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.
Did you know that the current land speed record for a bicycle is 170 miles per hour? In order to achieve this speed, the bicycle must pace behind a motorized vehicle. The bike is towed for the first mile and then released and the rider cycles in the slip stream of a race car for four miles and the last mile is where the speed is measured. The current speed record was set by a woman on the salt flats of Utah. This story, called The World of Speed, was one of the short films as part of the Bicycle Film Festival Chicago #2.
Let me make it clear I have no intention of riding across the country or the world on a bike if there isn’t a support vehicle or a warm bed and flush toilet involved. But it is a guilty pleasure of mine that I like to read about others who have. I can’t really explain my fascination with long distance cycling because it is a hard, uncomfortable way to see the world with a few moments of wonder from the landscape or encounters with kind people interspersed with lots of drudgery, hardship, danger, and bad weather. But learning about those moments of wonder and figuring out the motivation and perseverance of those who take on the challenge of a multiday long distance bike trip is an opportunity to live vicariously.
Bike lights have two purposes: to see where you are going and to be seen by others. There is a misconception that if you ride a bike in the city you do not need bright lights because there is ambient lighting from street and car lights which allows you to see and be seen. While any small powered bike light is better than nothing, a bright light will improve your safety by extending your ability to be seen from a greater distant and providing better illumination of the road.
We all know we need to be visible when riding a bike so we can be seen by other road users and pedestrians. But when we think about increasing the likelihood of being seen we usually think about bike lights and reflectors, that is, items mounted on the bike. But there is another way a rider can improve visibility—clothing. What you wear when you ride a bike can make a big difference in increasing your visibility and safety.
Earth Rider Blog about Cycling
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories