Winter is coming, and it will soon be time to put your bike away, safe from the cold and storms. If you store it properly, you'll have fewer problems when you bring it out again next year. A small amount of effort makes a big difference.
A clean bike is safe from rot and corrosion. Wipe the frame and wheels down, and remove any excess grease. Get any mud off the chain and gears. A soft-bristled brush is good for reaching into the tough spots and getting all the gunk out.
Lubricate the cables and the chain after cleaning. This will shield them against moisture and corrosion.
Make sure the tires are fully inflated. If the air is low, it will get lower over the winter. The tires will develop flat spots that will make them wear out faster.
If you have a garage or basement where you can keep the bike for the winter, that's great. If not, you might be able to prevail on a friend or relative with a bigger home.
If all you have is a small apartment, you should still be able to find a corner for it that's not too much in the way. Mounting the bike on a rack will keep it from falling over if it gets bumped. If you use a wall-mounted rack, make sure it will hold the weight without damaging the wall. Free-standing racks are available if you can't use a wall-mounted one.
Putting the bicycle on a rack for the winter, so it doesn't touch the floor, will keep the tires nice and round.
Secure bicycle storage facilities are available in some areas. Using one of them is a lot cheaper than renting an entire storage space.
Many resources are available for additional guidance. ThoughtCo presents a seven-step guide to getting a bike ready for the winter. Also take a look at this video on winter preparation from Global Cycling Network:
The government requires drivers to keep license plates on their vehicles to protect public and private safety. Commuters are opting to ride bicycles over driving cars for any number of positive lifestyle benefits, but cyclists trade off the safety afforded to drivers.
License plates are not required by law for bicycles in most areas, but there are various benefits to implementing this measure to protect cyclists in reckless riding behavior. Several American states have attempted bicycle license plate systems on a provisional basis, as documented.
Whether you are a leisurely bike rider or consider more of a passion, all riders should be in the habit of regularly cleaning their bike. Simply put, a clean bike looks betters, operates better, and will last longer.
Even if you are using your bike just to cruise to the beach or around town, Bicycling.com recommends, "Cleaning your road bike monthly (or every 20 to 25 rides) and a mountain or 'cross bike more often". So, while it may be easier just to put your bike back in the garage after a few rides, making an effort to wash your bike monthly (even if it doesn't look dirty) can really help extend the life of your bike and help with day to day operation of the bike!