Getting you on your bike and loving it

One of the things I have loved about lockdown is seeing everyone out on their bikes, including some bikes that probably haven’t seen the light of day for a while.
I thought I would ask Cycle Coach and Educator,  Janet Stark a few questions about how to make sure your bike is ready for the mean streets, and how to make sure you get the most out of your biking experience.
How do you make sure your bike is ready to ride?
There are many sites with bike check information and video. This one on how to check your bike is a good place to start.
I see lots of people with their seats very low which actually makes it harder to ride and get the most power out of each revolution of the pedals. How do you set up a bike to ride?
This is harder to do when not there in person to help, but most important is seat height and the seat being straight.
  • Learn to ride – feet flat on ground to get started and feel secure. Slowly raising seat as you gain more confidence so the knees aren’t so bent.
  • Beginner – raise seat up higher ie ball of foot is secure on the ground.
  • Novice  – raise seat up higher again. Toes secure on the ground (not tip toe). The key is to not be too bent in the knees or have them too straight.Your comfort is also extremely important. 
Whats a good place to start for beginner riders?
Again there are a large number of resources on line. I would think focusing on stopping, starting and riding your bike in a control manner ie ride it where you want to go.
Starting in a location that has space and flat. Getting used to riding on a shared pathway, or in an empty car park for real beginners, and build on those experiences.
This video from Auckland Transport also has some great tips for kid learning to ride.
I see lots of ill-fitting helmets. How do you check they fit properly?
Sarah Walker, a NZ BMX rider talks about making sure your helmet fits in this video.
Some great suggestions from Janet.  She is passionate about getting you on your bike and loving it, so if you are looking for cycle coaching once lockdown ends then have a look at what she has to offer.
And once we can travel around more you might want to hit the mountain biking trails with your kids so check out my top tips for mountain  biking with kids, my tips for beginner mountain biking in Rotorua and a review of most of the North Island NZ cycle trails.