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Green Living: Lots to Love About Riding Bikes

May is National Bike Month, and we are celebrating all things bicycle related, especially safety.

May is National Bike Month, and as, there is a lot to celebrate. 

Though many people think of bike riding as just a , it’s actually one the most eco-friendly forms of transportation. Other than walking, it’s the only emission-free form of transportation. Not only is it better for the environment to ride a bike, it’s also better for the individual. 

According to Bicycling magazine, new bicycle commuters can expect to lose 13 pounds their first year of commuting. Also, riding a bike to and from work can save a considerable amount of money.

Though there is always room for improvement in regard to bicycle awareness, safety and education, it’s safe to say that San Juan Capistrano is a bike-friendly city.  One of our biggest assets, especially for commuters traveling to and from the city, is the . 

So if you are thinking of incorporating your bike into the daily commute, be sure to follow these important tips:

Always obey the rules of the road

As a bicyclist, it’s important to remember that you are subject to follow traffic regulations just like a motorist.  This includes riding on the right side of the street, with traffic, obeying signs and signals, using reflectors and lights at night and using hand signals. Although it can be tempting and sometimes easier, riding a bike on the sidewalk is dangerous for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.  If you do choose to ride on the sidewalk for safety reasons, remember to go slow, yield to pedestrians and be extremely careful when crossing intersections.

Maintenance 101

Always check to make sure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure to help prevent blowouts and to ensure steering accuracy. Regularly check your brakes, tires, shifters, spokes, pedals, handlebars, reflectors and nuts and bolts. If you don’t feel confident enough to work on your own bike, you can always take it to for regular maintenance. It’s always a good idea to carry a pump, spare tube and a patch kit just in case.

Safety

Be sure to wear a helmet whenever riding your bike. By law, all minors are required to wear a helmet.  Remember to look out for people when riding, especially cars that are parking or pulling into traffic. When riding next to parked cars, always keep an eye out for open car doors. Always try to be visible, predictable, and to anticipate conflicts. Remember to ride confidently and defensively.

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