Bike Safety and Maintenance

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, but it’s important that you follow some basic guidelines to keep you and your bike safe. Each year AAPD and DPSS receive reports of stolen bikes, but by following these tips you can help keep your bicycle safe:

  • Always lock your bike! Purchasing a U-lock is worth the investment if you don’t have one already. While combo locks provide some security, U-Locks, such as this one, are much harder to crack.
  • Lock the front tire as well, but never lock your bike to just itself.

Keeping your bike in good condition will make it last longer (saving you money) and keep you safer.  Follow these two tips to keep your bike in topnotch condition:

  • Keep your bike somewhere covered that is out of the rain when not in use.  Covered porches will do, but keeping your bicycle inside during the winter months is best (see Indoor Bicycle Parking and Storage article, previous page).
  • Maintain your bicycle:  Keep your tires filled with air, tighten your brakes, and oil your chain several times a year.  Check out the newly installed bike maintenance station near CC Little. If you need assistance with your bicycle, stop by the Common Cycle repair stand during the weekly Ann Arbor Artisan Market.

One out of every 40 car-accident casualties is a bicyclist. To make sure that you don’t end up in an accident:

  • Be Noticeable:  If you bike at night, install a flashing light or wear something reflective.  If you are not easily identifiable from far away, you need to make yourself more visible
  • Be Safe:  Follow all traffic laws, and wear a helmet.  Be prepared to stop even if you have right-of-way (getting into an accident with a vehicle usually turns out better for the vehicle than the biker.)
Contributed by Alexander Blaty