Ready to ride: A beginner’s guide to bicycles | Georgia Sports |

2022-07-30 17:34:46 By : Ms. Kelly Lu

Variable clouds with scattered thunderstorms. High 89F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 40%..

Scattered thunderstorms during the evening, with mostly cloudy skies after midnight. Low 72F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.

When the weather is nice, riding a bike is a great way to get out and exercise. When riding a bike, you are able to enjoy nice weather, feel the sun on your face, the wind in your hair while exploring new places. 

Riding a bike is great fun, there are several things to keep in mind when it comes to helmet safety and road rules. 

According to Georgia Bikes, all people under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet when riding a bike on a bicycle path, highway or sidewalk. 

Wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle is very important. Making sure that your helmet fits and is secure is a key way to make sure that you are safe while having fun. 

To make sure you are the safest when riding a bike, your helmet needs to fit perfectly. This means that you may need to try on multiple helmets to get the right one.

When looking for a helmet, make sure to get one that snugly fits your head, meaning make sure the helmet can’t move around or flop in the wind while you’re wearing it. 

The helmet should also fit low onto your head, according to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The helmet should hit one to two fingers above your eyebrow. 

While making sure that your helmet sits correctly on your head is essential, it is also important all straps fit and are fastened. The side straps should fall perfectly with your ear. The side straps make a “Y” shape, to make sure your helmet fits make sure that your ear fits within the “Y.”

With the chin strap, make sure that the strap is securely buckled under your chin  — only one finger should fit in between your chin and the strap. 

While making sure your helmet is snug and perfectly fits is critical, it is also very important to know the rules of the road before riding a bike. 

People riding bikes, also known as bicyclists, have to ride their bikes with the flow of traffic. This includes the bike lanes on the side of the road. 

When riding with traffic, bicyclists have to follow “all signs, signals and pavement markings,” according to BikeAthens. 

Like cars and other motor vehicles, when riding a bike in turn signals must be used to signal if you are turning or stopping. 

To signal that you are turning left, simply reach out your left arm. When turning right, you can either point your left arm towards the sky or reach out your right arm. When stopping, take your left arm and point your hand towards the ground. 

Keep in mind when riding in public that pedestrians (people walking on foot) have the right-of-way when at both sidewalks and crosswalks. 

Lastly, when riding a bike at night, you have to have reflectors on the bike. These reflectors reflect the light from cars, so people in vehicles are able to see where you are — which also ensures you are safe while riding a bike.

Where to get a bike and accessories 

There are several places to buy a bike and other cycling necessities in Athens. 

While buying a bike at Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods or Academy Outdoors and Sports are always great options, there are several local places that are also worth checking out. 

Examples of bicycle shops in Athens are Georgia Cycle Sport, Pedal Driven Cycles, The Gear Attic and Sunshine Cycles. 

Places to bike in Athens 

According to Visit Athens, Lonely Planet named Athens as one of the 10 best places for a cycling vacation in 2022 and was named a bicycle-friendly community by The League of American Bicyclists. 

While biking in your neighborhood is always a great way to get out and get active, there are also various options when looking to change up the scenery. 

There are seven biking trails in Athens — Bishop Park, Walker Park, Dudley Park, Oconee Forest Park, Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services, Oconee Rivers Greenway and the Firefly Trail. 

Along with trails, Athens participates in the professional cycling circuit, the Twilight Criterium. 

This biking event has called Athens home since 1980. Since then, thousands of people flood the streets of downtown to watch the races and take part in other events offered during the busy weekend. 

Twilight Criterium goes throughout the Classic City. With the biking event, there is also a Piedmont Twilight Kids and a Family Fest. 

During the kids event there are bounce houses, crafts, an open mic dance party and races.

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