Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday Video - Cycling Africa

Encountering friendly natives along the route
Here's a short (3 minutes, 16 seconds) video that shows highlights of a couple's bike trip from Nairobi, Kenya to Tanga, Tanzania. There is a link to their Better Life Cycle website. According to the site, their cycling trip began in 2009. This video was uploaded in 2012. Apparently, nothing has been added to the website since 2013.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Puncture Kit - The Bicycle Drummer

The fixed gear bicycle in drumming mode
David Osbourne is an Australian transplant who has been living in the United Kingdom since 2008. Shortly after his arrival he purchased a fixed-gear bicycle. It was while he had it turned upside down to fix a flat tire that the vision came to him. He could mount a drum set onto the bike frame. Now he rides to a gig with the drums removed. Once there, he removes the front wheel, attaches the drums, and he's ready to play. There is more information about him on his website. Here is a video of him performing:

Monday, December 26, 2016

Bicycle Assembly

Santa uses a bicycle when his reindeer are unavailable
We hope that Santa brought you everything you wanted this Christmas. If Santa delivered you a bicycle but didn't assembled it (He's very busy on Christmas Eve), we can help. Give us a call at 317-786-9244 and we'll give you a quote on assembling it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Photo - Bikes on a Plane

Bicycle Racks Aren't Just for Cars (Photo courtesy of BisiKLETA)
When they say "You may now get on the plane," George Carlin said he would reply "I'm getting in the plane, let Evel Knievel get on the plane." Well, here's a photo of aircraft with bikes on, not in, the plane.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Video - Watch for Kangaroos When Riding Down Under

Australian cyclists passing a kangaroo warning sign
Anytime you are riding in wooded areas, you need to be prepared to encounter wildlife suddenly coming out onto the road. In our area, whitetail deer are the biggest hazard. In cyclists have to watch out for kangaroos. In both cases they can suddenly appear out of nowhere. Take a look at the video below. Fortunately the cyclist did not suffer serious injuries, but she did need eight stitches in her knee. The kangaroo hopped away, but it was eventually hit by a car and killed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Christmas Bicycle Trip

Lots of switchbacks on the Pines to Palms Highway
Looking for a bicycle trip after Christmas? Check out the San Diego Hostel's Christmas Bicycle Trip. It starts the day after Christmas, and covers over 400 miles. You will see the wide variety of terrain that southern California has, including coasts, deserts and mountains. The event is a fundraiser for the hostel. 2016's event will be the 60th time this ride has been held.

To get a good look at the climbing required, check out the route profiles at California Bike Rides. The first day is the shortest, only 50 miles, but it looks like it's uphill the whole day. You start around sea level, and end up at about 4,000 feet. There are two category 3 climbs and one category 4. Day three is the longest (102 miles), but after mile 15 it's downhill for the next ten miles. The toughest climb of the tour is at the start of day four. It's a category 1 climb, with nearly 4,000 feet of climbing in the first 15 miles. After that, there are three more category 4 climbs before the day finishes with around twenty miles of downhill.

Below is a video that shows some of the 2010 edition of the ride. At one point during the third day, you can see a road sign that indicates they are going down an 8% grade.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday Video - The $50 Amphibious Bicycle

PVC Tubing and Foam Provide Flotation
This week's video has a Part 1 and a Part 2. It features a couple enterprising young men developing a low cost amphibious bicycle. In Part 1 the flotation system, which uses foam panels for buoyancy, mounted onto PVC tubing with zip ties, seems to work fine. The problem appears to be driving the bike forward when it's in the water.

In Part 2 they attempt to solve this problem with an electric drill mounted in the stern. Unfortunately, they have a very tiny propeller attached to the drill bit. It must have been the only propeller they could find. It doesn't generate much forward velocity, and eventually there is a catastrophic failure, which results in the bike sinking. They don't show the actual failure, just the aftermath with the bike in the water. Anyway, it's back to the drawing board for these two after this field trial.

Monday, December 5, 2016

December Cycling in Indianapolis

There are not a lot of cycling events going on in Indianapolis during December, but there are a few. IndyCog has several rides on their calendar, including:

  • Thirsty Thursday Urban Ride Downtown (Weekly)
  • The Radder Day Ride (Monthly)
  • Streamlines Bike Ride (Monthly)
  • Critical Mass (Monthly)
  • Bikeparty Indianapolis (December 9)
The Central Indiana Bicycling Association also has some rides in December. One particular ride of note is the Luminary Ride. It goes from Broad Ripple to Irvington to see the Irvington Winter Luminaria. The ride has been held annual for many years. The event has been held since 1976, so this year marks their 40th anniversary. The ride will be held on December 18, the Sunday before Christmas. You will need lights for this ride.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday Photo - Cargo Bike Wheelie

Wheelies are tougher to do with a cargo bike
This week's photo comes from the blog of the Copenhagenize Design Company. It was from the 2012 Cargo Bike Championships. This is a Bullitt cargo bike, which you can buy from a couple guys named Larry & Harry in Copenhagen, or from one of their dealers around the world.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday Video - Irish Cargo Bike Championship

Contestants in the Irish Cargo Bike Championship
Here's a video of the 2013 Irish Cargo Bike Championships. Cargo bikes are elongated bicycles with an area between the rider and the front wheel for carrying cargo. These bikes are commonly used in Holland, and Denmark started having championship races a number of years ago. Since then it has spread around the globe to places like Vancouver, Canada and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Typically, the races have a couple laps where the contestants have to ride, load up the bike, and ride to another point to unload. Sometimes the cargo can be heavy or bulky. In the photo above, one team is transporting a ladder. Other times they might have to transport automobile tires.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Cyclotron

The Cyclotron
This week's bike is weird, but highly innovative. The makers say they file for more than 15 patents. It is made of carbon fiber composite, and features hubless, spokeless wheels. The tires are solid polymer, so they don't require air. Everything is integrated, so there are no gear or brake cables outside the frame. I have no idea how it rides, but the technology looks impressive.. This project was recently funded on IndieGoGo, and products are expected to be available in 2017.

Here's a video that shows the cyclotron out on the road:

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Florida Trails

In Florida you will encounter an occasional alligator on bike trails
It's almost December and some folks will soon be heading to Florida for some warmer weather. I ran across the Bike Florida website, which listed the top ten bike trails in the state (according to Mudfish & Bobcat). One trail on the list is the Pinellas Trail. It is a paved, 47 mile-long trail, running from St. Petersburg to Tarpon Springs. It is in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

Mudfish & Bobcat especially recommend the northern third of the trail from the depot in Dunedin to Tarpon Springs. There is also a short spur trail that connects to Honeymoon Island State Park. They also recommend getting just off the trail a bit to visit the Historic Tarpon Springs Sponge Dock. The sponge industry was started by Greeks, so it is no surprise there are plenty of good Greek restaurants in the area.

At the south end of the trail, Demens Landing Park offers a nice view of Tampa Bay. In St. Petersburg you might want to visit the Salvador Dali Museum. It has over two thousand works of the artist from throughout his career, including 96 oil paintings.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cycling Christmas Ornaments

Cycling Christmas Ornament
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, many of you have no doubt put up your Christmas tree and decorated it. We have lots of bicycling and mountain biking Christmas ornaments available over at our website, that you might want to add to your tree or give to your friends as gifts. You can choose from over 30 different cycling ornaments. If you had a Schwinn Stingray bicycle when you were a kid, be sure to take a look at our Stingray Christmas ornament.

At Fun-Christmas-Ornaments you can also find ornaments for over one hundred different fun activities - Everything from archery to zip lines. We also have over thirty different occupation ornaments, from Air Force to X-ray technician, and many collegiate ornaments as well. There you should be able to find something for everyone on your Christmas list for about $10.

If you're wondering why a bicycle shop is selling Christmas ornaments, it's simple. We don't sell a lot of  bicycles or accessories during the winter (Although we would like to!), so selling ornaments helps us stay busy during November and December. Now if we could just figure out what to do about January and February.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Ho Chi Minh Trail

Rebecca Rusch in front of a rice paddy
Mountain biking champion Rebecca Rusch just completed leading a group on an eight day, 330 mile trip on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The event was a fund-raiser for efforts to safely remove unexploded ordinance from the Vietnam War. In 2015 she rode the entire length of the trail (over 700 miles) and visited the site where her father's plane crashed. Her father, a jet pilot, died during the war. A full-length feature film entitled Blood Road is scheduled to be released in 2017. It documents her 2015 journey.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cycling Infrastructure on Indy's South Side

Cycling Routes on Indy's South Side
Recently I attended IndyCog's membership meeting. I had a chance to talk with Mayor Joe Hogsett and his pedestrian / cycling coordinator, Jamison Hutchins. Both received awards from IndyCog that night for contributions to cycling in Indianapolis. I mentioned to them that the south side of Indianapolis doesn't have the bike routes and trails like the north side and downtown portions of town. In the map above, blue represents the most "bikeable" routes while red indicates least bikeable. The south side does have the bike lane along Madison Avenue, so there is a north - south route. Unfortunately, there is no good route from east to west.

There are two barriers to cycling east to west in southern Marion County. On the west side, there is White River. The only bridge across White River between I-465 and Waverly is at Southport Road. Traffic is bad at that location and the road is narrow. On the east side there is I-65, which has 7 overpasses:
  • Thompson Road
  • Edgewood Avenue
  • Gray Road
  • Southport Road
  • Emerson Avenue
  • Stop 11 Road
  • County Line Road 
Southport Road and County Line Road have interchanges with I-65, so they have considerable auto traffic. Of the remainder, I think Edgewood Avenue is the best option. From the west side, you can pass through a subdivision and get onto Edgewood only 0.2 miles from the overpass. Between White River and the Edgewood overpass, Banta Road makes a pretty good option. East of the overpass on Edgewood, it isn't very good between Emerson Avenue and Franklin Road.

The map below shows a route from West Newton to Acton. Let's lobby the city government to improve the bikeability of a couple sections:
  • Southport Road from Mann Road to Tibbs (1.6 miles)
  • Edgewood Avenue from Emerson Avenue to Franklin Road (3.4 miles)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Photo - A Bicycle Sidecar for Your Dog

Want to take your best buddy along for a ride?
Here's an interesting way to take your dog along on your bike ride. It's a sidecar for your bicycle that you can make yourself. For instructions on how to construct it, visit the Instructables website. The guy who came up with the design (He goes by the online name of Traverdose) looked at purchasing a dog basket for his bike. Unfortunately, his dog Dewey weighs 15 pounds, which was too heavy. He based his design off another sidecar design for carrying a child, which he slimmed down for Dewey.  He also wanted a sidecar he could build without welding, since he didn't have the necessary equipment. Also, he wanted to be able to attach and remove it from the bike quickly and without tools.

Wondering where to get cool sunglasses like the one in your photo for your dog? Those are Doggles and you can find them on their website.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday Video - Baby Loves Cycling

Happy baby out on a bike ride

This week's video shows a mother in the Netherlands riding around with her baby. He's securely strapped in between the handlebars, and there is a fairing in front to keep the wind off him. He seems to enjoy riding. The cycling infrastructure in Holland is fantastic. At 2:07 into the video, you can see they have a strategically place mirror for cyclists. One thing that I don't understand is the lack of helmets. You see numerous riders in the video, and not a single one wears a helmet.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Wooly Mammoth Bike

The Woolly Mammoth Bicycle
Now here's a bike that's really creative - The woolly mammoth bicycle. This creation is from the 2015 Burning Man Festival. Burning Man is an annual festival held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. According to their website, the festival is "A temporary metropolis, dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance."

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Mayan City of Tikal

An Ominous Warning Sign
Ernest Markwood is an adventurous guy. You can read about his travels on his Africa and Beyond - by Bicycle blog. He visited the ruins of the Mayan city of Tikal, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of Tikal's buildings date back to the fourth century B.C. The ruins are in the middle of Guatemala's Tikal National Park. Ernest reported that after entering the park, it was another ten miles to the visitor center. He also mentioned that the area is rainy, but fortunately the camp sites had thatched roofs and concrete floors. The buildings were scattered over a sizable area & Ernest said it takes at least four hours to see everything.

Ernest's web page on this trip shows several interesting photos of Tikal's monuments and local wildlife, including a troop of coatimundis. The photo with the snake sign really caught my attention. I don't know if the sign is warning about any particular type of snake, or just snakes in general. They have an exceptionally deadly snake known as the fer-de-lance in the region. It can grow up to six feet in length. With its inch long fangs, it delivers a large dose of venom when it bites. Whatever the meaning of this sign, I think I would be turning around, no matter how fantastic the ruins of Tikal are.

Ernest Markwood's last reported position was in Laos on September 2.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Spin Class

Looking for a spin class? - One starts at our store on Monday, November 14

Beginning Monday, November 14, there will be a spin class that meets three times a week at Circle City Bicycles. Classes will be on:
  • Monday, 6:00 PM - Lasting about one hour
  • Wednesday, 6:00 PM - Lasting about one hour
  • Saturday, 9:00 AM - Lasting about one hour and 15 minutes
Anyone is welcome to attend free for a week. If you wish to continue after that, the cost is $150 for the class, which runs until April.This class is brought to you by the same people who do the Beginner and Intermediate Cycling Meetup.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Photo - Scuba Cycling

Scuba Cycling - The Newest Olympic Sport?
I'm not sure where this photo was taken, but I found it in an article titled 19 Bizarre Laws from Countries Around the Globe That Make No Sense! Apparently, it is illegal in Baldwin Park, California to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool. My first thought on reading this was "Is this really a big problem in Baldwin Park?" Not being familiar with Baldwin Park, I looked it up on Wikipedia. It is a city of around 75,000 people in Los Angeles County. The Wikipedia article did not mention any problems with people riding bicycles in swimming pools.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thursday Video - Artisnal Circus Cycling with Max Poulin's Fixie Tricks

This riding position is not recommended for long periods of time
Max Poulin performs some amazing tricks in this video. He uses a fixed gear bicycle with a wine holder that suspends one bottle of wine under the top tube. I'm not sure why the wine holder and bottle are there. Mr. Poulin is a circus performer who does things like:
  • Riding backwards
  • Riding with the front wheel up in the air
  • Riding with the rear wheel in the air
  • Riding backwards with the front wheel in the air
  • Riding while standing on the handlebars & seat
  • Riding with body horizontal while holding the seat and handlebars
  • Riding backwards with body horizontal while holding the seat and handlebars
  • Riding inverted while holding the handlebars
  • Riding while standing on the handlebars
For these and more, watch this one minute and fifty-one second video:

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The High Crank Bike

Novel placement of the crank
I ran across this photo on the Internet, which intrigued me. I have not been able to find any information about this cyclist or his bike. I have come up with several theories about why he has the crank where the saddle should be:
  • He needs to be higher in the air so he can see farther
  • He wants to be higher so he is more visible to traffic
  • He couldn't afford a saddle, so he just mounted the crank there.
  • He's a really bad mechanic.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Columbus Indiana

Riding on Columbus Indiana's People Trail
If you're looking for a place not too far from Indianapolis for some day riding, consider Columbus, Indiana. Their People Trail system now includes 27 miles of trails. Columbus is renowned for its modern architecture, so there are plenty of interesting sites along the trails. In their 2012 article The Best Bike Ride in Every State, Bicycling Magazine named Columbus into eastern Brown County as the best ride in Indiana.  I also recommend riding from Columbus up to Hope, which is located in the northeast corner of Bartholomew County. Many cyclists are familiar with the town from the Hope Ride, which is one of the most popular one-day cycling events in the state.

There are a couple places in downtown Columbus that you don't want to miss. One is Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor, which has been there since 1900. Many of the beautiful furnishings in the store go back over 100 years. Their self-playing pipe organ was installed in 1908. Another site you'll want to see is Chaos I, a large kinetic sculpture inside Columbus Commons. It features a lot of interesting but pointless motion. Still photographs do not do it justice, so here's a video of it (It's even better in person):

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Photo - Shop Kitty

No, we don't sell cats
We now have a shop kitty, which you may see roaming around when you visit our store. Her name is Tootsie and she occasionally "attacks" customers, but it's always just playful (Her front paws have been de-clawed). You might find her looking at at you from inside one of the display cases, as seen in the photo above. Tootsie is about one and a half years old. She's a little shy at first, but she does like to be petted.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday Video - The Bike Butterfly

Michael Wallis, inventor of the Bike Butterfly
This week's video shows is about the bike butterfly. It's a short video, just over a minute long. For most of it, inventor Michael Wallis talks about his creation and the motivation behind it. Wallis commutes to work by bicycle everyday, and reports that pedestrians are a bigger problem than motorists. When deployed, the bike butterfly makes him more visible and slows him down. They give an internet address at the end, but the website is no longer functioning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Crochet Bicycle

A crochet bicycle in New York City
This week's weird bike is not a rideable bicycle, but a piece of art. I found this photo out on the Lion Brand Yarns website. The person who submitted the photo said she saw it on the Lower East Side of New York City. It is the creation of a Brooklyn crochet artist known as Olek. She has done a number of interesting projects,such as covering an entire house in Finland with pink crochet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Tunnel Hill Trail

Tunnel Hill Trail in Illinois
If you are looking for an interesting bike trail not too far away, consider the Tunnel Hill Trail in southern Illinois. It's a 45-mile trail that runs from Harrisburg to Karnak. It is built on a rail line that was donated by Norfolk Southern to the state of Illinois in 1991, after it had stopped using the line.The most notable feature of the trail is its single tunnel. The tunnel was over 800 feet long when it was originally built.  A portion of it collapsed in 1929 (The same year the stock market collapsed), and it is now only 543 feet long. The trail also has 23 trestles, with the largest being 450 feet long and 90 feet high. About half of the trail runs through the Shawnee National Forest.

For more information about the trail, please visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Tunnel Hill State Trail web page. Here's a two and a half minute video that shows cycling on the trail:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Tweed Ride this Saturday

Don't Miss It!
IndyCog will hold its annual Tweed Ride on Saturday, October 29.If you are wondering what a tweed ride is, it's a bicycle ride with traditional British cycling attire. However, anyone is welcome to come with any kind of attire or any kind of bike. However, if you do have an old bicycle, that would fit right in. You might even see a penny farthing on the ride. Lunch starts at 11:00 AM and the ride begins at noon. It is a leisurely, no-drop ride, with stops at the Bent Rail Brewery and Union Jack pub.There will be prizes for:
  • Best beard
  • Chappiest Chap (best gentleman's attire)
  • Lassiest Lass (best ladies attire)
You can find more information about the ride at the IndyCog website, where you can register for the ride online.  The cost is $15 for IndyCog members and $20 for everyone else.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Photo - Bicycle on Semi

Special Delivery?
I have no idea what the story behind this photo is, but it's good to see a bicycle getting special treatment. At Circle City Bicycles we have bike racks for all kinds of vehicles, but I don't think we have any for semis. This photo is courtesy of BikeRoar.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Video - Can You Ride a Bike After Throwing it Off a Three-Story Building?

The testing begins
Here's a scientist(?) who wants to find out if you can still ride a bike after throwing it off a three-story building onto pavement. I don't know exactly what inspired his curiosity. Perhaps it was Galileo's experiments where he dropped things off the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This was one of the films for the 2013 version of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival. If you would like to enter your masterpiece for 2017, just visit their website. The films have be 12 minutes or less in length and have something to do with bicycles. Those are the only requirements.

If you want to know the answer to this man's burning question, you'll have to watch the video. I'm not going to spoil it by telling you the result.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Weird Bike Wedneday - The Hula Bike

The Hula Bike from Bicycle Forest
This week's bike comes from the ingenious (and slightly warped) minds of the folks at Bicycle Forest. As you can see from the photo above, it lacks the pedals that are found on most bikes. You're probably asking "How do you make it go forward?" Well, the key is the rear wheel. Note that the hub is not in the exact center of the wheel. This allows you to move forward by jumping up and down with the proper rhythm. Still not convinced it will work? Well, take a look at this video, you Doubting Thomas, and you will become a true believer.

Monday, October 17, 2016

First Meeting of New Women's Bike Club

Circle City Bicycles
WE Bike Indy, a ladies cycling club, will hold its first meeting this Thursday at Circle City Bicycles. The meeting will start at 6:30 P.M. when the shop closes for business. It's free to join the club, which you can do over at the WE Bike Indy meetup page. The club meets on the third Thursday each month.

This month's meeting will be an organizational meeting. There will be time for socializing and the group will discuss their visions for the club as well as what events will the club will have in October and November. There will also be a few rounds of Bike Parts Bingo (whatever that is) with prizes. Free refreshments will be provided by Circle City Bicycles.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Video - Dog Causes Crash

Gordan the dog wandering onto the road during a stage of the 2007 Tour de France
This week's video goes back to the 2007 Tour de France. During stage 9, a Labrador retriever named Gordan wandered onto the course right in front of three riders. The first two dodged him, but the last guy hit him right in the middle of his body. It is amazing how fast the front wheel folded over like a taco. Gordan walked away unhurt and unfazed, but the cyclist (Marcus Burghardt) went flying over his handlebars and took a nasty spill. Fortunately, Marcus was able to finish the tour. Later on, during stage 18 of that race, there was another dog-induced crash. Two riders who were part of breakaway went down. Sandy Casar, one of the riders who went down, got back on his bike and ended up winning the stage.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - AeroVelo Eta

The AeroVelo Eta surpassed 89 miles per hour last month
This week's bike is weird, but incredibly fast. In 2013, AeroVelo set out to create a bike that could beat the world speed record, which was just over 83 miles per hour at the time. At the 2014 World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, things did not go well, but they learned some valuable lessons. AeroVelo returned in 2015 and exceeded 85 miles per hour, and them 86 miles per hour. They returned again in 2016, and came within 0.5 mph of hitting 90 miles per hour. That's traveling well above highway speed on a bicycle.

There numerous engineering challenges in designing this bike. A recumbent bike is used to reduce frontal area. To keep weight and aerodynamic drag down, it needed to be as small as possible, but yet big enough to allow a human to pedal without hitting the shell with his feet or knees. The shell was made of carbon fiber to keep its weight down. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis was used to minimize aero drag. A window to allow the rider to see the road would increase drag, so there are two cameras to show the cyclist what's going on outside. Another issue was making sure the operator had adequate ventilation with a minimal increase in drag. You can see a small tube sticking up at the rear of the vehicle. 

 Here's a video that shows the bike in action:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pedal & Park at Mural on the Circle This Saturday

The Indiana Red Cross celebrates its centennial on Saturday, October 15
This Saturday the Indiana Red Cross will be celebrating its centennial with a downtown event called Mural on the Circle. The event is free, and runs from 6 to 10 P.M. Pedal & Park will be providing attended bicycle parking at no charge. Click here for more information about the event.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Video - Bicycle Kite

Our video this week is the bicycle kite. It was developed and flown in Asia. Not only does it fly, but the pedals rotate and the legs move. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Pterosail

The Pterosail is a recumbent trike with a sail
Here's a pretty weird bike: The Pterosail. I saw this at Interbike a number of years ago. I always thought it was not very practical (Great downwind, lousy upwind), but apparently some were commercially available. It appears they are now shut down. Their website is gone, and their latest Facebook post was in 2011. Here's a video (Note how they only show it going downwind).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Touring Tuesday - South Carolina to Key West

Whoever designed this road must hate cyclists
In 2013 Jim Sayer of the Adventure Cycling Association rode from Charleston, South Carolina to Key West with his 14 year old daughter and eight other cyclists. He reported that Florida was pretty bicycle friendly, but South Carolina and Georgia were a little deficient (Compare the photo above with the one below). Although the rumble strips forced them off the shoulder, drivers were extremely courteous and gave them plenty of room (Look at the semi above). Jim also reported that southerners lived up to their reputation for "Southern Hospitality", and the food along the way was excellent.

Florida has lots of bike lanes

Monday, October 3, 2016

Harvest Fest Bike Ride

2015 Harvest Fest Ride
The 2016 Harvest Fest Bike Ride will be this coming Saturday, October 8. It will start and finish at McClure's Orchard near Peru, Indiana. This is a family friendly event, so the riding options are a little shorter than usual:
  • 10 miles
  • 17 miles
  • 28 miles
An optional lunch will be available after the ride. The orchard will also have some activities going on, including:
  • Petting zoo
  • Wine & hard cider testing
  • Orchard tours
  • Horse rides
The event is put on by Breakaway Bicycles, Peru's local bike shop. You can register online.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Photo - Waterproof Light

This bike light is definitely waterproof
The Light and Motion company used this display at Interbike to show that its cycling lights are waterproof. They started out by  making lights for scuba divers, so it's no surprise that their cycling lights are waterproof. Their lights are made in America. We'll be getting some in the store soon.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Video - Cyclist with Two Sheep

A Cyclist with two passengers
In a previous post we showed a guy riding a bike with a goat on his back. This guy does him one better. He rides along with two sheep:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Weird Bike - The Bomb

A recumbent trike with an unusual outer shell

Last week at Interbike I ran across an odd bike. It is a three-wheeled recumbent with an exterior shell that makes it look like a bomb. It's part of a fleet of bikes for Forgotten Not Gone. This group helps veterans, especially those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, by getting them involved in cycling. They are trying to reduce the 22 veteran suicides that occur each day. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Photo - Bike with Styrofoam Boxes

There's a rider on a bicycle rickshaw in there\
This week's photo comes from an Internet article called Weird Shanghai: Lumbering Styrofoam Fortresses. The cyclist is transporting styrofoam boxes, which are not heavy, but take up a lot space. I hope he isn't claustrophobic.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday Video - Carbon Wheel Explosion

When the front wheel explodes, the captain heads up the track to slow down
This week's video shows a couple track cyclists riding a tandem when their carbon front wheel lets go. You can hear it snap when they are entering the turn on the left end. The tandem captain immediately takes it up the track. As they come around to the front stretch, you can see tire and tube flying off. and they finally go down and slide to the inside of the track.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Punching Bike

New attachment for clearing your way through a crowd
Here's one of the more unusual bicycles I have seen. Riders on the Tour de France might want to use something like this to clear a path through the spectators that clog the road on major climbs. I just found this out on Flickr without any explanation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

6 Cycling Tips for Anyone and Everyone

These Tips Are For You! Especially if it has Been A While!

1. Get out there and ride!

Don't make any excuses. The best way to get yourself in the mood to ride your bike is to DO IT! The more you do it, the more you'll want to!

If you find it difficult to find enough time during the day, start easy with a 15 minute ride. Once you start, you will want to ride more and more! Try to increase that until you are riding 30-60 minutes 2-3 times per week.

2. Don't want to ride alone? Find a group!

Sometimes riding by yourself can be less fun, and make you feel like staying home. Find a couple friends to ride with or look for an existing cycling group to get encouraged!

3. Invest in some gear

Throw away that old helmet from 1999. Its time to get yourself a new helmet, some cycling appropriate apparel, and some lights for night riding. You will also want to get some cycling tools like a pump, tire lever and a waterbottle. You will feel more confident on the road and investing money into the hobby will make you want to ride more!

4. Safety first!

This one may seem obvious, but make sure you are following all the rules of the road and paying very close attention to pedestrians, other cyclists and motorists. You never know what can happen out there on the road, so stay vigilant!

5. Lock it or lose it

Doesn't matter where you are. The trail, the city, somewhere secluded or packed... Don't leave your bike unattended or unlocked. Thieves are everywhere, and you don't want to make your bike an easy target!

6. Get regular tune ups

Make sure your bike is in proper working order before each ride. There are checklists available online that give you timetables for how often you should check various aspects of the bike's mechanics. Bring your bike to us at Circle City Bicycles so we can make sure everything is working and in good shape!!

Stay tuned to our blog for more cycling tips!

Touring Tuesday - Cyprus

Visiting a church in Cyprus
Cyprus is an island located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient times, it was a major source of copper, which may have been the origin of its name. A British gentleman name Phil Prosser posted A Brief Bummel in Cyprus on the Crazy Guy on a Bike website. If you're like me, you're wondering "What the heck is a bummel"? It's a journey with no specific destination.

Phil and his companion took a leisurely pace, covering only 136 miles in six days. They toured the island in late February / early March. After completing the trip, they decided they would go a little later in the year if they visited again, since it was a little cool (You see them wearing jackets in their photos). Humans have inhabited Cyprus since 10,000 B.C., so there were a number of historical sites to visit.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Apple Cider Century

Happy riders on the 2015 Apple Cider Century
Some of the Circle City Bicycles staff will be in the vendor area at the Apple Cider Century on Sunday, September 25. It starts in Three Oaks Michigan, which is just across the Michigan-Indiana state line. The ride was first held in 1974, and has become the Midwest's largest one-day ride, with over 5,000 cyclists. Riders have their choice of 15, 25, 37, 50, 62, 75 or 100 miles routes, so there is something for everyone. Here's a 31-second video that shows some images from previous events: