Before the ride, be sure to do an “ABC Quick Check” to learn if your bike is ready to ride.
A—Air: Check both your tires for air. They should be about the firmness of a basketball.
B—Brakes: Slide your bike forward and squeeze the left brake (front wheel). If the back wheel pops off the ground, then your front brake is ready. Slide your bike forward and squeeze the right brake (rear wheel). If the rear wheel skids, your back brake is ready.
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C—Chain: Check your chain by lifting the rear wheel off the ground and moving your pedals forward; the chain should be on the chain rings and move smoothly with the pedals. Check to see if your chain is properly lubed by touching it with one finger. If you see a slight smudge on your finger, then your chain is properly lubed.
Quick: Check your quick release skewers on your wheels to make sure they are tight enough to keep your wheels on.
Check: Spin each wheel and look to make sure they appear straight and are not rubbing on your brakes. Then give your bike a final “basketball test” by lifting it up just a few inches and dropping it. You shouldn’t hear any jarring or clanging. If everything sounds ok, you are ready to take your bike for a test ride.
If you detect problems like a rusty chain or brakes that are rubbing, take it to your local bike shop for repairs.