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:


Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Photo- Transporting Mountain Bike by Horseback

What does he do with the horse when he reaches the other side?
This Friday's photo comes from Leap Local, a travel magazine. It matches up travelers with local guides around the world. Kirsten Koza, a Canadian travel writer, took a mountain biking trip to Kyrgyzstan, despite a Canadian government advisory to avoid all unnecessary travel to that country. She had several guides, and they took good care of her. When they had to cross rivers, they hired nomads on horses to take her and her bike across the river to the other side. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Railbike

Riding the rails by bike (Photo courtesy of Coast Weekend)
This week's weird bike is a very practical, four-wheel, four person, recumbent that operates on railroad tracks. These bikes are operated by the Oregon Coast Railriders during the summer. For $20, you can take an 11-mile, two hour round trip from Bay City to Tillamook. The grads is very gentle, and  there's no way you can take a wrong turn. The railcars have the right of way at track crossings, just like regular trains. At the end of the line, the railcars are turned around on a special section of track that rotates, so they don't have to be lifted. Here's a video of the trip:

Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Photo - Superhero on Bicycle

Prepare for water landing (Photo courtesy of FunnyPica)
Here's a photo of a young superhero learning to fly. You can tell he's a superhero by the cape - No one else wears a cape these days. When learning to fly, it's a good idea to do your takeoff over something forgiving like water instead of concrete - Just in case things don't go according to plan. I think this guy is about ready for splashdown.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursday Video - Tyranosaurus Rex Riding a Highwheeler

Here's something that you don't see everyday
This video is a short one, only 13 seconds long. It features a Tyranosaurus Rex riding a highwheeler. It's amazing that when you put the "Tyrant Lizard" on a bicycle, he doesn't seem threatening at all. In fact, he looks happy. That's what cycling can do for your mood, whether you are a dinosaur or a human.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Weird Bike Wednesday - Rideable T-Rex

This has to be a big hit in local parades
From the website of LikeCool comes a giant, rideable Tyrannosaurus Rex named Sue. Apparently it was once for sale through Craigslist in Portland. Here are some facts and figures for this amazing creation:
  • 12 feet long, 8.5 feet high and 5.5 feet wide. this is the approximate size of a 12-year old T-Rex.
  • Weighs 98 pounds and can accommodate riders up to 200 pounds.
  •  Has 9 speeds and can cruise at 7 miles per hour with a top speed of around 15 mph.
  • The seat is five feet off the ground
  • The head can move from side to side and the arms can move as well.
  • It can be disassembled and transported in the bed of a pickup truck
I couldn't find any information on what the asking price was on Craigslist. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Touring Tuesday - Cycling the Natchez Trace Parkway

Taking a break at the south end of the Natchez Trace Parkway (Photo credit: Capital City Cyclists)
If you are  looking to do some long distance bicycle touring without a lot of vehicle traffic, the Natchez Trace Parkway might be right for you. It starts in Natchez, Mississippi and ends south of Nashville, Tennessee. Commercial traffic is banned from the parkway, and traffic is generally light, except around the towns of Tupelo and Jackson in Mississippi. There are a number of interesting things to see along the way. These include three Indian mounds, a couple waterfalls and the site of Meriwether Lewis' death and grave. You can also get off the parkway to visit other sites, like the birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo. If you have any questions about Elvis' humble origins, visiting his birthplace should put those to rest. The home only had two rooms, and his parents were so financially strapped they had to give it up just a few years after Elvis was born.

The parkway roughly follows the path of the Natchez Trace. The trace was used heavily by early travelers who had taken goods down the Mississippi to sell in New Orleans. Until steamboats became powerful enough to move upstream against the river's current, they had to walk or use horses to return home. This route became the Natchez Trace.

Every twenty to thirty miles there are restrooms, and often a short hiking trail. I recommend stopping for the hiking trails. They are generally short, but interesting. At one of these I saw the only alligator I have ever seen in the wild (From a distance, fortunately). If you don't mind primitive camping, you can make this a low-cost trip. There are three free campgrounds open to RVs or tent campers, and five free campgrounds open to bicyclists only. If you prefer something more civilized, there are numerous bed and breakfasts along the parkway. The only negative thing about cycling the parkway is that sometimes you have to go a few miles away from it to find a restaurant or grocery store, so you need to plan things out pretty well. For help with that, be sure to visit

Here's a video that shows a number of still photos from the Natchez Trace Parkway:

Monday, September 5, 2016

DINO - Do Indiana Offroad

DINO mountain bike race at Potato Creek State Park
If you are interested in mountain bike racing, be sure to check out the DINO (Do INdiana Off-road) website. They put on mountain bike races at various locations throughout the state, including:
  • Brown County State Park
  • Versailles State Park
  • Potato Creek State Park
  • Winona Lake
  • Muscatatuck County Park
  • Southwestway Park
They have a wide range of classifications, including first time, casual, elite, fat bike, Clydesdales (riders over 200 pounds) and more. This weekend they will have their 24 Hours of DINO race at Versailles State Park.

Here's a video that shows the start of a race at Southwestway Park:

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday Photo - Cyclist Versus Horse

Freddy Maertens versus the horse Fakir du Vivier (photo courtesy of Velo Aficionado)
This photo goes back to 1977. Pro cyclist Freddy Maertens was having a great year in 1977, and was looking forward to racing in the Tour de France. Unfortunately, he broke his wrist during the Giro d'Italia (You can see the cast on his right arm in the photo). So instead, he raced against a harness racehorse named Fakir du Vivier. In the one kilometer race, Maartens lost by 0.3 seconds. If you are surprised that he lost, you shouldn't be. As Freddy later explained, "I was paid 120,000 francs to start, and 50,000 francs by bookmakers to lose."

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday Video - Best Bike Race Ever on Earth

Ride straight or get ready to swim
Despite the video's title, this is more of a challenge than a race. The idea is to ride across a narrow plank that is pretty long. Many of those trying don't get very far. One of them  gets pretty close to the end before going into the water. Some of the viewer comments are interesting - A couple folks thought that alligators should be added to the water to make it even more challenging. Someone claims that the event takes place in the Philippines, while another says it happens in Indonesia every August 17 (Indonesia Independence Day).

The video is two minutes and 43 seconds long.