Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday Video - Touring Shiloh National Military Park

Entrance to Shiloh National Military Park (photo courtesy of
Last week we had a post on Touring Tuesday about riding through Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee. One of the earliest major battles of the Civil War, the Battle of Shiloh was fought in 1862. This week we feature a video from a bike tour around the battlefield. It is two  minutes and twenty seconds long. There is no narration, just some pleasant music. The video shows some period cannons, monuments to various soldiers, and rows & rows of grave markers.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - World's Largest Cargo Bike

8rad - The World's Largest Cargo Bicycle
I ran across an article on the IceBike website about 8rad, the world's largest cargo bicycle. It has 8 wheels, is over 6 feet wide and 16 feet long. It was created by Nico Jungel. The article said he lived in Germany, but didn't say what city. Wherever it is, I sure hope it's flat. Jungel says it rides real smooth because the wheels have independent suspension.

8rad is now equipped with an electric motor. You can see it in action in this video. As you can see in the video, it is often  used as a flatbed, with the sides and top removed.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Bicycling, Mountain Biking and BMX Christmas Ornaments

Our exclusive tandem cycling Christmas ornament
At Circle City Bicycles we have a sister site called Fun Christmas Ornaments. Things can get a little slow at the shop this time of year, so we supplement our cycling business with selling Christmas ornaments online. Naturally, we have ornaments for cycling and mountain biking, plus over 100 other activities people do for fun - Everything from archery to zip lines. You should be able to find something for everyone on your Christmas list for around $10.

Please note that we do not sell traditional or religious Christmas ornaments. If you are looking for a red ball that says "Merry Christmas," we don't have any. But if you're looking for Santa Claus on a Float Plane, you've come to the right place.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday Photo - Don't Kill Me Texting

"Don't Kill Me Texting" - A message that needs wider circulation

These jerseys carry an important message for motorists - Texting and driving can be a deadly combination. If you want one of these, head over to the Don't Kill Me Texting website where they have them for sale. While I love the message, I have one complaint about these jerseys - Why are they mostly black? Wouldn't bright colors make the cyclists more visible and therefore safer?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thursday Video - Bicycle Jump Over 7 People with No Ramp!

Can he make it? or will he leave tread marks on their butts?
This week's video is a short one, only eight seconds long. A daring young man aspires to be the next Evel Knievil. Seven equally brave young men are laying on the pavement, to provide an obstacle he must jump over. How will this turn out? Will he leave tread marks across their backs, or will he successfully complete the jump and land safely? The only way to find out is to watch the video below.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Raptor Tricycle

Artist Markkus Moestue riding his dinosaur bike across Norway
Norwegian artist Markkus Moestue created a three wheeled velociraptor bicycle. He then road 300 kilometers across Norway's "Bible Belt." According to Moestue, this was a protest against creationism. The frame is actually parts of three bikes welded together. For the head and tail he hand carved these from styrofoam, then coated them with glass fiber epoxy before painting.

Here's a two minute video from his trip. Watch for the reaction of a horse when he rides by. The dinosaur bike apparently doesn't climb very well. There is footage of him pushing it up a hill. There was apparently some problem with the frame - The video shows a guy named Andre welding it back together.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Shiloh National Military Park

Cycling past cannons at the Shiloh Battlefield (photo courtesy of Memphis Cyclist)
If you want to combine American history and cycling, a great way to do that is to visit national historic parks. One that I had the pleasure of visiting many years ago was Shiloh National Military Park in western Tennessee. Shiloh was a battle that really opened the eyes of both sides regarding how bloody the conflict was going to be. It had the 7th highest number of casualties of any battle during the war, and it occurred relatively early (April of 1862). The only major battle prior to Shiloh was the First Battle of Bull Run. It only had a total of about 5,000 casualties, compared to 23,000 at Shiloh). It became the benchmark that future battles were compared to. Many Civil War veterans said they were never more afraid than they were at Shiloh.

You can ride the 13 mile route in the park, where the posted speed limit is only 25 miles per hour and auto traffic is fairly light. You will get a sense of the ebb and flow of the battle. Confederate general Sidney Johnston, considered the South's finest officer at the time, launched a surprise attack that caught the Union troops completely off-guard. It looked like the battle could be a spectacular victory for the Rebels, but Johnston was shot (probably by friendly fire). His death caused the attack to lose some steam, and Union lines began to stiffen. Although Southern troops continued to push forward that day, they could not break Grant's last line of defense, which had some pretty formidable artillery that you can see in the park. Despite the difficulties, Grant remained his usual unflappable self. When Sherman said it had been a tough day, Grant agreed but added "Get 'em tomorrow, though." After General Buell arrived with fresh troops that night, they pushed the Confederates back the next day.

If you ride your bike through the park, it's very easy to stop and read the information on markers, or admire the monuments that have been placed there by states where the troops came from and other organizations. You will also pass by features like the "Hornet's Nest" (so many bullets were whistling by they sounded like a bunch of hornets) and "Bloody Pond" (wounded men drank from the pond and it eventually became red from their blood). There's also the "Peach Orchard'" where so many peach blossoms were clipped by bullets that it looked like falling snow to some soldiers.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Photo - Cyclist with Wheelbarrow on His Head

How do you transport a wheelbarrow with a bicycle?
This week's photo comes from Cybersalt. There's no information about where this photo was taken. The guy at Cybersalt thought this was a way to comply with a helmet law. My guess is that this fellow simply came up with an innovative way to transport the wheelbarrow with a bicycle. I would never have come up with this solution. This is truly "Out of the box" thinking.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thursday Video - Golden Retrievers Go for a Bike Ride

We're all in, let's go
Here's a really short video, only thirteen seconds long. The lady has a three wheeled pedicab like bicycle. Instead of people, she's transporting three golden retrievers. They seem well-trained and don't jump off, but I wonder what would happen if they saw a squirrel.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Wheelbarrow Bicycle

It looks rideable, but can you carry anything in the wheelbarrow?
I ran across this photo out on Pinterest. It says it came from, but it looks like that site is now dead. The bike's original fork, wheel and handlebars have been replaced with a wheelbarrow. No brake levers are visible on the wheelbarrow handlebars, so I guess the rider has to stop with his feet. It doesn't look like you could carry much in the wheelbarrow, since it is tipped up pretty high. While I admire this gentleman's creativity, I think he should just so with a cargo bike instead.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Touring Tuesday - New Orleans Ninth Ward

The Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans
Here's a tour that's a little different from your average bike tour. Maybe that's because New Orleans is a little different than your average city. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans hard, and one of the hardest hit parts was the Ninth Ward. After the storm they fixed the levees, pumped out the water and started rebuilding. Ninth Ward Rebirth Tours shows you the people and culture of this area, and how they have persevered and rebuilt after the 2005 Great Flood.

This is a leisurely, four hour tour on cruiser bikes. Total cost (not counting lunch) is $65, with $5 being donated to a variety of local charities. One of the stops is a local museum called House of Dance and Feathers, which celebrates New Orleans street culture. At the lunch stop you'll get a chance to try a local po boy sandwich at Cajun Joe's, unless you ride on Sunday, when they are closed.

Ninth Ward Bike Tours has a sister company called the New Orleans Confederacy of Cruisers. They offer several other tours of New Orleans, including:
  • Creole Tour
  • Cocktails in New Orleans Tour
  • Culinary Tour
 Here's a short (just over a minute) video about their tours:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Gravel Grovel Coming Up Saturday, November 25

Competitors on a previous Gravel Grovel
The Gravel Grovel will be held on Saturday, November 25. That will be two days after Thanksgiving, giving you a chance to ride off some of those excess calories. For the hardcore types there is a 60 mile ride through Hoosier National Forest on a combination of gravel roads, singletrack trail and pavement. If you are looking for something a bit less strenuous, there is a 20 mile route. On both rides, you can save $10 by registering online. The rides start in Norman, Indiana, which is near the southern edge of Hoosier National Forest (the section just south of Brown County State Park).

Here's a video by Ed Green, who rode his first Gravel Grovel in 2016:

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Photo - Glacier Bike Downhill

Is this an invasion force? (photo courtesy of
Now here's a really wild mountain bike race called the Glacier Bike Downhill. It starts on a glacier about 3,500 meters (roughly 11,500 feet) above sea level in Switzerland. The competitors start off by running to their mountain bikes and then go screaming downhill, at speeds up to 90 miles per hour. The race doesn't last long - The winner usually finishes in less that eight minutes.

The photo above and the video below are from the 2012 race. Winning times through the years are listed at the Glacier Bike Downhill website. The winning time in 2017 was just five and a half minutes, which is about two minutes quicker than any other year. I don't know if they changed the route or if the conditions were easier than usual. Here's a video from a helmet mounted camera on the rider which finished tenth in the 2012 competition:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Thursday Video - Mountain Bike Speed Record

A little extra streamlining with a shell that covers the head & neck while resting on the shoulders
Here's the official video of Eric Barone setting a world speed record for a mountain bike. He maxed out at 138.75 miles per hour. To put this in perspective, think about driving your car on the interstate at 70 mph. You're going pretty fast - now double that speed. Now think about doing away with the car and traveling that fast on a bicycle.

You'll notice when Eric gets on the bike, he doesn't seem to have a lot of flexibility. That suit must be stuffed with insulation. Can you imagine the wind chill at 138 mile per hour?

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Weird Bike Wedneday - Strandbeest Bicycle

The front wheel rolls while the back walks (photo courtesy of Digital Trends)
This week's weird bike is the strandbeest bicycle. If you're like me, you're asking "What's a strandbeest"? The word is Dutch for "beach animal," and was coined by Dutch artist Theo Jansen to describe his artistic creations. His works are kinetic sculptures that appear to walk, driven by wind on beaches. Check out this video to see one in motion.

Inspired by Jansen's work, The folks at CARV (California Art & Engineering Collective) began work on a strandbeest bicycle. After 700 man-hours of work over seven months, they took their new bike and participated in the Santa Barbara Solstice Parade. If you're wondering how it rides, here's what one of the bike's creators, Jon Paul Berti says:
  • A flat surface is required
  • Speed is about the pace of a brisk walk
  • It doesn't turn well 
Here's a two and a half minute video that shows the bike in action (They only show it traveling in a straight line):

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Oldenburg, Indiana

When you see Oldenburg, it's hard to believe you're in Indiana (photo courtesy of Chris Flook)
One of the great things about bicycle touring in Indiana is all the little towns you came across. If you're visiting a town for the first time, you never know what you'll find. One of those little gems is Oldenburg, Indiana, also known as the "Village of Spires." It's located in Southeastern Indiana, just a few miles north of Batesville. It was founded in 1817, and was intended to be a German Catholic town. To get Germans, they handed out flyers about their town in Cincinnati written in German. Later a convent, monastery and Catholic church were established in town. Today, much of the town is on the National Register of Historic Places. The streets all have German names, with English subtitles.

If you're looking to do a bike ride which starts in Oldenburg, you might want to visit Metamora, which is about ten miles away. It's home to the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site. There is a grist mill that you can visit, and you can take a ride on a canal boat. There are also plenty of small shops to visit - It's kind of like a small Nashville, Indiana.

There are a number of bed breakfasts in and around Metamora and Oldenburg:
At some time when you are in Oldenburg, I recommend that you stop in at the Brau Haus for their fried chicken. You may know that Indiana was a Wine Trail or a Chocolate trail, but there's also a Chicken Trail, which features over 30 places in southeastern Indiana known for their fried chicken. The trail features two places in Oldenburg: the Brau Haus and Wagner's Village Inn. I haven't had the fried chicken at Wagner's, but I've had it several times at the Brau Haus, and it has always been great.

Here's a short (one and a half minutes) video that highlights the attractions in Oldenburg:

Monday, November 6, 2017

CIBA Foundation Friend-Raiser on Thursday, November 16

The CIBA Foundation was founded by the Central Indiana Bicycling Association
The CIBA Foundation will hold a Friend-Raiser at the TwoDEEP Brewing Company on Thursday, November 16. It is scheduled for 5:30 to 8:00 PM. TwoDEEP Brewing is located downtown at 741 North Capitol (Capitol Avenue and St. Clair Street). If you are wondering what a Friend-Raiser is, it's a night of beer, CIBA stories and prizes according to online information. There is no charge, but they do ask that you register at Eventbrite.

The CIBA foundation was started in 1996 and has donated over 400,000 dollars to a variety of cycling related organizations, mostly in Central Indiana. These include:
  • Freewheelin'
  • Indy Criterium Cycling Festival
  • IndyCog
  • Pedal & Park
  • Bicycle Indiana
  • B & O Trail Association
  • Indy Cycloplex
  • Indy Bike Hub
To find out more about the CIBA Foundation, stop in at the Friend-Raiser on November 16.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Photo - Bicycle Towing a Corgi on a Skateboard

Out for a ride
Here's an interesting photo than I found out on BuzzFeed. There was no information like where the photo was taken or who the guy is. While I like to see people riding and I like dogs, I have some safety concerns here:
  • The cyclist is not wearing a helmet
  • He only has one hand on the handlebars
  • The small wheels on the skateboard could easily get caught by obstacles and send the dog flying
 Now I'm sure the cyclist was very careful and both of them made it back home safely - But it's always a good idea to be as safe as possible.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thusday Video - Kangaroo Horde During Bike Ride

The Kangaroos are watching Ben as he rides by

Here's a video that shows a huge gathering of kangaroos that cyclist Ben Vezina rode through. This area is Hawkstowe Park, which is just north of Melbourne in Australia. Now you may be thinking, they're just kangaroos, they're not carnivorous. Just keep in mind that the largest kangaroos are over six feet tall and weigh 200 pounds.

Australia gets a lot of press about all the deadly creatures that it has. These include all kinds of deadly snakes, venomous spiders and saltwater crocodiles. In the surrounding ocean there are sharks, plus the venomous box jellyfish and blue-ringed octopus. In an Australian study of deaths caused by animals, most were caused by domesticated animals (horses, cows and dogs). The wild animal that caused the most deaths? It was the kangaroo.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Weird Bike Wednesday - Mattapan Mobile Farmstand

The Mobile Farmstand in display mode
Here's another one of those odd but practical bikes (actually it's a trike). This one is called the mobile farmstand. The idea here was to come up with something that a person could fill up with produce, pedal over to the farmer's market, open up and start selling. There are 4 compartments, each with two bins. In transport mode, the two top bins and their covers fold down. Once on location, the two top bins are propped up and their covers are opened.

This bike was created by a group in Boston called BRACE. They developed it for the Mattapan Food & Fitness Coalition Mattapan is a neighborhood in Boston, and it apparently has a lot of immigrants from Haiti. One of the services the group offers is Haitian Creole language translation.