Category: Knowledge

Road Diet Killer Removed From House Bill 44

I'm pretty sure if you're reading this, I don't need to explain that this was a big deal and took a lot of effort from a lot of great people, but I will. THIS WAS A BIG DEAL! A special thanks to everyone who emailed or called your representative to voice your concern. Our representatives heard us and were able to accommodate our requests: Let us be in charge of our own roads!

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Open Bike Night

Thank you to everyone that came out to Open Bike Night! It was fun and we managed to fix a few things.

There were a lot wheels that got trued, a chainring was straightened out, a spoke replaced, some brakes were adjusted, and some problems got diagnosed all while having a beer.

If you missed this one, make sure to sign up for the email list so that you’ll know when the next one is. Happy riding!

July Is National Picnic Month

It’s National Picnic Month which obviously means a bike ride! As if I needed another reason to go for a ride, now I have one and I want to share some tips on making your picnic a success.

Just go already!

Don’t over think this. The goal of a picnic is to have fun, so have fun! It can be as simple as a putting some crackers, jam, cheese, and a knife in a backpack or you can go all out with recipes and stuff. Whatever suits your fancy. You could even do like we did and stop by the store on the way.

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If you need to keep things cool, try to find a small cooler that will fit in your backpack or pannier. “A pannier is a basket, bag, box, or similar container, carried in pairs either slung over the back of a beast of burden, or attached to the sides of a bicycle or motorcycle. The term derives from the Old French, from Classical Latin, word for bread basket.”

Find a shade-tree

Again, don’t over think this. I have more than 10 parks in a 4 mile radius of where I live. You’re already dealing with a beast of burden here; you don’t need to ride to the next state over to find a shade-tree. The goal is to have a grassy spot in the shade. We picked a nice area along a stream close to the grocery store, to keep it simple.

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I would also suggest bringing something to sit on, like a tablecloth or a sheet.

Keep it clean!

If you pack it in, pack it out. Be sure to throw away any trash you create while picnicking. I would suggest packing an empty bag to stash your trash for the ride home — just in case your particular shade-tree doesn’t have a trash can.

Make fun

Not of people — bring music or games to make the fun keep going beyond just snacks and drinks. Franklin Sports sells a super portable version of washer toss which happens to be the perfect grassy-spot-in-the-shade kind of game. Picnicking by bicycle is a fun way to get outside and enjoy the summer. It can be pretty easy and the best way to picnic in my opinion. Whatever you do, do it on two wheels. Happy riding.

I’m a weekend warrior!

I’m a weekend warrior, and quite proud of it! Albeit, sometimes my weekend lasts for several months. The reason I say, “I’m a weekend warrior” is because I don’t have a training regimen, I don’t have time to prioritize riding over working, and I’m currently eating pizza and drinking a beer, for lunch. Not to mention, sometimes I may take a little while off the bike. It may be because I want to do a bunch of rock climbing, or maybe I want to work on my disc golf game. Whatever the case is, sometimes other activities get priority over riding, and that makes me, by definition, a weekend warrior. I’m here to tell you, “that’s just fine.”

Young man riding a mountain bike downhill style

There definitely seems to be a stigma attached to the term “weekend warrior”. Most of the time, it’s used negatively. It gets attached to people who’s equipment may not be up to par. I’ve also heard people use it in reference to someone’s riding ability. However, the truth is, we all have real lives. Most of us can’t afford to ride everyday, or even every other day. The best part is, it doesn’t matter how often you ride, what kind of bike you have, or what discipline is your favorite, everyone has the same goals when going out. To ride further, to ride faster, to ride better. It’s truly a good place to be. Just never forget the reason why you ride. For me, it’s because I’ve never gotten done riding and thought, that was terrible, I’m never doing that again. I’ve always had a good time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, embrace where you’re at. If that’s riding everyday, love it! If that means riding on Saturdays on the local trails, own it! If you’re a commuter, live it! Enjoy life!

What you really need to start riding

Cycling is one of my absolute favorite pastimes, and for good reason. It doesn’t matter what kind of mood you’re in, what day of the week it is, what problems are going on in the middle east, or how long it’s been since you’ve ridden last, you can always go for a ride. Nature will always welcome you, fresh air will always be good for your lungs, riding will always be good for your heart, and sun will always increase your happiness.

It’s time to get back to the basics.

I’ve worked at a lot of different bike shops for a lot of years. During those years there were many questions asked and many questions answered. One question that often seemed to pop-up in some form or another is, “What do I need to get started?” The short answer is, “Whatever is going to get you riding.” There’s not a magic list of things that you need, there’s no magic equipment that is going to make you ride.

Here’s the list of the things you need:

  • A bike
  • A route (optional)
  • Determination to push yourself

A bike

Picking out a bike can be overwhelming for people who are just getting started. I used to get questions about, “How much do I need to spend?” Also, questions about, “What kind of bike should I get?” Both are great questions, but there seems to be too much emphasis on them. What you need is a bike. Two wheels, a frame, some good brakes, and it can have gears… or not. You can get a single speed if it’s what you want.

One of the greatest things about a bike is how malleable it’s form can be. You can spend $75 at a yard sale and have all the bike you may ever need. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Ultegra Giant TCR Carbon, but do I need it? Nope. I can have just as good of an experience on an old 12 speed, steel, no name road bike with a good tune-up.

The only two things I would truly recommend is a good seat and a bike that isn’t way too big or way too small.

A route

This is totally optional. Go on an adventure. When’s the last time you went on an adventure? It amazes me what I find sometimes.

Determination

Riding bikes is classified as exercise. I know this concept is strange to a lot of people, but you will be rewarded for it. I promise.

You will need to push yourself. There will be moments that you will feel like you won’t or can’t make it, but you can. Maybe not at first, but hang in there. Again, you will be rewarded.

It’s time to complicate things

After you get the basics, anything that you want to do is awesome. If you want to be a roadie, wear spandex, and buy Gu and recovery drinks in bulk, cool! If you want to only ride on dirt, and drink beer for recovery, shoot me an email and we will hang out sometime. If you want to be a Stravasshole, well, we can talk about this later. Whatever you do, do it on a bike, you’ll be happier that way.