Hit the road this summer with bicycle safety

John Coffelt, The Manchester Times Staff Writer

Seven-year-old Mason Johnson shows off the bicycle he won at the Old Stone Fort State Park/Manchester Recreation Department bike rodeo and parade. Johnson rode his new bike during the parade, a round trip ride to the state park and back. Staff photo by John Coffelt

No gas, little maintenance — the freedom of the road is truly free when riding a bicycle, but this carefree transportation requires some precautions to stay safe as possible.

“Always wear a helmet,” local certified instructor Joe Capezza of the Highland Rim Bicycle Club stresses first thing.

Before each ride, he performs the ABC Quick Check, to make certain the bicycle is ready for the journey.

A is for air: check the air pressure in the tires and the tires themselves.

B is for brakes: check the braking system to see that the brake pads are even with the rims, that there is not too much play in them and are functioning properly.

C is for cranks: check the crank, chain and related drive system for problems.

Quick is for quick releases. Many of the bicycles sold today have quick release clamps wheels, seat posts and even brake calipers for easy adjustments. Make sure that each one is properly tightened.

Check is check it all over: give the bike a quick spin around to make sure everything is working.

“We give it a little shake to make sure nothing rattles loose and then give it a short drive. If you’re going on a ride with a group, you don’t want to be 10 miles out and realize that something isn’t right,” Capezza said.

For more useful bike-related information, go to the Highland Rim Bicycle Club website at www.hrbike.org.

Our very own Joseph Capezza was interviewed for this article that appeared in The Manchester Times, June 24, 2020