If you live near or close to the Twin Cities, help the Free Bikes 4 Kidz (FB4K) bike giveaway program in its 15th year. Volunteer to help put more smiles on children's faces. Donate your time to help clean, prep, or wrench some of the thousands of bicycles collected this year for their distribution drive before the holidays and in the spring.
For many of us, being active and enjoying fun winter activities (biking, hiking, skiing, etc.) is what memories are made of while contributing to good health. Despite the lifestyle changes of new technology and evolving viruses, there's still plenty of room to participate in some outdoor fun. Seeking out healthy activities may be even more important now as winter approaches. Doing something you enjoy can distract you from problems and help you cope with all the new life challenges that cause stress.
Are you ready? The worldwide Global Fat-Bike Day helps to bring outdoor enthusiasts together to ride and make new friends. This year, on Saturday, December 2nd, there are several rides here in the upper Midwest to honor the mission of this event. Check them out!
Electric bikes can be used in cold or wet weather like most standard bicycles. However, you may need some accessories (like rain gear or studded tires for winter) to ride safely. Most e-bike models also provide a high-quality, water-resistant casing to protect your battery when wet and cold. You can ride an e-bike at any temperature, but the colder it is, the more it may impact the battery’s range. So bring your battery (or the entire bike + battery) inside if you’re not riding it, if possible. Do not leave the battery on the bike if parking the e-bike outside in the winter at any time.
Whatever your riding style, downhill, cross-country, or a leisurely ride after work, you'll find plenty of mountain biking trails. Minnesota offers many off-road trails to shred. No matter your skill level, you will find plenty of glaciated ridges: lush forests, and open prairies to explore. Plan your next outdoor adventures with our list of mountain bike trails in Minnesota. You will find many fun opportunities year-round, as many trails are open for fat biking throughout winter.
No matter how brave you are sometimes weather conditions keep you from conquering those trails with indoor biking. This is especially true as the mercury drops and turns our beloved Earth into something reminiscent of the Russian front. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to have fun with indoor biking. Maybe with a spin class?
Having enjoyed another summer season of cycling with many great memories, it's time to think about preparing your bike for winter storage. Unless you plan to pedal your two-wheel steed throughout the winter. If not, wouldn't it be nice when the temperature warms next spring, you are ready to ride? And you are not cleaning and tuning up your bike when you should be riding next spring. Or even worse, waiting two to three weeks or more for your bike shop to get it ready for you.
Congratulations, Zamira Mendoza, from Redwing, MN, our e-bike contest winner. She won the new Magnum Navigator X, from our 2023 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide campaign. It was refreshing to see her enthusiasm and plans on how she will use the bike. She is excited and plans to use her new e-bike to commute to work. With the many hilly streets and trails along the Mississippi River bluffs, her route will be easier. Stay tuned for another e-bike contest in 2024,
Living in the upper Midwest with four unique seasons, fat biking can be a fun way to pass the time in the winter while getting a good cardio workout. Many studies state the benefits of staying active in cold weather, and riding a fat bike will do that. As an avid cross-country skier, times are changing. With climate change affecting us all, the fat bike is a great alternative to stay active throughout the winter when the ski trail turns into a bobsled run.
With cooler weather approaching, it's time to clean and store away your summer bike gloves especially if you plan to reuse your gloves next year. Even if they look clean, they are not. How often have you wiped the sweat from your brow, or worse, as a tissue? Cool mornings and pollen make them disgusting bacteria collectors if not cleaned regularly or before storing. Here are the best ways to clean them, even if they are not machine washable.