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Choosing your equipments

Be a smart and well – equipped cycler. Before you purchase a bicycle, think about the type of cycling you plan to do. Pick and choose from the myriad of options to find the combination of features that best suits you and your goals.
You might be tempted to buy everything available for your bicycle. In the beginning, you may not need a bicycle computer, GPS, and heavy winter gear. As your experience and skill level improve, you can add items to your gear collection.

The Bicycle

If you plan on a combination of road and mountain biking, pick a hybrid. Road bikes are for the road and mountain bikes are for off-road use.
The most important part of bicycle shopping is finding the right frame size. A frame that is too small will place unnecessary strain on your joints. A frame that is too large will decrease the level of control you have over your bike. If the frame is not properly fitted to your body, your center of gravity will be greatly compromised.
When choosing your bicycle, pick the best combination of features for the type of cycling you plan to do. For example, don`t put off-road tires on a road bike.

The Shoes

Many road bikes along with mountain bikes include clipless pedals to which special shoes attach, via a cleat, permitting the rider to pull on the pedals as well as push.
The right cycling shoes will support your foot on the pedal. This can reduce cramping and foot fatigue as you ride. The shoe you pick will depend on the type of pedal you plan to use with your bicycle.

The Helmet

Helmets offer essential protection while cycling. Modern designs are sleek and lightweight. There is no longer a question of style when choosing to wear a helmet. Helmets are proven to save lives and prevent life altering injuries from having their full effect. A good helmet will cost you at least US$50 and the best helmets can cost hundreds of dollars.

The Clothes

Dress for the weather. Lightweight, breathable fabrics are excellent for keeping the body cool and dry in warm weather. Moisture-wicking, heat retaining fabrics like fleece are best for winter riding. Gloves, glasses, socks, and extra outer layers are important regardless of season.
In general, fabrics suited for most outdoor sports will be appropriate for cycling. However, avoid loose fitting clothing as these clothes may get caught in your spokes, chain, or handlebars.

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No. 1 rule : safety first!

Bicycles are legally considered “vehicles” on roadways. That means bicyclists must obey the rules of the road like drivers of any other vehicle and must be treated as equal users by all other vehicles. Here are some safety tips:

  1. Obey traffic signs and signals – Bicycles must follow the rules of the road like other vehicles.
  2. Never ride against traffic – Motorists aren’t looking for bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road. State law and common sense require that bicyclists drive like other vehicles.
  3. Follow lane markings – Don’t turn left from the right lane. Don’t go straight in a lane marked “right-turn only.”
  4. Don’t pass on the right – Motorists may not look for or see a bicycle passing on the right.
  5. Scan the road behind you – Learn to look back over your shoulder without losing your balance or swerving. Some riders use rear-view mirrors.
  6. Keep both hands ready to brake – You may not stop in time if you brake one-handed. Allow extra distance for stopping in the rain, since brakes are less efficient when wet.
  7. Wear a helmet and never ride with headphones – Always wear a helmet. Never wear a headphone while riding a bike.
  8. Dress for the weather – In rain wear a poncho or waterproof suit. Dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes. Wear bright colored clothing.
  9. Use hand signals – Hand signals tell motorists and pedestrians what you intend to do. Signal as a matter of law, of courtesy, and of self-protection.
  10. Ride in the middle of the lane in slower traffic – Get in the middle of the lane at busy intersections and whenever you are moving at the same speed as traffic.
  11. Choose the best way to turn left – There are two choices: (1) Like an auto: signal to move into the left turn lane and then turn left. (2) Like a pedestrian: ride straight to the far side crosswalk. Walk your bike across.
  12. Make eye contact with drivers – Assume that other drivers don’t see you until you are sure that they do. Eye contact is important with any driver which might pose a threat to your safety.
  13. Look out for road hazards – Watch out for parallel-slat sewer grates, gravel, ice, sand or debris. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
  14. Use lights at night – The law requires a white headlight (visible from at least 500 feet ahead) and a rear reflector or taillight (visible up to 300 feet from behind).
  15. Keep your bike in good repair – Adjust your bike to fit you and keep it working properly. Check brakes and tires regularly. Routine maintenance is simple and you can learn to do it yourself.