Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Internet Here?

Internet in the middle of a forest?
This photo comes from Janos Kertesz, who toured through the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, then on into Poland during 2004. Janos was born in Romania, but moved to Germany in 1964 (Apparently socialism didn't agree with him). You can read about his journey on the CrazyGuyOnaBike website.

The sign in the photo seems totally out of place. Janos explains that the Estonian Constitution calls for free Internet access for all citizens. Apparently there are computers available for use free of charge in many businesses. This sign points to a nearly hidden trail heading into the woods.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Indy Criterium

2015 Indy Criterium (Photo courtesy of Karen Boleyn)
The Indy Criterium Bicycle Festival will be held on Saturday, July 9 at Monument Circle. This is a daylong event with lots of festivities. There are criterium races in several different classes, with the grand finale starting at 6:15 PM. At 9:00 AM there is a CIBA ride with 14, 32 and 52 mile options. At 9:30 there is the Freewheelin' Family Fun Ride of 1-3 miles in length. There are also several BMX stunt shows throughout the day, and there will be numerous food vendors. Click Here for the full schedule.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Photo - Locked Bike

Vancouver bicycle sculpture (courtesy of Dustin Quasar)
When I first saw this photo, I thought a cyclist had his previous bike stolen and suffered a mental breakdown. I figured this must be the bicycle of someone who had become obsessed with security. It turns out this is a sculpture in Vancouver, Washington. I don't know where the artist got all the locks, but I hope he didn't have to pay the retail price on all of them.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday Video - Balance Bikes

Handles for balance bikes are available
Last week we had a customer asking for a handle to attach to a balance bike. These make it possible to hold your child steady without bending over into a very uncomfortable position. We didn't have one in stock, but we were happy to order one for her. If you are ever looking for a product and don't see it in our store, please ask one of our associates if they can order it for you.

If you are not familiar with balance bikes, they are basically small bikes without pedals. They are much better for teaching kids to ride than training wheels. Here's a video that shows how to teach a child to ride with a balance bike. The video was produced in the United Kingdom by the CTC, which is now known as Cycling UK.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Schiller S1 Water Bike

Schiller S1 Water Bike
Do you realize that if your bicycle can only operate on land, over 70% of the planet is off-limits to you? Judah Schiller has come up with a solution to this problem. With the Schiller S1 the rider sits upright just like you would on a standard bicycle. The front sprocket is attached by a gates belt to a smaller rear sprocket that drives a propeller. The propeller can be flipped up out of the water (as shown in the photo). Price for the S1 starts at $4.500 and you can add accessories such as a fishing pole holder. It comes in three different frame sizes. Here's a video that shows it in action.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Out on the Katy Trail

Riding on Missouri's Katy Trail
Doesn't it look like wonderful cycling in the photo? There is greenery all around, a packed limestone trail on an old railway line, and nobody around. This is Missouri's Katy Trail, which now runs from Clinton in the west to Machens in the east. The trail is 382 miles long, and much of it follows the Missouri River. Since it follows an old railbed, the grade is pretty gentle. I had the pleasure of riding much of the trail a number of years ago. At that time the western terminus was Sedalia, and it ended at St. Charles in the east. There are a number of small towns along the trail, usually about ten miles or so apart. When the railroad was first built, locomotives could only go about ten miles before needing  re-supply of wood and water. You can read about the adventures of Darren Alff and Josh Miller on the Katy Trail at Bicycle Touring Pro.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Need Bar Tape?

I ran across this image on Pinterest. Too bad he didn't come to Circle City Bicycles. We have handlebar tape in lots of colors. The Lizard Skins DSP (Durable Soft Polymer) bar tape is especially popular. At $39.95 it isn't cheap, but it's durable and people really like the feel. There are samples on the outside of the packages, so you can feel it yourself when you come in. If you are on a tight budget, we also have handlebar tape that sells for $11.95.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Photo - Snake on a Bike

Nobody's going to steal this bike
This week's photo comes from The Slightly Warped Website. There is no information about where this photo is taken or the circumstances surrounding it. I have developed a few theories, none of which seem very plausible:
  • The cyclist has brought along his snake to protect his bike when he parked it.
  • The snake can actually ride the bike.
  • The rider is visiting the zoo and accidentally parked his bike in the snake enclosure.
  • The snake is trying to figure out how to eat the bike.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday Video - Cyclist Powers Toaster

German Sprint Cyclist Robert Forstemann Powering Toaster (Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)
In today's video you will see Robert Forstemann attempting to generate enough power to toast one piece of bread. As you can tell from looking at his body, Robert is a sprinter. You might think he shouldn't have much trouble toasting one lousy piece of bread, but it isn't that easy. The toaster requires 700 watts over a period of time. During stage 10 of the 2015 Tour de France, Team Sky estimated that Chris Froome averaged just over 400 watts during the last 40 minutes.

Rube Goldberg would be very proud of these guys.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Welcome Back Ryan Nyquist!

37 Year Old "Rookie" Finishes 2nd Place - Still Riding Haro BMX

Still looking great too. WELCOME BACK RYAN!

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Sperm Bike

The sperm bike making a delivery
You may be asking "What do you do with a sperm bike?" Well, it turns out you deliver sperm with it. The compartment behind the front wheel and in front of the rider has a removable lid. A canister containing the sperm which is cooled with liquid nitrogen fits inside. This bike is used by the Seattle Sperm Bank to move samples from their lab to fertility clinics. The bike was designed in Denmark and first used by their sister company in Copenhagen, the European Sperm Bank. The video below shows it in action.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Cycling the Amazon

The Kisinski brothers and friend on their "Amazon Bikes"
There are a lot of people out there taking amazing journeys on their bicycles. One of the most unique that I have seen is the Kisinski brothers trip which covered the entire length of the Amazon. The brothers grew up in Communist Poland during the 1970s. They dreamed of the free world where "You can eat chocolate with no limit, where the doors to stores open automatically for you, and not to mention about the moving stairs."

They developed bikes that could be converted from road to river operation and back to road. These were tested them on the Warta River in Poland. Once ready, they road their bikes through Peru up into the Andes Mountain, before reaching the headwaters of the Amazon. They had a local guy (In the middle of the photo) make some modifications to the bikes for the faster flowing Amazon. The brothers started their adventure in September of 2015, and reached the Atlantic Ocean on March 4, 2016.

You can read more about the trip on their website. Keep in mind that English is not their first language, so their writing can be a bit difficult to understand at time. Also, I found their website a little challenging to navigate.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Tour of California

Peter Sagan (right) winning Stage 1 of the 2016 Tour of California (photo from CyclingNews)
The 2016 Tour of California began on Sunday is San Diego. There should be some exciting sprints in this race, since it features sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan. Surprising, neither Cavendish or Kristoff were factors in the stage 1 finish, which Sagan won with a late surge to pass Wouter Wippert just before they reached the finish line. All this week we'll have the race on from 5 to 7 in the afternoon for NBC Sports' coverage. The race concludes on Sunday in Sacramento with coverage from 4 to 6.

There are 18 cycling teams in this year's race, including BMC and Team Sky. Also competing is Team Novo Nordisk, which is composed entirely of cyclists who have diabetes. Their goal is to make it into the Tour de France by 2021.

The 2015 Tour of California was the closest finish ever. Peter Sagan, better known as a sprinter, made it up Mt. Baldy on stage 7 with a time good enough to keep him within two seconds of the leader, Julian Alaphillipe.The last stage was flat, which meant it was unlikely he could gain any time, except for time bonuses. At a mid-stage sprint, Sagan picked up a two second time bonus, while Alaphillipe got a single second to maintain his lead. At the end of the stage, Sagan was able to finish in third place by about the width of tire. This gave him the final time bonus of four seconds and the overall victory.

Peter Sagan won the 2015 Tour of California by narrowly finishing third on the final stage

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Photo - River City Bicycles

River City Bicycles in Portland, Oregon
This week's Friday photo comes from the roof of River City Bicycles in Portland, Oregon. I have been looking for ideas on something we could put on the roof of our store to attract attention. This is really well done. There's even a light under each bike so they can be lit up at night. If you ever venture out west to Portland, be sure to check out River City Bicycles. Here's a video with the owner explaining how the sculptures wound up on the roof of the building:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesday Video - Cycling Through Sicily

Cycling through the Italian island of Sicily

Actually the full title of the video is "Cycling (and Eating) Our Way Through Sicily, Italy." It comes from the folks (David & Veronica) at They went on a bicycle tour of Sicily with VBT (formerly known as Vermont Bicycle Touring) and seemed to have a pretty good time. They show several clips of their food, along with a lot of footage of the Sicilian countryside. Be sure and watch it to the very end when David tries a fresh olive right off the tree.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Beginners Mountain Bike Ride this Friday

Mountain Bike Trail at Southwestway Park

This Friday, May 13 will be the first of a series of weekly beginner mountain bike rides at Southwestway Park. 

This ride will be part of the Indianapolis Beginner & Intermediate Cycling Meetup. The ride will start at 6:30 PM and will last about an hour.

The ride will not happen if the trails are too wet. To check trail status, visit the Trail Guide on the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association website. Trail status is shown on the right hand side of the page. If it's green or yellow, the ride is a go. If it's red the ride is cancelled. Keep in mind that the trails at Southwestway tend to dry out a little faster than some other trails.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Photo - Rocket Powered Bicycle

Rocket powered bicycle about to race against a Ferrari (Photo courtesy of Gizmag)
In November of 2014, a gentleman named Francois Gissy set a world record of 207 miles per hour in a rocket powered bicycle. He was racing against a Ferrari which he left in the dust. The bike reached its top speed in less than 5 seconds. You can read more about it on the Gizmag website. The article is appropriately titled "Interview with a Madman." Here's a video that shows the bicycle in action.

I haven't been able to find out what has happened in rocket powered bicycle technology since 2014. In the article, Gissy said he hoped to ride a bike called "Spine Crusher," which could hit 250 miles per hour in two seconds. A link to his Facebook page from the YouTube video no longer works.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday Video - Cycling & Parkinson's Disease

Although he has trouble walking, this Parkinson's disease patient can ride a bike flawlessly

Here is an absolutely amazing video. A guy who had Parkinson's disease so bad he couldn't walk without aid, swore that he could ride a bike. They went to the parking lot and he showed that he could ride with no problem. The effect seems to last. Dr. Alberts of the Cleveland Clinic took a friend with Parkinson's on a tandem bike ride. The video shows his hand shaking wildly before the ride, and steady as a rock afterwards. Nobody understands why cycling has this effect, but there is ongoing research at the Cleveland Clinic to find out.

Monday, May 2, 2016

St. Helena Mountain Bike Trail

The start of St. Helena's first mountain bike race (Photo courtesy of St. Helena Island Info)
If you are like most people, the only thing you know about the St. Helena is that Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled there after the battle of Waterloo.  Today the island is home to about four thousand inhabitants. The Director of Tourism came up with the idea of creating a mountain bike trail, which was completed in September of 2014. Later that month, they had their first mountain bike race, which featured thirteen participants. The winner of the inaugural race was Alonzo Henry. You can read more about the event in this issue of The Sentinel. The description of the race is on pages 18 and 19.

Part of the trail passes by the colorful "Paint Box" (Photo courtesy of Mary's Explorings)