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Biking in Montreal

February 20, 2011

Fenders Make a Difference

February 13, 2011

If you are out riding today, you probably got all wet!  It is fun when it is hot, but when you are dealing with cool temps, it can be hard.  One way to stay dry, is to cap those 26″ tires with some fenders.  That is why a used bike can be a very good investment.

New bikes are often developing some great new fenders, baskets, and great seats, but often they do not.  If you can, I suggest getting a new bike, and then match the frame size to a used on, and make a merge of the two.  That way, you do not have to spend all the money on the extra add ons, and get what you need.

Used bikes come with baskets, bells, lights, nice fenders, and other great sturdy parts.  New bikes have better tires, rims, seats, and handle bars and brakes.  The mix of the two will really make your custom the best ever!

Your Next Ride Should Be Soon

February 5, 2011

So many bikers leave the ride to the last possible priority, and that is not a healthy thing.  The best thing about the ride, is the great amount of healthy energy you receive from the road.  Many people suffer from seasonal depression, and it is really easy to get stuck in a place of sadness when you are not exercising. Being at the gym is just not the same, as the effect of being outside, being apart of nature, seeing the sun, feeling the wind, and enduring either the heat or the cold of the natural world a true pleasure.  Nothing can beat this stress beater!

So, the next time you feel like you can not find the solution, are having trouble working through a problem, and are feeling exhausted and just down, get on the bike.  It is a miracle of release, and endurance.

The best things in life start and end with a bike ride!

Get Excited for Warmer Weather!

January 27, 2011

Remember this scene?  Soon, we are all going to complaining about how hot it is!  So, how can you get to upset at the winter weather?  It is a joy when it is close to freezing, as the cool temperature only makes your lungs work better, and you get great amounts of oxygen in the colder weather.  It is a real blast!

So many bikers are so fair weather, and only the bikers that like the thrill of trying a really rainy day, a possible hail storm, a winter snowy pass, or a steamy hot day enjoy the thrill of being prepared for the weather, and dealing with it.

The best is when you come in from the cold, and hit a shop or store to warm up a bit, and the older lady at the counter sees you come in, sees your face, and runs over to see if you are OK.  Oh yes, I am OK.  It is a ride I will never forget!

Keeping Comfortable on Your Bike

January 19, 2011

Often when you ride, you experience exhaustion not in your muscles or your mind, but in the places you touch on your bike.  Your hands, your feet and your butt.  It is not fun when you have a pain or any kind of weariness in these areas.

So, to improve your ride, and ensure you ride for as long as your muscles and your mind wants you to move, try these tricks for these areas.

1.  Use a big seat, and try a skinny one.  I have tried those gel seats, ewwww….I didn’t like them, but an old schwinn bike triangle seat, with the springs underneath, works really well for me.  I got one online, and it was not that much money.  Now, I carry it with me!  You might not like a big seat, and that is great, it is a preference.  Just be sure to stick with the experiment until you do find the solution.

2.  Handle bars up not down.  Do you remember the curved race bike handle bars?  Who used those things?  I know it is supposed to be more air resistant to lean down, but, I lose all interest in riding when I am hunched over.  I want to slow it down and experience the world!  For me, a handle bar with a high grasp is key, and I have monkey rigged my handles up high, so I can brake and steer when I want to, and still watch that bald eagle over there…

3.  Pedals free of cages please.  Some bikers like to snap their feet into the pedals, and really make themselves part of the bike.  I find that a bit hard to fathom, especially when you have experienced a fall and used your break free of the bike technique.  I think a good pair of shoes that are thin in the soles make for great bike shoes.

Bike Lock Picked

January 18, 2011

We have all had our bike stolen at one time or another.  It is just one careless end of day omission, or a dumb cheap bike lock that we use to secure our treasured ride.  Sometimes, even with a good lock, you have your lock left behind, or even stolen with your bike.  The fact is, most key locks, and combination locks, can be filed, or picked.  Here is a video showing how fast you can do it.

The simple fact is, if you leave your bike anywhere, you lose some control over your possession.  It will be a good idea, to think about registration with your city, county, and ensure you keep that information handy.  Another idea, which is a great one for you Minneapolis readers, or other city readers, is look for valet car parking lots, and talk to the valet there.  You can usually find a bike rack inside, and pay for a monthly rack fee, or just for the day.  They are happy to help out, and are good at adding another set of eyes, along with a lock.

Riding in the City

January 15, 2011

The city is a great place to bike, as you have lots of bike paths, and ways to get your bike around.  You can bike to a bus stop, and then put the bike on the bus to get you around even more.  There are areas on the train where you can stow your bike, and often, if you have the time, you can bike all the way there!

The problem comes in with the mix of people that you have to live and work around.  There are those that do not step on a bike all year long, and ride in a car or van to get around.  These are the people that you need to be aware of, as they love to park in a bike lane, and then stop there for drop offs or deliveries, or put the hazards on to keep it there for a bit.

The bike lane is a contentious place, as you can really get in trouble if someone parked next to the path, decides to leave the parked spot, or even worse, open their doors.  So far, there are not enough bikers to voice the look over the shoulder request, and it takes time for this new way of thinking to evolve.

If you are biking in the city, find good paths to ride on.  Work on the city council to ensure the paths are as far from the beaten path as possible.  Register your bike with the city so it is recoverable if it is stolen.  Do your part to be patient with non-bikers.  They are going to be bikers someday, so we all need to involve them in our activities.