Bicycles are fun for everyone,
Whoever you are !
Not only is it a wonderful way to get around, it provides you with your daily dosage of exertion and activity as well. So while Bicycles have principally been a means of transport for a long time now, that is no longer the case.
Bikes keep you fit. Bicycles can add adventure to your day. Bicycles also keep the surroundings cleaner. And for the more self righteous ones – bikes make you feel like you are doing the world a favour!
What to consider:
So you’ve decided to buy a bicycle, now the first thing you’ve got ask yourself is:
* Who’s going to be using it?
* What it will be used for?
* How much are you willing to spend on it?
and Most Important…
* Your Reason for buying a Bicycle
Among many bicycle lovers, while most choose to bicycle casually, either to school, university or even work; some more adventurous ones have also been a part of stunt biking groups, professional cycling clubs or mountain biking associations.
Cycling is a great hobby and with so many options to choose from, you can decide how best you associate with this great invention! However, before you jump to any of that, you do need a bicycle. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing a bike either for your kids or for yourself.
Purchasing a bicycle for your toddler
So you’ve decided to initiate your toddler to the wonderful world of cycling; now the right time to get your toddler a two wheel bike is when they have reached age 3. By this age, kids have properly developed motor skills as well as a sense of balance and self sufficiency.
Buying a bike for your child requires some research. Just knowing the brand and the colour preference is not enough. The bike needs to be comfortable enough for the child to ride, especially if the child is starting out learning to ride a bike.
Bicycle sizes are classified via the size of the wheel. There are recommended wheel sizes for all age groups.
When purchasing a bike for your child, pick the bike with the correct wheel size of 12 or 14 inches. Take your child with you for bike shopping. Make sure her legs reach the floor. When riding a bike, this will give the child more self confidence.
Also make sure you purchase a pair of detachable side wheels for training her so she can learn to balance. Another important thing to keep in mind is to purchase a bike that is light in weight. Since you toddler is learning to ride, chances are she might fall a few times. And a heavy bike will worsen the experience.
So while it is a bit more expensive, it is worth the investment. And while you are at it, don’t forget to purchase a cycling helmet!
Bicylce for kids in their pre-teens and teens
By the time your kids are in pre-teens or in their teens, they will have mastered the art of riding a bike and would have long outgrown the toddler bike.
Now is the time for something different!
Since they are a bit grown up, they will want more say in the purchase decision.
It is best to get to know what it is they are looking for. Now, remember, kids might want the world, but you are working with a budget.
So make sure your child is aware of it before hand so he can do his bit of research as well within that budget.
(a big word, but here’s what it means)
In this age group, most kids will use the bicyle to go to school and for after school activities like meeting friends, taking part in local racing competitions etc.
Consider the ergonomics of the bicycle. Make sure the handle bars are not too close to the seat as it will exhaust your child quite easily. And ensure that the seats are comfortable.
The ideal wheel size for a pre-teenager’s bike is 18-22 inches. Make sure bikes for your young teen have coaster breaks for additional safety. Teenagers can use the same bike size used by adults, which is a standard 24 inches.
Take your children with you so they can test ride the bikes before finally choosing one which fits their requirements and your budget.
Read more about Bicycle Ergonomics Here
Also, don’t forget to accessorize.
Items like extra headlights, water-bottle, reflectors, mirrors, radio etc. will personalize the bike for your child.
Considerations when purchasing a bicycle for adults
The ideal bike size for adults is 24 inches. When purchasing such a bicycle, ask yourself a couple of basic questions.
Is the bike for casual riding or exercising or for a special hobby like mountain biking or for sports?
You can opt for a single gear or multi-gear bike giving you the convenience of varying speed limits, based on where you are riding it. These days road bikes offer speed ranges of 12 to 21, to choose from. Another important thing to look for is adjustable seats and handle-bars.
Before you make a final purchase, test ride a couple of bikes since unlike kids, you are not likely to outgrow the bike you purchase.This also means you should go for something that is not just sturdy but also light.
Today, there are different brands with various models of bikes catering to all these specific requirements.
Based on your requirement, choose the right Street Bicycle for your needs.
Thanks for your helpful Insight Mr Marco Terrell
Happy Friday, all. For most U.S. residents, don’t forget you lose an hour of sleep this weekend.
Beyond that, there’s honestly more bike news than I can keep up with, but here are a few quick items of note below the photo of traffic on California State Route 17.
- The Devil’s Slide Trail in San Mateo County, California is scheduled to open on March 22.
- A Sister City bike ride with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland takes place Sunday morning starting from San Jose City Hall. All are welcome.
- It’s been a while, but I and others have commented in the past on the passive journalism so common in car crash reports, in which writers seem to go out of their to avoid the appearance of responsibility on the part of a driver whose involved in a wreck. From the convoluted language in this report of a Highway 17 crash, I can’t even tell if somebody was behind the wheel of the car.
A red Volkswagon [sic] Jetta was just south of Granite Creek Road when it went off the roadway and struck a tree with the front of the car before hitting a second tree on the driver’s side.
From this description, I picture a giant spring somewhere in Los Gatos, California launching red Volkswagens towards Santa Cruz. Cars bounce among bumpers and slings like 3000 pound pinballs. Most of the time the cars make it over the hill to their target, but sometimes the big pinball player in the sky nudges the pinball game too far, tilting the machine and game over for the car and its hapless occupants.
- In my post about Mountain Charlie Road earlier today, I broke the video embed. That’s fixed now. Sorry about that.
A couple of friends are cycling from the Bay Area town of Campbell, California to Santa Cruz today. After ascending to Summit Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains, they plan to descend on the infamous Mountain Charlie Road for the first time.
Mountain Charlie Road, named after the mountain man who first hacked a toll road through the hills to Santa Cruz, is a gorgeously serene ride up but offers a harrowing descent. The Strava segment for this descent should be telling, with local pros who know this road averaging 25 MPH on a 5% down grade over four miles.
Even people driving their cars don’t go much faster than about 20 MPH. People on motorcycles exploring side roads always turn back after about a half mile on Mountain Charlie Road.
Motor traffic is limited to the handful of people who live on this one lane, poorly maintained road. Tight off-camber turns, wheel busting potholes, and debris covered curves conspire to discourage even the bravest riders from picking up too much speed lest the fly off the mountain into the valley below.
Unless they’re headed to or through Scotts Valley, most people avoid this Mountain Charlie Road descent. About 500 people have logged their southbound Mountain Charlie rides to Strava, vs 5000 recorded rides on Soquel-San Jose Road with a minus 6% grade and a 47 MPH KOM owned by professional cyclist Freddie Rodriguez during the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. My own best effort of 34 MPH places me just above the bottom quartile of contenders.
Local cyclist Chad Frost shows a Mountain Charlie descent in this video. Enjoy!
I plan to bike up Mountain Charlie from Scotts Valley either next Monday or Tuesday (or maybe both?) for my morning commute beginning at 7 AM. Ping me if you think you’d like to join me for the ride to San Jose / Santa Clara. Remember we lose an hour this weekend. If you’re not familiar with Mountain Charlie Road, we might see four cars in the hour we’re on that road, and they’re all moving at about 20 MPH at the most.
You haven’t seen me post many “celebrities on bikes” photos lately because my main source of free bike celebrity photos went out of business. I was pretty excited to see, then, that Getty now offers the same service from their huge library of editorial and creative images. Last night, I immediately embarked on a search of news photos with bicycles and posted this one of the Dutch Queen Maxima riding to a park grand opening event.
Using the service naturally has its limitations. Getty says they haven’t quite figured out how they’ll do it yet, but they’ll want to eventually generate revenue from this “free” service, which probably means advertising embedded into the images. I’ve also discovered that only a subset of the images are available for embed.
For instance, let’s take a look at American track cyclist Sarah Hammer from Temecula, California. On Sunday, she won the gold medal in the women’s omnium at the 2014 UCI track championships in Cali, Colombia, for her seventh world champion rainbow jersey. I went to gettyimages.com, selected Editoral Images->All Editorial->Last 7 Days. (Editorial images are news photos). I entered “Sarah Hammer” in the search box and hit the go button. The results looked like this.
During the San Jose Bike Train today we saw Israel Prime Minister and California Governor Jerry Brown walk from the tarmac into a waiting caravan of black vans as we rode alongside San Jose International Airport. What did you see on your commute today?
Christian Lent begins today. My reflections as recycled from 2010. More bicycle silliness below the photo of the rider on the trail.
Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s plan for safer roads.
League of American Bicyclists encourages you to contact your Representatives and Senators to support this list of asks during the National Bike Summit taking place now in Washington DC.
Po Campo announces a bag designed specifically for use with Bixi-designed bike share bikes. The presser says:
Love using the bike share system in your city but hate how hard it is to carry stuff? The roomy Po Campo Bike Share Bag makes it easy to carry everything you need by fitting perfectly into the front rack/basket of the common bike share bike. Integrated bungee straps securely and quickly attach the bag to the bike.
Designed exclusively for the bike share bikes used in Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and other cities.
I’ve carried my dog, lunch, jackets, and bags on those tiny little front carrier racks, so I didn’t realize the lack of carrying capacity was a thing. On my TODO list: toting a full sized bicycle in that front rack. Perhaps I’ll try that tonight, so watch for photos.
Mark Cavendish has a new book: At Speed: My Life in the Fast Lane. Just as refreshingly cheeky and transparent as his first book. A fast, enjoyable read. More in-depth review coming soon.
This has never been an issue for me, but maybe this can help others: Free saddle mod fixes the groin pressure problem.
Blue Honda Accord vs bicyclist on Aptos, CA.
With the new mayor, Los Angeles seems to be backsliding on their commitmentb to promote bicycle transportation.
Design a new highway through Illinois farmland, then invent justifications to build it.
You can join Dublin Lord Mayor Oisín Quinn this Sunday in San Jose during a special Bike Party ride around downtown San Jose beginning at City Hall. You can see details here. A bike party is probably the exact opposite of Lent, but oh well.
Lady Fleur gives advice on cycling during those spring showers we so desperately need. The only thing I’d add for eyeglass wearers: bring a rag or small towel. I carry mine in my back pocket.
More bike stuff below the good advice.
Did you know road users have a duty to watch out for livestock — including working livestock dogs — when traveling through open range in the United States? A rancher tries to give some perspective on dog vs bike encounters on rural roads.
San Jose Mercury News guest opinion piece from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition: Today’s ambitious bike projects pave the way for future success by Andy Ball and Tom Werner.
A group of ten women from five East Coast bike advocacy groups Biked to the National Bike Summit taking place in DC this week.
The $1200 BMW (har har).
Outside Magazine: Those fun wearable POV cameras can kill you. One specific example that I’ve been known to do is stick a three foot pole from my helmet. If that pole catches a tree branch, I have a broken neck.
That video shows the route we take for San Jose Bike Train, which takes place the first and third Wednesday of every month. Join us!.
U.S. DOT traffic projections defy reality.
Kent’s photos from the 2014 Seattle Bike Expo.
An indie rock band makes a bicycle music video.
Ride from Palo Alto to Millbrae BART with experienced bicycle commuters along the beautiful Bay Trail Route. No Rider Left Behind, Everyone is welcome.
Local bike guy Andrew Boone leads the Peninsula Bike Train, a group commute from Palo Alto, California to Millbrae, with stops in Menlo Park and Redwood City.
The next bike train departs this Friday, March 7, 2014 at 7 A.M. from Palo Alto Lytton Plaza at University & Emerson. The timetable:
7:00 am – Palo Alto Lytton Plaza (University & Emerson)
7:10 am – Menlo Park Caltrain (7-11 at Oak Grove & Alma)
7:30 am – Redwood City Courthouse Square (Broadway & Hamilton)
9:00 am – Millbrae BART/Caltrain Station
About a 15 MPH pace, which isn’t quite cooking it but it’s not quite slow, either.
San Jose Bike Train rides again this Wednesday, March 5, 2014. One of my colleagues at the office was kind enough to share his germs with me during a meeting last week, so let’s hope my nasty head cold heals up before then. Details and more bike stuff below the spiffy Bike Train logo.
We’ll ride rain or shine. Wheels roll at 8 AM from the Amtrak bus shelter at San Jose Diridon Station. We ride north on the Guadalupe River Trail to serve destinations along the Guadalupe Parkway / North 1st Street Corridor by Hedding Street, SJC Airport, Technology Drive, Trimble Road, Montague Expressway and River Oaks. San Jose Bike Train is an inclusive group ride for all bike styles, body shapes, and apparel. Pace is “no drop” at 10 to 12 MPH.
@chpbike is now online
Twitter updated their robot API last June, which broke my feeds for California Highway Patrol bicycle incidents and fatalities. I finally fixed these feeds over the weekend. Feeds are @chpbike and @chpfatal. They capture and report bike incidents and traffic fatalities (respectively) that are logged to the CHP dispatch system. CHP generally handles mobile 911 calls. Several metro areas operate their own mobile 911 centers, so those calls are missed unless they get handed off to CHP. Another limitation: the @chpbike feed gets a lot of false positives — the intention is to capture bicycle crashes, but I also get most motorcycle crashes in this feed too. You’ll also see the occasional “debris in bike lane” report captured here.
I also updated the California bicycle crash map to show 2014 bicycle incidents. Data source is the same as the chpbike Twitter feed, so the same limitations apply.
More bike stuff
The 2nd Dublin Ireland Mayor’s Ride takes place next Sunday starting from San Jose City Hall. Join the Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn, a collection of other dignitaries, and assorted bike hippies for a seven mile bike ride around downtown San Jose during this Sister City visit. Ride starts at 9:30 AM and don’t forget we spring forward for Daylight Savings Time this weekend.
One of many tweets from the National Bike Summit highlights BlackGirlsDoBike.com, a website to support the growing community of women of color who bike.
— CommunityCyclingCtr (@CommCyclingCtr) March 3, 2014
SFGate: Combine transit with bikes to extend your reach on weekend Bay Area getaways.
Study: Kids who bike or walk to school perform better than their chauffeured peers. If you as a parent are worried about your child’s safety, start a Walking School Bus or a Bike Train.
SFGate (again): Bike Style photo spread features how people dress when they ride their bikes. Unless you know the Bay Area, it might not be what you expect. A couple of people I know from that feature include Lady Fleur and film producer Kristin Tieche.
Drivers license suspensions make poverty worse.
Court rules California texting while driving law doesn’t apply if you’re using a mapping application.
My parents lived in Corona, California just down the street for a trailhead into Cleveland National Forest where a mountain biker lost his life when he was caught out in the rain.
Finally, here’s a photo of the group from the last San Jose Bike Train. Don’t we look like a friendly bunch? Join us Wednesday morning.