Tag Archives: #ridemybicycle

Don Kardong once said, “Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.” So expel darkness from your life and fuel your smile by eating ice cream!

Bike Pic March 5, Ice Cream Sunday expels darkness with a smile

Another sweet bike pic, showing this week’s edition of Ice Cream, Smiles Sunday a product of the quote from Don Kardong. Who once said, “Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.” So expel the darkness from your life and fuel your smile by enjoying a sweet treat as you venture outdoors with above-normal temps.

So, 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 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. 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, as we enter our 14th 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!

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, are you ready for spring?

Winter will soon be a distant past and you will soon be riding regularly. This bike pic Tuesday marks the end of February, and tomorrow starts the countdown to spring. So in honor of warmer weather soon approaching, we recommend visiting your local bike shop soon. If you haven’t already, get your bike in for a tune-up before they get swamped.

So, 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, 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. 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, as we enter 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 following Pic of the Day.

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

We've made it back to the cooler temps today, feels like winter is still here. So make sure you're bundled up if you get out on your bike.

Bike Pic Feb 20, winter riding conditions requires proper clothing

With many bare roads and trails this bike pic Monday, another round of winter will soon be upon us. Need some pointers on how to dress? Check out our article on proper ways to dress in these winter conditions.

So, 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, 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, as we enter 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 following 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 HaveFunBiking.com

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

So, 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 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. 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, as we enter our 14th 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!

This weeks pic features a different type of ice cream though, chocolate chip cookie sundae sandwich!

Bike Pic Aug 14, it’s an ice cream smile Sunday cookie attack

In this bike pic Sunday – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! This week’s pic features a different type of ice cream, a sandwich between two chocolate chip cookies.  Get out there and try one for yourself, they are delicious!

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, 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 to the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger 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, as we enter 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!

With hundreds of custom bike builders in the US, and hundreds more spread across globe, how do you pick the right builder?

MinneCycle: Show Review and Why Buy a Custom Bike?

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

With hundreds of custom bike builders in the US, and hundreds more spread across globe, how do you pick the right builder? Start with shows like Minnecycle, and when possible and have a conversation.

Minnecycle enjoyed its fifth year this past weekend in the world headquarters of Peacock Groove. Peacock Groove, in Minneapolis, is home to one of Minnesota’s most prolific bike builders, Eric Noren. Minnecycle displayed handmade bicycles from over a dozen other custom builders. Although the location is not a showroom, but rather a basement workshop, the setup created a gallery feel while still being welcoming. A location like this would be a hindrance for many groups but those who run Minnecycle are not your typical group. The workshop displayed bikes in every state of assembly, as a visual lesson on how a custom bike is built. Minnecycle can only be described as an unmitigated success. The attending builders were friendly, the feel was casual, and the work was outstanding. With a show this good, the only question left is “why buy a custom bike”?

Great Space, Cool custom bikes, and even Eric in mid-build

In Custom Bike Considerations, Size and Specificity

Custom bikes are great for riders that need something custom. I realize that statement sounds redundant and silly, but it really is the best way to define it. For instance, riders who have unique body types don’t fall into standard sizes bikes. As an example, it’s common for some riders to have a longer torso than the prototypical body type. These riders need a bicycle with a longer top tube than what is available on a standard bike.  However, a custom bike built with a longer top tube gives them the proper reach. Additionally, if a rider has unique needs, custom builders can make a bike to fit those needs. Many custom builders focus specifically on bicycle types not available through mass production. Great examples of these bikes are Cargo bikes, Adventure bikes, and utility tricycles, Hand Trikes, and Recumbent bicycles.

Quality and Craftsmanship

Being a professional custom builder is as much a calling as it is a profession. Although builders come from widely varying backgrounds, a few traits seem to be universal. Most builders are mechanically inclined, problem solvers, and are exceedingly detail oriented. Outside of those traits, a professional builder has the experience of building hundreds of bikes. So, when buying a custom bicycle, you are getting the cumulative experience and natural talents of a builder. Additionally, through every step of construction, your bike will be painstakingly reviewed for quality and alignment. That level of quality is not possible at a mass-produced level. While massed produced bikes are great, the attention to detail, quality control, and experience of a custom builder adds up to a truly uniquely riding bicycle.

Appleman builds custom bikes by positioning each piece of carbon fiber by hand to ensure the best possible ride quality.

Finding the right builder for you

Like Minnecycle, try reaching out to them digitally if you can’t meet them in person. Most builders are very accessible through email and social media. Find builders who are already making bikes similar to what you want. Ultimately, you are looking for a builder that you can get along with.

You don’t need to be a mountain biker to have a bike crash, after all, accidents happen. Be sure to take a few moments post-crash to inspect your bike.

Bike Crash: What to Look for and Inspect After the Unexpected

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking

I love the feeling of riding bikes. I don’t know if it’s the freedom, the movement, or the ability it gives me to clear my head, but I can’t imagine enjoying any other sport more. As a mountain biker, that tranquil feeling is sometimes interrupted by an unexpected bike crash. While crashing my bike isn’t something I enjoy, I realize that as I try to push my boundaries, a bike crash is a real possibility. You don’t need to be a mountain biker to have a bike crash, after all, accidents happen. However, if you find yourself spontaneously dismounted from your bike, be sure to take a few moments post crash to inspect your bike.

Body, Mind, and Helmet Inspection After a Bike Crash

Nothing on your bike is more important than you. It’s tempting to jump right up after a bike crash, but take a few moments to assess yourself. Make sure your joints (particularly knees and wrists) feel and function okay. Follow that up by looking for any cuts that might need attention. Finally, remove your helmet and check to see if there are signs of impact. If there are, seek medical attention.

Wheels

After you have deemed yourself okay, pick up your bike and spin each wheel independently. Look for any wobbles or dents in the rim. Also, look to see if the tire has come unseated from the rim. Sometimes you may not be able to see a slight wobble in the rim, but you can hear the rim hit the brake pad as it rotates if you listen closely. Slight wobbles can be fixed later (as long as the brake pads aren’t hitting the tire) but larger ones will leave you calling for a ride home. If you have AAA for your car, they now offer a bike pickup service as well.

Bars and Seat

Once you have checked the wheels, make sure that the bars and seat on your bike are still straight. Look down over your handlebars and make sure they are in line with the front wheel and level. Next, look down the length of your saddle and make sure it is in line with your bike and not bent down to one side or another. If you see any bending in the seat or handlebars, it’s best to take the bike into your shop and have those parts replaced. You may see some scuffing on the side of your saddle or the end of your handlebar grips. That scuffing is a good indication that your seat or bars made a hard contact with the ground and could need replacement.

Derailleurs

Before you ride away, look at your rear derailleur from the back of the bike. The top and bottom pulley should be in line with the cog above it. If it is bent inward, do not ride the bike. A bent derailleur will still hold the chain on the gears, but as you shift into a lower gear, it will get caught in your wheel. This scenario usually leads to a destroyed derailleur and can even result in a destroyed bike.

 

Frame

Look at the frame and inspect each tube carefully. You are looking for any dents (on metal bikes) or cracks (on metal and carbon frames). If you see damage to the frame, have it checked at your local shop before you continue to ride it.

 

Brakes

The last thing to check is the brakes. Make sure they operate properly by spinning the wheels and inspecting where the pad hits the rim. If the pads hit the tire, adjust the brake before riding away. A brake pad can make quick work of a tire, leaving you in a far worse situation.

Follow up

For the next few rides, be sure to pay close attention to how you feel and how the bike feels. I have had injuries appear days after a crash. Similarly, my bike has sustained damage that I missed upon my initial inspection. Listen for strange noises coming from the bike, or any change to the way the bike handles.

Road Bike Hacks: Descending with Confidence and Skill on Your Road Bike

What goes up must come down. Descending on your road bike can be fun and safe if you learn some basic skills.

Weight down

If you have ever watched a motorcycle race, you will have seen those riders get off the side of the bike and touch the ground during turns. The purpose of that position is to get their center of gravity as low as possible. I don’t recommend matching that position on your road bike, but we can take some lessons from them. First thing, the lower your weight, the more stable you will be. Try lowering one foot to the bottom of the pedal stroke while descending in a straight line. When turning, drop your outside foot to the bottom of the pedal stroke and lean your hips toward the inside of the turn.

Hands in drops

Most riders use their drops about 10% of the time. It should be a position you can be in comfortably, if not, be sure to have your fit checked. Being in the drops while descending does two very important things. First, it lowers your upper body weight. Second, it gives you a greater mechanical advantage on your brake levers. Be careful with this new found braking power. Get comfortable with the different brake feel on gradual grades before tackling steep roads with speed.

Brake power

As you descend you are putting more weight on your front tire than rear tire. Additionally, as you apply the brakes, even more weight gets distributed onto the front wheel. With your weight shifting forward, you will notice that a rear wheel is far more likely to skid and break free while going downhill than on flat ground. The best thing to do while braking downhill, is to use the front brake to stop and slow the bike and the rear brake to control speed. New riders get taught that the best way to stop is to use both brakes evenly and that if we use too much front brake we are prone to crash “over the bars”. While going “over the bars” is a real concern it can be combated with a little practice. Simply put, as you begin to stop, brace yourself with your arms and get your weight low.

Look ahead

The world comes at you fast when heading downhill. For this reason, focus farther down the road than you would on flat ground. Keep eyes peeled for cars, pedestrians, painted road surfaces, gravel, or anything else that you will want to avoid. Also, look for the best approach for upcoming turns. When preparing for a turn, be cognizant of the exit to the turn as well as the entry. By planning how to enter, navigate, and exit a turn safely and efficiently, you will stay in control.

Trust your tires

Tires are literally where the rubber hits the road. Even though your tires only make about 3 square inches of contact with the road, they can do a lot to keep you planted. You can do a simple test to build confidence in the traction your tires give you. Try to find a place where the road surface is banked and ride along it. Under highway overpasses often have banked concrete surfaces with a sidewalk separating them and the road. Ride along that bank slowly and see how well the tires hold. You will find that the tires continue to hold fast even when the pitch becomes very steep.

Warning signs and speed wobbles

There are some normal things you want to avoid while going downhill. The most concerning things like sand, gravel, leaves, or debris could rob you of traction. Beyond outside influences, speed wobbles are an uncommon but frightening situation that some cyclist encounter. Speed wobbles are exactly what they sound like. As you get up to a certain speed, your bike will begin to wobble. There are many causes for speed wobbles, but only two things you can do when you encounter them. You can go faster (not recommended) or slow down carefully. Slowing out of a speed wobble is a matter of riding straight, and slowing under control.

Ride within your abilities

More important than the skills to ride downhill is the mentality. Riding at speeds you are comfortable with will keep you mentally, and by extension, physically calm. Calm riders make better and safer decisions. Be sure to take unknown descents with caution and build up to speed after you try it a few times. Overall, remember that it becomes harder to control your bike at higher speeds, so take it slow to start.

Mountain Bike Hacks: Tips and Tricks to Get You Riding Rocks Fast

One of the most intimidating situations in mountain biking is riding rocks. Places like the east coast have football field long gardens of granite that appear impossible to traverse by bike. Although they might appear impossible, just a few tips and some regular practice will have you zipping through rock gardens as if they were paved.

Look ahead

While picking your way through rock gardens, always look ahead. By “look ahead” I mean focus on points down the trail ahead rather than the rocks below your front wheel. By focusing ahead, you will naturally keep moving forward rather than getting hung up. Looking ahead also helps you prepare for what’s coming next.

Sections

Another great benefit from looking ahead, is that it allows you to plan how to attack the rocks in sections. By breaking difficult sections into manageable pieces, you can recognize a difficult rock 20 ft down the trail and choose a line that positions you for the best approach. The best way to plan a section out is to look at the approach, the obstacle, and the exit as a single section. In the approach, find the smoothest lead up to the difficult obstacle. Also, think about how to traverse the obstacle in advance and be aware of what the exit looks like. By planning the exit, you can maintain momentum after the obstacle and quickly attack the next section.

Keep it loose

As your bike bounces off and over rocks, it’s easy to lose your balance. The best way to maintain your position is to be as loose on the bike as possible. You do this by riding with your arms and knees bent and your rear off the saddle. This can feel very unnatural at first to pedal with bent knees, but it helps absorb the shock from rocks as you pass over them.

Over not under

It’s better to go over rocks than down in between them. The reason is, you can navigate down and off a rock with ease. By contrast, navigating up and out of between rocks takes a lot more effort and force. Speed also helps you stay on top of the rocks. With a little speed, your tires will ski across the tops of rocks rather than dip down into them.

Gearing and pedal strike

Life through a rock garden would be easier if you didn’t need to pedal. Pedaling moves your weight around at the very time when you are trying to maintain your balance. To help maintain your balance while pedaling pick your gear carefully. The right gear will give you enough torque to get over rocks, while still being difficult enough to push to offer resistance and aid in balance. If the bike seems to jerk forward with very little effort, you should shift into a more difficult gear. By contrast, if you can hardly get any momentum going because the pedals are so hard to push, try dropping down a few gears. Additionally, as you pedal, pay close attention to where rocks are and where your pedals are going. Banging your pedal off a rock is a quick way to lose balance. If you need to pedal, but are in fear of hitting a rock, consider pedaling only 1/4 turn, backpedaling, then pedaling again.

Little bits at a time

You shouldn’t expect to be able to clean every rocky section on your first attempt. Even highly experienced riders still have trouble on new sections. Above all else, ride within your abilities, trying new sections a bit at a time.