Friday is National Ride Your Bike to work day, and although morning thunderstorms in St. Louis put a damper on this unofficial holiday, it's a still time of year when many newcomers embrace the world of cycling.

Matt Hartman at Spoked on Cherokee Street is passionate about matching people with the right bicycle.

"We start by learning a little bit about you," Hartman explained.

Believe it or not, Hartman believes a bike should match your personalily and style.

"If you don't love the color of your bike, you might be less likely to take it for a ride," he said.

Another common rookie mistake for people new to the world of bikes is to buy a bike that isn't a good fit for your physique. Hartman spends a good deal of time measuring a customer's stride length, while sitting on a bike.

"Not everybody that's 5'11" is shaped the same exact way," Hartman said. "Somebody might have really long legs and a short torso or vice versa, so they're going to sit on the bike totally differently."

And one of the most common mistakes Hartman sees with people on bikes in St. Louis is a person riding a bike with the seat too low.

"If your seats too low, it would be like going for a run like this," Hartman demonstrated, jogging in a crouching position.

Finally, if you're planning to spend good money on a new or used bike, there are three other things you need.

"Helmet, lock, and lights are the big three," Hartman advises.

A helmet, for obvious reasons and a light, not so much to light the way in front of you, but to make sure cars can spot you on the road. And skimping on a cheap lock could be a disastrous decision.

"Spend $40 or $50 on a lock, because if you don't, you're just throwing away the thousand dollars you just spent."