Shout out to all the fair-weather family bikers! Rumor has it the gorgeous weather won’t last, but it’s lovely out right now and my kids’ bikes have lots of new company at the school bike racks.
Have you ever excitedly greeted your dusty, neglected bike in the garage on the first nice day of the year only to find it has two flat tires? Fortunately your tires don’t need repairing — rubber is porous and as soon as you pump air back in, your bike will be ready to roll. Keeping the right amount of air in your tires is a relatively easy task, and it’s incredibly empowering to be able to keep your family’s fleet functional. Yeah, plenty of other things can go wrong with bikes, but flat tires are the most common woe. Plus, kids can help, and — if yours are like mine — they’re probably already familiar with your bike pump, having shot air into their mouths, noses, and down their pants.
Here are some basic tire-pumping tips…
The weather outside is frightful, but with the right gear and wisdom it can be delightful. This treasure trove of winter weather riding advice was inspired by an email thread from the hardy folks of “Unpaved” — a Google Group and Ride With GPS club that share and ride adventurous routes. It was originally posted in this form by Our Mother The Mountain and has been reprinted here with their permission. (Keep in mind, this advice is mostly tailored toward for big adventure rides, as opposed to commuting a short distance to work.)
Winter riding in the Pacific Northwest can be a uniquely challenging affair. Whether exploring deep National Forest gravel roads, churning out paved base mileage, pounding grimy singletrack, or simply commuting — there are a few universal truths that will hopefully take a bit of the adversity out of the season. Initially compiled by Ryan Francesconi, the following list reflects the cumulative wisdom of the Unpaved community.
line, “I’ve made a terrible mistake.” Hope he’s O.K.!
With the cold/windy/wet/icy weather we’ve been having, this is one of those days where lots of folks are wondering what the biking conditions are like.[Read more…]
How are you dealing with the cold conditions?[Read more…]
(Photo © J. Maus)
The rain has come, the ground is full of leaves, and darkness falls ever earlier. Add it all up and things get a tad trickier on a bike this time of year.
We thought it was a good time to share a quick reminder about staying lit and watching out for slippery spots.
I got an email from a reader who witnessed an “ugly bike crash” on N. Willamette last night. He said a girl wiped out and “smacked her (helmet-less) head very badly”. Luckily the reader knew how to respond and took care of her until EMTs arrived.
If you’re out and about on two wheels today, remember to respect the heat. It’s hot out there (as if you didn’t know already) and it can make riding not only uncomfortable, but downright dangerous if you’re not ready for it.
We hear a lot about how the dark, cold, wet winters keep folks from riding, but the other day a friend of mine said showing up at his destination dripping in sweat after a bike ride was almost just as much of a deterrent. (I can relate. Last week I realized after riding home that the back of my shorts had two huge sweat spots on them. I’m O.K. with my bike identity, but I realize how butt sweat might challenge someone’s social self esteem. I thought of sharing a photo but thought better of it (you’re welcome).)