Tag Archives: multi modal bike adventure

Family or group bike outings to nearby events adds to the fun

With so many summer festivals and attractions for a family to take in, commuting by bike can add to the fun. Especially if the event is within three to seven miles of your home or the lodge you are staying at. By leaving the car behind and traveling by bike everyone in your group can spend more time having fun with less of the hassle factor of driving and finding parking at the event.

This bike photo shows a family riding a trail that parallels a road that will take them to a local community celebration five miles away.

This bike photo shows a family riding a trail next to a busy road that will take them to a local community celebration.

In most cases by using trails, quiet roads and bike friendly streets to reach a community event is much faster. Plus, it will allow everyone in your group a more unique and unforgettable adventures. To make your next family or group outing safe and fun please consider these suggestions when planning on driving your the bike to the event and leave the car behind:

Plan your bike route before heading out with family and friends

If you are not familiar with the area you plan to ride, look at city and county maps. Most are available online and Google Maps is a good backup option. Most cities offer maps available at the tourism center, library or city office which show both the streets and trails in an area.

When planning a route is a lot easier when you know where the quiet secondary streets are. Especially when trails are not always connected to the destination you want to ride. When trails or bike designated routes are not available look for parallel streets and avenues that are a block or two off the main auto route to the event. Usually these streets offer low traffic shaded lanes to get you to the destination desired.

For the first few outings, a six to fourteen mile round trip by bike is plenty. If the festival is further away and your family is new to biking to events consider multi-modal commuting. Using a car or public transportation to travel part of the distance and then bicycling the rest of the way).

Before leaving, instruct all family members that they have to abide by the rules of the road when biking on roadways and trail. Remind them they need to, “Drive their bike”, obeying all rules as if they are driving a car.” That means riding on the right side of the road or trail  signaling their turns, stopping at stop lights and giving pedestrians the right of way.

When the temperature is hot while riding a bike it good to find shade periodically and hydrate.

When the temperature is hot while riding a bike it good to find shade and drink some water periodically.

If younger children are riding, allow plenty of time. When it is hot make frequent stops every couple miles to take a drink of water, rest, stretch, etc.

Check your bike gear so everything is ready for a fun journey

Before heading out, check that all the tires are properly inflated, brakes are working and chain is lubed (the ABC’s). You don’t want to worry about any mechanical issues when the family is riding. Especially on the bike trip home, when everyone is a little tired.

To freshen the air in your tires you can find the recommended tire pressure on the sidewall of the tire. Here you will find the recommended PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) behind it as your ideal pressure.

Is everyone carrying plenty of water or are there frequent hydration stops planned where water is available? On a hot day taking a sip or two of water every couple miles a good idea.

Bike safety and visibility

How visible is your clothing? Check to see that everyone is wearing highly noticeable – bright clothing so your group is seen by traffic from a distance. If your return trip is later in the day have rear flashers and reflectors on each bike will help to be seen by others on the road. If you plan to return after dark a front headlight should be a part of your bike equipment.

For more information on bicycle safety when riding alone or with the family check out the Walk! Bike! Fun! Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety curriculum. Brought to you by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, it is free for you to download and use.

In this bike photo the family has gathered together at a busy intersection to cross on their way to the local fair.

In this bike photo the family has gathered together at a busy intersection to cross on their way to the local fair.

With these helpful bike commuting tips, we hope you and your family will find the next festival or event you participate in, twice as fun. Especially when incorporating your bike into the adventure. Remember, with less parking and traffic hassles a family or group of friends has more time to bond and have fun.

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

Tips for planning a great bike adventure for lasting memories

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

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

Don’t pack heavy for that next bike adventure

Bike Adventure

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

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

Don’t pack the rider to heavy

Bike Adventure

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

Know your route

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

Plan “surprise” rewards

Bike Adventure

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

Random goods you should consider carrying

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

Take care of your baby

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

Think of it as a bike adventure

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

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

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

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

Types of folding bikes


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


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


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


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

Wheel size

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

Unique parts

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


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

Tips to buying

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

Travel Bikes

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

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: [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!

Here cyclists depart the Northstar Train to pedal back to the Twin Cities Gateway on the Mississippi River Trail.

Planning a trip to the Minnesota State Fair by bike just got easier

It’s that time of the year, planning a trip to the Minnesota State Fair. What better way then by riding your bike. Riding from home, parking a few miles away, or incorporating the Metro Transit for a multi-modal commute can take the hassle factor out of visiting the fair. Plus, the Fair has expanded the space for free bicycle parking. It is also a great way to burn-off those extra calories from all of the fun things to eat on a stick. In St. Paul, this year the fair run from August 24th, through Labor Day, September 4th. HaveFunBiking plans to be out there on opening day to review the latest in interesting bicycle related opportunities hope to see you out there.

A hassle -free way to get to the Minnesota State Fair

Riding your bike to the Minnesota State Fair cyclist can choose between three secure bike corrals to park their bike while visiting the Great Minnesota Get Together.

Riding your bike to the Minnesota State Fair cyclist can choose between three secure bike corrals to park their bike while visiting the Great Minnesota Get Together.

As in the past, riding your bike to the fair can be fun and lessen the congestion getting there. Avoid the hassle of State Fair traffic inconveniences and limited parking options. This year, take the bus, ride your bike or both by multi modal commuting. Each day, those who commute by bicycle to the fair ground, from 6 a.m. to midnight each day, will find three (3) secure bike locations. They are located at:

South Bike Lot: Como-Snelling Gate (#6) A popular location, this bike corral has added 100 addition spot for daily bike paring here.

North Bike Lot: Hoyt-Snelling Gate (#2)

West Bike Lot: Randall Ave-Buford Gate (#16)

Here is a map, from St Paul Smart Trips, showing the best bicycle routes to ride your bike comfortably to the fair.

Bike related things to do and see at the Minnesota State Fair

At the Minnesota State Fair , check out the new Kick Gas exhibit with the “World’s Biggest Bike” hanging from the ceiling in the Eco building.

At the Minnesota State Fair , check the latest in environmentally friendly exhibits in the Eco Progress Center.

Now that you are at the fair walking around you can think about what you might want to purchase. Maybe a headband that can open up as a bonnet under your helmet to help keep the sweat of your eyes or the sun from the top of your head? You will find out where to purchase this item and other fun things on the new Minnesota State Fair App, that is free – see below.

Need a new Minnesota Bike Map? In the Education Building, look for the Minnesota Department of Transportation booth where you will find the latest maps free of charge. They are usually available up in one of the bike exhibits up on the Eco Building, also.

Didn’t get a printed copy of our 2017 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide? Pick up a copy at the Minnesota DNR Information Center, while supplies last.

Like parades?

At the Minnesota State Fair parade, its fun to see the uni-cyclists riding among the floats and marching bands.

At the Minnesota State Fair parade, its fun to see the uni-cyclists riding among the floats and marching bands.

Each day at 2 p.m. on Cosgrove Street you can watch the Minnesota State Fair Parade. If you are lucky you might see the Twin Cities Unicyclists Club preforming.  These single wheeled bicyclists always do some fun tricks as they pedal along the parade route. Besides the cyclists on one-wheel you will see many different floats and marching bands. As the parade ends near the Eco Progress Center you can check out the latest exhibits in environmental friendly living.

Fun foods at the Minnesota State Fair to try

You will find plenty of fun foods to try at this years Minnesota State Fair.

You will find plenty of fun foods to try at this years Minnesota State Fair.

Every year there are many fun and wacky foods entrees to try at the fair. This year is no exception looking at the latest published list of new foods to try. Item that caught my attention that, I might have to try, included: the Bacon Fluffernutter (say that ten times), the triple truffle trooter, Memphis Tochos and a cup of maple cream nitro cold press coffee. And that’s for starters, besides all the tried and true treats I normally only indulge in once a year.


See the latest in action biking stunts?

Take a load off your feet and watch the BMX'ers perform some stunts, at the X-Zone of the Minnesota State Fair.

Take a load off your feet and watch the BMX’ers perform some stunts, at the X-Zone.

Up on Machinery Hill you will find the X-Zone. Here watch some BMX’ers preform some high-rising stunts right in front of you on the amazing exhibition course they have laid out.

Interested in fat biking?

Located in the Ramberg Senior Center, kiddie-corner from the Haunted House, you will find out what Team Fat Bike is all about. Visit their brightly colored e-bike assisted models on display at the fair. From folding bikes, beach cruisers, mountain extreme bikes, classic step-threw and more you will see. Check them out, they may be a little easier to pedal and more fun!

New Minnesota State Fair App

Download the Minnesota State Fair App. It’s absolutely free and features their famous Food Finder, Fun Finder and Merchandise Search tools to help you find your favorites at The Great Minnesota Get-Together. Available now absolutely free at the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

Hope this helps you plan for your next visit to the Minnesota State Fair. If we missed something you may have discovered? Please let us know, we would like to add it to our preview article, coming later this week. Please leave a comment below.

Thanks and Have Fun at the Minnesota State Fair!