(Adapted by Carol Hausner from an original article by Pierre Avignon in 2008)
For those of us who put our bikes away for the winter, the time has come to dust them off and get them ready to ride. You're probably itching to get out and enjoy the spring weather.
If your activity has slowed down during the winter time, you will probably get back into shape as the days get longer and your legs get stronger. But can the same be said about your skills?
Here are a few things to consider before your first club ride of 2012, whether you are a novice rider or more experienced and just getting back on the saddle after winter.
First, consider doing a few short rides to re-familiarize yourself with the nuances of your bike's handling.
Second, brush up on important safety skills and knowledge with some of the great resources available on-line (this article and the links in it can be accessed through http://crw.org/safety/index.php):
• "Improve your Bike Handling Skills" by Bob Zogg. This classic article contains a great list of tips to help us hone our bike-handling skills, regardless of our levels of experience;
• "Safety reminders for New Members" by Eli Post. This piece is a good refresher on safety in group rides;
• "Bicycling Street Smarts" by John Allen. Covers all the bases in a short and easy to read format. The indispensable reference to riding confidently, legally and safely. In addition to being available through John's website, copies of this are also sold in a number of local bike shops.
• Massbike's "Basics of Traffic Cycling": a great reference from our State Bicycle Coalition.