if you use it on a day-to-day basis, or plan to ride it in an exotic destination.
Take Good Care of Your Brakes
As anyone with a shred of experience with means of transportation can tell you – the most important part of a car isn’t the engine – it’s the brakes. The same applies to your bicycle. No matter how fast or light it is, if you don’t have good breaks, it’s as good as a deathtrap, really.
Therefore, investing in some high-quality brakes is an absolute must. Whether you plan to ride your bike to and fro work or have a proper outdoors cycling adventure in mind, a solid pair of brakes can save your life!
If you don’t want to buy new brakes, then make sure you regularly check on, and, if necessary, repair the old ones. More often than not, modern-day bikes come with disc brakes, and these tend to wear after a while, so you’ll need to replace at least these every now and again if you don’t fancy a complete brake overhaul.
Get a Good Pair of Fenders
Although not necessarily as crucial for the health ‘n’ safety matters as the brakes, bicycle fenders still play a role in the overall cycling experience.
These will prevent mud, water, and small rocks from flying into your face while out there on the road, or a muddy mountain track.
All things considered, taking care of your bike isn’t really nuclear science. Provided you regularly grease up the chain and the drivetrain, install a pair of reliable tires, and most importantly- have solid brakes, your cycling ventures will surely bring you loads of joy and numerous adventures!