Category Archives: News

Sledge Sunglasses are designed by cyclists for your riding comfort

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Thanks to today’s oversized styles from Tifosi Optics, choosing a pair of eye-catching sunglasses for cycling is easy and affordable. The latest Sledge models will have you riding in style when the sun is shining. Plus, if you are like me, when you want a more detailed view,  they comfortably fit over your prescription glasses. Either way, you wear them, you will get the airy fit and the protection you desire.

Each pair comes a full lens kit that includes an additional clear and high contrast AC red lens, plus a hard case and soft bag for cleaning.

Styling comfort with Sledge Sunglasses

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

Each of the vented Sledge lenses fit into the lightweight yet durable Grilamid TR-90 frame of your choice. And all three lenses are guaranteed shatterproof while providing 100% UV protection.

Cycling sunglasses designed by cyclists

The perfected cycling eyewear at an affordable price, Sledge glasses range from $69.95 to 79.95. Click on each of the four-color options below and choose.

Crystal Orange with a Clarion Blue lens

 

Crystal Red with a Clarion Yellow lens

Matte Black with a Smoke lens

Matte White with a Smoke lens

Like me, you will find that the Sledge line of sunglasses offers the ideal tint for any lighting condition. Each pair is shipped with a full lens kit, which includes an additional clear and high contrast AC red lens, plus a hard case and soft bag for cleaning.

Team up with Tifosi during the Covid-19 crisis

Tifosi face shield donation to health care workers during covid-19

In addition to making affordable eye protection for you, Tifosi is also doing what it can to protect healthcare professionals during the Covid-19 crisis. The company recently announced that they would be donating a face shield to health care facilities during the month of May for every pair of sunglasses sold on their site. For more details, check out their post here.

I recently spent some time in Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride.

Planning a casual doughnut ride for you and your friends

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

Recently I spent some time in the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride. I was reminded of the joys of simple rides and good company, rather than difficult efforts and a competitive pace. Now with 30 days of Biking a few weeks away here is a fun idea you may want to consider with friends, as warmer weather moves our way.

The Doughnut Ride

We left the shop at 7:30 a.m. with a group of eight. Our bikes were a mishmash of road bikes, commuter rigs, single-speed, and an e-bike. When we departed the shop and headed toward the center city, it was immediately clear the pace would be conversational. Our cruise headed out on the river drive bike path, through Fairmount Park, and toward the center city. Rather than stay on the path, we crossed the falls bridge and onto West River Drive. On the weekends, Philadelphia closes West River Drive so we had our run of the entire roadway. After a bit of riding and a lot of talking, we found ourselves at the end of West River Drive and at the base of the Art Museum.

At the Art Museum, our ride began to slip through the surrounding neighborhoods until we reached our hallowed destination – Federal Doughnuts.

After stuffing our face with warm doughnuts we hopped back on our bikes. Full of sugar and fat, we made our way back to the bike shop along the same route. Ultimately, the ride took a little under two hours, including the time eating. Everyone had fun, the conversation was great, and we all got the chance to meet new people.

Why this ride works

The ride was great because the pace and route are clearly stated in advance. Therefore, everyone knew what to expect and where to go. The route itself was carefully chosen to promote great conversation and a casual pace. By including traffic-free paths and streets and a casual destination, every rider could enjoy the trip stress-free. Additionally, the pace is controlled by the ride’s start time. As an example, a competitive minded rider has a list of fast-paced rides leaving on Saturday morning, so there would be no need to come to the Doughnut Ride to try and get a killer workout with so many other options. From start to finish, this ride is a winner.

How to plan your own ride

If you already lead rides for a local club or shop, then setting up a casual ride should be easy for you. If this is your first attempt at leading an organized ride than there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, you want people to be at your ride! To make sure you have attendees, start talking about and advertising (if you’re working with a local club or shop) a minimum of two weeks in advance. Also, make sure all your information explains the pace as well as the payoff (in this case doughnuts) for your ride to build interest. Finally, make sure your route is friendly to a group of riders. As an example, I’ve been on a few rides that required riders to be single file almost the entire time due to narrow roadways. in contrast, the Doughnut ride promoted conversation with wide paths and clear roads.

According to Paul T., Perennial Cycle in Minneapolis does a great job with these types of rides and has a lot of them. Watch for the upcoming events there this season.

The Apres-Ski Recovery Boot works well for post fat biking activities

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Like the Telic’s sandals, the new Apres-Ski Recovery Boot is the perfect footwear, after fat biking the snow-covered trails. With a fun-filled day of pedaling through the woods and open fields behind us. It was time to slip on some comfortable walking footwear and enjoy the local festivities. Here my wife found this Recovery Boot, made for post-ski therapy, perfect for the activities we enjoyed after fat biking.

After a fun-filled day of pedaling through Minnesota’s True North landscape, the boots support technology added to the comfort.

The Apres-Ski Recovery Boot fit

As I mentioned Telic is best known for its comfortable sandal footwear. Telic originally designed the Recovery Boot for skiers in the snow sports industry to help them relax after training and competition. What they found incorporating the Novlaon Footstrike Technology from the sandals, the boot had a soft supportive fit for added comfort for any post-outdoor activity.

Very attractive, I liked the idea that this boot was lightweight, water-resistant, and had a nice traction control outer soles.

Stylish, and very supportive with great shock absorption.

Trying these boots, my wife found them stylish, very supportive with great shock absorption. So we found these boots kept her feet warm while we walked around the apres festivities after fat biking.

The new Telic Apres-Ski Recovery Boot turned out to be the perfect footwear for post-fat biking fun, after riding the snow-covered trails.

What’s an electric assist bike, or e-bike and is it for you?

You have probably read about electric-assist bicycles, commonly known as e-bikes. With many improvements, the past couple of years, this type of bicycle has grown in popularity around the world. So what exactly is a pedal-assist bicycle?

Simply by pedaling, instead of using a twist or thumb throttle, you activate the motor to help turn the drive-train. If you are curious and would like to check them out, stop by a local bike shop or visit the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis. Either option, here are some questions you may want to ask when test riding.

Fun test riding opportunities at the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis

First, how would you use an electric-assist bike

  • commuting to work, running errands or hauling cargo
  • maybe bike touring
  • spending more time on off-road trails
  • or assist with rehabbing after an injury?

Then ask yourself

  • will an e-bike make it easier for me to stay active
  • make it more enjoyable, especially when dealing with hills and headwinds
  • help so I can keep up with friends who ride faster?

Because electric bike technology is progressing quickly, both the batteries and motors are lighter to allow you a better range between charges. Today there are bikes for every conceivable application from hauling cargo to making a climb up a mountain bike trail a breeze.

Choose an e-bike for your style of bicycle riding

Geared to accommodate different kinds of activities, you have a lot of e-bike options. When considering an e-bike are you going to use it for cargo-hauling; relaxed cruising; off-road trail riding; child transportation; road biking; fat bike riding; bike touring; or urban commuting?

With so many e-bikes on the market today, design options vary to fit different people and their preference of use. So it’s up to you to decide what is most important. Is it the ease of riding; the cost; maintenance, dependability, and range – or all the above?

Test ride

Now that you have answered some of the questions, visit a few bike shops or the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis and test ride them. There you will see all the latest brands and models available to ride on the huge indoor test track.

The Fridley 10-mile bike loop lets visitors discover the MRT

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Named for an early settler along the east bank of the Mississippi River. Today the bike-friendly Fridley 10-mile bike loop lets visitors discover art, nature and beautiful flower gardens along the way. With many cycling paths connecting to both the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) and the Rice Creek Trail, bike touring is easy. One of the nine communities of the Twin Cities Gateway, the city of Fridley is located just north of Minneapolis, and a fun place to explore. So, if you enjoy biking along the trails that Red River oxen carts once used we have some options to explore while enjoying the Fridley 10-mile bike loop.

Fun on the Fridley 10-mile bike loop.

The Fridley 10-mile bike loop

Starting from the outer parking lot of the LivINN Hotel, the Fridley route heads out in a clockwise direction. After crossing the Central Avenue intersection, drive your bike by using the bike lane on 53rd Avenue for the next two miles. Now turning to the north on Main Street, once over Interstate 694 you will pass Woodsprings Hotel. For those who would like to begin the 10-mile bike loop from this point, continue north up to 61st Avenue. Here on your left, you are at the Fridley train station.

Passing through Edgewater Garden Park on the MRT.

Taking the tunnel under the RR tracks

On the east side of the Northstar-Line Fridley Station use the elevator. Taking your bike with you down to the lower level and walk through the tunnel to the west side of the train tracks. On the main level, on the west side, the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) is right outside the door and ready for you to venture north again. An option for another day, consider boarding the Northstar Train with your bike and ride it up the Anoka, Elk River or Big Lake, then pedal back to Fridley, on the MRT. See the multi-modal train-to-trail cue-sheet here.

Many roads in Fridley offer trails that parallel for added comfort.

More adventure awaits at the Locke Lake trail T

Flower gardens invite you into the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.

Back on the 10-mile bike loop, continue pedaling north on the MRT as the trail passes through Edgewater Garden Park. A little further on, before turning into Locke Lake Park at the trail T, you have a couple more options. If you don’t mind adding some additional miles out and back, continue on the MRT to the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. With rotating art exhibits, the art center is next to Manomin County Park. Another mile further you will find the Springbrook Nature Center. These three community highlights can add more memorable moments to any bike ride.

Manomin County Park is on the same grounds as the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts.

Back on the 10-mile bike loop, the trail connects to the Rice Creek Trail in Locke Lake Park. Use caution as you ride your bike through this area. You will need to apply both your front and rear brakes (or walk your bike) as you descend down along Locke Lake on the trail. If you are riding with others allow extra space between each, as there are a few sharp turns passing under the RR tracks next to Rice Creek, as it flows into the lake. Finally, at the next T, the Rice Creek Trail runs through Fridley Community Park.

Now riding east along the Rice Creek Trail

After crossing University Avenue, at the stoplight, resume riding east on the Rice Creek Trail. In this section between University and Highway 65, the Rice Lake Trail offers an upper and lower trail segment. The 10-mile loop uses the upper trail, as it’s a bit shorter and takes you past restroom facilities in the park before reaching the tunnel under Highway 65. After the tunnel resume the route by taking left at the trail T to Central Ave. If you are staying at Budget Host Hotel, or desire to start the 10-mile loop from here, at this trail T take a right and head south a block to the hotel.

Turning south ice cream may soon be an option

The trail route now, heading south, runs parallel to Central Avenue. If you have a sweet tooth and desire delicious Ice cream treat, turn right on Moore Lake Road into Grandpa’s Ice Cream.

The flavors here are worth stopping for.

Continuing along Central Ave, as you reach Hillcrest Drive you have one more option to cool off. If it’s a hot day, half-mile further south is Moore Lake Park where you will find a beach for a refreshing swim. Otherwise, take a left on Hillcrest and the route jogs through several neighborhood streets down to Matterhorn Drive. After crossing over Interstate 694, once more, turn right on Skywood Lane and follow the freeway border wall around to the start.

Back at the parking lot or your Fridley hotel, check out the nearby eating establishments and plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Fridley click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of Fridley click here

Tern’s HSD electric-assist bike, out of the box and on the road

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

Every so often, I run across a bike that is truly unique and the Tern HSD electric-assist bike is one, and worth checking out. Especially if you are looking for a comfortable ride with options of hauling cargo or a child. As I look over some of the latest electric bikes that will be available to test-ride at the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis. I had a chance to take this new Tern HSD P-9 e-bike out for a spin.

My initial test ride of the Tern HSD electric-assist bike

Using three parallel streets, on a hillside in my neighborhood as my personal test course. I had a chance to experience the pedal-assist-power and comfort of this new e-bike. On my initial ride, with close to 300 pounds of weight between myself and some extra gear, I found the bike had a smooth acceleration with plenty of power to spare. It didn’t matter if I stopped on the flat or on the 12-degree incline of the hill. Each time I started pedaling, which kicked in the motor, there were no irregular jerk movements, it was smooth. Plus, with the Bosch motor set on the Eco mode (the lowest of four e-assist settings) and the 1×9 gear drivetrain, my cadence was comfortable going up all the hills. It was also reassuring that I still had the Tour, Sports, and Turbo motor settings at my fingertips if needed.

About Tern’s HSD electric bike

The Tern HSD electric-assist bike is a compact cargo bike offering a comfortable ride.

The Tern HSD P-9 is a compact cargo bike perfect for commuting, recreational riding and running errands with some extra space to haul cargo or a child. At 5.5 feet long it is slightly shorter than the average road bike and has a load capacity of 374 pounds.

The HSD P-9 model uses a Bosch Active Line Plus motor and 400Wh battery with a Purion display, with Eco, Tour, Sports, and Turbo power settings. The drivetrain uses a 9-speed Shimano® Alivio Shadow RD cassette/derailleur. So this motor/drivetrain combination was smooth when beginning to accelerate and throughout the ride.

Bonus items that come standard

The HSD comes with a headlight and taillight. A Suntour suspension front fork to help ease bumps, 20″ wheels, an aluminum frame, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and an integrated Abus frame lock in the rear wheel. Plus, the bike can be stored standing on its rear rack and the handlebar stem folds down flat, making it easy to fit a compact space.

The HSD easily stands on the back rack for convenient storage.

Accessories

You can buy many accessories online, but Tern’s proprietary ones are fit to the bike and add convenience. Specifically, the Go-To bag that attaches to the front of the bike using a Tern Luggage Truss™ adapter. It was easy to fit my laptop inside this bag, and perfect for commuting to work, school or the library.

The Tern Go-To bag comes with a special cover for added weather protection and visibility.

On the rear, Tern’s proprietary cargo hold panniers are weather-resistant and pack down flat. Each pannier can hold up to 60 pounds and closes securely with a magnetic clip. I found I could easily slip in two paper grocery bags on each side, nice!

Need more cargo or kid hauling capacity, test ride all the Tern Bikes

Stop by your local Tern dealer or mark your calendar for the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis, March 28-29, 2020. There you can ride all the Tern Bikes including the GSD on the electric bike expos huge indoor test track. Have Fun!

 

The Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop makes it easy to connect and discover

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Named for the turbulent Mississippi River waters at the confluence of Coon Creek, the city of Coon Rapids is a fun place to explore on a bicycle. One of the nine communities in the Twin Cities Gateway it’s a perfect destination for a bike vacation using the Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop. Here you will find many connections to hundreds of miles of trails. Both the Coon Creek Trail and the Mississippi River Trail are two greenway systems here that allow you to safely pedal throughout the area. So, if you enjoy biking along rivers and creeks we have some ideas for you starting with the Coon Rapids 10-mile loop.

The 10-mile bike loop is fun for all levels of riders.

The Coon Rapids 10-mile bike loop

Leaving from the outer parking lot of the Muddy Cow Restaurant, or a nearby hotel the route travels in a clockwise direction. Pulling out onto Springbrook Drive this tour safely crosses Coon Rapids Boulevard. Once across, we suggest using the paved trails that run parallel to the street due to heavy traffic. After crossing 85th Avenue, about two miles into the loop consider stopping at the Springbrook Nature Center.

Many roads here offer trails that parallel for added comfort and fun.

Now pedaling along the south side of 85th Avenue, at East River Road cross the street at the stoplight and use the sidewalk on the west side, up to 85th Lane. Here enjoy the quiet neighborhood streets that connect you to the Mississippi River Trail (MRT).  At 86th Avenue continue straight ahead on the MRT up between two residences and the real fun begins. As the trail drops into the forested vegetation along the bank of the Mississippi River its a whole new experience.

The visitors center here makes a great rest stop.

Following the trail along the river to the Coon Rapids Dam, you will pass several trail T’s in the park offering more loop options. One loop in the park circles Cenaiko Lake where you will find many people fishing for trout.

The Coon Rapids Dam and Visitors Center

At the visitor’s center at the Coon Rapids Dam, you will find more information on the area and the history of the dam. The dam is another popular fishing location and a crossing point for many cyclists riding the Three Rivers Trails throughout the Twin Cities Metro.

Riding across the Coon Rapids dam always offers a refreshing mist of cool air.

Turning north to Coon Creek

Riding up Egret Boulevard you can ride in the bike lane or use the parallel pedestrian path.

Now at the Dam, the 10-mile Loop leaves the MRT and heads north out of the park on Egret Boulevard. A bike-friendly road, you can ride the designated bike lane or use the pedestrian path paralleling the street. Continuing north after crossing Coon Rapids Boulevard, at Robinson Drive you will find the Coon Creek Trailhead. On the trail and after crossing the creek, at the trail T, the 10-mile loop takes a right. If you want to add a few for miles to your ride here is another option. To your left, the trail will take you up through the Erlandson Nature Center and further along connects to Bunker Hills Regional Park.

The smells, sounds, and views of nature as you pedal

Now pedaling south alongside Coon Creek, enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature. This stretch of the trail is a tranquil wilderness setting as you pedal along the stream through the forested canopy.  After crossing over a creek bridge one more time, pass under the railroad tracks for another option. Stop for a round of bumper boats, go-karts or miniature golf at Lilli Putt before heading east and completing the 10-mile Loop.

Enjoying the enjoy the smells, sounds, and views of nature along the trail.

For the last few miles of the route, the trail runs parallel along Coon Rapids Extension and Boulevard. Back at the parking lot, or your hotel, check out nearby eating establishments and plan another bike adventure in the Twin Cities Gateway Area.

Printable map and Q (cue)-sheet)

For a printable bike map of Anoka click here

For a turn-by-turn, Q-sheet of Anoka click here

Electric bike expo countdown, 50-days until the E-bike Challenge

Electric bike expo countdown – With an expanding selection of electric-assist bikes from around the world, the E-bike Challenge Minneapolis is returning in 50-days.

Thanks for viewing our electric bike expo countdown picture

From a recent article at HaveFunBiking, the E-bike Challenge will again be at the Minneapolis Convention Center, on March 28–29. Here consumers can test and compare electric-assist bicycles on the huge indoor cycle track. In its inaugural year, 2019, it was deemed a success with attendees of all ages and abilities test riding e-bikes. While visiting have fun learning:

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

Hint – An e-bike is a bicycle that has a battery and electric motor to allow a cyclist to ride farther and with greater ease. However, the bicycle doesn’t do all the work by itself, it only assists! The bicyclist must be pedaled for the motor to engage, enabling an easier ride.

Start your E-bike Challenge visit with a 2020 Bike Guide and the daily E-bike parade

As you enter the bike expo hall and test track pick up your copy of the HaveFunBiking 2020 Bike/Hike Guide, hot off the press. Then attend the e-bike fashion show where you will find all the latest models of e-bikes you can ride, on the runway. Dozens of bicycle exhibitors, to name a few like Bosch, Tern Bicycles, Riese & Müller, Yuba, GoCycle will be there. With more brands signing up each day, you are sure to see the latest and greatest in electric bike innovations.

Find your next adventure in the Hike & Bike Xperience court area

When not test riding all the fun e-bikes, explore the Hike & Bike Camp area in the center of the exhibition hall. Here find information on tourism destinations, trekking, mountain biking, and fun activities.

Plus you will find an interactive Kid’s Area at the bike expo

This family-friendly event will also have an interactive kids’ bike test track for ages 16 and
under, a children’s scavenger hunt daily, a bicycle playground with activities, and more!

Have a great day and mark your calendar for the E-bike Challenge!