How to Avoid Looking Stupid on Your Bike
By Carol Montrose
There are many reasons that people come back to their bicycles after years of neglecting them in favor of motorized transportation. For one thing, most adults prefer the ease of driving to the effort of cycling. Then there are the time restraints that come with having a job and a family, the morning and evening commute to consider, and the fact that hauling kids and groceries is pretty hard to do on a bicycle. However, as the years go by and you gain a few pounds, or you hear about the global warming crisis on the news, or you calculate just how much you’re spending on your automobile, you may start to think about your dusty old bike and how it could be put to good use in order to improve your overall health and fitness, as well as the state of the environment (and your wallet). In short, there are a lot of good reasons to pull your bike out of the garage. But you may be a little worried about how you’re going to perform after so many years of driving motor vehicles. The phrase “it’s like riding a bike” didn’t come from nowhere. It’s one of those skills that you can pick up again even after years of non-participation. However, that doesn’t mean you can pop wheelies and ride with no hands like you did when you were young. If you want to save yourself from looking stupid when you hop back on your bike, take it slow until you get into the rhythm of riding again. Practice safety first by riding around the block, testing the brakes, and using your hand signals (do you even remember them?). This will ensure that when you actually get back out into traffic you can hold your own rather than causing a wreck.You may also want to think about the kind of gear you wear when cycling. You’re going to look pretty stupid if the clothes you wear actually cause injury or accident. For this reason, you should always wear closed-toe shoes (skip the flip-flops and high heels, which are hard to stop in and offer little protection should you crash). You will also want to secure long pant legs (there are straps you can buy for this purpose) so that they don’t get caught up in your bike chain or the spokes of the tire. Long dresses or skirts are a no-no. And consider using safety equipment, as well. You should always wear a helmet, for starters. Although you might think it looks stupid, it’s going to look a lot better than a cracked skull or road rash on your head. You might also want to wear gloves and elbow pads in case of a fall. And of course, nothing looks more attractive than confidence. Handling your equipment in a manner that is safe and controlled is always going to be more appealing to others on the road than showing off and causing an accident. You can commit to biking knowing that you’re doing something good for your health, helping the environment, and saving money, too boot (even cheap motorcycle insurance costs more than the absolutely free experience of riding a bike). With that kind of commitment on your side you’re bound to look good when you make the switch to two wheels and opt to improve every aspect of your life. Carol Montrose is a writer for BikeInsurance.net. In her spare time she enjoys reading and she is currently writing a book on the joys of freelancing.