How-to

Staying in Shape in the Off-Season

One of the toughest challenges any cyclist can face is that of staying in shape during the off season. It’s easy to stay in shape in the summer when you’re riding your bike every day, when being active outside is far more appealing than being lazy inside. But what about when you’re in the depths of a bitter cold (often icy) Philadelphia winter? Some riders swear by resistance tra...

How to Cultivate a Tan Line

The Neopoli-Tan Whether touring, hiking, or performing any other sort of extended outdoor travel, the miles are endless, the days are long, and when you’re finished you’re left with little more than the fading memory of fleeting thoughts. For this reason, it’s important to maintain some sort of record of your travels. Some write in a journal and others talk into a recorder, but I...

How to be a Bicycle Tourist

A bike shop is a bike shop is a bike shop. Don’t let language be a barrier to riding. Note to the reader: This piece is about being a Tourist, not a Touring Cyclist. Do you love to travel, but hate not knowing your way around? Do you eagerly anticipate visiting new places, but cringe at the thought of being lost in an unfamiliar place? Do you prefer to hit the ground running on vacation, but...

The Self-Reliant Mechanic

Tenana, Alaska. A beautiful place in the middle of nowhere to get stranded. It’s Day 8 of a two week tour. You’re in the middle of nowhere, which means there are over 200 miles separating you in every direction from the nearest bike shop. All of a sudden you hear a snap and you lunge forward. Luckily, you didn’t flip your bike, but what just happened? You look down and see your c...

Take Advantage of Bicycle Co-ops

Off the Chain Bicycle Collective in Anchorage. Photo Courtesy of Troy Mustache Bicycle co-ops (and collectives) are an invaluable resource while on tour. As not everyone knows what a co-op is, or what they do, I’d like to first lead you on a guided meditation to bring you into their magical world. Close your eyes and have the person next to you read this aloud: You are riding your bicycle th...

Boring Bikes for Better Tours

Touring is not like other cycling, so different equipment rules apply.  Instead of always leaning towards lightweight, fancy components, it can be advantageous to stick to slightly overbuilt and commonplace parts.  Carbon frames with ultralight components are great for a road bike, but how would they handle 2,000 fully loaded miles?  Hydraulic brakes are a high-end, frictionless braking alternativ...

How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike

This guide is based on a video that the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia created in partnership with The Baby Center. View the video here. Step 1: Getting ready to ride You’ll need: A bicycle (preferably one with hand brakes) A helmet Comfortable shoes A 15mm pedal wrench (Sometimes a standard 15mm wrench will do) A good space to teach your child how to ride A grassy area with a sli...

Stay Warm, Stay Cool

Laura’s spring-approved gear for your viewing pleasure. After a rough and seemingly endless winter, spring is finally here! For many cyclists this means getting back in the saddle to breathe the glorious fresh air after a long hibernation. While it’s always absolutely great to get outside on the first nice days of the season, year after year I see people totally unprepared for the weir...

Safe Routes Philly: Bike to School Day

Philadelphia’s third annual Bike to School Day takes place on Wednesday May 7th. Bike to School Days are an easy and fun way to engage more kids and families in riding their bikes to school. Keep reading for 5 steps you can take to plan a Bike to School Day! 1. Choose the date(s) in conjunction with the School Principal and then register your event at www.walkbiketoschool.org. (Click here fo...

5 Tips for Riding at Night

Riding at night may seem a little scary at first, yet it can be every bit as safe and fun as riding in the day when you follow a few basic guidelines. The Bicycle Coalition’s Katie Monroe installs lights during a recent light giveaway. © Thom Carroll Photography 2013 1. Use lights. The law requires you to have a front light and a rear reflector or light. You should be lit front and back ever...

5 Tips for Biking with Kids When Everyone is on Their Own Bike

I have been biking my kids around on a Dutch cargo bike for nearly five years. My eldest has recently learned to ride on his own and, as we are preparing to make the transition from passenger to solo rider, I have talked to other parents who are already experienced in the art of family bicycle convoys. I asked my friend, Krista Pfeiffer, how she taught her young kids to ride solo. I rode with them...

Trails Don’t Build Themselves

The Cresheim trail is an amazing little nugget of trail I try to get to regularly. It’s one of the few bits of trail in Fairmont Park that all different levels of riders can ride and still find fun and challenging. The builders nailed the flow. Harlan Price,  professional mountain bike racer and cycling skills coach. The Cresheim Trail is a proposed 8-mile trail that starts in Philadelphia a...

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