Thinking About Bike Riding In The City? 9 Tips From Fashion To Safety.

Bicycling – something left in my childhood past. I live in the city center and can be where I need to be in a 20 minute walk.  As such, it never occurred to me to ride a bike as a mode of transport. But at the beginning of spring, I watched bike riders sail past me, so stylish and carefree, and I knew I wanted to get back on a bike again. Best decision I made this year.

But, deciding to ride a bike after years of not riding was not as easy as “riding a bike”. It turns out that you can forget. And, riding a bike – in the city, is very different than riding a bike in the suburbs as a child.

There was also the question of whether to rent a bike or to buy one. And then there were questions about biking and fashion! I was overwhelmed! I managed to sort through all these questions and I’m going to share with you what I have learned.

Here are 9 tips from fashion to safety to help you get back in the proverbial saddle!

#1 Safety First: Know The Rules!388d41a003cbd65642de2b7cf3bf997c

I decided to take a giant step back before getting on a bike. I realized there was so much I didn’t know about riding a bike in the city. The League of American Bicyclists has a handy guide that breaks down the laws in each state. This hadn’t been updated since 2012, but it was a good place to start.

Once I knew the rules I felt more confident to get on a bike but I had a big decision to make.

#2 Bike Choice: Buy or Rent?

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I decided to rent a bike. I wasn’t sure if I would keep to this new mode of transport if I purchased a bike as they are commonly stolen if you do not have all the important locking devices. And there are so many bike sharing options now. Mine is $35 dollars a year and the first 30 minutes are free – like I said, I can get anywhere I need to be in 20 minutes if I walk and a bike cuts that time by a third.

If a bike-sharing program sounds like a good idea to you as well the Unites States has over 100 programs. Here is a link to find one in your city.

Now that I had a bike, there was the important question I needed to address.

#3 What To Wear On A Bike?

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Eartha Kitt

I decided to channel Eartha Kitt. I am no wall flower and again one of the inspirations for getting back on the bike was the style! I knew I would need slim fitting clothes – didn’t want to worry about flow-y dresses caught in the wheel or flare leg trousers tangled up in the pedals – I chose shorts and mid-calf mini skirts and dresses.

 

Simple and chic is the way to go. Rompers are adorable or a fit-and-flare dress with flat slip-ons and a backpack is another great option if you aren’t comfortable with hot pants like Miss Kitt.

#4 Shoes Are Important

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As a newcomer to city bike riding, I made a decision to only wear flats while cycling. I found a few pair of comfortable flats in neutral colors that work with any look!

If you are determined to try to cycle in heels, I suggest you invest in rubber soles!

As for beauty, I haven’t changed my routine but there is one big lesson I learned.

#4 Beauty Matters

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Carry deodorant and face wipes. 

#5 Bike Safety!020183974b480d105894e2b84fb9318e.jpg

Before I hit the road, I gave the bike a quick ten-point safety check to make sure I wouldn’t go riding onto busy streets with a faulty set of brakes.

But it had been a while since I’d ridden and it was not an easy ride.

#6 Riding A Bike Is Not As Easy As Riding A Bike.

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My first time out was very scary. I couldn’t find my center and I couldn’t manage the speed. I’d forgotten how to ride a bike!

I needed to practice, a lot! I stuck to side streets without a lot of cars until I felt  comfortable. The cool thing was, it didn’t take me long before I was riding smoothly again but there are still a few scary firsts riding in the city.

I try to always be aware of my surroundings, be respectful of drivers on the road and pedestrians on the walkways and stick to routes I know.

That leaves me with my final bit of advice.

#9 The Best Accessories Are Chic!

The one thing I wish bike-sharing designs included on their bikes were baskets. Not all services do. I finally invested in one of my own. I knew I wanted something elegant and stylish but not overly designed.

The bikes from the sharing program I use are very simple. I didn’t want to overwhelm the bike. I chose a tasteful basket with a handle. The basket I purchased has leather straps and metal buckles that allow the basket to be attached in all sorts of ways. I love it!

THE BASKET ROOM HANDWOVEN GHANAIAN BICYCLE BASKETS

 

 

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Who Makes Your Baskets? Her name is Karen, owner of House of Talents. Read her story.

Purchase this basket: House of Talents.


Hope this helps you get started!

If I missed anything important please feel free to comment in the section below!

 

 

 

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