Category Archives: News

Anoka, a fun place for a fall trail ride especially around Halloween

Here you will find many fall trail ride options rolling in and around the city of Anoka, see the video. The charm of this riverfront community is everywhere that you turn, especially in the fall. One of nine towns of the Twin Cities Gateway, Anoka is the Halloween Capital of the World and offers a vast network of bike-friendly roads and trails. A perfect place to start your ride is the park alongside the confluence of the Rum River as it meets the Mississippi River. Here it’s easy to explore with your bicycle. To discover Anoka’s history and attractions in the historic downtown area.

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails and bike friendly roads in the Twin Cities Gateway.

A great destination for the whole family riding the trails in the Twin Cities Gateway.

 

 

 

A fall trail ride especially around Halloween is fun

Along with the many paved trails to ride in the area, the history and Holloween decor are another reason why you should consider visiting Anoka in the fall. Stop by the local Chamber or call and ask about the festivities surrounding the week of Halloween.

Each October, planning a fall trail  ride here adds to the fun

Anoka has many happenings throughout the year that you’ll definitely want to check out. But in the fall, the most memorable event here is the Anoka Halloween celebrations where you will find spooktacular events, late October.

Known as the Halloween Capital of the World, the city brings out all the stops with everything from the largest pumpkin contest to a scavenger hunt. There are also two main parades: Light Up the Night and the Grand Parade that takes place before Halloween.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade - the largest in the state.

The finale of the Halloween Capitol of the World is the Grand Day Parade – the largest in the state.

Area trail to explore any time of the year

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) into Anoka.

Riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) from Elk River, back into Anoka.

Two major trails in Anoka are the Rum River Trails and the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).  Looking at the Anoka Bike Map here provided by the Twin Cities Gateway. The Rum River Trail offers a scenic view of the river and several historic artifacts as the paved trail passes through the downtown area and connects to the MRT. Along ‘Old Man River’ there are connections to the Mississippi River Trail on both sides of the river.

Expand your options with a multi-modal tour

If you are staying in the area for a few days, consider a multi-modal tour. Board the Northstar Train, with your bike, to a station upstream or below along the MRT and ride your bike back. Just buy a ticket and hop on board. The train will drop you off close to the Mississippi River Trail so you have plenty of time to ride your bike back to Anoka.

Then, when you arrive check out some of the dining establishments there to fuel your body before or after your ride. Here are a couple of my favorites before, after or in between a ride.

Hans’ Bakery

The bike ride to Hans’ Bakery, about a mile south of the downtown area, will excite your sweet tooth with a delicious assortment of legendary pastries. This establishment started as a diner by German immigrants. Now as you step through the door it’s like you have been sent back to a simpler time with a menu tasty items are on a chalkboard. The only modern amenity they have is an I-tablet to ring you up if you select to pay by credit card.

With many specialties, another well-known favorite is the Texas Donut. The name speaks for itself and comes in a couple of different versions. No political jokes here, but it is larger than most peoples’ hands.

Avant Garden

This little cafe tucked into the historic downtown area is a great place to stop by if you’re looking for a supreme coffee fix that is local. This establishment has everything you would want from a popular cafe too. In addition, their own unique daily sandwich options, your selection can be enjoyed with a Coke from a glass bottle, making it extra special!

Historic homes to see while visiting Anoka

Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, in the Twin Cities Gateway

Each year, mid-summer, the Anoka Heritage Home & Garden tour will take you on a very memorable journey covering Anoka’s history. A time when the gardens are in their prime. For a fall visit, ride your bike south of the downtown area into the historic Slabtown, Whiskey Flats, Swede Town, or Fireman’s Grove neighborhoods. Many homes in the area are decorated with Halloween decor swing by the Ticknor Hill Bed and Breakfast, on the National Registry of Historic Places. Then the Woodbury House is home to the Mad Hatter Restaurant and Tea House. These are just a few of the historic treats that will tease you to come back in the summer and explore more of the area.

So come and discover Anoka’s history, food, and bike-friendly attributes for your next adventure. You will find plenty of lodging opportunities in the Twin Cities Gateway to make your stay memorable.

by Russ Lowtian, the editor at HaveFunBiking.com

The electric bike expo, E-bike Challenge returns to Minneapolis

With a growing demand for e-bikes, the electric bike expo organizer of several large events in Europe is returning with the E-bike Challenge to Minneapolis, MN. Back at the Minneapolis Convention Center, April 2 -3, 2022, this will once again be the place for consumers and businesses alike to test and compare electric bicycles and cargo bikes. In its inaugural event, in 2019, it was deemed a success with attendees of all ages and abilities test riding e-bikes on the huge indoor cycle track. Now the E-bike Challenge returns with more e-bikes and cargo bikes to test ride.

So many styles to choose from at the electric-assist bike expo

What exactly is a pedal-assist bike or e-bike?

An e-bike is a bicycle that has a battery and electric motor allowing a cyclist to ride farther and with greater ease. The bicycle doesn’t do all the work, it assists! The bicyclist must pedal for the motor to engage, enabling an easier ride. With a variety of vendors representing dozens of electric bicycle brands at the Challenge. This will allow attendees to ask questions and test ride many styles and types of e-bikes and e-trikes while visiting. Ride models best suited for commuting, recreation riding, hauling cargo, families, and more! You will also find e-fat-tire bikes for winter or off-road riding, along with many e-bike accessories.

E-bikes and E-trikes for the whole family

Start your E-bike Challenge visit with an e-bike parade

An e-bike runway fashion show will showcase the latest models of e-bikes and
accessories. Dozens of bicycle exhibitors, including Bosch, Tern Bicycles, Riese & Müller,
Yuba, GoCycle, will show their latest and greatest in electric bike innovation.

Discover the Hike & Camp area

They’re also creating a Hike & Camp; Bike Xperience area in the exhibition hall for tourism destinations, trekking, mountain biking, and many fun activities for kids. Attendees will not only learn about e-bikes they will also find fun places to ride and routes to explore.

Plus you will find an interactive Kid’s Area. This family-friendly event will also have an interactive kids’ bike test track for ages 16 and under, a children’s scavenger hunt, a bicycle playground with activities, and more.

Admission

Advance, online registration for the e-bike test track is also available. For more information about the E-bike Challenge, including vendor information or to purchase tickets, visit www.ebikechallenge.com.

 

Tifosi Optics Launches the new Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglasses

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Just released, the latest Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglass models from Tifosi Optics will have you riding in style on bright sunny days this fall. It’s also perfect for fall and winter glare and is available in three models with lenses for bright, low, and no light settings.

The new Tiposi line of Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglasses.

The perfect option is Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglasses

Tifosi Optics’ most unique cycling sunglasses are designed to enhance your ride. You will find an unrestricted view of the road or trail, offering maximum coverage and ergonomic face-fit protection from the elements.

The Kilo is available in three models, with two of the models equipped with multiple lenses. You will find their Blackout model, with a smoke polarized lens, perfect for those looking for a single-lens solution. The Kilo line, with the Blackout, will retail, starting at $69.95.

The Crystal Smoke Tifosi Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglasses, with polarized lenses and a handy carrying case.

The new Kilo line offers Tifosi’s new Clarion Red Fototec lens for better clarity. A photochromic lens that can adapt on the fly to ambient light, transitioning from a nearly clear tint in low light to a red mirrored smoke tint in full sun. This lens repeals, providing a clear view during the hardest workouts.

The White/Black Tifosi Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglasses, with three interchangeable lenses and a handy carrying case.

And, you will find all Kilo frames built with a lightweight Grilamid TR-90 that provides all-day
comfort. The rubber ear and nose pieces fully adjust and swell with moisture that guarantees they stay in place as you sweat. Plus, the polycarbonate lenses are shatterproof and vented, making the Kilo line ideal for endurance sports
like cycling or running.

The Yellow/Smoke Kilo Endurance Sport Sunglasses, with three interchangeable lenses, come with a carrying case.

Tifosi’s mission is to provide technically advanced eyewear to enthusiasts of
all sports and outdoor activities. All Kilo glasses here are tested and tortured to enhance
your sports activity. Regardless, if you’re running a 5k’er, riding your first century, or playing 18 holes of golf. Tifosi helps define its customers with enthusiasm to guarantee they have fun. So, find a store carrying Tifosi Sunglasses near you.

Fun winter activities to stay healthy during this ongoing pandemic

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

For many of us, being active outdoors enjoying fun winter activities (biking, hiking, etc.) with the Coronavirus’s uncertainty has been challenging. The last two years (2020-2021) have been like no other in recent memory. Despite the lifestyle changes caused by this virus, there’s still plenty of fun to be had. In fact, 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.

Page through our latest Bike/Hike Guide with many maps of Minnesota destinations offering fun winter activities. Then, layer up your dress attire for the temperature swings ahead and head out. You will soon discover that outdoor pursuits pose a lower risk of getting sick than indoor activities do if you haven’t already.

Its a perfect time of the year to jump on a fatty and hit the trail. This pic was taken last year at the Get Phat with Pat event in the Minnesota River Bottoms, in Bloomington, MN.

It’s a perfect time of the year to jump on a fatty and hit a Minnesota trail.

 

Why choose outdoor activities?

According to a recent article from the Mayo Clinic. The COVID-19 virus is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. Released into the air when a person is talking, coughing, or sneezing. In contact with others indoors, you’re more likely to inhale these droplets from an infected person.

This Bike Pic  Tuesday as the temps continue to drop, we caught this biker dude, with plenty of layers and a mask having fun in the Bold North, near Bloomington, MN.

With plenty of layers and a mask, this biker dude is having fun in the Bold North.

When outside, the fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. You’re less likely to breathe in enough of the virus’s respiratory droplets to become infected. Being outside enjoying Minnesota’s fun outdoor activities offers other benefits, too. As you may have discovered this summer, being outside also offers an emotional boost that will help you feel less tense, stressed, angry, or depressed.

This Bike Pic Thursday, we caught this biker chick out having fun along the Minnesota River bottoms near Bloomington, MN.

This biker chick’s winter activities include having fun along the Minnesota River bottoms near Bloomington, MN.

Move more with low-risk Minnesota winter activities.

In general, any activity that allows you to keep a social distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others is lower-risk. Here in Minnesota, a winter wonderland pursuits, consider moving with these low-risk outdoor activities to stay healthy and safe. Again, use the current Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, with all the maps, to find a place to enjoy the following hobbies.

  • Fat Biking
  • Nature walks
  • Snowshoeing
  • Downhill and/or cross country skiing
  • Ice skating
  • Ice fishing and hunting
  • Fitness classes, held outside to allow extra distancing
  • And exploring the snow-covered trails on an ATV.

Similar to your summer experiences, try to avoid crowded walkways and narrow paths. Choose routes that make it easy to keep your distance. Wear a mask when you can’t maintain at least 6 feet (2 meters) from people you don’t live with.

It’s Friday and HaveFunBiking George will soon melt away as the spring thaw approached,

Winter activities can also include stopping to make a snowman when fat biking?

As fall turns to winter, your well-being also includes doing things that make life worth living. With the right information, you can make thoughtful choices about ways to bring a sense of normalcy and joy to your life during this pandemic. Maybe with some fun Minnesota winter activities!

Remember that just getting together for a chat at a safe distance can offer a valuable opportunity to be with people you care about — and boost your mood at the same time.

Using visibility for safety and fun in fall’s limited light

by John Brown

With school now in session and fall in full swing, we should all consider using visibility gear now available as a key component, so we are better seen while riding our bikes. The two main forms of visibility we need to focus on are passive and active visibility. Things like reflectors and bright colors are forms of passive visibility. In contrast, lights and blinkers are great examples of active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Using visibility passively

Most autumn rides start in the light and only devolve into darkness as the ride stretches on. In these cases, most riders rely on passive visibility to get them home. Provided that your ride is under street lamps or some form of light, that passive visibility will get you home safely. The most common form of passive visibility is a lowly reflector. The CPSC requires these plastic devices to be installed on all bicycles sold in the united states. You will find reflectors in two colors, white (front and wheels) and Red (rear). Additionally, many apparel companies install reflective materials on their products. Like the reflector on your bike, these reflective materials will take any light thrown at you and return it to the source of the light. Where passive reflectivity falls short is when there is no light source to activate the visibility.

This jacket offers excellent visibility through color and reflective materials.

Sealing makes some cool winter gloves that are both visible and insulated

Using visibility Activly

When the area is devoid of a light source, you need to create that light to keep yourself safe as a rider. For cyclists, Lights and blinkers are the most common devices for light. The light and the blinker differ because blinkers are designed to be seen while lights allow a rider to both see and be seen.

Great lights are usually rechargeable and use an LED bulb. These lights are a necessity for riders who spend a lot of time off-road or on unlit paths. While most mount onto the bars or helmet, a few companies integrate lights into the bike or your helmet.

MagicShine Bike Helmet and remote (inset)

MagicShine Bike Helmet and remote (inset)

Blinkers are usually battery operated and use an LED to flash intermittently. These blinkers can easily be mounted to your bicycle. In some cases, blinkers are incorporated into helmets, gloves, shoes, saddles, and handlebars.

The Omni Bike Helmet, with photo receptor covered and lights on.

The Omni Bike Helmet, with a photoreceptor, is covered and lights on.

What to use this Fall

Mount a pair of blinkers to the bike (one front and one back). When you get stuck in low light and high traffic, switch on the blinkers. If your route is going to be unlit for any portion, a front light makes things safer. Overall, think ahead before your next ride and pack to ensure you can see in the dark while others can see you.

Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and when you plan properly it can be a great activity year round! Here are some top tips for staying safe when cycling at times when Mother Nature seems to throw a wrench in your plans

Cycling tips on driving your bike in inclement weather

by Personal Injury Help

Don’t let inclement weather stop you from biking. Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and when planned properly it can be a great activity year-round! With spring around the corner, here are some tips for staying safe. Especially at times when Mother Nature seems to throw a wrench in your plans on that next bike adventure.

Inclement weather and the rain

Lighten up

Stay visible by using both headlights and taillight and wearing clothes motorists can see.

Stay visible by using both headlights and taillight and wearing clothes motorists can see.

Visibility is the key along with staying dry. It is a lot harder for both motorists and pedestrians to see you when it’s raining out. You can wear a reflective and fluorescent vest to stand out and attach reflectors to both your bicycle and helmet (which you should always wear!). Flashing lights on the front of your bicycle and on your saddle are also very eye-catching in the rain.

Avoid non-porous surfaces

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Driving your bike on brick, metal and wood surfaces when wet all become very slippery. Try to avoid traveling over these surfaces when raining. If you must ride on these smooth exteriors, do so without turning your handlebars to prevent skidding and slow down.

Dress for the temperature

In inclement weather and rain, when cycling, wear a light wicking layer under your rain gear and have a dry layer tucked away if you become wet.

In inclement weather, when cycling, wear a light wicking layer under your rain gear and have a dry layer tucked away if you become wet.

It is tempting to bundle up with multiple layers when you’re cycling in the rain with the hopes of preventing the water from soaking all the way through your clothing to you. Unfortunately, what will probably happen, all your layers will become wet from sweat and you’ll be stuck wearing multiple layers of soggy clothing. When it’s raining out dress according to the temperature outside, not the volume of rain. If you don’t have any waterproof clothing, a very thin poncho or large trash bag, with holes for arms and head to slip through can do wonders.

Inclement weather and the snow

Bikes with low tire pressure offer more stability on slippery roads. Adding studs to the bikes tires adds more control.

Bikes with low tire pressure offer more stability on slippery roads. Adding studs to the tires of the bike adds more control.

Slow down—it’ll take you twice as long to stop in the snow than in clear conditions. When approaching stop signs or intersections, give yourself plenty of room to stop and avoid skidding.

Use fenders—when you put fenders on your bicycle, you not only stop snow from splashing up all over yourself and your bicycle, but you also keep your cycling neighbors day as well. A win-win!

Use an old mountain bike—fat tire bicycles are great, but they often cost more than $3,000. If you have an old mountain bike gathering dust in your garage, it’s often a great and cost-effective option if you want to get outside in the snow. You can also buy winter bike tires, with studs, if you’re so inclined.

Wet weather and the heat

In hot weather stay hydrated by taking a few sips of water every few miles.

In hot weather stay hydrated by taking a few sips of water every couple miles.

Get acclimated, especially if you are used to going 15-mile and the temperature suddenly jumps up into the 90s. Add higher humidity, to the equation and it’s not safe to expect to take the same route in the same timeframe. It can take weeks to get used to cycling at high temperatures, so try taking in easy for a while so you can get used to the heat.

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Stay hydrated—a 150-pound cyclist will need to drink at least one 16-ounce bottle of water per hour. Plus a glass of water about 45 minutes before leaving. If you’re heavier or if you’re riding a challenging route, you could need up to four bottles per hour.

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Stay loose—you’ll want to wear clothing that’s loose and keeps you cool when you’re sweating. Avoid dark colors, but more importantly, avoid something that’s heavy and form-fitting.

This article was created by Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safely and legally!

Fall color riding on a bike friendly road.

Bike destinations and peak fall color weblinks for the upper Midwest

Don’t put that bike away just yet! Fall color riding is one of the best times of the year, in the upper Midwest, to explore all the bike-friendly destinations available. With warm days and cool nights, low humidity, very few insects, and the brilliant autumn colors the trees provide, fall riding can be picture-perfect.

Enjoying the colorful trees along the trail as they get close to peak.

Riders enjoy the colorful trees along the trail as they get closer to their peak.

As our summer bike adventures drift into fond memories, we still have a colorful blaze of options ahead. When the tree foliage begins to change, first in Minnesota and then in Iowa, using the HaveFunBiking guides in combination with the state DNR websites, it’s easy to expand your recreational riding through October.

Fall color riding in Minnesota

Using a copy of the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide in combination with the MN DNR fall color pages will allow you to match up to a  fall experience you won’t soon forget. If you didn’t have a chance to pick up a printed copy, the online bike guide offers even more bike maps and fun events for fall exploring.

Enjoying the trails doing some fall color riding.

Trail riding in the fall amongst tree-lined trails is inviting.

As the aspen, oaks, and maples start bursting their colors consider bookmarking these two websites and plan your fall biking adventure. Find more Minnesota fall riding information here.

Fall Color Riding in Iowa

Fall color riding on a bike friendly road.

Fall color riding on a bike friendly road.

As the brilliant colors fade in Minnesota, Iowa is the place in October that will showcase most of its peak colors. Using a copy of the Iowa Bike/Hike Guide in combination with the IA DNR fall color pages will allow you some more fall experience you won’t soon forget. If you didn’t have a chance to pick up a printed copy, the online IA bike guide offers even more bike maps and fun events for fall exploring.

Fall color riding Wisconsin

Though we don’t have a Wisconsin Bike Guide, at this time, here are links to Wisconsin’s Bicycle routes and fall color report page.

Have fun making some fall color bike touring memories.

Join the fun this Sunday, October 7th for the eight annual Mankato River Ramble. This year's ride offers three loop options, a 16, 30, or 42-mile route featuring great Rest Stops, ride support, delicious food and beverages, live music and much more.

Mankato River Ramble, the last major Minnesota bike tour of 2021

Join hundreds of bicyclists on Sunday, October 10th for the eleventh annual Mankato River Ramble. This year’s ride offers three loop options, a 12, 26, or 42-mile route option featuring great rest stops along the way. Find delicious food, beverages, live music, and much more at each stop. Routes can be easily combined for those who want to add on additional mileage.

The whole family will like the scenery along the Minnesota River Valley.

The whole family will like the scenery along the Minnesota River Valley.

River Ramble Registration

Pre-registration closes on October 4. If you have not pre-registered you can come between 8 and 10 a.m. to Land of Memories Park (100 Amos Owen Lane, Mankato, MN 56001) to sign up and begin the ride. See more info here.

Tasty treats, like the pie stop, makes the ride extra delicious.

Tasty treats, like the pie stop, can make the ride extra delicious.

Volunteers needed

The Ramble wouldn’t be possible without the help of 140 volunteers and sever spots are still open. Volunteer sign-up for the 2018 Ramble at www.bikeriverramble.org/volunteer. Volunteers help with putting up signs, helping with registration, passing out treats at rest stops and encouraging riders. Volunteers get a free Ramble T-Shirt and will be celebrated at the volunteer appreciation party at the Mankato Brewery with amazing food from Pub 500.

“Our volunteers are the ones who make each ride what it is. We couldn’t have a successful event without all their donated time. They set the tone of each ride and we are grateful to always have so many generous volunteers at the Ramble each year!,” said Dorian Grilley, Executive Director of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN).

The Ramble is a fun place to gather and ride with old and new friends!

The Ramble is a fun place to gather and ride with old and new friends!

The Mankato River Ramble is a fundraiser for the Greater Mankato Bike & Walk Advocates and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. Proceeds after expenses from the event benefit these two organizations. The ride is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Mankato Clinic and the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, as well as the support of more than 50 other sponsoring organizations.

More delicious food upon your return and its included in your ride fee.

More delicious food upon your return and its included in your ride fee.

More photos from earlier Mankato River Ramble’s can be found online here.

About the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN)

BikeMN is working to make Minnesota a state where bicycling is a safe, easy, fun, and cool choice for everyone. The mission of BikeMN is to provide leadership and a unified voice for bicycle education, advocacy, and efforts to make Minnesota more bicycle-friendly so that more people will ride bicycles more often. More at www.bikemn.org.

About Greater Mankato Bike and Walk Advocates (GMBWA)

GMBWA encourages individuals and families to walk and bike as part of a healthy lifestyle. Greater Mankato Bike and Walk Advocates work with city, county, and state governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations to improve the community’s infrastructure and opportunities for walking and biking. The ride began in 2011, thousands of dollars of profits from the Ramble have gone into signs, outdoor kiosks, and mountain bike trail construction, and other improvements in the Mankato area.

Preparing your bike for storage, a check list to protect your gear

by Bill Anderson

Having enjoyed another summer of riding with many great memories along the way, it’s now time to think about preparing your bike for storage, for the winter. Unless you are planning on running your two-wheel steed through the winter for commuting or using it inside on a trainer, it’s time to get it ready for next year.  That way, early next spring when the temperatures rise, you are not cleaning and lubing your bike when you should be riding – Or even worse, waiting two-to-three weeks out for your bike shop to tune it up.Bike- main-1a

Cyclists enjoying a beautiful day riding with a flower garden in the background

Preparing Your Bike for Storage

When putting your bike away for the winter, there are several things you will want to do to store it properly. By following the helpful tips listed below or taking it to your favorite bike shop you will help to avoid future problems disuse and ensures that it will be ready to ride next spring when the weather breaks.

These tips apply whether you’re putting your bike in your basement, garage, or in storage unit. If you don’t have a good place to store at home and don’t want to rent an entire storage unit many bike shops now offer, with a tune-up, storage of your bike for the winter. Just don’t let your bike sit outside.

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Bikes left outside over the winter

You would think this wouldn’t need to be mentioned, but visit any college campus in the upper Midwest in February and you’ll see dozens of beautiful high-end bikes out suffering in the cold and snow. Maybe the students, who own these bikes, were never tutored that money doesn’t grow on trees?

In any case, follow these pointers so you are ready to go when the weather warms up next spring:

1. Wipe-Down the Frame and Inspect It

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Inspecting the frame is important

While I’m not really a fan of wet washing a bike with a water hose, because of the problems water causes when it gets down into your components and with rusting of certain metal parts, you will want to ensure that it is thoroughly clean before you put it away.

The best way to do this is to first take a stiff, soft-bristled, brush to your bike knocking away any chunks of dried-on mud that may be on your frame or wheels. Followed by taking a damp rag to your bike, wiping it down generally all over to get off any remaining dust or dirt, then focusing an attack to remove the grease and grime that may have accumulated around your drive train or other areas where lubrication can attract dirt.

2. Inspect Your Frame

bike-main-9

Look for cracks, signs of fatigue

Here’s a bonus hint. Wiping down your bike offers you a chance to thoroughly inspect the frame for overall soundness and structural integrity while you are cleaning. Look for any signs of cracks or metal fatigue, particularly near weld spots and on the bottom bracket, which supports a lot of your weight and can be subject to great stresses, depending on the type of riding you do.

3. Cleaning Your Drivetrain

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Wiping the chain is important

Now is an ideal time to clean and lube the cassette, chain and crank to get rid of all the crud that may have accumulated over the riding season. Plus a fresh coat of lubricant will help protect against rust. If you have several thousand miles on the chain or there is a lot of wear, it is a good time to replace it so you are ready to go next spring.

4. Lubricate the Cables

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Apply oil near cable housing and work in

To avoid problems that may pop up in the spring, with rusting or poor performance in the cables, take a few minutes to lubricate the cables that control your brakes and shifting. Here apply a few drops of light lubricant on a rag and rub it on the exposed cable – lightly work through the cable housing. This will help keep your shifting mechanism in shape while eliminating any stress to your cables.

5. Inspect Tires, Wheels, and Brake Pads

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Tires should be free of cracks

While you’re wiping down your tires, check your wheels for loose or broken spokes by spinning the wheels and looking that they still spin true. Make sure your wheels spin straight, with no wobbling from side to side and no rubbing against the brake pads. If your wheels don’t spin straight, it’s probably time to take your bike in.

At the same time, inspect your brake pads for proper alignment and to make sure you’re not encountering excessive wear in the pads.

6. Then Inflate the Tires

Before you put your bike away, be sure to fully inflate your tires, especially if you are going to store your bike resting on its wheels, as opposed to having it suspended from a ceiling. If your tires are flat, the weight of the bike sits there pressing down through the rims on one spot on the rubber. Over several months, that can cause deterioration of your tire as the rubber can end up distorted and/or the tire can develop a weak spot in the sidewall

7. Wipe-Down the Tires, Saddle, and Handgrips

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A conditioner will keep it soft

Now that you have cleaned and lubed your bike, wipe down all the remaining components for any wear or misalignment. This is optional, as it mainly affects the appearance of the bike. Something like Armor-all works well for your tires, rubber handgrips, and seat – if it is one with a cover made from leather, vinyl, or another smooth synthetic surface. Products like this are both a beautifier and protectant and will give a nice clean and shiny appearance as well as keep the material soft. This only takes a couple of minutes and will be something that you’ll be glad that you did in the spring, as your bike will look really sharp, right off the shelf.

8. Remove any Batteries

To avoid corrosion from anything leaking out onto your bike while in storage remove any accessories with batteries, like front and rear lights, etc. If the battery is hard to remove, like in the case of some electric-assist bikes, be sure it is fully charged before it goes into storage.

9. Clean Out Your Panniers and Trunk Bags

If you choose to leave your bike bags on, in storage, clean and wipe them out.  Make sure there are no food items left inside as you may find a family of rodents, nesting there next spring.

 10. Empty Water Bottles and Camelbaks

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Clean and dry the insides of your bottles if you plan to store them on the bike

Take all of your water bottles off of your bike or at least make sure they are drained. It is best to dump out whatever is left in them since the last time your rode and run them through the dishwasher to get them nice and clean. When finished, be sure to leave the lids off to allow them to dry completely inside.

If you have a Camelback or backpack canteen water carrier, flush the bladder with a very mild solution of vinegar and water, and then follow that up with several rinses of plain hot water, then leave the lid off to dry.

Now, as you sit in front of the window watching the snow fly, recalling all the memorable rides you had this year, you can rest assured that when the first opportunity to ride next year comes along you are ready.

Put more smiles on children's faces by volunteering with Free Bikes 4 Kidz to clean, prep, or wrench some of the 5,000 bicycles collected this last month.

Put smiles on kids faces by helping prep FB4K bike giveaway

If you live near or close to the Twin Cities, help the Free Bikes 4 Kidz (FB4K) program in their 15th year. Volunteer to help put more smiles on children’s faces. Donate your time to help clean, prep, or wrench some of the 1,000’s of bicycles collected so far this year for their distribution drive before the holidays.

Help Free Bikes 4 Kidz put more smiles on kids faces

Free Bikes for Kids helps kid's smile with the 2016 season Bike Collection Day, on Saturday, October 8th, Donate your bikes to help more kids.

FB4K helps kids smile with their annual Bike Collection Day, a few weeks ago

As more are vaccinated for COVID-19, Free Bike 4 Kidz proudly continues to have all the safe practices in place at their warehouse and invites you to join us to help to clean, prep, wrench, and move bikes. They need your help today in order to get the bikes out to the kids expecting them in and June.

freeBy volunteering today to help clean some bikes for FB4K's will help create some fond memories for you and future memories for children who receive them. bikes4kids-4

Create some fond memories for yourself and for the children who receive them.

As volunteers slowly come back in smaller, more comfortable numbers, they need your help now!

Volunteering and putting a wrench to a few bikes will create more smiles.

By volunteering and cleaning or wrenching some bikes will create a smile on your face and the kids who get them. We will continue to have volunteer opportunities in the future, but helping now will ensure the kids waiting for bikes will all have wheels before Christmas.

Schedule your shifts today by clicking here to Volunteer, or schedule as a Group.

Join Free Bike 4 Kid’s today and help more smiles on kids’ faces!

About Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a non-profit organization geared toward helping all kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood by providing free bikes to those most in need. When the public donates gently used bikes, FB4K organizes thousands of volunteers to clean and refurbish them, and then they give them away to kids in need. They started in 2008, fixing and giving away 300 bikes and in 2014 they reached the goal of 5,000 bikes. In the last nine years over 30,000 bikes have rolled through the FB4B’s giveaways and their sights in the future are set on other locations throughout the U.S. and the world. See more at http://fb4k.com/about/