Category Archives: News

As summer slips into fall this coming Sunday, here are more bike events September 19th through 24th, here in the upper Midwest.  With fall now approaching, on Sept 22nd, you will notice cooler temps and more colors as the season progresses. 

Discover all the fun bike events, Sept. 19th and continuing into the fall

As summer slips into fall this coming Sunday, here are several more bike events September 19th through the 24th, here in the upper Midwest.  With fall now approaching, on Sept 22nd, you will notice cooler temps and more colors as the season progresses.

Bike events, 7-days out

Renegades Cyclocross DesMoines, IA Sept 18

Wednesday Night CX   Brooklyn Park, MN Sept 19 

Thursday Cross Practice Cedar Falls IA Sept 20

Tour de Fall W. Des Moines to Lanesboro, MN.  Sept 21-23 

Trek CX Cup Waterloo, WI Sept 21-23  

Wild Ride Mountain Bike Lebanon Hills – Eagan, MN   Sept 22 

3rd Annual Save Summer Bike & Brew Fest Walker, MN  Sept 22 

Root River “Taste of the Trail” Rushford, MN   Sept 22 

Tour De Hugo  Hugo, MN Sept 22 

Central Lakes 24/7 Duathlon Fergus Falls, MN  Sept 22 

Headwaters 100  Park Rapids, MN Sept 22

Full Moon High Trestle Bridge Ride Slater, IA Sept 22

Arthritis Bike Classic  San Francisco to L.A. Sept 22-29

The Ride  Sun Prairie WI Sept 23

Hero Gravel Classic  Stillwater, MN Sept 23 

GIRG (Gravel Iowa River Greenbelt) Ride Steamboat Rock, IA Sept 23

Full Moon Ride Slater, IA Sept 24

See More

See more events further out in both the Iowa and Minnesota Bike/Hike Guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. As you explore all the bike-friendly destinations we have covered, please share your experience with us. And, don’t forget to smile we may be around the next corner with the HFB camera ready to capture you for our next pic of the day!

Bike Silver Bay, there is still time to make some outdoor memories with fall color season soon approaching.

Bike Silver Bay on the North Shore as the fall colors begin to peak

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Bike Silver Bay, there is still time to make some outdoor memories with fall color season soon approaching. With your two-wheel stud, make your way into northeastern Minnesota Arrowhead region and soon you will find yourself enjoying the fall colors on the North Shore. While here you can spend all the time in the world at its various parks, like Splitrock Lighthouse or Tettegouche State Park or while enjoying the Gitchi-Gami State Trail.

Family fun riding along the Gitchi Gami Trail with Lake Superior at your side.

Family fun riding along the Gitchi Gami Trail with Lake Superior at your side.

It has plenty of areas for the mountain bike too. to explore and has the Superior Hiking Trail runs through, so make sure you’re ready for plenty of Instagram worthy selfie opportunities. There’s even room for hiking the Superior Hiking Trail, that runs through the area. See the HaveFunBiking Silver Bay Map from the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, for more details.

More About the Bike Silver Bay Area

Resting along the shore of the beloved Lake Superior, get a great view of the lake as you explore the area with your bike or on foot.

The chances to enjoy nature are many, but sometimes you need a break. So when it comes time to take-five indoors you’re in luck. There are plenty of shops to browse and diners to replenish the calories you’ve burned out on the trail. If you’re looking for an artistic experience, the Lake Superior Community Theater always has a production ready for your enjoyment.

Biking Opportunities in the friendly Bike Silver Bay Area

There’s nothing better than riding your bike and enjoying the fresh air with a breeze of the lake. The Silver Bay area has plenty of trails and loops ready for you. You’ll have plenty of scenic views and fun challenges mountain biking here.

In Tettegouche State Park

The northeastern tip borders Lake Superior. And if you’re looking for a scenic adventure through some of Northern Minnesota’s finest nature trails. Mountain bikers can use the 1.5-mile road that also doubles as the service road into the Tettegouche camp. Bikers can also use the 6.5 miles of ATV trails located in and outside the park.

Split Rock Lighthouse State Park

The fat bike trails loops in Split Rock Lighthouse State are fun.

The fat bike trails loops in Split Rock Lighthouse State are fun.

The park trails here offer a connection to the 10 miles from the park up to Silver Bay on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail. For the mountain bikers, there are also plenty of trails such as the Merrill Lodging Trail and the Day Hill Trail for bikers to enjoy. They can also use the Corundum Mine Trail and there are trails for fat bikers as well.

Gooseberry Falls State Park

About 15 miles south on the Gitchi-Gami State Trail beautiful Gooseberry Falls State Park offers several opportunities for bikers to hit the trails. Mountain bikers will have plenty of trails to travel, and many areas connect to each other providing several loop opportunities.

Gitchi Gami State Trail

Riding along Lake Superior on the Gitchi Gami Trail.

Riding along Lake Superior on the Gitchi Gami Trail.

This trail starts in Two Harbors and travels all the way to Grand Marais. While parts of the trail are under construction, or yet to be started, much of it follows the coast of Lake Superior. You’ll get to travel through Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Tettegouche State Park, and more.

Mountain Biking

If you’re looking for than winding paths and hills out of your bike adventure, give these more challenging trails a try. The North Star State Trail takes you from Duluth all the way through town and up to Grand Marais. Then there’s the Moose Walk Trail that takes you along the Sawtooth Mountains. It also connects to the Red Dot Trail, which takes you on a hilly ride through countless spruce pine.

Where to stay in Silver Bay and thing to do when not biking

At the Heart of the Northshore, you will find everything you need for a couple night stay or a long vacation in northern Minnesota. Located an “incredibly scenic” hour north of Duluth, Minnesota, come and experience the great outdoors with nature activities, fun family attractions, area tours, scenic state parks, hiking and biking trails and more. Stay in luxurious accommodations at one of our resorts, cabins or hotels where you will find comfortable, affordable lodging for every budget. See the waves and observe the ships on Lake Superior, smell the forests, watch the birds and wildlife or enjoy the Superior Hiking Trail. Bike Silver Bay is an experience you will not soon forget!

Sadly, it is sometimes unavoidable to ride in the rain. So, when you do get caught in the rain, use these bike maintenance tips to protect your equipment.

Quick and easy post bike maintenance tips after riding in the rain

by John Brown

Sadly, it is sometimes unavoidable to ride in the rain. In my experience, the rain actually waits for me to get as far from home as possible before starting. So, when you do get caught in the wet weather, how do you protect your bicycle from the damages of water? Read on for a few helpful bike maintenance tips.

The First Step In Bike Maintenance Tips Is Get It Clean!

The first step after a riding in the rain is to get your bike clean. Road grime, mud, and other muck that has accumulated on your bike will hold moisture and encourage corrosion. A bucket of warm soapy water and a sponge is the best way to clean out that crud. Try to resist the urge to point a hose at the bike because pressured water gets into bearings promoting wear.

The Second Tip – Get It Dry

Once your bike is clean, use an old towel to get it dry. Rubber parts like tires and grips don’t need a lot of attention, rather focus on all the metal parts. Really try to address the steel hardware and make sure its dry to the touch before you’re done.

Then, Clean The Rims

Unless you have disc brakes, riding in the rain takes a toll on both the rims and brake pads. All the road grime that attaches itself to the rim works like sandpaper, wearing both the rim and the brake pads when you stop. Therefore, after riding in wet weather you will want to focus on getting all that abrasive grime off the rims and pads. If the dirt is left in place, your brakes can start making noise, be less efficient, and wear out quicker.

Lube The Chain

Water and motion will do a good job of scouring all the lubricant off your chain. Additionally, the same road grime that wears rims and brake pads will wear your chain. Additionally, that wear leaves your chain particularly susceptible to rust. To lube your chain, start by propping the bike up so you can rotate the cranks backward freely. Next, Backpedal the bike, while dripping lubricant onto each chain link. Once the chain is well saturated, give a few moments for the lubricant to penetrate the chain. Finally, wrap a rag around the chain, backpedal, and remove all the excess lubricant. Done!

Lube The Cables

Like the chain, cables will lose lubricant and wear quicker in the rain. To keep your bike shifting and braking well, drip a small amount of lubricant onto the cables where they enter the housing. Once capillary action carries a few drops of lubricant into the housing, shift through your gears a few times and squeeze the brakes repeatedly to help the lubricant find it’s way.

Drain The Bike

A bicycle may appear to be sealed from the elements, but it is, in fact, able to take on water when you ride in the rain. The water that collects inside your bicycles frame can destroy bearings, rust a frame from the inside, or freeze in the winter and burst frame tubes. To drain a frame, pull the seat and seat post out of the bike, and turn the bike upside down. Leave the bike for a few hours to drain and then replace the seat and post.

Overall, when servicing your bike after you ride in the rain be aware of the corrosion and wear rain can cause. Focus on getting the bike clean and re-lubricated, ready for your next ride.

Your favorite music keeps you pedaling in high spirits through the toughest rides like nothing else. So how do you bring your favorite tunes along with limited space while riding a bike? Take a look at these few tips below about some of the most popular options.

Easy ways to ride your bike with your favorite music

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Your favorite music keeps you pedaling in high spirits through the toughest rides like nothing else. So how do you bring your favorite tunes along with limited space while riding a bike? Take a look at these few tips below about some of the most popular options.

Earbuds for Music

The most common way people listen to music is through earbuds. Earbuds do a great job because they fit snugly into your ear (eliminating a lot of wind noise), are light and collapsible, and don’t need an additional power source. The downside of earbuds is they can limit your ability to hear your surroundings. We take for granted how much our auditory sense contributes to our ability to ride comfortably through the world. If you want to use earbuds it’s best you use just one. Most media devices will allow you to shift all music to one earbud, leaving your other ear open and keeping you safe.

Speakers

Another simple option is to use the speakers in your phone and a mount to hold our phone. Doing this option works okay, but music quality and battery life end up being an issue. Although this is not a great option, many riders use their phone as a GPS device, so it is already available to be a media player.

Another popular choice is to use your phone paired to a portable speaker. Lots of riders find it easy to mount a speaker to their bike or person. Portable speakers maintain good sound quality, rely on their own internal battery, and allow you to hear the world around you. The best part is the volume can be adjusted so that others outside of your immediate vicinity won’t hear your choice of boyband!

As the beat goes on drive your bike safely.

As the beat goes on drive your bike safely.

Rock and pedal responsibly no matter what music you choose. Be responsible to yourself by not eliminating your ability to hear the world around you, and respect others who may want to enjoy all the sights and sounds uninterrupted.

Fall color riding on a bike friendly road.

Links for bike destinations and peak fall color riding in Iowa and Minnesota

Don’t put that bike away just yet! Fall color riding is one of the best times in the upper Midwest to explore all the bike-friendly destinations. 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.

Fun riding through the Edina Promenade connecting the Nine Mile Creek Trail east and west.

Edina makes the perfect beginning on the new Nine Mile Creek Trail

By Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking

From the Promenade in Edina, MN, the new paved trail system along the Nine Mile Creek watershed is fun to explore. Pedaling west, you can safely ride over two freeways and connect to another regional trail hub in Hopkins. Along the way, this new corridor utilizes several wooden trail structures to straddle the bed of the creek giving you a birds-eye view of nature. Pedaling east out of Edina the trail takes you to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Either way, it is a fun place to ride for the entire family. You can also connect to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes trail system for a loop of the south metro.

Riding through Edina on the wide wooden trail structure.

Rider and walkers alike enjoy the wide wooden trail structures that follow Nine Mile Creek through Edina.

This 15 mile, Three Rivers Park District Trail is a 10-foot wide asphalt path with several wooden bridge sections that welcome walkers, bikers and others using non-motorized transports.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail west from Edina

Venturing west out of Edina there are so many places to explore with this new section of the trail over the Nine Mile Creek watershed. With fall and winter soon approaching get your bike, skis or walking shoes and head outside! After leaving the Edina Promenade, the trail wanders through Fred Richards Park.

Riding through Fred Richards Park, in Edina, MN.

Riding through Fred Richards Park, a part of Nine Mile Creek, in Edina, MN.

Once a par 3 golf course this park is now an urban green space welcoming you to the next several miles of your trail adventure. At the trail bridge over Highway 100, the actual Nine Mile Creek comes into view. Now the trail meanders above its namesake creek, on the elevated wood bridges above the wetlands and woodlands, in Edina. Along the way, you may want to stop and enjoy the wildlife that makes their home here along the creek. From Edina to Hopkins, by trail, it’s about eight miles with 1.7 miles of wooden boardwalk structures along the way.

Rolling through Edina on Nine Mile Creek Trail is fun to explore. If it’s an out and back bike adventure, add another mile on the Cedar Lakes Trail (east) for a treat. Stopping at the Hopkins Depot for an ice cream cone or cup of coffee is the perfect treat before heading back.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail east of Edina

Sometimes, the journey is the reward, that is definitely the case here. It is approximately seven miles from the Edina Promenade to the Minnesota River. On this section, the trail passes through the city Richfield and connects to the north/south Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail.

The trail makes it easy to stay off busy streets.

The trail makes it easy to stay off busy streets.

Just north of the Mall of America, both cyclists and pedestrians can safely cross the 494 Freeway and follow the trail south, through Bloomington, to the Minnesota River. To the north, the Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail users can easily reach Lake Nokomis and the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway in Minneapolis. Other points of interest in this area include the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Fort Snelling State Park.

Map, parking, bike rental and trail access

For your next bike adventure here use the Explore Edina Bike/Hike Map, featuring the new Nine-Mile Creek Trail. On this map, you will notice several trail access points. A favorite gathering point for me is parking near one of the retail centers, north or south of the Edina Promenade. Here you will find ample parking and several restaurant options for that appetite you are sure to acquire on your ride. For a place to stay when visiting Edina check their lodging options here.

Need a rental bike?

Edina residents and visitors now have access to a new, dockless bike service. You simply download the Lime app. All rental bikes are GPS and 3G-enabled, making it simple for riders to find, unlock and pick up a nearby bicycle using the iOS or Android smartphone app.

The NineMile Creek Trail through Edina works well for all ages.

The Nine Mile Creek Trail through Edina works well for all ages.

With many bike-friendly street routes, Edina is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.

As summer slips away over the next week most bike events, here in the upper Midwest, will continue to enjoy warm days and cool nights, low humidity, very few insects as the autumn colors changes the landscape.

Discover the fun fall bike events, September 9th through the 16th

As summer slips away, over the next week most bike events here in the upper Midwest will continue to enjoy warm days and cool nights, low humidity, very few insects as the autumn colors change the landscape.

Bike events, 8-days out

Here is a list of bike events you may want to check out over the next week:

RideMN1 Bike Crossing  Browns Valley to Taylors Fall, MN   Sept 9-14

Door County Holiday Sturgeon Bay, Wi Sept  10-14

Renegades Cyclocross  DesMoines, IA Sept 11

WNCX Battle Creek  St Paul, MN Sept 12

Thursday Cross Practice Cedar Falls, IA Sept 13 

Ride the Ridges  Winona, MN Sept 15 

Mora Bike Tour Mora, MN Sept 15  

Pedal the Parks Lakeville, MN Sept 15  

Purple Ride Stride Maple Grove, MN Sept 15 

Root River “Taste of the Trail”  Preston, MN Sept 15 

Woodtick 100  Deerwood, MN Sept 15 

Bar-B-Kee Bash Waukee, IA Sept 15 

Big Creek Bike Ride Polk City, IA Sept 15 

Capital City Cross  DesMoines, IA Sept 15

Embrace the Hills Mondamin, IA Sept 15

Tour De Fire Ottumwa, IA Sept 15 

Jack Lake MTB Deerbrook, WI September 15 

Gopher CX Zimmerman, MN Sept 15-16 

Hawkeye Human Race Weekend Cedar Rapids, IA Sept 15-16

MN HS League Race #3 Rochester, MN Sept 16 

Minneapolis Bike Tour Minneapolis, MN Sept 16 

Manchester Gravel Ride Pub Crawl Manchester, MN  Sept 15

Bicycle La Crosse Gravel Eduro Series Houston, MN Sept 15-16

Solidarity Cycling Gravel Series Ride #4 Vermillion, MN  Sept 16

New Heartford Omelet Ride Cedar Falls, IA Sept 16

Farm Cycle Iowa City, IA Sept 16

Relay Cross Des Moines, IA Sept 16 

Autumn Trek Ride River Falls, WI  Sept 16

Bike the Barns Reedsburg, WI Sept 16

See More

See more events further out in both the Iowa and Minnesota Bike/Hike Guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. As you explore all the bike-friendly destinations we have covered, please share your experience with us. And, don’t forget to smile we may be around the next corner with the HFB camera ready to capture you for our next pic of the day!

Reflectors are forms of passive visibility, while lights are great for active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

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

by John Brown

With schools now in full swing, Halloween on every child’s mind, trees soon dropping their leaves and the days getting shorter we need to begin considering visibility while riding our bikes. The main forms of visibility we focus on are passive and active visibility. Things like reflectors and bright colors are forms of passive visibility, while lights and blinkers are great examples of an active visibility. Read on to see where each one is helpful and most efficient.

Passive visibility

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 the lowly reflector. These plastic devices are required by the CPSC to be installed on all bicycles sold in the united states. You will find reflectors come in two colors, white (front and wheels) and Red (rear). Additionally, many apparel companies install reflective materials onto their products. Like the reflector on your bike, these reflective materials will take any light thrown at you, and return it back 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.

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

Active visibility

When the area is devoid of a light source, as a rider, you need to create that light to keep yourself safe. For cyclists, Lights and blinkers are the most common devices for light. Where the light and the blinker differ is that 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. For riders who spend a lot of time off-road or on unlit paths, these lights are a necessity. While most mount onto the bars or helmet, there are a few companies who 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 photo receptor covered and lights on.

What to use this Fall

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

 

If you like the idea of taking your road bike or a slight version of it off the pavement and onto a designated park area, cycle-cross may be for you. The actual name is cyclocross and is a form of bicycle racing and parallels with mountain bike racing, cross-country cycling and criterium racing.

An intro into cycle-cross may extend your summer of biking fun

If you like the idea of taking your road bike, or a slight version of it, off the pavement and onto a designated park area, cycle-cross may be for you. Also called CX, cyclo-X or just ‘cross the actual name is cyclocross and is a form of bicycle racing known worldwide. Cyclo-cross has parallels with mountain bike racing, cross-country cycling and criterium racing. The CX course is normally set up temporarily in a city park.

The cycle-cross course is marked with yellow tape.

The cycle-cross course is marked with yellow tape.

Marked by plastic tape that goes up, over and around rolling, grassy and forested terrain. If you want to try cyclocross most states welcome amateurs to come out and try. If nothing else it’s a fun spectator sport the whole family will enjoy.

The right cycle-cross bike for you

With lower gears a cyclocross bike frame is fitted so the rider sit more upright.

With lower gears, a cyclocross bike frame is fitted to the rider so they sit more upright.

Cyclocross bicycles are similar to road racing bicycles. They are lightweight, with somewhat narrow tires and drop handlebars. However, if you are just starting out, a mountain bike or road bike with a few modifications will do. Stop by your local bike shop and they can assist you in preparation so you can try this exciting sport.

Looking closer at the CX bike there is greater tire clearances, lower gearing, stronger frames, disc brakes and a more upright riding position than standard bikes. They also share characteristics with mountain bicycles in that they use knobby tread tires for traction. The main reason for being lightweight, ‘cross riders need to occasionally carry their bicycle over barriers.

The ideal terrain for a CX course

The ideal course, offers many twists and turn, some short uphill and downhill juants along with a few well placed barriers.

The ideal course offers many twists and turn, some short uphill and downhill jaunts along with a few well-placed barriers.

A cycle-cross race consists of many laps on a short (2.5–3.5  km or 1.5–2 miles) course. The race route is usually on grass and can incorporate pavement, wooded trails. Obstacles along the way can include steps, steep hills and other barriers requiring the rider to bunny hop or quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. As a result, cyclocross is also known as the “steeplechase of cycling.” The sight of racers struggling up a muddy slope with bicycles on their shoulders is the classic image of the sport. Normally there are only a few un-ridable sections of the race course. For a spectator, they make a great place to stand on the sidelines and cheer.

Cycle-cross racing tactics

Compared with other forms of racing, cyclocross tactics are fairly straightforward and the emphasis is on the rider’s aerobic endurance and bike-handling ability. Although cyclo-cross courses are less technical than mountain biking, obstacles can require a specific technical ability of a rider.

Here in the forefront a amateur rider tests out the muddy cycle-cross course with a fat bike.

Here in the forefront, an amateur rider tests out the muddy cycle-cross course with a fat bike.

For example, rider experience and technique come into play on course sections that are extremely muddy, wet or even snow. Normally too extreme to be ridden on a standard road bike tire, the challenge in cyclocross lies in maintaining traction in loose or slippery terrain at fast speeds. The power of the rider is generally higher over the duration of the race to overcome greater amounts of rolling resistance from loose dirt or grass.

Overcoming the cycle-cross barriers

Although getting off and on a bike sounds simple, doing so in the middle of a quick-paced race is difficult. Often, when sections become extremely technical racer will carry the bike and jog for an extended time to save energy. Being able to fluidly dismount, pick up and carry the bike, then put it back down requires practice and skill. In competition, CX riders may do this many times throughout the race.

Here a rider dismounts, jumps over the barrier, then hops back on to resume her position in the race.

Here a rider dismounts and jumps over the barrier, then hops back on to resume her position in the race.

Now with the leaves changing colors and cool crisp days of fall are upon us here are some links to race schedule that welcome new riders – in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other states in the U.S. Visit your local bike shop for more information and extend your summer fun with cyclocross.

Remember if it rains you just play harder!

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 you plan properly it can be a great activity year round! As fall approaches, here are some tips for staying safe when cycling at times when Mother Nature seems to throw a wrench in your plans:

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

Drive your bike cautiously, when wet these wooden trail surfaces are very slippery.

Drive your bike cautiously, when wet these wooden trail surfaces are very slippery.

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.

Inclement 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—if you are used to going 15-mile and the temperature suddenly jumps up into the 90s, with high humidity, 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.

When the air temperature and humidity surge, take a break and find a place to cool off like this biker dude.

When the air temperature and humidity surge, take a break and find a place to cool off like this biker dude.

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 going on a particularly hilly or challenging route, you could need up to four bottles per hour.

Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and when you plan properly it can be a great activity year round!

Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and when you plan properly it can be a great activity year round!

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!