3 Tips for Choosing a Kid’s Bike

The holidays are fast approaching, and with them comes the desire for a shiny new bike.  Bicycling is a fantastic activity for children for health and other reasons.  But it’s important to make sure that their bicycle is a good match for their body shape, interests, and skill level.  With that in mind, here’s what to consider when choosing a kid’s bike:

  1. Some of the most important factors are the child’s height, arm and leg lengths, and age.  There are general guidelines that can assist in this choice, such as matching five- to eight-year-olds with 16-inch bikes and teens with 24-inch ones, but these can vary quite a bit from one youngster to another.  We strongly recommend having the specialists at your bike shop assist you in choosing a kid’s bike.  This might spoil the surprise on Christmas morning, but it will also help to ensure that the child will enjoy his or her new bike for a long time to come.
  2. What kind of riding will he or she be doing?  For just getting around the neighborhood or for sticking to well-paved routes, a cruiser or comfort bike is a perfect choice.  But if he or she wants to go off-road, you’ll need a different type of bicycle altogether.  This is also true if your kid wants to enter the world of competitive cycling.  So take the time to find this information out before visiting your local bike shop.
  3. Lastly, we urge you to shop for a kid’s bike at a business devoted to selling quality bikes.  The ones found in most big-box retailers are made with inferior components that can detract from the joy of riding, and in some cases can even compromise safety.  An additional reason to go to a good San Antonio bike shop is so the bicycle can be assembled properly and inspected thoroughly to make certain that all parts are in good working order.  That’s the kind of service you just don’t get from mass merchandisers.

Did you know that we offer Christmas layaway terms?  We know that budgets are tight these days, so we’ll be happy to work with you to arrange payments that fit your budget.  You can take up to three months to pay, giving you the time you need before now and December 25th.  So come by to see us, and bring your child along; we look forward to matching him or her with a great bike at a reasonable price!

6 Bike Safety Tips for San Antonio Bikers

San Antonio and surrounding areas are prime real estate for cyclists; the city’s rich history and scenic beauty make it a perfect location for a relaxing bike ride.  Unfortunately, it only takes one accident to turn a pleasurable ride into a tragedy.  So here are 6 bike safety tips that can help ensure a pleasant trip and safe return:

  1. Always practice road awareness – This means being aware of vehicles, landmarks, potential obstacles, and pedestrians on all sides of you—not just directly ahead.  Knowing what’s behind you is particularly important; some cyclists have bar-mounted mirrors for this purpose.
  2. When traffic slows, move to the middle of the lane – This is important both at intersections and when you’re matching the speed of surrounding vehicles.
  3. Obey road markings – Just like motorists, you have a legal obligation to follow all traffic laws.  Don’t go straight when a sign says “right turn only.”  Don’t turn left from a right turn lane.  Don’t rush to beat red lights.  Be a good rider and a good citizen.
  4. Always be ready to come to a stop – Even highly observant cyclists can’t always predict when a child will run out in front of them or when a car will cut them off.  So keep both hands ready to operate the brakes at all times, just in case the unexpected occurs.  Remember that braking in wet weather requires extra stopping distance.
  5. Use hand signals – Motorists can’t read your mind.  Taking a second to signal your intentions can spare you a lifetime of suffering and regret.
  6. Dress weather-smart –San Antonio’s weather may range from chilly to wet to hot.  Dress in layers on cold days, wear a waterproof riding suit when it rains, and wear light, moisture-wicking clothes to beat the heat during Texas summers.

With the holidays approaching, lots of people are in the market for a quality bicycle.  Did you know that Alamo Bike Shop offers layaway terms?  All it takes to start your account is a 20% down payment, and you can take up to 90 days to pay off your purchase.  Drop by today to browse our great selection of new and second hand bikes.

9 Biking Etiquette Rules to Follow

Cycling is a fast-growing activity that offers huge benefits, from improved health to unparalleled opportunities for adventure, fellowship, and discovery.  Being a responsible cyclist means observing basic principles of biking etiquette.  Here are some rules we should all follow:

  1. Never ride against traffic.  Motorists don’t expect to see you coming at them, and this could cause accidents.
  2. Ride as close to the right side of the road as possible to allow drivers to get past you with minimal fuss.
  3. Obey red lights and stop signs.  Also, watch out for right-turning vehicles.  The driver might not notice you’re there.
  4. Allow others their right of way.  Don’t crowd out pedestrians, either along public roads or on greenways.
  5. Always use hand signals, for your own protection as well as that of others.
  6. In a group, always ride single file when sharing the road with autos.  Simply put, don’t hog the road.  You don’t like it when it’s done to you.  Neither do others.
  7. Don’t weave if it can be avoided.  Of course, sometimes it can’t be helped, like when you have to avoid an upcoming hazard such as a car door being thrust open.  Otherwise, however, ride in a predictable straight-forward manner.
  8. When riding after dark, always use a light and reflectors.  This is crucial for your safety and that of others.  Every year, hundreds of serious injuries and deaths occur because this simple guideline is ignored.
  9. Be considerate when parking.  Don’t get in the way of cars or people on foot.  With public bike racks, use as little space as possible.  Always secure your cycle with a quality lock and chain.

Following this simple biking etiquette can help make your experience, as well as everyone else’s, much more enjoyable.

Alamo is a leading San Antonio bike shop.  Our mission is to help you to enjoy cycling to its fullest.  Let us know if you have any questions or concerns we can help with and drop by anytime for bike-related sales or service.