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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 BlessThisStuff.com

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 sylva@circlecitybicycles.com.

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 Meetup.com 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.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council

Mayor Hogsett on the 2016 Polar Bear Pedal
Circle City Bicycles attended the February meeting of the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council. According to their website:
The purpose of the Mayor's Bicycle Advisory Council is to advise City of Indianapolis leadership on matters relating to the use of bicycle as a means of transportation and recreation.The Mayor's Advisory Council reviews and makes recommendations on planning, design and development of projects by developers, City Departments and consultants affecting the use of bicycles.

Despite the fact that Indianapolis was ranked number 13 on Bicycling magazine's list of The 50 Best Bike Cities, you would never suspect it if you traveled around the south side of town. About the only thing that has been done on the south side is the creation of a bike lane on Madison that disappears at intersections. After attending February's meeting, it was apparent that no one was present to advocate for the interests of the south side. Because of this, Circle City Bicycles will be sending a representative to future meetings. These are held on the third Tuesday of each month. If there is any issue you would like to have brought before the council, please let us know by sending an email to ed@circlecitybicycles.com

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Photo - Bicycle Trash Hauler

With 5 full garbage cans, I hope he doesn't have to climb many hills
This week's photo comes from the Bikes at Work folks. This is a small company located in Ames, Iowa that make bicycle trailers for towing. All of their trailers have the same basic design. They come in three different lengths, from 32 inches to eight feet. They also come in standard and wide widths. The standard width is sized to hold 18 gallon Rubbermaid Roughneck containers. If you get the eight foot long trailer and stack the containers two rows high, you can get 12 containers on the trailer. With the standard two wheel models, the weight capacity is 300 pounds. By going to the 4 wheel (One axle with dual wheels on each side), the weight capacity is doubled. The wider width trailers are designed for things like lawn mowers. Prices for their products range from $750 for their smallest trailer up to $1400 for the wide, eight foot model with a load capacity of 600 pounds. Shipping from Ames, Iowa is extra. They also have accessories for their trailers, like a rack for carrying plywood.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thursday Video - A Handle for Your Bicycle

The Little Lifter from Walnut Studiolo is great if you have to carry your bike up stairs
This week's video comes from Walnut Studiolo, makers of the Little Lifter. It's a simple but ingenious product. It's basically a leather handle with buckles at both ends to attach to your frame. They attach on the seat and down tubes, just above the crank. This looks like a good thing to have if you need to take your bike up or down steps, or encounter other obstacles that require carrying your bike. It currently sells for $30.80 online. It comes in two sizes and four colors:
  • Natural
  • Honey
  • Dark Brown
  • Black
Check out the video below and let us know if you think we should carry it at Circle City Bicycles

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Weird Bike Wedneday - Golf Club Bicycle

The tubes look skinny because they were originally golf clubs
This week's weird bike comes from the United Kingdom. A graphic design student named Calum Ray at Kingston University, created a bicycle he calls "Par 12" from golf clubs. Apparently on a tight budget, he bought a set of golf clubs for 99 pence ($1.22) on eBay. This was a senior design project. You can see from the photo that he used heads of irons for the pedals and a wood for the kickstand. He wanted the handlebars to made from club grips, but he reported that they just couldn't bend that much without breaking. The tubes of golf club shafts were also difficult to weld because of their walls were so thin. The creation of Par 12 involved a lot of trial and error.

I haven't found any information about anyone actually riding the bike. With those thin tubes, it obviously doesn't look like it could support a heavy person. Also, I'm not real sure how comfortable those pedals would be. My suspicion is that this is just a show bike. I also couldn't find any information on what grade he received on this project, but I think it deserves an A.   

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Bicycle Touring Portugal

Road Touring in Portugal (photo courtesy of Visit Portugal)
Portugal is a small country, with a little less area than Indiana. That makes it easy to see a good chunk of it when touring by bike. Portugal has quite a bit of coastline, so you can  ride along the Atlantic. There are cycling routes with signposts, including the Rota Vicentina, which covers 220 miles, much of it along the coast. If you are looking for hills, there are some peaks over 6,000 feet above sea level in the interior. Inland roads are less crowded than those along the coast.

You can bicycle tour Portugal several ways. You can do a fully supported tour with a company like Pedal Portugal. This is the easiest and most expensive option. Self-guided tours are also available. The routes are planned out and you just have to ride them. The third way is to go on your own. This is the cheapest, but you'll have to do the planning. If you take this option, here are some tips from Traveling Claus:
  • Getting out of Lisbon can be difficult. If you are heading south, take a ferry across the Tejo River from Cais do Sodre.
  • Most roads are good, and motorists are courteous to cyclists.
  • Rooms at smaller hotels go for about $25 to $35. Camping and youth hostels are also good options.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Indiana Safe Passing Bill

Motorists should not come within three feet of a cyclist when passing
On Monday March 13, the Indiana Senate will have the second reading of House Bill 1174. On March 8, Senator Tim Lanane added an amendment requiring motorists to allow at least three feet clearance when passing bicycles. According to the website Take Your Lane, 26 states and the District of Columbia already have such requirements. Among our neighboring states, Illinois is the only one currently specifying three feet when passing cyclists.

To take a look at the bill, go to http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/house/1174. To see the amendment, you will need to click  on the left where it says "Senate Amendments" then "Amendment #1". To contact your senator, visit the Find Your Legislator page and enter your address.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Photo - Bicycle with Pool Noodle

Bicycle with attached pool noodle (photo courtesy of Canadian Cycling Magazine)
Warren Huska, a commuter cyclist in the Toronto area, got tired of cars passing him way too close. He came up with an ingenious way to force motorists to give him more room. He attached a pool noodle to his rear rack so that it extended out to the left. Since attaching the noodle to his bike with bungee cords, Huska says the affect has been "Almost magical" - All of a sudden cars are changing lanes to go around me. Ontario law requires motorists to give cyclists at least one meter (3.28 feet) of space when passing cyclists, but they didn't always do that until the noodle was added. Despite his success with this addition to his bike, Huska has seen only one other cyclist using a pool  noodle.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday Video - Cycling Robot

The bicycling robot raising his arm after stopping
A Japanese researcher in artificial intelligence has developed a robot that can ride a bicycle. The robot rides it just like a human would: His legs turn the pedals and he uses his arms to steer with the handlebars and maintain balance. When he comes to a stop, he puts his feet on the ground. Currently, remote control is used to instruct the robot where to go. His creator would like to make the robot smart enough to ride on his own with no input from a human. The robot currently rides a fixed gear bike. Maybe he'll get a bike with a derailleur soon.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Rowbike

The Rowbike is propelled by your arms instead of your legs
I had never heard of the Rowbike until I ran across an ad on Craigslist for a used one. I visited the Rowbike.com website to find out more about them. They have both bicycle and quadcycle models. The two wheeled version sells for about $2500 and the four wheeled model is around $3000. To ride the rowbike you put your feet on the platforms at the top of the front wheel and pull back on the handlebars. Here's a video that shows them in action:


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Moray Terraces of the Incas

Biking above the Moray Terraces of the Incas
If you happen to find yourself in the Peruvian city of Cuzco (capital of the Inca Empire) with a little time on your hands, you might want to take a mountain bike ride to the Moray Agricultural Terraces. It is not known why the Incas built these bowl shaped terraced fields, but the most popular theory is that it was an agricultural research site. The temperatures from top to bottom in the bowls vary as much as 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the Incas lived at elevations from sea level to more than 2 miles high, this allowed them to simulate many of those climates. The Incas grew many crops, but the major ones were corn, potatoes and quinoa. Corn could be grown up to around 10,000 feet, while potatoes and quinoa were grown up to 13,000 feet.

For more information, check out this review on TripAdvisor. One suggestion the reviewer makes is to make sure you are acclimatized to the altitude before doing the ride.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday Photo - Cycling Biathlon

Shooting in the prone position during the biathlon (photo courtesy of Cyclist Chic)
In the United States, most people think of a combined running and cycling event when they hear the word biathlon. In Russia, they stay true to military origin of the Winter Olympic event, which combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. During the summer, mountain biking replaces the cross-country skiing. From looking at the video below, it appears that they don't carry their rifles on their bikes (In the winter event, they carry their rifles on their backs).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Tracked Bicycle

Note the continuous track in place of a rear wheel (photo courtesy of Bikejuju)
Here's a very strange bicycle I ran across on the Internet. The front wheel is odd, but the entire back wheel has been replaced with a continuous track. I have no idea where the mechanism in the rear came from. Note that there are no handlebars. Steering is done with a couple levers in front of the saddle. I haven't been able to find out much about this bike, except that the photo was taken at a 2010 Tour de Fat event in Seattle.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Touring Tuesday - The Golden Ring or Russia

Church of Epiphany in the Russian city of Yaroslavl
If you are looking for a bicycle tour in Russia, you may be interested in an offering from the Russian Cycle Touring Club. Their Golden Ring of Russia Tour has been an annual event for international cyclists since 1996. It is a 12 day, 11 night trip with 10 days of cycling. The daily mileages are rather modest, so their is plenty of time for sight-seeing. The longest day is 55 miles, but most daily distances are closer to 40 miles. The route visits the area north and east of Moscow. It travels through some old, picturesque towns, many with the distinctive Russian style architecture. There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the way, Suzdal and Yaroslavl.

There are two options for the tour: budget and comfort. For 2017 the dates are July 2-13 for the budget tour and August 6-17 for the comfort tour. The budget tour stays in modest hotels and cabins, while the comfort tour stays in nicer hotels. The budget tour costs 1,250 euros ($1,325) and the comfort tour is 1,450 euros ($1,537). The Australian bicycle magazine Ride On rates the tour as one of the World's Top 50 Riding Experiences. Here's a 13 minute video of the 2010 tour:


Monday, February 27, 2017

Used Titanium Bicycle Available

Used bike with titanium fame & Dura-Ace components for $800
I want to remind everyone that Circle City Bicycles also sells used bicycles. Generally, these are in the $100 - $200 range (great for commuting), but sometimes we have nicer bikes available. Right now is one of those times. We have an older (1997) Mongoose with a titanium frame and Dura-Ace components available for only $800 (original price was over $3000). It's a 52 centimeter frame, so it fits a smaller person, probably someone in the 5' 4" to 5' 6" range.

If you have a used bike (no department store bikes) to sell, stop by and let us take a look at it. We'll look it up on Bicycle Blue Book to get an idea what it should sell for.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday Photo - Kitty Mechanic

I still can't figure out how derailleurs work
I found this photo while surfing the Cycle Greece website. If you click on the link that says "flickr photo gallery,' it takes you to photos from their trips. Whoever does the photos for them must like cats. Three of the first five photos have cats in them.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday Video - Bicycle Zip Line

Rider in the Sky
Here's something I hadn't seen before - Zip lines for bicycles. It's located in The Chocolate Hills Adventure Park in Bohol, Philippines. The video was shot by the Family Adventure Project. They describe it as "Probably the strangest bike ride you will ever do. There is a steel cable above and one below the bike. If you are wondering how they stay on the bottom cable, the tires have been removed and they are riding on the rims. Here's the video:

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Photo - Letter to Santa

How True!
I know Christmas has passed, but I still like this one. This came from the Indy Action BMX Facebook page.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday Video - Backwards Steering Bicycle

Turn the handlebars to the right and the front wheel turns to the left
This week's video is an interesting one from Smarter Every Day. Welders at a shop added a couple gears onto a bike such that the front wheel moved in the opposite direction of the handlebars. Destin Sandlin, the guy behind Smarter Every Day, tried to ride it, and found it was impossible. Unwilling to give up, he tried to ride it for 5 minutes every day. After eight months he was finally able to ride it.

He then went to the Netherlands, where he tried to ride a normal bike, after learning to ride a backwards bike. It took him 20 minutes before he was able to ride it. Here's the video, which is about 8 minutes long:

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Cycling Cuba

Bicycle Touring in Cuba
Since Americans can now legally travel to Cuba, perhaps you have been considering bicycling on the island. Officially, Americans can only visit Cuba if their trip falls in one of 12 categories, which are listed on the State department's Cuba travel page. While this sounds rather limiting, one Internet source say you just have to sign an affidavit at the airport. January or February are good times to go, since it won't be so hot. Also, you will avoid the hurricane season, which runs from June through November.

I found several sources for information on cycling in Cuba:
Here are a few of their recommendations:
  • Avoid hotels. Instead stay at what we would call a bed and breakfast. In Cuba they are called "casa particulares" or just "casas". They also offer dinner for a modest charge. It's a good idea to check the shower in a casa before paying for the night. Some of them don't have much water pressure.
  • Food is okay, but nothing special. Rice and beans are served at most casa dinners, which are reasonably priced. Restaurant meals are more expensive. Pizza is available on the streets for lunch and very cheap. They advise not passing up food if you are the least bit hungry, since it may be hard to find.
  • Roads are okay, and traffic is not bad. Because of the embargo, many cars in Cuba are ancient, from the 1950s. Not surprisingly, many of these belch out a lot of smoke.
  • Many locations are noisy at night with the sounds of dogs, pigs, music and cars. Ear plugs are recommended.
  • Some basic items, like soap, are hard to find in Cuba. 
  • A basic knowledge of Spanish is a big help.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday Photo - Bear on the Mountain Bike Trail

One of those guys would make a nice lunch
This week's photo comes from Whistler Mountain Bike Park, by way of MTB Treks. Whistler Mountain Bike Park is located in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is a premier mountain biking destination. The photo appeared  in an MTB Treks article called 21 Reasons Why You Might Never Want to Do Mountain Biking. The article has a lot of other great photos.