How-to

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...

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...

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 Parenting While Pedaling

Cycling through the city with kids can be a challenge. With practice and a little know-how,  it is truly fun and easy. The following 5 tips will point your front wheel toward successful bike trips with the kids. Challenge accepted! 1. Not sure about riding with your kids in the city? First, come out to an ABCs of Family Biking. The next one will be at the Philly Bike Expo on November 9th. ABCs is ...

Like Riding a Bike or Is It?

Harlan Teaching Riding a bike seems simple for those who can, while those who can’t shy away from publicly admitting they don’t know how. Riders and non-riders forget that there was a beginning to the learning process and that what they know now was acquired from a series of trials and errors without much guidance beyond those early pushes from a comforting hand. Often the process of f...

Keep Your Jacket Waterproof and Clean

A great rain jacket is an essential part of any commuting cyclist’s arsenal, and I have learned from experience that skimping on this is a surefire way to find oneself soggy and miserable. About two years ago, I invested in the Endura MT500 jacket — emphasis on invested. Reliable weather protection isn’t cheap, and cheap weather protection isn’t reliable. The difference between t...

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