Tag Archives: MN Bike Guide

Bike commuting is an easy way to increase fitness, jump start your energy level, and enjoy nature. Read and learn about what you need to commute in comfort.

Bike commuting necessities and niceties to make your ride great

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

Bike commuting is an easy way to add miles, increase fitness, jump start your energy level for the day while enjoying nature, especially with warmer weather. Once you start commuting by bike, you will find the hassle factor lessens while your overall trip acts as your workout for the day. You are saving yourself hours in the gym. Here is a list of other beneficial necessities to make commuting by bike much more enjoyable.

Bike Commuting Necessities

While commuting by bike, there are very few items you need to have to get started. Ultimately, the only thing that you have to have is a bike. However, here is a list of items that will make your ride safer and a few that will make it easier to function at work or class properly once you are there for added comfort and safety. Past functioning, you need to stay safe on the bike also, so I consider all these things necessities.

Helmets

First and foremost, a helmet is an essential product you can buy after the bike. While self-preservation typically keeps us upright on our bikes, while commuting, we need to consider many other actions we need to protect ourselves from. Now that you’re commuting, wearing a helmet isn’t just a logical safety choice but can be very comfortable. Read here to learn how helmets protect you, become lighter, fit better, and are more comfortable than ever.

Lights

While the helmet is a crucial safety product, it is not the only important one. Lights, whether it is day or night or your level of bike riding skill, are essential to ensure you have the safest ride possible. Sometimes, when riding in conditions without optimal visibility, you need a little added illumination. That’s where proper lighting comes in.

Locks

When commuting, you can’t be with your bike at all times. You’ll have to leave it unattended for extended periods, making it susceptible to theft. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help protect it. Here’s some info on the different bike locks and other tips to ensure your bike’s safety.

Waterproof Bag

Being caught in the rain is not possible when commuting; it is inevitable. To protect your possessions, invest in a waterproof bag. For example, a messenger bag made with a PVC liner can easily carry all your stuff and keep them dry. Plenty of waterproof panniers are available for riders looking to take their things on the bike.

Bike Commuting Niceties

The following items aren’t necessary for commuting but make your trip quicker and more comfortable.

Shoes and pedals

Most riders only consider clipless pedals a competitive advantage, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Few things are as practical as clipless pedals and cycling shoes when riding a bicycle. There is a simple equation that always holds: control = comfort. In the quest for more control of your bike, secure your feet in place on the pedal. By doing this, you can use muscles more efficiently, be connected to your bicycle more directly, and relieve excessive strain on your feet. Read here to see how easy it is to learn to ride “clipless.”

Rain gear

The best way to stay dry is to wear waterproof clothing. While most synthetic fabrics still insulate when wet, being wet diminishes their ability to keep you warm. A jacket and pants are a great way to start, but socks and gloves make the outfit complete. In their most basic form, many materials are waterproof, but as soon as they are perforated with stitching, zipped closed with generic zippers, and left to be loose at all the cuffs, their waterproofing goes out the window. Before you go out and buy anything labeled “waterproof,” understand that all waterproofing is not the same.

Cycling shorts

Shorts come in all shapes and sizes. Tight shorts are popular because they offer comfort and unencumbered movement around the bicycle. Baggy shorts are trendy for their casual look and the advent of pockets. Even cycling skirts (called skorts) offer excellent comfort and a tremendous off-the-bike look. The padding will make your ride more comfortable, whatever short you decide.

Fenders

Fenders are a standard option for many. They are light and sturdy and keep you dry when riding in wet conditions. If you don’t want to keep them on your bike at all times, snap-on style fenders are available, while a more permanent option is a bolt-on fender.

For winter, studded tires are helpful.

Like winter tires for your car, studded tires are available for your bike. They usually have a few hundred carbide metal studs inserted in the tire to give you traction in icy conditions. These tires are typically twice as heavy as a non-studded version, so be sure to use them only when necessary.

Bike commuting is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while traveling to and from school or work. It is an excellent exercise that will give you better attention, higher energy levels, and some free time to think without critical or significant distractions.

About John Brown, the author

As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit, and that particular fever was still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. He is starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he could about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then as a store manager. Through the years, he has spent extensive time designing and sourcing bicycles and parts for some of the largest bike companies in the world. All the while focusing on helping as many people as possible enjoy the love of riding a bike. In that pursuit, he has taught classes (both scheduled and impromptu) on all things bikes. John also believes in helping every rider attain their optimal fit on the cycle of their dreams. Please feel free to stop in any time and talk about bikes, fit, and parts, or share your latest ride. You can also see John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.
The trails are scenic and fun in Minnesota's Hometown feel community, Hutchinson.

Bike around Hutchinson and enjoy Minnesota’s hometown feel

by Andrew Ellis

As tourism opportunities open up again, I wanted to revisit Hutchinson, MN, and their map on pages 46-47 in the MN Bike Guide. A bike-friendly community with a hometown feel and small-town charm, Hutchinson is worth checking out. A short drive west of the Twin Cities, it’s one of those areas where it’s easy to lose track of time as you enjoy all the fresh air. Arriving in town, you have several biking options around lakes and parks nearby for added recreational pleasure. Enjoy pedaling around rather than driving your car here; you will have no trouble creating some new memories while riding your bike in Hutch.

Riding the Luce Line Trail through Hutchinson

Riding the Luce Line Trail through Hutchinson on the Jaycee’s Water Carnival, June 8th.

Aside from mountain biking, trail riding, and touring, the countryside offers more opportunities than you can cover in one day. Besides, you can immerse yourself in the local arts created by those who inspire the natural beauty around them. Spend some time learning about the town’s history. Or, if you are looking for a unique place to eat or a gift to take home, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you to discover.

Minnesota’s hometown feel is in bike-friendly Hutchinson

Located a little over an hour from the Twin Cities, the community here is also known as ‘Minnesota’s Hometown.’  It’s a great place to escape the often road-rage inducing atmosphere of the big city. Here you can ride the Luce Line State Trail to clear your mind and let the calm country scenery work its magic.

Nothing is better than McCormick’s Family Restaurant in Hutchinson to start your day and plan your ride. Voted the number one place for Eggs Benedict in Minnesota, their pancakes and waffles are good too.

When it comes time to take a break from pedaling, there is no shortage of attractions to keep your adventure moving forward. Hutchinson has its share of one-of-a-kind eateries, and if you’re looking for some more action outside, you can try your hand at some paintball.

Riding opportunities in and around Hutchinson

Its easy to get out to Stahls Lake Park, from Hutchinson.

It’s easy to get out to Stahls Lake Park from Hutchinson.

Like many small towns in Minnesota, pedaling around isn’t difficult. Here in Hutchinson, there is one big trail system that takes you beyond the town limits. In fact, you can ride the trail all the way to the Twin Cities. And, if you’re up for the challenges, you will find a few mountain biking opportunities.

The Luce Line State Trail

The Luce Line State Trail stretches 63 miles (from Plymouth to Cosmos) and is a popular attraction for bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, and equestrian enthusiasts. The paved trail includes about 21 miles from the west Carver County line, through Hutchinson, to the west McLeod County line. To learn more about the Luce Line, go to www.luceline.com.

Mountain Biking

Tartan Park is located in Hutchinson and is a skills park that is perfect for beginners to advanced mountain bikers.

Tartan Park is located in Hutchinson and is a perfect skill park for beginners to advanced mountain bikers.

Those wishing for more than paved, level trails are in luck. Thanks to the Hutchinson Area Mountain Bike Association, there are two tracks within reach: Tartan Terrain Park and Stahls Lake Park. Tartan Park is located within the town limits and is a skills park that caters to beginners and advanced. If you want to venture outside the town limits to Stahl’s Lake Park, there’s a nice single-track that caters to all experience levels. Two double track loops range from .5 miles to 1 mile long. One single-track loop is over 2 miles.

Road Biking Opportunities

Like many of Minnesota’s smaller communities, navigating the area on your bike couldn’t be easier. The roads allow you to see all the area’s beautiful scenery, perfect for your next Instagram post. You can use the roads to explore the area’s parks, shops and more. Plus, you will find plenty of city trails that help you around as well.

Come, enjoy the bike-friendly fun in Minnesota's 'hometown feel' of fun.

Come, enjoy the bike-friendly fun in Minnesota’s ‘hometown feel’ of fun.

For more information on playing or staying in a community with Minnesota’s hometown feel. Check out our HaveFunBiking, At-a-Glance Hutchinson article for your next bike adventure. For places to stay and campgrounds, see Explore Hutchinson.

Pick up a complimentary 2022 MN Bike/Hike Guide at the E-bike Challenge

Hot off the press! Pick up a complimentary copy of the 2022 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide at the E-bike Challenge, at the Minneapolis, convention Center on April 2 & 3. Just in time to plan your summer adventures, as spring temperatures begin to warm.

The handy 2022 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

As you page through the latest edition of this handy pocket guide, loaded with maps, discover all the trails and scenic country roads throughout Minnesota. In our thirteenth year of publishing the guide, we have added several more bike-friendly maps of fun destinations to explore in Minnesota. Also, find many bike events and helpful tips, especially you are looking at e-bikes.

With the Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide make your summer plans

Designed as a companion piece to the HaveFunBiking.com news website. The Bike/Hike Guide is a great resource to bookmark and take along with you whenever you are away from the computer. This year’s handy pocket-sized resource guide includes more bike-related event listings, more bike-friendly maps with many helpful tips for biking and hiking throughout the year. With each of our community maps in the guide, we have added a link to an at-a-glance article. This special landing page offers you info and links to where to eat, sleep, and other details on the map when in the area – all in one place.

About the E-bike Challenge 

Now, with the Omicron-fueled surge declining, the E-bike Challenge returns the first weekend in April. Offer consumers a comfortable environment to compare and ride the latest e-bikes. With several social distancing procedures in place around the exhibit area inside next to the huge indoor test track. Visitors will also discover, even if they can’t replace a car entirely, why most trips within a 10-mile range can be less expensive with an e-assist vehicle. And, in many cases, taking less time than a carbon-fueled vehicle for the same journey.

Some e-bike brands already registered for the E-bike Challenge include Giant, GoCycle, Serial 1 by Harley Davidson, Pedego, Riese & Muller, and Skyl Power Bikes. Along with Bicycle Bill’s, Erik’s Bikes,  Power Bikes, and Trailhead Cycle, to name a few of the local bike shops with brands they carry. The event will also feature several breakout health and tech sessions, a kids’ bike test track, and other fun family activities. Plus, visitors will receive a complimentary printed copy of the spring/summer Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, at the door. Full of new bicycling maps of popular Minnesota destinations to explore.

Check back often, the summer guide will be available in late April – until then, Enjoy!

We've did it! Today marks the end of February! Tomorrow starts the countdown to SPRING! So in honor of spring approaching, get your bike into the shop.

Bike Pic Feb 28, The End Of The Month Is Here, Get Ready For Spring!

Winter is soon a distant past and you made it! Today marks the end of February and tomorrow starts the countdown to spring. So in honor of spring approaching, our HaveFunBiking team encourages you to get your bicycle into your local bike shop to get things checked over so you are ready for your #NextBikeAdventure!

Get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic  

Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, our goal is 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 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 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 pic was shot? 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 13th year of producing this handy 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 Pic of the Day.

We've made it back to Sunday again, Happy Ice Cream Smiles Sunday everyone! We hope this photo finds you well and gets you smiling today. The month has almost came and went so keep smiling everyone!

Bike Pic Feb 27, its ice cream Sunday, hope you’re smiling?

We’ve made it back for another bike pic Sunday as the month of February is close to the end. So enjoy some ice cream and plan a bike ride as spring gets closer. Hope this photo finds you well and gives you a reason to grin?

Get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic  

Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, our goal is 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 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 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 pic was shot? 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 13th year of producing this handy 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 Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe, and memorable year ahead!

The winter/spring bike guide is here to help you plan your next adventure

The winter/Spring edition of the MN Bike Guide is here, just in time, as temperatures start to warm. Page through the latest Guide and rediscover the trails and scenic country roads in Minnesota. Now in our thirteenth year of publishing the guide, we have added several more bike-friendly destinations in Minnesota. Also, find many bike events and info on what you will see if you attend the E-bike Challenge, in Minneapolis, on April 2 & 3.

In this Winter/Spring issue, with all the fun bike maps, we’ve added several helpful tip sheets to keep you riding comfortably, especially if your looking at e-bikes, to be more eco-friendly.

The Bike Guide is the perfect primer for the E-bike Challenge 

Now, with the Omicron-fueled surge on the decline, the E-bike Challenge returns the first weekend in April. Offer consumers a comfortable environment to compare and ride the latest e-bikes. With several social distancing procedures in place around the exhibit area inside next to the huge indoor test track. Visitors will also discover, even if they can’t replace a car entirely, why most trips within a 10-mile range can be less expensive with an e-assist vehicle. And, in many cases, taking less time than a carbon-fueled vehicle for the same journey.

Some e-bike brands already registered for the E-bike Challenge include Giant, GoCycle, Serial 1 by Harley Davidson, Pedego, Riese & Muller, and Skyl Power Bikes. Along with Erik’s Bikes, Now Bikes, Power Bikes, and Trailhead Cycle, to name a few of the local bike shops with brands they carry. The event will also feature several breakout health and tech sessions, a kids’ bike test track, and other fun family activities. Plus, visitors will receive a complimentary printed copy of the spring/summer Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide, at the door. Full of new bicycling maps of popular Minnesota destinations to explore.

Check back often, the summer guide will be available in late April – until then, Enjoy!

Wacky Wednesday is back again, we're not 100% sure but we don't think that's how you fuel a bike.

Bike Pic Feb 16, Wacky Wednesday, banana’s are a better fuel for your ride

Wacky Wednesday is back again, we’re not 100% sure but we don’t think that’s how you fuel a bicycle? Bananas for a cyclist work better, one will give you energy for seven miles of riding and help replace electrolytes.

Get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic  

Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, our goal is 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 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 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 pic was shot? 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 13th year of producing this handy 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 Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe, and memorable year ahead!

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us here at HaveFunBiking.com.

Bike Pic Feb 14, Happy Valentine’s Day From All Of Us Here At HaveFunBiking.com

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at HaveFunBiking. We hope your day is filled with passion and fun on this cold Sunday. If you’re single, treat yourself! If you’re in a relationship, treat your significant other with something sweet!

Get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic  

Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, our goal is 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 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 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 pic was shot? 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 13th year of producing this handy 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 Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe, and memorable year ahead!

Who said it's too cold to have some ice cream?

Bike Pic Feb 13, its never too cold for Ice Cream Smiles Sunday

Who said it’s too cold to have some ice cream? Get out there today and enjoy a nice big scoop with your family, you deserve it!

Photo from our archives was taken at a bike event in Peterson, MN along the Root River Trail.

Get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest ice cream bike pic  

Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, our goal is 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 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 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 pic was shot? 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 13th year of producing this handy 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 Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe, and memorable year ahead!

Hills. We love them. We hate them. They make us strong. They make us weak. Today I chose to embrace hills.

Bike Pic Feb 03, a love/hate flashback to hills

This bike pic Thursday, have fun! “Hills. We love them. We hate them. They make us strong. They make us weak. Today I chose to embrace hills.”, a quote by Hal Higdon. Life is full of hills, but remember the law of physics, what goes up, must come down. The trip up it might be a struggle, but the way down is smooth sailing.

Get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations. And now, check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic  

Now rolling through our 18th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, our goal is 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 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 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 pic was shot? 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 13th year of producing this handy 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 Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe, and memorable year ahead!