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Tag Archive: commutebybike

Ever heard of an Audax?

I was talking to a friend of mine from the UK who works for an online bicycle shop called Fat Birds. We got to talking about “commuter bikes” and what that all means to someone in the UK. Well he brought up the word “AUDAX.” Truthfully, I’ve never heard of such a term. Apparently Audax is basically a word that best describes a commuter bike. Here’s a definition on their website:

A Sportive or Audax bike is a bicycle that allows for mudguards and in most cases a rear rack it is lighter than a touring bike and the geometry is more racey (yet slightly more relaxed than a road racer). A Touring bike is a frame designed to handle bicycle touring, with mudguards and front and rear pannier racks (not all come with front racks as this is dependent on the fork).
Special features of a touring bike may include a long wheelbase (for ride comfort and to avoid pedal-to-luggage conflicts), frame materials that favor flexibility over rigidity (for ride comfort), heavy duty wheels (for load capacity), and multiple mounting points (for luggage racks, fenders, and bottle cages).

Oh yeah, did you notice the other word in there? “SPORTIVE.” In the US market, or at least in a few bike shops that I’ve been to, they have dubbed what our UK friends call a Sportive as a “fitness bike.” Basically it’s a bike that isn’t quite a sporty road bike, not as burly as a touring bike, but a bike you could use to commute with or take for a 15-20 mile bike rides and still be comfortable.

So are you wondering what a Sportive/Audax bike looks like? Well check out this beauty…”Kinesis Racelight 4S Audax Road Bike Silver; The versatile Racelight TK3 frameset gets a makeover and has a new name Racelight 4S (meaning Four Seasons).”
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Not bad right? I’m almost positive that the US Market will start to use those terms in the near future to introduce new commuter bikes to make them sound fancier.

Dads and Daughters giving a helping hand

On Thanksgiving weekend we assembled our volunteers to go out to Santa Ana, Ca. to help fix bicycles for the less fortunate. Moe and I had the opportunity to bring our daughters out to help. This was our daughters’ first time helping us out with bicycle repairs. So when we arrived we quickly set up shop. At first some of the people were suspicious that we were willing to fix their bicycles for free. But once the locals saw what we were doing, word spread rather quickly. Almost immediately they all started streaming in for some much needed help with their bicycles. Yes, that is a walker. It seems like we’re always servicing 1-2 of those each time we come out.
Bicycle repair for the homeless

In fact here’s the first one that was serviced. It needed a brake adjustment as well as some lube on the bearings.
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Though my daughter, Aleah and Moe’s daughter, Lizzy felt that they weren’t going to be able to help, we taught them how to properly lube a chain. With each bike that came in for service, the kids made sure the chains were properly lubricated. Here’s Moe and Lizzy taking care of a bicycle.
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We service all types of bicycles. From beach cruisers, hybrids, road bikes to bmx bikes, they all need some sort of attention.
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A while back Marcus V. from Freedom by Wilderness Trail Bikes sent over large boxes of saddles. Those have come in handy since we end up replacing a good number of them.
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Out of all the times we’ve been coming out, this has to be one of my favorite. This gave us the opportunity to teach our girls the importance of giving back to the community. One thing you have to understand, through the various opportunities and blessings that have come out of operating Bikecommuters.com, I that felt it is our duty to give back in the form of bicycle repairs. Sure testing bicycles, having Internet-stardom is great and all, but providing bicycle repair services for the homeless for free is VERY rewarding.

Here’s an interesting tidbit. While we were working on bicycles. A man stood about 20 feet away watching us work. Then about 15 minutes later he comes to introduce himself. He mentioned he was part of a volunteer group that was feeding the homeless nearby (50 feet from us). But he was in awe on what we were doing, his words were, “Wow, we’re just here giving them food, but you’re actually doing something to help change their lives…” He thanked me for what we were doing and shook my hand.

I do want to thank all the folks that make it possible for us to do this on a monthly basis. Donations from strangers and many of our readers have helped out so much. I also want to thank The Bicycle Tree. They donated a brand new Park Work Stand to our cause.

Feel down? Get on your bike and ride

I’m sure there’s some sort of science behind this, but anytime I’m feeling down or just unmotivated, I get on my bike and ride. This helps to clear my mind allow me to decompress from the day. Often times I get all stressed out from work, family and bills that I just need to bust out and scream. Well you can do that too if you’re on your bike. Something about it makes me feel soooo much better once I come back. It doesn’t even have to be a long bike ride, a ride around the neighborhood is plenty enough to get your mind clear and your blood flowing.

This rings so true when you’re day isn’t going as well as you had hoped. You need some fun in there!
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I have quite a few hobbies such as eating, mountain biking, placing an online bet and even sipping coffee while people watching. But there’s nothing like getting on my bike during the work day to make me feel better. Sometimes if I’m really stressed out, I’ll take a break from what I’m doing at the office, get on my bike and ride down to the local coffee shop. I won’t actually stop for coffee, but it’s my turning point. Once I get to that destination, I’ll turn around head back to the office. Once I get there, I have a better attitude, clearer perspective and clean air in my lungs. Sometimes it just helps to pull yourself out of a stressful situation, get some fresh air and get back to it moments later.

Oh here’s another one of my joys that RL has clearly demonstrated with his Grocery Gitter‘. I simply LOOOOVE doing errands like groceries or going to the hardware store with my bicycle. Basically I like to be able to do things on my bike that most people would take a car for. This helps to make me feel better and enjoy riding down the bike lane while people are stuck in their cars.

How do you like it? Wet or Dry?

Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of chain lubes on both my commuter and mountain bikes. But more recently I’ve used what ever was closest to me. From my experience when talking to others about lube, it’s much like religion or politics, people will have their own opinions on what’s right and wrong.

So I leave you the question; “Which type of lube (wet or dry) do you use and why?”
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Win A Footbike!

FootbikeUSA has graciously offered one of their famous machines to be given away in a contest exclusive to BikeCommuters.com! You can enter to win this beautiful, fun and practical machine just by providing us the correct answer to our trivia question. We’ll be picking a random winner with the correct answer on 12/17/2012. This contest is only valid for US Residents, no BikeCommuters.com and sister sites Staff are allowed to enter. Multiple entries will void your chances of winning. Basically if you spam us, we’ll block you.

Here’s the trivia question.

Question: What American footbiker in 2004 covered the longest commute distance on a performance scooter(footbike)? Total time of commute was 21 hours 37 minutes. Make sure you provide the name and distance.

footbike contest

Submit your answer to: win@bikecommuters.com. Include your contact info.
DO NOT POST YOUR ANSWER ON THE COMMENTS BELOW.
Contest ends on 12/17/2012 12pm PST. We’ll announce a winner by 6pm PST that same day! Heck if you win, you might be kicking around a footbike just like Holland MacFallister! Good luck!

Here’s a hint: FootbikeUSA

Interbike 2012: Banjo Brothers

One of my favorite people to visit at Interbike would be our friends Eric and Mike also known as the Banjo Brothers. I’ve known these guys for at least 6 years and did you know that Banjo Brothers is celebrating their 10 year anniversary! A big congrats goes out to these guys who make high quality products at affordable prices.

Mike and Eric, The Banjo Brothers.
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For 2013 the Brothers are offering new frame bags.
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Another product they are offering is a cell phone bag/keeper. The clear plastic cover allows you full control of your screen while protecting it from the elements. This bag is perfect for storing your stuff all together so you can fit it in the back of your jersey pocket.
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You can keep your ID, CC and cash in there.
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This right here has to be my favorite, same concept as above, but you can mount it on your bike!
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Velcro to keep things secure on the bike.
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Another new product is this guy. It’s the same as their backpack but made with a different material. From what I recall, Eric said it was waxed canvas. So that should make some of you retro-grouches happy.
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Here’s a great example of Banjo Brother products mounted on a commuter/touring bike.
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Look hunny, the drapes match the carpet!
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I love me some Banjo Brothers. My own commuter back pack is 6 years old and it’s still going strong! I use for bike commuting and even for luggage when I travel.

Interbike 2012-It’s coming up!

If you didn’t know, America’s largest bicycle trade show is in less than 2 weeks. Last year I had the pleasure of providing the good looking readers of BikeCommuters.com media coverage of the show.

This year we’ve partnered up with our super awesome friends at Planet Bike so we can host our very first (cue the echo sound effects) BikeCommuters.com Interbike SWAG Giveaway Contest, brought to you by the handsome folks of Planet Bike!

So here’s how it’s going to work: Our Media Crew, yours truly and Hermes, will be working hard at Outdoor Demo and Interbike, collecting swag stuff from various vendors to accompany the GRAND PRIZE that Planet Bike has generously provided. What’s in the Planet Bike Grand Prize? Dunno, sexy Chris F. of PB said he’d surprise us, but whatever it is, it should be really good!
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We’ll provide more contest details as we approach closer to the show date.

A Special Place in My Heart For Toe Clips

When I was about 12 years old, I saved up $100 to buy my first “real” road bike. My step-brother Dan introduced me to the world of cycling and soon after, I was hooked. Being 12 years old, I couldn’t afford fancy LOOK clipless pedals. So this meant that I got my start into bicycling by using traditional to clips and straps. Fast forward to my adult life, I found that I really enjoy using toe clips!
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I guess it always brings me back to when I first started bicycling. It reminds me that every time I get on my bicycle, it’s an adventure. Some may not like them, but if you know how to properly use toe clips and straps, they are just as efficient as clipless pedals.

What about you folks? Are you still riding with toe clips?

Quick Tip-Rain Gloves

Find yourself needing to keep your hands dry in the rain? Here’s a quick tip that helps. What I do is place a pair of disposable gloves over my riding gloves.
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This keeps the water and wind out, thus keeping your hands nice and dry.
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Keeping a spare pair of disposable gloves in your bag is a good way to keep your hands clean if you’re facing an impromptu repair on the way to work, too…changing a flat inner tube or having to handle a greasy chain is no problem if you’ve got some gloves handy to ward off the grime!