9/12/2019

2020 Minnesota Bike Tours, Rides, Races & Events Schedule

The 2020 bike season is filling up fast with all sorts of events, rides, tours, races and festivals.  I have compiled a chronological list of events with links to more information and some with online registration.  Earlier is better when planning which events you are going to participate in as some have a cap on the number of participants or registration deadlines. Use this event listing to save the date for the ones you want to participate in.

This post is a work in progress, so bookmark it and check back often for new event listings.  If you are an event organizer and would like to have your event listed in this post, send me an email (or visit my contact page) with the information and available links.

January

Framed Bikes Pre-Loppet-January 5, 2020
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
17, 8 km
Online Registration

QBP Fat Bike Rennet-January 11, 2020
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Highland Park Reserve
Bloomington, MN
25k, 10k
Online Registration

St. Croix 40 Winter Ultra-January 11-12, 2020
St. Croix State Park
Hinckley, MN
40 miles
Facebook Page
Online Registration

Solstice Chase-January 25, 2020
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Big Rock Creek
St. Croix Falls, WI
20, 10 miles
Facebook Page

Arrowhead 135-January 27-29, 2020
International Falls, MN
135 miles
Registration

February

45NRTH Whiteout-February 1, 2020
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Cuyuna Country Recreation Area
Ironton, MN
30k, 20k, 10k
Online Registration

Fat Tire Loppet-February 2, 2020
Uptown
Minneapolis, MN
35k

Puoli Fat Tire Loppet-February 2, 2020
Uptown
Minneapolis, MN
21k

Fat Bike Vasaloppet-February 9, 2020
Lake Mora
Mora, MN
40, 10 km
Facebook Page

Becker Fat Bike Blitz-February 22, 2020
Pebble Creek Golf Club
Becker, MN
30 miles
Facebook Page

March

Loppet Winter Triathlon-March 1, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
6.5 km ski, 16-18 km bike, 5.9 km run

Fastenal Parallel 45-March 14-15, 2020
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
Parallel 45 Cup (Fat Tire Sprint Race)-March 14
Snowball in Hell (Fat-tire BikeCross Race)-March 15
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration opens Winter 2020

April

30 Days of Biking-April 1-30, 2020
Worldwide
Facebook Page

May

Rick Anderson's 12th Annual Bike Sale-May 9, 2020
Superior Service Center
Apple Valley

Bike MS: Twin Cities Ride-May 17, 2020
Minneapolis, MN
45, 30, 15 miles
Facebook Event Page

June

Twin Cities Tour de Cure-June 6, 2020
Boom Island Park
Minneapolis, MN

Bike MS: MS 150 Ride-June 12-14, 2019
Century College
White Bear Lake, MN
Facebook Event Page

Sanford Tri For Health Youth Triathlon-June 12, 2020
Jackson County Central Senior High
Jackson, MN

Caramel Roll Ride -June 13, 2020
Lake Wobegon Trail
Albany, MN

Sanford Tri For Health Adult Triathlon-June 13, 2020
Jackson County Central Senior High
Jackson, MN

Luce Line Loops Bike Ride-June 14, 2020
Crow River Winery
Hutchinson, MN
75k gravel grinder, 50, 25, 12 miles

Bike Bemidji: Loop the Lake Festival-June 20, 2020
Sanford Event Center
Bemidji, MN
17 miles

Lady Slipper Nature Ride-June 20, 2020
Lake Wobegon Trail
Avon, MN

Freedhem 76 Gravel Ride-June 28, 2020
Freedhem Store
Little Falls, MN
76, 46 miles

July

Great Scott 50 Classic Bike Ride-July 4, 2020
Lakefront Park
Prior Lake, MN
50, 25 miles
Facebook Page

Tour D'Amico-July 4, 2020
D'Amico & Sons
Golden Valley, MN
62, 41, 29, 21 miles

Watermelon Ride-July 4, 2020
Incarnation Lutheran Church
Shoreview, MN
52, 25, 15 miles

Timberman Triathlon-July 11, 2020
Sugar Lake Lodge
Cohasset, MN
Super Sprint: 264 yards/.15 mile swim, 5.5 mile bike 1.5 mile run
Sprint: 587 yards/ 1/3 mile swim, 11 mile bike, 3 mile run
International: 1760 yards/1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6 mile run
Facebook Event Page

Tour of Saints-July 12, 2020
College of Saint Benedict
Saint Joseph, MN
50, 35, 18 miles

Chisago Lakes Triathlon-July 26, 2020
Paradise Park
Chisago City, MN
Sprint: 1/4 mile swim, 22 mile bike, 3 mile run
Half: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13 mile run
Half Aqua Bike: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike
Online Registration

August

Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour-August 1, 2020
Mesabi Trail
Northern MN
Routes TBD

La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival-August 28-31, 2020
La Crosse, WI
Facebook Page

September

Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival-September 19, 2019
Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trailhead
Eagan, MN

October


November


December

Global Fat Bike Day-December 5, 2020
Worldwide

Bikeverywhere
The Twin Cities Bike Map
is available in print and mobile form.

8/04/2019

2019 MN Cyclocross Events

Image Credit CX-MN Facebook Page

Cyclocross season has begun and to get riders prepped there are some practice sessions, a clinic and some non-sanctioned races coming up.  Below is a list in chronological order of races and other cyclocross events here in MN and just across the border.  Details for some of the races in this post may still be being worked out as their status with USA Cycling may be pending or in the permit process.

Image Credit: Gal Alon

Race and event organizers, if you would like your cyclocross event listed please send me an e-mail (or visit my contact page).  I will continue to update information and add events to this post as they become available.

Tuesday Night NE Cyclocross practice-August 6, 2019
St. Anthony Park
Minneapolis, MN

Battle Creek Cross-August 12, 2019
Battle Creek Park
St. Paul, MN

CX Practice Rides 2019-August 14, 2019
Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop and Coffee Bar
Minneapolis, MN

FTW Cyclocross Clinic-August 18, 2019
Dowling Urban Environmental School
Minneapolis, MN

Battle Creek Cross-August 19, 2019
Battle Creek Park
St. Paul, MN

LOPPET CYCLE WORKS Cyclocross Clinics and Team Practice Sessions-August 20, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday Night CX at Wirth Trailhead-August 21, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN

Brookings Grass Crit Worlds Cyclocross-August 24, 2019
Pioneer Park
Brookings, SD
Online Registration

Triple C Women's Cyclocross Clinic-August 24, 2019
Friendly Hills Park
Mendota Heights, MN
Online Registration

LOPPET CYCLE WORKS Cyclocross Clinics and Team Practice Sessions-August 27, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN

Tuesday Night NE Cyclocross practice-August 27, 2019
St. Anthony Park
Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday Night CX at Wirth Trailhead-August 28, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN

Crust Cross-September 1, 2019
University of Minnesota Boathouse
Minneapolis, MN

LOPPET CYCLE WORKS Cyclocross Clinics and Team Practice Sessions-September 3, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN

Tuesday Night NE Cyclocross practice-September 3, 2019
St. Anthony Park
Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday Night CX at Wirth Trailhead-September 4, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
Facebook Event Page

All-City Intercontinental Cyclocross Championships-September 7, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
Event Flyer
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Hub x Corpse Whale FTW ride to All-City Cyclocross Race-September 7, 2019
The Hub Bike Co-op-Minnehaha
Minneapolis, MN

Tuesday Night NE Cyclocross practice-September 10, 2019
St. Anthony Park
Minneapolis, MN

Wednesday Night CX at MN State Fair Grounds-September 18, 2019
Minnesota State Fair Grounds Grandstand
Falcon Heights, MN
Facebook Event Page

Wednesday Night CX at MN State Fair Grounds-September 24, 2019
Minnesota State Fair Grounds Grandstand
Falcon Heights, MN
Facebook Event Page

Gopher Cross-September 28-29, 2019
Zimmerman, MN
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Unofficial Milky Way Galaxy Fat Bike Cyclocross Championship-September 28, 2019
Zimmerman, MN
Online Registration

Upper Sherman CX-September 29, 2019
Sherman Park
Sioux Falls, SD
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Wednesday Night CX at Wirth Trailhead-October 2, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
Facebook Event Page

Donkey Cross-October 5, 2019
Baker Orchard
Centuria, WI
Online Registration

Green Acres Premium Cyclocross-October 12-13, 2019
Green Acres Recreational Area
Lake Elmo, MN
Facebook Page

Moir Park CX p/b Tacocat Racing-October 19, 2019
Moir Park
Bloomington, MN

Elmwood Forest CX-October 20, 2019
Elmwood Park
Sioux Falls, SD
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

RevoX-October 26, 2019
Warner Park
Clearwater, MN
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Fulton Star Cross/Upper-Midwest Regional CX Championship-November 2-3, 2019
Lions Valley Place Park
Crystal, MN
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration

Karma Cross-November 16-17, 2019
Hansen Park
New Brighton, MN
Online Registration
Facebook Event Page

For more updates on USA Cycling cyclocross events in Minnesota visit the USA Cycling events search page.

7/26/2019

Use Maplocs Cycling Route Planner for Android to Easily Plan Rides


Maplocs Cycling Route Planner is an excellent free app for Android devices to map out rides, check elevation profiles, estimate ride time and export planned routes to gps devices and apps. It's simple to use and very convenient making it my go-to app for planning rides quickly without the use of a desktop computer.

Planning the Route


Planning the route is as easy as tapping the screen to plot your points. Mistaken points can be removed by tapping the undo button and this removes the last point.  Location and distance from the last point appear at the bottom of the screen for each plotted point.  Once the desired route is completed there are numerous options to take it from there by tapping the bicycle button in the lower right-hand corner.


These options allow the user to save the route, show the elevation profile, export a GPX file or send to a connected Garmin or Wahoo device.  The "Show Directions" option will have in-app navigation coming soon but for now Google Maps will not use the route created in Maplocs.


The settings for the app are pretty simple, select the unit of measurement, route type, input your average speed, select map type and Garmin or Wahoo for the connected bike computer.  Feedback and contacting the app developer can also be done from the settings menu.

Exporting Routes 


For those that don't have a Garmin or Wahoo device, Maplocs makes it easy to create a GPX file for export into an app or other gps device.  After tapping the bicycle button in the lower right corner select "Export GPX", enter the name for the file and select "Create".  The gpx file will be saved in the Maplocs folder on your phone for sharing or export.


For Garmin Connect and Wahoo Fitness users it's even easier to get the route on your Garmin or Wahoo gps device.  Tap the bicycle button, select "Send to Garmin" or "Send to Wahoo" and the Garmin Connect or Wahoo Fitness app takes it from there.

Shown above and below are screenshots from the Garmin Connect app once I sent the route to Garmin.  The Garmin Connect app opens up and shows pertinent information about the route and allows for editing of the course name, type and privacy setting.  Selecting the star in the right top corner will put it in your favorites in Garmin Connect.  To get the route on the Garmin device simply select the "Send to Device" option from the drop down menu in the right corner.  Next time the Garmin is turned on it will download the route if connected to wi-fi otherwise it can be synced by connecting via USB cable to a computer using the Garmin Connect desktop app.


I was amazed how easy it was to create a route, save it and send it to my Garmin device for navigation.  No more plotting out a route on my desktop computer, saving and dragging it onto my Garmin Edge.  Now I simply hit the "Send to Garmin" button in the app, edit the course details, "Send to Device" and turn on my Garmin Edge Computer with available wi-fi to download the route automatically.  What could be easier?  Try out the Maplocs Cycling Route Planner today and ride somewhere new.

7/18/2019

Take a Bike Camping Trip to Carver Park Reserve


Bike camping was something I wanted to try ever since I heard about the bikes-only campsite at Carver Park Reserve from an article I saw a couple years ago by Bikeverywhere's Doug Shidell.  I didn't get around to it last year, but this spring I started purchasing the camp and bike gear I would need.  After some Internet research I had an idea of the gear that would work best to travel light, be comfortable and to carry most of it on the bike.  I took some time to gather together what I would need and packed it all on the bike for testing and tweaking.  I wanted to make sure my bike handled properly with all the extra weight and if anything needed adjusting.  It's better to find out during a test ride and fix it than having a problem on the actual camping trip.


I was now ready to camp and saw that Farmstead Bike Shop was hosting three free bike camping trips to Carver Park Reserve so I decided to to join them for their June outing.  I wanted to get some mileage out of the trip so I decided I would ride from my house in the south metro up to Minneapolis for the meet up at Farmstead.  We then rolled out to the campground with a pit-stop at Excelsior Brewing making it a nice 48 miles for the day.  We set up camp, relaxed and socialized by the fire.  It was a fun trip and the folks from Farmstead were very hospitable.  If you are new to bike camping and want to give it a try I would recommend joining them for their last outing of the season on July 27th.


The 2019 camping season for Carver Park Reserve runs from April 26th to October 27th.  The park has a drop-in, bike-in-only shared campsite at the Lake Auburn Campground that does not take reservations.  The site can accommodate up to six tents and the camping fee is only $10/tent per night.  For larger groups or those wanting a guaranteed site the park has five rustic group campsites that can be reserved online.


Accommodations include a commons area with picnic tables, benches, fire ring and bike rack.  Vault toilets and water are available nearby.  Don't worry about gathering firewood as it is delivered by the park for free.


Getting there is easy since Carver Park Reserve is accessible from the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail.  For the best bike-friendly routes to the campground use Google Maps with Bicycling Directions to help plot your course.  It will give you several routes to choose from showing elevation change and mileage for each.  Pair your phone with some earbuds or a speaker for turn-by-turn navigational directions using the route you chose on Google Maps.  For GPS device users, a route can be plotted on RideWithGPS or many other cycling mapping sites where a gpx, tcx or tif file can be downloaded and loaded into your device for navigation.  RideWithGPS has an option to print cue sheets also.


If you've been bike camping before you probably already know what to pack.  For those trying it out for the first time, below is a list of things you may want to bring along.


Tent/hammock/footprint
Camp stove/cookware
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Clean cycling/lounge clothes
Toiletries
Battery backups and usb cables
Flashlight/LED lantern
Food/water
Footwear
Washcloth/camp soap/wet wipes
Tool kit/tubes/co2/pump
Matches/fire starters
Cell phone


One rule of thumb that I follow is to keep my gear waterproof.  I use drysacks, roll-top pvc bags, Ziplocs and waterproof bike bags to keep my gear dry.  Camping can get damp and occasional unexpected rainfalls will happen but if your gear is in waterproof bags it makes the experience much more comfortable.


I had a great time bike camping at Carver Park Reserve and plan on doing it again.  The site, amenities and location make it a great spot for giving bike camping a try or just taking a quick overnighter for a little getaway.  Happy camping.

6/28/2019

Winter '19-'20 MN Fatbike Events


Fatbikes and winter go hand-in-hand here in Minnesota and we enjoy riding no matter what the weather holds in store.  Each year my list of fatbike events continues to grow as more people are enjoying riding in the cold and snow.  Start planning your calendar now and check back often for updates.


This season's calendar will include all types of  winter fatbike events from festivals and races to demos and group rides.  Below is a list in chronological order.  Race and event organizers, if you would like your event listed please send me an e-mail (or visit my contact page).  I will continue to add events to this post as they become available.


The "Pie Burner" Thanksgiving Weekend FatBike Ride-November 30, 2019
Palmers Tavern
Hibbing, MN
Facebook Page
Postcard registration open September 1-November 1, 2019

Global Fat-Bike Day-December 7, 2019
Worldwide

Framed Bikes Pre-Loppet-January 5, 2020
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
17, 8 km
Online Registration

QBP Fat Bike Rennet-January 11, 2020
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Highland Park Reserve
Bloomington, MN
25k, 10k
Online Registration

St. Croix 40 Winter Ultra-January 11-12, 2020
St. Croix State Park
Hinckley, MN
40 miles
Facebook Page
Online Registration

Solstice Chase-January 25, 2020
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Big Rock Creek
St. Croix Falls, WI
20, 10 miles
Facebook Page

Arrowhead 135-January 27-29, 2020
International Falls, MN
135 miles
Registration

45NRTH Whiteout-February 1, 2020
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Cuyuna Country Recreation Area
Ironton, MN
30k, 20k, 10k
Online Registration

Fat Tire Loppet-February 2, 2020
Uptown
Minneapolis, MN
35k

Puoli Fat Tire Loppet-February 2, 2020
Uptown
Minneapolis, MN
21k

Fat Bike Vasaloppet-February 9, 2020
Lake Mora
Mora, MN
40, 10 km
Facebook Page

Becker Fat Bike Blitz-February 22, 2020
Pebble Creek Golf Club
Becker, MN
30 miles
Facebook Page

Loppet Winter Triathlon-March 1, 2019
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
6.5 km ski, 16-18 km bike, 5.9 km run

Fastenal Parallel 45-March 14-15, 2020
The Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Park
Minneapolis, MN
Parallel 45 Cup (Fat Tire Sprint Race)-March 14
Snowball in Hell (Fat-tire BikeCross Race)-March 15
Facebook Event Page
Online Registration opens Winter 2020

6/21/2019

Fourth of July Rides

Fourth of July is coming soon and if you want to celebrate Independence Day in the saddle there are several longstanding rides that have become tradition for many cyclists over the years.  July 4th is your chance to get in a ride with fellow cyclists and maybe even start a new yearly tradition.


Freedom From Pants is a Fourth of July Minneapolis tradition that is entering its 13th year.  This annual  underwear ride through the streets of Minneapolis will meet underneath the Hennepin Avenue Bridge on Nicollet Island at 6:00 pm and roll out at 7:00 sharp.  This safe-space event will make a "couple stops for drinks, beaches, underpants, good times."  Visit the Freedom From Pants XIII Facebook event page for more details, to join or share with friends.

Image credit: Great Scott 50

The Great Scott 50 Classic Bike Ride is a Prior Lake Fourth of July tradition going into its 32nd year.   Take a 25 or 50 mile ride through the rolling hills of Scott County or the newly added 10 mile family fun route on area trails.  The 25 mile short course is geared more towards recreational riders and has one rest stop along the way.  The 50 mile long course is what the ride is named for and will have three rest stops.  Mechanical support and SAG provided by Michael's Cycles.  The 50 mile ride leaves Lakefront Park in Prior Lake at 8:00 am, the 25 mile ride at 8:15 am and the family fun ride at 8:30 am.  Refreshments will be provided at all rest stops and there will be a picnic lunch served after the ride for those doing the 25 and 50 mile rides.  Lunch is not included for the Family Fun Route, but donuts and juice/coffee will be provided.

Register online, download the registration form to register by mail or register on-site the day of the ride beginning at 7:15 am at Lakefront Park.  Proceeds support Bike infrastructure and the local School Mountain Bike Teams.  Visit the Great Scott Classic Bike Ride Facebook Event Page for updates.


The Hiawatha Bicycling Club will be hosting the 20th Annual Tour D'Amico with four scenic routes to choose from complete with hydration stations and rest stops at D'Amico & Sons restaurants along the way.  These full SAG supported rides include a 21 mile family friendly short route, a 29 mile tour that is suitable for all riders, a 41 mile route and a metric century tour (62 miles) for intermediate and endurance riders.  Visit the Tour D'Amico Course Details Page for more information on these routes.

Registration can be done online or by mail with a check.  Packet pick up starts at 8:00 am and goes until 10:30 am July 4th at the D'Amico & Sons in Golden Valley.  After the ride, participants will be treated to an Italian buffet lunch that will be served from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm.  Proceeds from the Tour D'Amico benefit Twin City bike education and trail maintenance programs.  This is a rain or shine event.


Join Continental Ski & Bike on the Fourth for a self-supported mountain bike ride on the trails around Duluth.  The ride will meet at Lester Park at 8:00 am and roll out at 8:15, continue on to Spirit Mountain and then to the Duluth Traverse Trail.  After the ride meet up at the Riverside Bar and Grill at Grand Avenue Chalet at Spirit Mountain for an after party.  This is an all ages ride but anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  More details can be found at the Traverse the Traverse Facebook event page.



The Twin Cities Bicycling Club will be hosting the 38th Annual Watermelon Ride with a choice of 15, 25 or 52 mile routes.  The 15 mile route is geared for beginners getting into cycling and families with children.  The 25 mile route is ideal for both the novice and experienced rider.  Full support is provided for both the 15 and 25 mile routes and the routes will be marked.  The 52 mile route is unsupported so bring the necessary items to make minor repairs and fix flats.  Route maps will be handed out to riders at the registration table the day of the event.  Snacks will be supplied at rest stops and a picnic lunch will be held at Snail Lake Park following the ride until 2:30 pm.

Online registration will closes at the end of the day on June 30th.  Day-of registration will also be available by printing and filling out the Registration Waiver and bringing a check made payable to the Twin Cities Bicycling Club to the registration table.  Twin Cities Bicycling Club members receive a discount for registration.  Registration for the 15 & 25 mile routes is from 8:30-10:00 am and the 52 mile route is from 7:30-9:00 am.  Registration and ride start is at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview.  This is a rain or shine event.  Mechanical support provided by County Cycles.  For more information, email the Event Coordinators at: watermelon@biketcbc.org.

5/31/2019

Tips For Bike Commuters


Bike commuting puts me in a great mood for a day at work and I certainly prefer it to driving a car but there are a few things you can do to make your rides safer, more convenient and comfortable.  In this post I've listed some of the things learned from my daily commutes that you can use whether you're thinking about giving bike commuting a try or you're a seasoned commuter.


Ditch the backpack and let the bike carry the load.  Frame, seat and handlebar bags can be used to carry a change of clothes and toiletries if traveling light works for you.


For longer commutes and those times when nature calls learn where the "rest stops" are along the way just in case. Parks are good places to find portables and building facilities.


Daytime running lights help get you seen by motorists especially on overcast or foggy days.  The majority of car/bike accidents happen during daylight hours so why wouldn't you want to increase your visibility for safety?


Keep it fresh and choose a different route from time to time. I'll sometimes leave for work early to take the long way in or go a completely different way  just so I can change things up a bit.  By doing this I have found more enjoyable and often safer routes to and from work.


Take advantage of natural windbreaks on those windy days if available. I was riding on the road fighting a stiff head/cross wind and moving over to the bike path adjacent to the woods really cut down on the wind.


When you have two options (road vs. bike path), opt for the safer one for the conditions, time of day and traffic.  I have learned the traffic patterns along my route and riding the road certain times of the day can be safer/less safe than taking the adjacent bike trail.


Check the weather regularly and be prepared with the proper apparel.  If there is any chance of rain during my commute I will pack a jacket that will keep me dry just in case I need it.  Morning commutes may require more clothing than a much warmer end of the work day commute and checking the weather forecast ahead of time will help select the right apparel for both of them.


Flats are going to happen, do you know what to do?  I run tubeless so incidents of flat tires happen less frequently but I've had to inflate tires that lost pressure before my sealant stopped the leak. I carry tire plugs for larger punctures and recently had to use one when sealant alone wouldn't do the trick.

One should always carry tire levers, a spare tube (if not running tubeless), tire pump or inflator with CO2 cartridge because it's no fun walking your bike when a 5 minute tube change will get you up and rolling again.  Watch this video from Trek on how to change a tube if you don't know how yet.


Use a tool cup in a bottle cage to carry the necessary things like a multi-tool, chainbreaker, lube and a master link that may get you out of a jam and back to riding in the event of a mechanical that requires your attention.  This is also a good place to stash your tire levers, CO2 cartridges/inflator and emergency cash.


Prepare your gear the night before so getting out the door is quick and easy in the morning.  I will always have my work clothes packed, bike clothes laid out and lights and Garmin ready to go so all I have to do is get dressed and leave.  This definitely speeds things up and helps avoid forgetting something.

Google Maps with bicycling directions is a great navigational tool. I've used it many times on my phone paired with headphones to navigate areas I'm unfamiliar with.  It also comes in handy when I need to take the shortest route that is bicycle friendly. With audible directions turned on using earbuds, turn-by-turn instructions are announced while riding just like it does when driving a car.  If a turn is missed rerouting directions kick in.


If you're like me, you have a few rechargeable devices that need a fresh charge for the next commute. Head and tail lights, GPS computer, action camera and phone can all be charged at the same time with a USB hub. Just plug everything in when you get home and unplug later when fully charged.


Get a tire pressure gauge. Check pressure regularly and adjust accordingly for better handling and a decreased chance of getting pinch flats. Temperature changes can affect tire pressure and tubes lose air with time. Even though I run tubeless on my bikes I still check pressures regularly and adjust for the riding conditions.


Enjoy those night commutes home, they're a great way to unwind after a long day at work.  Put on some good music or a favorite podcast, lose yourself in the ride and feel the stress of the day slip away.


Invest in some quality cycling apparel for all types of weather.  Bike commuters ride it all so having the right apparel for the conditions is key to staying comfortable, warm and dry.  Having several changes of cycling apparel helps if you don't have time to get to washing it for a few days.


I wear eye protection for my day and night commutes.  While sunglasses are the obvious choice for daylight hours to cut glare and see better in sunny conditions, clear lenses keep those flying insects from ending up in your eyes during night rides.  Glasses also provide protection from the wind keeping eyes from watering up.


Sometimes drivers are confused of who should yield or they're surprised by my presence in traffic and don't know how to react, that's why I use hand signals. Doing so helps communicate my intent or lets them know they must yield right of way. It's almost always at intersections that I end up having to use hand signals.


Don't be afraid to take the lane when needed.  When a bike path or shoulder isn't a safe option, taking the lane gives a cyclist greater visibility to motorists and helps prevent the dreaded squeeze-by by forcing them to pass safely in the adjacent lane.


Intersections are the most dangerous part of the commute.  Learn how to navigate them and what to avoid.  Take the lane when necessary for better visibility to motorists, to prevent right hooks from right turning vehicles and unsafe overtaking.  The video below explains how to safely navigate intersections and the reasoning behind the methods.


Bike commuting is not only fun but can be great exercise, reduce greenhouse gases, save money on gasoline and put you in a great mood for the rest of the day.  Give bike commuting a try and it may quickly become your favorite mode of transportation to work and errands.  For more bike commuter discussion join the Twin Cities Bike Commuters Facebook group today.
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