Elements of Cycling–Bicycle Maintenance

“Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?”–Emerson, Nature


Update April 1, 2020:  New Mexico has designated bicycle shops as essential.  Thanks to all for speaking to this important issue: https://www.sfreporter.com/news/2020/04/01/bicycle-repair-shops-named-essential/

Bicycle shops provide essential services for citizen health and safety.  We need bicycle services more than ever during these times. Some public health orders were not clear on whether bicycle shops were designated as ‘essential businesses’ during the current public health crisis. Bike shops are definitely providing essential services to workers, families and especially our children. The first rule of cycling safety is maintenance and a pre-trip inspection. In addition to maintenance, bike shops do repairs, match us to appropriate equipment, and provide a host of services from bike fitting to route finding and sharing local expertise.

The pre-trip inspection is necessary for bicycling trips, just like I did every day when trucking

“One of the principles of health promotion is to support an individual or community in taking control of their own health.”  –BCCHC (Bernalillo County Community Health Council, March 2020 announcement)

Many of the workers we rely upon use the bicycle to commute to work, such as doctors, nurses, food workers and more, plus the bicycle is used for deliveries and essential errands. It’s important to ensure people have the assistance they need to make sure their bicycle is safe to operate. This ‘basic bike check‘ is the first step before any ride.


Bicycle shops are foundational for public safety and healthy communities. They provide the equivalency of services that automotive shops do for cars.  As we review things with fresh eyes, we recognize bike shops as essential service providers for transportation safety for all citizens. The humble bicycle is simple yet incredibly effective at making seamless work of uniting our basic needs for health, community, and practical mobility for everyone. This is a good time to put cycling to all its uses.  Thank you bike shops for keeping us moving forward together!


On March 28th, the Dept. of Homeland Security amended its guidance to include “bicycle maintenance” and “employees who repair and maintain …bicycles” as part of the essential workforce: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce This is guidance.  It only becomes law if our states and local entities follow it

City of Albuquerque bicycling information, including a bike map

PedBikeSafe is a resource about road design elements that citizens can use to be more informed and understand proactive safety measures, risks and hazards, and countermeasures.  http://www.pedbikesafe.org

The League of American Bicyclists has tips for maintenance and guidance on traffic laws. CyclingSavvy is another good educational resource, including what cyclists need to know about trucks.

Access ABQ’s community network of bike shops, instructors, organizations, etc. through the League of American Bicyclist’s page on New Mexico resources.  Contact a LAB certified instructor from this page if you have any questions or need a link to further resources.

Bloomberg Philanthropies partners with NACTO to provide the Transportation Response Center including tools for cities to support cycling  https://nacto.org/program/covid19/

The NM DOT 2040 Transportation Plan has goals of providing “multimodal access and connectivity for community prosperity” (Goal 4) and improving “safety for all system users” (goal 2).  One NMDOT Action is to “emphasize safety for the most vulnerable system users (e.g., older citizens, children, pedestrians, and bicyclists)” [p. 28].  Utilizing private sector partnerships with existing business such as bike shops furthers these goals.

More from the League of American Bicyclists webinar,
“Bicycling is Essential – How Bicycle Shops Are Staying Open Under Stay at Home Orders.”

  • The webinar recording can be accessed here
  • Several people asked about the Facebook group for bicycle retailers mentioned during the webinar. That group can be found here
  • The National Bicycle Dealers Association forum is available here
  • PeopleForBikes spreadsheet on Stay-at-Home orders can be found here
  • PeopleForBikes resources for retailers and the bike industry can be found here
  • My most recent map of state orders can be found here, follow KEN MCLEOD, Bike League Policy Director, on twitter @kenmcld for updates
  • The updated federal guidance, which says bicycle repair is essential can be found here

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