Spring is upon us… finally! You may vaguely recall that for the first day of spring, which was the 20th March, there wasn’t much hope in the air. These past few weeks however, have put a ‘spring’ in my step and a smile on my face as I get on my bike and ride. So with that in mind, I’ll jot down a few spring tips to get into the groove.
1. Tuning up your bicycle
You may think that the first thing to do when you read ‘tune up’ is to take your bicycle to the shop but wait – that might not be necessary at all. Here at Otesha, we’re big fans of doing it yourself or at least having a good go. If you’ve been riding all winter long, the first place to start would be to give your bicycle a good clean. It will do wonders! Some of us have even been known to take our bikes apart and clean all the little bits as well. It’s a joy having a gleaming chain. Don’t knock it till you try it.
The next tip would be to make sure you take a good hard look at your tyres and your brakes. Make sure the tyres are at the proper pressure and test out your brakes. You can do a search for tips online although I particularly enjoyed this article.
And if you want a hand, come along to our free Dr Bike sessions at our new home, Workshop 44, 44 Marlborough Avenue, E8 4JR. We’re here to help on Tuesdays 5-6pm.
2. Spring Cleaning
Some of us, and I do emphasise the word some, enjoy a little spring cleaning when the sun’s out. That could include a wide variety of activities. Generally though, I’m a big fan of de-cluttering my closet, and wiping down those barely seen corners of the room.
We’re a big fan of using our very own cleaning products. Did you know that everything you need to disinfect and clean your home is probably already in your store cupboard? There is a silent genius lurking on the supermarket shelves. Click here for some ideas and recipes to make your own.
In all the cleaning flurry, also consider our new and improved “3-Rs”:
- Rethink: Do I need this?
- Refuse: “No, I don’t need a bag (I brought my own).”
- Restore: Try to fix things instead of just throwing them out. Or better yet, transform things into something else. We’ve mastered the art of turning a tetrapak into a lovely wallet.
- Reduce: Get library books instead of buying new ones, and buy vintage clothes instead of new gear. If you’re a woman, you can also reduce your waste by buying yourself a keeper, mooncup or luna pads.
- Reuse: Scrap paper, lunch containers, etc.
- Rrrr-Compost: It’s like reusing food.
- Then, only when you’ve exhausted all the other options: Recycle!
3. Plant something
As “Otesha” is a Swahili word that means “to plant something and make it grow”, try your hand at planting something. It can be something as small as a sunflower seed to growing your own veg. For those with small spaces, I absolutely adore this inspiring site based in Newcastle Vertical Veg. And if you want further help, sign up to our Bimonthly Bemusings newsletter here. May’s newsletter is coming out shortly and includes great links to our challenge to plant a seed.
4. Go through Otesha’s Fun Action List
It’s been a while since we’ve gone through our Fun Action List so try it out. There are great things to do in and around your house, some you may have forgotten about. See how many you can tick off.
Have any more tips for us? Drop us a comment below.