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Hello everyone, how do you like the new look? BikeCommuters.com needed a little sprucing up and I finally got the green light from the new boss to get it done.

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Yes, BikeCommuters.com has a new boss: Me. Although I was one of the original co-founders of this site, I lost my bike mojo and I stopped bike commuting and bike riding altogether and stepped away from this site for about five years.

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As you can see, my bike mojo is back and I have been given the opportunity to have full control of the site as RL goes in a sabbatical to find out what is better: road cycling or mountain biking. (Although we all know that cyclocross is the answer).

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So what is next? Other than the new look, I will still focus on bike-train commuting but I will include roadie stuff, technology that focuses on cycling and maybe some mountain biking.

Although the costs to run this site are not significant, the site will keep its model of being funded by paid sponsors and affiliates which means no budget for paid writers.

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Want to become a pro bono writer? Just send me an email at thebikegeek at bikecommuters.com. I also welcome guest articles, reviews or counterpoints to some the stuff that I write.

So unless you want for this blog to become part of a bicycle shop, keep visiting us and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Welcome back fellow bike commuters, today’s post does not have anything to do with bike commuting, trains nor cyclecross bikes; today’s post is all about my Bianchi Impulso road bike that received quite a few likes on Facebook.

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Although I have ridden Giant bicycles for most of my roadie life, the Bianchi brand and its Celeste color has always captivated me. Yes, the color can be a love it or hate it thing, but that Celeste green is quite iconic and anyone who knows about the Tour de France knows that the great Pantani was a Bianchi rider.

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So back in March I got a hair up my butt and I decided that I wanted a Bianchi bicycle to celebrate losing 30 lbs, so that meant that I had to let go of my Giant TCR SLR 2. I found a buyer and my quest to get the Bianchi began. I must have visited 6 different shops looking for the Bianchi with the right fit and the right components, and yes, it had to be in Celeste color. Believe it or not, the Celeste color is quite desirable and most of the bikes that I wanted were sold out for the year, yes, the year.

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Here is our little secret: My Bianchi Impulso is a chick’s bike. Yes, you read that right, I ride a Dama model. Here’s Bianchi’s little secret: other than the Dama sticker, a women specific saddle and subtle differences on the sticker scheme, this bike is EXACTLY the same as the men’s model. Look it up if you don’t believe me, the geometry specs are the same.

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The bike shop where I got it from were really forthcoming about this bike and even though I kind of hesitated at the beginning, a $100 discount helped me made up my mind. So unless you really know your Bianchi models, you would never guess that I ride a girls bike.

When it comes to mountain biking, Tenerife has a strong claim to the title, ‘King of the Canary Islands.’ The island’s relatively compact geographical area works only to its advantage, as you don’t have to travel far between areas to find all kinds of biking routes. From winding mountain roads to forest trails to coastal tracks, there is plenty of exciting terrain to choose from.

So, whether you’re looking for a fun way to spend a day on your holidays in Tenerife, or you plan to spend the entire trip exploring on two wheels, you won’t be disappointed. Here are five reasons why the biggest Canary Island is a fantastic place to go mountain biking:

1.The weather won’t let you down

With little variation between summer and winter, Tenerife is warm all year round, so you don’t have to worry about encountering foul weather. Even in the winter months, rain is minimal. The south and the west are the warmest regions, but of course, on Mount Teide, you can expect colder weather and even snow in winter. After all, it is 3,555 metres high!

2.Good views are guaranteed

No matter where you go mountain biking on Tenerife, you’ll encounter incredible views. The north, however, is where you will find some of the most breath-taking, rugged mountain scenery.

The Esperanza forest area is one of the most popular amongst mountain bikers. The trails will take you through gorgeous pine forests, and any uphill climb will end in a worthwhile view over the surrounding area.

3.You don’t need to be a pro to enjoy the best routes

For the more recreational cyclist, the forests in the Vilaflor area in the south of the island are a great place to start out. The trails are wide, the terrain good, and there are few steep inclines. Vilaflor is the perfect place to take the family if you want to go biking with the kids.

Less experienced riders can also take advantage of the island’s bike tour operators, if you’d rather travel with a guide. Lavatrax and Bike Point are two of the most popular operators, offering days out on a range of routes, with bike hire included.

4.If you’re seeking a challenge, you’ll find it

You shouldn’t mistake Tenerife for a tourist-only cycling destination. If you’re an experienced mountain biker and you want to challenge yourself, you could take the winding road to La Masca. This tiny village is nestled high on a mountainside, and it is one of the most picturesque locations on the whole island.

You’ll start the route in Santiago del Teide, in the west of the island. The steep, narrow road to the top is not for the feint hearted, but Masca is worth the ascent.

5.You can cycle to the top of Spain’s highest peak

Most levels of cyclist can manage the route to the summit of El Teide. Despite being the highest mountain in Spain, the trail is not too steep. Cycling is a fun alternative to climbing the mountain on foot. If summiting the peak isn’t enough, you can explore the surrounding Teide National Park by bike as well.

Where are your favourite mountain biking holiday destinations? Let us know in the comments below!

Image by cédric used under Creative Commons licence.

 

Greetings fellow bike people! I am back with my weekly post, yes I know, I skipped last week’s post but with a good reason: My post sucked. After reading it a few times, I didn’t think my post was good enough for this wonderful blog. Yes, even BikeCommuters.com has standards.

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It has been nearly 5 months since I re-started riding to work after a few years of making excuses on why I could not ride my bike to work. The bike-train solution has been working OK for me, I just wish I had more biking time and the train service would be more reliable.

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When I first started my comeback, I was looking for all kinds of bike commuter stuff such as a bike, clothing, accessories and gadgets. I started with a Devinci Caribou 2 touring bike that serve me well. The bike was comfortable, agile and very versatile. Did I mention that I only paid $250 for it? Yup, only $250. As luck may have it, I found a rare Spicer Cycles CX for even cheaper at $200, this was a price that I just could not pass up. You are probably tired of reading that Cyclocross are my favorite type of commuter bikes, they still are :)

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I also had the good fortune that BikeCommuters.com has an excellent relationship with 2Wheel Gear and they just happened to release their new Pannier Backpack convertible. I still use this Pannier/Backpack and I still believe that it is a great pannier/backpack for multi modal commuting and the price is really hard to beat.

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I also bought a few “bike commuter” specific jerseys and a bunch of “high performance” jerseys from a big box retailer. These high performance jerseys were a fourth of the price and they have exceeded my expectations by being durable, fashionable and very breathable. I am also able to use these jerseys in the office with a pair of Jeans, a total win-win.

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To compliment the “look”, the DZR Minna shoes that I just received from DZR will also do double duty. I had a pair of DZR shoes before and they worked rather well with my clipless pedals and they look like “regular” shoes.

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Some of the stuff that did not quite work were the fitness bands, the Axiom DLX Streamliner rack, my smartphone doubling as bike computer and the hi-viz jacket.

I am pretty happy with all of my commuter stuff but I’m still missing something: A bag/pannier that will keep my lunch cool. I think I’m gonna turn this into a DIY project, stay tuned for that.

Hello Bike Commuters, welcome to your weekly FREE post from The Bike Geek, yes, I said FREE!!! Unlike NetZero, your weekly post will remain free forever with a few shout outs to our friends from 2WheelGear, Burley, NiteRider, Shower Pass and Wabi Cycles. These companies are awesome, so check out their stuff whenever you have a chance.

So by now you should have an idea that I love to change bikes like I change underwear, in fact, I change bikes more often that I change underwear! Long gone is the Davinci Caribou 2 and the Giant TCR SLR2 and now I have the Spicer Cycles CX and a Bianchi Impulso. Why do I change bikes so much? Because I love to experience riding all sorts of bikes; each bike has its own characteristics and personality.

However, there are times that I’ve said to myself “Self, you are a dumbass, you should not have gotten rid of that bike”. Here are few of the bikes that I regret getting rid of:

My Ibex X-Ray Cyclocross bike. This was my first ever cyclocross bicycle that I used for commuting back in 2008. This bike was unique, it was comfortable, it was agile and I configured it as a single speed and then later as a 1X9.

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I still keep kicking myself in the ass for getting rid of this bike. This is a KHS F20-R Folding bicycle. Don’t judge this bike by its size, I used to be able to keep up with the “big boys” on this little bike. It was also very versatile and lightweight at 22lbs. I really wished I had this bike now; it would be perfect for my bike-train commute.

The Ibex B27-RSR, yup, another Ibex. Check out that frame, not very common, it was great for commuting as well as a mountain biking. My Ibex B27-RSR also featured the first version of the DaVinci Hub and wild SweetSkinz tires.

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One thing that sucks about living in a condo is the lack of storage space. The DiamondBack Transporter with the Xtracycle Freeradical was truly one of my favorite bikes. I used it for commuting, mountain biking, grocery shopping and to haul my kids around on Halloween. I was sad to see it go, but the person who got it from me had a little boy who really loved the thrill of riding in the back of this thing.

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And lastly, the KHS DH200 from back in the days when I used to race downhill. This bike was built like an effing tank and I used to plow through rock gardens like nothing. I used to joke that when I raced thru the gnarly stuff I closed my eyes, said a prayer and let the bike do its thing, this bike did not let me down. Too bad I had to retire from downhill racing so it was hard to justify having a bike that would get used once a year.

How about you? Any bikes you regret getting rid of?