• Bike maintenanceHow to make proper use of your bike.
  • How to make your bike a more practical form of transport.
  • How to keep your bike in good working order.

Please note that whilst the advice given here is given in good faith, it is up to you to ensure you are not doing anything dangerous, whatever the reason. Never taken a spanner to a bike? Then don't grease the front wheel bearing and head off down the nearest steep hill, because it will be you going over the handlebars if you've done it wrong for any reason and as a result the bearing seizes. But that warning aside, working on a bike is mostly very easy, and you can go on courses that will enable you to undertake work safely. It's money well spent. Learning how to work on your bike doesn't mean you have to do every maintenance task, but it sure is more convenient fixing something simple at home than taking your bike to the shop, especially if the problem renders the bike unridable.

Once you have worked up the courage to work on your bike, you'll find there are lots of sources of advice on the net, and you should always look up different sources and compare what people say. One of the very best sources of information, and one that is regarded as authoritative, is the Sheldon Brown website. Sheldon was a mechanic at the Harris Cyclery in Massachusetts. His web pages are considered so invaluable that they have been maintained since his untimely death in 2008.

Fools Only the Purchaser

Two locks is not always better than one

This is what I found when I locked up my bike at Sainsbury's in Selly Oak on Sunday. They were not there the day before. There was no sign of a bike (other than mine). Sainsbury's have provided secure Sheffield stands and a shelter for cycles, but if you lock your bike with this sort of "lock" in Birmingham, don't be surprised if you never see your bike again.

Human Powered Lights

Busch & Müller Toplight Flat S Plus

It's that time of year when cyclists start to think about coping with less daylight. You have a human-powered vehicle, so why not add some human-powered lighting and never have to faff about with bike light batteries again? You can do this with a dynamo lighting system. I first switched to dynamo lights a few years ago, and I've never looked back.

Training for the Hire Path

In 2014 Push Bikes visited Assen in the Netherlands. Before leaving I asked David Hembrow if there was anything I needed to know about buying a train ticket, such as ordering it six weeks in advance, carefully choosing from 58 different options, and ensuring I had a twelve character cryptokey to recover a ticket from a machine that only spoke Dutch. He assured me that train travel in the Netherlands was simple and cheap. When we got there we went downstairs from the airport, and walked up to a ticket machine.

We're Shopping

The weekly shop by bike

Last weekend I got the car out. Older readers will be all too familiar with this phrase, because getting the car out was a major undertaking. Younger readers will be unaware that cars required a weekly lubrication service, and that consequently using a car was a lot of hassle and something only done on special occasions. These days it's a lot easier, isn't it? I say no. It's true one no longer has to grovel underneath applying a grease gun, but paradoxically that very ease has made motoring even more unpleasant, for reasons I'll come to.

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