Cycling is one of the most efficient and easy to learn forms of exercise . It’s an ideal activity for at least two reasons . First, people of all ages and fitness levels can benefit from hopping on a bike . And second, bicycles do double duty as cheap, healthy transportation . Think of it as getting from point A to point B, with an extra dose of daily exercise as your payoff .
Helmets: Always wear a helmet . Choose one that is approved by the Canadian Standards Association, the Snell Memorial Foundation or the American National Standards Institute .
If you have an accident that damages your helmet in any way, replace it immediately . Damage to the shock- absorbing polystyrene core may not be noticeable . When you buy
a helmet look for the same features for yourself and your children . Ask the sales staff about the shock absorbency, comfort and fit, impenetrability and security of the straps and buckles .
Clothing: Padded cycling shorts help reduce pressure points and chafing on the insides of the legs . If you’re not comfortable with the skintight style try the regular shorts version
with concealed padding . Padded gloves are also a good idea . They will protect your hands in the event of a fall and will also help prevent calluses from forming on your 76hands .
Locks: Unfortunately, a determined bicycle thief can break just about any type of lock . The U-shaped locks seem to be the safest bet, if only because thieves need more sophisticated
tools to break them .
Tool Kit: Carry a basic repair kit containing: an inner tube or patch kit, a pump, tire levers, Allen keys, wrenches and a chain breaker . Remember that the tools won’t help you if you
don’t know how to use them so be sure to ask at your local bike store for some help .
• Choose safe roads in your neighourhood . Traffic-clogged streets and impatient drivers can be a potentially lethal combination for cyclists . For obvious reasons, avoid roads with potholes, sewer grates and railroad tracks .
• Whenever possible, use bike paths . The open space and absence of cars and smelly trucks creates a safer and more relaxing environment . Designated paths also allow you to cycle continuously without frequent stops for traffic lights and stop signs . If you have bike paths in your area your local city hall or municipal offices will have a cycling path
map often free of charge .
• A bike is a vehicle too, so follow the rules of the road . Ride with the traffic, obey all signs and use hand signals to alert drivers to your intentions . Equip your bicycle with a headlight and reflectors to improve your visibility at night . A bell or horn is also a good idea and is law in some provinces .
• Do not pedal in high gear for long periods . This can increase the pressure on your knees and lead to overuse injuries . Shift to lower gears and faster revolutions to get more exercise with less stress on your knees . The best cadence for most cyclists is 60 to 80 revolutions per minute