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Saturday
Feb092013

Blizzard Riding 2013!

For the past month we've been sending out Winter Tips on our Facebook and Twitter. Here's a few to keep you riding out during Boston Blizzard Nemo 2013!

 

#1: Be aware of your long coat hanging low and covering your rear light — if it’s blocked, maybe change where your light sits on your bike.

 

#2: If you’re ever riding on black ice or frozen cold metal grates, just keep the handle bars straight, don’t turn, and don’t brake! That’ll help you from slipping.

 

#3: Always have gloves – they will keep you a lot happier. Outer thicker/cycling gloves, inner glove liners, and hand warmers are great on really cold days. Also, surgical plastic gloves work well as a cheap first layer to keep hands dry during wet ride.

 

#4: Is it getting pretty wet out? You can use plastic bags (free from CVS) and wrap your shoes or put it over your socks in your shoes to keep your feet dry. Cheap and classy!

 

#5: Decrease your tire pressure when riding on snow, maybe by 10–15 PSI; you’ll go slower but get more traction and have an easier time riding over the chunky rock-salts.

 

#6: Plan your attire for “10 minutes into your ride.” Layer up (non-cotton clothes; base, middle, insulation, waterproof) keeping in mind you’re burning calories; start colder and warm up into your clothes. Riding overheated is an uncomfortable way to roll. But, if your ride is less than 10 minutes, start warm and stay warm!

 

#7: Lube Your Chain! Even if there’s no snow, you’re still riding in salt and sand. Do it every other week at the minimum, with the real stuff (not WD-40!).

 

#8: Lowering your seat just a bit may help keep balance, especially if you need to catch yourself slipping on a turn or on ice.

 

#9: Is your head cold under that helmet? Get a thin cap, or a bandana, or even tape up the holes to keep that warmth in!

 

#10: Fenders are great at keeping that melting slush from splashing your back (skunk trail). You can modify most types to fit your bike, or make some with duct tape and a box.

 

#11: Even if the snow has melted, the sand on the roads can be just as slippery as ice, so take care, go slow on turns, prepare to catch yourself sliding.

 

#12: Brake Twice; the first squeeze is to clean off your rims, which will make sure you stop nice and quick on round two.

 

#13: Stash a plastic bag under your seat or in your bag so when it’s raining you can cover your saddle while briefly locked up outside.

 

#14: In 15 degree weather, a good face mask will be the best $25 you can spend.

 

#15: If you have to bike in 5 degrees for an extended period of time, you’re risking minor frostbite on any exposed skin. Put a thin layer of Vaseline or the like on your nose and cheeks to prevent frostbite. It’s extreme, but so are you!

 

#16: You lose lots of moisture from breathing out steam in the cold, though you may not realize it. Remember to stay hydrated out there!

 

#17: The weather can change fast over the course of the day. If the weather changes and you don’t want to ride, be multimodal and take your bike on the T.

 

#18: A nice thrift store wool sport coat makes for a warm, effective outer layer that you won’t mind getting a bit dirty on slushy days.

 

#19: Potholes are common after a few days of hard freeze followed by a warming. The expanded soil beneath the asphalt melts back down and causes the pavement to crumble. Keep an eye out for new potholes in your commute.

 

#20: Consider packing some extra batteries for your lights. The cold can effect electronics and drain your juice. Stay bright out there!

Tuesday
Dec042012

Winter Bike Maintenance Workshop!

Saturday December 8, 1:30-3pm
at the Harvard Allston Education Portal
175 N Harvard St, Allston 02134

An essential part of winter riding is keeping the salt and sand from destroying your ride. So this Saturday we’re getting together to talk maintenance, and then dirtying our hands dirty by cleaning our bikes!

This is the 3rd installment of our Winter Biking workshops: we’ll teach the basics of cleaning and maintenance during the cold and wet season in Boston. We’ll have the materials on hand to allow everyone to clean their bicycles of the grit gathered from urban riding, and send everyone home with a “wipe and lube” kit.

So come by the Education Portal, get the tools you’ll need to keep your bike nice in the bad weather, and maybe play a round of mini-golf after the workshop (seriously, they have indoor mini-golf there!)

This presentation is also supported by MassBike and the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness, and is free and open to the public.
See you there!

Sunday
Nov252012

Winterize Your Ride workshop

 
Saturday, December 1; 1:30pm-3pm
Harvard Allston Education Portal, 175 N Harvard St
Allston, 02134
"Winterize Your Ride" workshop and open discussion

It's totally possible to commute by bike in the Winter! ...But you do need the right tips. 
Join us for a "Bicycle Commuting for Everyone: Winter Edition" MassBike presentation, followed by a discussion on the various options for converting a bicycle so that it is more efficient, effective, and easier to maintain during the winter months. Winter can be a tough time to bike in Boston but the instructors have experience riding through some of the worst of New England’s weather, and will cover the tips and tricks they’ve picked up in an informative presentation.

Presentation is created and supported by MassBike and the Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness (BCFF)
it's free, and open to everyone and anyone.
Wednesday
Nov142012

Fix-A-Flat and Tighten Your Brakes workshop

Saturday, November 17, 1:30pm!

We’re hosting a “Fix-A-Flat” and “Tighten Your Brakes” workshop to teach light maintenance to keep you safe and rolling (just because, just in case…). We will cover the basics of how to remove your wheels, take off / put on your tire and tube, how to find the appropriate air pressure to keep inflated, and how to locate any holes and punctures so you can repair them. And we’ll cover the easy ways to keep your brakes nice and tight. This will be low-key and hands-on — so be prepared to bring your bike, maneuver tire levers, and pump!

at the:
Harvard Education Portal, in Allston
175 North Harvard Street
Allston MA, 02134
1:30-3pm

for more info contact: info@commonwheels.org

Monday
Nov052012

Subsidized $5 Hubway Membership Drive

When: Thurs, November 8 — 4-6pm

Where: at the Joseph M Smith Community Health Center, 287 Western Ave in Lower Allston

What: $5 Hubway Membership Drive!!! (+ free helmets!)

CommonWheels and the City of Boston are teaming up to promote the subsidized Hubway membership program at the Joseph M Smith Community Health Center in Lower Allston. For low-income qualifying residents, a year’s worth of Hubway is only $5 (that’s right, for the whole year!). We want you to get a membership, and tell your folks and neighbors too, so come by the JMSCHC on Thursday between 4 and 6 to get your ride on!

(also, we’ve got free food there too!)