Dan’s Tips #1: Pump up the Tires, not the Jams!

Part of the joy of riding a bike in the city is being engaged with your surroundings. It’s taking in the sights and sounds and smells, all of the crazy conversations you hear when you’re stopped at a light. That stuff is entertaining! All you headphone wearers miss out on all that! You also miss out on all the “On your left”s and “Heads up”s. That guy on the Broadway bridge who doesn’t seem to notice that you’re trying to get by…headphones. Don’t be that guy.

Listening to music while you’re working out is great, I get that. It passes the time and totally makes sense when you’re running in place at the rec center. When you’re trying to navigate through busy streets and bike paths it’s one of the most dangerous things you can do. It disorients you and greatly increases your chance of getting in an accident. Just today I saw someone with headphones in cross the tracks right as the Max was coming. DON’T DO IT! Please, just don’t!

The mechanic tip for the week is all about tires. It’s pretty basic stuff, but also really important. Your tires are your connection to the road and knowing how to take care of them will keep your commute smooth and problem free. Here’s what you need to know!

  • Inspect your tires for any cuts, cracks and any debris (glass, thorns, squirrel teeth). Any cuts that are bigger than 1/4 inch and you should seriously consider replacing that tire.
  • Check your tires for wear. Keep in mind that your rear tire will wear faster than your front. New tires will be nice and round in the middle. If your tire looks flat (or square) it’s time to replace!
  • Choose a tire with good puncture protection. If you spend just a little extra on your tires, you’ll save the headache of getting stranded with a flat tire and missing your final. I tried to use that excuse one time. No luck!
  • Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure to avoid pinch flats and excessive tire wear. This number is usually printed on the side of your tire. (ex. 60-80 p.s.i.)

If you’re interested in learning how to fix your own flat tire, come to one of the Friday Flat Fix clinics at the Bike Hub. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know!

Pump It Up!

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