Momentum Mag

Momentum Mag

Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

Articles by Momentum:

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your City Cycling

Guest post by Duncan Hurd, managing editor of Momentum Mag

I truly believe that my bicycle is the ultimate urban tool. My bicycle provides a solution to every city travel problem that I may encounter. Bicycling is fast, efficient, inexpensive, and let’s not forget fun.

Like any tool, a bicycle becomes more useful if it is designed for the task at hand. The growing demand for city bikes has resulted in an increased availability of bicycles that are made to be used daily, carry items, and keep the rider free from grease and street crud.

Do you need a new bike to make city cycling simpler? Not at all. Any bicycle will do. However, there are ways to improve any bicycle so it becomes better suited to daily city use. These five simple add-ons will help make your bike an attractive daily travel tool:

1. Fend Away Street Grime with Fenders

Unless you live in a place where it never rains and the streets are kept in pristine condition, you will benefit from fenders. As far as add-ons go, fenders give you the most bang for your buck and make city cycling a cleaner experience. And not only do fenders help keep you clean, they also keep tire spray away from riders around you. Since there are so many different fenders available it is difficult to make a specific recommendation, so visit your local bike shop and explore the available options that will fit on your bicycle.

2. Take More with You in Your Front Basket

I’m almost embarrassed by how long it took me to finally add a front basket to my bicycle. I thought I’d never use it; I’ll just use my messenger bag when I need to carry things. Boy, I was wrong. I honestly couldn’t imagine benefiting as much as I do from my bicycle without that front basket. As far as low-cost improvements go, a front basket is right up there with fenders. Any wire basket will do, though if you expect to carry more delicate items I recommend finding a basket with a solid base to provide support.

3. Keep Grease Where it Belongs with a Chainguard

Bicycle chains get dirty. They pick up road grime and are the number one culprit when it comes to ruined trousers. While their availability isn’t as widespread as fenders and baskets, adding a simple chainguard will help keep your pant legs clean and keep grease where it needs to be, on your chain.

4. Light Up Your Nights with Bike Lights

Having both front and rear lights on your bicycle is one add-on that is actually a necessity. Not only does having lighting on your bicycle improve nighttime safety (and save you from traffic fines) but it also makes you more likely to ride longer. In many European countries there are strict regulations on bicycle lighting, ensuring that the majority of riders are visible at night. In North America, the laws vary but lights are still required in most places. If you tend to leave you bicycle parked outside all night look for models that are easy to remove so you can take them inside with you. Another option that will ensure you never forget your lights is to install permanent front and rear lights powered by a dynamo.

5. Keep Your Bicycle Yours with a Secure Lock

While every bicycle lock can be defeated, the best locks take thieves longer to break. The goal of a good lock is to make your bike the least attractive option to would-be thieves. Heavy chain locks and solid U-locks are the most popular choice. Look for the security rating provided by the manufacturer to give you an idea if the lock can provide the security you need.


Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

Photo: David Niddrie

4 Bicycle Styles Perfect for City Riding

One of the most common questions I am asked is, “What type of bike should I get for city riding?” Of course, absolutely any bike that’s in working order will work. The problem is that some bikes can actually make riding around town to run errands or get to work needlessly challenging and can even be downright uncomfortable.

While not always available in every bike shop, there are several bicycle styles that will make city riding more comfortable and enjoyable. And more comfortable riding means that you’re far more likely to hop on you bike more often. Here are four bike styles that will help you get the most out of city riding and enjoy every trip:

The Dutch Bike

The Dutch are known for their excellent approach to promoting everyday cycling with their extensive network of separated paths. And a common sight on those paths is the elegant Dutch bike. The upright riding position of these bikes allows you to see your surroundings and chat with other riders. In addition, many Dutch bikes also come equipped with chain and skirt guards, racks, and fenders all allowing you to simply hop on and ride in any clothes and in any weather. Dutch bikes with step-through frames make getting on and off the bike effortless. You may not be the fastest rider in the bike lane on a Dutch bike, but you will experience the most comfortable and relaxed ride of your life.

Brands to look for: Gazelle, Bobbin, Public

The Mixte

The Mixte (pronounced “MIX-tee”) is the perfect ride for hilly cities and along long and winding paths. Equipped with swept-back handlebars, Mixtes ride comfortably upright while still positioning you forward enough to breeze up hills and pick up speed when you’re feeling sporty. A common misconception is that Mixtes are just for women since they feature an angled top bar. However, you’ll find both men and women riding on these frames in many North American cities, often on classic models found at garage sales.

Brands to look for: Civia, Linus, Nirve

The Folding Bike

In dense, urban areas, where space is limited, folding bikes are the perfect choice. With smaller wheels, these bikes may look slow, but after a test ride you’ll find that folding bikes won’t hold you back on your morning commute. In addition to fitting in your apartment or under your desk at work, folding bikes are often allowed on public transit, allowing you to carry a quicker way to get to and from the train or transit station.

Brands to look for: Brompton, Bike Friday, Tern

The Cargo Bike

Cargo bikes are the ultimate car-replacement tools. Carrying kids, large purchases, a month’s worth of groceries? The cargo bike can handle it. You may experience some sticker shock when first looking at the wide range of cargo bikes available, but these prices are more than justified when you consider their versatility and ability to alter what you thought was possible on a bicycle. The cargo bike is perfect for families or people who need to take more with them more often.

Brands to look for: Christiania, Babboe, Yuba

What’s the best way to find the ideal bicycle for you? Try as many as you can. Stop by your local bike shop and see what they have in store. The right ride is waiting for you.

Photo: Anthony Niblett

How to Combine Bicycles and Public Transit

Guest post by Duncan Hurd, managing editor of Momentum Mag

On a warm, summer morning my partner and I prepared to set out on our bicycles. Our destination was nearly 62 miles (100 km) away. As we unlocked our bikes, a neighbor asked where we were headed. He told us that we didn’t look like the kind of people who would ride that far. He was right. We had no intention of cycling the entire way. We’d ride the first 2 miles (3.2 km) to a commuter rail station, hop on a train with our bicycles and complete our trip with a short bike ride from a train station to our destination.

Combining bicycles with transit for trips both short and long is a growing trend in North America. Public transit systems are installing bike racks on buses and at popular transit stops and some are including secure bike storage facilities, with lockers and repair stands, at transit stations. By making it easier to combine bikes with transit, cities can help alleviate rush hour congestion and provide a stepping stone toward motivating people to use their bicycles more often.

Most public transit systems provide an excellent way to cover longer distances at a much lower cost than by personal car. However, it’s very difficult for a transit system to provide stations or bus stops close to all destinations. Since many destinations are only a few miles away from a transit station, bicycles provide a low-cost, efficient and often faster way to start and finish your trip.

Take Your Bike with You

  • On longer trips, I often look for ways that I can take my bicycle along with me. The commuter rail service that connects Toronto to cities throughout Southern Ontario offers limited access for bicycles. On weekends and outside of rush hours bicycles are permitted on most rail cars. Local and regional bus services here also have limited space for bicycles, often just a front-mounted rack that can carry at most two bikes.
  • Taking a bike with you will often mean traveling outside of peak times. If space is limited for your bike and knowing there are a lot of people intending to travel with theirs it can throw a wrench in your travel plans, so be sure to check your local transit regulations beforehand.

Lock It and Leave It

  • Many transit systems encourage commuters to leave their bicycles at transit stations. Sheltered bike racks and indoor storage facilities are sometimes available. You may be required to pay a fee or obtain a membership for some storage facilities, though outdoor racks are often provided free.
  • When leaving your bicycle at a transit station be sure to take anything with you that could be easily stolen. Make sure you use a secure lock, remove your lights and cover your saddle to protect it from the weather.

Travel By Bike Share 

  • Bike share systems are rapidly expanding and are a perfect complement to public transit. New York, Chicago, Vancouver, and Los Angeles among others are all expected to launch bike share systems in 2013. In cities where bike share systems already exist, like Montreal, Washington, DC and Boston, bike share stations are often located alongside transit stops. This makes the transition from train to bike simple. By using bike share you never have to worry about locking your bike or theft.

North Americans are embracing bicycles as their preferred transportation choice in ever-growing numbers. By allowing people to choose how they travel, and offering ways to combine walking, cycling, transit and even driving, cities can help address our diverse transportation needs.


Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

Photo: David Niddrie

How to Enjoy Winter Biking

Guest post by Duncan Hurd, managing editor of Momentum Mag

“I’m not one of those die-hards” is most likely what you’re thinking. Winter cycling, especially in snowy, rainy and bitterly cold places, is often believed to be only for the truly dedicated. The ones who are out there making a statement, dedicated to the cause of two-wheeled transportation for life. I know because I once believed this myself. Winter weather arrived and I started buying monthly transit passes again, my bicycle stowed away until spring.

winter bike ridingBut then on one cold day I kept on riding. We had been experiencing a very mild winter that year and as long as the streets were dry I was on my bike. I made only short trips at first. Going up the street to the grocery store, across town to a friend’s place or riding one neighborhood over to a restaurant. I commuted by transit during the day, but my evening and weekend activities all remained by bike. Sure, it was cold and my eyes would water and my nose would run like Niagara Falls. So I bought some handkerchiefs and kept on riding. I bought a better pair of gloves and kept on riding. I learned to love wool and kept on riding.

As the mercury drops and the days feel like they’ve barely started by the time it gets dark again, continuing to bike ride is the best way I’ve found for improving my mood and giving me energy to do more than just sit under a blanket. If you’re curious about riding in the winter here are a few tips to help you get started:

Start Small

You may have a personality that allows you to jump right into anything, but I sure do not. Biking is never an all-or-nothing proposition. At first you’ll spend more time debating with yourself over whether or not you should ride, but over time you’ll learn what works for you.

  • Ride when you’re comfortable and ride to help you become more comfortable.
  • Start on a quiet weekend and set a destination.
  • Experiment with what clothing you’ll wear and give yourself time.

Consider Your Wardrobe

I prefer to dress for the destination. While I do own an array of cycling gear, most of my winter weather bike trips are for transportation and not recreation. Having been car-dependent for far too many years, once I began walking and biking in the winter I quickly realized that I didn’t have clothing suitable for the outdoors. I didn’t own boots, my jackets were too thin, my gloves proved to be just for show and I owned maybe two cotton sweaters.

There are plenty of cycling-specific gear choices that can help you feel more comfortable on your bike in the winter, but these aren’t a necessity. I’ve started wearing more layers, choosing wool over cotton and thinking about comfort and warmth as well as aesthetics. I’ve now built a wardrobe that surprisingly still looks like what I would regularly wear to work but is also going to keep me warm on winter walks and rides.

Your Bike Needs Love

Winter streets can wreak havoc on your average bicycle. In Toronto, ON, we get snow and slush and roads covered in salt and grime. When it’s wet your tires will pick up road debris and toss it up at you and your bike. Left to freeze and accumulate debris and moisture will ruin your gears, render your brakes useless and eat away at parts prone to rusting.

  • Wipe down your bike after messier rides to help keep parts running smoothly longer.
  • Learn basic chain maintenance.

If becoming an amateur mechanic isn’t for you, then consider what bike you ride. Upright city bikes so common in Amsterdam and Copenhagen are excellent all-weather vehicles. Fenders keep debris away from you, chain guards protect the parts that keep you rolling and internal-gear hubs and hub brakes conceal moving parts, increasing their longevity. You’ll enjoy your winter rides far more if you don’t have to worry about your bike.

Ride with Care

It’s tempting to make your winter rides as short as possible by riding fast and furious. While extra exertion can help you warm up, it also can get you into trouble.

  • By riding slower, it may take a little longer to warm up but you’ll be better prepared to navigate around debris and keep an eye on your surroundings.
  • Biking slower may also help you identify new places to stop and warm up such as at a book store you’ve not noticed before or a café you’ve never found time to visit.
  • Always remember your lights. Since people may not expect to see you out on your bike, and since clouds and earlier evenings make streets darker in winters, it is always best to have your lights on at all times.

Finally, have fun. While not all winter rides are going to be bliss, learn to have fun and feel comfortable biking. It will keep you motivated to ride all year.


Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

Photo: Kathleen Wilker

How to Feel Comfortable in a Bike Shop

Guest post by Duncan Hurd, managing editor of Momentum Mag

I remember how intimidated I felt while shopping for my first new bike.

Counterbalance Bicycles Seattle

The bicycle shops I visited were stuffed wall to wall with aggressive looking mountain bikes and featherweight road bikes. Everyone working and shopping within used words I’d never heard before. I knew I wanted something to get me around town and maybe carry a few groceries on, but none of what I saw looked like a bike I’d trust leaving locked up outside of my apartment. None had racks or fenders and all had price tags well beyond my budget.

For the most part, bike shops will defy your typical retail shopping experience. Shop owners and employees are passionate about cycling though many lack customer service training. Shops themselves appear to lack organization. Browsing the rows of bikes crammed together and hodgepodge display racks can be a challenge.

However, the cycling retail experience is undergoing a major facelift. Manufacturers like Electra are providing retailers with attractive and thought-out merchandising displays. There are also a growing number of shops that provide products and services with bicycling for transportation as their main focus, creating pleasant spaces for customers to browse and experience bikes and gear.

Whether you need a new bike, accessories or a tune-up, here are a few tips to help you feel comfortable in any bike shop:

1. Look for Specialty Shops

Not all bike shops are the same. Some, like Hudson Urban Bicycles in New York City and Clever Cycles in Portland, OR, focus only on practical, European-inspired bikes for daily transportation. Pedal Chic in Greenville, SC focuses on products designed for women. In Seattle, WA, Hub and Bespoke carries clothing and accessories with urban cycling style. You’ll also find a growing number of DIY shops that give customers a helping hand for fixing their own bikes while also selling a selection of new and used parts.

2. Know What You Want

It’s easy to get distracted in a bike shop. The selection can feel overwhelming at times and some sales people will push you towards their own interests as opposed to helping you with yours. Visit a shop that caters to the type of biking you want to do and have a list of the activities you plan to do by bike with you.

3. Always Try Before You Buy

Test rides are essential when deciding what bike to buy. You can’t expect to learn to feel comfortable on a bicycle. If something feels uncomfortable right away, talk with the shop employee who can make adjustments or suggest a different model. When shopping for accessories, bring your bike with you to ensure that the parts you’re looking at are compatible.

4. Research Your Ride

People love to talk about their bikes. They blog about them, write reviews for magazines and can chat to no end about why they like (or dislike) their own bike. If you’re looking for a commuter bike, ask other commuters where they made their purchase. While each individual has their own tastes, asking questions can help you identify what you may use a bicycle for and what specific styles you should consider. Take time to shop around. If you feel uncomfortable or are unsatisfied with options available at one shop, it’s better to travel a little further than to make sacrifices in getting what you want.

I invite you to drop by your local bike shop to try out a new bike or two and pick up a set of lights and a bell if you don’t have them already.


Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

Bike Share System Tips

Guest post by Duncan Hurd, managing editor of Momentum Mag

We hadn’t planned on biking that morning in Montreal, QC. As my partner and I were walking to meet friends we couldn’t help but notice BIXI bike share stations along the way. At the first station, we used the poster-sized map to make sure we were walking in the right direction. At the second station, we paused to read the instructions and take a closer look at the 3-speed, boomerang-shaped bicycles. Once we reached a third station we decided to swipe a credit card, release two bicycles and pedal away.

Bike Share photo by Kathleen WilkerThere are currently more than 300 bicycle share systems in operation around the world. New York City plans to launch North America’s largest system—with 7,000 bikes spread across 400+ stations—in March 2013. Los Angeles is also developing bike shares.

Each city’s bike share system may vary by pricing and membership rules, but most are intended for users to make short trips between stations. Swipe a credit card or membership key and bike share systems provide quick and convenient transportation for trips that may otherwise require a longer walk, transit or taxicab.

Ever used a bike share system before? Unsure if the one in your city is right for you? Here are four tips to get the most out of bike shares:

1. Commute Partly or Fully by Bike Share

Bike share systems are often intended for commuters and you’ll find stations conveniently located at or near transit hubs. This means you can use bike share to get to public transit as well as get from a transit station to within a short walk of your destination. Often, cities offer bike share memberships at discounted rates to transit pass holders. By making all or part of your commute by bike share you can get to your destination faster and save money.

2. Explore a New City by Bike Share

There’s no better way to get to know a city than by bicycle. Many bike share systems offer short-term memberships of 24-72 hours that are perfect for tourists. You can use the maps provided by most systems to plan your route from station to station and dock your bike when you’ve found a place you’d like to explore on foot. Note: Keeping a bike out of a dock for longer than 30 minutes may mean increased user fees, so plan for short trips between stations and not a meandering route around the city in one go.

3. Do One-Way Trips Quickly

Does the forecast call for rain later in the day? Are you heading out to an event where you intend to drink? Since bike share systems allow you to return a bicycle to any station, you can get to your destination by bike and then choose to take transit or a taxi home. I’ll often use bike share for one-way errands including riding to the shop where my day-to-day bicycle is being repaired.

4. Work Out by Bike Share

While I’ve read of competitors bringing bike share bicycles to triathlons and cyclo-cross events, these rides aren’t intended for intense physical work-outs. However, by making more of your trips by bike—even short ones—you can start to see some improvements to your health over time. Bike share can also help you mix up your regular work-out routine. Take bike share to a gym location further away or dock your bike in a different neighborhood and jog home. Most bike shares also have baskets allowing you to carry your gym clothes.

New: Bike Shares Now on Walk Score

As of December 18, 2012, Walk Score mapped nearly 1,600 locations of bike shares across North America. Search for any address in these cities and find bike share locations listed as one of the main categories: Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Houston, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Broward, Charlotte, Des Moines, Kailua, Kansas City, Madison, Nashville, Omaha, San Antonio and Spartanburg.


Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

 

Photo: Kathleen Wilker

How to Shop by Bicycle

Guest post by Duncan Hurd, managing editor of Momentum Mag

Some days, I like to do the impossible. Or, that is, I like to do something that many people believe is impossible.

I prefer to shop by bike.

My partner and I picked up this habit after we first started biking together. On the way home from a ride, we’d stop in at the butcher’s shop or pick up some take-out for dinner. At first, we’d hang bags from our handlebars, but we knew this was putting our purchases at risk as they swayed or bounced off our front wheels. Sometimes my partner’s purse was large enough for a few items, but we soon had the urge to carry more with us, without having to take transit or resort to borrowing a car.

When it comes to shopping by bike, we are not alone. Studies in Toronto, ON and Portland, OR have shown that people who shop by bike often spend more money per month than those who drive. It may be because we don’t have to worry about car payments, insurance, parking or gas shrinking our monthly budgets. We may also spend more simply because while on a bicycle it’s easy to drop into a new shop or restaurant because we’re traveling around at a pace that allows us see in store windows or read daily specials posted on sandwich boards.

Ready to run your next errand by bike? Tips to help you haul home purchases big and small:

Photo by Ben JohnsonGet the Right Gear

When it comes to shopping by bicycle, you’ll have greater success with the right accessories. At minimum, install a front basket, a rear rack or both. While you can use a large backpack for many purchases, letting your bike do the carrying is less tiring and cumbersome. Front baskets vary in size and are often large and sturdy enough for one or two bags of groceries or a medium-sized box. Rear racks provide a flat surface for strapping down larger items with a rope or bungee cords. To really increase the carrying capacity of a rack, get one or two panniers (bags specifically designed to mount to a rack). If you need to pick up larger items, the increased hauling capacity of a detachable bike trailer may be right for you. Many trailers can fold down for storage and can also be used for carrying kids, pets and more.

Another important item: a secure bike lock. You get what you pay for so don’t be afraid to pay $100 or more for a lock with added security features.

Cut the Waste

Once you have a basket or rack (or both) on your bicycle then it’s time to consider what kind of purchases you’re making. At the grocery store, I rarely pick up something individually packaged in a box or container as these take up too much space and end up in the trash anyway. Buying from the bulk aisle allows me to bag items that typically come boxed, taking up significantly less space on my bike. Often, I’ll decide not to buy a specific item if there is too much packaging waste. If you’re buying delicate items like fresh fruit and vegetables, ask if the shop has any medium-sized cardboard boxes. By placing my purchases inside one box I can strap it to my rack securely while preventing my purchases from being squished.

Buy Less, Shop More Often

Shopping more often may sound time consuming, but once you get used to it you’ll find that you can actually save time. Grocery runs are often much quicker when you’re purchasing items for just two or three meals in advance. You get to use the express check-out lane and don’t have to push a loaded cart around. When you’re purchasing less per time, it’s also easier to incorporate a shopping trip with other trips. You can stop by the library on the way home from work or pick up a few items while heading across town for an event.

Look for Businesses That Encourage Shopping by Bike

It’s hard to shop by bike if a store lacks bike parking. While many business owners still value car parking over bicycle parking, there are communities starting to better accommodate shopping by bike. Of note are the bike-friendly business districts in Long Beach and San Diego, CA that ensure adequate parking for bicycles and may offer discounts to people who shop by bike.

 


Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

 

Photo: Ben Johnson

How Your Bicycle Will Make You Popular

Guest post by Duncan Hurd, managing editor of Momentum Mag

Bicycles. What can’t they do? They take you to work, save you money, help you exercise and can even make you popular.

Now, you may have missed the chapter on bicycles in How to Win Friends and Influence People, but I assure you that a bicycle has the power to introduce you to many wonderful people. I came to this realization after rediscovering the joy of getting around town by bike a few years ago. At first, I was happy pedaling on my own but I quickly discovered that it’s hard to be alone while biking in a big city.

Group ladies-only bike rideBack when I commuted by car, not once did I strike up a conversation with another driver while behind the wheel. Sure, there were some minor exchanges, but rarely was it anything memorable (and sadly, not always positive). Yet, on a bike the experience is the exact opposite. I’ve asked and been asked for directions. I’ve cheerfully said hello and shared the delight or disgust of a strange smell wafting down the street. With no steel cage around you and no tinted windows, bikes are open to their surroundings, the perfect social machines.

The social power of a bicycle truly shines during group rides.

Riding in a group adds a whole new dynamic to traveling by bike. You can lead the way, you can hang back and watch or you can find a spot in the middle and feel the surge of excitement that comes from being surrounded by other people on bikes. Ready to experience your first group ride? Here’s what to look for:

Tweed group bike rideTheme Rides
Portland, OR may just be the capital of group theme rides. Each year, the 3-week event, Pedalpalooza, is host to countless theme rides. Dress up as your favorite Doctor Who or Star Wars character and hop on your bike for an out-of-this-world adventure. Some themed rides even have a global presence. The Tweed Ride, started in London, UK, sees participants dress like it’s the 1890s in wool cycling costumes to bike slowly around town. Tweed Rides can now be found in Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Latvia and the United States. If dressing up isn’t to your liking, you can always dress down to ride. The World Naked Bike Ride hopes to “deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world” by having participants dare to bare, stripping down to next to nothing for a slow rolling party on two wheels (or more).

Ladies-Only Rides
Too often, cycling is seen as a male-dominated activity that may make women feel uncomfortable. On ladies-only rides you’ll find women getting back on the bike for the first time since childhood riding shoulder to shoulder with seasoned bike commuters. These events are as much about building confidence to ride around town as they are about meeting new people. Look for Two Wheels and Heels events in Cleveland and Columbus, OH and Minneapolis, MN.

City Tours
The only way to truly get to know a city is by bike. Why hop on a stuffy bus when you can join a bike tour to get an on-the-ground feeling for a city? Tour guides are full of interesting tidbits you may never learn alone and are a great way to meet travelers and locals.

Charity Rides
The power of the group ride is often at its most powerful when it takes the form of charity rides. Working for a common goal, charity rides are visible, engaging and a great way to help raise money for causes you believe in. Some charity rides will see the closure of typically car-only roads, providing a unique experience as well as opportunities to share the road with thousands of other cyclists.


Duncan Hurd is managing editor of Momentum Mag, an independent media company that promotes, encourages and inspires “Smart Living by Bike.” He lives in Toronto, Canada and believes that every ride is a group ride, even if those around him don’t know it yet. Subscribe to Momentum Mag’s free newsletter.

 

Photos: itsbruce, Sarah Bryant