Tag Archives: drive your bike

It's Saturday, you know what that means! Miles of Smiles Saturday is here again! This is the last weekend of March! April is quickly approaching!

Making your next group ride fun and safe with these tips

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

With summer officially here in the next couple days, I hope you have plans to ride with family and friends. As you get your bike ready, before heading out on a group ride it is a good idea to brush up on your local traffic laws. Bicycles are given the same rights and requirements as cars in most municipalities. This becomes even more important as you ride in a group. So drive your bike as if it is a car. Be cognizant of stopping at all traffic lights, stop signs, and crosswalks. Ride with the flow of traffic in a manner that is as safe and predictable as possible.

Group ride rules

What to expect on your group ride – Know the rules!

Group rides are typically categorized by speed and distance. If you are joining a ride, investigate the route and ensure that the group will be riding at a speed you can manage. In the case where you are organizing a group ride with friends, it is helpful to share the route and expected speed with all riders beforehand. Additionally,  many rides are categorized as “No-Drop” rides. A  “No-Drop” ride is one where everyone rides together for the duration of the ride. If a ride is not categorized as “No-Drop” the group is under no expectation to wait for riders who cannot keep up.

As a side note for people putting together their own rides with friends. Try to find riders who are all about the same level of fitness and have similar interests. Similar interests help foster great conversation and similar fitness maintains the group connection.

It’s not a race

The best part of a group ride is the shared experience of rolling through the countryside together. Whereas there are some group rides designed to see who is king of the mountain. But most are designed to use the strengths of a group to add to safety and efficiency. Trying to go at full speed and drop all those around you will only do damage to a great group ride and friendships.

Hold your line

group ride turning

In a group ride, you are responsible for the safety of yourself and those around you. Those around you are also responsible for your safety. Consider the group before You make decisions or change direction. While riding solo, you naturally carve through the apex of a turn to maximize speed and maintain momentum. In a group, you cannot cut the corner like this. You need to offer as much space as the rider to the right or left of you needs to complete the turn.

Ride close

group ride two by two

Ride to the right. Two by two.

This is probably the most important tip for riding in a group. Ride two by two, side by side as close to the other riders as you and they feel comfortable with. By riding in this formation, you can be more efficient while still allowing traffic to move seamlessly around you.

Give warning

Unless you are first in line, you can’t see what obstacles may be coming down the road. As the rider up front, it is your responsibility to let the riders behind you know if the group encounters grates, potholes, other riders, pedestrians or automobiles. Usually, a simple hand signal will work, a quick wave of the hand lets riders behind you know what’s happening. As a rider who is following, it is requisite of you to signal to riders behind you the signals you see ahead. You can call out the obstacle but in many cases, the riders behind you may not hear your voice.

Ride confidently and safely

As you ride with a group more and more, natural confidence and comfort will develop. Stay alert, as you become more comfortable in the group it’s possible to lose focus on yourself and those around you. Always remember to pay attention and follow the tips above – drive your bike just like your car.

Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and when you plan properly it can be a great activity year round! Here are some top tips for staying safe when cycling at times when Mother Nature seems to throw a wrench in your plans

Cycling tips on driving your bike in inclement weather

by Personal Injury Help

Don’t let inclement weather stop you from biking. Cycling is one of the healthiest forms of exercise and when you plan properly it can be a great activity year round! As fall approaches, here are some tips for staying safe when cycling at times when Mother Nature seems to throw a wrench in your plans:

Inclement weather and the rain

Lighten up

Stay visible by using both headlights and taillight and wearing clothes motorists can see.

Stay visible by using both headlights and taillight and wearing clothes motorists can see.

Visibility is the key along with staying dry. It is a lot harder for both motorists and pedestrians to see you when it’s raining out. You can wear a reflective and fluorescent vest to stand out and attach reflectors to both your bicycle and helmet (which you should always wear!). Flashing lights on the front of your bicycle and on your saddle are also very eye-catching in the rain.

Avoid non-porous surfaces

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

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

Driving your bike on brick, metal and wood surfaces when wet all become very slippery. Try to avoid traveling over these surfaces when raining. If you must ride on these smooth exteriors, do so without turning your handlebars to prevent skidding and slow down.

Dress for the temperature

In inclement weather and rain, when cycling, wear a light wicking layer under your rain gear and have a dry layer tucked away if you become wet.

In inclement weather, when cycling, wear a light wicking layer under your rain gear and have a dry layer tucked away if you become wet.

It is tempting to bundle up with multiple layers when you’re cycling in the rain with the hopes of preventing the water from soaking all the way through your clothing to you. Unfortunately, what will probably happen, all your layers will become wet from sweat and you’ll be stuck wearing multiple layers of soggy clothing. When it’s raining out dress according to the temperature outside, not the volume of rain. If you don’t have any waterproof clothing, a very thin poncho or large trash bag, with holes for arms and head to slip through can do wonders.

Inclement weather and the snow

Bikes with low tire pressure offer more stability on slippery roads. Adding studs to the bikes tires adds more control.

Bikes with low tire pressure offer more stability on slippery roads. Adding studs to the tires of the bike adds more control.

Slow down—it’ll take you twice as long to stop in the snow than in clear conditions. When approaching stop signs or intersections, give yourself plenty of room to stop and avoid skidding.

Use fenders—when you put fenders on your bicycle, you not only stop snow from splashing up all over yourself and your bicycle, but you also keep your cycling neighbors day as well. A win-win!

Use an old mountain bike—fat tire bicycles are great, but they often cost more than $3,000. If you have an old mountain bike gathering dust in your garage, it’s often a great and cost-effective option if you want to get outside in the snow. You can also buy winter bike tires, with studs, if you’re so inclined.

Inclement weather and the heat

In hot weather stay hydrated by taking a few sips of water every few miles.

In hot weather stay hydrated by taking a few sips of water every couple miles.

Get acclimated—if you are used to going 15-mile and the temperature suddenly jumps up into the 90s, with high humidity, it’s not safe to expect to take the same route in the same timeframe. It can take weeks to get used to cycling at high temperatures, so try taking in easy for a while so you can get used to the heat.

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

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

Stay hydrated—a 150-pound cyclist will need to drink at least one 16-ounce bottle of water per hour. Plus a glass of water about 45 minutes before leaving. If you’re heavier or if you’re going on a particularly hilly or challenging route, you could need up to four bottles per hour.

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

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

Stay loose—you’ll want to wear clothing that’s loose and keeps you cool when you’re sweating. Avoid dark colors, but more importantly, avoid something that’s heavy and form-fitting.

This article was created by Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safely and legally!

Allowing motorists the option to pass a bike in a no passing zone makes the Share the Road campaign, 'Allow 3 Feet When Passing,' safer.

Take the worry out of your next bike ride with Cycling Savvy

Here is a course that will help you feel more comfortable and confident riding your bike. Cycling Savvy is returning to the Twin Cities area again this summer with a three-part bicycle safety class. By enrolling in this class you will feel secure going anywhere on your bike safely and confidently.

Bike with Hokan and John Hardy doing a “chalk talk.” Sign up for Cycling Savvy to learn more.

Bike with Hokan and John Hardy doing a “chalk talk.” Sign up for Cycling Savvy to learn more.

Course structure and content for a safe bike ride

While Cycling Savvy inevitably teaches some of the same essential traffic cycling principles and skills as other cycling courses, it is an entirely new curriculum.  From the ground up, it is built upon an understanding of the needs of adult learners. The course addresses the challenges of today’s changing behavior that is strongly rooted in our traffic culture. Much of the content in the Cycling Savvy curriculum is completely original. Traditional content is framed and delivered in unique ways to maximize the learning process. It is a modular course, consisting of three, 3-hour classes, with seasoned certified instructors to help you along the way.

Class I (Train Your Bike!)

This three-hour session is conducted in a parking lot. It consists of a set of progressive drills designed to increase students’ control and comfort handling their bikes in various situations and includes:

  • Start/Stop, Power Pedal & Balance Stop
  • Snail Race, Slow-speed Balance
  • Drag-race, Gears & Acceleration
  • Ride Straight, One-handed
  • Shoulder Check
  • Object-avoidance Handling, Weave, Snap
  • Turning: Slow-speed Tight Turns, High-speed cornering, Emergency Snap-turn
  • Emergency Braking

Reserve your spot today for session-one: Friday, June 8th; Friday July, 20th; or Friday, September 21. Class hours are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each session. Location will be at the Ski-U-Mah Parking Lot near TCF Stadium, 6th Street Southeast Minneapolis, MN 55455

Class II (The Truth & Techniques of Traffic Cycling)

Through guided discussion with video and animation, this three-hour session will familiarizes students with bicycle-specific laws, traffic dynamics and problem-solving strategies. Students discover that bicycle drivers are equal road users, with the right and ability to control their space.

Options for Class II are: Saturday, June 9th; Saturday, July 21st, or Saturday, September 22. Class hours are from 9 a.m. to Noon. Location for this class will be at 110 Union Street S.E., room 107 Minneapolis, MN 55455

Class III (Tour of Minneapolis*)  (3.5 hours):

This session is an experiential tour of Minneapolis roads. This 3.5 hour final course includes some of the most intimidating road features (intersections, interchanges, merges, etc.) a cyclist might find in his/her travels. The students travel as a group, stopping to survey and discuss each exercise location. After observing the feature, discussing the traffic dynamics and the best strategy for safe and easy passage, the students ride through individually and regroup at a nearby location.

Please note, the Tour of Minneapolis session* above is only available for those who take the full course. The first two sessions may be taken á la carte, in any order.

Options for Class III are: Saturday, June 9th; Saturday July 21 or Saturday September 22. Class hours are from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Location for this final class will also be at 110 Union Street S.E., room 107 Minneapolis, MN 55455.

For more information on driving your bike like you do with a car see Cycle Savvy.org

Happy Sunday everyone! We're back again with this weeks Ice Cream Sunday Pic of the Day! So go out to your local Ice Cream shop for a nice treat!

Bike Pic March 19, Hooray Warm Weather Is Back So Bring On The Ice Cream Sunday Season!

Happy Sunday everyone! We’re back again with Ice Cream Sunday Pic of the Day! This weeks pic features an enthusiastic cyclist enjoying a tasty treat at her favorite rest stop. So go out there with your family and bike to your local Ice Cream shop for a cool treat, hooray!

View the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and remember to register for the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour and all the other fun rides coming up.

Thanks for viewing Today’s Ice Cream Sunday 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!