It happens to everyone that rides a bike—you’re rolling along and all of a sudden it becomes hard to pedal, maybe you hear the hissing of air leaving your tires, maybe it’s the loud boom of a blowout. Or you go to get on your bike and discover that a tire is flat because somehow the air leaked out during the night. The result ranges from an inconvenience or it could be dangerous but it is always trouble. Not all flat tires can be prevented but there are simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood.
Wearing a helmet makes sense whenever you ride a bike. With the variety of styles and prices for new bike helmets you might be confused about how to choose one. They provide different head coverage, ventilation, and features, utilize different materials, are available in different sizes and price points and it is valuable to know which of these are important and which are just personal preference. Here are the things you need to know before selecting a helmet to assure you get the safest coverage of your head for your rides.
While wearing gloves in cold weather is a no brainer, did you know that gloves are useful when riding a bike all year around? Gloves offer comfort and protection for any sport, but cycling gloves have many benefits and are the number one clothing item that you can purchase that can help assure your rides are safe and comfortable. Here are the top five reasons cyclists should wear gloves.
The 108th version of the Tour de France (TDF) is now in the history books and as usual, it was filled with memorable moments. Whether you root for the overall winner of the Yellow jersey, winners of the other specialty jerseys, such as the White, Green, or Polka Dot, riders of a particular nationality, such as Americans, Columbians, Slovenians, or French, or the records broken, such as the number of stage wins, there was plenty to keep us interested this year in the world’s greatest cycling event.
The route of the second week of the 2021 Tour de France (TDF) included 3 days uphill in the alps, downhill descents, hot temperatures, and cross winds. As we entered the second week, only 4 teams out of 19 had won a stage, putting pressure on the other teams to win something for their sponsors and the record books, and they did—after week two 8 teams have realized their dreams and won stages. The average speed of the peloton is around 40 mph, with speeds of up to 65 mph on the downhills.
I get it. It is hard to watch a 5 hour bike race. The scenery in the Tour de France (TDF) may be nice but it is, frankly, boring to watch a group of men just riding bikes unless there are crashes and no one wants people to get hurt. That is why I recommend people "follow" as opposed to "watch" the Tour de France. And there are lots of ways to follow, maybe watch the last 15 minutes of each day's race, or have it streaming in the background while you do something else, listen to the commentary at the end of each stage, listen to a daily recap or preview podcast or read updates on Youtube, and online in Velo News or Cycling News. But the most interesting aspect of the Tour de France is not the spin of each wheel, the architecture in the small towns, or the statistics, but the human stories. In the first week of the 2021 Tour De France there were four great stories.
I first became aware of the Tour de France in 2004 when I was on a mission to learn everything I could about cycling in preparation for opening a bike shop. When I learned that at that time there were 5 cyclists who had won it 5 times I named and decorated each of the 5 rooms of the Earth Rider Hotel after each of them. During the tour season I showed the race continuously on the TV in the bike shop. Interest has waned among some since then, possibly due to the publicity around doping and for us in the United States, lack of American contenders.
Riding an electric bike, or ebike, is a different experience from riding a non-assisted bike. Riding any bike provides a sense of freedom, allows you to enjoy time in the great outdoors, be active and get exercise, and you have a sense of certainty in getting to appointments. An ebike provides all these benefits, plus it allows you to get where you want to go with less effort, you’ll be less sweaty, take a chance on going longer distances knowing you will be able to get back home with no problem, carry a heavy load, and ride with a faster friend. But if you are new to riding an ebike, you should be aware of the differences so you are as safe and confident as possible starting with your very first ebike ride.
At Earth Rider we like to sell basic black bikes. It is a nice neutral color and no customer ever walked away from buying a bike because it was black. But with something as important to your well-being and transportation as a bike, it is nice to express your personality with it, just like you do with your clothing and hair style. So, whether you start with a canvas of all black or your bike has some color you want to highlight or compliment there are several options to customize your bike so it looks like all yours and is easy to pick out among others at a bike rack. We are going to suggest what you can easily swap out and add and what you should avoid doing without careful thought.
Unless you ride a bicycle built for two or carry a child on a bike, it is one person one bike. But cycling is a social activity and sometimes bikes travel near other bikes. When you and your bike join a group of riders, it is a way to meet new people or spend time with old friends who share your love of cycling, follow a leader and learn about new destinations and routes, and sharpen your cycling skills by modeling the behavior of more experienced cyclists. But riding in a group is different than riding solo so what are some of the dos and don’ts of group riding etiquette?
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories