Tag Archives: Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

I recently spent some time in Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride.

Planning a casual doughnut ride for you and your friends

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

Over the weekend I spent some time in the cradle of liberty, Philadelphia. While there I enjoyed a few rides, but the most enjoyable one was Trek of Philadelphia’s Doughnut Ride. I was reminded of the joys of simple rides and good company, rather than difficult efforts and  a competitive pace.

The Doughnut Ride

We left the shop at 7:30 a.m. with a group of eight. Our bikes were a mishmash of road bikes, commuter rigs, a single speed and an e-bike. When we departed the shop and headed toward center city, it was immediately clear the pace would be conversational. Our cruise headed out on the river drive bike path, through Fairmount Park, and toward center city. Rather than stay on the path, we crossed the falls bridge and onto West River Drive. On the weekends, Philadelphia closes West River Drive so we had our run of the entire roadway. After a bit of riding and a lot of talking, we found ourselves at the end of West River Drive and at the base of the Art Museum.

At the Art Museum our ride began to slip through the surrounding neighborhoods until we reached our hallowed destination – Federal Doughnuts.

After stuffing our face with warm doughnuts we hopped back on our bikes. Full of sugar and fat, we made our way back to the bike shop along the same route. Ultimately, the ride took a little under two hours, including the time eating. Everyone had fun, the conversation was great, and we all got the chance to meet new people.

Why This Ride Worked

The ride was great because the pace and route are clearly stated in advance. Therefore, everyone knew what to expect and where to go. The route itself was carefully chosen to promote great conversation and a casual pace. By including traffic free paths and streets and a casual destination, every rider could enjoy the trip stress free. Additionally, the pace is controlled by the ride’s start time. As an example, a competitive minded rider has a list of fast paced rides leaving on Saturday morning, so there would be no need to come to the Doughnut Ride to try and get a killer workout with so many other options. From start to finish, this ride is a winner.

How to plan your own ride

If you already lead rides for a local club or shop, than setting up a casual ride should be easy for you. If this is your first attempt at leading an organized ride, than there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, you want people to be at your ride! To make sure you have attendees, start talking about and advertising (if you’re working with a local club or shop) a minimal of two weeks in advance. Also, make sure all your information explains the pace as well as the payoff (in this case doughnuts) for your ride to build interest. Finally, make sure your route is friendly to a group of riders. As an example, I’ve been on a few rides that required riders too be single file almost the entire time due to narrow roadways. in contrast, the Doughnut ride promoted conversation with wide paths and clear roads.

Take a look below at some of the most common and damaging cycling mistakes and solutions made by newbies and seasoned riders alike.

Common cycling mistakes and the ways you can solve them today

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Mistakes are something we as humans can’t escape, but nobody is perfect. That said,  what we can do is try to eliminate some of the simple errors we may might make without ever realizing we are proceeding down the wrong path. Consider taking a look below at some of the most common and damaging cycling mistakes made by newbies and seasoned riders alike.

Cycling Mistakes #1 – Wear your helmet only when you think it’s needed

Many riders make the mistake of thinking “I don’t need to wear a helmet, I’m only going around the block with the kids”. This mentality is often responsible for catastrophe. The truth is you never know when an accident can happen, so you should always be prepared. As an example, the worst crash I have ever had was when riding from a campsite, down a straight gravel path to the wash room. Before I knew it, I was smack dab on the ground faster than I could get my hands up to catch myself. Moral of the story Is to wear your helmet any time you ride your bike.

mistakes

Helmets are always in style

#2 – Believing you have plenty of air in the tires without checking

Frequently, I see riders headed down the trail with tires so low you can hear the rim bouncing off the ground with each pedal stroke. Low tire pressure can lead to pinch flats, and more importantly, loss of control. The innertube that holds the air in your tire is naturally porous and loose air naturally over time. In fact, a tube can lose between 3-5 PSI a day. At its extreme, your tire could go from full pressure to less than half pressure in the span of one week. Be sure to protect your ride by checking tire pressure before each ride.

#3 – Lube the Chain After Every Ride

Believe it or not, an over lubed chain is more damaging than an under lubed chain. While I am not recommending that you ride around with a dry chain, knowing when to lube is important. Having a ton of lube on your chain will not protect it any better. In fact, too much lube will attract dirt and debris, creating a harsh slurry that covers and wears your drivetrain. The best way to lubricate your chain is to apply lube to the chain, allowing it to soak in for a minute and then use a rag to wipe off as much excess as possible. When done, the chain should feel almost dry to the touch.

The right amount of lube is a great thing

#4 – Use the water hose to clean your bike

After a dusty or wet ride, many riders reach for the hose to spray dirt off the bike. Sadly, while the bike may look clean, the bike will be in worse shape than if it hadn’t been cleaned at all. Pressured water that comes from a hose, can displace grease and leave nothing behind. Now, with no grease, the bike wears out at an accelerated rate. Instead of using a hose, try instead a warm bucket of soapy water and a big sponge.

#5 – Bring water along only on some rides

Many times, riders will assume that because the weather is cool, or a ride is short, they don’t need to bring water with them on a ride. Truth be told, the biggest drain to your energy while riding can be related to dehydration. Stay hydrated by bringing water or a sports drink along on all rides.

mistakes

Yay Water!

#6 – Assume cycling shoes are only good for clipless pedals

If you don’t want to ride clipless pedals, I get that. There are tons of reasons clipless pedals are great, but at least as many reasons why they aren’t right for everybody. What you can do is use a cycling specific shoe with your flat pedals. A cycling shoe has a stiff sole and additional arch support to disperse pedaling forces over the entire length of your foot. Therefore, you have more efficiency and less discomfort.

Mistakes in general

Overall, it is a good idea to think about what you are doing before you ride your bike. Make sure your bike is ready for the ride, be equipped to take care of yourself during the ride and be sure you are prepared to reach out for help if needed. Once you go through that mental exercise you will see the common cycling mistakes melt away. Have Fun!

Based on our quick MTB review at Interbike’s Dirt Demo, we have a demo Marin B-17 2 for a long term review. Read on for our "out of the box" review.

The Marin B-17 MTB review – out of the box and ready for the trail

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Based on our quick MTB review at Interbike’s Dirt Demo, we have been extended a Marin mountain bike demo for a long term review. This week, a big brown box showed up at our office. What was inside was a Marin B-17, a full suspension trail bike just waiting for me to put together and ride. However, before I ride it and give you a full MTB review let me share with you what is actually coming out of that box.

The Marin B-17 MTB review out of the box

The first thing I have to note about this bike, is that it isn’t a brand new bike. While it’s new to me, It has been to a few demos before. That being said, I have to note the immaculate condition this bike it arrived in.  Whereas the tires show signs of wear  the frame and components were cleaned to a level I have never seen before. Overall, the bike built up quickly and easily for a quick spin around the block.

Marin B-17

The Marin B-17 2 in all its glory. It won’t be so clean soon.

The Frame

The B-17 is an aluminum trail bike that uses Marin’s MultiTrac suspension system for 120mm of travel. The MultiTrac system is tuned to absorb large and small hits equally, while still maintaining pedaling efficiency. It accepts both 27.5” x 2.8” wheels as well as standard 29” wheels. On first inspection, the frame design is clean, with the cables running internally within the frame. The rear shock is tucked neatly in line with  the seat tube allowing for the use of a normal water bottle cage. For additional stand over clearance, the Top tube is welded low on the seat tube and uses a jack brace for strength. Overall, the B-17 frame looks like someone sweat all the details.

Marin B17

Here you can clearly see the cables enter the frame. Also, take a look at how each tube is shaped specifically shaped to its intended purpose.

The Parts

The version of the B-17 I am riding is an early production demo unit. For that reason, the parts are slightly different from the final retail bike. Most notably, my demo unit uses a Rockshox Pike rather than the Rockshox Revalation  suspension fork. For the most part the two forks will ride similarly, with the Pike being a bit smoother in operation. The rest of the bike uses Shimano parts for shifting (SLX) and brakes, which ensures great shifting and stopping. This model B-17 also uses a dropper seatpost, to let me get my weight back and low on the trail.

Throughout the rest of the bike, Marin uses house brand components for the rims, bar and stem. While this may have been an area of concern in the past, most brands are sourcing some exceptional parts. Any remarks of the house brand components would be incomplete if I didn’t remark on how well Marin has tied these products into the rest of the bike. The same graphic touches that make the frame look classy are carried through to the parts. The graphic are clean and understated, without overstating the bicycles brand name.

Marin B-17

Some Classy details as seen on the Marin B-17

What I am looking forward to

I really want to see if this bike handles as well on my home trails as it did in Las Vegas. Our parks have limited climbing and smooth features, so it will be interesting to see if the plus sized tires have the same dominance on these trails as they did in the steep, rocky terrain of Nevada. Finally, I can’t wait to really tune the suspension and see what it is capable of. Stay tuned for the long term review in the next few weeks.

 

Having fun preparing for the Minnesota High School Cycling Leagues, State Championship, to be held on Mt. Kato, in Mankato, MN,

Bic Pic Oct 19, fun preparing for the MN HS Mountain Bike Championship

Having fun preparing for the Minnesota High School Cycling Leagues, State Championship, that will be held on Mt. Kato, in Mankato, MN, October 28-29. Volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association or find out more how your school can participate in 2018.

What better way to continue your fall 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 our HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Fun Mountain 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: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we 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!

Bike Pic September 30, students mountain bike race Hawk Tail Ridge

These young Minnesota High School Cycling League are ready for another mountain bike race this weekend out at White Tail Ridge, in River Falls. Volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association or find out more how your school can participate.

What better way to continue your fall 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 our HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Mountain 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: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we 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!

This co-pilot is watching to make sure all mountain bike components are running smoothly as they hit the trail

Bike Pic Sept 16, co-pilot views mountain bike components as they hit the trail

This co-pilot is watching to make sure all of the mountain bike components are running smoothly as they hit the trail for the day.

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 ‘Mountain 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: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we 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!

With all the great things about fall bike riding there are some dangers as well. Read on to learn how to enjoy the fall riding season safely.

Finding fun and fitness in fall bike riding through the colorful foliage

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Now that the kids have gone back to school, the days are getting shorter and temperatures begin to drop it is the best time of year to ride your bike. From a trail perspective, the dirt becomes softer as the fall rolls in because of lower temperatures and increased rainfall. Additionally, riding off road in the fall is a beautiful way to enjoy the change in foliage. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the leaves changing if you choose to ride on the path or road. In fact, great fall rides often have specific vista points built into the ride. With all the great things about riding through the fall there are some dangers as well. Read on to learn how to enjoy the fall riding season safely.

Fall bike riding road hazards

Those beautiful fall colors are enjoyable, but also a sign of falls largest hazard. Falling leaves that mix with fall rains begin to break down and decompose on road surfaces. What is left behind is a slick slurry of organic matter perfectly suited to eliminate traction and cause a crash. As you ride in the fall, avoid riding too far off the edge of the road. Likewise, don’t ride too far into the middle of the road where leaves tend to accumulate.

Fall bike riding off road hazards

The same problems with traction and decomposing leaves exists off road, but it’s not as large an issue as on the road. Thanks to the soft dirt and rough surface, riders have a better chance of finding traction when the leaves get wet. What you should be on the lookout for is what you can’t see. Makes total sense, right?! Whenever you are on a trail that has fallen leaves, objects can hide in those leaf piles.

Being seen while fall bike riding

As the days get shorter, you need to be concerned with being seen in low light situations, that’s where proper lighting comes in. Lights, no matter your level of bike riding skill, are essential to make sure you have the safest ride possible. Plus, most states require bike lights to ride on a roadway (here is Minnesota’s law). The two types of lights on the market are lights that allow you to see, and lights that allow others to see you.

Seeing the trail

A great side effect to the shortened days is going for night rides with your mountain bike. Night riding was first born out of the necessity of riding, but has quickly become a fun part of the sport in and of itself. With this in mind, get yourself a high output light, strap it to your bike and head into the woods. In the long run you will see that riding at night changes how you see your local trails, and makes then new and fun.

Dressing the part for fall bike riding

Universally across on or off-road riders, the fall brings colder temperatures. To combat these temps you want to dress accordingly. Early fall rides force us to break out the arm and knee warmers, with long sleeve jerseys marching quickly behind. When dressing for colder weather, be sure to not overdress. Being too insulated will cause you to sweat past your cycling clothings ability to move moisture. At that point, you get wet, and cold, which defeats the purpose of wearing more clothing.

Lights are essential to make sure you have the safest ride possible. Here in this photo Brian Will, from Iowa's Cedar Valley Cycling Club lead a safe ride using trails and roads near sunset.

Falls unique events

Many charity rides are scheduled through the fall because of its great weather, and ambient beauty. One event type that is completely exclusive to fall is the sport of Cyclocross. What is Cyclocross you ask? Well, the best way to describe it is it’s just fun. A Cyclocross race is a timed (30,45,60 minutes) event that covers a one-mile course including, road, off road, grass, and sand sections with manmade and natural barriers. The best part of Cyclocross is that spectators can enjoy the action easily. Additionally, Cyclocross races are very family friendly and usually include things like food trucks, kids bike rodeos, and beer tastings.

How ever you decide to spend you fall, try and spend it outside on your bike. The Fall is a great time to get back on the bike, steal a few more hours in the saddle, or enjoy natures last show before the winters long sleep.

Another mountain biker having fun in Lebanon Hills Park.

Bike Pic Aug 22, another mountain biker having fun in Lebanon Hills Park

Another mountain biker having fun in Lebanon Hills Park. Check MORC trail conditions to see which trail systems may be closed after another day of rain yesterday.

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 ‘Mountain Biker’ 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: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we 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 trails of Lebanon Hills offer some of the most enjoyable mountain biking in the Twin Cities Area.

Enjoy fun and nature on Lebanon Hills fantastic mountain bike trails

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

The newly expanded trailhead of Lebanon Hills acts as a gateway to some of the most enjoyable trails in the Twin Cities Area. With nearly 12 miles of one way singletrack trails, Lebanon Hills has become one of the go-to trails in Minnesota. The trails feature riding for all skill levels combined with world-class facilities to enhance your riding experience. All the bike trails are built and maintained by the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC).

Where Lebanon Hills is

Another happy mountain biker riding through the forests of Lebanon Hills Park.

Another happy mountain biker riding through the forests of Lebanon Hills Park.

The Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike trails (Leb to the locals) are located in Eagan Minnesota off Johnny Cake Ridge Road. The newly expanded trailhead boasts ample parking, clean bathrooms, public grills and picnic areas as well as a skills course appropriate for all ability levels. Leb is a part of the larger Lebanon Hills Regional Park system that includes two swimming lakes, nearly a dozen hiking areas, three camping areas and close proximity to the Minnesota Zoo.

What to expect in Lebanon Hills

The first thing you will notice about riding in Leb is the amazing condition of the trails. Thank the Minnesota Off Road Cyclist organization (MORC) for the smooth berms, clear trails and exciting features. Ride into the first trail and enjoy the sweet smell of pine trees while you wind through a healthy forest. First, you are given the choice of staying on the beginner trails or hanging a hard right onto the intermediate loop. Staying on the beginner trails will lead you to five 8’ tall berms that are a total blast to ride. From those berms you can branch off into another intermediate loop or head into a skills section that including a berm, roller, and jump line.

Another fun run through an open meadow.

Another fun run through an open meadow in Lebanon.

If you choose that first right onto the intermediate loop, you are rewarded with twisty sections, a rock drop, and high speed downhill sections. That intermediate section brings you out to the far end of the park. Once out there, you can enter into the truly advance loops built on rock gardens, step climbs and steep descents. The trails on the far side of the park meet at one point, perfect for a quick break between loops.

Here on the advanced trail in Lebanon Hills you will find some obstacles to challenge you.

Here on the advanced trail in Lebanon Hills you will find some obstacles to challenge you.

 

Best part of the trails

Leb gives its riders amazing trails as well as awesome views. The best part of Leb is how well it integrates into nature. Even though the trails of Leb are well trafficked, Places like the “lake loop” give the impression of sanctuary for hundreds of riders a weekend. Because all the trails are directional, there is a great feeling of isolation even though other riders may be just a few hundred feet away. Overall, Lebanon hills is a great way to enjoy the beauties of nature in the Twin Cities area.

Here is a place for all ages to build on their skill levels.

Here in Lebanon Hills is a place for all ages to build on their skill levels.

How to help

If you ride and enjoy the trails at Leb, consider volunteering for trail maintenance. The Minnesota Off Road Cycling organization (MORC) schedule trail work sessions on Tuesdays through the summer. The group meets in the parking lot at 6 O’clock and welcomes anyone interested in helping. Wear long pants, boots, and work gloves because you will be doing hard labor. You will find that the hard labor is enjoyable because you are giving back to fellow riders.

Best seasons to ride

Those with fatty's are finding Lebanon Hills the perfect trail system year round.

Those with fatty’s are finding Lebanon Hills the perfect trail system year round.

If you love the trails at Leb during the summer, rejoice, they are open through the winter as well. Not only are the trails open when the snow falls, but well traveled. Because of that traffic, the trails stay clear and ride-able right up until the spring thaw. With that said, once the thaw begins, the trails are usually closed for about six weeks while things dry out. A quick check on MORC’s trail conditions website will let you know when the trails are open.

 

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!