Using a bicycle can be smooth depending on how frequently you maintain it. Regular maintenance is alright, if you take it to a professional, but what if something happens while you are traveling, on a longer trip? Depending on the problem you have, you might find yourself in more or less of a pickle.
In order to prevent a part of your unpleasant experience, here are the most common bicycle problems you will encounter while traveling.
A Flat Tire – As Regular As it Can Get
Flat tires are a normal, to some, almost everyday cycling experience. You hit a large bump or a nail or something sharp and your inner tube goes flat. This can happen anywhere and at any time so knowing how to change your inner tube is essential, for any cyclist, beginner or advanced.
Make sure to get the sharp object out of your tire if it is still stuck in there. Placing a new inner tube will not fix the problem if a nail is still stuck in the tire. It would puncture the tire as soon as you put some pressure on it, after inflating it. Always carry at least two inner tubes with you, as well as a tire repair kit, to help you repair and fill out any holes. You don’t want your inner tube exposed, after all.
Lights Out – Change Your Batteries or Buy Better Lights
If you get caught during night time, it can be dangerous to ride without any lights, whether on a well maintained road or off road. In the first case, you will most likely be harder to spot by passing vehicles, leaving you exposed. In the second, you will not be able to see what you are riding over, which can be troublesome if there are bumps and holes in the trail.
Either make sure to have your batteries charged or have replacements ready, or if you are actually going on a night ride, have a light dedicated to helping you see and not just be seen.
Weather Problems – Too Cold or Too Hot
Whether you run into a very cold day or a hot summer oven, it will not be pleasant, either way. Winter cycling can be a grueling experience if there is a lot of wind or if you are going downhill. You need gloves and something to cover your head and protect your eyes.
Yes, but summer is better? Is it? During a hot day, you can get a heatstroke, which is not pleasant if you are a hundred kilometers away from civilization. You need sunglasses in summer, as well, but also plenty of water, and a helmet to keep your head protected from direct sun exposure.
Sudden downpours can also be dreadful for the new cyclist. Experienced ones will know to seek shelter and wait it out, if possible.
Traveling by bicycle is liberating, but also a very scary experience if you run into problems you haven’t run into before. Now you know what you can expect, and can be better prepared to face them.