Southern Illinois Cycling Forum is the newest local cycling forum on the block. I have created Southern Illinois Cycling Forum for Southern Illinois cycling discussions, news, events and more. However, I welcome those from SEMO, Western KY and SW Indiana to join as well since we are all sort of neighbors and all. If you have an event, please feel free to join the forum and post about it. Events can be for Southern Illinois and surrounding local states on cycling, bike racing, junior bike events, running and 5k events, triathlons and other fitness-related events.
Southern Illinois Cycling Forum Welcomes You!
Southern Illinois Cycling Forum welcomes you to join and post on the forum – it is completely free to register, join, post and use all of the features of the community. We aim to develop one of the biggest Midwestern cycling forums on the net and help promote cycling and fitness in Southern Illinois and surrounding areas. We are in need of more members in order to make our goals a reality so we ask that you join and you invite your friends and family members to join as well. And we don’t discriminate either – everyone is welcome to join no matter what your riding level is, your gender, your type of bicycle and beyond! If you don’t live in Southern Illinois or around the region but are still really into cycling, we welcome you to join as well! You don’t have to be from Southern Illinois to be a member of the Southern Illinois Cycling Forum!
Some of the features and discussion boards on the forum include…
- Daily Contests – We aim to have a contest going each and every day (365 days a year) on the forum. Right now, the Tour de France Mini competition is going on and you should participate because it is fun and you get to ride your bike more!
- Bike Discussions – We welcome to discussion of all types of bikes and levels of cycling. Talk about road bike, mountain bikes, BMX bikes, tandems, recumbent, single speed and even vintage bikes. Don’t see your bike on a board? Suggest we create that board for you, then!
- Cycling Newbies – We aim to be the place to go for new cyclists to get help on becoming better cyclists. Our staff and forum members are extremely friendly towards those who are new to cycling and we love to help and give you bike support that actually matters.
- Pro Cycling – We discuss professional cycling, Tour de France, USA Challenge and other pro topics on the forum. You can also share and find news articles about professional cycling, get up to date on pro cycling events and races and even praise local professional cyclists who are members as well.
- Junior Cycling – We even have a board for junior cyclists and discussion. If you’re a teenager and you are into cycling, we welcome you to join. Parents who are into junior cycling with their kids are also more than welcome to join the forum as well. We need more parents who are into cycling out there on our community so please join up and invite other parents as well!
- Marketplace – We have several different sections for cycling marketplace topics. There is a classifieds board where members can buy, sell and trade bicycles, gear, components and more. There is a board for local cyclists to meet other local cyclists and arrange local rides. There is a board for events and bike shops/services to advertise their dates, deals, services and products – all FREE!
So if you are a cyclist and you love to discuss cycling and you’re not a member of the Southern Illinois Cycling Forum, then you should join today because we would love to have you aboard on the community!
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you on Southern Illinois Cycling Forum. Please feel free to follow Southern Illinois Cycling Forum on Twitter and like our Facebook page as well.
Becoming a Road Bike Cyclist is one of the most common and most enjoyable forms of bicycling within the cycling community. You will feel very good being out there on the road, with cars and riding miles and miles through different towns and areas. As a road bike cyclist, you will be saving on gas while helping the environment and staying healthy and fit all at the same time. Being a road bike cyclist is my all-time favorite part about cycling – I bet I ride anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 miles each year alone as a road bike cyclist.
Learn how to save money at being a road bike cyclist!
But being a road bike cyclist isn’t always what it seems to be when it comes to spending the money to actually be a road bike cyclist. You have to buy the bike, upgrade needed components like pedals, buy the cycling specific apparel, add lights if you plan to ride at night and so on and so on. You have to spend money in order to be a road bike cyclist and being cheap on everything will not always work in your favor. But you need to follow this one tip if you really want to save money – don’t worry about brand names unless you have a lot of money to spend. Brand names usually cost double to even triple the price of stuff that isn’t some popular brand name.
So I wrote this article to help you out at becoming a road bike cyclist. Here are 10 different ways you can save money on starting your lifestyle at being a road bike cyclist:
How the Road Bike Cyclist can save Money
1. BUYING THE BIKE – When it comes to saving money on a bike, this option is quite possible. I always recommend spending at least $500 or more on a better road bike so you can have a better experience. A cheap priced road bike will usually be cheap made and rickety and will usually not last as long. However, you can save even more by using an online bike shop service like Bikes Direct if you know your sizes which is very important or by looking through local classified ads for those selling their used road bike.
2. BUYING USED COMPONENTS – When it comes to buying and upgrading components on a road bike, I always recommend using eBay. You can usually find better deals on great components still in awesome shape on eBay than by purchasing them brand now. I have been using eBay pretty much since it has first started and I have yet recalled a time where I was ripped off. Just check out the seller’s reviews and make sure they appear to be legit and everything should be a positive experience.
3. AERO TECH DESIGNS CYCLING APPAREL – Cycling apparel is a big need for road biking and usually costs a lot of money. I have purchased bike shorts alone that cost me over $200 just for one pair. However, you don’t have to spend that kind of money for good quality shorts unless you just have to have name brand apparel in which case, you will spend a lot of money. But if your fine with good shorts, jerseys and other apparel that is durable, made in the USA and cheaper than most, I recommend checking out the online biking apparel store Aero Tech Designs for your cycling apparel needs. Every article of clothing I have bought from them is really comfortable to wear and will last you for years to come.
4. WALMART BIKE LIGHTS – Lights are a good piece of gear for any road bike cyclist whether you are riding at night or day. A flashing red rear light in the day time is one more thing for motorists to notice you a lot quicker by so it’s safer to use lights no matter what time of day you are riding in. The $20 set of headlight and rear flashing lights is all you need and you can usually find these sets in the bike section at Walmart or Dicks Sporting Goods or another related retail establishment that sells basic bicycling gear and products.
5. WALMART BAGS, BOTTLES & GLOVES – Walmart is also the best place to buy your bike bags, water bottles and cycling gloves. Higher costing bags, bottles and gloves are going to be based on the brand name. Why spend $20 on a brand name bag for your bike when you can get a Walmart bag of the same quality for $10? When it comes to water bottles though, I would recommend that you buy plastic ones that are BPA-safe. Stay away from metal as it will rust over time and that can cause you to become sick if you consume the rust.
6. PRICE POINT TOOLS – The online biking retailer Price Point is a great place to buy your bicycle-specific tools. There is an off brand known as Sette Tools and based on my own use and experience as a bike repair shop owner, I have nothing but good to say about the Sette Tools. They are usually 50% or more inexpensive than the popular Park Tool bike tools and they usually have great tool sale items each and every day.
7. PRICE POINT TUBES – Price Point is also great for buying tubes. All the tire tubes that I supply in my shop are price point brand. You can spend $6 or more on a tube from Walmart or $4 or more on a tube from a local bike shop, but usually you can find $3 tubes from Price Point and if you buy them in bulk, they will usually knock off a buck or two for each tube. I usually spend about $2 for each tube I purchase from Price Point when I buy them in bulk for my shop. I and my customers have never had any negative issues with these tubes, either.
8. GATORADE POWDER – Hydrating yourself is an important step to being a road bike cyclist. Often water isn’t enough because you need to replenish your body with needed electrolytes. Gatorade serves as a great drink for giving you your needed electrolytes. Most every road bike cyclist I know drinks Gatorade on their rides. Now you can go spend $2+ on a bottle of Gatorade or $10 on a can of Gatorade powder that will make severe gallons of Gatorade. This is something I have noticed as a big savings since I started buying the powder and you really wouldn’t ever think about it as a big savings. They usually sell this powder at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Dick’s Sporting Goods and other related retailers.
9. INEXPENSIVE SHOES – If you want bicycle specific shoes, the best places to get them are at a local bike shop because you can try them on and find your right fit. They usually sell fairly cheap ones as well. I spent about $100 on my Bontrager clip less shoes which is kind of high in cost but I was paying for a better name brand due to have 14” feet and having to go with what was available. You can probably get them a lot cheaper if you have a normal sized foot. If you are going with regular pedals like most bikes come with, I suggest getting comfortable athletic tennis shoes that breath well and that should be good enough for you and your rides.
10. GET A GOOD HELMET – I recommend spending as much as you are able to on a good helmet. Don’t skimp on head protection because that helmet could save your life one day. The helmet I have was originally about $150 but I got it for about $75 as a Black Friday deal on the internet. So it is fine to look for the good sales to get a good helmet cheaper than what it usually costs but I wouldn’t recommend getting the cheapest helmet possible because if you wreck and the helmet doesn’t do its part, you might end up dead or drooling all over yourself for the rest of your life. Brain injuries do not discriminate!
Thanks for reading my article on ways to save as a road bike cyclist. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Please show your support for me writing this article by sharing it with other cyclists and especially by sharing it on your favorite social networking sites. I encourage you to follow this blog on Twitter for more road bike cyclist tips and resources.
Your turn to comment! What other cheap resources do you recommend for the road bike cyclist starting their paved riding journey?
Creative Commons Image Credit: jbdodane
Being a beginner cyclist can be scary and challenging especially if you don’t exactly know how to become a beginner cyclist in the first place. So I wanted to write this article to show you how easy it is to become a beginner cyclist and hopefully this post will guide you in a good direction that makes your cycling journeys easy as easy can be from the get go. This article is intended not only for beginner cyclists out there but also newer cyclists who are looking to get more tips about becoming a better cyclist.
Beginner Cyclists Need Great Bikes
Now by a great bike, I don’t mean that you need to go out there are spend several thousand dollars on a full carbon frame bike. But you want to make sure you don’t by something extremely cheap in price and manufacturing otherwise you might not have the best experience that other beginner cyclists are having with their better manufactured bicycles. So first you need to decide what kind of bike you want to get! Do you plan on using the bike to commute to work or do you want to ride the bike on the road or a paved path? If yes, then I highly recommend that you get a road bike. If you want to ride on trails in the woods or non-paved paths, then I would recommend you get a hard-tail or full suspension mountain bike. There are other bicycle options as well including fitness road bikes, hybrid bikes that are good for both short distance road and not so technical trail riding, tandems that allow for 2 or more riders and even recumbent bikes where you have a full seat to ride in. The best way to decide what bike you want is to find a local shop that will allow you to test ride the bikes.
Now you need to take a look at your budget when buying the type of bicycle you want. My first road bike was a 2012 Trek 1.1 – it’s a great bike and I have ridden it for years without anything going wrong and I even use it for the occasional bike race that I go on from time to time. It cost me about $900 brand new at a local bike shop. I say brand new because it was never used before me but it was a year old and that alone knocks off a lot of the price. In 2012, the bike was likely over $1,000. I recommend “entry level” bicycles that are name brand such as Trek, Giant, Specialized and Cannondale because they have an excellent reputation for their bikes and the components they use. I would try to spend at least $500 or more on your bike using the name brands. Now if your budget is much smaller, that is fine – at that point – go with used bikes or go online at something like Bikes Direct to purchase bicycles for cheaper costs. My first mountain bike was from Bikes Direct and I still love it to this day. I paid $375 and it was MSRP for about $800.
Beginner Cyclists Need Great Gear
The next thing on your list should be gear. First thing first – bike shorts! Get you a good pair of padded bike shorts. The pad or chamois attached within the bike shorts will help protect your “private parts” from chaffing and become very sore. They sell these bike shorts as regular shorts that are either skin tight made with Lycra and spandex or baggy shorts with the tight short covertly inside of them. I would recommend the tight shorts before the baggy shorts simply because tight clothing will increase safety from getting caught in component and there will be less drag from wind. Don’t worry about what other people think of you wearing Lycra because most cyclists do it, there is nothing abnormal about it. You can also buy cycling tights, arm and leg warmers, cycling knickers (3/4 tights), cycling socks, cycling shoes, jackets for cycling and jerseys. I would recommend getting all of those apparel articles even if it takes you a while to get them. I will tell you this much, if you want better materials and pads, you will have to spend a little bit more money to get them. Brands like VELO, Castelli and Aero Tech Designs are good brands to go with when looking to purchase cycling apparel.
Other gears to get for beginner cyclists should also include…
Saddle Bag – A bag that is connected right under your seat (also called a saddle). Items to get for this bag should include 1-2 spare tubes that fit your bike tire, a bike multi-tool, tube lever tools (usually three), tube patch kit and maybe a very small first aid kit but I mean very small.
Air Pumps – I would buy two air pumps which you can get at a retailer like Wal-Mart for a very low cost. I would get a full size pump to leave at home, the ones with gauges on them are better. Then, I would recommend buying a small pump that you can assemble to be connected to the bolts that hold your water bottle cage on. If you get a flat in the middle of nowhere and you don’t have air, you are simply screwed.
Water Bottles and Cages –Usually, your bike will come with one water bottle cage. If there are additional bolts for you to add an additional water bottle cage, I would recommend adding one. I think two water bottles on a bike it good to have because you can put a sports drink in one and water in the other. When buying water bottles, look for BPA-friendly plastic water bottles and metals ones will likely rust over time. Don’t worry too much about getting bottles that claim to keep your liquid cold. Cold water isn’t the best for riding because it takes longer for your body to heat it up and hydrate plus most of the time, the bottles don’t work like they claim they do.
GET A HELMET!!! – Not wearing a helmet on a bicycle is probably the stupidest thing anyone can do especially for beginner cyclists. If you fall, even going slow and land on your head – wouldn’t you rather have some sort of protection in between your skull and the pavement or hard ground? You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars when purchasing a good helmet. A good helmet can cost you anywhere from $20 to $100 pending the brand, style and features that come with it. Not wearing a helmet may result in head and brain injuries that will likely prevent you from not only riding in the future but walking, talking and thinking properly as well. Don’t be dumb – Always protect your head!
Lights – I suggest buying a good set of lights – headlight and rear red light that flashes. Even if you don’t plan to ride at night, lights are even good to use during the daytime hours because it’s one more thing that drivers and others around you can see to spot you riding and increase your safety. A basic set of lights from a retailer such as Wal-Mart for about $20 to $40 should be good enough.
Beginner Cyclists Riding Tips
Once you get your bike, helmet and gear – now it is time for you to start riding! Remember the following three words of advice when riding. Always obey the law: The same laws that motor vehicle drivers follow are the same laws that apply to cyclists. Ride with traffic, stop at all stop signs and stop lights, give drivers room and stay out of their blind side and make sure that you understand that people walking always have the right away. You are not racing: Don’t jump on your bike and think you need to ride fast everywhere you go especially when you are a beginner. Pace yourself, give yourself plenty of time and allow yourself to grow into better riding skills as you ride more and more. Hydration is important: This step is very important because it concerns your health. On an average basis, you may lose up to 1,000 calories during a 20 mile bike ride – that includes the fuel and energy needed in your body to fight off infections and so on. You also sweat a lot of your hydration out. Drink water and drink water even when you’re not thirsty otherwise you might go into dehydration mode and trust me, I have been there, it is NOT at all pleasant.
Beginner Cyclists Need For Speed
Improving your cycling speed is going to be a big chore on your list of things to accomplish in cycling. Now beginner cyclists don’t need to worry about speed until they are used to their bike and riding. Your need for faster speeds should come later after you have gained some experience in basic biking. Unless you’re a kid, you need to watch out trying to get so fast because you could hurt yourself a lot easier than you would if you were a juvenile. Eventually as you ride more, get around the proper weight you should be and learn the tactics of cycling – you will get faster. But for now, here are a few recommendations I have for you to focus on getting quicker with your biking skills:
Go Clipless – Invest in some good Clipless shoes/cleats and pedals for your bike. This allows you to “clip in” to your pedals so that your foot stays on the pedal. They are easy to get out of if you need to quickly get out of them but they are great when pedaling hard because you can safely know that your foot isn’t going to slip off the pedal and bash your leg in the process. Most cyclists eventually go to with this type of shoe and pedal system on their bikes.
Compression – As I said above, wear skin tight biking apparel. Skin tight shorts, jerseys and so on will prevent less drag as the articles of clothing will not be flopping in the wind as you are riding. These tight fitting shorts and jerseys that riders often wear allow for riders to become more aerodynamic and increase their speed.
Think Weightless – Focus on cutting down the weight on your bike. Yes you need to weigh less or at least to where you should be based on your BMI calculations but other parts of your bike should weigh less as well. This doesn’t mean you need a full carbon bike! This means you should try not to add stuff that doesn’t need to be added to your bike like additional bags, heavy accessories and so on. That is another good reason to wear Lycra bike apparel – Lycra won’t even weigh a pound but a pair of blue jeans might weigh over a pound in some instances.
Gears – Before you even think about improving your speed, you need to make sure you understand how to work your gears. When going up a hill, you should be in the easiest gear or the gear where pedaling isn’t that much of a challenge – you will know what gear that is when you test it out. When going down a hill, you should then put it in a gear that makes it easy to keep pedaling so you can add more speed while going downhill. If you don’t get used to your gears, you might wear yourself out pretty quickly and you can kiss any speed improvements goodbye after that.
What to do next?!
Now that you have the basic tips for beginner cyclists, you should continue to ride as often as you can, get involved in the local cycling scene, participate at local organized bike rides and learn as much as you can about cycling on blogs like this one and others. The main thing though is to keep riding! As you keep riding, you will continue to learn new tricks and strategies for riding. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you really enjoy cycling as much as I do. If you have found this article to be useful, please help support me for writing it by sharing it with other cyclists, on your own blog articles and on social networking sites as well.
Your turn to write! What other tips would you like to give to beginner cyclists out there? Is there any issues you have that you need more help on? I am here to assist you in the best possible manner that I can.
Creative Commons Image Credit: thelearningcurvedotca
Finding local cyclists is often the goal of any rider because you often want to ride with others. Cycling is a lot like riding motorcycles – it is fun solo but it’s a lot more fun when you are in pack or at least with one other ride. Riding with other cyclists has a lot of benefits! It tells drivers in the areas you ride in that cyclists frequent the area and that promotes safety awareness. It’s also motivating to bike with others because you attempt to keep up to keep able to talk to you buddy. Riding solo is okay but the more riders with you, the better off you will be.
Need help finding local cyclists? Look no further!
#1 – Finding Local Cyclists on Social Media
Social media is a great way for you to find cyclists in your area. I suggest that you create a Facebook account if you haven’t already and then search for local cycling pages and groups. Like and join those pages and groups and tell others you are looking to find locals to ride with. Once you start getting used to people within the groups and pages, request to be their friend. This can also be done on other social networks as well including Google Plus and even Twitter.
#2 – Finding Local Cyclists on Message Forums
Message forums are also another great way of finding local cyclists in your area. Join a message forum that focuses on cycling and then introduce yourself on the forum telling others where you are from and what your interests in cycling are. Many cycling message forums have special board reserved for forum members to post topics requesting to meet and ride with local riders. These boards are monitored by locals on a regular basis for the most part so be sure to take advantage of them.
#3 – Finding Local Cyclists with Blogs
A lot of cyclists have personal blogs to tell the world about their cycling adventures. A blog makes the perfect log for bike miles, rides and photo sharing so many cyclists are jumping on that bandwagon. The best way to go about finding local cyclists who blog is to get on Google and search for blogs with the keywords for your city and state and for whatever cycling activities you get into.
#4 – Finding Local Cyclists on Organized Rides
Organized rides are wonderful for finding local cyclists, too! Most local cyclists are going to be at these organized bike rides. Just start talking to other cyclists there and find out where they are from. We cyclists enjoy talking to one and other and sharing our experiences with cycling so don’t be afraid that you will look weird for talking to someone you don’t know or anything like that.
#5 – Finding Local Cyclists through Local Clubs
Most areas have cycling clubs and teams that you might not even realize exist. I encourage you to seek them out whether by a team and club finder website or just a general Google search. A lot of clubs have membership plans for slow and fast riders. Most teams though will be looking for quicker riders because they are often present in races just so you know.
#6 – Finding Local Cyclists at Local Spinning Classes
Do you have any gyms around your area? Do they offer spin classes? Spin classes are basically indoor cycling programs where multiple cyclists get together and ride on stationary bikes following the instructors program. Gym membership usually costs about $30 a month at most and spin classes and other fitness programs are often included with that fee.
#7 – Finding Local Cyclists on Online Classified Ads
There are many online classified ads websites out there. Join them and post ads about looking for local cyclists in your area. I will warn you though; you need to exercise extreme caution and safety tactics when doing this. If you find local who want to meet you, only meet in a public place where other people will be around – it is better to be safe than sorry after all.
#8 – Finding Local Cyclists by Encouraging Others to Ride
Another great way to find local to bike with is to make them! Show off your fitness, health improvements and love for cycling to your friends and family. Encourage them to get a bike and start riding it. It would be great to ride with someone that you already know and trust so you should encourage your friends and family to start cycling with you.
#9 – Finding Local Cyclists at Triathlons
You wouldn’t have guessed it but a triathlon is a great place to meet local riders. I mean they swim, they run and THEY BIKE! I think it is safe to say that most triathletes are cyclists so get out there and get your swim, bike and run on.
#10 – Finding Local Cyclists by Riding Your Bike
I think #10 is the most resourceful way for finding local cyclists! Just simply get out there and bike around your area. You are bound to run into a cyclist or two on the road or trails before too long. Once you do, then you can focus on interacting with them and becoming friends. They might know more local riders to introduce you to and you might know some for them as well.
ConteYour turn to comment! What have you done to meet local cyclists in your area? If you enjoyed reading my article on finding local cyclists, please help support me for writing it. You can support me by sharing this article with other cyclists and on your favorite social networking sites as well.
Are you participating in a cycling event this summer? It is going to require more than jumping onto your bike and cycling away, you will need to do some training in order to prepare. Although it may seem like a lot of effort, it is quite straightforward once you get started, here we offer tips on how to make the process even easier.
Why should you train?
If you are not used to doing much exercise and you then suddenly start to ride a bicycle quite intensely during an event, it can increase the chance of an injury. Your body will feel over-exercised so it is important to ease your body into it over time. If you have not ridden a bike for a few years, it is recommended that you begin your training at least 3 months in advance.
- Begin with cycling every other day. Try this for at least a month, and ensure that you only cycle between 5 and 10 miles. Keep at a steady pace, and try not to push yourself too hard. Once you have been doing this for a month, you can begin, to develop your cadence. This is the speech at which your legs rotate and is better known as RPM. By developing this, you can strengthen your heart and lungs. In order to do this, you should cycle in the gear that you feel the most comfortable in. The best level of RPM is between 60-70 and this will help to increase strength and stamina.
- Once you have maintained the same RPM for a period of time, you can begin to step up the mileage. For the next month, ride between 15-20 miles throughout the week, and then dedicate a Sunday every other week to ride for 25 miles.
- When you are capable of doing this, you can increase the mileage up to 25 miles, which you should cycle three times throughout the week and then riding 30 miles on the Sunday.
- You should then incorporate an extra day into your cycling schedule, but you can keep the mileage between 10-15. Increase, the Sunday of riding from 30 miles to 40.
- For the final three weeks, each cycling day should consist of 30 miles and then 50 miles for the Sunday.
- When there is only a week left, you can reduce the cycling and just do 10-15 mile rides.
Once you have commenced training for the event, ensure that you take other precautions to help you during the training and cycle:
- Warm up before each ride, you don’t want to wake up the next day with sore muscles.
- Try and cycle in the morning when the roads are quieter, this can reduce the chance of cycling accidents.
- Remain hydrated and ensure you take water with you on every ride
- Wear sunscreen, you don’t want to end up being sunburnt.
- Make sure your give your body a rest before you cycle. Try and avoid cycling every day and instead cycle every other day. Try and soak in a hot bath to help to relax the muscles after a long cycle.
- You can try out spinning classes or leg weight training to help in building up stamina.
Once you have done these, you will be all set!
The incident at TVA’s Raccoon Mountain has really got me thinking lately about those who want to disrupt cycling activities of cyclists. I call them cycling trolls because trolls just want to make life miserable and are miserable on their own. If you have a beef with cyclists on the roadway, then maybe you shouldn’t be allowed to drive in the first place. Why is everyone so much in a hurry these days? I can’t tell you how many cycling trolls and ignorant motorists have honked at me when I am being completely legal and they are not.
Its our road too! Fight against the Cycling Trolls and make them understand the law!
Dealing with Cycling Trolls: Ignorant Motorists
One of the main cycling trolls out there is the ignorant motorists. These are the people that have no clue that we cyclists have road rights. They don’t give you three feet, they honk at you like you are doing something wrong and they threaten to have you arrested if you don’t get off the road. The best way to deal with an ignorant person is to ignore them. Just keep on riding and don’t stop if they have stopped to confront you about what they feel you are doing wrong. If they follow you, well that is harassment and maybe even stalking. If they threaten to call law enforcement, let them, then maybe the police can educate them on what they need to know about bicycle law.
Dealing with Cycling Trolls: The Bullies
The teenagers involved in the Raccoon Mountain incident were pure examples of a cycling bully. They were doing what they were doing to disrupt the cyclist. They’re intentions were malicious and they got what they deserved in the end even though the piss poor excuse for law enforcement over there tried to pin it on the assaulted cyclist to begin with. The best way to deal with this is to do exactly what the cyclist did – video tape it and show it to the authorities. If you can, try to save a copy for yourself before giving a copy to the authorities. If the police are not interested in helping you, post it on social media, share it with other cyclists and ask them to share it as well. Spread the word and something will eventually be done about it because public officials do not like bad rep when it comes to social media. If they confiscate the footage and not do anything about it, it then becomes obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence and at that point I would advise you to seek an attorney and bring those involved to justice as they deserve it. But not all law enforcement is like that, so don’t think that all cops are out to get you because a lot of them know the bicycle laws and are there to help you.
Bicycle Self Defense Strategies
When all else fails, some cycling trolls might attempt violence against you. At any time of suspected violence against you, your main choice of response should always be to flee the area and try to get away. If you cannot get away, then you need to do what you have to do to protect yourself from violence and assault. The strategies below are meant to help you have the tools to defend yourself…
- Weapons – Make sure you check with state and local laws and ordinances before ever carrying a weapon on your person while riding. You might consider carrying a can of pepper-spray, a baton or a tazer if it’s authorized by local and state law. Never use a weapon or act as if you are going to use a weapon unless you actually intend to use it and have no other option of escape. I myself am a license CCL holder. I carry a concealed firearm with me on my rides. I hope to never have to use it but I feel safe to know that I have a tool of self-defense if I need one.
- Video – Consider investing in a good video camera that you can mount on your bike. I recently purchased a GoPro HD3 Hero White Edition. It is the most basic H3 GoPro camera they have on their market but it takes excellent video and sound. If you videotape a crime taking place against you, then you have instant evidence to use against the criminal or criminals involved. Try to get used to where you have mounted to camera and always be in the path of it the best you can be. You can also use it to deter criminal actions against you by simply stating to the perp that you are videotaping the entire incident. If your words or verbal judo can mitigate negative activity, by all means, you should use it against any thugs interfering with your rights to ride on the road.
- Bike – If you are not permitted to carry a weapon or a concealed firearm, if all else fails, your bicycle will make a good weapon. Pick it up and charge at the people trying to assault you. If they have a weapon, it might be your best option to charge them with your bike because it’s going to throw them off guard and maybe even make them drop their weapon. Try to gain access to their weapon and then take control of the situation. There will never be a law against you from defending yourself from being assaulting by another person.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer or a member of a law enforcement agency. I am a cyclist who is concerned about the safety and rights of other cyclists. I give my advice as is and for use at your own risk. This advice is not official and your state and local laws and ordinances might contradict with my advice. It is important that you research and know the legality of what you can and cannot do to defend yourself while on your bicycle. If there isn’t a whole lot you can do, I’d suggest moving somewhere else that actually cares about their citizens. Remember, always try to escape if possible but if all else fails, do whatever you have to do to defend yourself.
Thanks for reading my blog post about dealing with cycling trolls and defending yourself while on your bike. Please share this blog post with other cyclists so they too can have the knowledge to protect themselves while they are riding. Sharing this with others also shows me support for writing it. Feel free to post this article on your favorite social networking pages as well.
Your turn! Have you ever had a potentially violent and/or conflicting confrontation while on your bicycle before? If yes, how did you deal with it and how do you keep yourself from becoming forced into harm’s way while riding your bike?
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It is a fact that most people, even ardent cyclists and trekkers do not pay much attention to footgear while buying them and often settle for what is being offered to them by sellers, which is certainly not the right thing to do, especially when it comes to best fit size, width, keeping the feet always moist and dry, and most of all, comfort and ease of use. While most cyclists have different priorities while choosing and buying the right kind of cycling shoes, it needs to be borne in mind that some tips are necessary to avoid making bad purchases of cycling shoes which the cyclist could live to regret.
Every student should ride in comfort with proper cycling shoes!
- Try to avoid buying cycling shoes on the internet or online: While this may be excellent in terms of convenience and aid prompt buying, the fact remains that shoes need to be fitted and tried before buying, and thus needs to be best purchased from physical brick-and-mortar stores for correct size and feel and ease of cycling movements. Cycling shoes need to be tried out before buying them and this may not be easily facilitated if one opts for online purchase of cycling shoes.
- The kind of cycling one indulges in is also important while choosing cycling shoes: The kind of cycling shoes needed for mountain bike riding is far different from the road riding model or cycling in rough terrain, mountains or smooth ones. The structure, build of shoes and capacity to withstand shocks all differ. So shoes must be bought keeping the activity in mind. Stronger and more robust shoes for rougher use.
- The season when most used is also important: If the cycling is most done in winter months, it is necessary to wear extra thick socks to keep the feet warm and free of frostbite. Thus, an extra large size would become necessary to accommodate thicker pair of socks. Besides the shoes also need to keep feet warm and free of moisture and damp.
- Costs are also a major consideration: While shoe brands are important too, it is also necessary for budget considerations to opt for the best pair within the budget price and students may not really be able to go for most expensive brand on just a shoe string budget.
- Shoe width is also important: Many sports shoe makers produce different standard widths which accommodate the feet of different uses of women, men and child cyclists. Shoe width is indeed important since it affects wearing comfort, ease and convenience.
- Seeking advice from cycling friends or from the internet: A strong, hardy and resident pair of cycling shoes is pre requisite for long and arduous cycling campaigns for sports, pleasure or business needs, but one need to check with friends and fellow cyclists on the best brands, how they are priced and best purpose they serve. Besides, how long they could endure, life span and how well they could be suited to long distance cycling, mountain cycling, high and rough terrain cycling, etc are also important considerations which cannot be ignored.
Conclusion: All the above considerations needs to be kept in mind to ensure that cycling experience is indeed enhanced by robust, reliable and good looking pair of trust worthy cycling shoes which could endure for long without giving way.
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