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Getting back on the bike? Watch these five videos

It’s the kind of unexpected message from a friend every bike advocate loves to get: where can I buy a bike? Thanks to the work of local advocacy organizations, bike shops can remain open as “essential businesses” in many places across the country. That’s critical for frontline healthcare providers, restaurant workers, grocery store employees and others who commute to work via bike–and it’s great news for the rest of us coping with the coronavirus pandemic with the physical and mental health benefits of biking. 

The message from my friend was a surprise because running has always been her outlet. But biking lured her because it would empower her to explore greater distances and get to essential places without public transit. 

Just look outside: a lot of people are having the same epiphany. 

Are your friends getting on a bike for the first time in years, too? I asked our education director, Alison, what she would want everyone hopping on two (or three) wheels for the first time in a while to know. Some of these videos may sound very basic, like starting & stopping, and that’s the point! If you are new-ish to bicycling, you will find helpful tips in under two minutes.

Here are five videos every new-ish bicyclist should watch to get the most out of their first ride: 

  1. Start with your ABCs 


    Begin every ride with a basic bike check, like making sure there is enough air in your tires! 

  2. Get going and learn how to stop

    There is a trick to getting an efficient start, but it’s just as important to know how to stop safely! 

  3. Show others where you’re going 

    Especially in this time of social distancing, always show others on the road that you’re turning or changing lanes. Remember to move around others and give them plenty of space. 

  4. Take your gear(s) to the next level

    Unless your bike is a singlespeed, take greater control of your comfort during your ride by mastering the skill of shifting. 

  5. Get out and ride!

    Knowing the etiquette of riding and sharing spaces is important even without social distancing. Just to reiterate, give others on the road and trails plenty of room as you pass them. 

Extra Credit

Wearing a helmet is a great idea, but not required. When wearing a helmet, make sure it fits properly with the following video! 

The League’s education programs have a lot of other videos to bring you up to speed on the best practices for riding. Check them out, share them with friends, and keep an eye on your local bike advocacy organizations for online resources about riding in your area. Use our map to find your local groups.