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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.