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Tandem Bikepacking Expectations

3 Comments Topics: Bike Touring Written by Matt Maynard
Tandem Bikepacking Expectations

For a long time it seemed that boiled-down living couldn't get much simpler. Anytime I wanted to travel, all I had to do was clamp those brightly coloured, slightly unwieldy, boxes onto the side of my bicycle and I was away. I bought my shiny red panniers in 201o. Today they have dust and holes and ketchup stains accumulated over 20,000miles and three different continents. Along the way they been knocked off by lampposts, thrown down on desert floors and survived spectacular crashes. They even once rolled off a cliff and got washed down a river. But recently I discovered something new called "Bikepacking" a faster, lighter more streamlined approach to cycle touring. If you'd asked me five years ago what ...

 

How the Bicycle Won the Vietnam War

2 Comments Topics: Utility Cycling Written by Wesley Cheney
Chinese partisans on the move.

In the wake of World War II, the militaries of the West left bicycles behind for the automobile and the armored personnel carrier. Bicycle infantry units in the German army were disbanded alongside the rest of the defeated forces. The Allied armies demobilized, disbanding the vast majority of their troops, including all of the relatively few bicycle units. The sole European holdout was Switzerland, where the Bicycle Grenadiers still played a vital role. But more on them later. In Eastern Asia, it was a different story. The bicycle continued to be used by the Red Chinese army for guerrilla attacks on the Nationalist forces. Truck convoys would be attacked by small groups of partisans. The ubiquity of the bicycle in China ...

 

Rolling Recumbent Part 2: Neuroplasticity and You!

1 Comment Topics: Utility Cycling Written by Wesley Cheney
"Quick, Robin, to the Jimmy-mobile!"

"You can laugh at them now, Wesley," my biking buddy Liz had told me a decade ago on a group ride, "But someday youre going to be one of those old guys on a recumbent." Well, that day has come. I'm a certifiably older, slightly goofy guy on a recumbent. On my first sandwich delivery of the day, the front fork on my favorite touring bike had cracked, folded and failed. I crashed in the middle of a brand new bike lane, and dislocated my shoulder. After I crashed I dragged my bike to a light post one-handed, locked it up, and walked the remaining block to make the delivery. I got a ride back to my car and drove myself ...

 

Riding back to happiness

4 Comments Topics: Bike Touring Written by Matt Maynard
Riding back to happiness

A few months ago I got into a bit of a rut.

Not an all consuming black cloud rut. Just your typical too much work, not enough sleep kind of overcast feeling. Normally when I start to feel like this I self medicate with a long run in the mountains, or put some uplifting energy into planning a bike trip. But these last few months I've had some nagging injuries. When the doctor took a look at them, he prohibited all exercise and took away my medicine. Then the rut got a bit deeper. Soon I became a sulky and rather soft around the edges house cat. Worse yet, once I was physically able to ride a

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Rolling Recumbent, Part 1: The Utility of Recumbents

19 Comments Topics: Utility Cycling Written by Wesley Cheney
Sight seeing in a Dutch recumbent rickshaw. The integrated roof keeps everyone dry.

Recumbents. You've seen those oddball, laid-back bikes being ridden by slightly goofy guys (yeah, it's usually guys). They're smiling. They're waving. And they're looking suspiciously comfortable. Recumbents are practically the opposite of everything that bicycling is supposed to be about. There's no crying in baseball, and there's blessedly little comfort in bicycling. Right? Well, maybe not. From the start, recumbents have been criticized for being too comfortable. They first made a splash on the international cycling scene in 1933, when an enterprising French bicycle manufacturer, Charles Mochet, applied to have his "velorizontal" bicycles certified for competition by the Union Cycliste Internationale, or UCI. The Mochet recumbents had distinct aerodynamic advantages. It's true: Recumbent Riders have a goofy grin, a side effect of ...

 

Joe Grant Interview: Self Propelled

No Comments Topics: Bike Touring Written by Matt Maynard
Joe Grant Interview: Self Propelled

Joe Grant cycled away from his front door in Gold Hill, Colorado this July with everything needed for a month of mountain travel. He travelled in "self propelled" style by bicycle and foot, linking up and summiting all of Colorado's 14,000' peaks along the way. The bikepacking racer set a new record of 31 days for the exhaustive solo endurance challenge, but his real goal was to inspire others to set out on their own "self propelled" adventures. In this interview for BikeShopHub we talk big miles, summer thunderstorms and the experience of putting yourself in a "raw and vulnerable state." Where did the idea of cycling between and climbing all 57 of Colorado's 14,000' peaks come from? I wanted to set ...

 

“Geef me min fiets!” Give me my bike! The Bikes of World War II.

4 Comments Topics: Utility Cycling Written by Wesley Cheney
"Happy New Year, from the Exalted Elite Bicycle Troops of the Emporer's Front Line."

'Tis a pity that General Patton didn't lead a column of bicycles into battle, but Field Marshall Montgomery led an army of foot soldiers and "foot cycles" in Normandy. When the British were bottled up in Normandy with their plentiful bicycles, General Eisenhower appealed to Winston Churchill to persuade Monty

 

Small Business Tales from BSH and the Launching of LocalBasket.com

1 Comment Topics: Shop Updates Written by Josh Lipton
Small Business Tales from BSH and the Launching of LocalBasket.com

Happy Small Business Saturday everyone! As the editor of this cycling blog and the owner of BikeShopHub.com, I generally find myself as deep in the weeds of small business as I am in immersed in the world of cycling. And I'm often tempted to write about my various small business trials and tribulations here at this blog. Most of the time, I manage to keep my business musings in check in favor of keeping this blog focused on what people are here for, cycling insights and knowledge. However, today is Small Business Saturday, so I hope you won't mind indulging me as I take this opportunity to talk about this small business. BikeShopHub.com turned 10 years old this year. But I wasn't ...

 

No Shower, No Problem

4 Comments Topics: Family Cycling Written by carissa sipp
Commuting by bike is GROWING!

Think back to when you were a kid. Did you enjoy getting stuck in a car more than the riding your bike through the neighborhood? Then why do we default to cars as adults? Maybe we shouldn't and a lot of us are taking that to heart and commuting by bike to work. There are many reasons people commute by bike. MANY. For the love of the environment, ease of parking, fiscal responsibility, workout opportunity are among some of the reasons. Some bikers never commute. They ride only for fun and fitness. And that is ok too- biking is awesome for many reasons to many people and I welcome everyone to the road however they see fit. I do commute to work by bike ...

 

Biking beyond the edge of the village

6 Comments Topics: Bike Touring Written by Matt Maynard
Biking beyond the edge of the village

In the weak afternoon sunshine of late September 2014, I fingered my British passport at the top of the Flathead Valley before rolling down towards the US border at Eureka, Montana. After three days alone in the only uninhabited valley of southern Canada, I was looking forward to some human interaction with the border guard. At the very least I hoped my dishevelled appearance and curious form of transport might raise some eyebrows and I could smooth my way into the country with smiles and anecdotes about my journey, as I had done so many times before in Latin America. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be. "Have a nice stay," said the man behind the dark sunglasses before handing back my passport and ...