There are loads of websites and videos online about cycling; bike maintenance, safety, buying a bike, etc. So instead of reinventing the wheel, we have pulled together some of the ones we think are most useful and relevant to cyclists in Northland.
Why ride a bike?
It makes you feel good, it is good for your health and wellbeing, it is environmentally friendly, it is fun, it takes you places you may not otherwise go…. The list is endless. But if you need some more convincing check out these articles below.
- Life changing benefits of cycling every day
- Top 40 reasons why you should ride a bike
- Why ride a bicycle? Ten reasons and counting
Buying a bike
Obviously, what sort of bike you buy will depend on what you want to use it for. Start with your local bike shop, go and meet them and have a chat about what you want to do, how much you want to spend, etc. You may want to visit a few shops if you have them, as most bike shops will be associated with set brands. Do you want to consider electric?
Here are some useful websites to help
- Things to consider when buying a bike (NZTA)
- Consumer buying guide to electric bikes
- The complete guide to buying a bicycle (bicycling.com)
- Best bike: our buyer’s guide to which bicycle type you should buy in 2020 (bike radar)
How to teach your kid to ride a bike?
There are lots of snippets of advice and videos on how you should teach your kids to ride online. What ever you do it needs to be fun and safe. Be realistic about how long you should spend at each ‘lesson’. You want your kids to embrace riding for life. Make sure they are on the right size bike and they must have a helmet that fits. And once they are riding ok plan some biking adventures. Having a friend along can often help make the harder bits more fun, (and little boosters in the way of jet planes always help). Lastly make sure you are enjoying it too!
Fitting a helmet
Some simple diagrams and explanations can be found here
These kids understand the importance of wearing a helmet, check out this very cool video.
If you are going to be riding more you need to understand the rules for cyclists be it on the road, mountain bike trails, shared paths etc. There is an official New Zealand code for cyclists which covers the rules for cyclists on the road, including the required equipment, rules and responsibilities for the cyclist.
If you have not ridden before or have not ridden for some time you may want to complete a cycle skills workshop. These are aimed at improving your confidence and competence riding on the road. Grab a couple of friends and spend a few hours with a cycle instructor to brush up on your cycle skills. It will only cost you your time, will improve your riding and be fun. Check out the details about the programme here or contact Bike Northland directly.
Mountain bikers too have a code; Respect the track, respect others and respect the rules. DOC have a code for riding on trails within DOC land. Good trail etiquette goes a long way to ensuring all trail users are safe, and improving the chances of more trails being made available to mountain biking in the future.
Looking after your bike
So you have bought yourself a bike. Now you need to look after it to ensure that it is safe to ride, and continues to operate for as long as you want it to. You should carry out a basic A, B, C check before every ride. This page from Waka Kotahi/NZTA has some good basic guidelines and videos.
Where to ride
Once you have your bike, helmet, and are confident to get riding check out where to ride in Whangarei and Northland. There are also loads of trails, (primarily for mountain bikers), on trailforks.com, a free app you can download.
Commuting to work is a fantastic way to avoid traffic queues, maintain health and well-being, its good for the environment, and it makes you feel great. There are some great little tips and guides on the Bike Auckland website Biking to work