I told Jules that once he learned to ride a bike, I’d buy him whatever bike he wanted. A quick conversation with his cousin led him to start looking for bikes made of gold or diamond 🙄 Then at the beginning of April, Jules dedicated himself to learning to balance with no pedals on. He spent about 2 hours on one day, and a couple of hours the next and had balancing down. On the 3rd day, he asked me to put the pedals on and he took off!

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In 2011 my family and I took a vacation to Three Lakes, Wisconsin (near Rhinelander). While I was there I was able to take my new mountain bike out for a spin at the Anvil Trails.

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Normally I write about these rides before they happen, but this year we went old school. We printed over 1,000 of the flyer above and distributed them through Fridley’s elementary schools. I was excited to see it on the front of the take-home packet when my son brought it home.

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Milk crates were surely one of the first accessories ever strapped to a bicycle. It’s the simplest way to add significant carrying capacity to any bike. One of the first things I did when I got my bike was add a rack and a milk crate – but I wasn’t quite smart about it.

I wanted the crate to be removable, so rather than securing it with zip ties, I recycled some old tire tubes and inter-wove them with the rack and the holes in the crate. It seemed pretty solid, so I thought I’d make a trip to the liquor store. The problem with the tubes is they’re made of rubber, so they stretch. They stretch a little too much for a beer-laden milk crate.

When I got out of the saddle, rocking the bike ever so slightly was enough to stretch the tubes, and send my beers flying. I burst some Surly’s halfway home. Lesson learned.
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Touring a city by bicycle is the best way to get to know it. You can move quickly from place to place, and stop easily along the way. You’re never too isolated from your surroundings to enjoy any sights or smells along the way.

I’ve made it a point to book a bicycle tour in new cities I’ve visited, and you’d probably be surprised which ones were the best. That is not to say I’ve ever had a bad bicycle tour experience, but some are just better than others.
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