Get Into Gear: Spring Biking 101

For most of us, biking in the winter is neither an appealing nor a feasible option. Especially this year with the unusually icy roads biking was a little too treacherous for most. Now, with spring right around the corner riding a bike to school or just for fun seems like a refreshing idea after having ridden on a crowded bus for too many months in a row. However, if your bike has been sitting outside unused or you just haven’t ridden in awhile you need to get prepared for spring biking. Read on to get yourself ready to put your best pedal forward.

 

 

1. Gear up

Although spring weather doesn’t bring the icy cold of winter it brings a lot of rain. One of the worst experiences is getting caught out on your bike in the rain, so make sure you always have at least a raincoat in your bag. We all know Victoria weather can be extremely indecisive, and just because it was sunny when you left doesn’t mean it won’t be pouring when you come home. Rain pants are also fantastic especially if it’s raining when you leave to go to school.

 

2. Get tuned up

If you haven’t ridden your bike a in a few months or if it’s been sitting outside for a while, you are going to want to get a tune up. Many local bike shops can have your bike fixed up within a day without costing you too much. If you are really ambitious you can look up YouTube tutorials and try to do it yourself.

 

 

3. Plan your route

In case you haven’t noticed, Victoria is extremely hilly, and UVic basically sits on top of a hill. This means that there is a 99% chance you will have to ride uphill on your way to school. There are also quite a few roads that, as a cyclist, you wouldn’t want to ride on (Shelbourne). Additionally, there are definitely certain times of day to be avoided, especially if you have no other choice but to ride on a major street (elementary school rush hour). If you plan out your route you can find a way to get from A to B with minimal hills and minimal danger.

 

4. Accessorize

No, I’m not talking about those pink streamers you had on your bike as a kid. I’m talking about the small but essential items that make biking more enjoyable. Although bike helmets make hairstyling next to impossible, they do protect your brain and that’s pretty important. Also important is making sure you can see and be seen while biking. Specifically if you have a night class having bike lights so you can see the ground and cars can actually see you is key (pro tip: if you are leaving your bike outside in a public place, take your lights off so someone doesn’t steal them). Other things that will make your commute a little nicer include fenders (no one likes mud up their back) and panniers/baskets (much nicer than carrying a heavy backpack on your back).

 

Happy biking!