Tips and Tricks for Happy Biking
Even if you’re an experienced rider, these classes and resources can help you have a better experience on the road.
The COVID-19 pandemic has gotten a lot of us riding our bikes more. The gym is closed and biking is a great form of exercise. Biking is a healthy, physically-distanced way to get to essential jobs or errands. And a silver lining of this crisis is that there are very few cars on the streets, which creates more space for carefree and happy biking. But what happens when our communities slowly return to normal and car traffic starts to increase? CalBike has compiled some resources that will help you rediscover the joy of riding a bicycle in all conditions. This is your guide to happy biking every day of the year.
If you’ve been a regular bike rider for some time, you may think you know about safe biking. But there’s always more to learn. We’ve listed some of our favorite classes, now online so you can enroll from anywhere. You’ll learn new technologies for easily securing your bike, when you should take the lane, and much more. We should all learn safe driving in school, like Driver’s Ed, but we don’t. So here are the makeup classes. We think you’ll enjoy them.
Bike East Bay hosts award-winning bicycle education programs. Upcoming classes include one-hour workshops like “Bike Commuting Basics” and “Riding After Dark” and a two-hour “Urban Cycling 101” class. Learn more and sign up.
The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition has good basic bike safety classes, a class for drivers about how to operate safely near people on bicycles, and even a class on bike yoga! Learn more and sign up.
The League of American Bicyclists hosts 18 short and accessible videos on topics ranging from the basics of stopping and starting and shifting gears, to traffic safety like safe lane changing and intersection positioning, and practical tips like choosing a bike and fitting it to you. Check them out.
Cycling Savvy offers a discount right now on their classes for learning how to ride in traffic, something we all must do at least every once in a while to get where we’re going. Learn to ride confidently and feel safe in all conditions.
Many adults and children are getting on bikes for the first time in our quest for acceptable exercise. We have compiled a list of resources focused on beginning riders, Learn to Bike at Any Age.
This is not a normal time in any sense of the word. Traffic is much lighter, creating more space for walking and biking. But, because there is less traffic, speeding has increased in some places. We’ve compiled a list of FAQs for safe riding during the COVID-19 with suggestions for safe and joyful bicycling during this stressful period.
If you haven’t ridden for a while, do the A-B-C Quick Check: Air, Brakes, Chain & Cables, Quick Release levers. For a simple, accurate, and adorable demonstration, check out this video from the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Eli Akira Kaufman and his son Asa Kaufman, with specific videos for checking air in the tires and three different kinds of brakes.
The Family Biking Guide from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition covers a wide range of topics including biking while pregnant, biking with toddlers, biking to school, teaching your child to bike, and bike gear for kids. It comes in English, Spanish, and Chinese, and an updated, simplified version (English).
Modern e-bikes are marvels of engineering, providing the feeling of a regular bike while flattening the hills and providing a boost that you can adjust from subtle to powerful. You’ll still pedal, but you won’t have to pedal as hard. Many people are turning to e-bikes as a great way to replace car trips, go farther, and carry more. Now, CalBike is working to help more Californians afford this practical transportation.
Bike theft can be a deterrent to riding. Almost everyone who has locked their bike outside has had the heartbreaking experience of coming back to find parts removed or their whole bike taken. However, with good locks and the knowledge these partners offer, you can increase the chances of keeping your bike from being stolen.
Our partners at Bike East Bay have a great resource on theft prevention and stolen bicycle recovery.
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, our partners in SF, offer this great guide on how to lock your bike.
If you need a bike but can’t afford one right now, you might be able to get a donated bike through Bike Match.
Join your local bicycle advocacy group to help bring bike-friendly improvements to streets in your town.
California will never have the equitable, prosperous and inclusive communities that CalBike advocates for until we address and redress anti-Black violence. We want to actively contribute to ending systemic racism, especially in transportation policy, and most especially in bicycling advocacy. We promise to listen and learn how we can best do this work. To our community members who experience the violence of racism on a daily basis: we see you, we hear you, and we stand with you.