Tag Archives: Ride My Bike

Bike Pic April 11, another weather perfect day to ride

On this bike pic Thursday, the eleventh day of 30 Days of Biking, it looks like it is going to be another beautiful day to get out on your bike and ride!

So, adjust to the warmer temps, have your rain gear ready, and get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors for that #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, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now, as we roll into our 20th year as an outdoor bike tourism media, enjoy!

As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. To be considered, the photo (s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.

As we continue encouraging more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure. Also, check our 15th annual mobile-friendly MN Bike Guide, a handy booklet full of maps of fun places to bike and hike.

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. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have fun as we pedal into 2024!

On the fourteenth day of 30 Days of Biking, It looks like its going to be a Good Friday to get out on your bike and ride, if you do it early.

Bike Pic April 5, make this Friday special with 30 Days of Biking

This bike pic Friday, the fifth day of 30 Days of Biking and mild spring weather, out on your bike and ride as the weekend approaches,

So, adjust to the warmer temps, have your rain gear ready, and get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors for that #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, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now as we roll into our 20th year as an outdoor bike tourism media, enjoy!

As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. To be considered, the photo (s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.

As we continue encouraging 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 in our 15th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.

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. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have fun as we pedal into 2024!

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

Bike Pic March 30, the last Saturday in March, enjoy!

It’s bike pic Saturday, you know what that means? With March just about gone, it’s time to start planning those adventures. Maybe it’s time to get the bike out so you are ready for 30 Days of Biking?

So, adjust to the warmer temps and 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, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now rolling through our 20th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. To be considered, the photo (s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue encouraging 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 in our 15th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.

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. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have fun as we pedal into 2024!

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

Solve common cycling mistakes easily for more fun

by John Brown, Brown Cycles

Mistakes are something humans can’t escape, but nobody is perfect. That said, we can try to eliminate some of the simple errors we may 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 catastrophes. The truth is you never know when an accident can happen, so you should always be prepared. For example, the worst crash I have ever had was riding from a campsite, down a straight gravel path to the washroom. Before I knew it, I was smack dab on the ground faster than I could get my hands up to catch myself. The moral of the story Is to wear your helmet whenever 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 loses 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 do not recommend riding around with a dry chain, knowing when to lube is essential. Having a ton of lube on your chain will not better protect it. 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, it will be in worse shape than if it hadn’t been cleaned at all. Pressured water 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 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. Truth be told, the biggest drain on 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 many reasons clipless pedals are great, but at least as many reasons why they aren’t suitable 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, thinking about what you are doing before you ride your bike is a good idea. Make sure your bike is ready for the ride, be equipped to take care of yourself during the ride, and be 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!

About John Brown, the author

John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN as a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit, and the fever still existed. 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 can 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.
Happy Flashback Friday, everyone! In today's pic we venture back to last season.Our Fat bike loving friends can't wait for the winter season.

Bike Pic March 22, Another chance for Fat Bike fun this weekend

This bike pic is Friday, with more snow on its way. We hope your fatty is ready to shred some open trails and you have some memorable fun.

So, adjust to the warmer temps and 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, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now rolling through our 20th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide to be considered. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.

As we continue encouraging 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 in our 15th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.

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. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have fun as we pedal into 2024!

While I can’t stop the cold from hitting Minnesota, I can prepare for winter riding. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the winter.

Prepare for winter riding with these fun, easy cold weather tips

by John Brown, 

I can’t fight it any longer; my powers of denial are only so strong. Despite my best efforts, a change is coming, and I can do nothing to stop it. That’s right, winter is here. We just experienced a real cold snap, and snow is coming. While I can’t stop the cold elements from hitting Minnesota, I can prepare for cold weather riding. Here are a few tips to prepare your bike and body for the rest of the winter season here in the upper Midwest.

Is your bike set for winter riding?

Even though your bike will function perfectly in cool weather, there are things you should do to protect it and yourself from the elements.

Lubricants

Not too much care needs to be taken for the sealed parts of your bike, like the hubs, bottom bracket, or headset. Those places are well-greased and sealed from the elements, so there is no need to change the type of grease. What you do need to be concerned with is the chain. It’s best to switch from dry, or wax lubes to synthetic oil (like Park’s CL-1) for winter riding.

Lubing your chain is easy with a wax based lube or synthetic oil.

Frame

For most of the United States, winter roads mean salt. That salt can play havoc with your frame and components. The best way to protect your frame from corrosion is to install fenders. A plastic fender is impervious to salt damage and can stop salt from reaching your frame. Additionally, Fenders keep you dry when moisture is on the road and clean from any debris your tires kick up.

Tires

Thanks to rain, snow, and less road maintenance, there is an elevated amount of debris on the roads during the winter riding season. Coupled with lower temperatures that make tires stiffer, flats are more prevalent in winter. For these reasons, I encourage you to get some “winter tires.” By “Winter tires,” I mean something with a pronounced tread and a puncture-resistant feature. With more tread and protection against flats, you can confidently ride through the winter months. Investing in studded tires is also a good plan if you live in an area that gets below freezing and stays there for several days. For Fatbikes or Mountain Bikes, you can invest in aftermarket studs that thread into your existing tire.

This tire has a reinforced layer (orange) that prevents most flats

Lights

Winter is as dark as it is cold. Therefore, having some additional visibility is important. If you are riding on well-lit roads or paths, blinkers that make you more visible are perfect. In contrast, if your route is not well-lit, I recommend getting a headlight with at least 100 lumens. That light will allow you to see safely.

Your Body and winter riding

For you, dealing with winter riding is simply the basics of keeping you comfortable. As the winter rolls on, you will need to use different amounts of insulation to keep you warm. In early fall, knee warmers and a long sleeve jersey will offer ample warmth but as the temperature drops, knee warmers make way to tights and long sleeve jerseys are eclipsed by jackets. For a complete overview of temperature vs. clothing, check out our article on winter clothing.

prepare for winter riding

This “Rider” has his arm and knee warmers (blue) on

The ride

Riding in the winter is amazing if you are prepared. It’s incredible because there is a calm and quietness to winter that cannot be replicated during any other season. While it may sound difficult or unenjoyable to ride during the cold days of the winter, it is that fear others have that allows you to have most of the trails, all to yourself. Start slow and build up. As an example, try to ride until the temps reach 40 degrees. That temperature requires little additional clothing, and will keep most others off their bike. For the following season, try riding down to freezing and so on.

If all else fails

AAA Road Service now includes bicycles, it like have a SAG in your back pocket and a call away.

AAA Road Service now includes bikes. It’s like having a SAG in your back pocket.

Because winter riding puts you out into the elements, breaking down can be dangerous. Rather than getting yourself stuck in a bad situation, make sure to tell others where you will be and have a contact you can call for a ride home. If you don’t want to rely on a friend for a ride, you can always buy a AAA Road Service membership, with three-inexpensive options, that includes your bike. Its like having a SAG service in your back pocket, if you have a flat or break a chain, call and they will come a get you.

About John Brown, the author

John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN as a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit, and that fever is still there. Now, and over the past thirty years, he has worked at every level in the bike industry. Starting, like most, sweeping floors and learning anything he could about bikes. He eventually graduated as a service manager and then to 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 bike 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.
Yeah its Friday, time to look at fat bikes and plan that next bike adventure.

Bike Pic Dec 16, yeah it’s Saturday with more normal temps ahead

This bike pic Saturday, with more mild weather and proper clothing you may have a chance for some more pedaling in 2023.

So, adjust to above-normal temps and 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, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now rolling through our 19th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide to be considered. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.

As we continue encouraging 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 in our 14th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.

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. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe and memorable fall!

It’s Friday and time to ride off on another weekend of fun taking in that next bike adventure that maybe includes a fall mountain bike ride.

Bike Pic, Nov 24, it’s a turkey burner Friday, shred some trails

This bike pic turkey burner Friday, with mild fall temps and a few flurries in the upper Midwest, shred some trails.

So, adjust to the cold and 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, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing today’s bike pic

Now rolling through our 19th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide to be considered. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.

As we continue encouraging 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 in our 14th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.

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. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe and memorable fall!

A peaceful fall Saturday to get junior conditioned for the weather ahead.

Bike Pic Nov 04, a peaceful Saturday morning bike ride with junior

This bike pic Saturday is a peaceful morning for a bike ride and to bundle up junior and get him conditioned for the cooler weather ahead.

So, adjust to the cold and 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, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.

Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic

Now rolling through our 19th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can 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]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide to be considered. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.

As we continue encouraging 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 in our 14th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.

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. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day with a safe and memorable fall!

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 bike ride. Truth be told, the biggest drain to your energy while riding can be related to dehydration.

No matter the distance, bring plenty of water on your next ride

Regardless of the length of your bike ride or other outdoor activity, don’t forget to bring plenty of H20. Many times riders will assume that because the weather is cool or a ride is a short distance, they don’t need to bring water. Truth be told, the biggest drain on your energy level while riding can be related to dehydration. Stay hydrated by bringing water or a sports drink along on all rides.

Yeah water, bring plenty along!

Yeah, stay cool. Bring plenty of water along!

Stay hydrated before, during, and after your ride!

Here are five tips on how much to drink and what to drink when biking:

1. On days that are going to be hot, first thing in the morning, drink at least a pint (20 to 24 Fl. OZ.) of water. If you have a lemon handy, squeeze some juice in with the water. This combination wakes up your metabolism and replaces lost water from sleep. Plus, the vitamin C from the lemon helps build resistance to catching a cold.

2. Then, one to two hours before heading out on your bike, consume another pint of fluid an hour before you start riding. This is particularly important on the hotter days.

In colder weather, avoid consuming large amounts of fluids in the morning before your bike ride. This is because, in cold weather, your body will want to reduce the supply of blood going around your body. It will make you want to use the bathroom to eliminate excess fluid.

3. On longer rides, when riding for several hours, replace fluids with an electrolyte drink. Evidence shows that people hydrating only consuming water don’t replace electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. This will result in a dramatic drop in performance and create fatigue. Several brands on the market use a richer mix during the winter (because you are drinking less) and a weaker solution during summer (because you’ll be drinking more).

On longer rides, consider mixing one of your water bottles with an electrolyte drink mix and grapefruit juice. Or, for a high carbohydrate burn rate, use gels with water.

Drink before you get thirsty

4. The main thing to remember when cycling, drink before you get thirsty. Sip on the water and the electrolyte drink on those hot days. Ideally, target to take a couple of sips of fluid every two or three miles on hot days. Everyone is unique, so this still might not be enough on really hot days. However, it is better to consume plenty of fluids early in the ride to help reduce the chance of hydration issues later in the day.

5. Hydrate and replenish after each and every bike ride. Do not just get home and have some water! You need to replace protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes, and water alone won’t help your body recover quickly for that next planned activity. A quick recovery drink alone isn’t enough; you have to pay attention and keep hydrated the rest of the day too

Remember – Staying hydrated is unique to each individual. So please experiment with the steps above and the products available to determine what works best for you. If you feel faint, dizzy, or start to get a headache while out riding, please stop and seek shade or an air-conditioned room) and call medical assistance ASAP.

So, stay hydrated and have fun no matter how hot it gets!

Remember - Drink water before you get thirsty!

Remember – Drink water before you get thirsty!