The weather has been beautiful the last couple of days and most of us are starting to suffer from cabin fever due to the Stay-At-Home order. Right now is actually the perfect time to get out your bike and ride. There is hardly any traffic. Riding your bike lets you explore and rediscover your city.
Before You Start Riding Your Bike
If you have not ridden your bike in a while, take a good look at it before heading out. The tires on your bike might be flat. Get out your bike pump or compressor or head to the nearest gas station to pump up your tires. Somewhere on your bike’s tires it will say how much pressure they require. Don’t forget to check your brakes before getting out in the streets. Lube your chains so your bike will shift easier.
If you are not sure about the safety of your bike visit your local bike shop. Some bike shops are open right now by appointment only so call ahead.
If You Haven’t Ridden Your Bike For A While
Remember to grab a bicycle helmet. As they say, a helmet is cheap insurance. Also, Louisiana requires that any person under the age of 12 riding a bicycle, as an operator or passenger, must wear a protective bicycle helmet. For other bicycle rules and regulations, visit: http://wwwsp.dotd.la.gov/Inside_LaDOTD/Divisions/Multimodal/Highway_Safety/Bicycle_Ped/Pages/La_Bicycle_Laws.aspx
When riding through our city, respect traffic rules. It might be tempting to ride down one way streets the wrong way, especially in the French Quarter, but it is illegal and can lead to rather bad habits. Soon traffic will return and when you turn into a one way streets, cars can accidentally hit you.
In New Orleans, we love our Streetcars; however, getting your bicycle tire stuck in the tracks can be dangerous and will lead to a crash. Whenever possible, try to cross the tracks in a 90 degree angle.
Sometimes you will have to pass cars that are parked on the side of the street. Whenever possible, try to see if somebody is sitting in the driver seat. In that case, be extra careful, some drivers won’t pay attention and will open a car door on you.
Be careful, but get out and enjoy riding your bike!