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Bicycle Maintenance Tips

How I love Mackinac Island. I call it my stomping ground. I have been going there since I was a kid with my family. I never miss the Festival of the Horse. Imagine a place where cars never replaced the horse and carriage. I love the pairing of the rhythm of horse-clops and the waves. It is a magical place for sure and you don’t have to go far—say to Hawaii or Tahiti. It is right here in the US. In addition to the carriages that are coveted by the tourists, you can also ride a bike. It is the most common mode of transportation. If go roam far afield, you must know how to take care of it in preparation for long rides, and what to do if you have a flat. Keeping a bicycle in tip-top shade means oiling the chain, securing any lose parts, testing the brakes, and using an air compressor to maintain the proper air pressure. Bike tires are easy to inflate at home or on the road.

I know all this because I found myself in a flat tire dilemma one lazy afternoon as I was hitting the local bike trails without advanced preparation. I did not have my air compressor with me so I just had to wait for help, which took what seemed like a very long hour. One after another, cyclists rode by and didn’t stop. I was about to start shouting. I suppose it was because they were in a hurry or thought I was just resting. I wished that I had a “help” sign. Finally, a kind soul with an air compressor saved the day. I will try to remember to bring it along next time. I lost some time but not enough to deter me from continuing on my chosen path. I love being outdoors. My preference is to be on horseback, but a bike is a close second. I own a horse and tend to its needs myself. I take better care of it apparently than my bike. I have learned my lesson. As much as I ride my bike, I have never had a mishap. You start assuming that nothing will ever happen. Don’t kid yourself.

On a bike, you are mobile and can see the glorious scenery of Mackinac Island. People call it the jewel of the Great Lakes for good reason. It is a very special place. The vistas are incredible. Then you can stop for a bite in a local café or to shop in the many quaint stores. At night, the island is transformed as people come out to enjoy the happening music and to patronize the lively bar scene. If you are in the area and want a terrific vacation, join me on Mackinac Island. There is something for everyone. They celebrate Halloween with glee, have yacht races, a lilac festival, and Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. Come join the fun.