We are our own bicycles' worst enemy.

I came home for lunch one day and noticed my daughter had parked her bike in the driveway after running errands. She often does when she will be going back out again on her bike. I parked my bike next to hers, and it was convenient to have it right there for me after lunch.

However, shortly before rehearsal her boyfriend asked her to come over to his house for supper. He lives too far away for a bicycle, so she got in the car.

I'm sure you can see where this is headed. CRUNCH. She backed over her bicycle.

I can imagine the horror she felt! But the frame is intact, and most of it can be repaired. The rear wheel can be replaced.

This is a pretty common accident to happen to bicycles, actually. A friend of mine admitted he destroyed his first good bike when he leaned it up against the back of his jeep after an exhausting mountain bike ride and then forgot to put it in the jeep.

Another common mistake is to try to go into the garage with a bicycle on the roof mounted bike rack.

But the most common mistake that destroys a bicycle is to store it outside, unprotected from rain and humidity. After a few weeks of that, the bike will need a major overhaul to be usable again. Unfortunately, many apartments and dorms prohibit residents from storing bikes inside. If bike racks are provided at all, they are unsheltered. Even if bikes are allowed inside, space limitations and stairs make it a difficult proposition.

If I had to store a bike outside in the open, I would cover it with a tarp and clean the chain more frequently. But if I wasn't going to be riding the bike for a long period of time, such as over the winter, I'd find an inside place to store it, where it would be protected from the weather as well as from thieves.