Welcome. We're your premier source for fun places to explore by bicycle or on foot. Offering guides, maps and articles on road and trail riding for the novice to seasoned cyclist - helping you find your #NextBikeAdventure
Things not to do while biking on this Bike Pic #Wise Wednesday or any other day of the week. In this photo, we caught a young lad turned around doing everything he shouldn’t do, making his bicycle ride unsafe (P.S. – the rider is OK, he did miss the car!).
Also, check out our latest article on places to ride in the upper Midwest, including destinations and peak color links. Then, 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 next Pic of the Day.
Have a great day with a safe and memorable year ahead!
Finding a Local Bike Shop with a Good Vibe to Fit Your Style
by Jess Leong, HaveFunBiking.com
Trying to find a local bike shop can seem daunting and more work than it’s worth. However, a great local shop that fits your needs can be invaluable as time goes on. When trying to find the right shop you need to consider what you value most. Is it a knowledgeable staff person, a great selection, great or quick service, or etc?
Friendly bike shop store front, showing accessibility and community involvement, is like a welcome mat inviting you in.
Everyone, from beginners to experienced cyclists, can find that choosing a bike shop can be a tough decision, especially with many shops in a given area. While confident and knowledgeable staff members are important – we all want advice from experts who know what they are talking about. But other factors should also be considered.
Stepping into a bike shop can be overwhelming, but it is a necessity to find the right fit for you.
Key Factors to Consider When Checking Out a Bike Shop:
Knowledgeable staff members that can give reliable advice and speak in a way that you can understand is key. If they are using words that may be unfamiliar to you or are not willing to clearly explain it, this might not be the shop for you. They should know what they’re talking about. If they don’t know the answer, they should be willing to find the answer out for you. Even experts can get stumped on good questions!
Friendly and Reliable Staff
Knowledgeable bike shop staff, not afraid to do a little research for you, is the key to a great experience.
Expect friendly and reliable staff members at the shop you visit. You should feel comfortable approaching and asking all of your biking questions – no matter how stupid you might think a question is. (There is no such thing as a ‘stupid question.’ So, feel free to ask away!) Additionally, these staff members should be people you can rely on for your biking needs. If they aren’t focused on what you’re there for and are pushing products at you that you don’t really need, then this can be a deal breaker. You want people – at least a mechanic – who love and understand bikes. After all, you need to feel comfortable in entrusting them with your wheels.
A decent range of products should be within the shop, unless they are a specialty shop. You want to have options and be able to look at different items and products within the shop so you can find the best fit for you – if you need it.
Most bike shops have a large assortment of accessories and essentials to make your #nextbikeadventure memorable.
A good bike shop will have a large assortment of cycling accessories and other essentials to make your #nextbikeadventure memorable.
Quick or Reasonable Repair Timeline
Having a bike shop mechanic who is knowledgeable and enjoys his work is an added plus.
When a problem arises with your bike, you want it repaired in a quick manner so we could get out riding again, as soon as possible. No one wants to wait weeks for their bike to be repaired. A quick, or at least reasonable, repair time might be what’s most important for you.
Shop Hours that Work for You
Reasonable hours that work for your schedule is something you can easily find out without ever going to the store. Today, you can look up stores online to find their hours and see if it will work for you.
Some bike shops are open only on the weekend, others are open from early morning and close by 5 p.m. or earlier, and yet others might be open late into the evening. Depending on what works for your schedule, this can help eliminate potential bike shops. If you have a job from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, a bike shop that is only open during the weekday during that period of time might not be the best fit.
A good shop will check in with the rider and ask them asking how they are. If a relationship is built they will ask about a product the rider might have bought. If a mistake occurs, the shop will work with the rider to try to correct it, or apologize.
It is important to note that while a bike shop might be perfect for one person, it may not be the ideal bike shop for another. While many bike shops have knowledge of different types of biking styles, some will have more specific knowledge of a particular type. In other words, every bike stop has different vibe and it just depends whether or not it suits you.
Tip: To save time, many riders would suggest checking on websites that rate bike shops to find ratings of their service, what they may offer, and if they are worth looking into.
Don’t lose heart, if after researching the first bike shop you discover it isn’t ideal for you, visit the next one. Many times, riders need to visit several shops, and sometimes go through a service or two, before finding the perfect fit for them.
Finding the shop that is best suited for you might take some time, and that’s okay. It’s worth it because if you ever have questions or your bike needs repair, they got your back. Plus, it ensures good service and fewer problems in the future.
Did your favorite bike shop make America’s Best Bike Shop list?
The National Bicycle Dealers Association has recently published its 2016 list of America’s Best Bike Shops. Retailers who made the cut this year not only offer great shopping experiences and expert staff, but are also rated on dedication to their communities and support for bicycle advocacy locally and nationally. See here if your bike shop made the cut.
Less hassle, better vibes is something we can all get behind. Happy shopping!
As you enjoy the fresh fall air while you ride, we hope you have clean biking gloves!
With Fall officially here and some of the best biking ahead, with colorful scenery and mild temperatures, many people are thinking about winter storage preparations. While bike
Clean biking gloves are essential so they are not gross or smelly.
maintenance is an important thing to do before storage, taking care of your cycling gear is just as essential especially if things are a bit smelly. Specially bike gloves, which should be cleaned periodically throughout the season, so they aren’t foul and disgusting.
Not everyone realizes that their riding gloves should be washed occasionally – this includes gloves that have leather or a material that may not seem like it is ‘machine washable’.
Why Clean Biking Gloves?
Clean biking gloves do more than just grip those handlebars better or reduce vibrations while riding. They also absorb all the sweat and skin cells that come from a rider’s hands. The sweat and skin cells can eventually build up within the gloves and make them smell due to the growth of various bacteria. Therefore, taking care of cycling gloves is something that everyone should do.
When riding, whether racing or for recreation, biking gloves can become quite dirty, stinky and bacteria ridden.
What gets on Typical Biking Gloves?
Here is an assortment of clean biking gloves you may have that should be washed periodically to eliminate odors.
Dirt, Grease, and Bacteria
Let’s start with the most obvious one. Dirt and bacteria. When a rider puts on their gloves it isn’t likely that they will be taking it off anytime soon. Even if they stop for a drink, you’ll generally find gloves still securely on the rider’s hands. Your hands touch a lot of objects and whatever you can usually find on your hand when out and about, it’s likely to be on your gloves.
Dirt and general bacteria from the great outdoors isn’t the only thing that might end up on gloves. Many riders also use their gloves to rub at chain ring tattoos. Therefore, grease can also adhere to the gloves and be transferred on the handlebars or penetrate into the gloves. For information about how to avoid and deal with grease marks, we have an article that covers that so hopefully grease – on a general outing – won’t be on your gloves.
Additionally, bacteria can come from when riders may cough into their gloves. This means that saliva can also get on the outside of the gloves and stay there.
Another obvious offender is sweat. The cycling gloves help ensure a good and tight grip on the handlebars so the rider always has control of their bicycle. Without gloves, sweat can make handlebars slick. This decreases the degree of safety a rider can have while doing serious biking. The gloves absorb the sweat into the material so it doesn’t cause a problem or irritate the rider as they continue on their journey.
Since the material is easily accessible, as it is on a rider’s hands, riders also tend to use the gloves to wipe sweat from their faces. So while sweat may be in the interior, it also tends to be on the outside as well.
Dead Skin Cells
We continuously lose skin cells, but a moist glove gathers those skin cells since there is no place for them to go. This can eventually cake the inside of the gloves. While it may not be obvious, can make the material stiffer and make the material inside less comfortable.
When listing off what can be on biking gloves, snot is not something that readily comes to mind. Why should it? It definitely isn’t pleasing to think about, and definitely makes many people cringe. However, when someone is biking, sweat and a runny nose that comes from exertion, in any weather, can happen. Unable to reach for a tissue or blow their nose, many riders use their gloves or sleeves to quickly deal with a dripping nose.
Sweat makes the interior and exterior of the gloves moist. When gloves are placed in darkness, it becomes the ultimate breeding ground for bacteria to quickly multiply. This creates the smell that gloves can emit. If not taken care of properly over time, the smell can be difficult to remove.
So before you dig into your bike bag for a pair of gloves or borrow someone else’s, remember this. You never know what another person’s biking gloves have been through. It also means that washing your own biking gloves should be seen as a regular practice rather than only washing them once during the biking season.
Learn how to clean your gloves – no matter what material – by looking at our easy step-by-step article.