Sorry you had a crash! You might feel a rush of adrenaline, especially if there was a car involved. Try to stay calm and take your time, carefully assessing your body for injuries and your bike for damage. Even if you don’t think there is any damage to you or your bike, be sure to get the contact and insurance information of the driver. After your body calms down from the adrenaline rush, you might notice injuries you didn’t before. Similarly, when you bring your bike to the shop, we might notice damage you didn’t notice on first inspection. We have these handy little accident report cards you can carry around with you that prompt you to fill out the important details from an accident, compliments of Bike Safe Boston.
Ride as far to the LEFT in a bike lane as possible to avoid car doors that might open suddenly, aka the door zone. Check out this video for a demonstration on exactly how far that needs to be. Getting doored is unfortunately very common. Drivers often do not check their rear-view mirrors before swinging their doors open; legally if you get doored, it is always the driver’s fault (unless it’s dark out and you don’t have a front light and they say they didn’t see you). Don’t forget: cyclists have the legal right to take up the full lane of traffic if conditions are unsafe! That means that even if there is a bike lane on a street, you are not legally obligated to ride in it. Especially when the bike lane is being obstructed.
When you see a bike that says that it’s 21” (or 56cm; usually road bikes are measured in cm and mountain, hybrid and kids bikes in inches), that measurement refers to the distance from the top of the seat tube (rather than the seat) to the center of the bottom bracket. The first step in figuring out if a bike fits you is to stand over the top tube (as though you were riding the bike and stopped at a light). You should have 1-2 inches of clearance between you and the top tube. There are many aspects of bike fit, standover height is just the beginning. This article goes into depth about different fits for different types of bikes. If you’re wondering how you can get your bike to fit better, bring it in and talk to one of us!