Tag Archives: biking

This Bike Pic Wednesday, we captured this biker dude riding in the rain on his commute to work in Washington County, near Stillwater, MN.

Bike Pic May 08, making the best of a wet Wednesday ride

This Bike Pic Wednesday, we captured this biker dude riding in the rain on his commute to work in Washington County, near Stillwater, MN.

Here are some tips on maintenance after riding in the rain.

What better way to continue your fun than finding your #NextBikeAdventure.  See all the great ideas and bike destinations in the 2019 Bike/Hike Planning Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Bike Pic’ 

Now rolling into our 12th year as a bike media, our goal is to encourage more people to have fun. In this expanded e-guide issue, we have added more free bike maps to review for planning your next adventure.

As we continue to showcase more destinations you can explore, we are all about capturing fun photos to capture those memories. Hopefully, some 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 at HaveFunBiking (HFB)? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Please include a brief caption (for each), who is in the photo (if you know?) and where you shot the picture. Your photo submitted should be at a medium resolution or more, for consideration. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit at HaveFunBiking 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 next bike adventure. Here you will find all the information you will need when visiting one of our Community Map Partners, accessible on your mobile-friendly devices.

Watch for our spring print guides in May.

The spring 2019 Bike/Hike Guides will be available soon in both print and digital format. So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your #NextBikeAdventure.

Please share all our pic’s with your friends and us on our Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to smile; we may be around the next corner with our HFB camera, ready to capture you for our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day!

Biking into New Orleans on the Mississippi River Trail in April the flowers are blooming.

New Orleans on two wheels at the end of the Mississippi River Trail

by Russ Lowthian

New Orleans, A Fun Biking Haven

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Driving your bike around New Orleans, bike lanes and low traffic one-way streets make it easy and safe to get around.

Seeing the city of New Orleans and its parishes on two wheels can be a fun way to experience the last section of the Mississippi River Trail (MRT). So if you are a northerner like me and need a brief reprieve from the cool spring elements the upper Midwest can dish out, this is a bike destination to consider. As the area continues to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina, the city has quadrupled its miles of bike-ways making it easy for both residents and visitors to take to the streets by bike.

Even the League of American Bicyclists has recently taken note, awarding this city the Silver, bicycle friendly community designation. So, if you looking for a fun time, here are some ideas and opportunities for that #nextbikeadventure to the Big Easy.

New Orleans – Culture and Area

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Some of New Orleans parks draw visitors for both the art objects and wildlife in the background.

In the springtime the fragrance of jasmine whispering through the air. Because of this, on our last visit, we wanted to experience the city, only using bikes and public transportation. Besides the non-stop fun in the French Quarter, touring on two wheels we were able to find many other community pockets to enhance our visit. This included places with delicious meals, art, and music hotspots. Along the bike-friendly streets we rode, many were influenced by Creole and French cultures. This gave the homes in the area a wide array of tropical colors which is different from what we usually see in most northern states.

We discovered that driving your bike was the best way to see all the neighborhoods and experience, New Orleans.  Thanks to the NOLA printable bike friendly map and the Big Easy Bike Coalition at BikeEasy.org, getting around New Orleans was straightforward. Besides, the miles of bike lanes, bike sharrows (painted V-shaped arrows that are stacked like sergeants stripes on a shirt sleeve that point in the direction of traffic flow of a bike route) and trails, the majority of the city is laid out with one-way streets alternating back and forth, North/South and East/West to get around.

Beginning a Bike Adventure in New Orleans

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Bicyclists tend to stroll along with pedestrians while taking in the music and fun along the French Quarters in New Orleans.

First, we downloaded Joey’s digital version of the map for planning. After that, finding a printed edition at a local bike shop or one of the tour companies listed below – was a bonus!

The bike map gave us a great chart to maneuver through the neighborhoods when the main bike routes were detoured by one of the many events going on or construction updates. Using a combination of the above map options made it convenient to go from the French Quarter: up to City Park, one day; to the Garden District and Audubon Park another day; and then across the Mississippi River and back, by ferry, to Algiers for another New Orleans bike adventure. Plus, in April, the humidity is still relatively low.

Lakeview Area and City Park

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Here Marcy Kelash found the outdoor scale model railroad setting, amongst the flower gardens in Lakeview Park quite exquisite.

Well worth a 15-mile round trip from the French Quarter, we found the Lakeview Area breathtaking. We even spent several hours at the City Park – that turned out to be one of the highlights of our visit.  Here the gardens and sculptures in the park were impressive. Plus, in April, you will find many varieties of roses and several exotic flowers in bloom in the area. Into trains? The outdoor scale model railroad exhibit in the park was quite extraordinary, detailed with authentic replicas of buildings and tracks of the southern Louisiana area.

Lake Pontchartrain Area

In the Garden District you will find several walking tours and stately homes to bike by.

In the Garden District, you will find several walking tours and stately homes to bike by.

Also, being so close to Lake Pontchartrain, we added several more miles to our day of riding through this section of town. This part of the Big Easy is quite different from the colorful Creole-influenced shotgun houses we biked past near the French Quarters. It was picture perfect riding in the area. Riding through the high-end neighborhoods where sycamore trees shade the architecturally present and pristine lanes there an enjoyable adventure touring the northeast section of the Big Easy.

Algergers Neighborhood and the Last Section of the Mississippi River Trail

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Crossing the Mississippi River to the Algergers neighborhood by ferry is free for the passage for bikers and walkers.

In the Algergers neighborhood, after crossing the Mississippi River by ferry, (free passage for bikers and walkers) you will find a bike trail that follows the river up steam. This is the last section of the MRT before the Gulf of Mexico. Here, riding along the river, you can view some of the big boats coming in from the Gulf and the skyline view of Downtown New Orleans. Plus, if you are lucky when passing by the warehouses along the trail, you may see some of the Mardi Gras floats – sometimes open for a tour.

Marigny/Bywater Area

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Dr. Bob is a New Orleans self-taught folk artist who has made the phrase “Be Nice or Leave” a part of his identity.

A ride back on the ferry, another Creole-influenced neighborhood is the Marigny/Bywater area. This is a great place to discover the soul of New Orleans. Here you will find many artists and several hole-in-the-wall places offering great food and music. For ribs, some of the best we have ever feasted on, try the “Joint.” For other great entrees, check out Elizabeth’s on Chartres Street.  And don’t forget to stop at Dr. Bob’s Art Gallery.

Dr. Bob is a New Orleans self-taught folk artist who has made the phrase “Be Nice or Leave” a part of his identity. Here we found objects many everyday objects he has transformed into his artwork.  You’re sure to be interested in the eclectic mix of Southern Louisiana influenced art that you can find in his gallery of fun objects. Just pull into the double gates of the complex, pass the lumber yard, park your bike back by the trailer, and introduce yourself.

Other Areas in New Orleans

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Around New Orleans, several other guided biking and walking are available, with recommendations for places to visit on your own.

Visiting the Carrollton, Garden District, and Irish Channel Area from the French Quarter, discover the ease of riding the new bike lane on Magazine Street. Once you arrive in the Garden District, several guided biking and walking tours are available. The tours are well worth signing up for, to maximize your Big Easy bike experience. I would recommend taking one or several of these tours on the front end of your visit to maximize your time pedaling around this area. Plus, you will get the inside scoop to good places to eat and local music that showcases the soul of the New Orleans.

Bike Rental in New Orleans

A fun print displayed in one of the art shops in the French Quarters, in New Orleans.

A fun print displayed in one of the art shops in the French Quarters, in New Orleans.

If this is your first time planning a trip to the Big Easy and exploring the city on two wheels, leave your own bike at home – unless you are serious about packing on the miles. Most points of interest are less than a 20-mile meandering round trip from the French Quarter area. If you choose to rent and plan to cover more than 10-miles in a day, pay a couple of extra bucks for a bike with five-to-seven-gears. Though the terrain is fairly flat, it is not uncommon to encounter a headwind – coming or going – in or out of the different neighborhoods. For shorter distance sightseeing opportunities or when combining public transportation (bus/cable car with bike racks) on your excursion, single speed cruisers bikes work well.

Our Bike Rental Picks

Biking near the French Quarters you will notice the colorful Creole and French influenced shotgun homes there.

Biking near the French Quarters you will notice the colorful Creole and French-influenced shotgun homes there.

I found several bike rental shops, most around the French Quarter.  Rental options, I checked out and was impressed with included: Michaels Bicycle Sales, Rental and Service on Frenchman Street and Ride This Bike Rental and Folding Bike Sales on Dauphine Street. Both places had Joey’s Bike Map, were friendly, and they were helpful with tips on riding around the Big Easy.

Looking for neighborhood bike tours that include a rental (most have single speed bikes with coaster brakes?). We enjoyed a tour of the Marigny/Bywater area led by the staff of the Confederacy of Cruisers Tour Company.  Not only was the tour fun, but our guide also offered many suggestions on food and music hot spots, that we checked out later on in the day and fully enjoyed.

Places to Stay in New Orleans

For lodging options throughout the city,  places to eat, events and festivals to see, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau web site is a great place to look for more information when planning a bike visit to the Big Easy – the last city on the Mississippi River Trail.

This Bike Pic Saturday, this young biker dude rides with anticipation as the Vikings and Packers prepare for a border battle this Sunday at U.S Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.

Bike Pic Nov 24, a little rain and sleet wont stop this Vikings fan

This Bike Pic Saturday, this young biker dude rides with anticipation as the Vikings and Packers prepare for a border battle this Sunday at U.S Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN.

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

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Saturday’ Bike Pic’  

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 appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pics of the Day.

Have a great day!

Do you have a bike or two taking up space and collecting dust? Is so, consider donating them to Free Bikes for Kids (FB4K) for their annual drive to help kids smile.

Help a kid smile, donate any old bikes you have this Saturday

Do you have a bike or two collecting dust, taking up space and no longer needed? If so, consider donating them to Free Bikes 4 Kids (FB4K) for their 11th annual drive, putting more smiles on kids faces. For those who have already donated extra bikes laying around, you can still help by volunteering to get the bikes ready. Their goal this year is to collect more than 10,000 bikes to hand out, can you help?

FB4K helps kids smile by donating your bike

Free Bikes for Kids help kids smile with the 2016 season Bike Collection Day, on Saturday, October 8th, Donate your bikes to help more kids.

FB4K is on a mission to see 10,000, plus smiles from all the bikes they will collect this Saturday.

The kick-off to the 2018 Bike Collection Day is on Saturday, October 6th. To make this year a success they need both your old bike(s) and help to get the bikes ready.

Helping FB4K’s put more smiles on kids faces is pedaling philanthropy

Don’t have a bike to donate? Join them at their warehouse, in Brooklyn Center, over the next two months. Sign-up for a shift or two, at a time that works with your schedule. Just open this volunteer link and answer a few questions so you can help with the 10,000 plus bikes that will be dropped off and moved to their warehouse this Saturday. Come on your own or bring your crew when you volunteer. Sign-up today to secure your spot. The more, the merrier!

Free Bikes for Kids helps kids smile so please help by volunteering to clean or wrench on some bikes if you can't help with bike donation.

Join the fun, help clean or wrench on some of the used bikes like these guys.

The warehouse, at 5930 Earle Brown Drive in Brooklyn Center, is where volunteers will clean, refurbish and give a final quality control check to each bike donated. Be a cleaner, an organizer, or a mechanic for a shift or two or more. Volunteer on your own or line up a large group. FB4K will be open seven days a week, so get involved today. Email Riely the Volunteer Coordinator, at riley@fb4k.org  he can help schedule your group.

About Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Free Bikes 4 Kidz is a non-profit organization geared toward helping all kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood by providing bikes to those most in need. The public donates gently used bikes. Then, they organize thousands of volunteers to clean and refurbish them before they give them away to kids in need. So really, FB4K helps kids smile.

In 2008 they gave away 300 bikes and last year there were over 9,316 bicycles collected and given out to children in December. In the last 10 years over 50,000 bikes have rolled through their giveaways. That is a lot of smiles on kids faces!

Though the generous help of key partners like Allina Health, QBP, Penn Cycle, Park Tool, Nice Ride MN, and others, FB4K has gone far. But they still need your support in building the foundation and to help every kid ride into a more memorable childhood.

Do your part making kids smile, see more at  FB4K.org/

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Bike Pic Nov 23, Wishing Everyone a Memorable and Safe Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a memorable and safe Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. After that big turkey dinner get outside and burn off a few calories before dessert is served.

Wish eveWishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends.ryone a happy and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving with family and friends.

As upper Midwest bike riders are changing their gear to winter activities, including fat biking, ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing and other cold weather sports, see all the places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, after the holidays!

Thanks for viewing the Wishing Everyone a Memorable Thanksgiving 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. 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!

Put more smiles on children's faces by volunteering with Free Bikes 4 Kidz to clean, prep, or wrench some of the 5,000 bicycles collected this last month.

Helps kids smile by volunteering to prepare all the bikes donated

In the Twin Cities, help the the Free Bikes 4 Kidz (FB4K) program. Put more smiles on children’s faces by volunteering to clean, prep, or wrench some of the 5,000 plus bicycles collected this year. All bicycles collected are being stored and repaired at their warehouse in New Hope, MN. With the distribution starting on Saturday, December 8th, your help is needed make sure these bikes are ready.

Help Free Bikes 4 Kidz put more smile on kids faces

Free Bikes for Kids helps kid's smile with the 2016 season Bike Collection Day, on Saturday, October 8th, Donate your bikes to help more kids.

FB4K helps kid’s smile with their annual Bike Collection Day, in October 8th.

Now through Friday, December 8th – 7 days a week – several daily shifts will be available to volunteer at. If you have extra time, please use the FB4K’s registration system to sign up for a shift you are willing to help out at. They need volunteers of all skill levels to clean and fix bicycles, no experience necessary!

Their New Hope location will serve as the FB4K bike warehouse, prep and distribution center this year. This warehouse is where volunteers will clean, refurbish, and give a final quality control check to each bike donated. Volunteer on your own or line up a large group. FB4K will be open seven days a week to fit your schedule. Questions? You can email their Volunteer Coordinator, Catherine@fb4k.org. she can help schedule you and your group.

About Free Bikes 4 Kidz

Free Bikes for Kids helps kid's smile with the 2016 season Bike Collection Day, on Saturday, October 8th, at the Mall of America.

FB4K helps kid’s smile with season Bike Collection Day, in October around the Twin Cities.

FB4K is a non-profit organization geared toward helping all kids ride lead a happier lifestyle. To this date, over 37,000 lives have been changed with this bike program. The public donates gently used bicycles. Then, they organize thousands of volunteers to clean and refurbish them before they are given away to kids in need. So really, FB4K helps kids smile!

In 2008 they gave away 300 bikes. Last year it  was 5,500 bikes and what about this year? Again over 5,500 bikes were collected. In the last eight years there have been over 35,000 bikes that have rolled through their giveaways. What does FB4K have to say about that? They claim they are not done yet. Their future sights are set on other locations throughout the U.S. and the world.

Every year 25 million bikes are sold in the U.S. with one-third of those bikes are 20” wheel-size or smaller. Since kids grow like weeds. Because of this, over 8 million bikes are virtually outgrown each year, giving them an endless supply, while making our environment more sustainable.

The Generous Sponsors of FB4K

Though the generosity of key partners like Allina Health, QBP, Penn Cycle, Park Tool, and Nice Ride MN, FB4K has gone far. However, they still need your support in building the foundation and to help every kid ride into a more memorable childhood. Why volunteer, why not?

So do your part making kids smile, volunteer today at: http://fb4k.org/.

Considering a bike commute as part of your routine, it might add a bit of brilliance to your next story as you share some of your successes.

Bike Pic Oct 12, fall in love with your mode of transportation, commute

To lead a fulfilling life, at any age, the first thing to do is fall in love with your mode of transportation you use to get around no matter the weather. Considering a bike commute as part of your daily routine, it might add a bit of brilliance to your next story as you share some of your successes and adventures.

Heading to work or running errands here are some tips to stay comfortable when riding not matter the weather.

View all the fun 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 ‘Commute’ 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!

To be successful, the first thing is to fall in love with the mode of transportation you use to get to work no matter if it is a bike commute.

Bike Pic Sept 25, fall in love with your mode, bike commute to work

To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your mode of transportation you use to get to work no matter the weather. Considering a bike commute as part of your routine might add a bit of brilliance to your next story as you share some of your successes.

Here are some tips to stay comfortable when riding not matter the weather.

View all the fun 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 ‘Bike Commute’ 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!

Back in the mountain bike saddle after a long holiday weekend, here is our bike pic for the day.

Bike Pic Sept 5, having fun post holiday with another adventure

Back in the mountain bike saddle after a long holiday weekend, excited for the next challenge, here is our bike pic to start your week.

What better way to continue your summer fun and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun 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 ‘Bike 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!

Outside Bike Storage: Preserving its Condition While Battling Mother Nature

by Jess Leong, HaveFunBiking.com

 If you’re like the many people who ride bikes, you may have selected or been forced to use outside bike storage where your bicycle has to fend for itself in all the elements. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, especially since many people don’t have a place to store their bikes inside.

We mentioned in a previous article that if you’re unable to store a bike indoors, that you can usually find a nearby bike shop that can store your bike for you – especially through the winter. However, sometimes even this isn’t possible and outside bike storage is your only option. Perhaps there are no bike shops that offer that service nearby, or perhaps the cost in doing that would be out of your budget. Whatever the reason, here’s what you need to know to store your bike outside for a couple day or indefinable.

What Happens When You Use Outside Bike Storage for your Bicycle

As many can guess, bikes left outside in rain or snow can rust.

Newer bikes fare better in the outside elements because the seals on the bike’s components are tighter than on older or more worn bicycles. Being well-sealed allows it to block out moisture from making its way inside and corroding the bike from inside and out. Leaving these new bikes out for a few days or even a week might not be a problem. However, the longer it is left outdoors, the more problems the rider will see – this is especially true for older bikes. Older bikes can degrade faster since they have been weathered down over time.

What you can expect to see is rust forming on the chain and gears before affecting the rest of the bike. This can make the drivetrain brittle over time, and cause problems when shifting gears and riding.

We know rain and moisture can cause problems, but did you know humidity and heat can also be a problem? In the summer, keeping your bike in direct sunlight can cause problems in certain areas on your bike as well. The direct light can cause rubber and plastic to harden, leaving tires, seats, grips, and cable housing brittle.

Additionally, bikes that are left outside also run the risk of being vandalized or stolen. According to the National Bike Registry, over 1.5 million bikes are stolen every year with less than 3 percent being returned. Besides running the risk of corrosion, you run the risk of never seeing your bike again.

What You Can Do If Using Outside Bike Storage

Place a Bike Tent Over Your Bike

It’s not recommended to place a tarp directly on your bike because it can work like a green house, accumulating heat and moisture. Heat can affect your plastic or rubber parts and degrade them. When it’s cold or rainy, it can trap the water vapor. The moisture can then settle on your bicycle, corroding it.

A bike tent, however, allows a shelter from the elements, while also allowing air to circulate any moisture away. Bike tents aren’t expensive compared to some options and are generally easy to put together.

If your bike does get wet, wipe down the bike so the water doesn’t sit to long.

 Lube and Grease Your Bike – Especcially with Outside Bike Storage

Place waterproof grease over areas that might be breached by water, such as screw holes, bolt heads, or bearings. The grease will create a barrier against water, stopping it from getting through. Lubing up your chain and other appropriate parts of the bike is also a helpful way to create a barrier from any moisture. Using a wet lube rather than dry lube is key. Dry bike lubricant will wash away easily and doesn’t provide any protection from corrosion.

Use the Bike

This doesn’t mean you should ride the bike outside during a blizzard. Instead, lift it up and turn the pedals. Moving it around can help with reducing rust. Over time, dust, dirt, or grime can get into the shifter and fine mechanical parts, so using the bike can knock this stuff off – especially if you’re riding it.

Remember, the salt from the road can affect the bike! Salt affects aluminum or alloy parts. So, if you take it for a spin, make sure to wipe down your bike afterwards and clean it.

Replacing Components to Last

Many factors affect how quickly and badly a bike can corrode. While storing a bike indoors is the best option, sometimes it’s not possible. Following the above steps should help minimize the buildup of rust. It can also limit mechanical problems that may occur.

Trying to limit corroding factors is the best you can do. Some people who know they will store bike outside under a cover or in a bike tent will opt to spend extra money to ‘upgrade’ their bikes. The bikes they tend to buy are already considered ‘durable’. Then, they change out parts to other materials that are less likely to rust over time. Some bikers also will opt for a ‘rustproof’ labeled chain. If this isn’t possible, then frequent bike maintenance and greasing is the way to go. This ends up being the key factor that many bikers rely on if they are storing their wheels outdoors.

Be aware, if you store your bike outside, there will be more maintenance required than if you stored your bike indoors. Keeping up with this maintenance might seem a little daunting, but it is well worth the effort. Why? Because come spring, your bike will be ready to go and have minimal rust and problems.