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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.