May
24
2016

Bike Safety Tips for the Many Bike Trails in the Cleveland Area

by Mens Cuts for General Information, Lakewood

Biking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Photo courtesy of www.carelessohio.org

There are so many great places to explore in the city of Cleveland. The Cleveland area has many attractions including museums, parks and many biking and hiking trails. Many cities have installed bike lanes to make it easier and safer for bicyclists to ride in the cities. Lakewood, the home of Men’s Cuts is a very bike-friendly community. This encourages people to get up and exercise as well as help the environment.

 

Is your bicycle ready for spring and summer biking? Are you ready to “hit the road” on your first bike trip of the season? Before you head off on your first ride, it is vital to properly prepare the bike for the street and bike trails. Below are tips to get your bike ready for safe riding for the entire family.

Bike Cleaning, Repair and Spring Tune-Up Suggestions

  • When removing a bike from storage in a garage, basement or in a storage unit, it is very important to conduct a good bike tune-up and inspection. If the bike is in need of repairs, then they need to be taken care of before riding.
  • Clean the bicycle to make it look great for the first ride. Clean the frame with warm soapy water and use a soft-bristled brush to clean the pedals. Dry off the bike with a clean cloth.
  • Inspect the tires and rims for any damage or needed repairs. Turn the bike upside down and give the wheels a good spin. Check to see if the wheels are spinning smoothly and not catching on anything.
  • Inflate the tires to the correct tire pressure listed on the side of the tire. Inspect the tires for wear, tear, fraying, cracks, holes and bald patches. Replace the tires if these damages cannot be replaced.
  • Inspect the brakes and brake pads to make sure that they will allow you to be in control, safe and allow you to slow down. The brake pads should hit the wheel rim at the same time for braking.
  • Check the power train including pedals, gears and the chain. Replace any worn gears or chains. Chains should be replaced every 2,000 to 3,000 miles. Test the gears to make sure they shift easily. Inspect cables that are cracked or damages.

Bike Safety Tips

Once you have prepared your bike, then it crucial to follow biking safety rules. AAA has put together some great bicycle safety tips for all ages. Before you hit the bike trails, it is very important to know bike safety rules so you and your family are safe on their bicycles. Below are just a few biking safety tips to keep in mind as you riding this summer:  

  • Wear a bicycle helmet. Helmets should fit snuggly, but not too tightly.
  • Wear brightly colored clothing so people can see you.
  • Obey traffic signs and lights.
  • Always ride on the safe side of traffic on the right hand side of the road.
  • When riding with others, ride in a single file.
  • Bikes should fit you and the type of riding that you are doing such as mountain biking or just riding on a road.
  • Make sure you have reflectors on the bike’s sides, rear of the seat and on the pedals.
  • Make sure that the tires are inflated to the proper pressure.
  • Plan your route before you leave and let your family know where you are going.
  • Yield to pedestrians on the road or bike trails.

Biking Trails in Northern Ohio

The Cleveland area is blessed with many public parks and quite a few bike trails and trail systems in and around the city. The area metro park systems offer a variety of bike trails for the casual to more professional rider, including the Lakefront Trail, Emerald Necklace Trail, the Towpath, bike trails in the Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park trails and many more.

The Cleveland Metroparks  has over 100 miles of shared-use paved all-purpose trails for cycling, walking, running and in-line skating. Bicycles are permitted on the roadways in the parks, but vehicles are prohibited on the trails. There are many trails throughout the park system. For west siders, there is the Huntington Reservation Trail,  which is located around and near Huntington Beach in Bay Village. The Rocky River Reservation trails are split between a North Trail starting in Lakewood and ending in North Olmsted and a South Trail, starting in North Olmsted and ending in Olmsted Falls/Berea.  The Big Creek Reservation Trail runs through the Brook Park and Parma area.  For those closer in the city, the Ohio and Erie Canal Trail is part of the Towpath project that runs south from the Cleveland Zoo to Rockside Road in Independence.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park starts in Independence and heads south to Akron. The park is known for the Cuyahoga Valley National Train Line, which gives a 3-hour roundtrip journey to Akron and back. But, to really explore the wonders of the park, it is best to take one of the many biking and walking trails. There are five major bicycle only trails in the park: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, East Rim Mountain Bike Trail, Summit Metro Parks Bike and Hike Trails and Cleveland Metroparks trails. The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is the most popular in the park.  The trail is over 20 miles long that runs in and out of the national park. There are picnic areas, restrooms and train stations along the route. If you only do a portion of the trail, you can hop the train, with your bike, back to your original starting spot.

Now is the time to get your bike ready and explore the many great parks in the Cleveland area! Have fun and ride safe!