Do This Every time You Ride a Bike

Give your bike a good once-over before each ride in 5 easy steps.

Check your bike, check your kids’ bikes, check your mother’s bike – just check and then go have fun!

The ABCD Quick Check 

A = Air

Air: Make sure you have ample air in your tires. It’s dangerous to ride with low tire pressure and really bad for your rims. Also… the more air you have in your tires, the faster you go!

B = Breaks, Bell & (handle) Bars

Breaks: To check your breaks, apply pressure to one break first and then drag your bicycle forward. If your bike skids along the pavement, your breaks work. Do the same for the other break. If either of your breaks don’t cause your bike to skid when you push it forward, DO NOT RIDE!

Bell: It’s the law to have a bell on your bike here in Ontario (or a horn or a gong – exactly… a gong? It’s true, check the Highway Traffic Act). Make sure your bell is working, easy to reach in a riding position and fastened tightly.

Bars: I didn’t mention this in the video but you want to make sure your handle bars are in good working ordering and not loose.

C = Chain, Cogs and Cranks

Chain: Check to see if your chain is on properly. Look to see if it’s rusty and almost falling off. If it looks good, go ride your bike.

Cogs: These are the spiky discs that your chain moves around. You have 2 sets of cogs – check them both. Make sure everything looks good. No funny business.

Crank: The cranks attaches to your pedals. Grab the cranks and try to wiggle them back and forth. There should be no play in the crank, meaning, it’s solid and doesn’t wiggle.

D = Drop Test

Drop: Pick your bicycle up about 1 foot off the ground and drop/bounce the wheels down. Listen and watch to see if anything shakes, rattles or rolls off your bike. With the drop test you should only hear a really solid sound when the wheels hit the ground. If anything sounds like it’s about to fall off, go in for closer inspection and tighten what’s loose, or get your bike in for repair.

Quick Check

Quick Check: Inspect your quick release levers to make sure they are on tight and that they are pointed up and are flush with your front forks. This helps prevent stuff from getting collected in there and loosening your levers (like tall grass or other weird stuff you could be cycling through).

I hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson in bike safety and you’ll put it to good use. Please help share this message wide and far. These 5 simple steps could save you from injury!

Happy Cycling!

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way Up A Mountain – Wellness on The West Coast Blog #4

Michelle & Guapo at Solstice Canyon

When I was hiking in the mountains close to Malibu, I felt overwhelmed at times by the inclines, but there was no way I was backing down. I mean I wasn’t climbing Everest or anything.

As is true for most times when I exercise, there comes a point in the journey where my mind and body get into a groove. Once the groove happens my brain clicks, and the next thing you know, I’ve switched into a motivational mode.  I begin to have realizations and new solutions to old problems.

On my hike I got in touch with how much I love being outdoors. I started remembering all of the trails I could get to within a 45 minute ride from my house. I invented all sorts of fun add-on activities I could plan, like picnics and fun snacks, etc. and I realized that if I did some or all of these things, my quality of life would be elevated. The element of exercising outdoors has been missing for me, so this set of insights really impacted me.

Aside from seeing all sorts of beautiful vistas, stopping to rest and meditate in a cave along the way and snap all sorts of pictures, the best thing I got out of my hikes in Southern California is how important moving is for our peace of mind. We arrive at amazing insights because our minds are distracted by the act of exercise.

Here is a message I received today from a friend, on this very topic.

She said, “Had a great spin this morning. Just wanted to share my ‘life-lesson’ with you. I got a hateful and hurtful email last night [from my ex-husband] but I purposely didn’t read it until I was ready to spin. The class was a good distraction. The instructor had us doing hills. I thought oh great.

The ‘a-ha moment’ came when the instructor said steep hills will always be a challenge; they will always be steep. They don’t get easier; you just get up them faster. They require the same amount of effort, but eventually not as much time. This was like a bolt of lightening hitting me and I realized that I’m so much faster these days at getting over the hurtful things my ex-husband says. I will always have to deal with the hill but my endurance and strength get me over the issues faster.”

You never know what you’ll get to the bottom of when you workout, but I know for certain, if you show-up and stick it out, you will be granted a gift that has the power to make your day. It may even change your life.