9 Reasons Why I Ride My Bike Everywhere

Mar 7, 2014 by

9 Reasons Why I Ride My Bike Everywhere

Most people are aware of the fact that getting enough exercise on a regular basis is key to maintaining optimal health levels.

If you want to have energy throughout the day, and also help improve your overall metabolism, getting plenty of exercise, which may include walking or running, is something that you should consider doing.

However, some people are unable to walk for long distances, or even jog a couple miles, simply because they are completely out of shape.

In order to ease yourself into a regular exercise regimen, you might want to consider riding your bike.

Here are nine reasons why you should ride your bike every day, reasons that, if you act upon them, will help improve your health and life.

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Keeping It Safe – 5 Safety Measures For Safe Cycling

Feb 8, 2014 by

Keeping It Safe – 5 Safety Measures For Safe Cycling

In the recent years cycling has become more than just a pleasure past time activity.

Today, more people are opting to cycle due to several reasons.

The most common of those reasons is because cycling is convenient, friendlier to the environment and definitely makes you fitter as a person.

Despite the fact cycling is a fun thing to do, there is need to ensure that you stay safe on the roads.

Basically, as a cycler you need to realize that a bike does not provide as much protection as a vehicle does.

As such, it is important that you stay vigilant at all time when moving around to avoid seriously getting injured.

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How My Family and I Spend Our Summers

Jul 8, 2014 by

How My Family and I Spend Our Summers
If you ask me how my family and I spend time together in general, then you already know that one of the first things on that list is us riding our bikes together.

 

I’ve told you a ton of reasons why we love riding our bikes (although I think I may have told you more about why I like spending time riding my bike alone more) and to be quite honest with you there are a lot more reasons to that.

 

But this little blog post is about how my family and I spend the holidays together, so here it goes.

 

Summer Camps to Keep The Kids Busy

 

summer-camp-image

 

When the kids are on holiday from school, I usually still have work and so does my spouse—so what that usually comes to is us having to more often than not hire some babysitters to watch our kids while we are off to work.

 

It’s not always the economical choice or even the best choice for the kids, so sometimes we try to find ways to change things up. For example, the plan is that we ride to the kids camp in the summer holidays this time around.

 

So usually what happens is we leave the kids at that day camp where they can learn a lot of things—of course what they learn depends on what kind of camp it is that they go to exactly, but it doesn’t really matter so much to us as long as our kids are having fun.

 

Weekend Trips

 

weekend-trips

 

On the weekends my family and I like to pack up the van, hook our bikes up to the rack on the roof, and go for a trip to one of our favourite places which has a biking trail. We have a lot of fun camping out for the night then waking up early in the morning for an adventure.

 

The kids especially like it when we camp out near a lake or a body of water so that they can go for a swim right after we get back from our bike rides around the trails. It’s actually more fun than you might think or expect—you might want to try it with your family to see how you like it.

 

Movie Days or Nights at Home

 

home-cinema-image

 

To be able to afford the frequent road trips my family and I take, we do skimp out on a few things. Like say for example, watching movies in the theatres. Instead we just rent movies that we can watch at home.

 

Frequently we borrow the movies from the library so that we can bring them home and watch them for free. Then we have movie marathons at home.

 

To complete the effect we shut off the lights, black out all the windows, then make some of the best popcorn we’ve ever had. Sometimes we have crisps or chips, depending on what the children feel like. We do this most often on our days off.

 

 Watch and enjoy this video about 11 Things you need to do before summer ends:



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Staying Safe on The Road

Jul 3, 2014 by

 

I travel a lot, I think by now everyone already knows this. I go on road trips and then go and ride trails with my beloved bike. Often times however I travel alone and often have nobody to rely on with regards to my health, safety and well-being other than myself.

 

So that being the case, some time ago I actually decided that I would take a first aid course over 3 days to ensure that I can handle any situation that I can get myself into. You don’t have to take a course yourself, but you still do have to stay safe.

 

Meanwhile, ODOT and NewsChannel5′s Kristin Byrne offer tips for staying safe in the snow and slush:

 

 

I’ve traveled tons of times and over time I’ve gathered a few safety ‘rules’ that I often live by. So here they are for you, just in case you want to stay safe like I do too. Some of these you might not find necessary, or some you might even find paranoid, but in the end it’s all for my own safety (and yours) so I don’t care.

 

Without further ado, here are the tips:

 

Obey All Traffic Rules

 

observe-traffic-rules

 

Do you know why traffic rules and laws are there to begin with? Well, it’s because it’s for your own safety. Don’t be an idiot—don’t over speed or tailgate or even hyper mile when you are driving.

 

Always make sure that you are visible if you are biking. Don’t break rules meant to keep you safe, especially when you are on your bike. That ton heavy truck there? You don’t want to end up under it. So be smart. Also, never drink and operate any sort of vehicle whatsoever.

 

First Aid Kit

 

first-aid-kit

 

I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy for me in the past. When you are traveling, it is best and most convenient for you to have a first aid kit handy—that way if you get some minor cuts and bruises during your travels you can just deal with them rather than having someone else do it for you.

 

Make sure that your first aid kit is filled with all the essentials you could possibly need to fix up any injury that you might get from your travels. Don’t forget to replace those essentials when you use them—you don’t want to be reaching for gauze only to find that there is no longer any!

 

Water and Food for 3 Days
water-and-food-image

 

Before you leave your home make sure that you always have your cell phone with you. Also always tell someone where you are going and for how long, as well as when for them to expect you to come back.

 

That way you won’t get in trouble like that guy from 127 hours. At the same time, make sure that you have water and food for at least three days jut in case you get trapped or in trouble. You should put this food and water on your person at all times, especially if you are biking a trail.

 

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How To Ride A Tandem Bike

Jun 28, 2014 by

Tandem bikes are a bit of a novelty for me and they are perfect when going on lazy cycling tours with my partner. While I still prefer my own bike, I find that it is quite fun to try a tandem bike every now and then.

It is very similar to the joy one feels when one decides to use the gym equipment in the park rather than the gym at home. It is similar, but it certainly has a unique feel that makes things more interesting.

Here are some steps on how to ride a Tandem bike:

 

Here I will talk about how to ride a tandem bike and what you should look out for. A tandem bike, as you all know, is a bicycle that is meant to seat two people. There are two pedals, and two seats, but just one moveable handlebar. The one rider sits behind the other and holds on to a stationary handlebar which is meant to provide stability and nothing more.

 

It can be quite difficult to ride a tandem bike if you do not know how to move in tandem – there should be complete and utter harmony if you want to be successful in riding this unique bicycle. Here are some tips to get you started.

 

Decide on your positions

 

Since a tandem bike is a two seater bike with two pedals working simultaneously, you have to decide who will be the captain (sometimes called a pilot) and the stoker. The captain is the one who sits at front and is in charge of controlling the bike’s direction. The stoker is the one who rides along in the back.

the-tandem-bike2

Usually, the captain is the larger or heavier rider while the stoker is the lighter one. The captain is in charge of the direction and speed of the bike, and is the only one who can break.

The stoker is mostly there to pedal along, which puts less strain on the captain. Indeed, with two people pedalling, the workload becomes much lighter, which is why the tandem bike is such a great recreational vehicle.

The captain should preferably be the more experienced rider too, and the stoker needs to trust the captain completely. I usually choose to be the captain.

 

Make sure to adjust seat height according to the rider

how-to-ride-a-tandem-bike

Even though it is a tandem bike, it is important that you adjust the seat height according to the height of the rider.

After all, even if there are two people on the bike, there are still two seats which need to be adjusted properly.

This is so that pedalling becomes much easier for both parties, placing relatively equal strain on each rider. Posture is also important, in order to ride the bike successfully.

 

Learn how to synchronize

 

It will take some practice to learn how to synchronize, so make sure that you practice with your partner. The stoker has to have full faith in the captain, and the captain has to be careful to maintain the peace. Counting to get the proper rhythm is a great way to synchronize one’s pedalling. You should also always alert each other whenever the bike starts and breaks.

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Cycling With Your Kids

Jun 1, 2014 by

cycling-with-the-kidsIf you have kids, the playground equipment at out local park is probably going to be your best friend. Bringing your children to the park can be a great way for your kids to exercise, but it will likely end up making you feel bored as you would have to watch the kids.

That is why it is a good idea to bring your kids along for cycling. It can be a fantastic way to bond with your family, and it is perfect for your child’s development, as it helps them build confidence while also developing endurance and balance. It is a win for all.

Cycling with your kids is not hard, but you have to keep certain things in mind:

Choose Age Appropriate Bikes

Biking with your children is quite fun, but since children are still growing, chances are that they will not have the same kind of balance that you have.

Meanwhile Here’s a few guidelines on to Teach your kid to ride a bike….




Choose a bike that is appropriate for your child. Starting with a three wheeled tricycle is a great way for them to start out and get the fundamentals of pedalling.

Eventually, you will want to switch the trike out for a bike that is suitable for your child’s age. Use training wheels and remove them once they are no longer necessary. Make sure that you always replace the bike to fit your child’s size as he or she grows.

If your child is too youkids-bikeng to ride even a trike, you can purchase a pull along cart that you can attach to your own bike. Just make sure your child is properly strapped in to prevent them from standing up and injuring themselves.

Buy a Helmet

A helmet is a must when biking, and I suggest that you purchase one that fits your child. It must have a snug fit and not wiggle around while worn.

Always switch to a bigger helmet as your child grows.

Choose Bike Lanes and Paths With No Cars

Choose a quiet path or bike lane with no cars passing by. Children will not be able to control their bike very well yet, so it is a good idea to stay on a path or street that has no traffic.

A nice bike ride through the woods is perfect for you and your children, and it is relatively out of the way of oncoming traffic. You can also try parks and empty parking lots.

Maintain Safety By Checking Your Kid’s Bike

helmets-for-kidsYour child will probably not understand how to maintain a bike, so be sure to do that for them. Check for loose screws and make sure that the gears are properly covered to prevent clothes, shoelaces, and fingers from getting caught in the spinning mechanisms.

Inspect if their wheels are properly inflated and that their breaks are working perfectly.

Replace any parts that need replacing and keep your child’s bike clean to prevent rust and dirt build up.

Eventually, your child’s bike handling skills will improve over time, and you get to have a lot of fun with your family in the process.

 

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How to Improve Your Cycling Techniques

May 3, 2014 by

How to Improve Your Cycling Techniques

I once made the mistake of cycling into a highway because I have not mastered being in control of my bike. It was a hot, stressful day, and I was not able turn my bike around, which caused me to run straight into another car.

The woman behind the wheel had to hit the break hard to avoid running over me, which probably saved my life.

Unfortunately, the woman ended up injuring her neck because of me, and eventually sued me for a whiplash injury claim from Yes Pi.

Not wanting to antagonize her, I paid the sum that was agreed upon in court and vowed to never make the same mistake again. I didn’t mean to start this article on such a heavy note, but I just wanted to stress how important it is to improve your cycling techniques.

Not only will you be able to improve your body by being more fit, but having complete control over your bicycle will also save a lot of lives.

You will be protecting both yourself and others, and minimize the risk of accidentally throwing yourself into rushing traffic.

Here are the following things that you can do to improve your cycling technique:

Learn How to Grip Your Handlebars

First off, you should learn how to properly grip your handlebars. I know that this sounds silly, but I noticed that not a lot of cyclists follow this basic rule.

The handlebar controls which direction you go and also holds your bike’s breaks, which can be located either on one side or both.grip-handlebars

You should always have two hands on your handlebar, and never take it off when you are travelling at high speeds.

If you need to hydrate while biking without slowing down, opt for a cycling bottle with a long straw instead of a standard sports bottle.

The bottle is often placed inside the bag, and the long tube-like straw allows for a hands free drink.

 

Build Up Your Leg and Arm Muscles

Your leg muscles play an important role in cycling, so you have to make sure that your legs are strong enough to allow you to pedal yourself both uphill and downhill. You can train your leg muscles for the road by riding a stationary bike as practice.

now here’s a video on how a cyclist can improve core strength…

 

Likewise, arm strength plays a key role in biking as well. Your arms control your bike’s direction, so you need to be able to keep it steady.

Cycle at the Correct Heightcycling-techniques

Make sure that your bike fits your body. You should be able to comfortably lean forward to reach for the handlebar, and your seat should be at the correct height for maximum revolution.

Your legs should stretch out just enough for you to push down on your pedals without fully unbending your knees.

These techniques will help you become a better cyclist, and also help you to become more fit as time goes by. Needless to say, you need to practice frequently in order to master riding your bike.

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What to Do if You Get Into a Biking Accident

Apr 1, 2014 by

accident on road with bikerNow that we have discussed how to stay safe on the road, I think it would be best that I also discuss what to do if you do end up in an accident.

While the prevention of accidents naturally lowers your risks of getting into one, it is not a 100% proof plan.

Of course, before you even start, it is good to take a few precautions. First of all, never go anywhere without some form of identification.

In fact the more serious cyclists amongst us that are on the roads everyday even wear special ICE (In Case of Emergency) ID tags.

If you get into an accident, you need to be identified by paramedics so that they can call your emergency contacts.

Your emergency contact can be a spouse, your parents, or any relative or friend that should be notified when you get into an accident.

You should also make sure that you wear a helmet, as head injuries are one of the most common causes of fatalities in bicycle accidents.

I once witnessed an accident in Hertfordshire, and I saw someone get into a serious head injury after colliding with a car.

Mountain Bike Crash in Palmer ParkThe cyclist eventually had to sue for brain damage compensation because the accident left him with a permanent disability.

So, when you do get into an accident, you should first strive to keep your wits about you.

Even if you think that you are not injured, you have to stay put until the police and the paramedics arrive.

They can give you a better outlook on the situation and detect injuries that you would have otherwise not notice.

Remember, some injuries, especially head injuries, tend to manifest only days or weeks after the original accident.

Once the police arrives, make sure that you provide as much detail as you can to the officer in charge. It is also very important that you give your version of the events out.

You should also gather information by getting the contact details of everyone who is involved in the accident, as well as the contact details of certain witnesses.

After the accident, you may want to go for a second check up just to make sure that there aren’t any serious injuries.

Of course, if you were in a serious injury, it might be best that you simply allow the doctors to do whatever they can.

It might also be best that you either talk to your insurers or to your solicitor. Your solicitor will help you make your next decisions, and whether or not you should sue for damages to receive compensation or not.

Always try to keep calm during an accident, and never assume that you are completely uninjured. Have a check-up done immediately after your accident to make sure that there is nothing wrong.

The worst thing that you can do is to assume that you are perfectly fine, as this would only make it harder to detect any injuries and possibly exacerbate the situation.

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How to Carry Things on a Bike

Mar 16, 2014 by

Ride for Heart Toronto, 2008.Before I got started with biking, one of the biggest things that were keeping me from doing it was the fact that I thought bikes were inconvenient for when you have to carry things.

Cars have trunks.

Vans and trucks have cargo space.

Riding a bicycle meant for me that I would have no way whatsoever to carry something I just bought, or something I needed to bring with me some place.

It just felt terribly inconvenient.

Add that to the thought of “what if it rains?”, then you’d definitely be discouraged from riding bikes.

I know I was for the longest time.

But then I decided to seek out ways in which you could carry your things on a bike.

I learned that it’s not impossible, and that it’s actually not as inconvenient as it may seem, even though it might be just a little bit harder to pedal when you are carting around full loads.

Woman carrying groceries in bicycle basketBut I have managed to do my food shop and carry it all home on my bike, so things aren’t that bad at all.

The first thing I realised was that baskets on bikes aren’t just for little girls on bikes anymore.

I installed one on the handlebars of my bike, then fixed one to the back of my seat (had to do a little welding here and there) and before I knew it I had two baskets in which to put groceries.

Of course you can put just about anything you want or need to stow away in the baskets you just installed.

What I Keep In My Basket

I’ve done everything from food, to booze when I went for a quick liquor store run, and even to books and notebooks.

I even once biked home with the two baskets full of groceries, with two more bags hanging from the handle bar.

If you decide to do something like this please shop at a store closer to your home so you won’t struggle too much.

Of course if you would rather not ruin the streamlined design of your bike with welding baskets, the next thing you can do is to put the storage space on your person.

Think Baskets Are for Girls, OK!

I have another bike that I like to use here and there, but I didn’t alter it by adding any baskets so instead when I need to carry things I bring a fairly large sized backpack which is actually quite convenient.

The only thing is it gets heavy on your back after a while but if you want to keep your bike pristine, then this is the way to go.

A bonus—I carry my gadgets and wallet round my neck in a pouch bag attached to a neck lanyard.

I don’t want to have to reach into my pockets for them, and in the past I’ve actually lost a wallet and a phone because I was pedaling a bit too vigorously and didn’t notice they’d already flown out of my pockets.

I also recommend putting your keys on neck lanyards which I got from here.

Carrying things on a bike isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and it’s definitely possible.

Unless of course you’re carrying home a TV you’d just bought, or some other large thing…then you’re better off tossing those in the car.

Whatever you do, just don’t end up like this guy:

Overloaded bicycle

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