Living in the big city makes many people assume that they need a car by default. And while that may be true in some circumstances – especially if you have a family with kids or a longer commute – that’s not the case for everyone. Even if you need to drive to get around on a daily basis, you shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of getting a bike and using it for certain trips. Sure, it might not work for every place you need to go, but it can still go a long way towards boosting your mobility and keeping you healthy.
It can be dangerous to ride a bike around the streets of a big city, so you should invest in as much safety gear as you can before getting started. Have a light on the front and back, reflectors on your wheels, a reflective vest for yourself, and of course, a good helmet. Investing in a quality helmet is one of the best moves you can make, even if you’re not used to riding with one. You only need to get in one serious accident for your helmet to justify its investment. And make sure to never reuse helmets that have been hit once! They are usually designed to absorb as much of the initial impact as possible, but at the cost of their structural integrity. It might not seem like the helmet is damaged at all, but if it has been hit once, it’s no longer safe for protecting your head.
Keeping Your Bike Secure
You’ll frequently need to leave your bike unattended, and this can be an obvious problem in a big city. Investing in a good lock is not a bad idea. No, it won’t stop a determined thief – but someone with bolt cutters and/or other equipment necessary to get through an advanced bike lock probably has more attractive targets to consider than your bike. In addition to purchasing a lock, just keep some commonsense considerations in mind when leaving your bike for longer periods of time. Keep it around other bikes, and make sure that it doesn’t obstruct traffic.
Insurance Is Often a Good Investment
Scouting for Potential Upgrades and Spare Parts
Keeping your bike in a good condition requires the occasional purchase of spare parts, and sometimes upgrades if you want to go that far. You can’t go cheap on most of these parts either. It’s not easy to keep yourself stocked on these if you buy them new every time though, so set some time aside for scouting the market for deals every now and then. Even if you don’t need a certain part immediately, it can still be a good idea to purchase it for later on if it’s a good deal. This will save you a lot of money on your bike’s maintenance, and even time, as you will already have everything ready for when you run into a situation where you need to use those parts.
Take the Time to Learn Some Special Routes
Last but not least, riding a bike around town is a great way to learn new shortcuts and unique ways to get between certain points, and you should not underestimate the benefits of that. It can take a while to figure out what the best routes are, especially if you’re new to getting around on a bike, but it’s a worthwhile investment of your time. This isn’t just about shaving a few minutes off your daily trips. Sometimes you might discover routes that are safer or allow you to combine multiple errands in one go. Just take a look around every once in a while, and take notes of any interesting findings you come across.
Using a bicycle to get around a big city can be fun, as long as you take the time to prepare yourself with the right gear and information. It’s a great way to stay healthy while also exploring your city from a completely new perspective. And you never know if it might turn out to be your new favorite hobby. Many people get addicted to cycling as soon as they take one trip around their block, and the freedom it provides you with is not to be underestimated, especially if you travel around town a lot.