It rained Thursday night and into Friday morning. Very strange for Phoenix in early June. My Friday morning bike commute to the office inspired me to share a few tips that I’ve learned over the years.
Tip 1: If you store your bike outdoors and it gets rained on, you need to act fast. Water on metal is bad news. Spray down your chain and hub with WD-40 right away. Use a pretty generous amount. WD-40 is cheap. After you spray your chain and hub, turn the bike upside down and hand crank the pedals. This will make sure the lubricant gets into the hub and protects the entire chain (Bonus tip: Don’t spray you brake pads!).
Tip 2: Watch out for blown down palm branches. Thunderstorms will typically litter the streets with palm leaves and branches. If you try to ride over them, the stalk can get caught in your spokes or in your pedals which can be dangerous. If you see that your path is littered with palm branches, slow down, check the car lane for traffic and ride around them.
Tip 3: Be ready for low-hanging branches. Our Arizona trees don’t get a lot of water, but when they do, the branches that typically provide shade on our bike lanes, can hang right at face level. This can be really dangerous (and actually got me Friday morning). If you do encounter a low hanging branch in the bike lane, DON’T swerve into the car lane (which may be your first reaction). Slow down and check the traffic to your left. Make sure its clear, and then proceed out into traffic.
Tip 4: Be ready to get wet. We’ve all been sprayed by cars driving through wet spots on the road. It’s not fun. It can also be dangerous. If you do get sprayed (badly), try to remain calm. Our natural reaction is to swerve away from the splash, but that could cause you to run into the curb and tumble into traffic. Try to maintain a straight line and smoothly slow down. Wipe off your face and consider it good luck and continue on with your day.
Tip 5: If you ever are injured while riding your bicycle, don’t try to handle your injury claim alone. Give me a call. I’ve been fighting insurance companies for years and am an avid cyclist myself. My number is 602.759.0018 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheers, Paul Benson Avid Cyclist & Attorney at Law