Monday, April 25, 2011


just the other day I saw a dad with this kind of trailer and his daughter in the back as he made his way down a very busy narrow road, the dad is an idiot in my opinion!! read on for my repeat post
this style is just plain dangerous

this is better

I saw a post on talking about a problem a cyclist had with a motorist and his bike and child trailer. He has his daughter in the trailer and got buzzed closely at an intersection. The cyclist blamed the motorist.

I am taking the reverse position in this regards. I do not like to see bike trailers on roads. To me this is just too dangerous and not worth the risks to the child. There are other options, bike trails or roads in housing developments.

A better alternative is to get a good tricycle or small bike for the child. Walk with the child while she rides, more exercise and a better all around activity. I used to jog and my youngest rode his bike next to me. He loved it and we both got exercise.

Or if lucky like me, we had a large hospital parking lot near by, which was most times half empty and especially on weekends. We would bike together to the lot and then play bike games at the lot.

In the Philadelphia area we have many trails for parents to use with children and trailers. I do plead with those parents who think dragging a child in a trailer is safe to find something else to do with the child.

A trip to a park comes to mind. Swings, slides and climbers, way more fun for the child. But get rid of the trailes, just tooooooo dangerous.

Biking in Chester County in Pennsylvania

I live in Chester County, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia. My county is particularly suited for biking. What makes this county so unique is the amount of tertiary roads. This is not found in many areas. Most areas have roads and few secondary roads but not the spider web of little tiny side roads winding down along creeks and past farms and cows and horses and sheep and goats and herons and swans and foals. This is unparalleled in my opinion. I have biked in Santa Barbara, CA, Delray Beach, FL and Ann Arbor and I have yet to see an area that can duplicate the intricate maze of back roads.

The routes are endless that you can ride and not once repeat yourself. The wildlife and birds along the rides include foxes, deer, herons, eagles, bluebirds, red tail hawks and Baltimore orioles to name a few. The horse farms are almost uncountable. Mares and foals and riders on horseback dot the countryside. Creeks meander almost down each and every turn. Some back roads are so back, that nary a car passes.

If you live near or in Chester County and you are not biking, you are missing one fine pasttime. You can bike whether young or old, all you need is a good bike preferably a road bike. With the right equipment you have a life long sport to keep in you in shape as you age.

So what are you waiting for????

Monday, April 11, 2011

clean your bike you moron

Dirty Bike

Sorry about that, but if you do not bother to keep your bike chain and drive train clean, you are begging for trouble. If you spend some serious cash for your bike, then why would you not take the time to learn how to care for it?

Depending on the once a year modified cleaning your bike store will do for your $25 checkup is foolish. First of all, the bike store is not going to do much for $25. If you never clean your bike, ya'd better fork over some dough and get a full drive train cleaning where the bike parts are removed and cleaned in a solution. But even this is NOT enough.

It only takes a few rides for gunk to build up on your chain and in and out of your derailleurs. Your chain has to be cleaned and lubed frequently if you are riding once or twice a week. Some folks clean and lube chain after each ride.

Go out right now and look at your bike. Is the chain all black and covered with what looks like black dirt? Are your back small wheels that wrap your chain covered in grim? Are your brake pads clean? And the list goes on and on.

I ran a bike clinic yesterday and one fellow showed up with a bike covered in black grim. Plus he was also using his bike pump incorrectly therefore he had not put air in his tires since last October. The pressure in his tires was round 50 PSI and he did not even know it.

Why spend gobs of money on a bike and then ignore it??

It is not like I am some mechanical genius but I have taken the time to learn how to maintain my bike. I can change a tire, I can clean my bike and I can lube my bike. If I do not know something I ask someone who knows bikes to help me. How hard is that!

Take care of your bike!

Friday, April 8, 2011

the joy of the bike ride

Lots is written today on making our communities green, providing bike lanes and what not. But while many sit around and wait for ideal biking conditions, time is passing when you could be biking. Conditions are never going to be perfect unless on a bike trail. But bike trails are far and few between and are often crowded with families and children and dog walkers.

The best place to ride is ultimately the roads. Now many of you may not live in places that are conveniently located to great road biking. Nothing is preventing you from throwing your bike into the back of your car and driving a few miles to an ideal locale.

If you live on a busy highway or on top of a big hill, find a spot near by where you can park your car and hop on your bike.

Get a map or study Google Maps and plot out a nice ride. There are many sites online that allow you to make a map and print a cue sheet. But good old-fashioned map reading seems to be a dying skill. Try resurrecting it and you will be surprised what horizons open up for you.

Many of you are busy, busy and more busy. Still there is nothing stopping you from taking a few hours once a week and doing a short bike ride. When my children were young, I would get up on Sunday morning at 5 am and go out and do a 2 hour ride. I was home before they woke up. Once my kids were older, I took them on bike rides.

Find a way in your busy schedule to squeeze in one bike ride each week. Trust me, over time you will want to ride more and will start to plan more time for your rides.

A habit starts slowly, one ride at a time and over time more rides. There is nothing comparable to a solo ride to help you unwind or enjoy your own private thoughts whilst you meander along on a country road.