Monday, May 4, 2009

Bike to Work Week

Things are getting busy! Thanks to Brian and Aly who have been working hard on organizing the bike events with me. Also thanks to Tom, Bud, Stephannie, and Coreen who haved helped lots.

This Wednesday will be a Critical Manners ride. With all of the rain this week, I hope it will be clear enough for us. It might be a good time to re-emphasize the dangers of wet roads, especially any painted or metal surfaces. Please be careful out there!

With rain comes the increased possibility of flats from wet, dirty roadways. Make sure to check the air in your tires before every riding day. Tires with insuffuicient air pressure are more susceptible to flats, especially pinched or snakebite flats. Check the sidewall of your tire for the proper air inflation. For example, my touring tires are at 80 PSI and my road bike is at 110 PSI. All tires are different so check before you pump!

Finally, I taught a Traffic Cycling class this past week and I always have a slide asking the students "What bothers you the most about other cyclists?". It gets some good conversation started. There are always the typical issues of not calling out before passing and not following road rules, but there was a lot of negativity towards cyclists riding at night without lights on the road. You wouldn't drive your car without the headlights on, so please get a front and rear light for your bike (and turn them on). Don't be a bike ninja!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Critical Manners Ride

Sorry for the late information on the Critical Manners ride. It is the first Wednesday of every month starting at 4:30 PM. We meet in the Arkansas Arts Center parking lot. In march, Tom will be solo because I will be attending the National Bike Summit in Washington DC. Stay tuned to my website for photo and news updates of the Summit.

Critical Manners ride (March 5th). Next ride I will attend is April 2nd.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's COLD outside!

Maybe some of you like the cold weather, but it was in the teens this morning. Plus that Critical Manners ride last night was cold! I could fight the cold weather, but I want to get that workout and my winter rides are becoming shorter and shorter.

This is the perfect time to try out some new sports and wait patiently for those sunny days again. So far I have tried spinning class which I love. My instructors make us get out of the saddle constantly which is something I hardly do on my road bike. They also discuss the dynamics of sports conditioning which has improved my outlook already. The biggest advantage was the dependance on cadence and watts -something I haven't used much (I use a Garmin Edge GPS computer for my bike).

Next, I signed up for the Little Rock half marathon. Considering I have a bit of a bad foot, I think this will be a big challenge for me. The next challenge will be an improvement in flexibility.

Changing things up have been exciting and have helped me on the bike as well. I might be labeled a bit of a wimp, but we'll see if this cross training pays off.

Friday, December 7, 2007


When: Wednesday, January 2nd at 4:30 PM
Where: Arkansas Arts Center front parking lot (Little Rock, AR)
Bicycle helmets required
Lights are recommended(especially if you join us for dinner at an area restaurant)

If it is raining, icy, or generally bad weather, the ride will not happen. Just e-mail me at mean.turtle at for information.

Due to Tom's brilliance and my excitement, we are organizing a casual monthly bike ride through downtown where we can socialize, find some good food, and learn some new cycling skills. All for the low, low price of wearing your helmet and showing up.

The Critical Manners ride is open to cyclists of all abilities and wishes to encourage responsible cycling in traffic. The ride will take place the first Wednesday of every month.

Cycling Tip: Road Biking Lingo

At our last Critical Manners ride, I realized how much cycling lingo I use that might not be familiar to new cyclists. I grabbed this list from the League's website.

Bonk Running out of energy during a ride; avoid this by eating and drinking often

Cadence Your rate of crank speed, measured in revolutions per minute (rpms)

Century A one day ride of 100 miles

Criterium Also known as a 'crit,' this is a multi-lap race on a course about 1 mile in length

Draft Following closely behind another rider to reduce wind resistance and save energy

Dropped Getting left behind by a group of riders

Drops The lowest and most aerodynamic position on road bike handlebars

Hoods The soft rubber covers over brake lever mounts

Metric Century A one day 100 kilometer or 62 mile ride

Road Rash Any skin abrasion resulting from a brief or extended slide across pavement

SAG Wagon Vehicle used to transport cyclists who have difficulties or gear during a ride

Spin Concentrating on pedaling at a high cadence

Sprint Riding as fast and hard as possible to make it to a fixed point

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cycling Tip: Christmas Gifts for the Cyclist

When I purchased my road bike it took me about one week to figure out I didn't have everything that I needed to ride safely and comfortably. Everyone should already have a helmet, bike shorts, shoes, jerseys, and gloves. Below is a list of essentials I have needed along the way:

Glasses - Sometimes we forget about glasses which are not only useful for blocking out the sun, but for deflecting all of those insects along the way.

Pedal wrench - takes those pedals off wonderfully for whenever you need to pack your bike or switch pedals between bikes.

Cleaning brushes - these were so helpful after my trip to the sandy areas around Charleston, South Carolina.

Boot material - ok, you can use dollar bills or wrappers when you have a large hole in your tire, but you can also buy some. I chop up old tires to use as my boot material.

Air pump - some people like the compactness of compressed air, but you can't carry the canisters on airlines. Also, they are a one shot deal, so if you mess up - oops!

Dry lube - useful during the winter when liquid lube tends to freeze.

What do cyclists usually have enough of? water bottles

What are great small gifts? cycling socks, gloves, winter caps/leg and arm warmers/shoe covers, sport beans/gels/drink mixes, handlebar bell, reflective gear/lights, Road ID bracelet, extra tubes

What are great big gifts? camelbak, headlights, bike trainer, Garmin Edge GPS unit, helmet, jacket/jersey/pants/shoes, pedals, and of course another bike.

Happy Shopping!!!

My First Bike

Okay, I did have a tricycle and a big wheel. My first bike though, one that I waited and longed for, was the red, white, and blue Evil Knievel bicycle. I got it one Christmas morning along with one of those baby dolls that walked (actually she would take two steps and just fall over - 70's technology)

What was your first bike and what did it mean to you? Some people say freedom, and I guess that would be me also. I would say it brought out the daredevil in me and sadly I have lost that fearlessness on the bike somewhat (especially when zooming down hills).

My Christmas mornings were filled with scooters and tricycles and big wheels then on to my Evil Knievel bicycle and finally my first road bike when I was 13. I remember it was icy that year and I waited every day for the ice to melt. I would ride circles in a 10 foot melted patch in the road just waiting to let loose. My teenage years I spent running small errands for my mom on the bike. I would also bike up to the movie theater on Saturdays and then hang out at the library (no bike lock needed). I would speed up and down on airport road while watching small aircraft take off sometimes imagining I lived in a more exotic locale.

Too bad stores aren't selling out of bicycles instead of video games. Too bad we now have stationary bikes for toddlers that are hooked up to the television. Too bad the next generation will be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents.