The crew at Pioneer Cycle in Blaine is ecstatic the snow is melting and winter is finally in the rear view mirror.
Pedal power is the m.o. at Pioneer Cycle. The family run business has hundreds of bike selections and they have a history in the city. They were happy to dole out some biking tips for the new season.
“Make sure that your tire is on your rim good,” Pioneer Cycle owner Denise Wolens said. “Put air in it. Air up your bike. I just put it up to the max – especially in the spring. It’s cold, it’s fine.”
“You’re going to want to make sure that when you’re inflating your tires you go slow,” said Spencer Wolens, who also works at Pioneer. “If you go fast with the air compressor and you’re not checking it you can often see the little rib on here and your tube will pop.
Besides tires, there are other things to check on your bike to make sure you have a safe and smooth ride in the coming months.
“You’re going to want to lubricate your bike,” Spencer said. “You can spray everything – that’s your chain, your pivot points and your cables. Careful not to spray your wheel or your braking surfaces if you have a disc brake.”
“You want to make sure your brakes work,” said Denise. “You want to test your equipment before you leave. You want to make sure nothing is broken or bent that would keep it from working when you get out on the trail, so that when you leave you know you’re going to get home on your bike.”
“Make sure everything feels snug,” said Spencer . “Your brakes should feel snug. Nothing should be bent. Spin your wheels. Make sure your wheels spin freely.”
Wear bright colors
According to Denise, it’s critical that cyclists make themselves visible – especially when riding on busy roads.
“Nothing wrong with wearing a whole bunch of yellow,” Denise said. “High vis yellow. You don’t necessarily have to have a bike jersey. You can have a yellow jacket. You can have a yellow helmet. Whatever it takes. Lots of flashing lights. Bikes are vehicles. You have to think like that. So your front lights should be white and your rear lights should be red.”
When the weather heats up, so does business at Pioneer Cycling. On a recent day there was a steady stream of traffic as people were checking out the bike selection. These mild temps are giving North Metro residents a chance to shake off the cabin fever and winter doldrums by getting on the bike trails.
“I think people are over techy,” Denise said. “They’re on their phone all the time and they want to see something different. I think they can be around a lot more green. They see trees. Sounds different when you’re on a bike.”
The gang at Pioneer recommends getting your bike tuned up once a year if you pedal lots of miles. For those who bike occasionally, every other year is good.