Friday, September 22, 2023

From handlebars to wheels, how to upkeep your bike

More cyclists than ever are hitting the local trails due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with this many cyclists on the road, some are hoping it will highlight the need for infrastructure improvements. (file photo/Max Pixel)
More cyclists than ever are hitting the local trails due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this also means there’s a bike shortage. (file photo/Max Pixel)

WILLIAMSBURG –Since the beginning of the pandemic, many people have turned to bicycling as a way to not only stay active, but to get themselves out of the house to enjoy fresh air in a safe manner.

As a result, many dragged their old bikes that they may have not used in a while out of the garage. These bike may have not seen the light of day since who knows when.

Or, there is also the other type of person, that realized that they needed a new bike, and turned to people like Wolt Stryker, owner of Bike the Burg, to get a new ride.

“Sales have been good,” Stryker said. “But I sat here all last summer with almost no inventory.”

Because of the increased demand for bicycles since last spring, Stryker said that there has been a bike shortage in the industry.

“We don’t have the amount of bikes that we want, however, I was lucky to order a huge order a year ago. Those should be ready soon,” Stryker said.

And what’s the most popular bike Stryker sells?

Suspension mountain bikes. “I sell those before they even hit the floor,” he said.

But another part of his business is dedicated to bike rentals of all shapes and sizes for people who want to experience the colonial capital on a pair of wheels. Since the pandemic, Stryker said his rentals are way down.

So say, for instance, you can’t find the new bike you want, but you still have your old one. How do you maintain it and keep it safe enough to ride? Stryker had some sage advice for that.

“Know how to store your bike,” he said. “Obviously, you’ve heard not to leave your bike out in the weather, but folks like to store their bikes in kickstands, but when you do that, the tire can go flat or get a flat spot in the tire.”

Stryker said that the best way to store your bike is to hang it on a hook, like hanging upside down from your garage ceiling.

However, the biggest part of maintaining your bike is to just keep it clean. “ You can actually just blast the bike with a hose,” Stryker said, adding that people are often too gentle with the hose. He also advised not to use products like WD40 to lubricate the bike chain, as it attracts dust and dirt.

If you are in the market for a new bike, Stryker advises residents to choose a bike that they are comfortable on. “Because if you’re not comfortable, then you’re not going to ride it. Folks are better off getting a bike that puts them in the right position.”

Bike the Burg is located on 515 York St. The store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Bike the Burg is closed Mondays. For more information, visit their website here.


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