It is definitely possible to ride our bikes all year around, spring, summer, fall, and winter and a lot of people successfully do it. So we are reluctant to advise people to stop riding and store their bikes for the winter. But sometimes people get busy and don't have time to ride for awhile or live in parts of the country with extreme cold, ice, and snow that makes it uncomfortable and maybe even unsafe to ride. Since some people are going to hang up their bikes they might as well understand what NOT to do when storing a bike for an extended period of time.
The single most important thing a cyclist can do to keep a bike running at its best is to clean and lubricate the bike chain on a regular basis. This is within the skill level of even the most elementary rider and is a low-cost procedure—it only requires at a minimum some bike lubricant and a rag and can be performed indoors in an apartment or garage or outdoors in any environment your bike is in. There are different levels of cleaning from basic, to moderate, to deep cleaning and which procedure you use will depend on the condition of your drive train and how dedicated you are to bike maintenance.
A bicycle is a vehicle and it has moving parts. Just like any mechanical device, it requires regular maintenance to keep it operating so that you will have a smooth and safe ride and extends its life. If a bike is not well maintained, you will have to work harder when you ride and a mechanical failure could result in a crash and injury. Here are some basic lessons on what you should do to keep your bike in good operating order and when it should be done.
For many people their bike is a prized possession and losing it as a result of theft is devastating. If you’ve ever had a bike stolen you know the sense of loss you experience. It is like going through the 5 stages of grief:
If you are going to bike anywhere and leave your bike outside, you need the equipment and knowledge for proper locking so that your bike is there when you return. While no bike security system is 100% effective, you want to do whatever you can to make stealing you bike harder than the next bike. If your bike looks inconvenient to steal, there is a good chance a thief will look somewhere else. Following are some practices to help stop or at least slow down thieves.
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories