Bike Your Drive!

Is bike commuting not cool to kids anymore?

Man that title made me feel old…Back in the day, riding bikes was the coolest thing you can do. Well at least until you got your driver’s license. But for the most part almost everyone I knew growing up rode bikes everywhere. My friend and I would ride our bikes from one town to another just to go visit people or to go fishing. We’d use our bikes to go to the store to buy chips, soda and candies. We used bikes to go anywhere we wanted.

Now I’m starting to notice less and less kids on bikes. At my kid’s school, the bike racks can host up to 2 dozen bikes, but on any given school day, we’d only see about 3-4 and 2 of them are my kid’s bikes.

Perhaps its all the rage to hop in the family Hummer or SUV and drive down the street, or maybe kids are lazier than ever? I even had this theory, could it be that the same people that rode their bikes when they were kids grew up hating having to ride bikes everywhere, and now they would just rather get into their car just so they don’t have to put much effort in. Then they are in return instilling that same mentality into their kids…

What ever it is, kids commuting is a past time that is not as cool as it used to be. Dang man, just watch that movie RAD Racer…those guys rode bikes everywhere and they were cool.

Anyhow, rant over.

With $517,000 Grant, Campaign Aims To Encourage Bike-Riding to School

This is a great article. Talks about how a grant is going to help encourage kids to ride their bikes to school as well as educate them on the how to do it right. Another great thing about this grant is that a large portion of the money will go towards improving infrastructure which include, bike racks, safer streets and intersections.

Bike riding was something that Sherly Poma, 14, avoided for a long time after a childhood accident left her with a scraped knee, but you wouldn’t know it watching her confidently biking around the parking lot at Alexandria’s Minnie Howard School earlier this month.

Poma and her classmates were doing riding drills as part of a program designed to encourage kids to bike for exercise. The message got through to Poma; this fall she will start biking to T.C. Williams High School.

“I found out that I like biking,” Poma said, adding that she has no intention of giving up two-wheeled transportation when she gets her driver’s license. “I like biking. I like the rush.”

Read it HERE.


Moe, the roadie

I used to tell people that I was a roadie that commutes to work on a bicycle.

Moe, the Mtn Biker

Lately, I’m a bike commuter that likes to road ride and Mountain Bike. How about you, what else do you like to ride?

Cross Chaining

I had a buddy that always complained about his bike’s deraillleur rubbing or not being able to shift correctly. Today I received my free weekly newsletter from that described his problem: Cross Chaining

What is cross chaining? “Cross chaining is when you have the chain going across the gears stretching it laterally. If you are in the big ring in the front and the big ring in the rear or small ring in the front and small ring in the rear you are cross chaining and thus wearing your drive train much faster than necessary.”

Here’s the Article from “Uncle Al” from on how to avoid cross chaining.

If you are running double chainrings with that 9-speed cogset, and you are on the big ring, it’s kosher to run up to the # 3 cog (the biggest cog being # 1 and the smallest being # 9).

If you’re on the small ring, it’s cool to run down to # 7, provided you can “trim” the front derailleur to stop the chain from rubbing it, and provided the chain doesn’t tinkle against the big ring.

That’s for normal riding. If you’re racing, all bets are off. In your delirium you can do whatever it takes as long as it doesn’t make you crash.

If you are running triple chainrings, the idea is to run the chain nearly straight to the cassette.

—When on the small inside chainring, use the 3 or 4 largest cogs.

—When on the middle ring, run # 8 up to # 2, occasionally # 1 in a pinch. But if #1 isn’t low enough, you’ll have to shift to the small ring and your chain will drop onto the bottom bracket shell about half the time (unless you have a chain watcher). Prevent this by making your shift to the small ring before you’re up on the largest cog.

—When on the big chainring, it’s okay to run from # 9 up to # 3 regularly, and # 2 occasionally.

The bottom line is that a 27-speed bike is actually a 19-speed but is even better as a 17-speed.

With either chainring setup, never run the small ring/smallest cog combo or the big ring/biggest cog combo, or I will hunt you down and hurt you. You are asking for trouble if you don’t run the chain relatively straight. Those “crossover” combos put the chain at the max angle and cause excessive cog, chain and pulley wear.

The whole purpose of multiple gears is to give you what you need and do it with a good chain line. This results in less wear on your equipment, less noise and maximum efficiency.

There isn’t always the “right gear” for the job. Sometimes, it has to be your legs that make the difference. Don’t be afraid to push a little harder or spin a little faster to prevent cross-chaining. It’ll make you a better and stronger rider.

Obviously you won’t have this issue if you are riding a singlespeed bike 🙂

How to make your own messenger bag

A while back my brother Randy, a fellow bike commuter and staff writer for the site, made his own messenger bag and posted the how to on the site.

So if you haven’t already seen it, you can read all about it HERE. He even posted a video on how the quick tug and pull strap action adjusts and releases the bag in 2 seconds.