Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Minnesota Biking Ship

Ready to pillage?
I ran across a website called The creator of this masterpiece doesn't give his name. In fact, there is almost no text on his website. He does, however, have a number of photos. They show how he cut up a beat up old canoe and mounted it on an adult tricycle. Note the chainrings fore and aft. In addition to the construction, the photos show the biking ship lit up, inside U.S. Bank Stadium (home of the National Football League's Minnesota Vikings), and at a fast food drive through window. There's even a photo with of the ship with Senator Al Franken of Minnesota.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Little Miami Scenic Trail

Cruising the Little Miami Scenic Trail
If you are looking for a nice, paved bicycle trail that's not too far away, you might want to consider the Little Miami Scenic Trail in Ohio. It is 73 miles long, starts at Newtown, which is near Cincinnati, and winds north and slightly east to Springfield, Ohio. It is the longest paved trail in Ohio and the most popular. The trail takes its name from the Little Miami River, a national scenic river which it parallels much of the way. Among the attractions along the route are:
The state of Ohio has big plans for bicycle trails, They plan to eventually have a trail that runs from Cleveland to Cincinnati, taking the rider from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

Monday, May 22, 2017

25th Anniversary B&O Bicycle Tour

Out on the B&O Trail
On Saturday, June 3, the B&O Trail Association will hold its 25th annual B&O Trail Ride. This is a fundraiser to help them extend the trail. It has been slow going for them, but they are making progress. All of the routes on this year's ride include the most recently paved section and the bridge over White Lick Creek. Riders have a choice of four distances:
  • 10 miles
  • 25 miles
  • 45 miles
  • 62 miles
Cost is only $25 if you pre-register, and you can register online. Day of the ride registration is $30. The starting point for the ride is Williams Park in Brownsburg. Registration begins at 7:00 AM and the ride starts at 8:30 AM. In addition to the ride, participants will also get a free lunch and listen to live music.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Photo - Bike Hanger

Bicycle storage hanger in Seoul, Korea (photo courtesy of Arch Daily)
Here's a clever way to get more bicycle parking space. MANIFESTO Architecture came up with this concept for a building in Seoul, Korea. It makes use of space between buildings, and uses very little space on the ground, while storing 20-36 bikes. It's like a ferris wheel. To park your bike, just turn a crank, which makes all of the parked bikes move, until there is an open space at the bottom, and add your bike. To retrieve your bike, just crank the bikes around until yours is on the bottom. Since there is no motor, the only required maintenance is an annual lubrication.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday Video - Shuttle Bike Kit

Two ladies out on bikes equipped with shuttle bike kits
This week's video features the shuttle bike kit. It can be carried in a backpack when not in use, then attached to your bicycle so you can travel across water. There are two floats, which can be inflated by simply pedaling your bike. They say the total time to get the bike ready for use on the water is about 20 minutes (including inflation). It only takes 5 minutes to disassemble. Top speed out on the water is about 6 miles per hour, and the cruising speed is about 3.5 mph. The entire kit is made in Italy. No price is given on their website - You have to use an online form to inquire about the price.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Snail Bicycle

Riding at a snail's pace? (photo courtesy of Momentum)
I don't have much information on this bike, other than it was part of the 2014 Frankfort Avenue CycLOUvia. CycLOUvia is a program in Louisville, Kentucky where they shut down car traffic on streets so people can walk, ride, skateboard or whatever. Here's a video about it:

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Cycling Indonesia

A Bicycle Mall in Djakarta
This week's touring feature is an account of riding across the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali, Lomboc, and Sumbasa to Flores. The article is on the Crazy Guy on a Bike website. Since it is by far the biggest, most of the cycling was on Java. The account was written by Karman Harrop, who was part of a group assembled over the Internet.

The trip got off to a difficult start. Monsoons had hit Djakarta, which flooded much of the city. Traffic in the city was chaotic. They came across an interesting shopping mall - It had multiple bicycle shops and you could ride your bicycle into it. Eventually they got away from the city and traffic declined.

Upon reaching the eastern end of Java, they did some island hopping, eventually landing on Flores. From there they took two excursions to see Komodo dragons. The first was to the island of Rinca. It was mandatory that tourists go with a guide for safety. The usual hikes had been cancelled because there had been a couple dragon attacks in the past month, so they had to settle for a short hike, during which they were constantly looking around for dragons. The following day they visited Komodo Island, where there had not been any recent attacks. Still, they kept a sharp eye out for dragons. They saw a number of adult dragons and some juveniles, which live primarily trees to avoid being eaten by other larger dragons.

Monday, May 15, 2017

New Hours - Closed on Sundays

Our staff: Sylva (left), Zahra (right) and Mark (center)

Circle City Bicycles will remain closed on Sundays for the foreseeable future, and our weekday hours are now 10:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. Today we would like to take the time to explain why. You may have noticed significant changes in personnel during the last year. Our current manager Sylva started with us almost a year ago. We have heard nothing but compliments about her from customers, vendors, and others in the cycling community. In turn, she has brought in our head mechanic Mark and Zahra, who handles marketing and inventory as well as assisting customers. These two have also been outstanding employees.

We do not wish to work this trio to death, and have decided that we did not want to staff the store with part-time employees on Sunday. No matter how talented they are or how hard they try, we just don't believe part-timers can give our customers the high quality service they expect and rightfully deserve. We know this may cause difficulty for some customers, and we apologize for this. However, we feel this is the best solution overall. Zahra will be at the store Monday through Friday. Sylva and Mark will be at the store every day except Wednesday. Roy will be at the store on Wednesdays.

We would also like everyone to know that Sylva, Mark and Zahra are not just employees. All three have an ownership stake in Circle City Bicycles. They have a vested interest in providing you with top-notch customer service to keep you coming back.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Photo - Mountain Biker Chased by Giraffe

Giraffe on course during a stage of the Cape Pioneer Trek (photo by Zoon Cronje)
Let's face it - cyclists in South Africa have to face a lot of dangers that those of us who ride in North America will never encounter. There's the famous antelope encounter, charging elephant, chasing ostrich and the giraffe shown above. The giraffe photo was taken by Zoon Cronje, who has in a helicopter taking photos during the 2016 Cape Pioneer Trek. Giraffes are plant eaters, and might not seem that threatening. However, they can weigh over a ton and reach a max speed of 37 miles per hour for a short distance. Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident. The photographer stated:

"I've captured quite a few close encounters in my line of work, this was by far the most dangerous because of the speed of the riders going downhill unable to see the rapidly approaching giraffe."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday Video - Cyclist Chased by Fawn

Fawn examining cyclist
Here's a video of a cyclist being chased by one of the least threatening animals on Earth. This fawn is tiny - He must be very young. When the cyclist leaves, the fawn chases behind him. Despite his small size, he can move pretty fast.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Bicycle with Car Tires

Bicycle with car tires (photo courtesy of Technabob)
Here's the ultimate fat tire bicycle. Mr. Mash began the project with an old BMX bike and two car wheels. Then he did some pretty serious modifications. He had to remove the centers of the wheels and put in his three spoke arrangement. He couldn't run a chain from the front sprocket directly to the rear hub, so it was necessary to add an intermediate shaft. Modifications were made to the frame and fork to accommodate the much wider tires. You can get all the details at the Instructables website.

Here's a video of it in action. You will notice the rider isn't going very fast. That's not too surprising when you consider that the average car tire weighs 25 pounds.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Cycling Wales

Cycling through the town of Dolgellau in Wales
If you are looking for an overseas destination for bicycle touring, consider Wales. Part of the United Kingdom, it is less than one quarter the size of Indiana. Despite its small size, it has three national parks:
  • Pembrokeshire Coast
  • Brecon Beacons
  • Snowdonia
 Total population is just over three million, so its not too crowded. Here are a couple websites with information on cycling routes in Wales:
For general tourist information, check out Visit Wales

Monday, May 8, 2017

How Old is My Bicycle?

1959 Schwinn Panther II (photo courtesy of Schwinn Cruisers)
One question we often get from customers is "How old is my bike?" There are some websites that can help answer that question. First you need to find the serial number. On most bikes it's under the bottom bracket. If you don't find it there, try looking around the headset or the chainstays.

Once you have the serial number, there are some sites where you can find out when your bike was made. Here are a couple:

Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday Photo - Bicycle Chariot Race

Ben-Hur on Bicycles! (photo courtesy of The Awesomer)
Lew Wallace (author of Ben-Hur) would love this! Back in 2009, a bicycle chariot race was held at the site of the famous Circus Maximus in Rome. The stadium held over 150,000 spectators in its glory days, but I'm sure this race had a much more modest sized audience. It was part of festivities celebrating the 2,762 anniversary of Rome's founding. Shown below is a view of some of the pageantry surrounding the event. The Circus Maximus is a public park today.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thursday Video - Skunks Greeting Cyclist

What should a cyclist do when skunks come running at you?

Now here's an interesting video. A cyclist is stopped out on a road, and a family (Mother and four babies) comes running up to him. Fortunately, they appeared to be friendly. They didn't spray, they just checked out his bike and his shoe. Perhaps they're thinking of getting into cycling - It's a great family activity. After checking things over, thwy continue merrily down the road.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Bicycle Hearse

Sille Kongstad of Copenhagen with her bicycle hearse
In Copenhagen Denmark you can now make your final journey by bicycle. A Danish undertaker named Sille Kongstad had two bicycle hearses constructed, each at a cost of over 7,000 dollars. The investment seems to be paying off. She had fiver bookings in the first two days they were available. Most feedback has been positive, but some people have complained on her Facebook page that it is "undignified." For more information, check out this article on the Japan Times. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Salt & Sand: Cycling Across the Bolivian Salares

Cycling across the world's largest salt flat (photo courtesy of Long Haul Trekkers)
This week's touring story comes from the Long Haul Trekkers, which consists of Dave, Jen (who does most of the writing) and Sora (the dog who goes everywhere with them). Last year they were cycling across the salt flat of Bolivia, which is known as Salar de Uyuni. This is the largest salt flat in the world, covering over 4,000 square miles (roughly equal to 10 Indiana counties). It is high in the Andes, at nearly 12,000 feet. It is extremely flat, with only about three feet of variation in elevation. So flat in fact, that it is sometimes used to calibrate the altimeters of satellites. The photos of the area bring to mind Buzz Aldrin's "Magnificent desolation" description of the moon. There are a few volcanic outcroppings in the salt flat, and these are called "islands" by the locals.

Naturally, there were a number of challenges in riding across this terrain. You can see the goggles on Sora to protect her eyes from the blowing salt and sand. In some places, it was necessary for Dave and Jen to push their bikes through loose sand.  The few villages in the area had very limited food options, and water was always an issue. The wind was strong (There's nothing to block it) and because of the high altitude it dropped below freezing at night.

When they were traveling through the salt flat, Dave and Jen were planning to ride from South America up to their home in Portland, Oregon. After making it through the Andes, they decided to take a flight out of Colombia to get back home. For additional information about their trip and more magnificent photos, please visit their website.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Austin Group Provides Adult Tricycles to Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens with new tricycles in Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas is a well-known hub of cycling activity. There is an organization  there called the Ghisallo Cycling Initiative, which is involved in a number of cycling activities. These include cycling safety and earn a bike programs. In 2015 they provided five adult trikes to the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center. I think is a great way to encourage seniors to get outside and get some exercise. You can see some seniors above with the new trikes. Unfortunately, I can't find any information about how successful the program has been.

If you are involved with a senior citizens center or assisted living facility, and would like to get adult trikes, please contact Sylva at 317-786-9244. We can get some for you at a discount.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Photo - Google Street Trike Mapping Stonehenge

Google Street View Trike at Stonehenge

In a previous post, I featured the Google Street Trike, which uses for creating its street view images in locations where cars cannot go. Here it is being used at Stonehenge in Great Britain. How did the guy in the photo get such a great job? Can you imagine being paid to bicycle around the great wonders of the world? If you go to the Google Street View page, you can see a number these amazing sites, such as:

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday Video - Fat Tire on an Electric Fence

Fat bike straddling an electric fence
In this amusing video we have three British chaps trying to solve a difficult problem - Getting a fat tire bike off an electric fence. It seems one of them was in the process of lifting his bike over the fence and setting it on the other side. In the middle of this action he realized the fence was electric, and immediately dropped the bike. That's how the situation came about. The video below shows their efforts to retrieve the bike. Are they successful? - You'll have to watch the video to find out.

Warning - There is some foul language in this video

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Growler City Bike

The Growler City Bike by Joey Ruiter
This week's bike is highly specialized. It is built to transport a growler (64 ounces) of beer from your local microbrewery to your house (or wherever you're going). The bike features 29" tires, a Monarch Springer fork, and of course, a built-in growler holder. While this bike looks really cool, the Blackburn Outpost Cargo Cage is much more economical. They sell for $24.95 and we have them in stock.

For more information about the Growler City Bike and additional photos, please visit

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Bike 101 Lakes

Participants at a previous edition of Bike 101 Lakes
Here's a bike ride that will be held in the northeast corner of Indiana: Bike 101 Lakes. The ride starts in Angola, which is the county seat for Steuben county. The county is one of the more scenic areas of Indiana, with a lot of woods and 101 natural lakes. It is home to Pokagon State Park, best known for its toboggan run, and Trine (formerly Tri-State) University. This is the eighth year of the ride, and there are five ride lengths (click on the ride length to see a map of the route):
The long route ventures up into Michigan and over into Ohio a bit. Cost for the ride is $35 ($10 age 13 and under), which also includes a t-shirt. There is also a $40 family option which covers 2 adults and 2 kids on the 2.8 route, with a t-shirt for each rider. There is no online registration, but you can download the form from the web and mail it in.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Demo Mountain Bikes

Jamis Dragonslayer Pro
We now have four demo mountain bikes which we can rent out to you for $50 per day. Should you decide to purchase one, your rental fees (up to $100) may be applied your purchase. Here are the bikes that are available:
  • Jamis Eden 26+, 16" frame size (list price $999.99)
  • Jamis Halo XC 650B, 14" frame size (list price $1299.99)
  • Jamis Dragonslayer Sport 26+, 17" frame size (list price 1399.99)
  • Jamis Dragonslayer Pro, 26+, 19" frame size (list price $2499.99)
All of these are hardtails - We hope to get a full suspension demo bike from Fuji soon. We're not far from Southwestway Park, which would be a good place to do a test ride.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Photo - 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps

The 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps at Minerva Terrace (photo courtesy of GearJunkie)
We're going back quite a ways for this week's photo - All the way back to 1896. At that time the bicycle, especially the modern design, was relatively new, and motorized cars and trucks didn't exist. Naturally, the United States Army wondered if this new bicycle could be useful to the military. In May of 1896, the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps was formed at Fort Missoula in Montana. It consisted of eight African-American soldiers led by a white officer, Lt. James Moss. Moss achieved his position by graduating last in his class at West Point, which meant he also got the last choice for Army assignments after graduation. Most West Point graduates at that time did not wish to serve in the West or to command black troops, so he got to do both.

The A.G. Spalding company provided bicycles to the corps at no charge. The men were taught to ride in formation with these bikes while carrying the supplies they would need (tent, bedroll, cooking utensils, etc.) in the field. They also had to carry a rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition. Initially each cyclist carried his rifle on his back. Later it was attached to the bicycle.

After a number of shorter rides, they went on a major trek in August of 1896. They traveled from Fort Missoula to Yellowstone National Park. The round trip totaled 800 miles. The photo above shows the cyclists at Minerva Terrace, part of the Mammoth Hot Springs area in the national park. By June of 1897, they started on an even longer journey: Fort Missoula to St. Louis. This trek would total 1900 miles. By this time the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps had increased to 20 enlisted men (all African-American), and had added another officer. Also accompanying the group was a 19 year old newspaper reporter named Eddie Boos. Unlike the military cyclists, he rode a Sterling bicycle. His reports went to Missoula, St. Louis and other newspapers around the country. After 41 challenging days, the cyclists entered St. Louis. According to a report filed by Lt. Moss:
"The bicycle, as a machine for military purposes, was most thoroughly tested under all possible conditions, except that of being under actual fire."
The feat is quite impressive when one takes into account the fact that roads in the era before the automobile were so bad the soldiers often had to dismount and push their bikes through mud.

Moss wanted to ride from St. Louis to Minneapolis to see how fast the corps could travel over better roads. Permission was denied and they returned to Ft. Missoula. In February of 1898 he requested permission to cycle from Ft. Missoula to San Francisco. A week later the battleship U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, and the U.S. Army became focused on the impending Spanish-American War. The trip to San Francisco was not approved and the unit was eventually disbanded.

James Moss deeply respected the black soldiers that served under his command. He later fought in both Cuba and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, and in France during World War I. He was a colonel by the time of his retirement from the Army shortly after World War I. In 1941 he died in a New York City traffic accident not far from where John Lennon was later killed.

For more information on those tenacious souls who made the arduous journey from Ft. Missoula to St. Louis, please visit Riders of the Bicycle Corps.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thursday Video - Kenny Belaey's Balance

Kenny Belaey riding cable over 350 foot drop
I have seen videos of mountain bikers doing a lot of crazy stuff, but this one is incredible. Kenny starts out carrying his bike up a mountain through snow. He rides on some incredibly narrow ridges, and downhill through loose rock and snow. For the finale he rides on a single cable between two peaks.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Unstealable Bicycle

Yerka Unstealable Bicycle
Here's another one of those weird but practical bicycles. It was designed by three cyclists from Chile and is now manufactured by Yerka. The image above has not been Photoshopped and it's not an optical illusion. The frame really does encircle the tree. This is done by the following steps. The top and bottom portions of the down tube pivot outward. The seat and seatpost are removed, then slid through a hole in the top section of the down tube. The end of the seatpost goes into the bottom section of the down tube where it is secured by a keyed lock. The process is best explained by looking at this video:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Touring Tuesday - The Cycling Doctor

Cycling through the Chile - Argentina border region (photo courtesy of Stephen Fabes via BBC)
Dr. Stephen Fabes of London spent six years (2010-2016) cycling 50,000 miles on six continents. Most days he rode between 25 and 60 mile, and lived on less than $10 per day (That's still more than $20,000 over six years). He put his medical training to use in several locations around the globe, including:
  • A floating medical clinic in Cambodia
  • A tuberculosis clinic on the Thailand - Myanmar border
  • A mobile clinic in Kathmandu, Nepal treating orphans addicted to glue-sniffing
Fabes traveled through Mongolia during mid-winter, which made it challenging to keep his water liquid. Daytime temperatures remained below freezing, so he had to keep his water next to his body. Also challenging were those days passing through featureless deserts or steppes that never seemed to change. His scariest moment occurred when he was sleeping in a remote region of Peru. A local resident poked a gun inside his tent and made him get out. He then marched him into his home. The man explained that he had been robbed not long before, and thought Dr. Fabes was connected with the thieves. After realizing he was harmless, the man made him some soup.

Stephen Fabes said the biggest thing he realized from his travels is the world is friendlier than he thought.
"I have had a very favorable impression of the planet and that bolsters my faith in humanity. When you are traveling by bicycle, the universe is on your side. You get lots of offers of hospitality."
While I was reading this quote, I noticed a couple of news items on the side of the BBC web page. One said the North Koreans were threatening more missile tests. The other said five states were searching for the "Facebook Killer."

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bridges, Bikes and Books Spring Blast in Carthage Indiana

Offutt Covered Bridge in Rush County
If you are a student of history, you may know Carthage as a  rival of early Rome. It was their general Hannibal who crossed the Alps with elephants to attack Rome. Not many folks know there is a town named Carthage in Indiana. It's a small town in Rush county, with slightly less than a thousand inhabitants. Despite its small size, it is an old town - It was platted back in 1834, less than twenty years after Indiana joined the Union.

It's no secret that things are tough for small towns these days. As more people choose to live in the larger cities, that leaves fewer people for places like Carthage. They have suffered some setbacks in the past few years. The CKS (Carthage - Knightstown - Shirley) railroad, a popular tourist attraction, shut down in 2013. The local elementary school closed in 2014. The local folks didn't throw in the towel though - In 2015 they founded Future of Carthage, a non-profit organization. Since I grew up in Acton Indiana, I'm a supporter of small towns. I decided to help them out a bit with some publicity for their bike ride.

On Saturday, May 6 Future of Carthage will hold a fundraiser for the town's Henry Henley Library. The event is called Bridges, Bikes and Books Spring Blast. As part of the festivities, they will have their Covered Bridge Bike Tour starting at 8:00 AM. Riders have a choice of 13 or 33 mile routes. For more information about the ride, please visit the Future of Carthage Facebook page.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday Photo - Mountain Biking Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny rocks! (photo courtesy of Bicycles and Icicles)
While trolling the Internet in search of a photo showing the Easter Bunny on a bicycle, I had a preconceived idea of what I would find: The Easter Bunny slowly cruising down a road with a basket on the front full of Easter eggs. Imagine my shock when I came across this photo showing Mr. Bunny getting some serious air out on a mountain bike trail. This should be a lesson to all of us about judging someone based on their appearance. My guess is that this is the Easter Bunny last fall out enjoying his time off before he had to start getting ready for Easter Sunday. Unlike Santa Claus, he doesn't have any elves to help him, so he has to do everything himself.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thursday Video - Beijing Acrobats on a Bicycle

How did they all get on that bicycle?
This week's video features the Beijing Acrobatic Troupe from the Chaoyang Theatre. It shows them doing their well-known bicycle act. If you are traveling to China, you can purchase tickets online through the Chaoyang Theatre website.

To find out how they all get on, watch the video below. Amazingly, all these acrobats get on the bicycle, ride a lap around the stage, and get off again in less than a minute!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Rattlesnake

The Rattlesnake Bicycle
While searching the Internet for weird bicycles, I hit a treasure trove at the Bike Zoo, which is located in Austin, Texas. They have a number of bicycles which are large, animated, human powered versions of animals, such as:
  • Rattlesnake
  • Praying Mantis
  • Butterfly
  • Eagle
  • Owl
  • Bat
These "bicycles" are booked at festivals, weddings and other events, where I'm sure they attract a lot of attention. While all are impressive, the rattlesnake is definitely the most impressive. It is 80 feet long, articulated and powered by 6 riders. It can be lit up for night performances (wouldn't it be great to see one at the NITE ride?) Here's a video of the rattlesnake bike in action:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Chicago Lakefront Bicycle Trail

Chicago Lakefront Bicycle Trail (photo courtesy of Chicago Detours)
If you are heading to the Windy City for business or pleasure this summer, you might want to plan to take a spin on the Chicago Lakefront Bicycle Trail. There are 18 miles of bike paths with plenty of beautiful views of Chicago on one side and Lake Michigan on the other. If you want a guided tour or rent a bike to explore on your own, check out Bobby's Bike Hike - They can provide both and they have a five star rating on Yelp. In 2016 Bicycling Magazine rated Chicago as the most bicycle friendly city in the United States. Forbes rated then number 10 and Travel Channel didn't list them in the top ten.

Visit  Bike and Roll Chicago to download a Chicago Cycling Map. Time-lapse ride on the bike path along Chicago's Lakefront:

Monday, April 10, 2017

Bike in Breakfasts

Mayor Hogsett and others on Bike to Work Day 2016 (photo courtesy of WTHR)
Circle City Bicycles will be one of numerous starting points around Indianapolis for Bike to Work Day (May 19, 2017) and Bike in Breakfasts, which are usually the third Friday of the month (April through October):
  • April 21
  • May 19
  • June 16
  • July 21
  • August 18
  • September 22
  • October 20
Sylva will be leading the rides, which will start at 7:00 AM. From our store it is only 6.3 miles to the Indy Bike Hub Downtown. A free light breakfast of bagels, fruit and beverages will be provided to all participants. For rides starting from other starting points (called "Bike Trains"), visit the Indy Bike Hub.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Photo - Man and Sloth Bear Riding a Bicycle

Ran Singh Munda riding a bicycle with Rani, his pet sloth bear
Now the first thing you need to know here is that sloth bears generally do not make good pets. In fact, the website Planet Deadly rates them as the third most dangerous animal in Asia (Just behind the Bengal tiger). In America, bears are an apex predator, so they don't fear anything. In Asia there are animals like tigers and lions, so sloth bears have learned to very aggressive.

While out gathering firewood, Mr. Munda found an orphaned sloth bear cub, and brought it home to keep it as a pet. The bear, named Rani (Queen in the local language), did well under the care of Munda and his daughter. Local television did a "feel good" story about how the bear had been rescued and was now part of the family. Unfortunately, local wildlife officials heard about this, then came and arrested Munda, since keeping a sloth bear was illegal. A villager with little education, he had no idea he was breaking any law - He was just saving a bear that would have died without his care. After public outcry, which included many wildlife conservationists, he was released. Rani was taken to a local zoo, and later to a wildlife rescue center run by Wildlife SOS.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday Video - No Handed Bike Moves

A few of the moves inn the video
This week's video is called "No Handed Bike Moves." It shows over 50 moves you can do while riding with no hands. This three minute and 4 second video is entertaining, but none of the riders wears a helmet, which is not a good idea. Here's the video:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Google Street View Trike

The Google Street View Trike
This week we have one of those bikes which are weird but very practical. You may have seen the Google cars with the big camera on top roaming around Indianapolis. They allow Google to give us those "Street View" images on their maps. They also have a Street View Trike, which allows them to go where cars cannot. In addition, they have a Street View Trekker (basically a backpack with a Google camera) for places the trike can't go. For snowy conditions, Google uses a snowmobile with a mounted camera. Here's a map that shows where they have been. They have even done a small portion of Greenland. In its capital city of Nuuk, you can get a street view of the 4-star Hotel Hans Egede. Towards the bottom of the page the various vehicles they use are shown.

Here's a video of the Street View Trike being used in Malaysia:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Touring Tuesday - The Pumpkinvine Bike Ride

The 2017 Pumpkinvine Bike Ride will be held on June 17
Here's something to mark down on your calendar. The Pumpkinvine Bike Ride will be held on Saturday, June 17. This ride is a fundraiser for the Pumpkinvine Trail in northern Indiana's Amish country. The ride starts at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in Goshen and offers riders four different length options:
  • 22 miles, all on the trail
  • 37 miles all on the trail
  • 53 miles, trail and road
  • 103 miles, trail and road
There is also an optional 20-mile Friday Amish dinner ride. If you register by May 17, the Saturday ride is $30 and the optional Friday ride is also $30. After that the cost for the Saturday ride goes up to $50. 

Built in the nineteenth century, the railroad line from from Goshen to Middlebury became known as Pumpkin Vine because of its many turns. In 1980 the line was abandoned and by 1982 the rails had been removed for scrap. In 1993 Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail was formed, and it has been building and extending the trail ever since.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Sylva Speaks to the Perry Township 4-H

Sylva presenting to Perry Township 4-H Members
On Tuesday, March 7, Sylva talked to the Perry Township 4-H club for about 30 minutes. Club members ranged from kindergarten to high school students. She showed them how to replace a flat tire and lube a chain on a bicycle. All attendees (about a dozen) received a free patch kit and tire lever, courtesy of Circle City Bicycles. If you would like Sylva to make a presentation to your group, please call her at the shop (317-786-9244) or email her at

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Peter Sagan Quits Bicycle Racing!

Peter Sagan quits bicycle racing - Will race camels instead
Peter Sagan stunned the bicycle racing community by announcing his retirement yesterday. Shock waves have reverberated around the world. Phil Liggett stated, "This is indeed a sad day for bicycle racing." Fellow cyclist Mark Cavendish said "He's a great competitor - It just won't be the same without him." Sagan has been one of cycling's biggest and most exciting stars, with a bigger than life persona off the bike. Some racing insiders expect sponsorship money to drop by as much as 10% after his departure. The effect on cycling is expected to be similar to what golf suffered after Tiger Woods' injuries kept him off the pro circuit.

Sagan stated that after winning six straight green jerseys in the Tour de France and twice winning the World Road Race, he had nothing left to prove. "I am looking for new challenges," he stated. Although unconfirmed by Sagan, rumors say he will enter the Camel Cup in Alice Springs, Australia. It is believed that he will be backed by a wealthy Australian sheep baron.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Photo - Coral Snake / Kingsnake Bicycle Rack

Snake identification bicycle rack
This week's photo comes from a blog entitled: A Front Seat View: Cross Country on a Volae Recumbent. The Florida bicycle rack shown above not only holds bikes, but also provides education on snake identification. The left half is a harmless scarlet kingsnake. The right half is a venomous eastern coral snake (It's in the cobra family). To tell them apart, just remember this little rhyme:
Red next to yellow kills a fellow,
Red next to black is a friend to Jack

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday Video - Bicycle Archery

Motorists allow plenty of room when passing this cyclist

Many cultures have practiced mounted archery throughout history. During Roman times, the Parthians were well know for their archery skill while on horseback. In Japan, it became part of samurai training. Although the bow and arrow have been mostly replaced by firearms for hunting and warfare, their are numerous folks who still practice this ancient craft. Not surprisingly, some have replaced the horse with a mountain bike, since horses are much more expensive to own (Check out this article: The Average Monthly Cost of Owning a Horse).

This video is one minute and ten seconds long and shows several different techniques:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Tree Branch Bicycle

The frame is made from a tree branch (Photo courtesy of Bike Rumor)
Out on the Bike Rumor website, I found this bike, which used a tree branch for its frame. It was built by Steve Chang, the marketing manager at Calfee Designs. They were one of the first to use carbon fiber for bicycle frames, and later became known for their bamboo frames. The tree branch used for this bike was found near the shop. While I must give Steve high marks for resourcefulness and using low cost material, I'm just not sold on the idea of tree branch bicycle. My questions is "If it's strong enough to use for a bicycle frame, why isn't it still attached to the tree"?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Cycle North Carolina

Bicycle and other whirligigs in Wilson, North Carolina
As a bicycle shop, we get a lot of material in the mail advertising upcoming bicycle rides. One that came recently was for the Cycle North Carolina Mountains to Coast Ride. It is a 7-day ride that starts in the Blue Ridge Mountains and ends at the Atlantic Ocean. Average distance is around 60 miles per day. In addition to the riding, there will be numerous attractions along the way, such as the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson. Still photos just don't do whirligigs justice - See them in action on YouTube.

The 2017 Mountains to Coast ride takes place September 30 Through October 7. While that is a ways off, you can save $100 if you register by May 4. You can register online at Cycle North Carolina. Here's an 8 and a half minute video that talks about the towns on the 2017 route:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Beginner Mountain Bike Rides at Southwestway Park

Riders for the First Mountain Bike Ride
The Indianapolis Mountain Bike Meetup had its first beginner mountain bike ride on Wednesday, March 22 at Southwestway Park. This weekly ride is led by John Wall (Not in the photo, he was taking it). Riders meet at Circle City Bicycles at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, then carpool over to the park. Be sure to check the trail status at the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association website if there is any question about conditions.

It is free to join the group over on and the Wednesday night beginner ride is free and open to anyone. If you decide to come, bring your neighbors, friends and co-workers. We would like to see this ride grow and bring more people into mountain biking.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Photo - Alden Carbon Streamlining

Scott triathlon bike with Alden Carbon outer chainring covers
Check out this Scott triathlon / time trial bike. It is equipped with a carbon chainring cover from Alden Carbon, based in Seymour, Indiana (That's right - John Mellencamp's home town) to reduce drag. The company is run by a father and son duo. They both got into bicycle racing, and eventually started to make after-market carbon fiber parts to give themselves an advantage over their competitors. Those competitors noticed and wanted to buy those parts for their own bikes, which led to the formation of Alden Carbon. They have a product called BTA (Between The Arms) Hydration Bottle Computer Mount. To decrease frontal area and reduce drag, It points the water bottle forward and places the computer right behind it, as shown below:

Alden Carbon's between the arms water bottle / computer mount minimizes aerodynamic drag

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thursday Video - No Snow Dogsledding

Who needs snow for dogsledding? (Photo courtesy of Mushing magazine)
This video comes from Canberra, the capital of Australia. They don't get much snow there, so they often have to improvise if they want to have dogsled races. For their sleds, they appear to use modified bicycles, tricycles, quadcycles and scooters for sleds. It amazes me how fast those dogs can go when they are pulling these things. The dogs seem to really like it. They appear very excited when at the start of the race - Like my dog is when it's time to go for a walk. I don't know if they have different classes, but some of the contestants have only one dog while others have three.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - The Tandem Plane

Accelerating to takeoff speed
This week's weird bike comes from the 2012 Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby. Everything in the parade has to be human powered .The event has been renamed and is now the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and Arts Festival. This year the event will be held on Saturday, May 20 from noon until 6:00 PM.

Here's a short video from the 2015 derby:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Spain on a Montague Paratrooper Pro

Paratrooper  Pro in front of Sadaba Castle in Spain
Montague makes folding bicycles. Unlike most other brands of folding bikes, they use full size wheels. This means they don't fold up as small, but they ride like a regular bicycle. The blog on the Montague website features a number of articles about touring different areas on one of their bikes. One of those is about a guy touring through the Spanish Pyrenees. He rode on a Paratrooper Pro, which is a mountain bike. The article has very little text, but some interesting photos, especially the ones of Bardenas Reales. It's an arid, badlands type region, with interesting rock formations.

You can see from the photo above that the Paratrooper Pro was fully loaded for touring. You can take this folding bike anywhere you would go with a regular bicycle. When traveling with a folding bike, don't tell the airline you have a bicycle, or they will want to charge you extra.