Three simple things can make your bike riding much safer and easier:
- Take the palm of your hand and hit the front of your bicycle helmet. If it goes up more than one inch, you need to tighten the strap. Otherwise, if you wreck and land on the front of your helmet, you won’t land on the front of your hemet — you’ll land on the front of your head.
- Spin your pedals between 60–90 revolutions per minute. If you are not pedaling that fast, you are hurting your knees and reducing your efficiency. All you need to do is select a lower gear. If you don’t want to time yourself, here’s a 5-second video that shows about how fast that is. No need to be too strict about this. — it’s fine to pedal slower part of the time.
- Listen to your chain. If it’s squealing, it’s not happy. You need to give it some lubrication. The best kinds I’ve found are teflon-based lubes, such as this one. They last fairly long and do not attract too much dirt.