|By Casey CollinsWinter bike commutes can be fun, even magical! Let our pros show you their tips and tricks in this FREE Workshop by the Durham Bicycle Coalition!
Bike Commuting in Winter – Not Just for the Hardcore
FREE, Open to the Public
Experienced commuters (led by Duke staff member Casey Collins!) will offer tips on gear, safety, maintenance, and more to help you enjoy your bike commute in winter. Meet other commuters and ask the questions that will help keep you rolling year-round! Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the Facebook event page at: http://www.facebook.com/events/112655495566309/
Thank you to the Durham Bike Coop for hosting our event!
Stay for a fun, free social bike ride after the workshop! The Holiday Lights Bike Ride starts at 5:00 from the Coop – bring your lights and your friends! Read more: http://www.facebook.com/events/535115976516575/
The ability to take 2-3 months off from daily routines is common for students during the summer, or for people transitioning between jobs. These opportunities are rare and it is important to make the most of them. For ambitious students this time is typically used for internships, summer research, or maybe even summer classes. But what about alternative plans that go beyond the standard adding to a resume? Perhaps traveling, meeting new people, or volunteering for a worthwhile cause? I recently heard about an experience, which does exactly that, called Bike & Build.
The idea behind Bike & Build is simple; Bike across America while supporting affordable housing options. Yes, this means participants will be riding a bike from coast to coast. Supporting affordable housing means you will be raising money for affordable housing projects AND you will be actually building these houses along your way.
Do you have to be an experienced cyclist/housing advocate who is harboring dreams of months-long adventures? No. But you will be when you finish. The program has extensive support for riders and housing advocates of all levels. You don’t even have to own a bike (or a hammer) to participate. Some of the details are listed below:
- It’s a young crowd. Ages of participants are around 18-28.
- There are multiple routes to cross the US. Each route will have about 30 riders who will be supported by a van, driven by 4 leaders.
- Each rider agrees to raise a minimum of $4,500 in donations (this may seem like a lot but there is extensive alumni connections and fund raising support from Bike & Build).
- After raising $1,000, Bike & Build will give you a new road bike.
- Bike & Build coordinates the entire trip! This includes sleeping arrangements, food, and routes – at no cost to you. You will mostly be staying in community centers, churches, and at campgrounds.
- The application for each summer’s ride opens up the previous fall.
- For more details see the Bike & Build website
Check out some of the routes below. The route starting in NC ends up in beautiful San Diego, CA (3,552 miles later)
If you still have questions after looking through the website, you can reach out to Kerri who is doing the ride this summer (email@example.com). She is also still fund raising for her ride and could definitely use your support. Kerri is a teaching assistant here at Duke and would be happy to talk to you about the Bike & Build program. If you would like to support the program and help Kerri out, you can donate here – http://bikeandbuild.org/rider/5494. Thanks for your support, and we hope we can encourage you to join the experience next summer.
The League of American Bicyclists recently awarded Duke the status of Bronze Bicycle Friendly University, up from an Honorable Mention last year. That’s great news!
An awesome quote by Brian Williams, Duke’s Transportation Demand Management Coordinator, in the official announcement: ”Over the past six months, we’ve addressed safety on all our roads, adding bike lanes, wide shoulders or sharrows to every street on campus. The BFU award highlights the work of the Duke community to make riding a bike easy.”
Keep biking to the University and let’s all keep advocating for bike issues on campus– maybe we can get to the Silver level within few years!
Historically, the bicycle had a tremendous impact on empowering women during the 19th and early 20th Century. However, like many of the roads at the time, the process was pretty bumpy.
The blog Brain Pickings has unearthed a copy of a 1895 New York World newspaper article that details the 41 ‘Don’t's for female cyclists. Brain Pickings says it best: “Equal parts amusing and appalling, the list is the best (or worst, depending on you look at it) thing since the Victorian map of woman’s heart.”
A few of my personal favorites include:
- Don’t chew gum. Exercise your jaws in private.
- Don’t use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys.
- Don’t try to ride in your brother’s clothes “to see how it feels.”
- Don’t scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run.
- Don’t appear to be up on “records” and “record smashing.” That is sporty.
Apparently, a lady’s bloomers was an area of significant concern:
- Don’t wear a garden party hat with your bloomers.
- Don’t ask “What do you think of my bloomers?”.
- Don’t scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers.
- Don’t discuss bloomers with every man you know.
However, while this list might seem ignorant and out-of-date, there are still some useful gems for today’s cyclist (regardless of gender):
- Don’t faint on the road. [Always a useful reminder]
- Don’t forget your toolbag.
- Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit.
- Don’t contest the right of way with cable cars.
- Don’t overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labor.
- Don’t ignore the laws of the road because you are a woman. [Or don't ignore the laws, regardless of who you are.]
- Don’t undertake a long ride if you are not confident of performing it easily. [Cycling should be fun; take it easy and enjoy it.]
To check out the list in it entirety and more content like this, check out Brain Pickings.
Spring Break is upon us, which means no work for everyone, right? Eh, probably not. But with the weather warming up and fewer students and classes to attend (or attend to), now seems like the perfect time to get back on the saddle and enjoy one of Durham’s great cycling resources: the greenway system.
The Durham Bike and Hike Map shows you all of the great routes of which you can take advantage. The American Tobacco Trail is always a favorite among my friends. I particularly like the North-South Greenway that cuts through Rock Quarry Park. No matter which route you choice, you’re bound to have fun; the greenways are specifically designed to link neighborhoods and points of interest around Durham. So even if you’re just going to ride for 30 minutes, spend it exploring Durham on your bike. You won’t regret it!
It’s easy to complain about winter weather, am I right? ”It’s too cold”, “It’s too windy”, “I wish it would snow”. But sometimes, it’s nice to look at how other people navigate their winters, and see that we in North Carolina are actually blessed! Spring seems to be coming up on us, and we only had that one (laughable) bit of snow last week! As far as biking is concerned, throw on your underarmour and you’re good as gold around here.
Now check out this cool video about biking Riding Through the Winter in the Midwest during winter. An indoor bike facility has let Milwaukee cyclisits continue to ride in comfort during these cold months, and the new “fat” bike, with wider wheels, has let the real die-hards keep biking on their favorite trails , even in the snow!
After seeing these struggles, don’t you just feel so lucky to live where you do? And which method of biking do you think you’d keep up with in an intense winter: fat bikes, indoor biking, or no biking at all?
Vacations are expensive, any Duke student still looking for a place to go for spring break knows that. Lots of costs have to factored in, and usually, transportation is a major factor. But now let’s say that you’re a regular biker, and often tell your friends, “$300 parking permit? I’ll pass, my bike doesn’t owe me a penny!!” Why should you suddenly have to pay out of pocket for vacation travel, when you’re so used to your low-cost bike?
Depending on where you are going and how you are getting there, you can still count biking as a dependable form of transportation.
If you’re thinking about flying, here is a good list of how much it could cost to ship your bike with you. As you can imagine, the prices range from cheap ($50, not too shabby!) to pretty out of control ($175… wait, really?) So if you’re going somewhere far, far away, and want your bike with you, it would be smart to buy tickets with the airline that will charge you the least for bringing your bike.
That said, for shorter range trips, Amtrak is also a good bet, with charges between $5 and $10 to stow your bike on board.
With both of these options, there are certain stipulations on how your bike is packaged. Some prefer you to remove the parts of the bike that stick out laterally (ie pedals and handles) and package the whole thing in a bike box (which you could get at a local bike store, usually free). Some airplane passengers will swear that leaving the whole bike in just an oversize, clear plastic bag will do the trick, since baggage handlers might then be more delicate. Here is a good site on how to package your bike, along with some information on shipping it separate from your own travels; FedEx and UPS have good deals on large packages.
You could also leave your bike at home! Locations that have a large pull for either cyclists or tourists in general will probably have bike stores with rental policies, nothing a quick google search can’t fix. And if you’re going to a less-well known location, don’t be afraid to contact a local information center or check the transportation section of the government website.
Finally, why not have a biking vacation? Now, the bike will be provided for you! For an all-inclusive price, of course :)
Just a fun video to start the week. Happy Cycling!
Message of interest from Rusty Miller, Duke Cycling Head Coach:
On Sunday February 26, bicycle racing will return to Durham. The Ninth Street Derby is a full day of criterium bicycle racing for teams from the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference and for the community at large. There will be a full road closure of Ninth, Perry, Iredell, and Markham Streets to make a half-mile course that competitors will lap in as little as a minute. The finish line will be near the Regulator bookshop.
Main events for the day will be 60-minute races for the top collegiate athletes at 1:00pm, and for professionals and elite amateurs at 4:30pm. The remainder of the day will feature beginner and intermediate races for collegiate athletes in the morning and for the community beginning at 2:00pm. Duke will seek to defend its regular season ACCC title against strong squads from NC State, UNC, ECU, Appalachian State, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia, US Naval Academy, and others.
The spectacle of criterium racing is not unlike NASCAR as packs of cyclists jostle in close quarters for the best drafting positions in the field. Excitement is guaranteed. A pace car will lead the pack of riders around the city streets at speeds approaching 35 mph. Spectators can walk around the course or sit tight at one of the dozen bars and restaurants along the course.
A full schedule and race flier is up at www.pedalgogy.com. If you would consider serving as a course marshal for a couple of hours, you can indicate that on a google form linked on the website.
We hope to see you out!
Head Coach, Duke Cycling