Author Archives: Anne B.

Cycling in The Rain – Stay Comfortable on Your Bike

Riding your bicycle in bad weather might be a chore or a challenge.

Here are four tips for bad weather biking to help you overcome these challenges that are obvious and maybe have some fun as you’re out there currently dodging the raindrops and snowflakes: Tip 1. Equip yourself and your bicycle to your weather. Be certain your rain gear if it’s rainy. Be sure your bicycle is outfitted for weather. Maintain the brake pads and, assuming you have a street bike check that there is sufficient clearance between tire and fenders. You might want to correct the angle of your fenders if your bicycle permits, so as to minimize the splatter from rain on the trail or the street.

Additionally, if you are currently carrying documents or garments and riding to work, ensure you waterproofed panniers or saddle bags. In snowy weather, particularly if you ride streets or paths which aren’t adequately cleared of ice and snow, consider riding without fenders. You might even want to look for wider and\/or knobby tires for better traction in snow or ice. Tip 2. Ride with more care than usual. You know that auto traffic fails to notice bicycle riders are around if you’ve ridden much in settings particularly. Knowing how cyclists are imperceptible to drivers, be careful riding in any type of traffic if it’s raining, sleeting, or snowing.

Do not assume drivers will act sanely for weather and street conditions, considerably less do so around a bike. Take your normal precautions of a defensive biking nature, then add an extra note of care. Adhere cautiously to designated bike lanes and assume that motorists might fail to recognize the bike path. In case your town or biking location permits, bad weather can be your time for you to get off your road entirely in several cases and take to the walkways Look for low traffic rear routes as an alternative. If there’s a lot of ice on the roads, an off-road path might actually offer you superior traction and be a good alternative route to get you to work or shopping or wherever you are headed.

Clearly, if some times of day are superior to others due to prevailing weather quirks, and you’ve any flexibility to plan your bike trip, adapt accordingly.

Tips For Winter Bike Commuting

More and more people are commuting to work by bicycle. If you are one of these people or are considering this, you need to know what you should do during the winter months. Winter commuting by bike is very different to commuting in the summer and you need to take some steps to ensure your safety.

Winter cycling often means finding your bike covered in snow.
Cycling in winter means you might find your bike covered in snow. 

Cover Your Face

When commuting in the winter, you need to take the time to cover your face. Sunglasses or goggles are recommended because they will cover your eyes which can be hurt by the cold air as you cycle. The glasses or goggles will also ensure that your eyes do not tear up from the cold and make it harder for you to see while commuting.

You should also ensure that you have protective clothing around your neck and ears. These are areas of the body that can easily become cold while cycling and will impact your overall comfort. If you are uncomfortable while cycling, you will have a harder time convincing yourself to continue doing this.

Have The Right Tires

When it comes to winter tires, there is a bit of debate among the bicycle commuting community. There are some commuters who feel that studded winter tires are not worth the expense and that you can easily avoid slips without them. However, there are other people who agree that they are expensive, but that they are cheaper than a trip to the ER and worthwhile as a precaution.

If you live in an area that gets snow and other inclement winter weather, you should look at getting winter tires. These tires will grip the ground better and will prevent the wheels from slipping under you as you ride. If you have ice on your route to work, you need to get studded tires to ensure that you are safe as you cycle.

Master The Art Of Layers

Getting a big coat is not the best way to go when you are cycling to work. It is better to master the art of layering. If you are overdressed with a large coat, you are going to arrive at work sweaty and this is something that you will want to avoid.

As you commute, you will notice which parts of your body become cold faster. These are the areas that you have to pay attention to when you layer. If you find that your torso becomes very cold, you should look at a body warmer. However, you should always be slightly cold when you start your commute because you are going to heat up as you go.

Choose The Right Route

The route that you use during the summer months might not be the best one in the winter. If you are only starting your work commute by bicycle, you should consider that the route you drive will not always be the one you cycle. When you take cycle paths and trails through residential areas, you are going to reduce the stress of your commute. The hustle and bustle of main roads can be daunting when you are cycling in winter conditions.

How You Can Choose A Bike Shop

Cycling can be an incredibly rewarding hobby. Traveling by bicycle is a great way to get some exercise, and it can also have a positive impact on the environment. If you want to choose a bike shop so that you can buy a high-quality bicycle, keep these suggestions in mind.

Look For A Shop That’s Been Around For A While’

You should seek out a bicycle shop that has a history behind it. If you buy your bicycle from a shop that been around for a few years or more, you’ll be able to learn more about that shop. You’ll be able to find out whether or not the shop has a positive reputation.

A brand new shop might seem exciting, but it’s hard to tell whether or not that shop is reliable. If you buy your bicycle from a shop that’s been around for a few years or more, you’ll know what you should expect.

Buy Your Bike From A Shop That Offers Numerous Services

You shouldn’t just look for a shop that sells bicycles. Instead, you should try to buy your bicycle from a shop that offers an array of services. For example, you’ll want to look for a shop that offers bicycle repair services. That way, you’ll be able to bring in your bike if you have any issues with it.

You shouldn’t have to go to numerous shops in order to keep your bicycle in good working order. You should be able to handle everything you need to by visiting one single shop. Look for a shop that provides all of the services that you need.

sport bicycles standing against a wall in the shop

Search For A Shop With Stellar Employees

Selecting a bike can be a difficult proposition. After all, there are so many different bicycles to choose from. That’s why you should try to get your bicycle from a shop that has first-rate employees. If a shop’s employees are knowledgeable and friendly, they should be able to answer any and all questions that you have.

You shouldn’t buy a bicycle that you don’t know anything about. You should find a shop with employees that will tell you everything that you need to know. Look for a shop that employs a number of experts.

Pick A Shop With Fair Prices

Buying a high-quality bicycle can be costly. With that said, you should be able to purchase a nice bike even if your budget is fairly limited. Your goal should be to find a shop that charges reasonable prices for their products.

If a bicycle shop has excellent prices, you’ll be able to do a lot with the money that you have. You’ll be able to spend your money efficiently and choose a bike that you can be satisfied with.

Choosing a bike shop shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. If you know where to go, you’ll be able to purchase a bicycle that you’ll be more than happy with. These pointers will allow you to find a shop that is just right for you.

Learn How To Start Road Biking

Staring off in any kind of sport can prove difficult, but road biking can be especially hard. It’s not as simple as buying some soccer cleats or running shoes. In fact, the number of things you need and the complexity of some of the hardware can be quite a headache.

8 Tips To Begin Biking On The Road Right

Fortunately, it’s a simple enough process when you break it down into steps, which are listed for you in the following paragraphs:

1) Find A Bike:

Maybe it’s so obvious that it should go without saying, but if you want to take up road biking, then you’re going to need a bike. If you’re thinking that’s too simple, then you’re right. You need to specifically get a road bike and not any other kind. Even in the arena of road bikes, there is a mind-boggling variety from which you can choose.

For most road biking, the best option is going to be a model featuring dropped handlebars. This lets you get into a lower position, as the improved aerodynamics help you ride faster. That’s not your only possible option though. A hybrid bike featuring flat bars might suit you a lot better if you’re riding around town or just commuting.

2) Gear Up:

If you want to look right doing this and have other riders take you seriously, you’re going to be shopping for lycra. The right shorts are going to keep you comfortable on long rides and be padded enough to protect your sensitive spots. Look for shorts with straps that help keep them in place while you ride. Also look out for a nice jersey that doesn’t flap in the wind. Winter rides might even mean a jacket.

Your helmet is one thing you can’t skimp on. Having said that, most helmets are safe. However, spending more can usually mean lighter weights, extra comfort, and improved ventilation on warm days.

3) Get Used To Clipping In:

Your bike likely won’t come with pedals. Even if it does, it’s actually a good idea to get rid of them and then exercise using clipless pedals. These are something you clip your shoes into, and they make pedaling far more efficient, as you can both pull and push the pedal at the same time.

It’s a learning curve, and you’ll possibly take a few lumps while learning how to ride this way, but once you discover how powerful this technique is, you won’t ride any other way.

cyclist clipped into the pedals for extra power during a road race

4) Set The Bike Up Right:

Getting your saddle height right is crucial. The handlebar positions are almost as equally as important in terms of preventing or managing back pain. It’s expensive to do, but a professional bike fit works wonders in keeping you free of injury.

5) Pick Some Routes:

A waterproof smartphone mount can help you navigate unfamiliar roads just as much as it does in your car. You can likewise get a dedicated cycling computer that has preplanned routes for download.

athlete on bicycle racing uphill

6) Identify Your Ride Style:

The more time you spend in the saddle, the more you’ll learn about yourself. Do you like climbing or flat terrain? Do you go solo or like to be a part of a pack? It’s helpful to have a variety of racing styles in your routine to make you more well-rounded as a cyclist, but catering to your strengths keeps it fun.

7) Make A Habit Of It:

Regardless of your ride style, keep mounting up and going. Your body will need some adjustment to get used to road biking but starting small and then growing from where you are at can make it easier along the way.

8) Join A Club:

Joining a riding club is a great way to meet your fellow riders, find great roads, and be a part of the larger community. Many of them have rides, especially for newer riders. Look for no-drop rides where the group goes at whatever pace the slowest rider is doing, meaning no one gets left behind.

If you’re new to road cycling, you might feel as if you have no idea where to get started with this fun sport. However, now that you have read this article, you know the first 8 steps you should take.

Great Things To Do In Vancouver WA

Vancouver WA, Washington is a popular place for those passing through to do business and those who come to visit relatives, as well as just to spend time and appreciate the region. Vancouver WA has a lot to keep you occupied by day and by night.

For the walkers among us, Silver Start Mountain is just outside of the city, and from its uppermost heights, you can see across to Portland and Mount Sait Helens. The main trail, known locally as Ed’s Trail is five miles of a winding walking trail that passes wildflowers when in bloom. Silver Start Mountain is formed from an extinct volcano and is 4,382 at its highest point.

Nature and wildlife lovers will enjoy heading to the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge which is the local refuge for Canadian wild geese in the winter months. Apart from the geese, you will find a large number of other neotropical and native birds. The sanctuary is just over 5,300 acres and is home to a vast array of species. For the nature lovers, take a pair of red glasses and see how many different species you find.

On weekends you will be surprised at the color and variety of the freshest of foods available at the Vancouver Farmers Markets. The market boasts over 250 stores of all kinds which nestle between the fresh fruits, vegetables, and freshly baked bread sellers.

Nearby is Maryhill, where you find will find an extraordinary vision of a full-scale replica of Stonehenge, which was built as a WW1 war memorial posed in the artist’s manner of war and sacrifice.

Historian exploration buffs will enjoy visiting and crossing over the Vancouver land bridge, built across a freeway that exists as a reminder of the explorations of Lewis and Clark and the Klickitat Trail. The land bridge connects historical Fort Vancouver and the Columbia River and represents that first European trading post in the Pacific North West

Alderbrook Park is a 63-acre park that has a large lake along with some children’s amusements. The lake offers kayaking and has a range of walking trails around its waters. Take a picnic lunch and make a day of the outing. Go for long walks around the lake and via the number of set walking trails while taking plenty of photos of the majesty of the area.

two couples walking in the beautiful Elderbrook Park

The Pearson field and air new museum are also nearby. Famed for the aviation exploits of the 1900’s when flying was still in its infancy, the Vancouver Barracks were and still are a high point for aviation enthusiasts. Made famous as one of the refueling stops for the Douglas World Cruisers as they worked their way across the globe in an attempt for the first circumnavigation of the world. The field is steeped in history, and its museum is still an attraction to see today.

The ride out to Battlecreek Lake is also a must-see for the outdoors lovers and fishing enthusiasts. The lake is stocked with Rainbow trout and is well known in the region for the types of fish that ply the underwater highways. If you are fortunate enough you may tag a brown bullhead, a coastal cutthroat, a black Crappie or even a white sturgeon.

Swimming and waterside beaches are also on the lake where you will find a small swimming beach as well as the dock. The lake has been measured at 60 feet at its deepest point.

If cycling is your thing, be sure to buy or rent a bike and explore the area. The city is very accessible by bike and traffic is friendly.

When you are next in Vancouver WA, take the time to explore the region in more detail as there is plenty to do. I suggest that if you are an outdoors person that you pack a comfortable pair of hiking shoes as there is much to see if you enjoy getting out in the fresh air and walking through semi-wilderness.

Vancouver WA also has a great restaurant scene where a good night out with a great meal and an enjoyable atmosphere are easily available depending on your dining preferences. f you are a proficient fisherman, you can, of course, take your catch back to your hotel and have them prepare and serve to you for a small fee. Vancouver is truly a quieter place where signs of the wilderness are just a short drive from the city giving you the best of both worlds.