FitVeiw: Bicycle Safety & Maintenance

FitView: Bicycle Safety & Maintenance
By Efren Martinez

Now that Spring has sprung I’ve been noticing more cyclists on the road during my own rides. With more people on the road biking, I also have been stopping more often along the way to help a fellow cyclist do some onsite repairs. All too often many cyclists go month after month never paying much attention to routine bike maintenance before each ride. I admit I too have been guilty of this kind of behavior. Outside of just checking the air pressure before a ride I often pay very little attention to the other safety parts of my bike’s mechanics. Just recently I took my bike into our friends at Fun Sports Bikes in Modesto to get my road bike tuned up.

To my surprise my bike needed much more than just a simple tune-up, it needed a full overhaul. As the list went on and on of the service my bike needed so did the cost. It’s no secret that cycling is not only a great fitness outlet but it’s equally an expensive one too. What I learned from my friend Brian Zahra, who’s the owner at Fun Sports Bikes, was that I could have helped keep the cost down by keeping up on my routine maintenance. Keeping your chain well oiled as well as inspecting/adjusting your bikes gears, tires, rims, brakes before each ride is recommended. In other words, look for issues that may happen before they happen. Just like the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention.” I admit my bike needed a bit more than a simple gear adjustment, I needed new tires, a new chain, a new gear de-railer, new tape and brakes as well as a tune-up. It turned out to be quite costly equal to a month of my Sunday’s weekly allowance. No matter, safety first and I needed to have it done.

When your bike is well maintained it keeps the costs down for the future and you know you’re going to have a safe ride. When we share the road with cars it can be like flying through an asteroid field out there. Our bikes need to be able to stop as well as downshift in a split second when that light is about to turn red. For this kind of detailed service and repairs, I was fortunate to have Aiden Armstrong, a bike technician, at Fun Sport Bikes work on my bike. His professionalism, as well as skills, were impeccable. Outside of him who kept calling me Sir, it was a comforting pleasure to have him work on my bike. Thank you Aiden I appreciate the term of endearment “Sir” but please call me Efren. Sir would be my grandfather. Aiden did a great job on my bike. That following weekend I took it out for a 30-mile bike ride and it rode perfectly. It was like riding a new bike but even better! I’m all set now for my Summer rides.

Like I said it’s all about safety when it comes to making sure your bike is well maintained but never forget the personal safety checklist before heading out for a ride. Below is my newly revised own personal safety checklist that I go through before each ride. I’d invite you to check it out and perhaps adopt some of the items on my checklist to help keep you safe on the road. Cheers to your health!

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Cyclist Safety Checklist
Tires & Rims
Extra tubes
Air cartridges
Safety bike lights
Go-Pro camera battery fully charged
Phone fully charged
Road ID app activated
Find my friends app activated
Sun Screen on
Glasses & review helmet mirror clean
My grandmothers Escapulario with me

Side note: Thank you to all the motorists who give us cyclists the 3 feet if not more when we share the road with you. Especially a big thank you to the folks who live in Valley Home who are some of the most courteous drivers around. Thank you!

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About the Author:

Middagh Goodwin LIVES Music. He has been booking and promoting Music, Art, and Comedy in the Central Valley for years. He ran the award-winning Plea for Peace Center in Stockton for 5 Years and has booked bands from A-Z. In addition, he is the managing editor of ModestoView and writes the MAMAView and GeekView. Middagh works with the Modesto Area Music Association and books Music in the Plaza. In addition, he owns and operates Graffiti-Con, where cars and pop culture intersects. More recently, Middagh has been working with the Graffiti USA Classic Car Museum, helping to create unique events that help raise funds and awareness of the museum and its mission. On top of that, you can tune into one of two shows that Middagh Goodwin hosts on KCBP 95.5 FM; This is SKA and MAMA Radio.