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Time to start riding

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You've bought your season pass for next years ski season. Now, it's time to start riding.

Most cyclists ride throughout the year, weather permitting. Skiers spend more time on the slopes than in the saddle. This ski season is over. Time to mount up.

If you haven't done much riding over the winter and early spring, you'll find that the weather is just about perfect right now for riding. First though, a little bike maintenance is in order.

Get your ride out and check it over very carefully, especially if you haven't spent much time on it recently.

  1. Visually inspect the entire bike, frame, wheels, tires, chain, saddle, handle bars--all of it.
  2. Carefully clean anything that is overly gunked up.
  3. Inspect your tires. Look for cracks, missing chunks, small cuts. Replace them if they show too much wear.
  4. Spin your wheels. They should spin freely. If not, adjust them so that they do.
  5. Test your brakes while the wheels are spinning. If they are mushy, tighten them up. It's good to be able to stop.
  6. Clean, then lube, your chain. It will last longer, and won't yak at you all the time while you're riding.
  7. Make sure your headset and handle bars are tight. Steering is important.
  8. Change the batteries in your front and rear lights. If you don't have front and rear light, get some. It's a safety issue.
  9. While your bike is on the rack, run it through every gear. Oil the derailleur.
  10. Anything that you can't do, take it to your local bike shop and have them tune it up.

An early season check like this will up the odds that your riding season will get off to a great start. It's a long season. You'll be riding till the snow falls late next autumn. Might as well make sure it's going to be a good time in the saddle.

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