Tag Archives: bike trip

Enjoy your next bike adventure with these helpful tips before leaving your front door. Your adventure could be a charity ride, a triathlon, a bike tour or even a trip for the whole family to the library. Whatever the bike adventure.

Tips for planning a great bike adventure for lasting memories

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Congratulations are in order, if you have decided to take the leap and plan a great bike adventure. Your adventure could be a charity ride, a triathlon, a bike tour, or even a trip for the whole family to the library. Whatever the bike adventure, there are a few things you should know before leaving your front door.

Don’t pack heavy for that next bike adventure

Bike Adventure

No need to pack everything, but it’s good to be prepared.

I’m not encouraging you to bring everything you own, but consider packing for all kinds of situations. Be sure to bring extra tubes, chain lube, hex keys, a rag and an air pump. If you are traveling with the family, be sure to bring things for the kids to do during down time. A magnifying glass, a bug book and bags to carry home newly found “treasures” can be just the thing to encourage kids to explore while off the bike.

Don’t pack the rider to heavy

Bike Adventure

Again, packing the kitchen sink is too much, but being prepared is important for having a great bike adventure. At the very least, pack a clean change of clothes for everyone. Leave them in the car if multi-modal commuting. Being able to change into clean clothes makes the drive home more comfortable and might be necessary if your kids explored a little too hard. Plus, a jacket, arm warmers, knee warmers and rain gear for changing weather conditions keep all parties comfortable – and don’t forget food (for pre, during, and post ride), and water. Beyond those things, pack a towel (even if you don’t plan to get wet). A towel make a great changing mat and can be rolled to act as a pillow or offer some privacy when changing in public.

Know your route

Most events will share a map of the route in advance. Print a paper version of it just in case your digital solution fails. If you are making your own route, create and print a cue sheet and map. On a cue sheet, each turn of the ride is listed by street and distance for quick reference. Also look the Minnesota Bike/Hike guide for great routes around the upper Midwest,

Plan “surprise” rewards

Bike Adventure

When riding with the family, it’s a great idea to plan rest stops in advance. Stopping at a convenience store for a treat or a Ice cream parlor for a cone are all the reward your kids could want after a warm summer trip. Same concept applies for adults. Stopping for a good meal or great micro brew can do a lot to keep morale high.

Random goods you should consider carrying

Even if you plan and pack well, unexpected things happen. Be sure to ride with a zip lock bag (preferably big enough to house you phone to keep it dry), a small bit of Duct tape, travel tissues, 4 quarters, and a ten-dollar bill. With those items, you can protect things from the elements, repair the un-repairable, buy ice cream, and do a host of other things.

Take care of your baby

A mechanical problem on a bike adventure is the worst. Avoid any issues by first cleaning your bike thoroughly, then taking it in for service. Having your bike running in tip top shape makes the ride that much more enjoyable. If you are traveling as a group, periodically inspect the bikes position on the car rack. Poorly positioned bikes banging together have ruined lots of adventures before they began.  Car exhaust will easily melt bicycle tires, inspect that your bike is not positioned in line with the car’s tail pipe.

Think of it as a bike adventure

Of all the “things” you can bring with you, be sure to leave your stress at home. No ride has ever gone according to plan. In fact, some of my most enjoyable rides were the ones where everything went wrong! Lasting memories can be built at any time, so enjoy the journey, stay positive and smell the roses along the way on your next bike adventure.

Folding bikes are an essential bicycle for anyone with limited space, a multi-mode commute, or the desire to travel with a bike.

Folding bikes are easy to use and fun for a ride or commute

Folding bikes are an essential bicycle for anyone with limited space, a multi-mode commute, or the desire to travel with a bike. Many companies make great folders that are easy to transport, featherweight and easy to use. Read ahead for tips on how to choose the right one and for information on all the benefits of a folder.

Types of folding bikes

-Sizes

Wheel size is the major differentiation between folding bikes. They range from 12” wheels, like the wheels you find on a kid’s bike, up to 700c full size adult wheels. Most folding bike frames are sized as one size fits all. The Seat and handlebars can usually be raised and lowered almost infinitely to fit any rider. The most noticeable part of different wheel sizes is comfort and stability.

-Brands

There are many different brands out there. The major players are Dahon, Tern, and Bike Friday. Each have models that are oriented toward road riding, off-road, or touring. Tern and Dahon make their bicycles in Asia out of aluminum or steel. Bike Friday on the other hand, produces all their bicycles in Eugene Oregon out of steel. There are many other brands that make folding bikes as well, but these are the three most readily available in bike shops.

Portability

Folding bikes are great because of their size. For storage, having the ability to fold a bike up into a suitcase sized package offers a lot of options. These bikes can fit under a bed, into a closet, or the trunk of your car.

Commuting

A barrier for many people to enter into bicycle commuting is distance. For some, it is just not possible to ride 25 miles to work. A folding bike can help split up a bicycle commute. By being folding, you can ride the bike from your home to the bus or train, ride public transportation and then finish the trip to work on your bike again.

Wheel size

Most folding bikes use smaller wheels than their non-folding counterparts. Those small wheels are great when it’s time to fold the bike up, but while riding, they can be a bit harsher than a full size wheel.

Unique parts

Folding bikes use proprietary parts in order to fold as small as possible. Most of these parts are specific to each folding bike brand and are designed to make the bike as fold-able as possible while also being very light. The downside to unique parts is getting replacements can be an issue. Overall, these parts aren’t usually wear items, so the instance of replacement is low.

Stiffness

Folding bikes use smaller frames in the pursuit of getting as small and light as possible once folded. The side effect of a small frame is low stiffness. This flex would be appreciated if it were in a vertical plane, as it would absorb road vibration, but sadly the lateral flex of a folding bike only robs the rider of efficiency.

Tips to buying

Trying before you buy can be difficult because most shops don’t stock a large selection of folding bikes. Start by making a few calls to local shops to see what’s available to ride. Because of that scarcity, focus on testing two things – Wheel size and frame material. The wheel size and frame material have the largest effect on the ride quality of the bicycle. If you can solidify the wheel size and frame material you prefer, you can then determine the other features without riding them.

Travel Bikes

Travel bikes are full sized bicycles that can be deconstructed to fit into a suitcase. While they offer the same ride quality as a standard bicycle, they do not disassemble quickly. I would recommend a folding bike over a travel bike if you plan to make frequent short trips with the bike. If you plan to travel longer distances, and ride more miles, a travel bike is great.

AAA announced that it was extending its popular AAA Roadside Service to include bicycles, offering cyclists and added peace of mind.

New AAA Roadside Service adds peace of mind for your next bike ride

by, Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

As more people take to bicycling for recreation and transportation it is nice to know there is someone to come to rescue if a bike breaks down. In a move to support bicyclists, AAA is now offering support. Recently, the company announced that it was extending its popular automotive AAA Roadside Service to include bikes. Here at HaveFunBiking.com, hearing the news is exciting. This is a perfect service that will assure cyclist, someone will be there if they breakdown.

Any bike you are riding is covered by AAA Roadside Service

With wheel bearing going out this cyclist wouldn't be carrying his bike hope if he had a AAA Roadside Service membership?

If this rider had AAA Roadside Service, he wouldn’t be carrying his bike home because of a mechanical issue.

How the program works? For as little as $49 a year you can purchase a AAA membership that offers Roadside Service for both your car and bike. If you are already a member you are now covered when bicycling. Just call your roadside assistance number on the back of your membership card.

Like the automotive Roadside Assistance Program any bike you are riding (road, mountain, recumbent, e-bike, tandem bikes, bike rentals and bicycle trailers) is eligible. Coverage applies to any qualified bike a member is riding at the time the bicycle becomes disabled. A member should be with the bicycle and have their AAA Membership Card in hand at the time of service. Keep in mind, the Roadside Service is provided only for the rider whose bicycle has become disabled or inoperable. However, any accompanying minors of a member is covered.

When a quick fix isn’t an option, AAA Roadside Service is there

The second most common mechanical problem to a flat tire, is a broken chain. Read on to learn the causes of and quick remedies to fix your chain.

The second most common mechanical problem to a flat tire is a broken chain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If a quick fix isn’t an option, (examples: you blew a tire; some spokes broke; or the chain busted) first call a family member or friend. Then, if no one is available to assist, AAA Roadside Service may be your best option.

It’s like “Having a SAG Wagon in your back pocket,” especially when you are touring away from home, on vacation, etc. This roadside service is something that will give a cyclist peace of mind.

Three levels of SAG (service and gear) support for you and your bike

Under the new terms of the roadside pickup service. AAA will transport you and your disabled bike to any point of safety within the limits of your coverage. This is based on three available levels of membership below:

  • The Classic: Gives you up to four transports of your bike or car, within a 5-mile radius of the breakdown per year
  • The Plus: Gives you up to four transports of your bike or car, within a 100-mile radius of the bicycle breakdown
  • The Premier: Gives you one transport of your bike or car, up to a 200-mile radius of the breakdown; remaining transports are 100 miles.

This is exciting news if you are a casual, touring cyclist or a bike commuter! Mary Miller, from South St. Paul was ecstatic to hear the news. She stated, ” now I feel comfortable riding my bike more often knowing that I can call AAA to come and get me if I breakdown.”

What You Don’t Get

The service is strictly a pickup and delivery service and does not offer any repair amenities or supplies. If you are capable of fixing a flat, repairing a broken chain or spoke and continuing your ride, please do so. The service is designed when you have run out of quick repair options. In fact, there is a laundry list of “services not included:

  • Airing or changing a flat tire
  • Pickup from anywhere not reachable from a paved, “regularly traveled” road
  • Parts, including tires
  • Pickup of bicyclists who are physical unable to continue with the ride
  • Locksmith services, in case you accidentally lock up your bike and lose the key or combination.

AAA Roadside Service is available in many states across the U.S.

“We are tremendously excited about this great new bike benefit program available to AAA members across most of the upper Midwest, Southeast and much of our country,” stated Gail Weinholzer, Director of Public Affairs, AAA – The Auto Club Group.

The new bicycle service is available throughout the entire territory served by AAA. The Auto Club Group which includes all of: Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.

For bicycle coverage outside the above states and for full details on AAA Roadside Membership visit AAA.com/Bicycle.

 

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!