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With wet pavement, a possibility this bike pic Friday; give your ride a little TLC soon after finishing so it’s ready for the weekend. Here are some bicycle maintenance tips to keep your equipment in top shape. HaveFun!
o, 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.
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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.
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 summer!
Sadly, it’s sometimes unavoidable to ride in the rain. In my experience, the rain actually waits for me to get as far from home as possible before starting. So, when you do get caught in wet conditions, how do you protect your bicycle from the damage from water? Read on for a few helpful bike maintenance tips.
The first step In Bike Maintenance Tips is to get it clean!
The first step after riding in the rain is to get your bike clean. Road grime, mud, and other muck that has accumulated on your bike will hold moisture and encourage corrosion. A bucket of warm soapy water and a sponge is the best way to clean out that crud. Try to resist the urge to point a hose at the bike because pressured water gets into bearings promoting wear.
The second tip – get it dry
Once your bike is clean, use an old towel to get it dry. Rubber parts like tires and grips don’t need a lot of attention, rather focus on all the metal parts. Really try to address the steel hardware and make sure it’s dry to the touch before you’re done.
Then, clean the rims
Unless you have disc brakes, riding in the rain takes a toll on both the rims and brake pads. All the road grime that attaches itself to the rim works like sandpaper, wearing both the rim and the brake pads when you stop. Therefore, after riding in wet weather you will want to focus on getting all that abrasive grime off the rims and pads. If the dirt is left in place, your brakes can start making noise, be less efficient, and wear out quicker.
Lube The Chain
Water and motion will do a good job of scouring all the lubricant off your chain. Additionally, the same road grime that wears rims and brake pads will wear your chain. Additionally, that wear leaves your chain particularly susceptible to rust. To lube your chain, start by propping the bike up so you can rotate the cranks backward freely. Next, Backpedal the bike, while dripping lubricant onto each chain link. Once the chain is well saturated, give a few moments for the lubricant to penetrate the chain. Finally, wrap a rag around the chain, backpedal, and remove all the excess lubricant. Done!
Lube The Cables
Like the chain, cables will lose lubricant and wear quicker in the rain. To keep your bike shifting and braking well, drip a small amount of lubricant onto the cables where they enter the housing. Once capillary action carries a few drops of lubricant into the housing, shift through your gears a few times and squeeze the brakes repeatedly to help the lubricant find its way.
Drain The Bike
A bicycle may appear to be sealed from the elements, but it is, in fact, able to take on water when you ride in the rain. The water that collects inside the frame of your bicycle can destroy bearings, rust a frame from the inside, or freeze in the winter and burst frame tubes. To drain a frame, pull the seat and seat post out of the bike, and turn the bike upside down. Leave the bike for a few hours to drain and then replace the seat and post.
Overall, when servicing your bike after you ride in the rain be aware of the corrosion and wear rain can cause. Focus on getting the bike clean and re-lubricated, ready for your next ride.
About John Brown, the author
As a lifelong cyclist and consummate tinkerer, John operates Browns Bicycle in Richfield, MN. It all started for him in grade school when the bike bug bit and that particular fever 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, parts, or just share your latest ride. You can also see more of John’s tricks and tips on the Brown Bicycle Facebook Page.
Springtime will soon be here and some great rides and races are coming with it. We all know about the standard rides and races. These rides start when you put your feet on the pedals, follow a leader and finish a few miles later. What you may not know is that there are heaps of other ride and race types out there and they all are really fun.
Food and drink are great rides
Riding to dinner or the bar is a great way to integrate a bicycle ride into your weekly habits. If you want to take that concept to the next level there are guided rides that will help. I recently wrote about a doughnut ride I went on which fits this category and it was a blast. Other such rides include the Sojourn, Sonoma wine tour or the H+I Taste and Trails mountain bike tour of the Scottish Highlands.
Mountain biking through Scotland at day, and touring distillers at night.
Unlike the food and drink rides, a poker ride isn’t a tour of underground high stakes poker games. Sadly, you won’t be rubbing elbows with mafia kingpins while donning Lycra. Instead a poker ride is a mountain bike ride, with checkpoints. The checkpoints (5 or 7 depending on the type of poker) gives out a playing card to each rider as they pass each station. At the very end of the ride, hands are compared and a “winner” is declared. Because of gambling laws these rides often generally offer products as prizes and are fun for all, because the “winner” doesn’t have to be the fastest rider.
The fox hunt rides
The most popular version of this ride is the Redbull Fox Hunt (check out the video). Basically, all the riders start down a course at once (the foxes). After a few minutes, the “hound” (a really fast rider!) is let loose down the same course. The “foxes” job is to not get passed and the “hounds” job is to try and pass everyone. While still small in numbers, because they end up being so fun, the amount of these rides are growing.
Bike and barge are another type of great rides
Popular in Europe, bike and barge rides are just what they sound like. Sleep and stay in a barge on a canal and ride different portions along the canal during the day.
Sleep on a barge at night and then ride your bike, passing windmills during the day is a fun way to see Europe.
Many of these rides (including one in our Amsterdam review) are similar to food and drink rides in that they dock the barges near great locations.
An Enduro is probably the most popular new race type in mountain biking. The basic idea here is to ride and race at the same time. How it works is you ride up the hills within a pre-set time then race through timed, downhill sections. At the end, all the timed sections are combined, with the lowest time being the winner. Overall, these races have a fun and cordial environment, with lots of conversation and community during the un-timed sections.
Grinduro and Gravel Grinders are another option for great rides
Like an Enduro, the Grinduro events have ride and race sections. Unlike an Enduro, Grinduros are ridden on gravel bikes rather than mountain bikes. Gravel bikes also find a home in gravel grinder events. A gravel grinder is either a bike tour or race that covers dirt and gravel roads. Events can be as short as 20 miles and as long as a few hundreds.
A scene from 2016’s California Grinduro.
Mountain biking stage races
Mountain bike stage races are events that take place over a series of days. Each day is a different course and each course often starts and ends at approximately the same place. For most, the Idea of winning one of these races is not the reason they come out. With so much downtime each evening and because most of the lodging or camping is close together, these races take on a sort of festival atmosphere. Additionally, these events are often run in family friendly locations so the whole family can come along.
Hopefully this is the year you will find yourself at a new ride or race. With so many options the fun you and your family can have is nearly limitless.