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Thursday April 17th 2014

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Bike Smart

By Sarah McCartan

Sure we’ve all heard your standard cycling tips—wear a helmet, remain aware of your surroundings, and so forth. Before you take off and pedal down the road this summer, here are a few more practical tips and helpful insights from seasoned cyclists.

On choosing the right bike: “Whatever bike gets you riding, that’s the perfect bike.” Stephen Hyde, Professional Cyclist

On functionality: “You’ve got to have a basket, or a way to carry things.” Christian Wagley, Bikes at Work Project Coordinator

On keeping yourself (and your bike) safe: “Bright lights are a must. You never know when you’ll overstay your welcome at that Super Bowl party and have to pedal home after sunset. A bike lock is essential. I’ve had friends leave their ride unattended for 45 seconds while inside a convenient store only to return to an empty telephone pole.” Eric Jones, owner of Revolver Records

On having a backup route: “It’s always good to know alternative routes for the destinations you ride to the most. I recently encountered some severe flooding and got lost trying to get my bearings. A lot of areas flood so you never know.” Lilia Del Bosque Oakey Whitehouse, IN writer

On following the rules: “Technically you shouldn’t ride on the sidewalk. It’s actually against the law, but downtown especially people do anyway.” Karen Simms, manager at Bikes Plus downtown  (Hint Hint: For more rules, visit floridabicycle.org)

On going with the flow: “You are a vehicle—go with the flow of traffic, obey street signs, be intentional, indicate to drivers what it is you’re doing,” Brian Stone, co-owner of Cycle Sports.