How-to

How to Cultivate a Tan Line

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 recommend a for...

How to be a Bicycle Tourist

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 fear the thought of having to ask someone for directions because you don’t know if th...

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

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 through a magical land. In this magical land, there are neither hills nor headwin...

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...

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...

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...

Bike Touring on the Cheap

Have you thought about going on tour, but have had second thoughts due to the associated costs? Well, there are plenty of things you can worry about while on tour (being flattened by a reckless driver, dehydrating in the middle of the desert, getting eaten by a bear, etc.), but money doesn’t have to be one of them.  Touring can be as costly or inexpensive as you’re willing to make it. ...

5 Tips for Winter Riding With Kids

This is my third winter riding with kids. Each winter my oldest has ridden on our bikes differently, and each year I learn new ways to keep kids warm. During our first winter my son had just turned a year and rode in a front mounted seat. While I was pregnant last winter he rode in a back-mounted seat and now both kids ride in a box bike. Dena and kids bundled up for a trip on the Schuylkill River...