Category Archives: News

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

Can I ride an e-bike when its cold or wet?

Like most standard bicycles, electric bikes are water-resistant and can be used in cold or wet weather. Though, you may need some accessories (like rain gear or studded tires for winter) to ride safely. Most e-bike models also provide a high-quality, water-resistant casing to protect your battery when wet and cold. You can ride an e-bike at any temperature, but the colder it is, the more it may impact the battery’s range. So bring your battery (or the entire bike + battery) inside if you’re not riding it, if possible. Do not leave the battery on the bike if parking the e-bike outside in the winter at any time.

Riding an e-bike in cold weather

This Monday mornings bike pic shows the wet road surfaces after another round of rain shower last night, hope you are staying dry!

STAYING DRY WHILE RIDING IN THE RAIN

An electric bike’s system, including the motor, battery pack, display, and connection points, is usually designed with closed units to accommodate wet weather. This protects the electrical system from getting wet while riding in the rain. The key distinction here is that e-bikes are water-resistant but not waterproof. So, for this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid heavily flooded roads, streams, and deep puddles that could submerge your bike’s electrical components.

The perfect place to test-ride the model you like before purchasing.

As electric bikes might have different limitations and wade depths, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual or check with your manufacturer for the IP rating of your bike first. If you live in an area that experiences frequent wet weather, you’ll want to make water resistance a top factor in your purchase decision.

Riding an e-bike with ice and snow conditions

riding an e-bike fatty in inclement weather

Yes, you can ride your e-bike in the winter, in the extreme cold, snow, and icy conditions. Doing so will require a bit more maintenance, protection, and care.  With advancements in tire technology and clothing warmth, there are fewer reasons not to take your electric bicycle out and enjoy the winter season. All e-bikes can handle winter riding, but the wider the tire, the better, especially if studs can be installed on your bike’s tire for icy conditions. That said, you must follow the key points listed below to ensure you enjoy riding your bike during the winter.

Use the right type of tire

Like a regular bike you might use for winter riding, the tires that come with your electric bicycle are great for most dry pavement riding, but not winter. Maneuvering a bicycle (with or without a motor) requires a tire that handles ice and snow. Then add studs to those winter tires, transforming your e-bike into a fantastic winter vehicle! Great for riding on plowed roads and for hard-packed or icy conditions. If you are looking at a fat tire e-bike for winter riding, ask the dealer if studs can be added to the tires on that bike.

Battery Care

  • A centerpost battery for an electric bike

    A CENTER POST BATTERY MOUNT IS COMMON FOR MANY ELECTRIC BIKE MODELS

The general rule with a 36 volt, 10.5Ah (ampere-hours) battery should get 20 to 40 miles per charge with the average weight of rider + gear & cargo less than 200 pounds in ideal weather conditions. You’ll get fewer miles the higher the assist level you use. You might get 60 miles or more on a single charge on the low assist. To maximize the life of your e-bike battery, try to charge it when it’s near empty. Then ride your e-bike a lot and charge it often.

Before charging, make sure your battery is in a room above freezing. Otherwise, you could harm the cells. It is no problem to ride the bike in below-freezing conditions (it doesn’t harm the battery). However, make sure you let the battery warm up slowly before charging. When riding an e-bike in very cold weather, you will notice a drop in power and range. Don’t worry; this is normal and expected in riding an e-bike in the winter.

It’s good to know the battery life and performance in cold weather of your e-bike. If you intend to commute to work, or use the bike for a backcountry experience, test it out to determine the change in range with colder temps. And the steps you would take to ensure continued performance. For instance, purchasing a neoprene e-bike battery cover might be an option. Also, if you stop midway on your journey to warm up, bring the battery inside whenever you aren’t riding. This will keep the battery’s temperature up and give you extra power!

Avoid riding through slush

Riding your electric bike through snow is not only possible, but it’s also super fun! (See the Pedego video below for proof) What’s not fun is riding through slush. The watery, salty snow splashes up your gears and can seep into hard-to-reach areas, causing rust to form. If you have to ride through slush, wipe the entire bike down, lube the chain, etc., afterward and, if possible, store it in a warm, dry location.

Don’t let winter pass you by; get your e-bike ready for nordic fun!

Give a call to the shops closest to you and verify they have the models you want to test ride.

Winter in a bike shop is a great time to learn!

by John Brown, BrownCycles.com

The winter months are the perfect time to visit a bike shop and learn. Other than just enjoying bikes at a time when you may not be riding, there are many benefits to visiting your bike shop during the cooler months of the year. You can learn more in the slower winter months, get better deals, and have faster service.

Faster turnaround time, at your bike shop, on repairs.

Most bike shops operate on a “first in / first out” repair schedule. This means during the busy summer months, there will be dozens of bicycles ahead of yours in line to be repaired. Those dozens of bikes could equal weeks of waiting before your bike gets fixed. Through the winter months, there are fewer bikes in for repair. That means you can expect a speedy turnaround time. Plus, with fewer bikes in the shops to be worked on, each seems to get more attention. That’s not to say your shop won’t do a great job in the summer months. I’m just saying that it is always a good thing when service isn’t rushed and the mechanic has more time.

Bike Shop

Quiet time in the shop is the best time for quality service.

Bike shop discounts and deals!

As fall turns to winter, bicycle brands change from one model year into the next. Because of that change, the transition becomes a sweet spot for buying a bike. In some cases, you can get last year’s models for a discounted price; if those aren’t available, the new models are readily available. Along with the new model year shift, many shops also run sales through the winter to maximize store traffic.

A bike shop visit is worth more than a discount

It’s no secret that winter in a bike shop is slow. Why not take advantage of that slow time to talk with both the salesperson and mechanics? Need to know more about all the different bike types? Where is the best place to ride your fat bike? How do the new shorts differ from the ones you already have? These individuals in the bike shop can help.

If it’s a question about your bike’s service or adjustments, the mechanics will likely spend more time with you and not be rushed. Even better, at this time of the year, some shops will allow customers to watch and learn as they fix their bikes in the winter. Due to the time added to teaching, this is not an opportunity to be considered or offered through the summer.

Learn more at your bike shops, clinics, and classes

As many bike shops have evolved from regular retail locations into community cycling centers, most have adopted a strategy of education and involvement. Because shops have far more time in the winter, most schedule their programs during this downtime. In the most basic cases, you can enjoy trainer rides at most shops. Typically these rides are a “bring your own trainer” affair, where customers come and ride together.

Bike Shop

Park tool School is in full effect.

More ambitious stores are running classes on home bike repair as well. Usually, those classes focus on one part of the bike, like wheels or derailleurs. Finally, the most forward-thinking shops are doing classes and clinics and inviting speakers to come and give presentations. Many riders have questions about bike packing or fat biking, and shops will schedule professionals to discuss those subjects.

Classes at Browns Bicycle

Don’t let simple mechanicals ruin an otherwise great ride. Come learn the basics of fixing flat tires, mending a broken chain, and getting home on two wheels rather than two feet. Please bring your bicycle with you for a hands-on instruction session. All ages are welcome, although we require all minors to accompany an adult. Check out class dates here.

Just to show the love.

If for no other reason, stop by the shop and say hello. Depending on how quiet the shop is through the winter, things can get pretty boring for the staff, who would love to share their knowledge. Storage can only be cleaned and reorganized so many times after all the boxed bikes get built. After that, the friendly face of a customer is a welcome sight.

About John Brown, the author

As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit, and that fever is still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. Starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he could about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then to a store manager.  Through the years, he has spent extensive time designing and sourcing bicycles and parts for some of the largest bike companies in the world. All the while focusing on helping as many people as possible enjoy the love of riding a bike. In that pursuit, he has taught classes (both scheduled and impromptu) on all things bikes. John also believes in helping every rider attain their optimal fit on the bike of their dreams. Please feel free to stop in any time and talk about bikes, fit, and parts or share your latest ride. You can also see John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.
Picture yourself riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) through the wilds of Minnesota, pedaling America's famous 3,000 mile bike system

An adventure of a lifetime, along Minnesota’s Mississippi River Trail

by Russ Lowthian
Picture yourself riding the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) through the wilds of Minnesota.
Pedal with family and friends at your own pace on this Bold North adventure.
The first leg of America’s famous 3,000-mile bicycle trail system uses bike-friendly roads and multi-use pathways. You may find some of my observations of interest by leading several MRT bike tours over the years and referencing my book Road Biking Minnesota.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the Mississippi’s headwaters near Park Rapids to the Iowa border, the complete Minnesota section of the journey is roughly 620 miles. The following route descriptions are spread over nine days to keep the daily mileage comfortable for plenty of time visiting the river towns along the way. Depending on how much time you can spend on any bike vacation, this overview makes it easy to break it apart for multiple bike getaways.

Please visit the embedded links offering short video clips and maps of the Mississippi trail system as you read the following. See the first video clip to get a better feel for what you will see and experience leaving Itasca State Park on the MRT. The information in this video and subsequent videos are made possible by the MN DNR, the MN Historical Society, Explore Minnesota Tourism, and the National Park Service.

MRT – Day 1 from the Mississippi Headwaters to Bemidji

 

 

After enjoying a hearty breakfast at the historic Douglas Lodge, in Itasca State Park, it’s time to roll out. First, you will need to pedal a few miles through the towering pines to where the Mississippi River begins. At the Headwaters parking lot, walk your bike down the trail. There, dip your rear wheel in the stream to celebrate the beginning of your journey. You may hear one of Minnesota’s loons calling out. Following the internationally recognized Mississippi River Trail, depart from the park’s north entrance. Now pedaling a scenic county road in a northeasterly direction, this 30-plus mile stretch offers a beautiful rolling terrain. As you pass by patches of pine forests and an occasional old farm setting, smell the air. Soon you are pedaling into the first city on the Mississippi River.

Rolling into Bemidji

Arriving in Bemidji, the MRT enters on a city trail that connects to the Paul Bunyan Trail. As the river’s current flows into Lake Bemidji, consider spending your first evening here. While visiting, discover all this community has to offer.

A-League of American Bicyclists (LAB) Bike-Friendly Community. It’s easy to get around and explore the city by bike.

In the downtown area, metal sculptures, murals, and historic architecture are found on just about every corner. Don’t forget to stop by the visitor’s center to have your picture taken with
Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox. See our Bike Bemidji article for lodging and more things to do when not riding. You will find camping options in Lake Bemidji State Park.

MRT – Day 2 from Bemidji to Grand Rapids

Back in the saddle, the MRT takes the Paul Bunyan Trail north to where the Mississippi River pours out of Lake Bemidji. As the current flows east, enjoy the sites along the Great River Road as it rolls into Chippewa National Forest. This next stretch of the MRT to Grand Rapids is roughly 80 miles. To get a better feel for what’s ahead after leaving Bemidji, watch the 2nd video clip here.

With an abundance of wildflowers along the road, pedal through the enchanted treasures this forested area offers. Along the way, notice a huge population of bald eagles and hawks as the
river meanders from one huge lake body to the next. Soon the river flows into Lake Winnibigoshish (Lake Winnie), and the MRT takes a course around the lake’s south shoreline.

The first Federal Dam on the Mississippi

 

 

 

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Passing several resorts, you may want to stop for a selfie by the significant fish monument. Riding up the east shoreline through towering pines, the MRT is soon up to the Federal Dam, where Lake Winnie spills back into the Mighty Mississippi. This dam was created in the late 1800s, making it the most significant river reservoir. Approximately 45 miles from Bemidji,
there is a campground. You will find a restaurant and some lodging options a few miles further east.

The MRT follows the river meanders, now in a southerly direction, passing through a Native American village called Ball Club. Here the river dips and then flows to the east again. Soon the MRT rolls into Schoolcraft State Park, where it meets back up with the Mississippi. This secluded park is the perfect place to take a break. Quiet and peaceful, the park offers a relaxing
environment with a virgin white pine forest over 300 years old. Take a panoramic virtual tour of the area here, and then it’s on to some Wizard of Oz trivia.

Rolling into Grand Rapids

Judy Garland, from The Wizard of Oz, spent time here as a child. Today the community offers visitors many fun options to explore, along with the Judy Garland Museum. Once settled in, visit the Forest History Center and the local art scene. This area is rich in forested beauty and offers many art forms, including many bronze sculptures and historic architectural sites. Grand Rapids is also the western gateway to the Mesabi Iron Trail and Range. Another LAB Bike Friendly Community, it’s easy to get around this river town and explore the city by bike.  The mining communities along this Mesabi trail are worth checking out if you have a few extra days.  See our Bike Grand Rapids article for lodging and more things to do when not riding.

MRT – Day 3 from Grand Rapids to Aitkin

As the Mississippi River pushes against the western slope of the St. Lawrence Divide, it
flows south, and the MRT hugs the west bank as it rolls out of Grand Rapids. This stretch of
the MRT is approximately a 70-miles ride to Aitkin.

Several yard art figures for a photograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Approximately 20 miles south, you will come to a crossroads. Here, by taking a left and crossing the river, you’re in the town of Jacobson. If you turn onto this half-mile side-trip adventure, you will discover many pieces of unusual lawn art and a rest-stop option.

Rolling into Palisade

 

 

 

Back on the route, continue south, and you will soon be in a town named for the high banks on each side of the river, another intriguing place to stop. The community has a restaurant
and a convenience store. Next to the river, the park here is an excellent place for a picnic or an overnight stay in the campground. Back in the saddle, riding out of Palisade, there are two options to reach Aitkin.

You can depart on the Great River Road, now a hard gravel surface, for the next 15 miles,
enjoying a peaceful ride along the river.

Rolling into Aitkin

Here, roll into a community with a riverboat full of history. Once a popular meeting point for Native American Indians and explorers, today, the town makes an excellent overnight choice that offers camping and lodging options. After you settle in, check out the museum converted from the Burlington Rail Depot. Here you can learn about the town’s steamboat history and other interesting facts.  For more things to do and lodging options, click here.

MRT – Day 4 from Aitkin to Little Falls

As the Mississippi flows, now in a westerly direction, the MRT roll into Cuyuna Country. As the river passes on the north side of an iron range of the past, the MRT meanders around several abandoned open mine pits, now some of Minnesota’s newest lakes. The MRT rolls towards the Brainerd Lakes Area as the river bends southwest.

Rolling into Brainerd

Just imagine riding in an area called Paul Bunyan’s playground. Legend has it that Paul and his blue ox, Babe (remember that mythical figure you can take a selfie within Bemidji?) were having fun, wrestling around after a long rain spell. Stomping and tromping made many large depressions that eventually filled with water to create the 464 lakes in the area. With the MRT and Paul Bunyan Trail merging back together in Brainerd/Baxter, you will find many fun adventures and good things to eat here. For more, see our  Brainerd/Baxter article.

Back in the saddle, the trail and river both head south again. As the Great River Road rolls
along the east bank, passing Crow Wing State Park, agriculture replaces the forested
landscape. Further down the MRT, cross to the west bank and visit Camp Ripley, which
offers a fascinating military museum. Here see hundreds of exhibits showcasing vehicles and field equipment of Minnesota’s military past. It’s still ten miles of pedaling to reach the next river town, “where the river pauses.”

Rolling into Little Falls

For centuries Little Falls has been where native inhabitants, early settlers, and recent visitors have used it as a ‘gathering place.’ Located where the Mississippi River pauses, this
river community is the town of Charles Lindbergh’s childhood. After settling in, check out the historic attractions and museums while experiencing the town’s original murals and frescoes. While here, if interested, you can discover who helped finance the production of the “Wizard of Oz.” See our Bike Little Falls article for lodging and more things to do when not riding.

MRT Day 5 from Little Falls to Monticello

Cyclists will pass by Charles Lindbergh State Park at the edge of town, where his childhood home still stands. Then the MRT passes by the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum before the river valley floor opens up to more agriculture. To get a better feel for what’s ahead after leaving Little Falls, watch the 4th video clip here.

Rolling into St Cloud

The river offers several rapids through this stretch as the MRT rolls into St. Cloud. Another LAB Bike Friendly Community, it’s easy to get around this river town and explore the city by bike. While in this river community, check out some attractions, including the Munsinger-Clemens Botanical Gardens. See our Bike St. Cloud article for lodging and more things to do when not riding.

The MRT and river swing back to the southeast on the east side of the river. The route takes you to Clearwater through county roads that parallel several irrigated potato fields. Then, crossing the Mississippi again, cyclists will notice the river is a bit wider here as they pedal to Monticello.

Rolling into Monticello

Here you will find a river town, full of charm, tucked up against the Mississippi River and conveniently located between St. Cloud and the Twin Cities. This vibrant community with many scenic parks is also home to thousands of geese and swans each winter. After settling in, check out the attractions in Monticello. For the lodging option in the area, visit the local chamber here.

MRT – Day 6 from Monticello to St Paul

Leaving Monticello, the MRT crosses the river and meanders through the farm fields of specialty crops to Elk River. To get a better feel for what you will see as you ride into the Twin Cities, watch the 5th video clip here.  Stopping in Elk River, cyclists passing through the downtown area will notice the fresco mural on Main Street. You will also find plenty of options for a rest stop here.

You will cross over the Mississippi River again on the Great River Road as you head out of Elk River. Soon you are passing through Dayton and entering the northern edge of the Mississippi National River and Recreational Area.

In the next twenty-five miles, MRT enthusiasts will enjoy stopping at several Twin Cities Gateway community attractions.

From here, enjoy paved bicycle paths through Minneapolis before reaching the St. Paul suburb of Inver Grove Heights.

MRT Day-7 from St Paul to Frontenac

As the Mississippi River Trail leaves the St Paul area, the route tentatively detours to the south to Hastings. To get a better feel for what’s ahead after leaving St. Paul, watch the 6th video clip here. The paved trail out of South St. Paul will connect to the Mississippi River Regional Trail, allowing cyclists a direct route to our next river town.

This new trail near Schaar’s Bluff is completed on the far end and will take cyclists into downtown Hastings’s historic district. You can find more about Hastings in our At-A-Glance article and a place to stop for cool refreshments or a meal.

Rolling into Hastings

Leaving Hastings, the MRT follows the Mississippi, winding along the backwaters of the river and past the Prairie Island Indian Community. About ten miles further, the route enters Red Wing, the next river community on the Minnesota section of the Mississippi River Trail.

Rolling into Red Wing

As the MRT runs alongside the river bank on the Great River Road, you will find the atmosphere in Red Wing both unique and charming. From the beautiful bluffs, historic sites, and world-famous boots and pottery, this river town also offers several dining opportunities for a stop here. If you decide to spend the night, see Visit Red Wing for more options.

Back on the Mississippi River Trail, it’s approximately another 10 miles to Frontenac State Park for the night. The city is on the National Register of Historic Places and contains many homes dating back to the Civil War era. Here you will find the Whistle Stop Café and a convenience store if you choose to camp in the state park for the evening.

MRT Day-8 from Frontenac to Winona

Back on the MRT, the route uses the wide paved shoulder of the Great River Road to Minnesota City. With a wide shoulder and rumble strip dividing you from the traffic, the Mississippi River is in sight, to your left most of the time. When you notice the river widening, the Mississippi flows into Lake Pepin, and you are close to the ‘Birthplace of Water Skiing.’

Rolling into the Lake City

Here discover the quaint shops and restaurants next to the harbor in the downtown area of Lake City. This river town is also a popular place for touring cyclists. In addition to the Annual Tour de Pepin bike tour, the site offers several other mapped rides. See the Lake Pepin Area Bike Map and checkout. Visit Lake City for more options.

As the river flows out of Lake Pepin, the next river community on the MRT is a town known for eagles and ‘Gumpy Old Men.’

Rolling into Wabasha

The oldest city on the entire upper Mississippi River, this community has been thriving since 1826. As touring cyclists roll into town, they will find 50 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places if time permits, enjoy their historic walking tour, and discover the stories that have made this town so unique. With Bald Eagles in abundance along the river, this is also home to the National Eagle Center, located downtown. Also, with the famous movie “Grumpy Old Men” its sequel shot here, dine at Slippery’s Bar & Grill for a nostalgic look at this river town. You can find more options at Visit Wabasha.

Rolling into Winona

Taking the MRT out on the back road through the village of Kellogg, it’s about 30 miles of pedaling to Winona along the bluffs. Arriving in this pristine river town, enjoy several views of the city nestled into a valley bordered by bluffs along the Mighty Mississippi. Here in Winona, there is plenty to discover, with so many attractions and museums. Be sure to visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. You will also notice many of the downtown buildings are on the National Register of Historical Places and self-guided history tours are an option. Being a LAB Bike Friendly Community, it’s easy to get around this river town and explore the city by bike. See our At-A-Glance Winona article for more tour, dinner, and overnight options.

A stop a the Pickwick Mill, 2-miles off the MRT

MRT Day-9 from Winona to the Iowa Boarder

Leaving Winona, the Mississippi River Trail creatively takes you up into the bluffs, past the historic Pickwick Mill, and then onto the Apple Blossom Drive Scenic Byway. A cyclist in the area enjoys a remarkable view of the Mississippi River Valley at the top of the byway. Then it’s a cruise down the Byway into La Crescent.

From La Crescent, the last leg of Minnesota’s section of the Mississippi River Trail is approximately 24 miles to Albin, IA.

Enjoy the fun of riding all or parts of the MRT for that unforgettable adventure.

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

With a growing demand for e-bikes, the electric bike expo organizer of several significant events in Europe is returning with the E-bike Challenge. Back at the Minneapolis Convention Center, March 11 -12, 2023, this will again be the place for consumers and businesses to test and compare the many e-bicycles and cargo bikes. Deemed a success this spring for the second year, attendees of all ages and abilities will again be able to test-ride the latest e-bikes on the enormous indoor cycle track. As the E-bike Challenge returns with more e-bikes and cargo bikes to test ride, mark your calendar and plan to attend.

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 with a battery and electric motor, allowing cyclists 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 a more leisurely ride. Again, in 2023, various vendors representing dozens of electric bicycle brands will be 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. Select the best models for commuting, recreation riding, hauling cargo, families, and more! You will also find e-fat-tire bikes for winter or off-road riding, plus 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 Pedego, Specialized, Riese & Müller,
and GoCycle, will show their latest electric bike innovations.

Discover the Hike & Camp area

There will also be a Hike & Camp or a Bike Xperience area to showcase outdoor activities. Attendees will learn about e-bikes and find fun places to ride and routes to explore. In the exhibition hall, you will also find tourist destinations, places for trekking, mountain biking, and many fun activities for kids.

Admission

Advanced 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.

 

Discovering how things work here is a group of neighborhood kids learning about bicycle maintenance. 

Teaching your child the ancient art of bicycle maintenance

by John Brown

As a parent and tinkerer, one of the most fun activities I share with my two boys is teaching them how bicycle maintenance works. Now that my older son is riding more and helping me review a bike for HaveFunBiking, the time has come to teach him how a bike works. Almost everybody gets the basics, but after 20 years working in shops, I want to give as much of my experience to him as possible. Take a look at my plan for teaching my son bicycle maintenance.

This father, son team assemble a bike for a school program.

Here this father-son team assembles a new bike for a school program.

Safety first in bicycle maintenance

Like wearing a helmet when riding a bike, working on a bike also has safety gear. Eye protection is a must. With safety glasses on, the next step is to show your child the danger zones on a bike. Spinning wheels, spinning brake rotors, along with crank, chain, and cogs, are all dangerous to little fingers. Teach your children to avoid those areas when the bike is moving. On that subject, it is also essential for kids to wear snugly fitting clothing. Loose clothing can get caught in moving parts.

bicycle maintenance

Caution areas are highlighted in red. These are the places fingers can get pinched.

Tools of the trade-in bicycle maintenance

The next step is to teach your kid the tools and how to use them. The main tools used on bikes are metric hex wrenches, screwdrivers, and metric box wrenches. First, show your child how to hold each tool for best leverage and what part of the tool engages with the bike. Then, show them where each tool fits on the bike before beginning the fix.

bicycle maintenance

Professional bike mechanics use hex wrenches, box wrenches, and screwdrivers.

Having fun with bicycle maintenance

Now that the safety and instruction portions are over, making the process fun! Your kid is likely dying to get their hands (and wrenches) on the bike as quickly as possible, so let them have at it. Considering you already gave them the safety and function basics, their bike exploration will be safe and enlightening. Once they play a little, ask your kid to teach you how the bike works! Have them exercise their brain and logic by explaining how the bike functions.

Teaching a little at a time

It’s easy for parents to get overzealous when teaching. If you are mechanically inclined, sharing that gift with your kids can be exciting, but try not to overwhelm them. Feel comfortable stopping the lesson when they lose interest. I like to start teaching with the rear brake (assuming it is a rim brake). The rear brake usually needs adjustment and is a rather simple example of how the rest of the bike functions. Once the rear brake is dialed and your kid is comfortable with the process, have them adjust the front brake.

Next, I start teaching about how to adjust the shifting system. Hopefully, you and your child had a good conversation when they “taught” you how the shifting worked because that conversation is an excellent baseline for teaching how to adjust the shifting. Because of the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur, start with the rear shifting first. Once they get the hang of that, move to the front derailleur.

After the bike functions properly, teach your kids to adjust the seat, bars, and controls. You may ask why I would recommend the simple adjustments last. The simple answer is that these adjustments require the most leverage and are best saved once your child practices using the tools.

Test ride

Once your child completes the adjustments, it’s time to take a test ride. Have your kid test ride in a supervised area away from traffic (like a driveway). Once the test ride is complete, make any additional adjustments, and be sure all the hardware is tight.

bicycle maintenance

Test rides are fun!

Learn through mistakes

Most of the fun of learning to work on bikes (or anything for that matter) is the process. Nobody gets it right on the first try, and we all learn from our mistakes. Mistakes are more valuable than successes. So the most important part of teaching your kids to work on bikes is to let them make mistakes and be a resource for the solutions if needed.

About John Brown, the author

As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit and that fever is still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. Starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he could about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then to a store manager.  Through the years, he has spent extensive time designing and sourcing bicycles and parts for some of the largest bike companies in the world. All the while focusing on helping as many people as possible enjoy the love of riding a bike. In that pursuit, he has taught classes (both scheduled and impromptu) on all things bikes. John also believes in helping every rider attain their optimal fit on the bike of their dreams. Please feel free to stop in any time and talk about bikes, fit, and parts or share your latest ride. You can also see John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.
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 isn’t your thing

by John Brown

Snow, ice, and cold make for excellent conditions for fat biking, but how do you keep in shape when winter bike riding isn’t your thing? Luckily, many fun activities, exercises, drills, and products help keep you in shape through the winter months.

winter riding

Fun is fat through the winter.

Fitness ideas if winter bike riding isn’t your thing

Even the most minor efforts can 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, and other gym-related activities.

On a bike trainer vs. winter riding

Another winter bike riding option you can enjoy through the winter is 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 while 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 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 increase your heart rate. I love skating on our pond with my boys because I’m not good at it, so I get to use new muscles, and two, I have to work hard to keep up with those rascals.

winter riding

Our winter oasis, where I fumble through learning to skate

However, enjoy your time off the bike if you find your fitness through the winter. The brief time between fall and spring is perfect for strengthening new muscles, working 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.

About John Brown, the author

As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit and that fever is still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. Starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he could about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then to a store manager.  Through the years, he has spent extensive time designing and sourcing bicycles and parts for some of the largest bike companies in the world. All the while focusing on helping as many people as possible enjoy the love of riding a bike. In that pursuit, he has taught classes (both scheduled and impromptu) on all things bikes. John also believes in helping every rider attain their optimal fit on the bike of their dreams. Please feel free to stop in any time and talk about bikes, fit, and parts or share your latest ride. You can also see John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.

Bike Pic Dec 20, deck yourself out with twinkle time Tuesday

In this week’s bike pic at HaveFunBiking, bike lights are the theme to help get you in the Holiday Spirit! Twinkle Time Tuesday features a colorful biker dude dressed head to toe in lights with his bike decked out as well.

So, get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic

Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle-related photo of yourself or someone you may know we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to [email protected]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue encouraging more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure. Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile-friendly, as we enter our 13th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends, and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe and memorable holiday season as we prepare for 2023!

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.

As the winter season progresses remember your fat bike etiquette

by Jess Leong  

Winter fat bike season is upon us again as the snow and temps drop. Similar to riding a regular mountain bike, there is a certain bike etiquette to follow when on the trail. Everyone outdoors, on the trail, wants to have a good time and make memories in the crisp, clean air. Whether biking, hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing, these are all valid activities where trail etiquette is important. The trail needs to be shared for everyone to have a good time. The rules below will not only keep everyone free from harm but also make it fun for everyone.

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 trial.

Practicing fat bike etiquette enhances to 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 in the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Before You Ride

  1. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability, and the area 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, and when you’re hoping to return. Things can happen on the trail; someone must know where you might be if something goes wrong.
  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 means 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 signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill unless the trail is 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.

Understand ice and snow travel and how to do it safely.

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.

Riding in the winter means riding on top of ice and snow. Throughout the winter, there will be times when 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 you and your bike when venturing across frozen waters.

Always bring items that can help if you’re in a situation where the ice breaks from under you. International Mountain Bicycling Association recommends that ice picks and a length of rope be carried if riding on lakes or rivers.

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.

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

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

Be polite and respectful to all.

Yield to all other users of the trail when riding. This includes hikers, 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.  Cutting into the trail more than an inch is difficult, if not impossible, to repair.
  2. Stay as far right as possible on the trail. This is so that other bikers, hikers, etc., can pass on the left.
  3. Do not ride on Nordic or classic ski trails. These trails are specifically groomed, and tires that cross them will ruin the trail and cause problems for those using or repairing 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 look 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 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.

Don’t Forget!

Also, always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear. Search for an IMBA Club to join, and don’t forget to HaveFun!

Jess Leong is a freelance writer for HaveFunBiking.com.

Minnesota River bottoms, a fun year-round trail network

by John Brown, 

In the summer of 1849, the first Bloomington Ferry began operations next to the Minnesota River bottoms. It carried people from the Bloomington shores to Shakopee. Exactly 40 years later, the first Bloomington Ferry Bridge was opened. Carrying people, carriages, and motorists across the river for over 100 years.  No longer open to auto traffic, the current pedestrian bridge is a beautiful arch, spanning the Minnesota River and connecting Bloomington to the Highway 101 trail to Shakopee. The Bridge is also the starting point for The Minnesota River Bottoms trail. The River Bottoms are some of the metro areas’ last natural trails, famous for mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and bird watching.

Minnesota River Bottoms

Bikes on the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, near the trailhead of the Minnesota River Bottoms

What are the Minnesota river bottoms?

The Minnesota River bottoms are worn by the riders, hikers, and runners who frequent them.

To locals, the “River Bottoms” is a trail network stretching from the southwest corner of Bloomington to the trails of Fort Snelling State Park. These trails are enjoyed by mountain bike riders and runners who frequent them. While under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, they are not maintained by any government entity and often take on a “path of least resistance” or direction. It is not uncommon for new tracks to spring up after heavy rains and high river flooding. While riding, expect dirt trails exclusively with some log crossings, sand sections, and occasional overgrowth. Warning, in the summer, pay particular attention to the Urtica Dioica plants, or stinging nettles, growing on infrequently used trails.

Wildlife of the Minnesota River Bottoms

Bikers, birdwatchers and hikers can enjoy the wildlife sightings along the banks of the Minnesota River.

Bikers, birdwatchers, and hikers can enjoy wildlife sightings along the banks of the Minnesota River.

The River Bottoms are great for all types of recreation. It’s not uncommon to see hikers, bird watchers, and people fishing along the banks of the Minnesota River. I have enjoyed sharing with my son the sights of Bald eagles and Beavers who make the watershed here their home. Additionally, being a natural area, the River Bottoms are home to countless animals, including white-tailed deer and mink.

What to expect

On the map, there are a few popular entrances to the River Bottom trail, including Lyndale Ave, Crest Ave, and Old Cedar Ave. These entrances offer ample parking and a clear trailhead. Once you start down the course, you will see that nothing is paved but worn-in enough to be firm under your tires. Except at the Lyndale trailhead, you will find a short section of paved, heading east, and perfect for walking and wheelchair use. While a mountain bike is best for unpaved trails, fat tire bikes navigate well in winter. If you need to cross a stream, there are bridges, and at 9-mile creek in the summer months, there is a rope ferry to get you across. Because the River Bottoms are so smooth, they are an ideal place to take kids mountain biking.

The Minnesota River bottoms are worn in by the riders, hikers, and runners who frequent them

You will find runners who frequent the natural settings of the Minnesota River bottoms.

When to ride

Spring, summer, winter, or fall, the Minnesota River bottoms are a natural haven for cyclists.

The best part of the River Bottoms is that it is one of the first places to dry out each spring. It is also one of the first places to freeze when winter rolls through. Like most off-road trails, please avoid this trail in early spring as they thaw or after heavy rain. Other than that, these trails are sandy enough to drain quickly. One of the best things about the river bottoms is riding fat bikes. Fat bikes can trace their development directly to the river bottom in the winter. When the snow falls, the river bottoms are the perfect mixture of flat trails, bermed turns, and accessibility to create a near-perfect winter track.

Living in the Twin Cities, we are lucky to have a place like the river bottoms to ride. The fact that it is left free to change and natural is unique in a metro area. You will find some of the metro’s last natural trails from the Bloomington Ferry Bridge to Fort Snelling.

About John Brown, the author

As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit and that particular fever was still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. He is starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he can about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then as a store manager. Through the years, he has spent extensive time designing and sourcing bicycles and parts for some of the largest bike companies in the world. All the while focusing on helping as many people as possible enjoy the love of riding a bike. In that pursuit, he has taught classes (both scheduled and impromptu) on all things bikes. John also believes in helping every rider attain their optimal fit on the cycle of their dreams. Please feel free to stop in any time and talk about bikes, fit, and parts or share your latest ride. You can also see more of John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.

Micro-mobility devices to test ride at the E-bike Challenge

by Russ Lowthian, Editor at HaveFunBiking

As consumers gain an ecological awareness of greener transportation, alternatives to electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more attractive. Especially with battery and solar technologies speeding forward, encouraging micro-mobility. Using a human-powered bike or trike, combined with an electric assist motor, can make for an eco-friendly option when looking at EV’s. Please find a short list below of some of the e-bikes and trikes options you can test ride at the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis.

Find a vast selection of electric-assist EVs at the E-bike Challenge.

Why an e-bike and the advantages when buying your next vehicle

Those who haven’t had the pleasure of test-riding an electric bicycle or e-trike will find they are perfect for many local trips. While not everyone can replace a car entirely, most trips within a 10-mile range can be less expensive with an e-bike. And, in many cases, quicker than a four-wheeled vehicle.

These micro-mobility transportation units make it easy to run errands, meet, or visit the local coffee shop. Also, using an e-bicycle allows you to pedal peacefully and sweat-free to your destination. Then, enjoy a fun cardio workout on your return trip. Below, discover many examples of e-assist bikes around the E-Bike Challenge test track on March 11 & 12, 2023.

Cargo bikes to haul kids and freight.

Also, the perfect rehabilitation tool for riders facing physical limitations or recovering following surgery.

The types of e-bicycles and their movement towards micro-mobility

It’s a vast and diverse industry with something for everyone, from adaptive, cargo, folding, fat, and long-tail bikes and trikes ready for you to test ride. The common thread is that all e-bikes and trikes use an electric motor to assist in human-powered activity or micro-mobility. They are replacing car miles, especially gas-powered ones, to create a cleaner environment.

Shop and compare at E-bike Challenge

Bikes to see at the E-bike Challenge

As we work with the E-bike Challenge team, here are some of the brands to expect at the March 11 & 12 event:

Aventon Aventure (fat tire bike)

Aventon Aventure Step-Thru Electric Fat Bike

This e-bike with four-inch fat tires and front suspension ensures you will be comfortable cruising the pavement or enjoying the challenges on the off-road trail. Especially with the 80mm of travel in the front suspension absorbing all the bumps in your path. Equipped with a powerful 1130W (peak) motor and 720Wh batt, any adventurer can go furthermore. See more on the Aventon line of e-bikes here.

Catrike eCat (recumbent trike)

Catrike eCAT 5.5.9 Recumbent Electric Tadpole

With seventeen years of engineering and experience, Catrike has created the eCat. Go farther, faster with greater ease aboard this recumbent e-trikThethe latest electric assist system from Bosch mot is at the heart of this trike. The result is a recumbent trike offering maximum efficiency, comfort, and riding enjoyment.

Gocycle G4i (folding bike)

Gocycle G4

A folding e-bike perfect for transit and ease of storage in tight city living spaces, on boats, or in motorhomes. With a streamlined chassis, enjoy Gocycle’s all-new G4drive that offers extra torque. And the iconic stowable magnesium frame, with a fast-folding handlebar and carbon wheels, creates a genuinely helpful urban folding bike with a 50-mile range.

IZIP Tristar Plus (trike)

IZIP Tristar Plus

This versatile electric three-wheeler has the power to handle your cargo load with every pedal stroke. With its easy handling and responsive TranzX M16 center motor, it’s easy to run errands, deliver goods, or take your pup for a ride. The easy-entry frame has a 3-speed drivetrain with a large rear cargo basket, offering an average range of 30 miles per charge. Many are finding this electric-assist trike a welcome member to mobility.

Magnum Scout (fat tire bike)

Magnum Scout

An all-terrain fat tire e-bike built for comfort year-round, this large frame model is perfect for five-foot-six and taller riders. Add in the 17.5Ah battery and 750w motor. The Scout will get there within a 35 to 65-mile range per charge. Other features of the Scout include high-tread fat tires, front fork suspension, and hydraulic disc brakes. They make it easy to pedal away on your next remote hunting, ice fishing, or backwoods adventure. See more on the Magnum line of e-bikes.

Pedigo Stretch (long-tail bike)

Pedigo Stretch

This cargo bike is complete with everything you need and more. It is fully loaded with user-friendly features that make riding even more fun and practical for hauling people and cargo of all shapes and sizes. With a premium drivetrain with five levels of pedal assist for full power on demand, the Stretch is a complete package with everything you need and more. See more on the Pedego line of e-bikes here.

Riese & Muller Load 75 (long-tail bike cargo bike)

Riese & Muller Load 75

Its full suspension makes it a noteworthy cargo bike, a comfortable ride when hauling packages or children. The Load 75 may be the ultimate family bike for hauling up to four toddlers. This e-bike now offers a Bosch 4th generation motor system for more get-up-and-go. Now with more torque, it’s lighter and sleeker than ever before. And like the Load 60, the 75 is also highly reliable, thanks to its high-grade components. See more on the Load 75 line of e-bikes here.

Serial 1 E-bike powered by Harley Davidson

Serial 1 power by Harley Davidson

They were inspired by the creation of their first motorcycle, the “Serial Number One,” back in 1903. Today this new line of e-bikes offers fun, freedom, and instant adventure for those looking for a pedal-assist electric bicycle. Powered by the advanced bicycle technology at Harley Davidson, enjoy the freedom of a bike with the effortless joy of electric power to change how the world moves again. See more on the Serial 1 line of e-bikes here.

Specialized Creo SL Electric (Road/Gravel Bike)

Specialized Creo SL Electric

If you are looking for an adventure both on or off-road, the 2021 Specialized Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon EVO Electric Road Bike is here to assist you. The features of this bike come with the same motor, battery, and frame as the Vado SL. Only this bike is faster! And the cycle allows you to take advantage of the tire clearance with Creo’s adventure-ready components. Now you can go wherever your heart desires. See more on the Specialized line of e-bikes here.

SYKL Xplorer X1000 MD Series  (fat tire bike)

SYKL Xplorer X1000 MD

This e-fat bike is designed for rugged terrain and is perfect for climbing hills, long-range hunting trips, and all-terrain exploration. Whether that means getting quickly and quietly to your duck blind; climbing mountains to see what is at the top; or powering along a sandy beach to watch a sunset, the Xplorer bikes will get you where you want to go. See more on the SKYL line of e-bikes here.

Tern GSD S10 LX (long-tail bike cargo bike)

Tern GSD S10 LX

It’s the same length as a regular bike and easy to carry two kids, groceries, or a lot of cargo. And the GSD S10 LX is ready to replace your car. The bike has a handling capacity of 440 lb (200 kg) and a Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight. Plus, the built-in dual-battery technology lets you ride all day. And with space-saving features of the FlatFold and Vertical Parking makes the GSD easy to own and use. See more on the Tern line of e-bikes here.

Urban Arrow Family E-Cargo Bike

2022 Urban Arrow Electric Cargo Bike

This bike is the newest member of the famous European cargo bike family line. The 2022 Urban Arrow Electric Cargo Bike can easily transport you and your children or wherever you want to haul. No more worries about your busy schedule, fetching groceries, shopping trips, or delivering a payload. Now zip through the city effortlessly, or enjoy a trip to the country using trails and roads. See more on the Urban Arrow line of e-bikes here.

Mark your calendar! This is just a sample of some of the bikes you may be able to test ride at the E-bike Challenge coming to the Minneapolis Convention Center on March 11 & 12, 2023. Then, check back often as more e-vehicles signup, and we do total reviews on the models you want to test out.

by Russ Lowthian, the editor at HaveFunBiking