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Bike 101 « PedalHouston

Great video.

Here’s a How-To for even the most un-mechanical: the ABC’s of basic bicycle repair. With Susan Lindell from Brooklyn’s Recycle-A-Bicycle leading the way, your dusty, rusty bike will be ready to roll in no time.

Read the full Etsy blog post etsy.com/?storque/?article/?12569


In the state of Texas a bicycle is considered equivalent to a motor vehicle and subject to the same laws that apply to motor vehicles, with a few exceptions where special rules apply to bicyclists. In most cases, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists and are subject to the same citations a motorist would receive for violating traffic laws. This means that cyclists should stop at all red lights and stop signs, signal when turning and stopping, yield right-of-way when law requires it – and by all means, NO SPEEDING! Most regular cyclists would agree with John Forester, author of “Effective Cycling” that cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles. As a general rule, you should not do anything that you would not do when you are driving your car. Make yourself as visible as possible and be predictable in your actions. Making eye contact with drivers of other vehicles can help you establish your position and communicate to them what your intentions are.

The following are excerpts of pertinent state and local laws pertaining to the operations of bicycles on public roadways. Remember – a cyclist is subject to all of the laws – these are just some of the portions of the code that are of particular interest to cyclists.


Section 545.058 Driving on Improved Shoulder

(A) An operator may drive on an improved shoulder to the right of the main traveled portion of a roadway if the operation is necessary and may be done safely, but only:

(1) to stop, stand, or park;

(2) to accelerate before entering the main traveled lane of traffic; (3) to decelerate before making a right turn;

(4) to pass another vehicle that is slowing or stopped on the main traveled portion of the highway, disabled, or preparing to make a left turn;

(5) to allow another vehicle traveling faster to pass;

(6) as permitted or required by an official traffic-control device or (7) to avoid a collision.

(B) An operator may drive on an improved shoulder to the left of the main traveled portion of a divided or limited access or controlled access highway if that operation may be done safely, but only:

(1) to slow or stop when the vehicle is disabled and traffic or other circumstances prohibit the safe movement of the vehicle to the right of the main traveled portion of the roadway; (2) as permitted or required by an official traffic control device, or; (3) to avoid a collision.

(C) A limitation in this section on driving on an improved shoulder does not apply to: (1) an authorized emergency vehicle responding to a call; (2) a police patrol, or; , (3) a bicycle.

Section 545.107 Method of Giving Hand and Arm Signals

An operator who is permitted to give a hand and arm signal shall give the signal from the left side of the vehicle as follows:

(1) to make a left turn signal, extend hand and arm horizontally;

(2) to make a right turn signal, extend hand and arm upward, except that a bicycle operator may signal from the right side of the vehicle with the hand and arm extended horizontally; and

(3) to stop or decrease speed, extend left hand and arm downward.

Section 551.102 General Operation

(A) A person operating a bicycle shall ride only on or astride a permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle.

(B) A person may not use a bicycle to carry more persons than the bicycle is equipped to carry.

(C) A person operating a bicycle may not use his bicycle to carry an object that prevents the person from operating the bicycle with at least one hand on the handlebars of the bicycle.

(0) A person operating a bicycle, coaster, sled, or toy vehicle or using roller skates may not attach either the person or the bicycle, coaster, sled, toy vehicle, or roller skates to a streetcar or vehicle on a roadway.

Section 551.103 Operation on Roadway

(A) Except as provided by Subsection (8), a person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway, unless:

(1) the person is passing another vehicle moving in the same direction;

(2) the person is preparing to turn left at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or

(3) a condition on or of the roadway, including a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard width lane, prevents the person from safely riding next to the right curb or edge of the roadway.

(8) A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near as practicable to the left curb or edge of roadway.

(C) Persons operating a bicycle on a roadway may ride two abreast. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway shall ride in a single lane. Persons riding two abreast may not impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons may not ride more than two abreast unless they are riding on a part of a roadway set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

(0) In this section, “substandard width lane” means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel in the lane side by side.

Section 551.104 Safety Equipment

(A) A person may not operate a bicycle unless the bicycle is equipped with a brake capable of making a braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

(B) A person may not operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle is equipped with:

(1) a lamp on the front of the bicycle that emits a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet in front of the bicycle; and

(2) a red reflector on the rear of the bicycle that is:

(a) of a type approved by the department; and

(b) visible when directly in front of lawful upper beams of motor vehicle headlamps from all distances from 50 to 300 feet to the rear of the bicycle.

(C) In addition to the rear reflector required by Subsection (B), a person operating a bicycle at nighttime may use a lamp on the rear of the bicycle that emits a red light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of the bicycle.

Section 551.105 Competitive Racing

(A) In this section, “bicycle” means a non motorized vehicle propelled by human power.

(B) A sponsoring organization may hold a competitive bicycle race on a public road only with the approval of the appropriate local law enforcement agencies.

(C) The local law enforcement agencies and the sponsoring organization may agree on safety regulations governing the movement of bicycles during a competitive race or during training for a competitive race, including the permission for bicycle operators to ride abreast.


Sec. 45-301.  Authority to prohibit riding on roadways.

The traffic engineer is authorized to erect signs on any roadway prohibiting the riding of bicycles thereon and, when such signs are in place, no person shall disobey the same.

Sec. 45-302.  Riding on sidewalks.

(a)   No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk within a business district.
(b)   The traffic engineer is authorized to erect signs on any sidewalk outside a business district prohibiting the riding of bicycles thereon by any person and, when such signs are in place, no person shall disobey the same.
(c)   Whenever any person is riding a bicycle upon a sidewalk, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
(Code 1968, § 46-285)

Secs. 45-303–45-310.  Reserved.

Sec. 45-325.  Definitions.

In this division the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context of their usage clearly indicates another meaning:

Child means any person under 18 years of age.

Dealer means any commercial establishment that sells or leases new or used bicycles, whether as its principal business activity or in connection with the selling or leasing of other merchandise, from a place of business within the city.

Fund means the bicycle helmet fund created under section 45-329 of this Code.

Helmet means a properly fitted bicycle helmet that is not structurally damaged and that conformed to the standards of the American National Standards Institute, the American Society for Testing and Materials, the Snell Memorial Foundation or any federal agency having regulatory jurisdiction over bicycle helmets, as applicable, at the time of the manufacture of the helmet.

Parent means the natural or adoptive parent or court-appointed guardian or conservator of a child.
Public way means any property that is publicly owned or maintained, including, but not limited to, a “street or highway” as defined in section 45-2 of this Code, a publicly maintained trail, and any public parks facility.

Wearing a helmet means that the person has a helmet fastened securely to his head with the straps of the helmet securely tightened.(Ord. No. 95-813, § 1, 7-12-95)

Sec. 45-326.  Helmet required.

(a)   It is unlawful for any child to operate or ride upon a bicycle or any side car, trailer, child carrier, seat or other device attached to a bicycle unless the child is wearing a helmet.
(b)   It is unlawful for a parent to suffer or permit a child under 14 years of age to operate or ride upon a bicycle or any side car, trailer, carrier, seat or other device attached to a bicycle unless the child is wearing a helmet.
(c)   It is a defense to prosecution that the bicycle was not being operated upon a public way at the time of the alleged offense.
(d)   It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section, upon first offense only, that the person owns or has acquired a helmet prior to the court hearing and promises the court that the helmet will be used in the future.
(Ord. No. 95-813, § 1, 7-12-95)

Sec. 45-327.  Sale or lease of bicycles by dealers.

(a)   It shall be unlawful for any dealer to sell a bicycle, bicycle side car, trailer or child carrier without providing a written statement to the purchaser advising of the terms of this division. The statement shall be in a form promulgated by the chief of police. Upon request, the chief of police shall provide a sample of the required form to a dealer. However, printing of distribution copies shall be at the dealer’s expense.
(b)   It shall be unlawful for any dealer to lease a bicycle to any person without providing a helmet for the use of each child who will operate or ride upon the bicycle or determining that each child who will operate or ride upon the bicycle has a helmet available. The dealer may impose an additional fee for use of the helmet if the dealer sells or leases a helmet to the bicycle lessee.

(Ord. No. 95-813, § 1, 7-12-95)

Sec. 45-328.  Penalty.

(a)   Any person who violates any provision of this division shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined an amount not exceeding $50.00 upon first conviction and an amount not exceeding $100.00 upon the second and each subsequent conviction.
(b)   The purpose of this division is to encourage the use of helmets. In keeping with that purpose, the municipal courts are urged to consider deferred dispositions under article 45.54 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure whenever the circumstances warrant deferred dispositions. Conditions of the deferral may include that the defendant, if financially able, has obtained a helmet and has agreed to make a contribution in support of the fund.
(Ord. No. 95-813, § 1, 7-12-95)

Sec. 45-329.  Bicycle helmet fund.

(a)   The bicycle helmet fund is hereby created. The fund shall accept donations of helmets and money to be used for the purchase of helmets. All monetary gifts to the fund shall constitute a trust that shall be deposited in the city’s trust and agency account, which may be invested as provided in chapter 104 of the Texas Local Government Code.
(b)   The fund shall be used exclusively for the purpose of providing bicycle helmets for the use of members of “very low income families” as defined in 24 Code of Federal Regulations, section 813.102, as computed for the city for purposes of section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. The directors of the parks and recreation department and the health and human services department shall jointly administer the fund and shall promulgate rules and procedures for the distribution of helmets. Helmets shall be provided on a first-come-first-served basis to the extent of available supply.
(Ord. No. 95-813, § 1, 7-12-95)

Secs. 45-330–45-335.  Reserved.

Cited from Houston Bicycle Club and Municode.com

Simple Rules to follow when you’re out on the mountain bike trails.  Respect fellow riders and pedestrians on the trails!

Trail  Rules Poster
from GHORBA.org‘s Beginner Info

How to Change a Flat Road Bike Tire

This is very important to know especially when you are riding on long rides.  It is pretty simple but it will be surprising how many do not try a dry run of changing their tube out so they are prepared for when it does happen.  Take the time out to watch the video and other similar videos to bring your game up on safety awareness.  Make sure you get the necessary tools to keep in a pouch sack under your bike saddle for emergencies.

List of bicycle parts

  • Axle – as in the generic definition, a rod that serves to attach a wheel to a bicycle and provides support for bearings on which the wheel rotates. Also sometimes used to describe suspension components, for example a swing arm pivot axle.
  • Bar ends – extensions at the end of straight handlebars to allow for multiple hand positions.
  • Bar plugs aka end caps – Handlebar plug – plugs for the ends of handlebars.
  • Bearing – a device that facilitates rotation by reducing friction. The most common types are ball, roller and sleeve.
  • Belt-drive – alternate to chain-drive
  • Basket – cargo carrier
  • Bottle cage – a holder for a water bottle
  • Bottom bracket – The bearing system that the pedals (and cranks) rotate around. Contains a spindle to which the crankset is attached and the bearings themselves. There is a bearing surface on the spindle, and ones on the cups that thread into the frame. The bottom bracket may come be overhaulable (an adjustable bottom bracket) or not (a cartridge bottom bracket). The bottom bracket fits inside the bottom bracket shell, which is part of the bicycle frame.
  • Brake – Brakes are used to stop the bicycle. Rim brakes and disc brakes are operated by brake levers, which are mounted on the handlebars. Coaster brakes are operated by pedaling backward.
  • Braze-on – a fitting protruding from a frame to provide attachment, typically for cable housings or tire pumps and similar accessories.
  • Cable guide – A fitting below the bottom bracket which guides a piece of bare inner bowden cable around a corner.
  • Cable – a metal cable enclosed in part by a metal and plastic housing that is used to connect a control, such as a brake or shifting lever, to the device it activates.
  • Cartridge bearing – A type of bearing that is not user-serviceable, but must be replaced as a unit.
  • Cassette – a group of stacked sprockets on the rear wheel of a bicycle with a rear derailleur.
  • Chain – A system of interlinking pins, plates and rollers that transmits power from the front cranks to the rear wheel.
  • Chainring – (one of the) front gear(s), attached to a crank not crankarm.
  • Chainstay – pair of tubes on a bicycle frame that runs from the bottom bracket to the rear dropouts
  • Cogset – the set of rear sprockets that attaches to the hub on the rear wheel.
  • Cone – holds bearings in place, pressed against the cup
  • Crankset – composed of cranks (not crankarms) and chainrings
  • Cotter – pin for attaching cottered cranks (not crankarms)
  • Coupler – to connect tubing together
  • Cup – receives ball bearings which roll along its inner surface; integrated on most conventional hubs or can be pressed into older bottom bracket shells. See also: Cone
  • Cyclocomputer – an electronic accessory that measures and displays instantaneous and cumulative speed and distance. Often provides other measurements such as heart rate.
  • Derailleur hanger – a piece on the rear dropout that the derailleur attaches to.
  • Derailleur – an assembly of levers, usually cable actuated, that moves the chain between sprockets on a cassette or chainring assembly.
  • Down tube – tube on a bicycle frame that runs from the head tube to the bottom bracket.
  • Dropout (bicycle part) – paired slots on a fork or frame at which the axle of the wheel is attached
  • Dustcap – any cap serving to keep dirt and contamination out of an assembly. Common over crank bolts, often plastic.
  • Dynamo – bicycle lighting component, aka generator.
  • Eyelet 1. attachment point on frame, fork, or dropout for fenders, racks, etc. 2. a hole through which a spoke nipple passes through the rim so it may attach to a spoke
  • Fairing – a full or partial covering for a bicycle to reduce aerodynamic drag or to protect the rider from the elements.
  • Fender – curved pieces of metal or plastic above the tires which catch and redirect road spray thrown up by the tires, allowing the rider to remain relatively clean. Also known as mudguards.
  • Ferrule – a metal or plastic sleeve used to terminate the end of a cable housing
  • Fork – a mechanical assembly that integrates a bicycle’s frame to its front wheel and handlebars, allowing steering by virtue of its steerer tube.
  • Frame – the mechanical core of a bicycle, the frame provides points of attachment for the various components that make up the machine. The term is variously construed, and can refer to the base section, always including the bottom bracket, or to base frame, fork, and suspension components such as a shock absorber.
  • Freehub – a ratcheting assembly onto which a cog or cassette is mounted that allows the bicycle to coast without the pedals turning.
  • Freewheel – a ratcheting assembly that that incorporates cogs and that allows the bicycle to coast without the pedals turning.
  • Hanger – part of frame or an attachment to the frame to which the derailleur is attached (see Derailleur hanger)
  • Handlebar tape – a tape wound around dropped handlebars so as to provide padding and grip, usually cork or cloth, sometimes foam rubber.
  • Handlebar – a lever attached, usually using an intermediary stem, to the steerer tube of the fork. Allows steering and provides a point of attachment for controls and accessories.
  • Head badge – manufacturer’s or brand logo affixed to the head tube
  • Head tube – the tube of a bicycle frame that contains the headset
  • Headset or head set – the bearings that form the interface between the frame and fork steerer tube
  • Hood – The rubber brake lever covering on bikes with drop style handle bars
  • Hub – the core of a wheel – contains bearings and, in a traditional wheel, has drilled flanges for attachment of spokes.
  • Hub dynamo – a generator inside one of the hubs for powering lights or other accessories
  • Indicator – a turn signal – see Bicycle lighting#Turn signals (indicators)
  • Inner tube – a bladder that contains air to inflate a tire. Has a Schrader or Presta valve for inflation and deflation.
  • Jockey wheel – one of two small sprockets of the rear derailleur that guide the chain
  • Kickstand – a folding attachment used to park a bicycle upright. Usually mounts to frame near bottom bracket, sometimes near rear dropouts.
  • Lawyer tab – also called “lawyer lips”, a retention device on the dropouts of the front fork to prevent inadvertent loss of the front wheel in the case it is not properly secured.
  • Locknut – a nut designed not to loosen due to vibration.
  • Lockring – a ring, usually metal, of varying design, that serves to retain a component in place.
  • Lug – a metal connector used to align frame components where they join each other.
  • Luggage carrier – any accessory equipment designed to carry tools, gear or cargo.
  • Nipple – a specialized nut that most commonly attaches a spoke to a wheel rim. In some systems, it provides attachment to the hub.
  • Pannier – cloth zippered storage bags that mount to sides of luggage racks. Pronounced pan-ear, or pan-yer (an old English wrod, not French).
  • Pedal – mechanical interface between foot and crank arm. There are two general types – one secures the foot with a mechanical clamp or cage and the other has no connection to lock the foot to the pedal.
  • Quick release – a skewer with a lever on one end that loosens when the lever is flipped. Used for releasing wheels and seat posts.
  • Rack – a rack that attaches behind the seat, usually with stays to the rear dropouts, that serves as a general carrier.
  • Reflector – reflects light to make bicycle evident when illuminated by headlights of other vehicles. Usually required by law but held in disdain by many cyclists.
  • Rim
  • Rotor – a device that allows the handlebars and fork to revolve indefinitely without tangling the rear brake cable
  • Safety levers, extension levers, and interrupt brake levers
  • Saddle – also seat. What you sit on.
  • Seat – also saddle. What you sit on.
  • Seat Rails – a metal framework over which saddle covering is stretched. The seat post attaches to the seat rails by means of a clamp.
  • Seat lug – a frame lug on the top of the seat tube serving as a point of attachment for a clamp to secure the seat post.
  • Seat tube – the roughly vertical tube in a bicycle frame running from the seat to the bottom bracket.
  • Seat bag – a small storage accessory hung from the back of a seat.
  • Seatpost – a post that the seat is mounted to. It slides into the frame’s seat tube and is used to adjust ride height depending how far into the seat tube it is inserted.
  • Seatstay – frame components, small diameter tubes running from top of seat tube to rear dropouts.
  • Shaft-drive – alternate to chain-drive
  • Shifter – see also Ergo Shifting and Shimano Total Integration, two competing methods of combined shifter and brake lever controls
  • Shock absorber – for bicycles with suspensions, a device that limits the rate at which suspension rebounds after absorbing an impact.
  • Skirt guard or coatguard – a device fitted over the rear wheel of a bicycle to prevent a long skirt, coat or other trailing clothes or luggage from catching in the wheel, or in the gap between the rim and the brakes.
  • Spindle – an axle around which a pedal rotates – threaded at one end to screw into crank arms.
  • Spoke – connects wheel rim to hub. Usually wire with one end swaged to form a head and one threaded end. A typical wheel has 36 spokes.
  • Steering tube – a tube on top of a fork that is inserted through frame and serves as an axle by means of which bicycle can be steered.
  • Stem – a bracket used to attach handlebars to steerer tube of fork. Usually secured by pinch bolts.
  • Tire – as in common usage. Usually pneumatic. A tubular tire is glued to the wheel rim; most tires use tubes, but tubeless tires and rims are increasingly common.
  • Toe clips – a metal or plastic cage attached to a pedal. Usually has an adjustment strap. Secures foot to pedal for increased control and more effective transfer of power from foot to drive chain.
  • Top tube – frame member leading from steerer tube to seat tube.
  • Valve stem or simply valve – port for adding or releasing air from the inner tube. Two types are commonly used: Presta and Schrader. A third type, the Woods or Dunlop valve, can still be found in Europe and Asia.
  • Wheel – as in common usage. Traditionally and most commonly spoked.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on safely driving, fitting and maintaining a bicycle.

  1. Stop at Signs and Lights
    Yes, you have to stop at traffic lights and wait your turn at stop signs too. The general rule of thumb here is this: pay attention, be considerate, and think! As a vehicle, you are responsible for following all the rules of the road.
  2. Signal
    Let other drivers (and hopefully riders) know where you’re going! It is generally accepted to signal with your left arm. To make a left turn, point to the left. To make a right turn, it is in many states acceptable to do the same with your right arm (and often more understandable to less observant drivers), but legal in all states to raise your left hand with your elbow at a right angle. After you’re done signaling, make sure you look to make sure your signal has been seen, especially when turning across another lane of traffic.
  3. Cycling Hand Signals
    Cycling Hand Signals

  4. Stay in the Road (And Off the Sidewalk)
    For many, this is counter intuitive. However, you reduce your chances of being in an accident greatly by riding in the street. Why? Visibility. One of the keys to staying safe on the road is to be visible and predictable. Think about it: cyclists move much faster than pedestrians, which means that you can enter a driver’s field of vision faster. This makes it much harder for them to see you if you are on the sidewalk. In the road, you’re right in their face.
  5. Avoid Riding into the Sun
    Riding into the sunset or sunrise reduces your visibility greatly, increasing your chances of getting hit.
  6. Use Lights at Night
    Reflectors are just not enough! If you are riding at night, use a light for both front AND rear. They’ll be worth every penny. Also wear bright clothing, as anything to help your visibility is a plus.
  7. Be Prepared
    Tires can go flat with no notice of all. Be prepared for emergency maintenance. Carry a basic toolkit, spare tires or patches. And know how to use them!

Safety Guidelines For Drivers
Pay Attention and Be Considerate!

– diycycling.com

More tips to come!