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If the the idea of a bicycle with an electric motor, called an e-bike, has piqued your interest, the E-bike Challenge will be in Minnesota in March.

E-bike Challenge Minneapolis may pique your interest with a test track

Has the idea of a bicycle with an electric motor, called an e-bike, caught or piqued your interest? If you are a commuter or recreational cyclist looking to extend your range of travel or you are dealing with a disability, you are in luck. Coming March 23–24, 2019 the E-bike Challenge will be in Minneapolis MN. The Challenge will showcase the latest e-bike models with an opportunity to try them out on the shows indoor test track.

If the the idea of a bicycle with an electric motor piques your curiosity the E-bike Challenge should be on your calendar March 22 -23.

If the idea of a bicycle with an electric motor piques your curiosity, the E-bike Challenge should be on your calendar.

The show is the first e-bike event in the United States of its kind. The E-bike Challenge Minneapolis is a place for consumers to compare and test e-bikes; at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Also called “pedal-assist” bikes, an e-bike has a battery that allows a bicyclist to ride farther—from 50–55 miles—and with greater ease. Some bicycles carry two batteries allowing a reach of up to 70 miles. The bicycle doesn’t do all the work—the rider must pedal for the “assist” to engage, enabling a more leisurely ride.

Compare all the latest e-bikes and accessories at the Challenge.

Compare all the latest e-bikes and accessories at the Challenge.

With at least 30 bicycle brands exhibiting, attendees of the Challenge will learn about—and be able to test ride—e-bikes and accessories from a variety of vendors: offering e-bikes for commuting and recreation to e-cargo bikes, e-family bikes, e-trikes. You will even find e-fat-bikes for winter or off-road riding, along with many e-bike accessories.

From Europe, the E-bike Challenge organizer

Hicle, Inc., is organizing the E-bike Challenge event. “Hicle” comes from Hi(ke and cy)cle and is dedicated to helping people “hike and cycle in the most comfortable, safe, and clean way possible.” In Europe, the Hicle organization is known for the most significant consumer fair in the world for bicycles and cycling tourism.

The show will combining both cycling tourism and cycling sports into the venue to give you all the facts.

The show will combine both cycling tourism and cycling sports into the venue to give you all the facts.

Theo Jorna, the owner of Hicle, has been active in bicycling since the early seventies. Crossing several continents and many countries, over the years, by bicycle to promote improvements in bicycling conditions. He started the Dutch equivalent of the Adventure Cyclist, as well as a magazine for traveling cyclists. Jorna organized his first Bicycling Tourism fair in 1995 and had also organized expos for cycling with children. He recently held an E-bike Challenge in the Netherlands. Combining both cycling tourism and cycling sports that event attracted more than 40,000 guests.

“We chose to host the first E-bike Challenge in the United States, in Minneapolis because the interest and the bicycling infrastructure is already in place here,” said Jorna. “There is great potential—increasing the use of e-bicycles as tools of transportation and mobility will greatly impact our daily lives as a community and society.”

Bicycling around Minneapolis

Minneapolis has 129-miles of on-street bikeways, with 97 miles of off-street bikeways. Local interest in cycling for recreation, as well as commuting, continues to rise. The E-bike Challenge will provide hands-on experience for attendees to try out and experience the many types of e-bikes and accessories.

“What if people could cycle farther or not have to put their bicycles away in the winter?” said Jorna. “A person in his or her seventies could pedal an e-bike as if they were forty again. Two or three generations could enjoy bicycling together.”

A fun test track, many workshop presentations and more

Attendees of the E-bike Challenge can try out e-bikes on an indoor track set up around the venue. The event also features breakout sessions, a kids’ bike test track, an e-bike theater space, fun family activities, and more.

E-bike industry reps will be on hand to answer all your questions.

E-bike industry reps will be on hand to answer all your questions.

Breakout sessions at the event include, “Easy commuting by e-bike” and “The secret of ice fishing with a fat tire e-bike.” A keynote presentation will feature, “How to build the future bicycling friendly city.”

Tickets for the E-bike Challenge are six dollars at the door. When purchased online, in advance, they are four dollars; and children up to 12-years are free.

For more information about the E-bike Challenge, including vendor information, visit www.ebikechallenge.com. For more information about the organizer, visit www.hicle.com.

See online, at HaveFunBiking.com, free maps for bike-friendly destinations in the upper Midwest.

Now that the winter season is in full swing here are several bike events through the balance of January, for your preferred riding pleasure.

Discover all the fun bike events over the next 15-days of January

Now that the holiday season has past and winter fun is in full swing, see several bike events through the balance of January, for your preferred riding pleasure in the upper Midwest. With above normal temps as the season progresses, you may see more icy patches, so ride with care and Have Fun!

As we plow through more snow, a bike pic to remember! This wheelie Wednesday or Hump Day, take a chance like this dude riding the MN River Bottoms, in Bloomington.

As we plow through more snow, a bike pic to remember! This wheelie Wednesday or Hump Day, take a chance like this dude riding the MN River Bottoms, in Bloomington.

Bike events, 16-days out

Jan 14 Fat Tire Monday
Spruce Hill Billy-Spruce Hill Park
Miltona, MN
Off-Road Website

Jan 16 Fat Wednesday Night Rides
Penn Cycle Minnetonka
Minnetonka, MN
Off-Road Facebook

Jan 16 Fat Wednesday Bike Races
Keller Lake Park
Maplewood, MN
Off-Road Facebook

Jan 19 Frosted Fatty
Spirit Mountain
Duluth MN
Off-Road Website

Jan 19 QBP Fat Bike Rennet
Highland Park Reserve
Bloomington, MN
Off-Road Facebook 

Jan 20 Cold Catfish Cup
Carver Lake Park
Woodbury, MN
Off-Road Facebook 

Jan 21 Fat Tire Monday
Nelson Mooner-Trailhead
Nelson, MN
Off-Road Website 

Jan 23 Fat Wednesday Night Rides
Penn Cycle Minnetonka
Minnetonka, MN
Off-Road Facebook

Jan 23 Fat Wednesday Bike Races
Keller Lake Park
Maplewood, MN
Off-Road Facebook 

Jan 27 B-B-Brrr Winter Classic
Wildflower Grove Park
Fargo, ND
Off-Road Website

Jan 27 Iowa Bike Expo
Hyvee Event Center
Des Moines, IA
Bike Show Website 

Jan 27 RAGBRAI Announcement Party
Hyvee Event Center
Des Moines, IA
Route Announcement Event Website 

Jan 28 Fat Tire Monday
Arrowwood Resort
Alexandria, MN
Off-Road Website

Jan 28-30 Arrowhead 135
Ski/shoe/Fat Bike 135 miles
International Falls, MN
Off-Road Website

Jan 30 Fat Wednesday Night Rides
Penn Cycle Minnetonka
Minnetonka, MN
Off-Road Facebook 

Jan 30 Fat Wednesday Bike Races
Keller Lake Park
Maplewood, MN
Off-Road Facebook 

Jan 30 Women’s Off-Road Cycling Congress (WORCC)
QBP (Quality Bicycle Products)
Bloomington, MN
Event Website 

See more events in the latest guide

Enjoy paging through the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide for more fun rides and events. Working on the annual spring editions, coming in April, we uncovered many events for this winter e-guide. Enjoy exploring maps locations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin!

Enjoy paging through the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide for more fun rides and events. Working on the annual spring editions, coming in April, we uncovered many events for this winter e-guide. Enjoy exploring maps locations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin!

Bookmark the new Bike/Hike GuideWinter Planning Edition and find your #NextBikeAdventure. As you explore all the bike-friendly destinations we have covered, please share your experience with us. And, don’t forget to smile we may be around the next corner with our camera, ready to capture you for our next pic of the day!

Billed as the largest one-day bike shows in the Midwest, the Iowa Bike Expo offers free admission for those shopping for destinations, gear, bikes, and more. Mark your calendars for January 26, 2019

The 2019 Iowa Bike Expo is scheduled for January 26th

Billed as the largest one-day bike shows in the Midwest, the Iowa Bike Expo offers free admission for those shopping for destinations, gear, bikes, and more. Mark your calendars for January 26, 2019 (10:00 AM to 4:30 PM)  in Des Moines at the Iowa Events Center,  Hy Vee Hall, 833 5th Avenue Des Moines, IA 50309.

What you will see in the Iowa Bike Expo

If you are looking for bicycle equipment, destinations, events, and more this is the event you want to attend. You will find many Iowa trail systems, events, and equipment vendors exhibiting from all over the country there to show you the latest. There will also be educational seminars helping you get in touch with bike advocacy, find the latest consumer trends, and learn about new places to ride.

Expo Schedule

See the current schedule of workshops, entertainment, etc. here

Current 2019 Exhibitors

The list is growing, so check here for updates to the list.

Active Edge Sports Massage
Adaptive Sports Iowa
All Ability Cycles
Altoona Road Riders
Barr Bicycle
Big Bam
Big Cock Bike Shop
BiKASE
Bike Country
Bike Rags
Bike Sparta
Bike Tour Vacations
Bike World
BikeFlights.com
BikeIowa.com
Black Girls Do Bike: Des Moines
Black Hawk Bike Coalition
Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
Borah Teamwear
Bourbon Country Burn
Capitol Row
Captain Roy’s
Cedar Falls Tourism
Central Iowa Charters
Chainspirations
Charles City Whitewater
Chichaqua Valley Trail
CIRREM/MADCO100
CITA
Confluence Brewing Company
Connecticut Yankee Pedaler
Corridor MPO
Costco Wholesale
Crit Fit Army Cycling Apparel
Custom Tags
DaBluz Boutique
Des Moines Bicycle Collective
Des Moines Cycle Club
Direct Impulse Design
Dream Team
ElevenPine
Ends of the Earth Cycling
Ergon USA
EVELO Electric Bicycles
Firetrucker Brewery
Gran Fondo Cedar Valley
Great Cycle Challenge
Iowa Craft Beer Tent
Iowa Games & Iowa Senior Games
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Iowa Ortho
Iowa Scholastic MTB Club
Jeff C Williams Bicycle Art
JETT PHC
Kaddy Rack
Kandango
Key Potential Chiropractic
Kryptonite
Kyle’s Bikes
Lake Country Cyclists
Madrid Chamber of Commerce
Minnesota Trails Magazine
Moonlight Classic Bike Ride
Moxy Monitor
Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
Old Man On A Bike Apparel
Omaura Skin
Optimum Chiropractic
Pedal Across Wisconsin
Pingora Outdoors
Quad Cities Bicycle Club
Raccoon River Valley Trail Association
RAGBRAI
Rails to Trails
Ridebiker Alliance
Rolling Prairie Trail
RS Welding Studio
Sauk Rail Trail
Silca
SRAM
The Happy Mutant
Thrive Family Chiropractic
Tour De Brew QC
Tour de Nebraska
Tour of Minnesota
Trek
Urban Bicycle Food Ministry
Velocity USA
Velorosa Cycling
Vero Chiropractic
Wabash Trace Nature Trail
Whiterock Conservancy
Wilderness Voyageurs Bike Tours

For directions and more information on the announcement party

For Directions to the Expo Hall, Lodging and the RAGBRAI Announcement Party check here

Have Fun!

What do you do when it feels colder outside than a stare from your ex-girlfriend? I’m talking super cold, like dark side of the moon cold. Well here are our best tips for managing frostbite cold weather on you bike.

Tips and tricks for riding in the cold weather of zero degrees

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

We at HaveFunBiking are nearly experts at riding in cold weather. Being from Minnesota, it’s a bit of a necessity to manage the cold. For most places in the country, cold means down near freezing, but what do you do when it feels colder than a stare from your ex-girlfriend? I’m talking super cold, like the dark side of the moon cold. Well here are our best tips for managing frostbite and cold weather on your bike.

Cold weather riding be realistic

Being realistic is the most important thing. When the temperature gets perilously cold, your ride can go from fun to life-threatening in a matter of minutes. Start by figuring out the route and a few bail-out points along the way if things go wrong. Next, make sure that your ride isn’t beyond your level of gear (more on that next). Finally, be sure that you know which direction the weather is going, cold weather is a way different thing to handle if it’s cold and windy, or cold and snowing.

Get the right gear for cold weather riding

Riding in temps approaching and dipping below zero requires very different equipment than riding in temps just below freezing. While you can often use the same jacket, pants, tights, and insulating layers, keeping extremities warm becomes a new challenge.

-goggles

In temperatures below 5 degrees, your eyes will water, and those tears will freeze. Both dangerous and uncomfortable the best way to combat frozen eyes is ski goggles. I find ski goggles to work better than sunglasses because they are typically more resistant to fogging, cover a larger area, and seal around your eyes.

-balaclava

A balaclava (or ski mask) will cover everything on your head but your eyes. It can protect your nose, cheeks, neck, and ears from frigid winter temps. Additionally, they are usually relatively thin, so fitting them under a helmet is more comfortable. To find one that fits well, make sure it will cover your face quickly, but also be able to stretch open enough to expose your mouth and nose (see image below).

There are tons of exercises, drills and products to help you keep your fitness through the winter riding months.

-boots

Keeping your feet warm is paramount to keeping you warm, and nothing works better than winter boots. There are plenty of winter hiking boots that you can use with flat pedals and a few cycling specific winter boots that work clipped in. In both cases, be sure that the footwear is waterproof.

-gloves or pogies

Claw style gloves work best to keep your hands warm. They bundle your fingers together to conserve heat. I also like to get super thin wool glove liners and use them in conjunction with my winter claw gloves. This first layer can stay on your hands if you ever need to take the outer gloves off. If the gloves and liners aren’t cutting it, you can also look to pogies. A pogie is something that mounts to the bike around the handlebars and creates a warm little pocket.

Highland Claw

Details of the Highland Claw.

Pogies are awesome when things get frigid cold.

-hand and foot warmers

Another great accessory that helps keep your hands and feet warm is a chemical warmer. Readily available at most outdoor stores, these warmers react with the oxygen in the are to create heat. When using them, open them and leave them exposed to the air for a few minutes before shoving them in your glove for best results.

Start warm

I’ve talked in the past about starting a bit cold for winter riding. While this is good advice for the high freezing temperatures, your body will have serious issues creating enough warmth once the temps revolve near zero. Wear enough to be warm walking outside, and your ride will be pleasant. Also, store your clothes and gear in a warm place. Leaving your boots an gloves in a cold garage is a sure fire way to freeze yourself out.

Waterproof

Being dry is being warm at super cold temperatures. For this reason, waterproof clothing helps a ton. Waterproof gloves, boots, jackets, pants, and gaiters will keep the water out and warmth inside.

Having fun

Above almost all else, a positive attitude will keep things fun in the cold weather. That positive attitude also helps if you need to cut rides short. Be appreciative for the time you had to ride vs. the time you wanted to spend outdoors. You may only get 40 minutes, so enjoy it.

Enjoy paging through the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide for more fun rides and events. Working on the annual spring editions, coming in April, we uncovered many events for this winter e-guide. Enjoy exploring maps locations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin!

The new 2019 e-guide is here for planning your next bike adventure

Enjoy paging through the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide for events and fun places to ride. Working on the annual spring editions, coming in April, we uncovered many fun facts for this planning e-guide. See many maps we have identified in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin for your #NextBikeAventure

Thanks for viewing our new 2019 bike planning e-guide

Now rolling into our 12th year as a bike media, our goal is to encourage more people to have fun. In this expanded e-guide issue, we have added more free bike maps to review for planning your next adventure.

As we continue to showcase more destinations you can explore, we are all about capturing fun photos to capture those memories. Hopefully, some worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post at HaveFunBiking (HFB)? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Please include a brief caption (for each), who is in the photo (if you know?) and where you shot the picture. Your photo submitted should be at a medium resolution or more, for consideration. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit at HaveFunBiking and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure. Here you will find all the information you will need when visiting one of our Community Map Partners, accessible on your mobile-friendly devices.

Watch for our spring print guides in April.

As 30-Days of Biking progresses in April, the spring 2019 Bike/Hike Guides will be available in both print and digital format. So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure.

Please share all our pic’s with your friends and us on our Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to smile; we may be around the next corner with our HFB camera, ready to capture you for the next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable New Year!

WingLights is an inexpensive blinker light system for bicycles to display a very visible directional turn signal at an intersections.

Making a bicycling experience safer with a handlebar blinker light system

Here at HaveFunBiking we have shared blinker systems embedded in bicycle helmets, rear mounted signaling lights and now for those who have flat handlebars, the WingLights. This inexpensive directional light system (a perfect stocking stuffer) easy mount into each end of the handlebars. Then, when making your turn, simply tap the light at the end of the right or left handle grip and move to the proper lane. Just like signaling when driving a car. As a cyclist riding on the road or trail you will find added comfort and visibility in displaying your intention when changing lanes or direction.

Just tap the right blinker before gesturing with a right hand signal.

Just tap the right blinker before gesturing with a right hand signal.

Just tap the left blinker before gesturing with your left hand signal.

Just tap the left blinker before gesturing with your left hand signal.

The WingLight directional blinkers work well on rough roads where cyclists need to have both hands on the handlebars. Just a quick tap on the surface of the selected light and it begins to flash. Then in 45 seconds, which in most cases is long enough to make the turn, the light turns off to save on your battery

Winglights currently available in two options

The WingLights Mag, their original, is a high-quality turn signal system that magnetically attaches to your handlebar ends. It is easy to install and use. These turn signals flash bright amber and can be seen from all angles. When removed, the units clip together onto a keyring for safekeeping. The Mag is compatible with all handlebars with an inner diameter from 14.7mm to 23mm. They retail for $49.99 and batteries are included.

The WingLights Fixed v3 is a brand new, non-magnetic turn signal, built to the same high specification as the original system. Like the Mag, the Fixed v3 is permanently attached to your handlebar. The Fixed v3 sells for $34.99, on Amazon.

For more information and other products visit the manufacturer at www.cycl.bike

Brighter and safer blinkers

The blinkers help to improve cyclists’ visibility in dangerous areas, in and around intersections.

Using hand signals along with WingLights

At HaveFunBiking.com, we highly recommend the continued practice of using hand signals. This turning light system, like others on the market offers added visibility to show your intentions when changing directions. However, they should not replace the practice of using hand signals. By continuing to gesture your movement with hand signals, along with blinkers, you multiply your chances of being seen, and staying safe.

Installing the WingLights blinkers

With this review, we found installation quick and easy, taking under ten minutes. At the end of each handlebar grip, cut a sharp knife so the handlebar tube is exposed. Insert the rubber plunger of the Winglight firmly into the handlebar and tighten. You will find full instruction included in the package or for a comprehensive guide on this blinker system check out the instructional video here. 

Sorry, these blinker lights are not suitable for all handlebar types

The current WingLights are only available for straight (sometimes referred to as flat) handlebars. Curved handlebars with a maximum curvature of 30° also work. The company is working on a design compatible with drop bars, bullhorn handlebars, or cruise bars for the future.

 

Bike, ski or walk on water safely with these helpful safety tips

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

For many, not familiar with the bold north, walking on water or biking is a fun winter tradition. In the Minnesota region of the upper Midwest, Mother Nature’s annual temperature swing allows many the opportunity to safely pedal, hike or ski across the frozen water. Typically, for three to four months, riding a bike across a body of water with a sheet of ice over the surface is a regular occurrence.

Biking across a lake opening up new places to explore and view the shoreline from a different angle.

Biking across a lake opens up new places to ride and view the shoreline from a different angle.

Along with the proper clothing for a comfortable ride in the winter, here are some things you need to know to ensure a safe time pedaling across a lake or stream frozen over.

First and foremost, know the thickness of the ice

There’s no way around it. While many visual cues can help you determine if it is safe to roll out or step onto the ice, the most reliable way to find out is to measure the thickness.

There are a few tools you can use to measure the ice. An ice chisel can be stabbed into the ice until it penetrates all the way through. A cordless drill with a wood bit also works well to auger a hole to measure the thickness.

What is a safe thickness?

Any ice thickness less than four inches, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources states on ice thickness, should be avoided at all cost. At four inches the ice can support activities like bicycling, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and walking. At five to seven inches the ice can sustain the weight of a snowmobile or an ATV, while eight to twelve inches is needed to support the weight of a small car. And while these guidelines are generic, ice conditions vary, and the above is for newly formed ice. Make sure to read more on thickness before going out there.

Measuring in one place is not enough. Take measurements in several different areas (approximately 150 feet apart) to ensure that the entire area is safe. Ice thickness can vary, even over a relatively small area—especially over moving water.

Asses the area visually

A visual assessment can help supplement your measurement, and can also help if you’re relying on someone else’s measurements.

Visually keep an eye out hazards that may be developing in the ice.

Visually keep an eye out hazards that may be developing in the ice, especially through connecting lake channels.

Watch for signs of danger like cracks, seams, pressure ridges, dark areas (where the ice is thinner) and slushy areas—even slight slush signals that the icing isn’t freezing at the bottom anymore, which means it’s getting progressively weaker.

The color of the ice

Check out the color of the ice. Clear, blue or green ice that is thicker than four inches should be ok enough to bike on. White ice typically has air or snow trapped inside, weakening it. Dark ice might be an indication that the ice is quite thin—probably not thick enough for biking or hiking.

The Fresher, the better

New ice is typically stronger than older ice. As time passes, the bond between ice crystals decays even in freezing temperatures. When the spring thaw begins, the ice weakens considerably. It can be tempting to head out for one last ride across the ice, but it is safest to say no. Even if ice fits the measurement criteria, it can still be hazardous.

No ice can ever be considered “safe ice”

Along with knowledge of the thickness of the ice and a visual assessment here are four more suggestions to help minimize the risk when biking on the ice:

  • Carry ice picks and a rope
  • Have a cell phone or personal locator beacon along
  • Don’t go out alone; let someone know about trip plans and expected return time
  • Before heading out, inquire about conditions and known hazards with local experts.

Know the proper rescue techniques

Anyone doing anything on the ice outdoors should know ice rescue technique. Even kids should be familiar with the protocol, so be sure to educate them ahead of time. If someone in your party falls through the ice, the first thing to do is call 911. Anyone still on the ice should slowly lie down, distributing their weight over a larger area.

Reach the person in the water using a long reaching assist—a large stick, a rope or a ladder if available. The person in the water should be instructed to kick and slowly ease their way out of the water. Once they make it to the surface, they should crawl or roll away from the broken ice area.

Anyone on the ice, including the victim and rescuer, should avoid standing up until they are far away from the broken ice. As soon as possible, get the victim into dry clothing and treat them for hypothermia.

There are tons of exercises, drills and products to help you keep your fitness through the winter riding months.

Fun and fitness when winter bike riding is not your thing

by John Brown

Snow, ice and cold are excellent conditions for Fat Biking, but how do you keep your fitness if fat biking isn’t your thing? Luckily, there are tons of exercises, drills, and products to help you keep you in shape through the winter months.

winter riding

Fun is fat through the winter

Off the bike fitness ideas

Even the smallest efforts help you stay fit. Trying things like taking the stairs rather than the elevator, parking on the opposite side of the lot and walking when shopping or taking time in the evening to go for walks around the neighborhood will make a big difference when the riding season comes back around. You can also start putting some time in at the gym. In the past, I had a gym membership that I would turn off except for three months a year. I enjoyed yoga classes, weight training, treadmills, spin classes, as well as all sorts of other gym related activities.

On the Bike training

Besides fat biking (which is the best winter riding option) you can enjoy your bike through the winter by buying an indoor trainer. An indoor trainer holds your bicycle upright and offers resistance when you pedal, thus turning your bike into a stationary bicycle. When using an Indoor trainer, you can ride from the comfort of your own home or in a group setting. Most bike shops have trainer nights in their stores through the winter.

winter riding

Trainer rides are a great way to connect with other riders

If you join a shop’s group trainer ride, there is usually a leader. However, riding alone can still be fun. Most people start riding their trainer while watching TV and it’s a great plan at first, but that quickly gets boring. I find it interesting to use trainer specific workouts online. There are plenty of free and for-pay versions. Additionally, depending on the trainer you buy, some of those workouts will change the resistance through your trainer.

Spin classes

Most gyms offer spin classes. These classes use a stationary bicycle, music, and instructors to guide a course through a one-hour workout. These rides are enjoyable and offer an intensity that is difficult to achieve riding alone at home.

Winter riding

Spin Class is a fast and fun workout

There are, however, a few downsides with spin classes to keep in mind. One issue is that a spin bike won’t fit the same as your bike. Many riders will install their saddle and pedals on a spin bike before each class. The other potential problem is that the courses you can select, are not tailored toward your personal goals. The levels are usually high tempo, high effort workouts that might not fit with your training plan.

Fun in the Snow

If you live in a colder weather climate and snow is the reality for months at a time you can enjoy the white stuff and keep your fitness. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating are fantastic ways to get your heart rate up. I love skating on our pond with my boys because one, I’m not good at it, so I get to use new muscles and two, I have to work hard to keep up with them.

winter riding

Our winter oasis where I fumble through learning to skate

However, you find your fitness through the winter, enjoy your time off the bike. The brief time between fall and spring is perfect to strengthen new muscles, work on flexibility, and let your body recover from a full season of cycling. Additionally, time off the bike always makes me more excited to get back on it once the weather clears.

Winter fat bike season is once again upon us as the leaves fall and temps become cooler. While riding a fat bike is much like riding a regular bike, there is a certain fat bike etiquette to keep in mind when you get out there on the trail this winter season for some fun.

Fat Bike Etiquette vs. Rules of the trail as the winter season progresses

by Jess Leong  

Winter fat bike season is once again upon us as the leaves fall and temps become cooler. While riding a fat bike is much like riding a regular bike, there is a certain fat bike etiquette to keep in mind when you get out there on the trail this winter season for some fun.

Everyone on the trail wants to have a good time and make memories in the bold north’s crisp clean air. Whether that’s biking, hiking snowboarding, skiing, riding a snowmobile, or snowshoeing, these are all valid activities. At the end of the day, for everyone to have a good time, you need to share the trail. These rules below not only keep everyone free from harm, but it also keeps it comfortable and fun for everyone.

Fat Bike Etiquette – Being Polite and Respecting All Users of the Trail

Yield to all other users of the trail when riding. This includes hikers and especially skiers since they do not have brakes to stop when traveling. Be constantly aware of your surroundings for who and what is around you. Everyone is trying to enjoy the outdoors. When on your Fatty:

  1. Ride on the firmest part of the track to prevent making a deep rut in the trail. These cuts more than a few inches are difficult, if not impossible, to repair.
  2. Stay as far right as possible on the trail. This is so that skiers, snowmobiles, etc. can pass on the left.
  3. Do not ride on the Nordic trails or classic trails. These trails are specifically groomed and tires that go across or over them ruin the trails and can cause problems for those people using them. Being respectful and sharing the trail is important for the enjoyment of everyone.
  4. Respect any closures or alternative days where bikers or skiers specifically have the trail. This is also important because if the trail is closed no one will be looking out for you if you fall. Plus, other trails might be closed or have maintenance going on. This can cause problems if you’re there.
  5. Wear reflective clothing and use lights or blinkers. This helps signal to others where you are from a distance. Skiers and snowmobiles travel quickly and seeing you as far away as possible can help them change their route so there is no collision or problems that will arise.
  6. Consider donating to the shared trails to help cover the cost of maintenance. It takes people to keep the trails well groomed and ready for people to ride, ski, or hike on them. A donation can go a long way to keeping that trail ready for when you want to use it again.

If you are riding in a group, do not ride side by side. This makes it hard for anyone passing by to get through or weave around. It also can block up the trail.

Rules of the Fat Bike Trail

Many general rules of the fat bike trail are the same as mountain biking or riding on regular trails. However, there is a major difference to keep in mind in addition to the general rules of the trail.

Understand ice travel and how to do it safely. Riding in the winter means riding on top of ice and snow. Throughout the winter there will be times where it’s warmer or colder out which can affect the ground beneath your tires. Know how to deal with this. Many people also ride on top of the frozen water. Riding across a frozen lake or river can be extremely dangerous if the ice were to crack. Learn how thick the ice needs to be to carry your weight, plus your bike when venturing across frozen waters.

Always bring items with you that can help in case you’re in a situation when the ice does break from under you. International Mountain Bicycling Association recommends that ice picks and a length of rope should be taken along if riding on lakes or rivers.

Practice fat bike etiquette, follow the the rules of the trail and have fun.

Practice fat bike etiquette, follow the rules of the trail and have fun.

Fat Bike Etiquette – General Rules of the Trail

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions. This list is also on IMBA‘s website and on our Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Before You Ride

  1. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions.
  2. Let People Know: Make sure there’s at least one other person who knows where you’re headed, when and where you left from, and when you’re hoping to get back. Any things can happen on the trail and if something ever happened, it’s important that someone knows where you might be.
  3. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness. This mean, you guessed it, check ahead of time!

While Riding

  1. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
  2. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.
  3. Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
  4. Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.
Riding a trail system before it snows is advisable when possible.

Riding a trail system before it snows is advisable when possible.

Don’t Forget!

Also, always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Search here for an IMBA Club to join and don’t forget to HaveFun!

 

Jess Leong is a freelance writer for HaveFunBiking.com.

The Strider Snow Cup has been dubbed the “Toddler Tour de France,” and will be held at Buck Hill, in Burnsville, MN on March 2nd.

More kids on bikes with the 2019 Strider Snow Cup at Buck Hill

by Leslie Prevish

The Strider Snow Cup has been dubbed the “Toddler Tour de France” by the Wall Street Journal, ESPN and others. A world leader in teaching young children to ride and rip on two wheels, Strider Bike has announced Buck Hill, in Burnsville, Minnesota, will host the Snow Cup on March 2nd. Toddlers ages five and under will shred the bunny slopes on their Strider 12 Bikes outfitted with the Strider Snow Ski accessory for a day of snow-filled fun. This family-friendly Snow Cup program is an extension to Striders events, offering a much different climate for two-wheeling toddlers to ride in.

Toddler Powder Takeover Set for 2019 Strider Snow Cup

After numerous successful Strider Snow Cup events held across the globe, including Russia, Japan, and the United Kingdom. This event at Buck Hill marks the first Strider Snow Cup in the United States since 2013.

Using Strider’s accessories the Strider 12 Balance Bike can be converted for use in the snow. This makes riding year-round fun and in any climate a reality.

Snow Cup attendees can expect an atmosphere of fun and encouragement. As toddlers put their Strider skills to the test, the atmosphere will make for unforgettable video and photos.

Pre-registration for the Strider Snow Cup is required. Each child that registers receives a Strider Snow Cup bib, Strider goodie bag valued at over $50, and a single-day use lift ticket to Buck Hill for their parent or guardian ($45 value). Registration is $36 and now open at www.StriderBikes.com/BuckHill.

The Strider Snow Cup Series

This will be the first Strider Cup Race of 2019 in the United States, find more races scheduled below, as the snow melts:

  • May 4, 2019: LA Live, Los Angeles
  • June 15, 2019: Boulder Civic Area (Central Park), Boulder, Colorado
  • July 6, 2019: The Commons, Minneapolis
  • October 4-5, 2019: NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, North Carolina (Strider Cup World Championship).

 No qualification is necessary to participate in a Strider Cup or Strider Cup World Championship event. Registration for the May – October 2019 races will be available January 2019 at www.StriderBikes.com. Dates and locations subject to change.

About Strider Sports International, Inc.

Strider creates and inspires future generations of riders by giving children as young as six months old the best first-bike experience. Strider Bikes revolutionized the bike’s design to develop a child’s balance first and pairs each balance bike with a proven learn-to-ride process. Children across the globe are starting out on a Strider Bike and becoming two-wheeling virtuosos – before they’re out of diapers.

Founded in 2007, in Rapid City, South Dakota, Strider has sold more than 2 million bikes and is distributed in more than 75 countries. Visit www.StriderBikes.comFacebook or Instagram.