Make the most of your new bike

Christmas bikeIf a new bike arrived at your house this holiday season, here are some tips to make sure you’re ready to roll.

bike-mechanic1. Get it checked. If your bike came from a big-box store, have your local bike shop check it over before it’s ridden. Walmart, Target and Kmart sell more bikes than any other retailer, but the employees who assemble those bikes aren’t bike mechanics. Common assembly errors include parts that aren’t fully tightened and parts that should’ve been lubed but weren’t. A bike shop mechanic can check your new bike to make sure it’s ready to ride.

Click here to find a bike shop near you. And once your bike is in good shape, click here to learn how to keep it that way with simple maintenance steps you can do at home.

2. Use your head. State law requires any bicyclist under age 18 to wear a helmet. A helmet can help keep an adult head safer too. Click here for instructions on how to wear a helmet properly. And click here to review the rules of the road for people on bikes.

Right-locking-technique-1024x7683. Protect your ride. Compared to the cost of replacing your bike, buying a good bike lock is cheap insurance. Click here to learn more about the best types of locks and how to use them correctly.

4. Show that it’s yours. Sacramento residents can register their bikes for free with the Sacramento Police Department – click here to get started. You can also register for free with the National Bike Registry. Or ‘self-register’ by writing down the make, model, type and color of your bike, attach receipts if you have them, and take a selfie with your bike.

5. Go have some fun! Click here for links to maps showing bike routes throughout the region, including streets with bike lanes and off-street bike paths.