Saturday, December 28, 2013

Quote of the week

If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.

Lance Armstrong

Friday, December 27, 2013

Interesting home made deraileur

Not quite a dura-ace but pretty cool work anyway.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Adjustments

Congrats!  You got that beautiful shiny new bike for Christmas!  (or you decided to spend boxing day wrenching on your old faithful bike).  Now you want to make sure you adjust the seat right.

The ideal height for the seat is such that when you are sitting on it and put your foot to the bottom of the pedal stroke, you have a slight bend in the knee.  Not much, you should be able to lock your knee by pushing your heel down.

When riding if you find you are rocking from side to side, try dropping it a bit.
If you feel pain the front of the knee, you probably have the seat too low.
If you feel pain the back of the knee, you probably have the seat too high.

Adjust as needed to get the perfect height for you.

Once you get the height figured out, adjust the tilt.  This is mainly a comfort thing, but keep in mind that if it tilts forward too much you will be supporting your weight on the handle bar, which will cause hand, wrist, and shoulder pain.  If it's tilted too far back you will find pain or numbness in the groin.  Experiment with different angles until you find the one for you.  Women will tend to have seats tilted further down than men.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tip Thursday: You deserve it

Since Christmas is coming, treat yourself to that new set of gloves or jersey.   Your old ones have been through a long season, it's time for some fresh ones.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

100 years of Le Tour

Came across a great history of some of the people and tech through the last 100 years of Le Tour du France.

I'm not going to re-write their content, or plagarize it so head on over to Gizmodo to see the writeup.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Quote of the week

Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.

H.G. Wells

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Under Pressure....

Never use a pressure washer to clean your bike.

It will drive water into places it wouldn't normally get to and wash out the grease.  Instead use a normal garden hose to rinse off the bike.

Don't forget to re-lube everything afterwards!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mondays are painful, why not share the pain?

And this children is why we always scout out the trail before bombing down it full speed.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Quote of the week

If I had attacked one more time I would have dropped myself

Andy schleck

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Avoid escalations


I know you want to go rage at them.  Just remember one thing, they have a few thousand pounds of metal weapon at their disposal. 

You will lose that fight

If you do feel you have to confront the motorist, stay calm and reasonable.  If you fly off the handle you are then trusting your life to their mental stability.  Escalating tempers will serve nobody, and it just might get you seriously hurt.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Quote of the week

Cycling is such a stupid sport. Next time you are in a car travelling at 40mph think about jumping out - naked. That's what it's like when we crash.

David Millar

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Pedal down the hills too

If you want to be faster with very little extra energy expended?

Don't coast down hills.  

It's obvious to most racers, but many casual riders don't realize that pedaling down the hill will make a huge difference in your overall speed and make that next hill just a little bit shorter to climb.  While you're going down that hill you might be thinking, "I'm too tired to keep pedaling, did you see that hill I just had to climb???"  Just remember, pedaling down hill is easy.  Nobody is saying you need to sprint down the hill, just keep your pedals moving, it will stop your legs from stiffening up and give you a bit of speed.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mondays are painful, why not share the pain?

Did you remember to tighten my stem?

Yup!  You're good to go!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quote of the week

Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades.

Eddy Merckx

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Broken Bike Spoke

Got inspired after breaking a spoke this morning.

"Broken Bike Spoke"

Who else is gonna bring you a broken bike spoke
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of chain lube
There he goes wabbling across the road
There he goes warping my whole wheel around

Do you feel what I feel
Can we make it so that's part of the wheel
I gotta hold onto these spokes of steel
Lay your tool on the line for this wheel

I wanna ballance with your wheel
When you spin like that fan in the summer breeze
Count the spokes of that cover my wheel
Didn't you show me a crack this time

Who else is gonna bring you a broken bike spoke
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of chain lube
There he goes wabling across the road
There he goes truing my whole wheel around, around

Do you feel what I feel
Do you feel what I feel
Ah can you see what I see
Can you cut behind the mystery
I will meet you by the truing stand
Leave the pace line behind

I want to ride when you call
I'll get to you if I have to crawl
They can't hold me with these warped side walls
We got mountains to climb, to climb

Who else is gonna bring you a broken bike spoke
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of chain lube
There he goes wabling across the road
There he goes truing my whole wheel around
truing my whole wheel around
truing my whole wheel around
truing my whole wheel around

Tip Thursdays: Check your tires

Every few rides check your tire pressure.  You would be surprised at how much extra resistance 10psi down will add to your ride.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mondays are painful, why not share the pain?

Not all pain is physical, sometimes mental pain can be just as bad...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quote of the week

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.

John F. Kennedy

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Take the time to get out and ride

Not every ride needs to be hard core training, or determined commuting, or heart pounding adrenalin rush.

Take the time sometime to just take a leisurely ride to explore your local area.  Find a road or trail you haven't ridden before and take a nice slow easy ride to see what's down there.  Use the ride as way to relax, unwind and just enjoy the bike.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guess riding in the rain is out?

This is actually quite neat, if only I had the patience to try this myself.

Love his quote near the end...

What I like about it most?  It's made of cardboard!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Quote of the week

When my legs hurt, I say: "Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!"

Jens Voigt

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Being nice is always the best policy

Remember, when on a bike no matter if you want to be or not, you are an ambassador for the sport.  The motorist who was behind you on the way to work when you ran that stop sign, now has negative feelings about cyclists.  That hiker you blew off the single track, is now deeply resending mountain bikers...

When in traffic, if a car stops to let you turn, give them a thank you wave.  Even if by law they were supposed to stop, it makes them feel appreciated.  The leave the encounter with less negative thoughts about all cyclists.

When you come across hikers on a single track, give them the trail and say hello.  Would you rather the hikers leave thinking "Those were some nice mountain bikers" or "Those damn mountain bikers are ruining the trail, who do I call to get them banned?"

The world doesn't need to be us vs them.  A little bit of friendliness goes a long way.

Stretches for cyclists

Here are some great stretches for cyclists to help prevent injuries.

Since winter is coming, here are some tailored to indoor stationary bikes.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Quote of the week

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein

Friday, November 1, 2013

Daylight savings ends this weekend

Time to break out the high visibility vests for your commute.

It might also be a good idea to check the reflectivity of your bike.  I found these strips of 3M tape to be quite effective, I placed them on my backpack, heels of my shoes, wrapped some around a few spokes and stuck a bit on the handlebar.  It weighs next to nothing and works quite well.

And one final note to the girl riding without lights on the dark trail for the last few years scaring the crap out of me... please realize that you are completely invisible to anybody else.  Just because you can see where you are going doesn't mean others can see you and where you are going!

Thursday, October 31, 2013


If your rim brakes are starting to scare local wildlife and small children, you might need to adjust the toe a bit.

While linear brakes (vbrakes) don't require toe in for performance, a touch of toe in can stop them from howling like a banshee.

Toe in means to have the front part of the pad touch the rim slightly before the back part of the pad.  It is quite easy to do.

First clamp a piece of card stock like from a cereal box between the back part of the pad and the rim by applying the brakes.

While holding the brakes in this position, loosen the bold for your brake pad and then re-tighten it.  Repeat for the other side.

Now your brakes will have a slight toe in and stop attracting whales with their song.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mondays are painful, why not share the pain?

Honey, are we forgetting anything?

Nope, why?

Just have a feeling that I'm forgetting about something important....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Quote of the week

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

Lance Armstrong

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Garage Door vs Roof Bike Rack

If you have both a garage and a roof rack you could be in for some expensive trouble.  If you're one of those people who uses their garage for storage of everything but the car, great!  If not try putting a label or note on the button for the garage door opener reminding you to check to make sure you don't have a bike on the roof.

This simple reminder might help you to prevent plowing your bike into the roof.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Quote of the week

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like


Friday, October 18, 2013

Ricky's Rants: Don't be an idiot with a bike...

Look, just being on a bike does not make you a cyclist.  You can dress the part and go head to toe in spandex, shave your legs, hop on a $10,000 carbon fiber bike that's been exquisitly dialed into perfectly fit you, and you might still be an idiot on a bike....

Some of the symptoms of IOAB Syndrome (Idiot On A Bike) include;

  • Swerving in and out of traffic
  • Riding on sidewalks
  • Blowing stopsigns or red lights
  • Riding the wrong way down a one way road
  • Running other users off of shared use trails and paths
If you find yourself doing these things, you are most likely sufering from IOAB Syndrome and you should be worried because it is often fatal.  Just because you are smaller or slower than a car does not mean the rules don't apply to you.  

IOAB Syndrome is a very dangrous condition for both the infected, as well as those around them.

Here is an example of somebody sufering from IOAB Syndrome, they survived this encounter and hopefully this incicent will help them to overcome their affliction.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Tuck and Roll

When crashing a bike, most riders have the instinct to try and catch themselves with their hands as they go down.


When you try to catch yourself you end up landing straight armed driving all the force of the crash into your collar bone, often resulting in a break.  This is why cyclist often break the collar bone.

If you can have the presence of mind to remember this in a crash, try to keep your arms tucked in and let your shoulder absorb the impact with the ground.  You might get some extra road rash, and it's no guarantee that you won't cause other injuries, but you will be less likely to break anything this way.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

For when you're not on the bike...

Occasionally we need to ditch the sweaty jersey and dress respectably.  For those times I present to you the Bike Tie!

Seems to be selling for $37.95 each. I may have to pickup a few of them.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Quote of the week

"Keep the wind at your back, 
and the air in your tires"

One armed Ironman

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tip Thursdays: The weakest link...

When locking your bike, the lock might not be the weakest part of your security.  Always pay attention to what you are locking it to (both on the bike and the rack). 

  • Always run the lock through one of the frame triangles such as the rear stays, or below the crossbar, don't just run it through a wheel alone as that lets the thief remove your wheel and make off with the rest of the bike.
  • If you have quick releases or expensive wheels, make sure you run the lock through them as well.  This might involve you removing the front wheel and placing it at the rear so it can be included in your lock.  Again make sure you catch the actual rim and not just a few spokes.  
  • Make sure you lock to something secure.  Locking to a sturdy post is fine until the thief simply lifts your bike over the top of it.  Similarly that wooden fence might be convenient, but a swift kick to the fence and your bike is gone.

Yep, that should keep it safe!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ricky's Rants: Few musings on weapons (cars + cell phones)

The most dangerous weapon you will ever have in life, is your car...

Why oh why can this not be the very first thing out of any driving instructor's mouth?  Way too many people have become so complacent about driving that they don't stop to realize they are moving around in thousands of pounds of metal flying along at speeds that will require hundreds of feet to stop.

Now before you roll your eyes and assume this is going to be one of those "all drivers are idiots, and all cyclists are perfect" rants, please realized these 2 facts.
  1. Most motorists are safe intelligent drivers who understand the responsibility in their hands when they start the engine.
  2. I am equally peeved by cyclists riding like idiots as motorists driving like idiots (look for a future rant on that subject.)
My ire at this phenomenon of drivers taking the safety of others for granted isn't specific to the danger to cyclists as we are not the only victims of distracted drivers.  Rather we are just one of the many needlessly put at risk by some driver who believes they can manage the complex task of safely piloting an extremely dangerous weapon, while simultaneously using one or both of their hands as well as both of their eyes, and most of their brain, to read/send that text message that just couldn't wait until they got off the road.

As a cyclist who commutes, I spend part of my day waiting at traffic lights watching cars go by.  At the major intersections, I rarely go through a cycle of the lights without seeing at least 2 or 3 drivers going by holding phones to their ear, or at least 1 driver texting behind the wheel.   This terrifies me in a couple of ways.  First, these are just a small subset of the drivers on the road that I am able to see when I stop.  What about those I don't see?  Second, these people are doing this while going through an intersection, arguably one of the times when they should be at their most alert.  How many are putting the phone down for the intersection, only to pick it up again afterwards?

I really do put the lunacy of texting while driving up there with the lunacy of starting to smoke.  I understand that smokers do have an addiction and that is extremely tough to quit.  I have nothing against them for that.  Instead I wonder why with the amount of knowledge we have about the effects of cigarettes, would anybody in their right mind deliberately start smoking?  By the same token, with the obvious dangers to yourself, your passengers and everybody around you, why the hell would you think it's a good idea to send or read that text while driving.  

Texting and driving should be prosecuted to the same extent as taking a rifle and randomly firing it down the street.  The danger is the same, the punishment and enforcement should be as well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Pain

Mondays are painful, why not share the pain?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quote of the week

"It never gets easier, you just go faster." 

Greg LeMond

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tip Thursdays: Just in case

Any time you get yourself a new bike (new to you, doesn't matter if it's brand new or previously enjoyed).  Always take a moment to write down the serial number.  I personally keep a spreadsheet in google documents that I can access from anywhere including my phone with all my major serial numbers.

In the unfortunate event of a theft, you want to be able to very quickly find that serial number and provide it to the police and local pawn shops.  The quicker you can get the serial number out there the more likely you will be to catch them when the thief tries to fence the bike.

Got a tip for Tip Thursday?  Let me know at!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Pain

Mondays are painful, why not share the pain?

Friday, September 27, 2013

DIY Week: How to paint your bike

Have you ever found an incredibly good deal on a bike, or seen an old bicycle that you really wanted to have but didn't like the color or the paint was all chipped? Or if you just wanted to make your bike more original (by painting it neon colors). Don't lose hope. Here is how to paint an old bike frame with a professional-looking finish.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

DIY Week: Build a ladder bridge

Some great examples of proper trail building techniques via the North Shore Mountain Bike Association.

Monday, September 23, 2013

DIY Week: Build a bike fender out of a plastic jug

It's a nice variant on the old school 2L pop bottle fender mounted on the frame.  This one uses laundry soap bottles and is actually mounted into the fork crown.

The instructions suggest using a star fangled nut, but those are a royal pain to remove, I would suggest their alternate solution of using a rubber expander to mount it.

I personally think they will look much better with some matte black spray, but in either case, the fender does come out looking like it started life as a fender, not a soap container.

Full instructions here,

Monday Pain

Mondays are painful so why not share the pain?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tip Thursdays: When dogs attack...

Any cyclist who's spent any time on the roads, particularly outside of the cities, has at some point been chased by a dog.

If your usual route has a dog that regularly goes after you, consider bringing one of your water bottles filled with vinegar.  In most cases a quick shot of vinegar to the face will stop the dog in it's tracks without hurting anybody (dog included).   Just make sure you remember which bottle is which or you might be in for an unpleasant surprise.

Alternatively if you don't have a regular dog, your normal water bottle might help deter the dog, if not your best bet is to get away quickly, if you can't out run the dog, dismount and keep the bike between you and the dog.  Yell at the dog as loudly and forcefully as you can to get home.  Many dogs will respond to this, but if nothing else the owner will probably hear and come get their dog back in line.

A helmet nod goes out to the One-armed Ironman for the tip.

Got a tip for Tip Thursday?  Let me know at!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

101 Bicycle Maintenance Tips

1 Never loan tools to friends.

2 If it’s threaded, grease it.

3 You can’t properly adjust a bicycle that is dirty and not lubricated.

4 Perfect the art of changing a flat. No excuses.

5 Nylon tire levers are better than metal ones. 

6 Measure twice, then cut. This especially goes for steerer tubes and integrated seatposts. 

 7 When disassembling something, keep track of the order in which you remove parts. It takes the mystery out of putting it back together. 

8 Check tire pressure before every ride, especially if you’re running tubeless. 

9 The three most important tools to have on a ride: a multitool with a chain breaker, a pump or CO2, and a patch kit or tube. 

10 When tinkering with anything near your cranks, shift into the big ring first so you don’t mangle your hand on the chainring teeth. 

11 Periodically check for bearing play in your headset, hubs, and cranks. To check your headset, squeeze the front brake and rock your bike fore and aft. For wheel and crank bearings, pull the wheel or crank side to side. If you feel a wiggle, your component needs an adjustment. Don’t ignore it, or the problem will get bigger and more expensive. 

12 Using a torque wrench (see No. 81), check the tightness of your crank bolts every month. If you just bought a new bike, check them after every ride for the first week. 

13 After you box your bike for travel but before you seal it, give it a side-to-side shake to note any loose or rattling parts. Then secure them. 

14 Loctite Threadlocker­ Blue 242 is a must-have­ accessory for bolts that assemble using standard hand tools. It seals threaded fasteners and keeps them from rattling loose due to vibration.

See the rest over at

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Pain

Mondays are painful, why not share the pain?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Charlottetown bike to work day (Friday Aug 23)

The City of Charlottetown is hosting their third Bike to Work Day on Friday, August 23 and encouraging residents to use active transportation for the day.

The City hosted the first Bike to Work Day of 2013 on June 21 and is planning one monthly through until October. This is an ongoing initiative through the City’s Urban Beautification and Sustainability Committee to support the Regional Active Transportation Plan. The goal of this project is to encourage active transportation, provide residents with alternatives to using vehicles and free up parking spaces in the downtown core.

Bike to Work participants will meet at City Hall at noon on August 23 for a ride through Victoria Park, finishing at City Hall. Following the ride, light refreshments will be served at City Hall, for participants where a few prizes will be awarded.
Bike racks will be provided in front of City Hall as well as outside of the Queen Street Parkade for those in the downtown area to lock up their bikes.

Monthly dates for the remaining Bike to Work Days are as follows: September 30 and October 18.

For more information contact the City’s interim Sustainability Coordinator, Karen Murchison at (902) 629-4094.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Experiments in Speed

Great little video on a guy building a bike for pure speed.

Reminds me of a great movie I saw about Graeme Obree and his quest to set the 1 hour record.  That movie is called The Flying Scotsman and I highly recommend all cycling fans give it a watch (I found it on Netflix).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Local cycling PSA

Got some local riders making an appearance.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Built for speed...

I love it.  I want to see somebody show up to a big tri with this beast :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cycling Slang

I came across a dictionary of some commuter slang, these are a few of my favorites.  I may fall into a few of these titles myself.

Annoying Samaritan: Motorized human that cedes right of way to a cyclist when said right of way should not be ceded. The annoying Samaritan does not please the cyclist, who was fully prepared to wait his turn, but rather annoys other motorized humans who direct their ire at the cyclist.

Bike Salmon: This is when a rider "swims up stream" by riding the wrong way down a one way street.

Cliptastrophy: When someone riding with clipless pedals either cannot click in or click out.

Drive By Baptism: the splash coming from motor vehicles that hits cyclists.

Felon Bars: Traditional Drop Bars that have been reversed bull-horn-style on an ancient ten-speed being ridden by an individual who is obviously cycling because he is not allowed to drive any longer.

Hummer: This is the rider who is seriously into off-road weekend riding and decides to commute on a dual suspension downhill bike with 2.5 inch wide tires with huge knobbies on them. You typically can hear this rider coming because of the hum of the knobbie tires on the pavement. Sometimes this rider will replace the huge downhill tires with narrow slicks and the bike will look extremely out of proportion because of this - then I guess you could call the rider "Slick."

Organ Donor: Helmet-less rider who cruises stop signs and red lights, requiring cross traffic to slow or stop.

Orphan: a small child in a helmet, often riding on a tag-along or in a trailer, and always in the company of an Organ Donor.

Racing Stripes: seen on wet days, the line of mud/rain spatter up a rider's back whose bike lacks fenders.

Tin Man: This is a person riding a bike that is crying out in agony for lubricant.

See more at:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Clink, Clang, Rattle, Squeek, Chatter, Squak

We've all had rides where your bike starts becoming quite vocal.  Here's a great guide for tracking down and eliminating these annoying noises.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Some great tips on staying safe on the bike

I came across a great collection of tips for cyclists put out by the Oregon DOT.

You can download the guide here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Happy Summer Solstice (AKA Bike Ride Day)

Today is the longest day of the year here on the top side of the world.  Celebrate with a bike ride!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Canibalistic Bike Rack?

I think this is an awesome idea for an old frame.