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  • Writer's pictureOpenSky Cycles

Spring Cleaning for Your Bike

Do the 5 point safety check and get out there!

For those of you who haven't made the annual pilgrimage to the shed to retrieve the bikes for another year or for those considering whether you should dig out your old bike and give cycling a chance, there is no time like the present.

Not only is cycling a fabulous way to get and maintain fitness but it is a great way to discover new places and really 'see' the hidden (in plain sight!) gems in your locality too. Yes it's nice to push yourself and pick up the pace but for me, my pace will vary wildly as a ride and my attention is grabbed for all sorts of reasons.

Being on two wheels immerses you in your surroundings and as the sun warms up the earth the enjoyment of natures steps into summer are a delight that lifts the soul. Whether its a carpet of snowdrops, bluebells, or (todays plan!) taking a quick stop to forage for some wild garlic! Even the routes that you have experienced many times behind the windshield will throw up new experiences and special moments as you soak up the sounds, smells and vistas.

AT Open Sky Cycles we have already started our season of First Sunday rides (all events listed on Facebook). These are social cycle rides, covering approx 40 miles of lovely Norfolk routes on the first Sunday of every month. The next event is 2nd May starting at 9:30 from the shop just off the A149 between Snettisham and Heacham. These are 'no drop' rides which means we break into different groups and ride at a pace that suits everyone so why not come join us? Last time, we had 4 groups and cycled to Holkham Country Park. Due to current limitations these events are ticketed so make sure you sign up!

Before you take your bikes out you really must give them a check over to ensure they are fit for the road and running at their best.

There are 5 key points to check.

  1. Pump up your tyres. Check the pressure and ensure your tyres/tubes are free of any debris that may cause a puncture. You should do this before every ride. If your tyres sit flat they will pinch and perish so, riding or not, just go check your air.

  2. True your wheels. To check if this needs doing, lift up your bike, spin a wheel, and take a look at it from the front or rear. If you can see it wobbling more than 5mm, it's time to get your wheels trued.

  3. Wipe down frame & degrease the drivetrain. As much as your drivetrain needs to be lubricated it does need regular cleaning to ensure that it isn't clogged up with old grease and grit.

  4. Thoroughly wash rims of both wheels. Build up and grease on the rims of your wheels will affect your ability to brake. You should ensure that you keep your rims clean and this should be part of your regular bike safety check.

  5. Check the brake pads. Whilst you are at the wheels you should also check the brake pads for wear but also any grit that may be stuck on the pads and reducing your ability to brake.

For those of you who are confident you can do these checks at home - we have some great cleaning kits in store. If you're not sure or need some help get in touch with Howard who will be able to book you in for a service or repair.

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