Tag Archives: cyclist

Adventure Cycling Bike Events

Spring and summer bring about an increase in organized cycling tours, which can be found across the country, as well as National Bike Month each May. But in addition to the already existing events, Missoula, Montana based Adventure Cycling is working to create a few more national bike holidays.

Cycling.

Just imagine what awaits you out there. [Image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/548102217121796509/]

If you’re looking for an opportunity to connect with other cyclists and rejoice in the joys of bike riding (because who doesn’t want that?), these are some of the upcoming days to celebrate.

Bike Travel Weekend, June 3–5

Bike tour.

Make sure you pack all the essentials! [Image: http://kidproject.org/]

In just a few weeks, you can celebrate the first annual Bike Travel Weekend with your cycling loved ones. Whether you want to commemorate riding 100 miles over the course of two days or you just want to take a brief 15 mile ride around your local city and camp out nearby, there’s no wrong way to celebrate. It’s the largest weekend of bike overnights across the U.S. and Canada. It’s a way for new and seasoned riders to get outside and get riding!

You can check out their interactive map to see if there’s an organized ride happening near you, or you can officially register your own overnight ride for the weekend.

Montana Bicycle Celebration, July 15–17

This event may be a bit easier to attend if you’re close to Missoula, but maybe after getting more information, you’ll want to plan a vacation that lands you in Montana between July 15 and 17! It’s going to be a bike-filled weekend, including rides on the Bitterroot Trail, a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce a new section of the same trail, a bike expo at Silver Park, and much more. There’s also the chance to win a Salsa Marrakesh touring bike if you buy tickets!

Head to Adventure Cycling’s site to obtain more information about this upcoming event.

Bike Your Park Day, September 24

Friends biking.

Friends that bike together…are probably in amazing shape and have seen some really beautiful sights…together. [Image: http://www.colorado.com/]

This is an event that we can especially get behind! It’s your chance to join thousands of other cyclists and explore your favorite state park from the comfort of your saddle. This event celebrates multiple milestones in one day: the National Park Service’s centennial, Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary, and National Public Lands Day. Again, the best part of this event is that there aren’t very many requirements—you can bike as many miles as you want with as large of a group as you want. It’s your day to play around in a park, so don’t let it pass you by!

Learn more information about Bike Your Park Day here.

Friends biking with their helmets in the air.

Throw your helmets up and c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e! [Image: https://www.tripadvisor.com/]

With these events to look forward to, your summer is sure to be full of biking and outdoor fun. With that in mind, don’t forget to bring our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps with you on those ventures. Happy cycling!

Essential Tools for Every Bike-Venture

Mistakes happen, and cyclists know this better than anyone. Riding over a piece of glass in just the right way so that it punctures your tire multiple times, or maybe hitting a rock that you didn’t notice until the last moment that sends you sprawling as your bike flies off in another direction. At one point or another, you’ll probably crash or fall—it’s practically part of the mantra of learning how to ride a bike. A child learning how to ride without training wheels experiences it and pushes past, and as you grow as a cyclist, you’ll undoubtedly see a few scratches again (especially if you decide to make the transition from regular pedals to clipping in!). Here are some handy tools to have on you in case of a crash, fall, or accident.

Woman mountain biking.

It’s great weather for some mountain biking, but make sure your bike is prepared. [Image: http://www.bikerumor.com/]

Patch Kit

Nothing puts a damper on a ride quite like a flat tire, and with that comes the responsibility of figuring out how you’ll make it back home. Depending on the severity of your puncture, a patch kit is a very helpful item to have with you on a ride. Patch kits come with sandpaper to smooth out the area of the offending hole and glue to secure the patches. Some kits have levers as well, which maneuver the tire off so you can get to the inner tube. It’s a great temporary solution for fixing up your bike so you can at least finish your ride.

Bike Pump

Always check your tires before heading out, even if it’s just for a short ride around the block. You can do some serious damage by riding a bike that’s too low on air, and skipping the few minutes it takes to inflate your tires isn’t worth having to buy a new wheel. A bike pump also goes hand-in-hand with a patch kit as you’ll be able to re-inflate your tires after fixing any holes in the inner tube.

A boy with a flat tire on his bike.

A totally reasonable reaction to a flat tire. [Image: http://ironmandad.com/]

Spare Inner Tube

In case you do get a puncture in your tube that is either not responding well to the patches or is simply not worth patching, a spare inner tube is your next necessity. As mentioned earlier, some kits have levers (but if they aren’t included, make sure you get some!) so you can take the tire off to get to the inner tube, and you’ll need a pump to inflate the tube. Make sure you carry the right size tube with you because you’ll be a little more than disappointed if it doesn’t actually fit.

Chain Lubricant

A clean bike is a happy bike, and frequently lubricating the chain is important (especially for mountain bikes). It helps your bike perform better overall and will prolong the lifespan of the chain and sprockets. Do some research beforehand, though, because over-lubricating your chain can be equally as damaging as not doing it at all.

Multi-tool

A multi-tool is a great item to have on you in case a bolt or nut starts to loosen on a ride. Many aspects on your bike can be fixed with a torx or hex key, and it’ll make all the difference on a ride if you feel a piece wobbling or have knocked something loose.

Woman ready to bike.

What else are you waiting for? Get out there and use those two wheels for exploring! [Image: http://bicycletimesmag.com/]

Learning how to maintain your bike offers a more personal relationship with it; it’s not only an item used to get from point a to point b, but by learning the fascinating intricacies of your bike, you dive headfirst into understanding how all the pieces fit together. Workshops are available where you can learn more about bike maintenance, but if you don’t find anything nearby, you can probably reach out to a local shop and ask them for some tips and techniques. Once you’ve learned how to maintain your bike properly, download our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps so you can head out to a local state park and explore!

What Kind of Cyclist Are You?

Two cyclists biking on a path enjoying themselves.

Get out this May for National Bike Month! [Image: www.mauterndorf.at/en/summer/activities/cycling-mountain-biking.html]

Cycling is a great source of exercise and an exciting way to explore your surroundings. And in honor of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month, we want to start off at the absolute beginning and help you figure out what type of cyclist you might be. Depending on what your surroundings are like (Is it more of an urban setting or are there frosty mountaintops as far as you can see?), you’ll want to take this short list into consideration when deciding on what type of bike will make your time spent outdoors more enjoyable. It also depends on what type of riding you want to do—whether that’s race, leisurely explore, or head off-trail.

Road Biking

Three men on road bikes on a paved course.

Road bikes are great for long distance touring and races on paved roads. [Image: fashions-cloud.com/pages/r/road-biking]

If you’re surrounded by lots of paved roads and bike lanes, like those typically found in a city setting, a road bike might be your best choice. The options are pretty endless with a road bike: You can head out for a short trip through your neighborhood, go on long distance tours, or even race. For instance, the Tour de France is a road bike race, and fixed-gear bikes are particularly popular for urban, closed course criteriums and circuit races. Road bikes have light frames and thin, high-pressure tires, making them easy to ride for long distances at higher speeds. Touring, recumbent, hybrid, and fitness bikes all fall under the category of road bikes. Typically road bikes have multiple gears, but fixed-gear and single-speed road bikes exist as well.

Mountain Biking

A man mountain biking on a cliff with the sun setting in the background.

Mountain bikes are made for exciting off-road adventures. [Image: enduro-mtb.com/en/riding-with-the-don]

If you’re looking for more of an off-road, bumpy ride then a mountain bike makes the most sense for you. Mountain bikes are most notable for their thick, grooved tires, shock absorbers, and suspension systems. A thicker tire leads to a generally easier and less bumpy ride, which is ideal when you’re traversing uneven terrain. Fatbikes are especially popular for those looking to use their bikes to explore on an unstable surface, such as the sand or snow. These are fantastic bikes for a winter biking adventure, and are commonly used for sub-artic racing in Alaska or deserts tours in New Mexico.

Bicycle Motocross (BMX)

A group of BMX bikers on a closed dirt path.

BMX bikes are durable enough to withstand stunts and off-road competing. [Image: www.tntmagazine.com/london/events/bmx-badass-keelan-phillips-to-open-bmx-stunt-show-in-shoreditch]

If you’re looking for a more playful type of ride, a BMX bike is a great idea for you. They’re known for their small size, single speeds, and wide, grooved tires. BMX riders often compete in off-road and stunt races, and these are the smallest bikes used in competitive cycling. BMX bikes are incredibly durable, which makes sense within the context that they’re used.

No matter what your preferred method, hop on your bike and explore a bit for National Bike Month. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, look up what day is Bike to Work Day in your local area, and head into the office on two wheels. Don’t forget to stop at our Gear Store to pick up any last minute bike gear first!

Five Bike Races in State Parks

Recently the Red Hook Crit came to Brooklyn, kicking off the bike season in an exciting way. A crit (or criterium) is a bike race where urban cyclists and messengers can compete against pros while racing on fixed gear bikes that have no brakes in a closed course. It’s an exhilarating show of street cycling skills, fitness, and endurance that makes crowds and participants alike giddy with bike-citement.

Female bicycle racer with her hands in the air as she wins the women's division of the 2015 Red Hook Crit.

Red Hook Crit Women’s Crit winner, Ainara Elbusto Arteaga. [Image: redhookcrit.com]

This year’s Red Hook Crit was on a warm, clear night and showcased impressive female and male cyclists from around the world. The 24 lady riders biked intensely for 18 laps (approximately 14 miles) while the 50 male cyclists gave it their all for 24 laps (almost 19 miles). Just like any sporting event, the energy was addictive and full of spectators cheering, jeering, and chanting. Whether you’re a beginning cyclist, seasoned pro, or haven’t ridden a bike in years, a bike race is an exciting event to take advantage of seeing. Here are five of the many that take place in state parks across the country.

Alafia Class Off-Road Mountain Bike Race

Two men on bikes in the woods.

Racers in the Alafia Class Off-Road Mountain Bike Race. [Image: www.friendsofalafia.org/park-news/item/5-alafia-classic-mtb-race]

Located in Florida’s Alafia River State Park, the Alafia Class Off-Road Mountain Bike Race is a grueling yet entertaining six-hour race. It accommodates both beginners and those trying to beat a personal record with “serious” (Red Trail) and “fun” (Corporate Course) racing categories. Teams of up to three people can join, or riders can take on the challenge by themselves. The race recently passed on April 12th, but that means you have plenty of time to prepare for next year’s event.

New River Trail Challenge Triathlon

A group of cyclists heading out of the starting line for a race.

And they’re off! Cyclists competing in the New River Trail Challenge Triathlon. [Image: www.virginiaoutdoors.com/article/more/5469]

Okay, so this isn’t just a bike race, but that makes it even cooler. The New River Trail Challenge Triathlon in Virginia is a 40-mile bike ride that becomes a 12-mile kayak race and ends with a half marathon. This ultimate test of endurance takes place in the New River Trail State Park and welcomes participants of all levels by offering different age brackets and categories for competitors to choose from. Bring your tent and camp out the weekend of September 19th for this thrilling event!

Dinoseries

A woman riding on a muddy path.

Getting down and dirty in the Dinoseries. [Image: www.facebook.com/pages/DINO-Mountain-Biking/225201330950849]

The Dinoseries in Indiana’s Versailles State Park is one of the most invigorating mountain bike races around. The bike trails are built by cyclists with fellow cyclists in mind and offer phenomenal views, challenging climbs, and gratifying downhills. The entire lap length is about ten miles long and the race takes place on July 19th.

Bring it on at Bellevue

A group of men and women in biking outfits on bikes.

A group of cyclists at Bring it on at Bellevue. [Image: www.destateparks.com/adventure-race/media/index.asp]

Delaware’s Bellevue State Park offers Bring it on at Bellevue where competitors are sure to get more than a little dirty. It’s a bike and running race on paved and unpaved trails featuring team challenges, crawls, water activities, and so much more. The 2014 race was cancelled, but stay tuned on their website for news of an upcoming event.

Bump N Grind

Riders biking up a big hill in the woods.

Tackling a hill in the Bump N Grind. [Image: www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2013/05/bump_n_grind_–_the_super_bowl.html]

One of the top mountain biking races in the country, Alabama’s Bump N Grind is a multi-day race with a whole slew of different areas of expertise to enjoy. Air downhill, cross-country, short track, and more races are available to sign up for. The competition is coming up on May 30th-May 31st at the beautiful Oak Mountain State Park.

These are just a few of the many bike races available at a state park and barely scratch the surface of the options available, more of which can be discovered by using our Pocket Ranger® mobile apps. Now is the perfect time to start biking, so head over to our Gear Store for any of your biking needs and get out on the saddle as soon as possible!

Eight Saddle-Blazing Female Cyclists

Black and white photo of a woman blowing a horn on a bicycle.

Woman on a bicycle from the Library of Congress. [Image: www.nwhm.org/blog/pedaling-the-path-to-freedom-american-women-on-bicycles]

Okay, so we’re a little late celebrating Women’s History Month, but bear with us as we recognize some pretty awesome female cyclists that helped pave the path for women today. We see examples of how women are making a name for themselves in the great outdoors all the time now, but in a time when women were encouraged to remain inside their homes, the advent of the bicycle helped slowly change standards. Cycling was a significant part of the women’s civil rights movement, so it seems especially important to recognize some of the women responsible for creating the cycling world we live in today.

Elsa von Blumen

A black and white photo of a female bicycle racer on a Penny-farthing, which has the large wheel in the front and smaller wheels in the back.

Bicycle Racer Elsa von Blumen on an “Ordinary” or Penny-farthing bike. [Image: www.democratandchronicle.com/story/sports/2014/11/06/elsa-von-blumen-rocjocks/18562637]

Elsa was particularly impressive as she was one of very few early American bicycle racers. She raced on the Ordinary bicycle (also known as the Penny-farthing), which had a relatively high crash rate. This didn’t deter Elsa, however, as she raced against other women, men, and even horses on roads and specially designed tracks. She rode a 1,000-mile marathon through Pittsburgh in six days and even rode without a partner in a 51-hour, 367-mile race against competitors that took turns riding. Elsa also recognized the importance of exercise and was a tremendous role model for women and young girls at a crucial time of the suffrage movement.

Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky

A black and white image of a woman on a bicycle.

Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky on her Safety bicycle. [Image: smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2015/01/kickass-women-in-history-annie-londonderry]

The cycling craze really caught on in the 1890s and especially picked up traction with the invention of the “Safety” bicycle, which is the same style that bicycles today are modeled after. With this new development, women were able to get a taste for freedom as they broke away from the housewife/homemaker molds and ventured out on their new bikes. Clothing styles changed from confining corsets, hoop skirts, and heels to more comfortable bloomers and shoes, transforming women of the time into “The New Woman.” Annie took it a few steps further and wore a male riding suit, which shocked and horrified many bystanders. Bikes also meant that women wouldn’t rely on men for transportation anymore. These advances were met with plenty of resistance, but in the end, women on bicycles were triumphant.

Frances Willard

A black and white photo of two women. One woman is on a bicycle and the other is helping her balance and learn to ride.

Frances Willard learning to ride a bike in her 50s. [Image: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/A_wheel_within_a_wheel_page_56.jpg]

Leader of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and avid adventurer, Frances hopped on a bike for the first time in her 50s and taught herself to ride within two days. She never enjoyed the idea of having to stay inside and opposed the confining clothing forced on her once she turned 16, preferring to climb, horseback ride, and run instead. It only makes sense that this bold woman would take to bike riding so quickly and seamlessly!

Susan B. Anthony & Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A black and white photo of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony sitting together.

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. [Image: www.wondersandmarvels.com/2011/06/a-friendship-that-changed-the-world.html]

Although neither was a cyclist themselves (as they were well into their 70s when the Safety bike was invented), both Susan and Elizabeth embraced females on bikes with open arms. Plus, you can’t talk about the women’s civil rights movement without mentioning these two suffragists! Susan was quoted as saying, “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.” Elizabeth held a similar mindset, stating that “the bicycle will inspire women with more courage, self-respect, self-reliance…” Well said, ladies!

Maria Ward

A picture of the cover of Maria Ward's book "Bicycling for Ladies".

Maria Ward’s book “Bicycling for Ladies.” [Image: wheelbike.blogspot.com/2010/12/blog-post.html]

Author of the 1896 instructional manual Bicycling for Ladies, Maria wrote this groundbreaking book with a distinct approach that made her piece stand out from similar works released at the same time. She created a manual for advanced female cyclists, urging women to learn the mechanics of their bikes and become well acquainted with the various tools that went along with them. Maria compared bike tools to sewing instruments, saying that if a woman could sew then she could certainly learn the intricacies of her bike. She outlined practical biking clothing and other details of bikes that weren’t typically shared with women. In a time that discouraged women from challenging their minds and bodies, Maria stood face-to-face with that idea and disregarded it.

Billie Fleming

Cyclist Billie Fleming cycling past a meadow.

Billie Fleming on her bicycle. [Image: www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest-news/billie-fleming-passes-away-age-100-123454]

In 1938, Billie set a record that still stands today as the most miles biked in a year by a woman, clocking in at 29,603.7 miles. She rode to promote the health benefits of cycling and biked in the winter, summer, rain, and shine. She biked approximately 81 miles a day and reached up to 196 miles a day in the summer! Although her plans to bike across the United States fell through due to WWII, she went on to break the 25-mile, 50-mile, and 100-mile tricycle records. Now that’s inspiring!

Beryl Burton

Black and white photo of bicycle racer Beryl Burton racing on her bike.

Beryl Burton racing. [Image: totalwomenscycling.com/lifestyle/interviews/21-facts-beryl-burton-30397]

Although more modern than the other female saddle-blazers above, no list about impressive female cyclists is complete without mentioning Beryl Burton. After being introduced to cycling by her husband in 1955, she dominated as a cyclist and was the winner of the Road Time Trials Council British Best All-Rounder Competition for 25 years in a row spanning from 1959 until 1983. She won 72 national individual time trial titles, 24 national titles in road and track racing, and set over 50 national records. Her 12-hour record still stands today, and she even surpassed the man’s 12-hour time trial record in 1967 for two years. In 1967, Beryl had the rare honor of being the first woman invited to compete in the Grand Prix des Nations, finishing mere seconds behind her fellow competitors. Beryl achieved all this as a “hobby” and remained an amateur throughout her career, refusing any sponsorship opportunities. Her accomplishments are astounding and will definitely motivate you to embrace the coming warm weather!

After reading all this, you’ve got to be feeling inspired and have the familiar desire to hop onto your bike and head onto the nearest road or trail. Check out our Gear Store for any of your cycling needs, and celebrate the strides women have made since the 1890s from your saddle!