Although I have been an avid cyclist for many years, it is amazing that I still find myself as a beginner in so many aspects of this sport. Because of this, I am constantly discovering little items that I feel I can't help but to pass along to others just starting out in cycling. So here goes:
1) Don't Wash Your Bike at an Automatic Carwash. I've got nothing against the automatic carwashes where you just hand your keys to an attendant and they drive it around to a track that automatically pulls your vehicle through. In fact, I take my VW microbus there once a month. The thing is though, with your bicycle, it will keep falling over on the track and most of the brushes will miss it completely - not to mention that it will get pretty scraped up in the process. For washing your bike, I recommend any of the gas station car washes where you can actually stay on your bike as it goes through. This will ensure that your bike remains upright to achieve the best cleansing possible.
2) Don't Keep Your Fluid Replacement Drinks in Your Tires. Okay, I've got to admit I thought this was a good idea at first. See, my bike is old and it doesn't have brazed on lugs for water bottle cages - so, I figured I would fill the tires with a sports drink instead of air. There were a couple of things wrong with this thinking. Number one, and probably the most obvious, was that as the ride progressed and I drank more, my tires got flatter. Number two - it was hard as double-heck to get my lips between the spokes to suck that stuff out of the valve stem.
3) Don't Ride While Still Attached to an IV Bottle. This happened a few years ago when I checked out of the hospital after having brain surgery. It was necessary for me to still be hooked to an IV for a couple of weeks after I was released. Naturally, I thought I had taken every precaution and had equipped my bike with a special apparatus for the IV bottle - hangers for the tubing, etc. I had stopped at a red light just a couple of blocks from the hospital when some kids in one of those monster pickups jacked six feet off the ground pulled up beside me. Apparently they had switched the contents of the IV bag during the red light while I wasn't looking - because all I can remember is pedaling about two or three more blocks when all of the sudden I started experiencing this fantastic, blurred light show. Then I came to in Des Moines, Iowa - 1500 miles and three hours later. I've been approached several times over the last few years - like when Tony Rominger and the boys get together to attempt new speed and time records - but I always turned them down. That wasn't a very pleasant experience for me.
Enjoy the ride!