Babcock Ranch will have 50 miles of paths for residents to use and biking will be one of the preferred modes of transportation. But if you haven’t ridden a bike for a few years or if you’re a beginner, you might be overwhelmed by the new choices in bikes and gear. Fortunately, there are lots of biking-for-beginner guides online to help you make the right choices.
For example, The League of American Bicyclists publishes helpful guides for buying and maintaining a bike. In addition, you can watch videos and take classes online at www.bikeleague.org.
The League offers some helpful tips, including:
- When shopping for a new bike, consider that the frame can’t be adjusted. There should be a couple inches between you and the straight tube when you’re standing, more if it’s a mountain bike.
- While seated, you should have a slight bend in your knee when the pedal is pushed down all the way.
- When picking a helmet, put one on your head without fastening the straps. The front of the helmet should be level and two finger-widths above your eyebrows. When you shake your head side-to-side, the helmet should only move a little bit.
- You don’t have to wear any special clothes for biking. Keep your pants away from the chain by rolling them up or using a leg band.
- Once you have your bike and helmet, remember your ABCs. Check the air in your tires, make sure the brakes work properly and check the chain to make sure it’s tight and well-oiled.
Once you have your bike and helmet, go for a ride. Also, remember that there is bike etiquette when riding, especially when you pass slower riders. Some tips from the League:
- Tell people when you intend to pass them. Use your voice (for example, say: “passing on your left”) or ring a bell attached to your handlebars to let them know and warn them in advance so you don’t startle them.
- When you’re riding on the trail, keep right. When passing, do so on the left and allow two bike lengths before moving back to the right.
- Use lights when it’s dark. Bike shops sell special white headlights and red rear lights for night use.
Biking At Babcock Ranch
At Babcock Ranch, you’ll be able to bike from your home to secluded wilderness areas or to the shops, restaurant, and wellness center downtown. That’s because the community is designed to encourage biking and walking and reduce the need to drive a car or truck.
For example, you might enjoy riding your bike through the woods to meet friends for lunch at Table & Tap restaurant on Founder’s Square, the heart of Babcock Ranch’s downtown district. Or you might use your bike from home to visit the farmer’s market in the morning, head to the wellness center for yoga in the afternoon or enjoy a jazz concert at the band shell downtown in the evening.
Children will love biking the neighborhoods with their friends, just like you did when you were a child. Plus, you can forget about the carpool lane at Babcock Neighborhood School because children can bike safely to school each day.