Tag Archives: bicycle safety

Bike Pic Oct 12, Things Not to Do Biking on Wise Wednesday

Things not to do while biking on #Wise Wednesday or any other day of the week.  Here in this photo we caught a young lad turned around doing everything he shouldn’t  do, making his bicycle ride unsafe (the rider is OK, he did miss the car!).

With the leaves turning and perfect weather biking weather we hope you get out on your bike and enjoy a fall riding possibilities in Minnesota. See all the bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Wise Wednesday Bike Pic of the Day. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. And don’t forget to smile, while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!

Family bike outings to nearby events adds to the fun

With so many summer festivals and attractions for a family to take in, commuting by bike can add to the fun. Especially if the event is within two to seven miles of your home or the lodge  you are staying at. By leaving the car behind and traveling by bike you and your family can spend more time having fun with less of the hassle factor of driving to the event – no parking or traffic to contend with.

This bike photo shows a family riding a trail that parallels a road that will take them to a local community celebration five miles away.

This bike photo shows a family riding a trail next to a busy road that will take them to a local community celebration.

In most cases by using trails, quiet roads and bike friendly streets to reach a community event will allow you more time with family members to create a unique and unforgettable adventure. To make your next family bike outing safe and fun, please consider these suggestions when planning to bike to an event and leave the car behind:

Plan your bike route before heading out with the family

If you are not familiar with the area you plan to ride, look at city/county maps, or online with Google Maps. Most cities offer maps available at the tourism center, library or city office, which show both the streets and trails in an area. Planning a route is a lot easier when you know where the quiet secondary streets are. Especially when trails are not always available. look for streets that are a block or two off and parallel a busier road where most cars are traveling to the destination desired.

For the first few outings, a six to twelve mile round trip by bike is plenty. If the festival is further away and your family is new to biking to events consider multi-modal commuting (using a car or public transportation to travel part of the distance and then bicycling the rest of the way).

Before leaving, instruct all family members that they have to abide by the rules of the road when riding on any streets. Remind them they need to, “Drive their bike, obey all rules as if they are driving a car.” That means riding on the right side of the road (going with traffic), signaling their turns, stopping at stop lights and giving pedestrians the right of way.

When the temperature is hot while riding a bike it good to find shade periodically and hydrate.

When the temperature is hot while riding a bike it good to find shade and drink some water periodically.

If younger children are riding, allow plenty of time. When it is hot make frequent stops every couple miles to take a drink of water, rest, stretch, etc.

Check your bike gear so everything is ready for a fun journey

Before heading out, check that all the tires are properly inflated, chain is lubed and brakes are working. You don’t want to worry about any mechanical issues when the family is riding. Especially on the bike trip home, when everyone is a little tired. You can find the recommended tire pressure to inflate them to on the sidewalls of the tire. Here you will find the number with a PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) behind it as your ideal pressure.

Is everyone carrying plenty of water or are there frequent hydration stops planned where water is available?

Bike safety and visibility

How visible is your clothing? Check to see that everyone is wearing highly noticeable – bright clothing so your group is seen by traffic from a distance. If your return trip is later in the day have rear flashers on each bike and plan on a headlight if you will be returning after dark.

For more information on bicycle safety when riding alone or with the family check out the Walk! Bike! Fun! Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety curriculum. Brought to you by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, it is free for you to download and use.

In this bike photo the family has gathered together at a busy intersection to cross on their way to the local fair.

In this bike photo the family has gathered together at a busy intersection to cross on their way to the local fair.

With these helpful bike commuting tips, we hope you and your family will find the next festival or event you participate in twice as fun, when using your bikes. Remember, no parking or traffic hassles allows a family more time to bond while having fun.

Bike Pic Nov 18, traffic congestion is universal

A little bit of traffic congestion near a local Minnesota mountain bike trail head, as everyone is having fun.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to [email protected] with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

#FindYourNextAdventure

My ABUS U-Lock Review

Tyler Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

Parts that come with ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

If you are looking for a secure way to attach your cherished investment to a bike rack, fence, or sign post; checkout the ABUS line of U-Locks. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing both the Granit X-Plus 540 and the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini. Both U-Locks are somewhat new to the market and as I have found are top of the line and worth the price.

ABUS U54 Mini

ABUS Granit U54 Mini U lock

My first thought when receiving these locks for review was their weight! The X-Plus 540 weighs 3.20 pounds, while the U54 Mini weighs 2.70 pounds. It could be caused by the “13mm temper hardened steel”, but regardless, these locks are tanks! After my review of these bike locks, I wouldn’t feel safe with some of the other U-Locks that I have looked at. They feel light and breakable. The extra weight of these ABUS locks was a small trade off in knowing that when I return to my bike, it will be ready to go.

IMG_20140807_192239_889There are a number of different ways in using both these ABUS U-Locks. For me, I found it best to lock the bike through the back tire and bike frame. My front tire was still vulnerable, but the back wheel and frame were secured. I found that the U54 Mini also had a wide enough build, that the back tire and frame could easily be locked, in most cases, like the X-Plus 540 model.

IMG_20140807_192213_840

If you’re someone that primarily goes on long distance rides, or pedals around on the weekends, I’d suggest purchasing the U54 Mini vs. the Granit X-Plus 540. The primary reason for this is its size; the U54 Mini is smaller and lighter making it easier to transport. With the Granit X-Plus 540 mounted on my Red Line road bike, I was not able to utilize my second water bottle cage. For someone biking long distance, making room for extra water storage will be priority over this mounted U-Lock. However, if theft is a major concern, the Granit X-Plus 540 is the way to go.

ABUS U lock key

ABUS U lock key

ABUS key LED light

ABUS key LED light

Both of these ABUS locks come with two sets of keys. What’s nice is both sets of keys have an LED light at the end. This makes it easy to lock/unlock while riding in dark conditions. Personally, I’ve used this LED light more as a light on my keychain than just for my bike. The battery is also very easy to exchange. It takes one coin cell battery that just slides out from the back of the key. Along with the keys, a code card comes with these lock. If I were to lose or break both keys, ABUS will be able to make new ones just by receiving the code on the card.

All ABUS locks feature industry leading corrosion resistance – perfect for wet, rainy and snowy climates. The keyhole itself has a metal cover that opens from the middle when pushed on by the key. This will secure water and road grime from entering the lock. 

Mounted ABUS U lock

ABUS U lock mounted on Red Line road bike

The X-Plus 540 also included a convenient mounting bracket that could be placed in a number of spots. For me, the best place was right under the top cross bar. Unfortunately, the instructions to this mounting bracket were in German. Looking at the pictures and guessing what parts go where, I ended up mounting the lock and to my surprise, the lock flew off my bike while riding!

Luckily there were YouTube videos that walked me through the proper way in mounting this lock. Once this lock is properly mounted (you will have to physically unlock the lock in order to remove it from the mount) it will not fall off your bike. This assures the lock is secured safely on the bike, as a 3 pound lock doesn’t feel too good on the foot!

ABUS U 54 Mini

Bianchi road bike with ABUS 54 mini

With the X-Plus U54 Mini, there was no mounting bracket, so I had to be creative and search for a place to store it while riding. If you’re someone that carries a backpack or rides with a luggage rack bag or pannier, storing the lock there will be the easiest. Otherwise, I locked it under my bike seat as it was resting on the back seat post bag.

ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 U lock

More on the ABUS’ Granit X-Plus 540:
The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 has a 15/15 security rating, and is ideal for urban areas. If you need a secure safeguard when making stops where you have to leave your bike, the X-Plus 540 provides strong protection with a patented 13mm temper hardened steel square, parabolic shackle, and a double bolting shackle/lock body.

With its patented ABUS Power Cell technology your bicycle investment will be provided the highest protection against hitting and pulling attacks. Plus, the 540 features the most advanced technology available for lock picking prevention with the X-Plus Key cylinder in a U-Lock.

ABUS U lock

Commuter using ABUS U54 Mini

More on the ABUS’ the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini:
The U54 Mini features the most advanced technology (the same as the U540) but in a short shackle version. The lock retains the wide profile of its full size siblings in the Granit X-Plus U lock family, making it ideal for use in cities that have reinforced parking meters available for bike parking and where a narrow shackle profile won’t fit.

The lock is double bolting, meaning that if any thief attacks the lock with a grinder will have to make two cuts, as opposed to one cut for other brands whose locks are single-bolting.

All in all, I’m a fan of these ABUS U-Locks and would suggest purchasing one of these two models. Suggested retail price of the Granit X-Plus 540 is $149.99 for the 9” shackle, and $159.99 for the 11” shackle. Suggested retail price of the Granit X-Plus U54 Mini is $109.00. Yes, they’re heavier and a bit more expensive than many other U-locks on the market, but the trade-off is security.

Be sure to visit your local bike shop to find these products to safeguard your bicycle investment! Or, for more on ABUS bike locks, visit: Keeping Your Bicycle Safe With ABUS Bike Locks.

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Keeping Your Bicycle Safe With ABUS Bike Locks

Tyler Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com  

With thousands of bicycles stolen each year, what are you doing to ensure your bicycle’s safety?

20140123-FS8A0220-2The most important aspect of a safe and secured bike is having a reliable bike lock. Securely locking it in a well lit – high traffic area and having photo(s) along with your bike’s serial number, and information on where it was purchased on file.

 Here we found ABUS, a long time industry leader in security, with numerous products to protect your equipment when you are not riding. Here are a few ABUS Bike Locks:

01_111617_540_160 HB230_aGranit X-Plus 540

The ABUS Granit X-Plus 540 has a 15/15 security rating, and is ideal for urban areas. If you need protection on high quality bicycles, the 540 provides strong protection with a patented 13mm temper hardened steel square, parabolic shackle, and a double bolting shackle/lock body.

With its patented ABUS Power Cell technology providing the highest protection against hitting and pulling attacks, and the X-Plus Key cylinder offering extremely high protection from lock picking- the 540 features the most advanced technology available in a U-Lock.

Granit X-Plus U54 Mini Processed with VSCOcam with k2 preset

The U54 Mini features the most advanced technology (the same as the U540) but in a short shackle version. The lock retains the wide profile of its full size siblings in the Granit X-Plus U lock family, making it ideal for use in cities that have reinforced parking meters available for bike parking and where a narrow shackle profile won’t fit.

The lock is double bolting, meaning that any thief attacking the lock with a grinder will have to make two cuts, as opposed to one cut for other brands whose locks are single-bolting.

uGrip Bordo 5700 uGripBordo5700_IMG_3741

Designed in a range of 5 bright colors (black, orange, blue, lime, and pink) the new uGrip Bordo is the perfect locking solution for suburban or low-theft risk locking needs.

An updated, rotating lock body and “snap” closure make the uGrip tremendously easy to use. The rattle-free carrying case mounts quickly to the bike by using the provided Velcro straps, or can be screwed directly into the bottle cage mounts, making transportation incredibly easy. A one-touch button frees the lock from its pouch and a color-coded link and lock body make it simpler to identify the locking side of this lock.

The uGrip Bordo can also be ordered “keyed” with specific coil cables via special order.

Ultimateultimatestd 420

Made of high quality, temper hardened steel; the Ultimate 420 has a slightly narrower inner width and lock body than the beefier Super Ultimate. The 14mm shackle double bolts into the lock body for robust protection against cutting and torsion attacks.

All ABUS locks feature industry leading corrosion resistance-perfect for wet, rainy, and snowy climates!

Check with your local bike shop for these models and other product to safeguard your bicycle investment.

PennCycle_728x90aIt’s also a smart idea to register your bicycle through the Minneapolis Police Department or the city you live in. Then, if your bicycle gets taken, call your local precinct and make a formal report. Be sure to include color, manufacturer, model, serial number, or any other identifiable features.

 Pictures and information provided by Joan Hanscom,  ABUS Marketing and PR Manager