Tag Archives: #onlyinMN

Happy New Years as you begin 2018, we hope its you best year yet! Start the year off right with a resolution to do more biking like this father/son duo, in the photo at last years Arctic Fever Fat Tire Race, in Excelsior, MN.

Bike Pic Jan 1, father son duo plans for the Arctic Fever Fat Tire Race

Happy New Years as you begin 2018, we hope its you best year yet! Start the year off right with a resolution to do more biking like this father/son duo, in the photo at last years Arctic Fever Fat Tire Race, in Excelsior, MN.

Join us there January 13th, then, see all the other places to explore in 2018 by downloading the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing Today’s 2018 Fat Tire Race Pic

Now rolling into our 11th 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 destinations you can have fun at 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: [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 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 latest  Bike Guide, mobile friendly as we enter into our 9th year of producing print and digital guides.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our pic’s with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with a HFB camera ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. Capturing you in one of our next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable new year!

Bike Pic Dec 1, Pedaling Through Life, Reach That Destination

“Life is like riding a bicycle. You don’t fall off unless you plan to stop pedaling.” ~ Claude Pepper. No matter what you do in life, keep on pedaling. The destination is worth all the roadblocks and forks on the trail.

Planning your #NextBikeAdventure? View the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and remember to register for the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour.

Thanks for viewing Today’s Pedaling Through Life Bike 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: [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 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!

Photo represents Fat Bike Etiquette vs. Rules of the Fat Bike Trail.

Fat Bike Etiquette vs. Rules of the Trail as the Winter Season Gears Up

by Jess Leong, HaveFunBiking.com  

Winter fat bike season is just around the corner. While riding a fat bike is much like riding a regular bike, there are a certain fat bike etiquette to keep in mind when you get out there on the trail this winter.

Everyone on the trail wants to have a good time and make memories doing what they’re doing. Whether that’s biking, snowboarding, skiing, riding a snowmobile, or hiking in snowshoes, these are all valid activities. At the end of the day, for everyone to have a good time, you need to share the trail. These rules below not only keep everyone safe, but it also keeps it safe and fun for everyone.

Etiquette – Being Polite and Respecting All Users of the Trail

Yield to all other users of the trail when riding. This includes hikers and especially skiers since they do not have breaks as they are traveling. Be constantly aware of your surroundings for who and what is around you. Everyone is trying to enjoy the trail.

  1. Ride on the firmest part of the track to prevent making a deep rut in the trail. These cuts more than a few inches are difficult, if not impossible, to repair.
  2. Stay as far right as possible on the trail. This is so that skiers, snowmobiles, or etc can pass on the left.
  3. Do not ride on the Nordic trails or classic trails. These trails are specifically groomed and tires that go across or over them ruin the trails and can cause problems for those people using them. Being respectful and sharing the trail is important for the enjoyment of everyone.
  4. Respect any closures or alternative days where bikers or skiers specifically have the trail. This is important because if it is closed to bikers, skiers and other people will not be specifically looking out for you. Plus, other trails might be closed or have maintenance going on. This can cause problems if you’re there.
  5. Wear reflective clothing and use lights or blinkers. This helps signal to others where you are from a distance. Skiers and snowmobiles travel quickly and seeing you from far away can help them change their route so there’s no collision or problems that will arise.
  6. Consider donating to the shared trails to help cover the cost of maintenance. It takes people to keep the trails well groomed and ready for people to ride, ski, or hike on them. A donation can go a long way to keeping that trail ready for when you want to use it again.

If you are riding in a group, do not ride side by side. This makes it hard for anyone passing by to get through or weave around. It also can block up the trail.

Rules of the Fat Bike Trail

Many general rules of the fat bike trail are the same as mountain biking or riding on regular trails. However, there is a major difference to keep in mind in addition to the general rules of the trail.

Understand ice travel and how to do it safely. Riding in the winter means riding on top of ice and snow. Throughout the winter there will be times where it’s warmer or colder out which can affect the ground beneath your tires. Know how to deal with this. Many people also ride on top of frozen water – which can be extremely dangerous if the ice were to crack. Learn about when ice will be thick enough to take your weight, and when it isn’t. Always bring items with you that can help in case you’re in a situation when the ice does break from under you. International Mountain Bicycling Association recommends that ice picks and a length of rope should be taken along if riding on lakes or rivers.

Practice fat bike etiquette, follow the the rules of the trail and have fun.

Practice fat bike etiquette, follow the the rules of the trail and have fun.

General Rules of the Trail

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) developed the “Rules of the Trail” to promote responsible and courteous conduct on shared-use trails. Keep in mind that conventions for yielding and passing may vary in different locations, or with traffic conditions. This list is also on IMBA‘s website and on our Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Before You Ride

  1. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions.
  2. Let People Know: Make sure there’s at least one other person who know where you’re headed, when and where you left from, and when you’re hoping to get back. Any things can happen on the trail and if something ever happened, it’s important that someone knows where you might be.
  3. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness. This mean, you guessed it, check ahead of time!

While Riding

  1. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don’t cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
  2. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.
  3. Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you’re coming — a friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
  4. Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.

Wear your Helmet, follow the the Rule s of the trail and have fun finding your #nextbikeadventure.

Wear your Helmet, follow the the rules of the trail and have fun finding your #nextbikeadventure.

Don’t Forget!

Also, always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Search here for an IMBA Club to join and don’t forget to HaveFun!

 

Jess Leong is a writer for HaveFunBiking.com.

Tips and Tricks to Adjust Your Bike’s Rear Derailleur

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

It goes by many names, the rear derailleur. It is also known as the “s,” the “hangdown,” or the mech. Here in the U.S. we refer to it as the rear derailleur. The device that moves your bike’s chain from gear to gear letting you traverse hills with ease. Even though derailleurs are sturdy and relatively maintenance free, they do require attention occasionally. Look below for the step by step instructions on how to adjust your bike’s rear derailleur.

 Rear Derailleur Terminology

Twist shifter – A shifting device that rotates around the handlebar like the throttle of a motorcycle.

Trigger shifter – A Shifter that activates by pushing or pulling a set of paddles with your thumb and index finger.

STI shifters – Technical this stands for Shimano Total Integration and speaks directly about one brands type of road bike shifter, but it has become the generic term for any drop bar shifter/brake lever combo.

Thumb shifter – A shifter that can be mounted in many places like; the stem, bar end, brake lever, or top of the bar. These shifters are the most rudimentary type of shifter, and operate by simply actuating a lever with your thumb.

Derailleur parts

(A) Jockey Wheels- two small wheels on the derailleur on which the chain run. They are mounted onto the derailleur cage

Limit screws- The limit screws control the area of motion a derailleur has. On most derailleurs there are three limit screws: the upper limit, Lower limit, and B-limit. The upper limit screw sets the maximum distance the derailleur can shift in high gears. The lower limit screw sets the maximum distance the derailleur can shift in the lower gears. The B-limit screw sets the distance the upper jockey wheel sits from the cogs.

(B) Barrell adjuster – This is an adjustment device on the back of most derailleurs. It is the area where the derailleur cable enters the derailleur and can increase or decrease the cable tension by threading it in and out.

(C) Pinch bolt – The pinch bolt is where the derailleur cable gest secured.

(F) Derailleur hanger – The portion of the bike frame where the rear derailleur is mounted.

Rear Derailleur

Not defined above is the Upper Knuckle (E), and lower knuckle (D)

Is everything straight?

The cogs your rear derailleur shifts across can have as little as 2.14 millemeters of spacing between them. Considering the spacing is so narrow, look to see that everything is aligned properly before you start adjusting your rear derailleur in vain. Look first at the derailleur itself from behind. You should be able to see if the derailleur itself is aligned properly. A tell-tale sign of damage is when the two Jockey wheels don’t line up with the cogs or each other (see picture).

Next assure that the derailleur hanger is aligned properly. This is easily seen when the derailleur appears straight, but not in line with the cogs. Consequently, if either the derailleur or derailleur hanger are bent, it’s best to take it into your local shop for a remedy.

Step 2, A man has got to know his limitations

Before attempting to adjust the derailleur properly, set its usable range. First, loosen the pinch bolt and let the derailleur run on the smallest cog. Next, pedal forward while visually and audibly inspecting how the chain runs on the smallest cog. The chain should run smoothly without any clicking, or skipping noises. If it runs smoothly, don’t worry about the upper limit. when you do experience skipping or noise, look closely at how the chain runs on the cog (looking from behind is easiest). If the chain isn’t coming directly off the upper jockey wheel and going straight onto the small cog you need to adjust the upper limit. By threading the limit in or out you can adjust where the derailleur sits in relation to that smallest cog (note: the limit screws don’t need to get “tightened” down, they simply act as a stop for the derailleur).

Once the upper limit is set, pedal forward and push on the derailleur lower knuckle until it moves the chain into the largest cog. If the chain has issue getting into the largest cog, or jumps over that cog into the wheel spokes, you need to adjust the lower limit screw in a similar fashion to the upper limit screw.

Rear Derailleur Tension

With the limits set, you can now move on to tightening the cable and trying to shift. Make sure the shifter is in its lowest gear by shifting down while gently pulling on the shift cable. With the shifter in its lowest position, ensure all housing ends are settled into the frame properly then pull the cable taught through the derailleur.  With the cable taught, tighten the derailleur pinch bolt onto the cable. Trim any excess cable so that only about one inch of cable extends beyond the pinch bolt and crimp it off as not to fray.

While pedaling, shift one gear up. Ideally, the chain will easily move from the smallest cog up to the next cog. It should stay on the second cog and run quietly and smoothly. If it hesitates to get to the second cog, increase cable tension by rotating the barrel adjuster out. If you cannot increase tension enough with 3 or 4 turns of the barrel adjuster, thread it back in, loosen the cable pinch bolt, pull the cable taught, and tighten the pinch bolt again. Once you have the chain shifting up the cogs easily, check to see if it will smoothly move back down the cog stack by shifting from the largest cog down and inspecting. The only difference is in the adjustment. If the chain hesitates to move down the gears, turn the barrel adjuster in (relieving cable tension).

Rear Derailleur Trouble shooting

What happens if you can get the chain to move up the cogset well, but can’t get it to move back down the cogset easily. In some cases, the cable and housing can be corroded and causing drag. This drag won’t affect the shifting moving up the gear set, but it will stop the derailleur from returning. In tis case, you can clean and lube the cables and housing, or just replace the cable and housing all together.

Additionally, there may be a grinding/banging noise in only the largest cog. That noise is caused by the upper jockey wheel running on the largest cog. To remedy this, tighten the b-limit screw until the noise subsides.

Finally, a common problem is if you get skipping while pedaling up steep grades or under load. If your derailleur is adjusted properly, and you’re getting skipping, it may be related to a worn out drivetrain. As your chain ages, it stretches slightly. As the chain stretches, the front face of the gears will wear in unison with the chain stretching. Once the chain stretches beyond the point where it will mesh with the gears, you will experience skipping under load.

Working on your own bike is fun. Also, your appreciation for the technology and engineering that goes into what is considered a simple machine will grow with each turn of the wrench. Periodically, you will run into a problem you cannot solve. If that is the case, bring your bike to your local shop, talk honestly with the mechanic about what you tried and what you are trying to accomplish. As a result, you will find that most mechanics will be happy to teach you what you need to know.

 

Apple Valley Used Bike Sale Benefits Kids ‘n Kinship Youth Program

If you are looking for a gently used bike, you can find one this Saturday in Apple Valley. Ready for his ninth annual used bike sale, Rick Anderson has over 300 bicycles primed to ride for your #nextbikeadventure. On Saturday, May 13, find a bike that fits you. All proceeds from sales benefit the Kids ‘n Kinship youth mentoring program.

Rick Anderson with a wide assortment of gently used bikes ready for the sale in Apple Valley, this Saturday.

Used Bike Sale Benefits Youth Program

Throughout the year, Anderson gathers with other volunteers to tune up donated bikes for the annual sale. If you’re looking for a bike, stop by this Saturday at the Superior Service Center on 14580 Glenda Drive in Apple Valley next to the Red Line’s 147th St. bus stop. The sale goes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m!

At the sale you will find models for all ages and skill levels from $25 to $300 with many priced under $100. Models include some top-quality cycles from Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, and Giant. Everyone who purchases a bike will receive a Famous Dave’s Wings coupon. Customers will also be entered to win one of two $25 gift certificates for Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant in Apple Valley.

Rick’s passion for biking, mentoring children, and finding great deals gave him the idea for the sale. He locates inexpensive or donated bikes, fixes them up and sells them with proceeds going to Kids’ n Kinship. In his previous eight sales, Rick has fixed, sold, and donated close to 2,000 bikes. The proceeds are generously donated each year to this wonderful Dakota County community program.

For More information see www.ricksbikesale.com.

The Dakota County Kids ‘n Kinship is a private non-profit organization that matches children who have a need for an additional supportive relationship with carefully screened adult volunteers. Once a match is made, volunteers spend 1-4 hours per week with the child. Typical activities might include picnicking, attending sporting events, sharing interests or going to the movies.

John Brown and Andy Ellis on the Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride April 30, 2017.

A Short Review of the 2017 Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

The morning of Sunday, April 30th started early for me. I hit the road heading to Waconia for my first ever Minnesota Ironman. The temperature was in the high thirties and there was an overcast with a high probability of rain during the day. But, it is Minnesota and the Ironman is a 51 year spring time biking tradition here, right?

The Weather was Still Dry for the Minnesota Ironman Upon Arrival

About a half hour drive from Bloomington, I was in Waconia around 6:30 a.m. I unloaded my bike and was greeted by thousands of riders and several bike shops in front of the Waconia High School. After checking in, the weather was still holding dry at 7 a.m., but where was my riding partner?

Starting the ride early these Minnesota Ironman cyclists made it back in before the rain began.

Starting the ride early, these Minnesota Ironman cyclists made it back in before the rain began.

Once inside the High School, I was met by the Waconia Chamber and several exhibitors including the Waconia Brewing Company. Past the vendors, the registration table was packed with riders excited to embark on the new ride routes in Carver County.

While waiting for my co-worker, Andy, to arrive before finally getting onto the course, I visited with Penn Cycle, Erik’s Bikes, VeloFix, Gateway Cycle and Park Tools.

The Minnesota Ironman Ride

As Andy and I set out on the tan pavement of the route, we were pleasantly surrounded by the pastures and fields of Waconia’s rural area. With excellent road conditions and wide shoulders, the beginning of the ride offered a bike path feel. Our planned route was to head out on the 25 mile course (purple). We would decide after the rest stop if we wanted to tack on the last section of the 100 mile course (orange), to make the whole ride around 40 miles for the day. This flexibility is one of the best parts of riding in Carver County out of Waconia.

Andy has only been riding a bike for a few months, using the Minnesota Ironman as his inspiration. To his credit, he didn’t get an easy ride to conquer this year. Both the amble route and the weather took a left turn. Heading west on County Road 32, we saw its beautiful and quiet charm flanked with tree farms, horses, open fields and the largest goose I have ever seen. The bad news, while on 32, it started to rain.

The largest goose I have ever seen

The largest goose I have ever seen

The Weather Soon Became a Factor

The misty, gentle, northeast wind we started off with became a stinging cold gale once we crossed the Crow River and headed north. The constant headwind and freezing rain combined to make for the most painful type of exfoliation as we approached route 30. Now heading east, riding parallel with the Dakota Rail Trail, the damp wind was cruel. While the Dakota trail was not part of the official Minnesota Ironman course, some took to it due to the stand of trees that would help break the winds that were attacking from the north.

Thank Goodness for the Rest Stop in Mayer

At the end of County Road 30, we hit Mayer and found the Community Center there where the rest stop was located. The volunteers were simply amazing. The food was ample and tasty. Plus, Penn Cycle and Spokes Bike Shop were there to handle any mechanical issues that may arise. Andy and I grabbed a quick snack, warmed up, had the pros at Penn check our bikes and rolled out before the cold set into our bodies. We decided to stick with the standard 25 mile route, concerned that the weather would be getting worse.

Now on route 7, crossing the Crow River again, there seemed to be no end to the beautiful scenery of Carver County. My focus was to get to County Road 10 and enjoy the tailwind as quickly as possible. Any discomfort we felt over the last several miles would soon be rewarded once we turned south on 10. Now the hero, the wind at our backs allowed us to enjoy the gorgeous rolling hills that were breathtaking. Thanks to the tailwind helping us, we flew toward Waconia High School with relative ease. The farms made way for the Wahibo Marsh, home to dozens of beaver dams and countless feathered residents.

Andy Ellis Completing his first Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride in Waconia

Andy Ellis Completing his first Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride in Waconia, MN.

Soon, we spun back into Waconia High School with the wind still at our back. The finish line and Red Bull arch signaled our completion of the 2017 Minnesota Ironman. This also secured our our well deserved bragging rights.

Overall, the only complaints for this ride was the weather, which no one could control. As for the course, support, organization and camaraderie, I give this ride nothing but accolades. I know I will be riding this area throughout the summer. When organizing my 2018 calendar, I will be sure to leave the last week of April open for the next Minnesota Ironman.

Here is you chance to explore more of Bluff Country's wonders on the bluff weekend bike ride.

Explore Southeast Minnesota on the 2nd Annual Bluff Weekend Bike Ride

Many enjoy the scenery along the Root River Bike Trail. Here is your chance to explore more of the Bluff Country’s wonders on the weekend bike ride this summer. Scheduled over July 7, 8 & 9th, the Bluff & Valley Bike Tour participants will discover many of the “driftless areas” mysteries.

First stopping at the historic Fremont General Store and meeting Martha, is always a treat.

First stopping at the historic Fremont General Store and meeting Martha, is always a treat.

This three-day weekend bike ride allows you to pedal your way up through weathered ravines, on roadways that take you to the top of limestone bluffs. Here you will have a chance to visit a general store from the 1800’s, still in operation. Then take a ride on the Amish Buggy Byway. These are just a few of the highlights of Bluff Country as you dip in and out of the picturesque Root River Valley. You can visit the eight Root River Trail Towns on the way.

Follow the weathered ravines through the limestone bluffs.

Follow the weathered ravines through the limestone bluffs.

The ride covers between 50 to 65 miles each day, (with short-cut options). Beginning in Peterson, the ride features overnight camping or lodging stops in Rushford and Preston. A repeat from the 2016 inaugural tour, the ride offers a whole new set of routes and scenery. Over the weekend participants will pedal on some of the most scenic back county roads and trails that roll through this picturesque region of the state.

The Bluff Weekend Bike Ride Starts in Peterson

On this years tour, the ride leaves from this Norwegian community to explore the many scenic roads that take you along the bluffs. The first stop on this years tour is the historic Fremont General Store. A store built in 1856 that reflects a time long gone by. Plus, meeting Martha is always a treat!

Now running the north faced ridge, discover Vinegar Hill Pass on your way down to Houston for lunch. On the far east side of the Root River Trail, you will find the National Owl Center. After lunch, check out the bike sculptures and head to Rushford for an overnight visit.

While enjoying some Norseland Leftse take a selfie with a friend as Ole and Lena.

While enjoying some Norseland Leftse, in Rushford, take a selfie with a friend as Ole and Lena.

Visit the historic Rushford Depot & Village Museum to learn about in the town’s milling culture. Then wander downtown to sample some locally produced lefse and other delicious dinner options. Afterwards, enjoy some of the local entertainment or take in the historic walking tour showcasing the architecture of this once vibrant milling community.

Saturday on the Bluff Weekend Bike Ride

After a hearty Bluff Country breakfast, the tour cruises through the rolling Amish countryside and down “Buggy Lane” on Minnesota’s Amish Byway. On this section of the route, you will see draft horses being used to work the field. Many farmsteads along the way offer fresh baked goods, honey, and crafts.

On you bike, cruise down the “Buggy Lane” on Minnesota's Amish Byway.

On you bike, cruise down the “Buggy Lane” on Minnesota’s Amish Byway.

Today’s lunch stop will be in Harmony, on the south end of the Root River Trail System. Learn more about the Amish culture while watching this busy farm community in action. Departing, the afternoon route circles to the northwest passing a couple ghost towns before coasting into Preston

An Evening of Fun and Games In Preston

Saturday night’s dinner and overnight stay will be in Preston, Minnesota’s Trout Capitol. The evening will be full of fun, music and games. If you’re interested in another historic walking tour, Preston has a very interesting itinerary and map.

Sunday on the Bluff Weekend Bike Ride

Leaving Preston after breakfast, the tour visits Fountain, the “Sinkhole Capitol of the World.” Here visit the Fillmore County History Center Museum. With several buildings full of captivating historical exhibits, you’ll want to plan another trip back here to take it all in. This is also a great place to find out more about the area’s ghost towns that you passed on Saturday. You will also learn more about the interesting facts about the sink holes here. Turns out, they supply the clean water to the areas springs that eventually flow back into the Root River. It’s amazing!

Stopping at the Museum in Fountain on the Root River Bike Ride is always interesting

Stopping at the Museum in Fountain on the Root River Bike Ride is always interesting

On the road again, take in the charm of Lanesboro, then on to Whalan for pie. Nationally known for their “Stand Still Parade,” the first thing you’ll notice in Whalan is its miniature golf course and a beautiful park area in the center of the small Irish community. Before leaving town, take a quick spin around the neighborhood and see Ernie’s 1917 filling station.

Ernie's Service Station is a prime feature of Whalan, Minnesota's Past.

Ernie’s Service Station is a prime feature of Whalan, Minnesota’s Past.

Back on the Root River Trail, it’s roughly nine miles to Peterson. Check out the fun possibilities there, before loading up and heading home. If you missed out on the pie earlier, or you want to do a taste test and compare, check out Burdey’s Cafe. Another well-known stop for sinfully delicious desserts and Sunday dinners along the Root River Trail.

More About the Bluff & Valley Bike Tour

Camping and other lodging options are available on this supported ride by the Root River Trail Towns. Get more information and registration here to guarantee your spot on the Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour. *Please note: the ride closes May 18th to allow time for jersey orders included in your registration .

The following miles each day are an estimate at this time as all routes are being reviewed by both county and state departments for any upcoming road construction that may change the route and mileage. Currently we are looking at:

  • 58 miles for Day 1 [48 miles using RR Trail short cut]
  • 62 miles for Day 2 [48 miles using RR Trail short cut]
  • 56 miles for Day 3 [40 miles using RR Trail short cut]

Peterson, the start of the ride, is located about 2 hours south of the Twin Cities. [Google Maps Location]

The ride benefits the Friends of the Root River Trail. All the the Trail Towns and HaveFunBiking.com look forward to you riding the tour. For a printed version of the Root River Bluff & Valley Bike Tour Package, click here.

Family rides are the perfect time to teach your kids about riding safely.

Riding Safely With Your Kids Teaches Valuable Skills They Will Use For Life

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

The summer months ahead will play host to countless hours of family fun riding. During these rides its the perfect time to teach your kids about riding safely. All things considered, there are just a few topics to teach. Please read below for the details.

Riding Safely Starts With a Helmet

First and foremost, a well-fitting helmet cuts down the risk of serious injury by half. As a result, helmets are the single most important piece of cycling gear for kids, and sadly one that is not used by many riders under 14. As an example, a well-fitting helmet will be snug on the rider’s head. Additionally, the strap toggles are located about ½ inch below the ear lobe and the chin strap is tight enough to hold the helmet on your head, but not so tight it chokes you. Furthermore, be sure to consult the manufacturers recommendations for when to replace your helmet. Important to realize, is that helmets lose effectiveness over time, so review it’s production date.

Helmet Fit

Be sure that your child is comfortable on their bicycle and it is sized properly. Bikes that are too small or too large are difficult for children to control. As an example, good fit is when your child can stand over the bike with 2-3 inches of clearance between the top tube of the bike and them. Also, the kid can easily sit on the bike and pedal without their knees raising so high it impedes their ability to ride. Additionally, a child should also be able to hold the bars without stretching so far they cannot confidently handle the bicycle. If you have concerns about the fit, visit your local bike shop to have the bike adjusted.

Bike Function and Riding Safely

Verify that the brakes work, tires are inflated and controls are tight. Be sure that your child can squeeze the brake levers easily and stop the bike. If they struggle to squeeze the brakes, have the bike serviced at your local shop. Additionally, keeping proper air pressure in the tires will limit flat tires and aid in control.

Visibility and Riding Safely

Kids bikes are required to be sold with reflectors on the bars, seatpost, wheels, and pedals. Those reflectors should be considered the most basic level of visibility. Add to that visibility, by having your kids wear brightly colored clothes, installing lights and a flag on the bike. With young kids try to avoid riding at night or at twilight.

Riding Skills

If your kids are better riders, they will be safer. Teaching basic skills can be fun and easy. Find a flat section of low grass (like a high school football field) and have them practice riding with one hand off the bar. Use the Board Trick to learn how to handle riding over obstacles. Another great way to learn riding skills is to enter into bicycle rodeos (many local shops put these on).

Signals

When riding a bicycle on the road, you are required to follow posted traffic laws as well as signal your directions. Teach your kids the basics of signaling turns and navigating on roads.

Sidewalk and Bike Path Courtesy

Riding to the right is the most basic rule of riding on sidewalks and bikepaths. What is more important than that rule is the courtesy of riding around others. If you are trying to pass a rider you should verbally signal where you are passing. A quick “on your right” is all it takes, wait for the rider ahead to move over and allow you to pass safety. When being passed, be sure to yield the path by moving over and allowing the overtaking rider to pass safely. If you are stopping on a bikepath look for a wider section of trail or a clearing. Make sure that all members of your group are off the side of the trail and leaving ample area for others to ride past. Being courteous is the best way to make sure everyone has fun.

Ride with them

Kids learn a lot from the example set by their parents. Ride with your kids, show them the right things to do with your actions and teach them the right things to do with your words. Make safe riding part of the fun.

Keep Senses Clean

It’s tempting for kids to try and bring a phone or iPod on a ride with them. They may want to be able to check their texts, listen to music or just have their digital device with them. Those distractions are a detriment to your child’s safety. Keep your digital toys in a backpack or better yet at home and focus on the world around you.

 

With ten days into 30 Days of Biking, dressing for the elements is critical to having fun!

Bike Pic April 10, Tips for 30 Days of Biking and How To Dress To Have Fun!

With ten days into 30 Days of Biking, dressing  for the elements is critical to having fun! The forecast today shows some precipitation in the air. So Check out the article on preparing for the Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride  with tips on how to dress for spring weather regardless of the conditions.

Also, view the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and remember to register for the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour. There are always fun, new rides coming up.

Thanks For Viewing Todays 30 Days of Biking Pic

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. 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 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 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.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure! 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 move while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

Miles of Smiles Sunday and its another 30 Days of Biking and a great time to kit the trail.

Bike Pic April 9, Miles of Smiles Sunday, Another Reason for 30 Days of Biking

Miles of Smiles Sunday and another reason for 30 Days of Biking and a great time to hit a mountain bike trail here in Minnesota..

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

Thanks for viewing Today’s Miles of Smiles Sunday Pic

We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. 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 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 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.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure! 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 move while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!