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Video:Prepare A Bike for Commuting

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Commuting by bike is a healthy, eco-friendly way to stay fit and get where you need to be. Learn how to best prepare your bike for commuting.See Transcript

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Transcript:Prepare A Bike for Commuting

Hi, I'm Jamal Andress for About.com. I'm here with Lawrence Simonson, he's a bicycle safety expert with the PedNet Coalition and we're here at Walt's Bicycle Shop to talk to you about how to prepare your bike for commuting.

Get the Gear

So if you are someone who's going to commute a lot, I would suggest making sure that you spend a little bit on some gear. It'll make your life a lot easier and you'll be a lot more comfortable, particularly when you arrive at the location you're trying to commute to.

Light Up Your Bike

So when you're using your bike to commute, lights are extremely important. It's important because you may have planned to go to a certain location for a certain amount of time and we've all ridden, or even driven to a place, you know, to hang out with friends or something and end up staying later than we thought. So having lights on your bike is extremely important.

So here's a nice display of several different types of lights. There's lights that go inside your handlebars, there's taillights, there's front lights, the important thing to remember is that you get the light that suits your needs but also is secured tightly to your bicycle.

So if it's a handlebar light, making sure it's on there, not swiveling around where it's going to point itself down after awhile or even swivel and point itself up.

If you are someone that's going to be traveling to work or if you're going to be traveling to the grocery store, something like that, you might want to think about getting a bicycle rack.

Make Sure Your Rack Sits Flat

As you can see this bicycle rack is installed to fit level with the ground and that's the way a bicycle rack should fit. It shouldn't be tilted backwards or tilted forward in any way. And the places that a bicycle rack are installed is near the center where the wheel kind of is and there should be a place that you can actually bolt the rack on right there. Then the next place you bolt the rack to is right here on the bicycle, there's a spot that you can bolt the rack as well.

They're generally not too difficult to install, most local bike shops will do it for you, but if you're kind of a handy person, it's pretty easy to set them up yourself.

Be Prepared for Emergency Maintenance

So one of the other things that's important to make sure you have with you as a bicycle commuter and really as any kind of bicyclist is some way to fix a flat tire. So you always want to make sure that you have some spare tubes with you, maybe even a patch kit going with you and some of the things they have to help fill that up is a nice little travel pump.

Now I don't recommend using a travel pump as your home pump to get your tires up. These are essentially used for emergency situations only, something you can fit in a pocket or in a bag on your bike and get the job done when you're in an emergency.

Thank you for joining us and thank you Lawrence for helping us out. If you want any more information about biking and commuting, be sure to check out About.com.

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