Springtime means many of us will be getting back on our bikes for exercise and transportation. It also means both cyclists and motorists must relearn how to share the road. Many drivers have fallen out of the habit of looking for cyclists at intersections and stop signs, so if you’re on two wheels, proceed with caution.
Then, of course, there’s the shape of the roads at this time of year. Huge potholes and a buildup of sand, dirt and debris along the side of the road, can turn a leisurely cycle into a dangerous obstacle course.
Experts suggest checking out your favourite route by car before heading out on the bike. Lots of bike paths and rural roads might still be snow- and ice-covered, so don’t assume just because your street is clear that the snow has melted everywhere.
If you’re hauling your bike out of the garage for the first time, give it a quick tune-up to make sure it’s road worthy.
When you do get on the bike, rein in that early season eagerness to prove you haven’t lost anything over the winter months. Limit your mileage and don’t push too high a gear. Go easy, and all you’ll feel the next morning are a few muscles you haven’t worked in a while. Go too hard and don’t be surprised if you’re seriously stiff, even if you’ve been working out all winter. Riding on the road is very different from riding indoors, so don’t be fooled into thinking that spinning can replace the real thing.