Not Rocket Science: The Bicycle Safety Checklist
Let friends and family know the route you plan to take before you leave.
Is it lubricated? Is it in good condition? There is nothing worse than going for the county line sprint only to have your chain pop as soon as you throw some muscle at it.
Front and rear derailleur
Ensure the cables are firmly attached.
Are they in good condition? Do they hold the right air pressure? Is there anything embedded in them that shouldn't be there? Replace tubes that don't hold air. Replace tires that are worn or have holes in them.
Tip: Air your tires up and check them with a high-quality gauge before every ride. The gauge on your pump probably isn't very accurate. If you're not sure what to set them at, use this handy calculator.
Bar tape or grips
Are they firmly attached? Are the holes plugged? Unplugged handlebars are a potential safety issue. It's a lot harder for them to skewer you when they're plugged properly.
Do they move side to side? Up and down? Tighten the necessary fasteners with an Allen key or bike tool if your bars move when pressure is applied.
Are they functional? Do your pads need to be replaced? Ensure the cables are firmly attached. If you had to remove wheels for transport, re-adjust your brakes before you ride.
Food and water
You should have at least 16 ounces of water for every hour you plan to ride. You may need more if it's very hot outside. Bring enough food to prevent the dreaded "bonk."
Cell phone, ID, cash, credit card
Ensure your cell phone is charged. Bring your ID or driver's license just in case. Cash or access-to-cash is always handy. Put these items in a small plastic bag to prevent your phone from getting ruined if you get caught riding in the rain.
Tip: If you get caught riding in the rain, stop at the nearest store and ask for a shopping bag to wrap your phone with.
It should fit snug enough to comfortably fit two fingers between the strap and your chin.
Are your lenses appropriate for conditions? Make sure you’re equipped with the proper sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV radiation and glares from sunny weather.
Make sure you’re dressed for the weather and remember to roll up your pants to ensure that they don’t get caught in the chains during your ride.
Tools and spares
Many riders choose to carry an extra tube and enough tools to install it should they experience a flat while riding. Be sure to bring canisters or a small hand pump to air it up.
How can you be assured that drivers will see you on your night ride? Revolights offers 360 degrees of visibility, so you know that you’ll be seen wherever you go.
If there's anything we missed, let us know in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!