If you are shopping for a new bike, you may have heard about hybrid bikes, but what exactly is a hybrid? The hybrid bike came on the scene in the mid-1980s as a cross between a road and a mountain bike collecting the best features of each into what is intended to be the perfect general purpose bike. A hybrid is a good choice to accommodate the wide range of riding conditions you find in an urban environment both city streets and recreational trails. But within the category called hybrid bikes there has come to be a further differentiation: comfort and fitness hybrid bikes. If you are in the market for a new hybrid bike, it helps to understand the different features that are found with comfort and fitness styles so you can determine which is best for you.
If you are going on a trip a distance from home that includes cycling you will want to be prepared in case your bike lets you down with a mechanical problem. Regular bike maintenance will reduce the likelihood of an issue occurring while you are out riding that will interrupt your ride. Even if your bike has had the recommended routine service, however, an unexpected problem could pop up. If your bike rides are close to home or there is public transportation nearby you can take advantage of there is less likelihood of getting stranded. But If you are biking on a road far from home or deep into a trail a mechanical problem with your bike can ruin your day. If you know a few basic hacks for a temporary fix this will allow you to keep riding until you get home and address the problem with your bike.
The bike tour sold out in 2 minutes. I delegated the task of reserving us spots to the Pedal Across Wisconsin (PAW) inaugural Sunshine Tour, a fully supported 6-day group bike tour on paved bike paths on the gulf side of Florida in the winter to my husband, Ron and he called in at the exact day and time and got us in. Anyone who hesitated had to wait until next year since the ride was capped at 86 riders. We quickly learned that when meeting fellow tour participants at the hotel breakfasts, daily happy hours, or rest stops the appropriate ice breaker was “what other PAW tours have you done” since everyone there was a previous PAW participant. The organizers announced the tour to their list of alumni and there was no need to publicize it any further.
It may seem like ebikes are everywhere nowadays, and if you’ve started to learn about them, you’ve found lots of new jargon. Some words used to describe ebikes are just common terms used in a new way, such as amp and volt and others are entirely new such as Pedelec. While there are differences between how ebikes are designed and the components they use, they all have many things in common and it helps to understand the terminology common to most ebikes. Below is a list of ebike terminology you might find useful as you go about your journey to understand this new transportation mode.
Transportation is the biggest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and as a country we are the second-largest contributor to climate change. One solution to reduce climate change and its effects is through changes to the way we get around—reducing our burning of fossil fuels through the use of electric vehicles (EV). Most of the buzz around EVs are around electric cars, but there is another EV option--electric bikes or ebikes. These promise to have an even greater positive impact on the environment.
One of the benefits of an ebike is that you can travel faster with less effort than on a non-assisted bike. This is a benefit in the colder months because you can get to where you want to go faster and with less exposure to the elements. This is a reason those who commute on an ebike are extending their trips into the winter months with some hardy souls cycling all winter. While most of the recommendations for winter riding are the same for assisted and non-assisted bikes, there are some areas unique to an ebike.
So you have a new bike! You will ride longer and farther and be more comfortable when your bike is adjusted to fit your body correctly. If you purchased it from a bike shop, they will have made adjustments so it fits you before rolling it out the door. But as you bike more, get more flexible and use new muscles you might need additional adjustments. If you purchased a pre-owned bike or somewhere where there was no bike fitting, you’ll need to make adjustments yourself. Here are some guidelines for fine tuning your bike fit.
Bike security should be a serious consideration for any cyclist because a bike is stolen every 30 seconds in the United States. It is well known that best practices to reduce the risk of theft include utilizing a good lock and employing situational practices such as locking your bike in a well lit area to a sturdy bike rack, bringing it indoors at night and using multiple locks. Sometimes what is stolen is not the complete bike but important parts such as wheels or saddle. Having the right security equipment for parts and accessories provides another level of protection.
When out and about on your bike, especially on an adventure that is different from a daily commute or routine errand you may want to record your journey so you can reminisce about it later or share your memories with others. That is where photography comes in. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then photos can be helpful to collect snap shots of your surroundings, clever businesses, your cycling companions, beautiful plants and vegetation, and destinations worth remembering. Cyclists often include the bike itself in the photos as a reminder of what the journey was about. Below are some tips for photography that will make your photos from a cycling journey even more memorable.
We’ve heard of zombies in the movies, those mythical dead who have returned to life as a walking corpse. While we may cheer when they tear apart a movie villain, cry when they take a bite out of one of our heroes, and whoop it up when a favorite character narrowly escapes the approach of their decaying flesh, you have to admit zombies usually get what they want. If there is something we really want, like to bike all through the winter, using some of the same behaviors as zombies might just help us be prepared and safe on the road.
Earth Rider Blog about Cycling
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories