New to Biking? These Tips Can Help You Get Into Gear
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New to Biking? These Tips Can Help You Get Into Gear


With a little planning and proper gear, you can be confident in getting on a bike for recreation or even your commute.

My name is Ross and I have been biking regularly as well as commuting by bike for over a decade. The greater Puget Sound region is a wonderful place to bike, with increasing bike-friendly infrastructure and a large number of people who bike for both transportation and recreation. With a little planning and proper gear, you can be confident in getting on a bike for recreation or even your commute. The pandemic is a great time to get on a bike as it’s a safe, open-air, and distanced activity you can do on your own.

Ross Peizer has been commuting by bike for over a decade. Gearing up

  • Tune up your ride
    Bikes need regular maintenance to perform at their best. If you have a bike you have not used in some time, consider taking it to a bike-savvy friend or local bike shop. Click here to find a bike shop near you. 

  • Wear a helmet that fits.
    Helmet laws vary by city and county but are recommended for everyone. To be effective, helmets should be properly fitted to a rider. Helmets do not last forever — replace any helmet that has been in a crash or that shows visible damage or age.

  • Secure your bike.
    Buy and use a good bike lock if you plan to leave your bike unattended. U-shaped, steel locks are recommended. Cable locks are more vulnerable to theft. Bike lockers can be reserved through Community Transit for safely storing your bike when connecting to transit. Check bike locker locations, availability, and our current rental rates at communitytransit.org/bikes 

  • Lights are essential.
    Bike lights are essential for safety and for visibility when riding at night. Install white lights on the front and red lights on the back of your bike.

  • Register your bike on bikeindex.org.
    Bike Index is a free-to-use registry that helps people get their stolen bikes back. Be sure to include your bike’s serial number (usually on the bottom of the frame), and multiple photos of your bike when you register.

  • Learn how to fix a flat.
    Being prepared to fix a flat can save you time when you’re in a hurry. The necessary tools you’ll need include tire levers, an extra tube, patch kit, travel pump, and a wrench (if your wheel is not quick-release). You can also always take your bike to a local bike shop to fix your flat tire as well.

  • Explore more biking tips.
    Cascade Bicycle Club offers a variety of tips, educational videos, and classes for cyclists who want to feel more confident in their biking knowledge and skills. 

Signaling basics

While biking, you might be sharing the road and trails with others. Alert others when passing by using your voice (“on your left”) or a bell. Watch your speed when sharing the path — dogs and children are unpredictable. Slow down and look both ways when the trail crosses roads or driveways.

Hand signals also help you communicate with other riders, drivers, and pedestrians and can help prevent incidents. Here are some basic hand signals to get you started.

 

Right bike signal
Left turn signal

Stop hand signal for bikers

Plan your next ride

Ready to get started? Visit communitytransit.org/bikes and see our recently updated trail maps of the Centennial Trail, Interurban Trail, and North Creek Trail. Our trail maps make it is easy to plan a safe and enjoyable bike trip anywhere in Snohomish County. Our site is also packed with useful cycling tips, resources, and information about combining your bike trip with a ride on a Community Transit bus. Stay tuned for our next blog post which will go over this in more depth!

You can also get directions for riding by bike using Google Bike Directions on Google Maps and Apple Maps now offers bike directions

Tags: cycling, bike-everywhere-day, bike-month