Category Archives: News

A bike pic and event to remember! This photo was taken last year at the Get Phat with Pat event which is coming again this Saturday, January 23, in the Minnesota River Bottoms in Bloomington, MN.

Bike Pic 18, Get Phat a bike pic and event to remember! 

A bike pic and event to remember! This photo was taken last year at the Get Phat with Pat event which is coming again this Saturday, January 23, in the Minnesota River Bottoms in Bloomington, MN.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Bike Pic’ of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are 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? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable year ahead!

Towards the southern edge of the Bloomington river bottoms trail there's a bridge that takes you across the Minnesota River. Right before the Bloomington Ferry Bridge you'll see a rocky slope that travels down into the woods. This slope is the start of a great adventure.

First impressions: Bloomington River Bottoms Trail

By Andrew Ellis

Towards the southern edge of the Bloomington river bottoms trail there’s a bridge that takes you across the Minnesota River. Right before the Bloomington Ferry Bridge you’ll see a rocky slope that travels down into the woods. This slope is the start of a great adventure. It’s known as the Minnesota River Bottoms Trail. Now, you may worry that you can only ride with a mountain bike on the singletrack trail, but you are safe on a regular trail/path bike also. You just have to watch where you’re riding.

The Bloomington River Bottoms Trail

The ride itself is fun and challenging. The trail is made out of dirt. While it may be smooth riding for the most part it’s not immune to the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Pedaling along you may come across places that are soft and muddy from a recent rainfall. Not only that, but this trail is used pretty regularly so you’ll see other tire tracks that have gone through and made the puddles deeper and muddier in the aftermath. Usually you can ride through or ride around it. If you ride through, you may feel your tires slip but as long as you keep going you should be fine. Riding around the puddle will take a little more concentration. You may either be able to find a dry area around its perimeter where your tires can fit or an area that hasn’t been touched.

It’s Friday and time to ride off on another weekend of fun taking in that next bike adventure that maybe includes testing out a fat bike ride.

The Minnesota River Bottoms is not only a great place to ride Fatbikes, but the birthplace of them.

For most of the ride you’ll be along the river with a few trails leading you away. You’ll come upon many obstacles as well, such as logs set up for you to ride over if you wish and different turns that will keep you alert. Small trails will split off the main path and take you to other scenic areas, but usually connect back to the main trail eventually. While the trail is mostly flat, the sandy conditions can make it hard to pedal. Also, the trail often changes shape after the river floods which makes for unique rides!

Here is a fallen branch that acts as a bridge in the MN river bottoms.

Here is a fallen branch that acts as a bridge crossing the Bloomington’s river bottoms.

You’ll find a few opportunities to cross the tributary streams that feed the river. One is a wood bridge that’s also partly on a fallen tree branch. You can certainly try riding across and risk falling in, or you can carry your bike across. There’s also a floating dock that allows room for you and your bike. You’ll use the rope to pull yourself across the river so you can continue your ride.

Enjoy an upper body stretch pulling you and your bike across river.

Why the trail is fun!

It takes a little more concentration than paved trails, but the uncertainty of what you’ll encounter is all part of the fun. On a paved trail you can have plenty of fun with the different twists, turns, climbs, and descends. You’ll even have plenty of views to stop and look at. But this track is different. While it is maintained, the trail gives you the feeling of being unprotected. It’s just you and the elements. There will be plenty of debris on the trail, and more than a few low branches that you’ll either have to dodge or be okay with them hitting you in the face.

Winter fat bike fun is back in the upper Midwest as this biker takes a break for this photo opp.

And winter biking is always fun on the Bloomington River Bottoms Trail.

Find out more about Bloomington’s biking opportunities here.

A bike pic to remember! This wheelie Wednesday take a chance, if life were a mountain bike trail a wheelie could help smooth out your day-to-day ride or aided in dropping into your sweet spot.

Bike Pic Jan 17, wheelie Wednesday may help you into your sweet spot

A bike pic to remember! This wheelie Wednesday take a chance, if life were a mountain bike trail a wheelie could help smooth out your day-to-day ride or aided in dropping into your sweet spot. Why not review the following tips to make your week an adrenaline high?

This photo was taken last fall at the West Marion Lake Mountain Bike Park in Lakevile, MN.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Wheelie Wednesday’ Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are 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? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Fond summer memories on RAGBRAI, as this biker chick in the saddle riding across Iowa enjoys fresh country air, soybean fields and wind turbines along the way.

Bike Pic 16, fond summer memories stir plans for 2018 rides

Fond summer memories on RAGBRAI, as this biker chick in the saddle riding across Iowa enjoys fresh country air, soybean fields and wind turbines along the way.

View the new  National Bike Guide and all the fun rides coming up in 2018.

Thanks for viewing today’s ‘summer memories’ Pic of the Day

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are 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? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!

Athlos custom cycling clothing: Out of the box review

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Having been involved with many teams and clubs over the years has given me the opportunity to own many pieces of custom cycling clothing. I have also owned lots of name brand cycling clothing. What I have found, there are some pros and cons to both custom and brand name products. This brings us to a great conversation I had with the guys at Athlos, during the Interbike Show, last fall. Athlos is working to offer riders all the benefits of brand name product in a custom package and making it easy to order as well. Read on to see how they did!

Out of the box custom cycling clothing

I received a medium jersey, large bib short, and medium arm warmers as I requested. All the pieces are part of Athos’ split zero custom cycling clothing collection, which is their top of the line products. Being a top end product, they are a true racer fit. Racer fit doesn’t mean you need to be into racing to enjoy the products benefits, all it means is that the cut of the shorts and jerseys are form (European) fitting. The items I reviewed were made for the ‘Rebel with a Cause’ cycling club. They are in Baltimore and ride to raise money to help feed those in need. All the colors in the kit I received were clean, vibrant from the shorts to the jersey. I was impressed, the consistency is surprising considering the jersey and short were made of different materials.

Fit of the custom cycling clothing

I would love to believe that I am still a medium jersey guy? But, too much food and the relentless assault from father time makes it tough for me to squeeze into the medium jersey. The large shorts on the other hand fit amazingly well. The legs stop just above the knee and have a tall, soft cuff with a grippy material on the inside. The bib is unique in that the back straps are an H strap rather than the standard Y shape. This is a very different approach to a bib short. Immediately I noticed that the short didn’t have the “compressive” feeling over the shoulders that bibs typically do. My fear was that the shorts would feel loose while I was riding, but instead they felt great. They stayed in place well and never felt tight or constrictive.

Function of custom cycling clothing

With our Minnesota winter in full effect, jerseys and shorts get buried under jackets and tights. The added layer usually works against what shorts and jerseys are designed to do. First off, a tight over a short can add to chaffing, because of the two layers rubbing over each other. Additionally, jerseys do a good job of moving moisture (sweat), but require air to evaporate that moisture away. Jackets block that evaporation somewhat. I’m happy to say that even though the test situation wasn’t ideal, the Athlos kit did great. The jersey was comfortable and the short’s chamois felt great.

Ordering something for yourself

Sadly, you can’t just buy the Athlos stuff off a rack but only through their custom program. The process is simple, fill out an information form, receive a quote, and start the design process. If you have a fully baked piece of artwork, that’s great, just submit it and go. If like most of us you have an idea, but not the ability to create the art, Athlos has designers to transfer your ideas into reality. Once you have approved the quote and design, it’s on to ordering.

Athlos

Artwork Proofs of the Riders With a Cause kit.

Artwork is approved by the customer before orders get placed.

 Ordering

Ordering is where Athlos sets themselves apart. Athlos builds you a team store on their site for free and then supplies a link that can be distributed to your group. From there each rider orders their own product and Athlos produces, collates and ships it. Additionally, Athlos sets up “fan pages” where clubs or teams can fund raise by selling their product to supporters at a premium.

Moving forward

With how comfortable the kit is I am excited to see its long term durability. I have had kits in the past that were comfortable, but shredded in no time at all. By contrast, the best kits I own are both really comfortable and nearly bullletproof. Based on the construction quality I’ve seen so far, my guess is the Athlos kit will end up in the latter group. If you want to get your team, club, or group a custom kit use the code “HFB” on Athlos site for a discount.

The 10/5s workout is my absolute favorite trainer workout, and some part of me hates it. Read on to learn how you can hate it too!

A blueprint for my favorite and most effective trainer workout!

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

The 10/5’s workout is my absolute favorite trainer session, but a part of me hates it. I love it for it’s simplicity and efficiency and hate it for its devilish difficulty. Overall this trainer workout starts easy, gets harder and is over within one hour. It also helps to train your body to recover with limited time and is best done on an indoor trainer. The final outcome, when riding outside, will have you smiling more with all the trainer workouts behind you! Read on to learn how you can hate it too.

What you will need for a trainer workout.

Considering this is a workout session, you will definitely need a trainer. The type of trainer isn’t important, but the workout will be a bit easier to execute if you have a trainer that measures power output (watts). If you don’t have a trainer that measures watts, any bike computer that can read off the rear wheel will work. Finally, you want to be able to time your workout, so a clock or stopwatch is helpful.

-Trainer, clock, Power meter of bike computer.

Setup for your trainer session

The setup for this workout comes down to numbers. If you are doing it with a power meter, having a baseline understanding of your average power output is helpful. when working with a bike computer and tracking distance, just take a look at the chart below for some numbers you can use. If you are using distance for the workout, be sure you are comfortable with resetting the trip distance on your cycling computer.  Finally, pick a number (either power or distance) that is about ½ of your average and write it down. Then, if you are using distance, write down the next 9 ascending distances in 1mph increments. If you plan to use power, add 5 watts to each number in an ascending order. As an example, if you start at 7mph (or 940 meters) you will finish at 17mph (2280 meters). For wattage, if you start at 100 watts, you will finish at 145 watts

Starting the workout

Get on your trainer and soft pedal for 10 minutes to warm up. Once warmed up, you can start the workout. To begin, ride at the first number you wrote down for 5 minutes. Then take one minute off. Be sure not to get off the bike, or stop pedaling. This is a one hour ride that works on training your body to recover. Once your one minute recovery is complete, re-set your trip distance on your bike computer (if you are using distance) and start the second number on your list. You goal is to maintain the wattage number or reach the distance totals (if you are using distance) on your list. If you miss one, don’t stop. I have had times where I missed the 8th or 9th goal and still hit the 10th.

What’s next step

With your 10/5’s workout complete, soft pedal for 10 minutes to cool down. Look at how many of your goals you hit/missed and adjust the workout accordingly. As an example, if you missed ½ the goals, look to start at a lower number or pedal softer between each 5 minute piece. I have noticed that if I don’t pedal soft enough between pieces, I will never put my body into recovery, and not be able to complete the workout. Overall, this workout is not something you do every day (it’s probably too high intensity for that), but can be a fun drill to drop into your rotation a few times a month.

The final outcome, you will be smiling a whole lot more when riding outside with a trainer workout regiment behind you.

 

 

 

With warmer weather predicted later this week, for winter fun jump on a fatty, a tube or go for hike to burn off a few of those holiday calories.

Bike Pic Jan 15, for winter fun jump on a fatty, a tube or go for hike

With warmer weather predicted later this week, for winter fun jump on a fatty, a tube or go for hike to burn off a few of those holiday calories.

Get into the zone and plan your next bike outing with family and friends at one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the new HaveFunBiking Guide.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Winter Fun’ Pic of the Day  

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are 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? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year ahead!

Springtime is coming and some great rides and races are coming with it. A Bike & Barge cruise in Europe is another fun option .

Great rides you may have never heard of will be this summer’s fun!

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Springtime will soon be here and some great rides and races are coming with it. We all know about the standard rides and races. These rides start when you put your feet on the pedals, follow a leader and finish a few miles later. What you may not know is that there are heaps of other ride and race types out there and they all are really fun.

Food and drink are great rides

Riding to dinner or the bar is a great way to integrate a bicycle ride into your weekly habits. If you want to take that concept to the next level there are guided rides that will help. I recently wrote about a doughnut ride I went on which fits this category and it was a blast. Other such rides include the Sojourn, Sonoma wine tour or the H+I Taste and Trails mountain bike tour of the Scottish Highlands.

bike rides

Mountain biking through Scotland at day, and touring distillers at night.

Poker rides

Unlike the food and drink rides, a poker ride isn’t a tour of underground high stakes poker games. Sadly, you won’t be rubbing elbows with mafia kingpins while donning Lycra. Instead a poker ride is a mountain bike ride, with checkpoints. The checkpoints (5 or 7 depending on the type of poker) gives out a playing card to each rider as they pass each station. At the very end of the ride, hands are compared and a “winner” is declared. Because of gambling laws these rides often generally offer products as prizes and are fun for all, because the “winner” doesn’t have to be the fastest rider.

bike ride

The fox hunt rides

The most popular version of this ride is the Redbull Fox Hunt (check out the video). Basically, all the riders start down a course at once (the foxes). After a few minutes, the “hound” (a really fast rider!) is let loose down the same course. The “foxes” job is to not get passed and the “hounds” job is to try and pass everyone. While still small in numbers, because they end up being so fun, the amount of these rides are growing.

Bike and barge are another type of great rides

Popular in Europe, bike and barge rides are just what they sound like. Sleep and stay in a barge on a canal and ride different portions along  the canal during the day.

Sleep on a barge at night and then ride your bike, passing windmills during the day is a fun way to see Europe.

Sleep on a barge at night and then ride your bike, passing windmills during the day is a fun way to see Europe.

Many of these rides (including one in our Amsterdam review) are similar to food and drink rides in that they dock the barges near great locations.

Enduro Races

An Enduro is probably the most popular new race type in mountain biking. The basic idea here is to ride and race at the same time. How it works is you ride up the hills within a pre-set time then race through timed, downhill sections. At the end, all the timed sections are combined, with the lowest time being the winner.  Overall, these races have a fun and cordial environment, with lots of conversation and community during the un-timed sections.

Grinduro and Gravel Grinders are another option for great rides

Like an Enduro, the Grinduro events have ride and race sections. Unlike an Enduro, Grinduros are ridden on gravel bikes rather than mountain bikes. Gravel bikes also find a home in gravel grinder events. A gravel grinder is either a bike tour or race that covers dirt and gravel roads. Events can be as short as 20 miles and as long as a few hundreds.

bike ride

A scene from 2016’s California Grinduro.

Mountain biking  stage races

Mountain bike stage races are events that take place over a series of days. Each day is a different course and each course often starts and ends at approximately the same place. For most, the Idea of winning one of these races is not the reason they come out. With so much downtime each evening and because most of the lodging or camping is close together, these races take on a sort of festival atmosphere. Additionally, these events are often run in family friendly locations so the whole family can come along.

Hopefully this is the year you will find yourself at a new ride or race. With so many options the fun you and your family can have is nearly limitless.

Its ice cream smiles Sunday around the world and here in the Netherlands these young bikers are enjoy a cool treat before they continue their ride along the canals in Amsterdam.

Bike Pic Jan 14, its ice cream smiles Sunday around the world

Its ice cream smiles Sunday around the world and here in the Netherlands these young bikers are enjoy a cool treat before they continue their ride along the canals in Amsterdam.

View the new  National Bike Guide and all the fun rides coming up in 2018.

Thanks for viewing today’s ‘ice cream smiles’ Sunday Pic Day

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are 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? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!

Reflecting back, there were a lot of fond summer memories this last year. Is your bike ready for that #nextbikeadventure that lays ahead in 2018?

Bike Pic 13, fond summer memories on the cycle cross course

Reflecting back, there were a lot of fond summer memories this last year. Is your bike ready for that #nextbikeadventure that lays ahead in 2018?

Have you had your bike into the shop for a tune-up yet, check out our article on why winter is the best time to get your bike ready.

View the new  National Bike Guide and all the fun rides coming up in 2018.

Thanks for viewing today’s ‘summer memories’ Pic of the Day

Now rolling into our 11th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more destinations you can have fun at we hope the photos we shoot are 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? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger, to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!