Spring is upon us and now's the time to get your bike ready for Atlanta's prime riding season. Since this winter has been particularly cold, there's a good chance you haven't been on your bike much. So when you do ride, you may hear all sorts of new, not so fun noises.
Fear not! We at the Atlanta Cycling Festival have some tips and tricks to get your bike ready and in shape for spring... and then the Atlanta Cycling Festival (Coming May 19-25)!
Step 1 - Make Sure You Have A Bike
This may sound ridiculous but bear with us.
In March 2015, Atlanta residents approved the $250 million Renew Atlanta Bond Program which authorized improvements, upgrades and repairs to infrastructure and transportation throughout Atlanta.
Thus, we've seen new bike lanes and infrastructure, helping to increase the number of new bike riders in the city. And, according to the 2017 City Of Atlanta Annual Bicycle Report, a lot more are on the way.
We postulate that many of folks will realize that spring is a great time experience life on two wheels and want to join the fun.
So, where's a good place to find a bike? We highly recommend:
- BeltLine Bicycle Barn (Price Point: $-$$)
- Caravan Bicycles (Price Point: $-$$)
- REI Atlanta (Price Point: $-$$$)
- Atlanta Cycling (Price Point: $$-$$$)
- Edison Bicycles (Price Point: $$$)
Full disclosure - the above are sponsors of the ACF, but we're confident that you'll get an amazing bike and awesome service.
Step 2 - Wash That Bike
Dirt, grim and gunk are probably plentiful in your bike's drivetrain. And if you haven't biked in a few months, then all that junk is probably caked on.
The fix: Go get a bike wash kit. REI has a pretty great selection of tools and washes to get you started. Make sure that you dry your bike thoroughly to avoid rust.
Does washing your bike seem like a lot of work? Fear not yet again! The Atlanta Cycling Festival will have a bike wash station at Atlanta Streets Alive on Sunday, April 8th, from 2pm-6pm. Come enjoy DeKalb Ave like never before AND get your bike oh-so-clean.
Step 3 - Apply All The Bike Lubricant
After you've washed your bike, it will need to be heavily lubricated. There are a lot of bike lubricants out there, so talk with your local bike mechanic to see which they prefer.
Here's a quick video on how to lube like a pro.
Step 4 - Check All The Little Things
Your bike is clean and lubed! Hooray! Here's what you need to check next:
- Check bike tube air pressure; pump if necessary
- Check the spokes
- Check brake levers
- Check brake pads
- Check derailleurs
- Check chain
Step 4A - Realize That The Above Is A Lot Of Work And Take It To Bike Shop
We totally understand that doing all the above is a lot of work, so it may just be easier to take your bike to a bike shop for a spring tune up. Any of the shops listed in Step 1 are a wonderful choice for bike repairs/tune ups.
Don't have time to take your bike to the shop? Call VeloFix Atlanta. They'll come to you!
Step 5 - Get Out And Ride!
The moment of truth: Time to go for your first ride! Need some suggestions? Make sure you check out:
- BRAG's Spring Tune Up - Outdoor Cycling & Music Festival
- Dope Pedalers
- The Mobile Social
- Late Night Cycling With Gearact
- The Spindle
And there are many, many more. Once you start attending one group ride, you'll quickly find many more.
For the past 3 years, Bruce Hagen and his Atlanta Bike Law team have been huge partners and sponsors of the Atlanta Cycling Festival. Bruce and his team are avid cyclists, lovers of beer and incredibly active in the Atlanta bike community.
Each year about 50,000 Americans are injured, and approximately 500 killed, while simply riding their bicycles. And, despite the growth of the Atlanta BeltLine and other metro Atlanta bike plans, our region remains a dangerous one for bikers. Georgia drivers continue to be aggressive or inattentive to bicycles with which they share the roads.
If you're ever injured in a bike crash/wreck (And gosh golly we hope that you never are), we confidently recommend the personal injury attorneys at Bruce A. Hagen Law.