Tag Archives: Bike travel

Travel bike basics and how to pick the right one for you!

John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

I have had the pleasure of owning a travel bike for the past ten years. When I bought it, I was traveling a few times a year to different bicycle industry events around the country. Those events all followed the same script; Get off the plane, take a shuttle to the hotel, then take shuttles to event locations within five-miles. Beyond the feeling that I was being moved like cattle, it also bothered me that I wasn’t riding my bike at these bike events! To escape this cycle, I decided to bring my own bike along on the next trip. Trying to bring my bike on a plane was a too expensive for the small amount of saddle time I was going to get. So I started to look into the options for a travel bike.

Travel Bike Options

Taking a standard bike on an airplane inexpensively, means you need to get it into a suitcase that is airplane certified. Packing your bike in a full-size bike case is also an option, but you pay steep airline fees to do so. To get your bike small enough to fit it into a case, it needs to either fold, or use couplers to split in half. I was looking for a frame that could split, because I planned to build the bike with spare parts and the parts I had wouldn’t work on a folding bike. Couplers work by replacing a portion of the top and downtube, and allow them to come apart.

travel bike couplers

The two major players in couplers are Ritchey, and S&S. Ritchey makes complete coupler frames that include a case, pads, and cable splitters as a package. S&S couplers are modern day fine art but sold as couplers only. The downside for S&S couplers is they are expensive because you need have a custom bike built, or have them installed on an existing steel frame by a frame builder. For me, having a custom bike built was too expensive and labor intensive, so I picked a Ritchey.

travel bike frame

Outside of those coupler bikes there are packable and folding bikes available from other companies as well. The most packable bike is built by a company called Moulton. Moulton uses a cool truss design to create stiff, light, packable bicycles.  I didn’t consider these bicycles only because their frames are built for small 20” wheels, and the spare wheels I had were larger. Folding bikes are also a great option we have covered here on Havefunbking.com but would also require smaller wheels.

The Bike

Ritchey makes complete road and cyclocross coupled frames under their “Breakaway” series. Because I wanted a bike that could handle the widest range of conditions, I opted for the cyclocross frame. My new Ritchey Steel Cross Frame arrived in its black suitcase and I couldn’t wait to get it open. Moments later I had freed my orange and grey beauty from the packaging that had imprisoned it. I quickly built it up and took it for a spin. I was surprised at how efficient the bike felt. Somewhere in my mind I must have assumed that because it was a travel bike, there would be additional flex, more weight, or just some sort of compromised ride. The reality was that the bike rode just like a bike without couplers.

How Does It Work

travel bike packed

It is easy to pack the Ritchey by removing the wheels, handlebar, seat and seatpost, and decoupling the frame. The resulting six parts fit neatly into the supplied Ritchey suitcase with enough room left over for a helmet, shoes and some bike gear. The supplied padding Velcros in place to protect the paint on each tube and even includes a small bag to protect the rear derailleur. To close the suitcase, just zip it up and compress the contents with the 3 exterior straps.

Is a Travel Bike Really That Easy?

In the years I’ve owned my bike it has treated me to thousands of miles over far away roads. I have built it in airports, hotel rooms, and conference rooms across the globe. Assembling it is easy and quick with just a folding set of hex wrenches. Even though assembly is easy, don’t forget to have the bike routinely maintained at your local bike shop. While it’s not necessary each time you travel, packing and unpacking a bike can accelerate the need for maintenance.

I hope you have a similar, positive experience with your travel bike. Bringing a familiar “two wheeled friend” along on your bike journeys is the best way to explore.

 

 

 

We are now a little over a week away from candies, flowers, and Valentines cards. We are also just a few more weeks away from some prime riding weather. Therefore, we need to turn our collective eyes toward the future and continue our plans for making this year the best riding year ever!

Getting ready for your best riding year ever! Part 2

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

We are now a little over a week away from candies, flowers, and Valentines cards. We are also just a few more weeks away from some prime riding weather. Therefore, we need to turn our collective eyes toward the future and continue our plans for making this year the best riding year ever!

Get your mind ready for your best riding year ever!

It’s been proven countless times – the mind drives the body! Get your body moving by committing your mind to an event. One of the easiest ones you can do anywhere is the 30 Days of Biking Pledge. Simply put, the pledge commits you to ride 30 days in the month of April. Any event that you will commit to will do.

Get your fitness ready for your best riding year ever

Make a training plan now. Your plan can be as simple as committing to ride two times a week or as detailed as planning the mileage, date, and time. Just be sure that plan matches with your goal (example: riding for only one hour a week wouldn’t give you the fitness you need to ride two hours a day through April).

Most of us are currently locked in a winter freeze, so conditions may not coincide with your availability to ride outdoors. But keeping yourself physically active is paramount for this time of year and it’s especially crucial for your training. Any strenuous activity will help your overall fitness for summer cycling.

To help with on-bike fitness there is no better indoor exercise than riding a bike trainer. A trainer turns your bicycle into an indoor stationary bicycle. There are also spin gyms, training centers and bike shops that run classes a few times a week. If you want to kick off your trainers sessions in style, check out my favorite trainer workout.

Fitting riding into your daily routine

How do you fit in time to train? To start, try not to add too much separate riding time to your schedule. Instead, commute to work by bike. If it is too far, drive part of the way and ride the rest. A normal 30 minute drive could turn into a 15 minute drive and the rest on your bike with a little planning. That way, you only add 15 to 20 minutes to your schedule and still get a ride in. Bicycle commuting in the morning and the evening can buy you an hour of riding while only adding around minutes to your daily schedule.

Find trips to the grocery store a handful of times a week. Trying to ride your bike to the grocery store, rather than drive once a week, can be a quick rode to fitness.

Finally, add a ride to your normal downtime. If you have an indoor trainer, ride for one hour a night while watching TV rather than sitting on the couch. It may seem counter-intuitive, but being active is a great way to wind down from a busy day. You will find you sleep better and generally feel more relaxed.

Get your bike equipment ready for your best riding year ever

Bring your bike out of hibernation and put air in the tires. Take it for a spin around the block and check to see if it’s functioning properly. April 1st is smack dab in the middle of when many people begin to think about riding their bike. If you wait until the last minute to drop your bike off for service, chances are, you will be waiting longer than you like for you bicycle. Click the (link) here to read about some of the benefits of servicing your bike in the winter.

Additionally, if you bring your bike in for service, think about making sure your bike fits you properly. A professional bike fit will lower the chance of repetitive motion injuries and make you more comfortable and efficient. While you’re having your bike serviced and fit you can also find the right clothing and accessories for the year ahead. The weather in April can be a mixed bag, so make sure your clothing options include something to keep you comfortable in the sun,rain, snow, wind, or cold.

The First opportunities

We can begin to expect some nice days over the next few weeks. Take every opportunity to ride on these few late winter gifts. Ride with your kids, ride to the store, or ride once it’s dark if needed, but ride.

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Chasing away the winter blues by visiting a warm weather bike destination.

Chasing away those winter blues by traveling to a warm riding destination

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

With winter here for a few more months it is not uncommon for cabin fever to set in. Many of us use this time of year to head off to a warm riding destination to get out of the cold and kick-starting the spring season a little early. While the list of warm biking destinations is nearly endless, here are a few that can be extra fun. Read on to learn, where to go and how to get there.

Finding the perfect warm riding destination takes planning

The first part of any trip is usually the least fun – planning! However, taking a little extra time to figure out what type of riding you want to do, what off the bike activities you want to enjoy and the type of accommodations that meets your needs will make the trip more enjoyabe.

Getting ready

I’m not going to tell you how to pack, but I will recommend you bring more than you think you need for a warm riding destination trip. A rain shell, a long sleeve jersey and a pair of tights don’t take up much room in your bag and can totally save a day if you receive unseasonably cool weather while away. Additionally, I would recommend you prepare your bike. Research the trail/road conditions by calling a local bike shop to see if they recommend anything. As an example, in the southwest there is a plant called Puncturevine (or goatheads), that produces a very hard, very sharp seed. These seeds destroy the more delicate tires your topography may allow. So when I have traveled to Arizona in the spring, I changed my tires to the puncture resistant variety and saved hours of fixing flats.

R&R – Rides and Relaxation

I know the idea of a warm riding destination trip can be exciting, but be sure not to bite off more than you can chew. Overdoing it on the first day can set a bad tone for the rest of the week, so concentrate on riding and relaxing. I like to set up two rides for the first day (typically a morning and afternoon ride). That way, if you feel great you can enjoy both, but if you can’t muster the second one it’s easy to skip it. By contrast, if you setup one long ride for the first day, you may get stuck half way out with an empty energy tank.

Where to go

I am lucky to have enjoyed many winter months in warmer places, Some of those listed below are favorites of mine, while still others are on my list of places to go.

Georgia

Georgia has become a cycling destination for riders of all discipines. It was the location of the first Olympic mountain bike race as well as the home of one of the united states most difficult stage races (tour of Georgia). If you have your heart set (and prepared) for a day of climbing hills and enjoying views, you can enjoy the Mile high 55 ride in the town of Roswell. If flat cruises, beautiful beaches and southern living are more your speed, check out the town of Savanah for it’s endless bike paths.

Tennessee

Tennessee is home to great weather, awesome people, and spectacular riding. Places like Montgomery Bell State park just outside Nashville is a great jumping off point for mountain bike as well as road rides. It’s proximity to the musical city of Nashville also ensure your days in the saddle can be well balanced with nights of fun.

Florida

Florida is a well known winter destination for all the resorts and beaches, but did you know they also boast world class mountain bike trails? Even in a city as spicy as Miami you can find dirt to satisfy you? Trails like the Oleta River State Park have tight singletrack with whoops, roots, and drops to make even the most seasoned rider shout with joy.

Arizona

Arizona is a winter haven for many thanks to its temperate climate. While it gets a bit hot for many in the summer, winter and fall are breathtaking. The roads outside most major cities are clear and some can be incredibly challenging. For instance, north of Tucson sits Mt Lemmon, a 6 hour ride that puts you more than 8000 feet above sea level. It is littered with wide open vistas and earth shattering views so bring your camera along!

war riding destinations

Mt Lemmon’s views are worth the trouble climbing to them

California

For cycling trips, it is difficult to beat the riding in California. The large state has green rolling hills in it’s northern territories as well as dry, desert roads that stretch on forever and let you work on that tan in it’s southern half. I personally love riding high above the golden gate bridge in the China Camp trail system in Marin county. While you are there, you can soak in some cycling culture at the Marin Museum of Bicycling and Mountain bike hall of fame.

Warm riding Destinations

The Marin Museum of Bicycling is home to over 100 years of bicycle evolution. It is also a hangout for some of the most influential bicycle builders of ll time.

More bike destinations to consider

Check out our HaveFunBiking National Guide for more place to ride for that #NextBikeAdventure.

How to travel with your bike

Traveling with your bike is not that difficult. If you plan to travel a lot, investing in a dedicated travel bike or buying a bike case are probably your best options. If that isn’t the way you want to go, many cities have stores that will rent good quality bikes at reasonable rates.

Riding in unknown locations

There are a few things you want to make sure of before you go riding somewhere new. First is to let others know where you are going and when you plan to return. This can alert people to your absence if need be. Also, you may want to think about SAG support?  AAA Auto Club now offers roadside bike assistance as a service where they will pick you up if you have a problem. Finally, bring your smartphone. You may want to turn the ringer off, so reality can’t spoil the fun, but it’s mapping functions can get you out of a jam if you take a wrong turn or need 911.

So have fun and share your #NextBikeAdventure pictures and stories with us at HaveFunBiking.com on your next warm riding destination getaway.

Steve taking a minute to enjoy the town of Stein Am Rhine on our way to Germany

Exploring the route from Zurich to Germany on two wheels

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

While I wouldn’t qualify my riding history as anything worth bragging about, I have ridden through some spectacular places. One ride I enjoyed was biking through Switzerland, then into Germany on my way to Eurobike. You see, once a year all the biggest bike nerds from around the world descend on the small town of Fredricshaffen Germany to see the newest and shiniest bike goods released that year.

The plan for riding into Germany

About three weeks before we were scheduled to take off for the show, my friend and co-worker Steve brought up the idea of riding the 80 miles from Zurich (where we were landing) into Langanargen Germany where we were staying. Out loud I immediately said “Yes”, but in my head, there were doubts.

I know, why would I have doubts of riding from Zurich through Switzerland’s wine country, along the Rhine, across Lake Constance and through some of Germany’s most beautiful countryside? Please understand, I didn’t have doubts about the ride itself. My doubts came from doing the ride with Steve. He is one of my favorite people and I have ridden with him frequently. On those adventures I have learned a few things that made the idea of a leisurely scenic ride seem impossible. While Steve is one of the nicest people I know, I’m convinced that in a past life he must have committed some horrible crimes and tries to punish himself every time he rides. So, I’m thinking its going to be a big job for me to keep this casual.

An un-scenic start to what would be a beautiful ride

Our flight departed Philadelphia at 7 p.m. and landed in Zurich at 6 a.m. I didn’t sleep well on the plane and realized that I would be riding a whole day on two hours of bad sleep. Steve and I busied ourselves building our travel bikes in the airport baggage claim. We gave the balance of our bags to co-workers who were driving into Germany, then set off into a beautifully sunny August day.

Leaving Zurich airport was an un-scenic start to what would end up being beautiful ride. Strangely, the bike lanes around the airport didn’t seem to go anywhere, but “around” the airport. So after circling a few times we decided to ride up to what looked like a highway off ramp. Fast forward through a few minutes of urban riding, we climbed out of Zurich, into farmlands and the town of Bülach. This town was founded in 1384 and offers many historic and architectural beautiful buildings around the reformed Church of Saint Laurentius and the Sigristenkeller gallery. Shockingly, even though Bülach was less than seven miles from the airport, it is remarkably rural.

Looking down on Zurich from the hills above Bülach

Our loose ride plan was to head north until we hit the Rhine, then follow the river east to Lake Constance and then take the ferry into Germany. Both Switzerland and Germany have well established bike routes to guide us through wine country and onto our eventual destination of Langenargen.

Our route from Zurich, across Lake Constance, and into Germany

Steve’s legs take over his brain

Remember Steve and my doubts when planning this trip? From the start there was no relaxing, or enjoying the sights. Steve, as I expected, went full throttle. As I mentioned before this riding trait of Steve’s was going to be a detriment to my enjoyment riding through Switzerland and Germany. Don’t worry, I had a plan. Every time Steve entered into his personal pain cave, I would stop to change tire pressure, take a picture, check the map or do whatever it took to slow him down.

Before you pass judgement of my passive aggressive strategy, realize that I have had conversation with Steve about this ride being a slow one and to Steve’s credit he agreed. What I know from a history of riding with him is that he may agree to one pace. But his legs will invariably pick another pace, intense. So, I hoped that my plan would work to get this ride down to a conversational relaxing speed. Happily, it only took about 15 minutes of stops, pauses and sidetracks to get Steve’s legs into my way of thinking.

Steve’s leg are starting to get the idea. Here he is surveying an empty field while I pretend to adjust tire pressure.

Zurich’s wine country

As we snaked our way down country roads through the vineyards and small towns of Switzerland we crossed many small tributary waterways. These canals are used as irrigation for the vibrant fields this countryside is known for. Our first major crossing, across the river Thur came in the town of Andelfingen. This is the main town between Schaffhausen and Winterthur in the heart of Zurich’s wine country. It boasts cultivated fields, timber framed houses and walking/cycling paths.

Andelfingen is where grapes for Zurich’s sparkling vin du pays ripen in the autumn and is also the home of the Andelfingen castle, a well-kept park open to the public during the day throughout the year. Seeing as we were on our bikes and had to make it into Germany before dark, we did not stop to enjoy the sights here. In retrospect, I would recommend taking more than one day for this ride so you can stop and enjoy the unique personalities of each town.

Emerald landscapes abound in Andelfingen.

Lunch under the shadow of a castle

At the point where Lake Constance again becomes the Rhine River, you will find the little town of Stein am Rhein. It is famous for its well-preserved Old Town feel featuring painted facades and half-timbered houses. It’s also where Steve and I chose to stop for lunch

Stein Am Rhein

Stein am Rhein is a lively and very charming small town. Among the sights are the Monastery of St. Georgen (one of the best-preserved Medieval monastery complexes), the Lindwurm Museum (depicting 19th century bourgeois) and overlooking everything is the Hohenklingen Castle. The castle here was built high above the town in 1225 and recently renovated.

Germany

Stein Am Rhein in the shadow of the Hohenklingen castle

Steve and I walked through the center of town with our bikes in tow. We found a courtyard surrounded by fresca painted buildings and filled with restaurants and outdoor seating. We picked a quaint little place that had old wood paneling and benches as our eatery of choice (great carpentry typically means good food after all). For me, the meal and the company were great. I enjoyed a few local brews and a plate of barely cooked beef that could only be described as meat candy.  Armed with bellies full of meat and hefeweizen, Steve an I set off east along the Rhine.

Our old world surroundings at lunch.

The Untersee and ferry trip

As the Rhine empties into Lake Constance, the first large body of water is called Untersee (or Lower Lake Constance). To our left are miles of beautiful waterway and to the right we passed hop farms, villages and port towns that make up the Hochrhein.  Again, with more time I would have loved to stay and explore, but we were on a schedule. Pedaling along, we ambled along the shore for an hour until we entered the more metropolitan area of Constance and Altstadt. In Altstadt we went north, crossed the Rhine River into Staad then boarded the ferry for the last lag into Germany.

A panoramic picture of the bike path and view along the Untersee.

While traveling by bike is convenient, I must say, getting onto the ferry by bike was a real treat. Our fee for the ferry was far less than that of an automobile. We were also the first ones off the ferry and into Meersburg, Germany. Here we were waved through the border checkpoint at 20 mph and got to zoom past miles of waiting cars.

Into Germany and out of my mind

Of the entire ride, Meersburg is by far the most beautiful scenery. Maybe it was the fact that the sun came out in full force or me being rested from the 45 minute ferry ride. Whatever the reason, the ancient town of Meersburg was breathtaking. The town is built on the steep banks of Lake Constance and was originally a vineyard. It’s heritage as a fortress is apparent in the architecture as well as the walled bike route that snakes along the shore of the lake.

Germant

Meersburg as seen from the ferry

Once Steve and I left Meersburg my body began to shut down. I wish I could give you a rousing account of the great bike paths and warm forests we passed as we rode through Friedrichshafen and into Langenargen, but to be honest, I was operating in survival mode and not really taking in my surroundings. Maybe it was the heavy lunch, lack of sleep or the miles we rode, but moving became very difficult. As I have said before, this is a ride best done over several days rather than all at once. As a result of riding it in one day, I was now suffering through every additional mile we pedaled.  We finally arrived in Langenargen in the early evening. Happily, I checked into my room, took a quick showers and made it to dinner with the rest of the group.

Reflections on the ride

While at dinner, drinking a Dunkelweiss and enjoying my schnitzel, I reflected back on why this ride was so fun. The first thing I must say is that great company almost always makes a great ride. In this case, Steve and I rode at a similar speed and had great conversation throughout the trip. Additionally, we were both enjoying this route together because of our mutual even keeled demeanor. The great company riding together allowed us to stay positive even when we went slightly off course.

Another help was that I was able to send my luggage ahead and ride the route unfettered. Knowing that I had clean clothes waiting for me when I arrived was a large motivator over the last five miles.

Ultimately, I would recommend this route to anyone. The ride was predominantly flat and had ample opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery. Additionally, there are more than enough great towns to stop at and enjoy. In fact, this ride could easily be spread across a week, with mornings spent in the saddle and afternoons sightseeing on foot.

More on Switzerland

See Jen Reviews on the 100 Best things to do in Switzerland.

 

The big issue with traveling elsewhere to ride is finding the good trails, best routes or fun secret spots that only the locals know about. That's why I recommend you enter a bike race. Not for the race, but for the route.

Bike races are a great way to experience new trails and routes

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Winter is the time of year my thoughts drift to the beautiful surroundings of warmer climates. Having traveled with my bike a great deal, I can attest to the fact that riding new trails and roads will invigorate your riding. The big issue with traveling elsewhere to bike is finding the good trails, best routes or fun secret spots only the locals know about. That’s why I recommend you enter destination bike races. Not to try and win the race, but for the route.

bike race

Stage 1 of BC Bike Race’s 2018 route

How can you enter a bike race, but race?

Any competition is not a race if you don’t try hard enough. So ignore your placement in the race results, relax, and think about the event as a well organized ride instead. This mentality works best for long events. For that reason, road circuit races are out of the question, but there are loads of mountain bike, Gravel, and road events that fit the bill.

Why go to a bike race?

The best reason to register for a race but not actually treat it like a race is the convenience. As an example, If you want to schedule an awesome mountain bike vacation on some of the best trails in the world, going to the BC Bike Race would be a good option. By registering, you have access to lodging, food, bike support, rider support and above all else eight preset courses are offered through BC’s best terrain. While you pay for this convenience, the cost is similar to if you were to plan it yourself with a lot less headache. Also, cycling events are family friendly by design, so bring everyone along!

How do I pick

With all these new options available to you, how do you pick your event? My recommendation is to start with location. Pick some areas you want to visit and ride in. Next check local calendars and see if any events will match up. Finally, register for the event of your choice and plan your vacation!

What to expect

What you will experience at these events depends greatly on the type and size of the event. For the sake of this article I will break the event types up into the two most popular categories: mountain bike and gravel bike

Mountain bike races

Mountain bike races are usually really long (like the Circumburke trail challenge in the Kingdom Trails of Vermont or stage races like the Transylvania Epic in Pennsylvania). The long single day races are fun way to test yourself and achieve a one-day goal and are awesome if you have limited time to get away. If time is not as much of an issue, stage races are where it’s at! Stage races are shorter individual rides spread over a series of days. They usually expose you to many different sections of popular trail networks as well as have a great festival atmosphere.

bike races

There are few joys that compare to experiencing new trails.

Gravel bike races

The popularity of gravel rides has exploded in the past few years thanks to dedicated people putting on world class events all around the globe. Many of these races started humbly but have grown to mythic stature. Events like Kansas’ Dirty Kanza 200 might be a stretch for most with it’s 200 miles of tire-splitting flint rock. However, for those interested in the adventure of a gravel race with a bit more approachable distance can look at Iowa’s Colesburg Gravelpocalypse with routes as short as 20 miles. Whatever your distance, gravel races are an amazing option with events all around the country.

bike Races

Lovely new roads await on countess events around the world.

What to do when you go to “race”

When you sign up for a race, it’s best to come to the event with some fitness and realistic expectations. Plan to take your time and have fun. Most importantly, remember that there are some really fast people out there who are actually racing these events. For that reason wait at the start line when the event goes off. Allow all those looking to compete to get into the race course then head off for your ride. When riding, yield right of way easily to all passing cyclists as some competitive riders may have had to stop to repair mechanicals. Finally, the race is meant to be fun. Feel free to push yourself, but if a section appears to be above your skill level there is no shame in walking it. All in all, enjoy the ride, the atmosphere and allow others to do the same

Still perfect weather for a touring cyclist

Bike Pic Sept 19, temps are still good for touring cyclist riding cross country

Here’s a touring cyclist enjoys the open road, passing along lush green farm fields, having fun riding across the country side.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for viewing our ‘Touring Cyclist’ pic of the day  

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to 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 that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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 use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage 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 into our 8th year of producing this hand 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 apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.

Have a great day!

The summer is prime time for fun in the sun. Take a look at how to plan for an enjoyable, safe, and prepared bike trip this summer.

A Guide To Planning a Safe and Fun Bike Trip This Summer

By John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Now that summer is in its prime, for fun in the sun, lets plan a fun bike trip. While hundreds of people flock to the lakes and local pools for refreshment many, like myself, will find refreshing the soul on two wheels the best way to go. Take a look below at how I plan for an enjoyable bike trip through the summer.

A Short Bike Trip

Just because you are limited on time doesn’t mean you need to miss out on riding your bike. You can have fun right around your neighborhood! I have found that a great way to plan a short ride is to first determine a destination point. That destination can be an ice cream parlor, a road you have driven down but never seen up close or maybe a nearby water park? Once you pick your destination, try to link in some sections of bike path, rail trail, or some quite back streets or road, even though they may not be the most direct route to your destination. After you pick a destination and a route the rest of the planned excursion tends to materialize easily.

What To Bring Along

For a short trip just pack water and the tools to fix a flat. These rides usually only last an hour or so but can do a lot to help your peace of mind.

Bike Trip

Ice cream is always a great mid-ride snack no mater if its a long or short bike trip.

A Long Bike Trip

On a longer bike trip it takes a bit more planning, though it follows the same order as above. Pick your destination with several attractions or points of interest close to one-another. Then, add some bike friendly routes and the rest of the planned  bike trip will materialize. On longer trips, it is also important to make sure your bike Is working well. Lube the chain, adjust the brakes, check your fit, or drop it off at your local shop for service at least two weeks before you plan to depart.

For longer trips, I like to employ the use of guide books (Like our Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide) to find the best places to ride. Once you determine the location, reach out to local businesses like bike shops, hotels, business associations, or tourism boards to find out more details about the area. As I mentioned before, a bike guide is a great place to start planning, but also reach out to local tourism bureau’s. Bike paths and trails have become a popular attraction for most towns and visitors centers are more than happy to talk about their bike friendly amenities and usually have the most up to date information. Also consider using software programs like: Ride with GPS, Map My Ride and Strava for more route ideas.

Packing For A Longer Trip

Packing for a long trip is more involved than what a short trip normally requires. If you will be driving a long distance or flying to get to the ride you don’t want poor weather to keep you off your bike – so pack for the worst! As an example, I once did a 24-hour long mountain bike race in West Virginia in July and while the race started under sunny skies at 95 degrees, it was snowing on the top of the mountain, that night. Take a look at our comprehensive bike trip list for all the items you may be forgetting.

Bike safety

A great bike trip is a safe bike trip. There is no more important part of bike safety than a helmet that fits. While crashes are uncommon, they do happen and a helmet is the best way to protect yourself from serious damage. Other than the helmet, practice riding safely with hand signals, situational awareness and limited distractions to keep you out of trouble. If you are on a family trip, it’s also important to talk to your kids about bike riding safety.

Bring The Bike Lock

If your ride involves time stopping, maybe at a restaurant or ice cream parlor, be sure to lock your bike securely. Follow these three rules when locking your bike. One, Lock it to something secure. If the bike rack or a sign post you plan to lock your bike to isn’t secure, you are making a would-be bike thief’s job easier. Two, Lock the frame and at least one wheel of your bike. Locking just a rear wheel or front wheel makes it easy for someone to walk away with the rest of your bike. Three, Lock your bike in a well trafficked area. Bike thieves will be less likely to try and take your bike with witnesses around.

Its All About The Fun

Most important part about making a bike trip fun is to remember, it I all about fun. We all have days that start late, roads that get closed, out of the blue rain falls, and generally stuff that happens. Remember that the bike trip is all about the ride, not necessarily the destination so enjoy your time in the saddle.

Bike Trip

Always keep it fun!

 

This Travel Tuesday start thinking about your next bike adventure.

Bike Pic Dec 13, Travel to New Places with Your Bicycle

As the holidays are approaching quickly people are traveling for the holidays. This Travel Tuesday picture may help you get started thinking about your #nextbikeadventure. Have you ever thought about taking a trip just for biking? There are tons of places to bike here in Minnesota and probably tons of trails you never even thought about.  This photo was taken next to the Leech Lake B & B, north of Walker, off the Paul Bunyan Trail.

See all the places to explore and travel to in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing Today’s Travel Tuesday Bike Pic

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 highlighting 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: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!