With May being bike month, you might find yourself reaching for your bike helmet instead of the car keys. An easy way to remember what to check on your bike before heading out, especially if you haven’t ridden it in a while, is ‘ABC Quick Check‘:
A – Air: Check the air in your tires. Inflate to the pressure listed on the side of the tire. Spin the wheels and check for wear. If there’s less than 1/4” of tread, it’s time for a new set.
B – Brakes: Brake levers should stop short of reaching the handlebar when pulled. Brake pads should be clean, straight, and contact the rims. You should still be able to see the pattern of grooves in the brake pads. Check coaster brakes by spinning the back wheel and pushing the pedal backward.
C – Chain: The chain should move freely, be free of rust, and lightly oiled. Pro tip: Avoid solvents like WD40 on your chain – use a lubricant instead.
Quick – Quick-release levers: If your bike has quick-release levers, make sure they are all closed.
Check – Give the bike a gentle bounce, looking and listening for anything loose: Take a slow, brief ride to check that your bike seat and handlebars are adjusted to the right height and that everything is working properly.
If your bike needs attention beyond the ABC’s, take it to a local bike shop for a thorough tune-up.
With 2021 now upon us, you should be aware of these three new laws affecting motorists:
Unattended children in motor vehicles: Exempts a person from civil or criminal liability for trespassing or damaging a vehicle when rescuing a child who is 6 years old or younger in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of ventilation, or other dangerous circumstances. [Effective Jan. 1, 2021]
“Move Over, Slow Down” amendments: The “Move Over, Slow Down” law has been expanded to apply to local streets and roads. Drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights, including tow trucks and Caltrans vehicles, must move to another lane when possible, or slow to a reasonable speed on all highways, not just freeways. [Effective Jan. 1, 2021]
Points for distracted driving: Beginning July 1, violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driving record.
For more information on new driving-related laws taking effect in 2021, click below.
Is carpooling for you? Here’s a quick test: Do you dislike sitting in traffic, enjoy saving money and wouldn’t mind a little company on the drive to work? If you answered “yes”, keep reading. Myths Debunked “It’s hard to find people to carpool with.” Finding people to carpool with is actually easier than it’s ever been. Beyond networking with friends, neighbors & co-workers to create a traditional carpool, apps like Lyft Line, UberPOOL, Scoop and Carzac help you connect with a carpool one ride at a time with no long-term commitment. Advance planning ranges from a few hours (Scoop) to a few minutes (LyftLine, UberPOOL). “Carpooling doesn’t offer enough flexibility.” Carpooling works best when you tailor it to your needs. You don’t have to carpool five days a week; you can carpool as much as you like. Would you like to alternate between riding and driving? That can be arranged. And if you enjoy having no long-term commitment but want to go app-free, you can always try Casual Carpool. Just remember, there’s no wrong way to carpool!
“If I miss my carpool, I’ll be stranded.” The Guaranteed Ride Home program ensures that carpoolers (and other alternative commuters) have a ride home when the unexpected happens. In the event of a crisis, unscheduled overtime or a carpool vehicle breaking down, Guaranteed Ride Home will reimburse you for your taxi or rideshare trip home up to six times a calendar year if you’re registered in the program.
NOTE: Which Guaranteed Ride Home program you’re eligible for depends on your county of employment. For more information, click the appropriate county program in the table above.
The Benefits of Carpooling
Here are some strong arguments in favor of carpooling:
Faster Commute: With access to more HOV lanes in Contra Costa County, you travel faster and get to work sooner
Save Money: Splitting the cost of gas and tolls saves you money
Cleaner Air: Fewer cars on the road means less emissions and better air quality
Less Stress: Getting out from behind the wheel allows you to read, relax, or even work
Be Social: If you have to drive to work, why do it alone?
Get Happy:Studieshave shown a direct link between shorter commutes and greater satisfaction with life
Ready to give carpooling a try? If you live or work in Contra Costa be sure to sign up for the $25 Commuter Incentive, then visit the 511CC Carpool page for more information on how to get started! If you have any questions about carpooling, feel free to contact us by firstname.lastname@example.org.