One of the show's subplots this week was about how neither Gloria nor Manny knew how to ride a bike, eliciting from Jay an exasperated, "Two thirds of my family can't do what a billion Chinese do every day!"
There are two good angles on cycling presented here. One is Jay's pre-flight checklist, and the other is Gloria's fear of bicycles. Those are pretty much the two aspects of bicycling for people with little experience with bikes, and for overprotective worriers. Safety and fear.
I agree with "laces" in that you need to be sure that you aren't wearing anything that will get sucked into your chain or wheel. I tuck my laces into my shoes and cuff my pants before riding each time. Unless I'm on the Lady's cruiser which has a chain guard. Then I don't worry about it. And, truth be told, not worrying about it is so nice that I've considered putting a chain guard on commuter.
Mirror and bell? I have neither and honestly don't consider them necessary. As far as safety accessories go, I'm all about lights and don't think I can have too many. I turn my lights on, front and back, before every ride, night or day.
The only other thing I do before each ride is give my tires a squeeze to see if they could use a top-up.
So my pre-flight checklist would be Laces, Lights, Tubes!
- Falling down. That happens. I've fallen down a dozen times, mostly during the winter, and it is ... not a fear, but a concern of mine. Valid fear, Gloria. I just put on some grippy tires and try to lower my center of gravity when it's slick out.
- Looking silly. Sometimes that happens, too. But it's all perspective. Lycra/Spandex racers and utilitarian commuters look pretty silly to each other. And from the perspective of a nice warm car, all cyclists probably look silly in 20 degree, snowy weather. I don't worry about it.
- Getting snatched up! A hilariously unlikely fear, despite Gloria eventually being snatched up by Claire. (Who didn't pedal off before completing a quick "Laces/Mirror/Bell" check.)
One of the real winners of the show was when Gloria dismissed the bicycle, saying "There's no way it should stay up," and Jay in turn dismisses that argument, "There's no reason you should stay upright, either. It just works."
Female anatomy and the physics of riding a bike: it just works!