Our 7 Top Tips for Cycling in the Rain

It’s that time of the year in Brisbane. Days of high heat, followed by days of suffocating humidity, followed by days of torrential downpour. It’s a familiar cycle for anyone who has spent more than one summer in Brissy.

Can you still ride your bike on rainy days in Brisbane? Absolutely! In fact, the cool change can be very welcome at times. But there are some modifications you should consider making, and we’ve tried to compress our top tips for wet weather riding into this blog post!

1. Lights (camera and action optional)

Lights are always important, but they are rarely more important than in the rain. Not only is it darker because it’s overcast, but drivers in cars have worse visibility in the rain. Making sure you are visible to everyone on the road needs to be your number one priority in the rain. Speaking of…

2. Waterproof hi-vis jacket

Your jacket should probably stay true to the ethos of keeping you seen and keeping you alive. Bright fluorescent colours will do wonders for that.

Your jacket should also be waterproof. As most experienced cyclists will know, the combination of windchill and being soaking wet is gruelling, and should be avoided if you can. Remember, though, that your waterproof jacket needs to have adequate ventilation because riding in the equivalent of a plastic bag is also a terrible experience.

3. Overshoes, gloves and a cap

When riding in cold conditions, it’s important that we do our best to cover and protect extremities because they will be affected first and worst. That means feet, hands and head.

Water resistant overshoes will keep your feet dry while you push pedals in the rain, and are a godsend. Waterproof gloves are also great, and will add a layer of protection from the windchill of the lowered temperatures.

The vents on your helmet are invaluable during scorching Brisbane summer days…. During those infamous afternoon storms? Not so much. Simply adding a cycling cap will keep most of the windchill off you. Plus, the peak should give your eyes some protection from rain droplets.

4. Wear glasses

Apropos protecting your eyes from the rain! The roads are slippery, cars seem less trustworthy, and the last thing you want is to get hit in the eye by a big raindrop. Dark glasses aren’t a good choice when it rains, so you should opt for clear or yellow lenses.

Water and droplets collecting on your lenses are also problematic, and many people avoid glasses for this reason, but you should know that there are hydrophobic sprays that treat your lenses and help you avoid this entirely!

5. Lower your tyre pressure

Riding in wet conditions means that you need to worry about your road grip, especially if it’s the first rain in weeks, as if often the case in Brisbane. Oils that have been building up in cracks of the road surface for a long time will be lifted up by rainwater, and will now be on your tyres and in your path. Not to mention, the wet is slippery in itself!

Lower your tyre pressure to give yourself a larger contact surface with the road and improve your grip. Some cyclists lower their tyre pressure by as much as 10-15 psi, but you should find what you’re comfortable with. You’ll be less efficient, but more safe. Ultimately, that seems like a good trade-off to us.

6. Avoid white lines

Many of you may have been unfortunate enough to experience how slippery the white lane markings can be in the dry, and they are even more dangerous in the wet.

Take extra care to be aware of the white lines, and try to avoid them if possible – especially on corners or zebra crossings.

7. Slow down and ride to conditions (and avoid puddles)

Riding in wet conditions isn’t inherently dangerous, it just carries more risk than perfect weather. Knowing this is half the battle, and changing your riding to suit the conditions is the other half. In general, it’s smart to slow down and take it easy. Now is not the time to push for a PB on your favourite route. Taking corners more slowly, as mentioned above, is very important. You should also take extra care to slow down if you’re on a route you’re not familiar with.

If at all possible, you should avoid puddles. Not just because they’ll splash you with dirty water, but more importantly because you have no way of knowing what hides underneath the surface.

We can all imagine what could happen if you ride into a deep pothole or a puddle hiding a big rock going at 40 km/h.


Top 8 Christmas Gift Ideas for Cyclists

It’s that time of the year, and you’re out of Christmas gift ideas for the cyclist in your life. You’re in luck, because we’re about to give you our 8 top Christmas gift ideas for the cyclist in your life!

1. A good travel mug

A well-made travel mug for your morning cup of coffee of is simply a must-have in a country like Australia, where coffee culture is a big part of most people’s morning rituals. Rather than skulling your coffee of choice before hopping on the bike to work, a good travel mug will let you bring your jolt of energy with you.

There are many different brands, styles, colours and sizes available. They can just slot into a side pocket of your backpack as long as they are airtight. What if you want to enjoy your coffee while cycling to work?

2. Portland Design Works Bar-Ista Cup Holder – $18

The Bar-Ista’s design is as clever as its name, and is a gem for those of us who want to enjoy a cup of coffee – or tea – on our morning rides. It comes in two different clamp sizes, and will fit most flat and riser handlebars. Might not be suitable for the most hardcore road cyclists, but could be a clever gift for most other cyclists.

The Bar-Ista is available from Portland Design Works’ website and Amazon.

3. Universal Phone Mount – $13

Some riders are fine with stuffing their phones in jersey pockets. This is for those who aren’t. Fastening your phone on your handlebars will not only keep it high and dry, but will also allow you to use your phone as a GPS when doing new rides and routes.

There are many similar phone mounts in this category. The one pictured above is by Roam.

4. Garmin Edge 530 GPS Bike Computer – $449

Image source: CyclingTips.

The Garmin Edge 530 is the only real hi-tech bike accessory we’re recommending today, and it’s for good reason. It’s a great choice for those who want to take the step up from using their phones to a dedicated GPS.

The small form factor hides an incredible suite of metrics and features that are suited for road cycling and mountain biking alike, and the 20+ hours of battery time will keep you going for a long time. Particularly smart is the physical buttons, which are much easier to operate than a touchscreen while you’re riding.

5. Giro Aether MIPS Helmet – $399

Image source: BikeRumor.

The Giro Aether MIPS has everything you’d want in a helmet. Safety, aerodynamics and venting is all present in the Aether in spades. Obviously $399 is quite a big investment for most people, but the venting really convinced us to recommend this.

Giro’s testing shows that the Aether’s big vents can keep your head 2 degrees cooler than their competing helmets, which is something that every Australian rider will want going into our warmest months!

6. Cygolite Dash Pro 600 and Hotrod 50 Bike Lights – $66

A good light is an absolute must for riding in the morning or after late nights at the office, and the ability to see and be seen can be a lifesaver.

This particular combo can be found on Amazon for $66.

7. Ass Savers Fenders – $12

While lights and helmets can save your ass in a metaphorical sense, Ass Savers Fenders will save your ass in a more literal sense. Made for those who don’t want to rock a permanent fender, the Ass Saver will clip on under your seat when you need it.

With the peak of  Brisbane’s storm season coming up, this is a great little stocking stuffer for the cyclist in your life. Find Ass Savers on Amazon for just $12.

8. Pactimo Men’s Ultra-Lite Rain Jacket – $38.50

Image source: road.cc

Like the Ass Savers Fenders, the Pactimo rain jacket is designed to be a great solution for an emergency weather event. It is durable, light and small, but water-resistant enough to get you through those Brisbane summer afternoon showers.

Weighing in at just 117 grams, it packs away to be small enough that you can bring it with you in a jersey pocket on those humid and overcast days where anything can happen at any time.

It also looks really good.


The health benefits of cycling

Regular physical activity is extremely important for our health. In particular, it can protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems cyclephotoassociated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.

Cycling is:

  • Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
  • A good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
  • Easy – unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
  • Good for strength and stamina – cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
  • As intense as you want – cycling can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout.
  • A fun way to get fit – the adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors means you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
  • Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains or buses with healthy exercise.

And cycling regularly has several health benefits such as:

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • improved joint mobility
  • decreased stress levels
  • improved posture and coordination
  • strengthened bones
  • decreased body fat levels
  • prevention or management of disease
  • reduced anxiety and depression.

Riding to work is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. It only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health.

As well as the many health benefits of cycling, there are also several economical, environmental, social and mental well-being benefits of regularly riding your bike.

Information retrieved from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/cycling-health-benefits


Brisbane Councillor Schrinner visits Cycle2City

Great to catch up and show Cr Adrian Schrinner Cycle2City facilities and discuss future opportunities. We thank Cr Schrnner for taking time to vist and discuss bringing bigger and better options to our members. Cycle2City prides itself on innovation, we were one of the firsts to introduce such a facility to Brisbane. We provide an alternative to public transport with high quality, safe and secure bike parking, showers, lockers and support services at great value for money so that cycle commuting becomes the absolute pleasure it should be.

Our facilities are superior to most End of Trip Facilities found amongst newer buildings. Did you know you get your own locker, hot shower and a fresh daily towel to use all for the low cost of $4.88 per day (12mnth membership). We also offer great discounted rates to businesses either small or large in Brisbane. Be part of the Cycle2City movement by joining today or contact us directly reception@cycle2city.com.au

https://cycle2city.com.au/become-a-member/


10 Fun Facts About Bikes

 

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  1. In 1817, Karl Von Drais (a German baron) invented a horse-less carriage that would help him get around faster. The two-wheeled, pedal-less device was propelled by pushing the feet against the ground. This device became known as the “draisine”, which led to the creation of the modern-day bicycle.
  2. The term “bicycle” was not introduced until the 1860’s. It was coined in France to describe a new kind of two-wheeler with a mechanical drive. 
  3. Orville and Wilbur Wright (the brothers who built the first flying airplane) operated a small bike repair shop in Dayton, Ohio. They used their workshop to build the 1903 Wright Flyer. 
  4. In 1935, at the age of just 25, Fred A. Birchmore circled the globe by bicycle. The entire trip through Europe, Asia and the United States covered 40,000 miles. He pedaled about 25,000 miles and wore out 7 sets of tires. 
  5. There are over a half billion bicycles in China. Bikes were first brought to China in the late 1800’s. 
  6. About 100 million bicycles are manufactured worldwide each year. 
  7. Over the past 30 years, bicycle delivery services have developed into an important industry (especially in cities) where the couriers have earned a reputation for their high speed and traffic-weaving skills. 
  8. Americans use their bicycles for less than 1% of all urban trips. Europeans ride a lot more often – in Italy, 5% of all trips are on a bicycle and in the Netherlands, 30% of all trips are on a bicycle. 7 out of 8 Dutch people over the age of 15 own a bike!
  9. The Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world. Established in 1903, it is considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports. 
  10. Bicycle Motor Cross (BMX) (an extreme style of bicycle track racing) became a sport in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Latvia’s Maris Strombergs received the gold medal for Men’s BMX, and France’s Anne-Caroline Chausson took home the gold in the first Women’s BMX Olympic event. 

Source: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/morestories/ten-things-about-bikes/

Image: http://blog.hostelbookers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/lined-up-colourful-wheels-e1271695342522.jpg


Cycling Myths Exposed

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Nothing gets motorists quite as fired up as someone on a bike, however cyclists aren’t as bad as many may think. Despite the fact that cycling is good for your health and means one less car on the road, cyclists cop a lot of criticism. But why? Because apparently cyclists break the road rules, speed, weave in and out of traffic and show irresponsible behaviour on the roads. And it’s true, not every cyclist is an angel, but we need to do something about the blame game that takes place on our roads everyday. Arguments with motorists, while in a bike lane, are a common occurrence, and many experience verbal abuse, threats and general harassment. There are articles that blast cyclists as Lycra-wearing, careless road users, and Facebook pages aimed at picking up everything that is wrong with cycling. Most cyclists just want to use the road and get to work safely without the threat of conflict, therefore it is necessary that we get a few urban cycling myths straight. 

1. Cyclists should stay off the roads: 

Every state in Australia has laws dictating that cyclists can use the roads. If people really want this changed, they will have to find a way to change the law – otherwise they will have to deal with it. 

2. Cyclists always use the footpath:

It is not illegal for cyclists to use the footpath if they are under 12 years of age or riding with a child. Cyclists are also allowed to use footpaths if they are designated shared paths. These paths are often marked and sign posted. 

3. Cyclists shouldn’t ride side-by-side:

It is a myth that cyclists are not allowed to do this. Under New South Wales law, riders can travel a maximum of two abreast in a lane as long as they are not more than 1.5m apart. In Queensland, the law now states that cars must drive at least 1m from cyclists and 1.5m in areas above 60km/hr. Check with your local transport authority if you are not sure.

4. Cycling benefits are overrated:

The health benefits of cycling are well known, but did you know that cycling benefits the economy as well? According to a Department of Infrastructure report released in 2013, every time that someone rides their bike for 20 minutes, the economy benefits by more than $21.00.

5. Cyclists cause accidents:

Cyclists do indeed cause accidents, that is no dispute. But then again, so does every other road user. Cyclists are not always at fault when it comes to accidents involving cars, although many people think they are. In fact, studies show that cars are more commonly in the wrong. According to the Centre for Automotive Research, in 79 per cent of cases the driver of the vehicle was deemed to be at fault. 

6. Cyclists are a menace on the road:

Nobody is a perfect driver. While some cyclists may take risky moves in traffic, other roads users are just as guilty of doing the same thing. 

7. Cycling isn’t dangerous:

An alarming number of bike riders are being killed on the roads at a faster rate than in past years. Australia is one of the only countries in the world that had an increase in cycling deaths between 2000 and 2011. This isn’t because cyclists are taking unnecessary risks, but more so due to an increase of cyclists using the roads. It is important to remember that cyclists are often motorists too, normal people with friends and family. Be sure to think about this next time you are passing one of them.

8. Cyclists should pay registration:

This has long been desired by those who want to make cyclists more accountable. However, bike registration is an option not even Australia’s peak motoring body agrees with. The NRMA’s Peter Koury said it would be difficult to enforce and there would be potential safety risks. For example, the idea of displaying a number plate like you would on a motor vehicle caused concern about injuries or distractions. “If we really want to see accidents involving cyclists drop, we need more education, better use of cycle lanes and better separation of cars and bikes,” he said. “We want to encourage people to use their bikes and registration won’t do that.”

9. Cyclists cause congestion:

Unless cyclists are taking up an entire lane for the whole duration of their journey, it is unlikely that they are causing more congestion. Overtaking a cyclist is no different to overtaking a parked car, but if it really bothers you, the best solution would be to avoid main roads with cycle lanes.

10. Bike lanes are unnecessary:

Bike lanes make cycling safer but according to the NRMA, they need to be in the right places. Mr Koury said the organisation was happy to promote the separation of bike and car users but that lanes should be built in appropriate places and not on busy roads. On the upside, the cost of a typical off-road path is about $1.5 million per kilometre, far cheaper than building billions of dollars in highways.

 

Source: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/cycling-myths-debunked-why-cyclists-arent-as-bad-as-you-might-think/story-fneuz9ev-1226925509305