Oregon Bicycle Racing Association votes to retain controversial board member

Screen grab of Save Women’s Sports article showing OBRA Board Member Inga Thompson at a rally in Washington D.C.

The Oregon Bicycle Racing Association (OBRA) has decided that one of their board members accused of “pervasive transphobia” can remain on their board of directors.

At-large OBRA board member and three-time Olympic cyclist Inga Thompson has come under scrutiny from some OBRA members who feel her conduct discriminates against transgender athletes. Thompson works closely with a group named Save Women’s Sports and was featured in an article published on their site in October titled, Male athletes are taking over women’s cycling.

In October Thompson represented Save Women’s Sports at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.. The rally aimed to “preserve women’s rights” and prevent the Supreme Court from including “gender identity” in the legal definition of “sex”. If that happened, the group worried that, “Any male could self-identify as a female and compete against women at every level of athletics, which would effectively destroy women’s sports.”

“The board recognizes how some of Inga’s actions and communications around this issue could be seen as problematic and hurtful to some in our community.”
— OBRA Board of Directors

Thompson is also working to prevent transgender females from competing in the elite women’s category. In a letter she sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC, who recently delayed new transgender guidelines), Thompson thinks the solution is a separate category. “It’s unfair for Transgender XY Women to compete against XX Women in sports,” she wrote, “Many more XY Women would compete if they knew it would be a fair playing field.”

Last month, Portland bike shop owner Rachel Cameron accused Thompson of “pervasive transphobia” and launched a petition (which has 478 signatures so far) to have her removed from the OBRA board.

One of the signatures on that petition belongs to Dr. Rachel McKinnon (@SportIsARight), a World Champion track racer who was born male but is now legally a female and competes in the women’s category. In a New York Times op-ed published last week, McKinnon wrote, “I’m legally female… Trans women are women. We are female. And we are not taking over.”

The OBRA Board of Directors looked into the issue when members found Thompson’s proposal to be “problematic”. They announced in an email Monday afternoon that Thompson will not be removed.

Here’s more from their statement:

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“Our commitment to upholding OBRA’s rules and policies, as approved by our membership, supersedes any personal views or opinions of any board member. It is our duty to defend OBRA’s rules regardless of our personal opinions of them.

After a lot of discussion around Inga’s proposal to the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and her actions around that proposal, the board has decided on the following:

— The board understands the intent of Inga’s proposal is to add an elite category for women that are currently being excluded from the women’s field by the IOC’s, and OBRA’s, transgender participation policy. The board found that this proposal does not pose a conflict of interest with the organization’s rules, mission or statement of diversity.

— The board recognizes how some of Inga’s actions and communications around this issue could be seen as problematic and hurtful to some in our community. We will be working, as a group, to better educate ourselves around these issues, including participating in SafeSport training, leadership education, and diversity, equity and inclusion training.

— The board feels that Inga’s experience as a pioneer in women’s cycling, including her personal experience of discrimination in sport, is an asset to the board. The board decided to not remove Inga from the Board of Directors.”

OBRA added that their board had, “Varied personal opinions around this, and the conversation highlighted our differences.”

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“It is disappointing that Inga doesn’t see fit to resign… She clearly does have a conflict of interest, and it’s sad that she can’t see that.”
— Rachel Cameron

In a message to BikePortland today, McKinnon responded to OBRA’s decision as, “Overtly transphobic and in clear violation of OBRA’s policies and principles.” McKinnon is referring to OBRA’s diversity policy which reads (in part), “We strive to create an environment in which everyone feels valued and respected.”

Reached via email for her response, Cameron said, “It is disappointing that Inga doesn’t see fit to resign… She clearly does have a conflict of interest, and it’s sad that she can’t see that. I’d love to see her delete her posts related to the IOC letter she sent, and also stop retweeting dangerous misinformation on Twitter if she is going to remain one of the decision makers for OBRA.”

Cameron is referring to a string of anti-transgender comments posted to Thompson’s personal Facebook page (that she later deleted after OBRA board leadership was notified) and the most recent tweet from the Inga Thompson Foundation Twitter account that is a retweet of someone referring to transgender athletes as “male”, a form of misgendering.

“At this point it’s not even about transgenders, it’s this rad femme group. The transgenders I know are all very reasonable, very good people.”
— Inga Thompson

In a phone interview from her eastern Oregon cattle ranch last night, Thompson said she aims to be more inclusive of transgender athletes, not less. “My feeling is that asking a transgender to take hormone suppressing drugs just to compete is not right. Why can’t they identify as a woman and still race?” Thompson was referring to current International Olympic Committee and OBRA elite competition transgender guidelines that allow people who’ve transitioned from male to female to compete in the women’s category; but only if they have a minimum level of testosterone in their blood of 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to their first competition (and remain at or below that level).

“In order to stay within those guidelines, you have to take hormone suppression,” Thompson said, “And my feeling is you are excluding a whole class of athletes that want to identify as a woman but don’t want to sacrifice their health.” Her proposal would leave the women’s category “untouched” and create an “open women’s category” that would also include women who take hormone therapy for health reasons.

Screen grab from Save Women’s Sports.

Thompson says her motivation is to help OBRA boost its number of women racers. She believes a 20% dip in women’s participation is related to the transgender issue and a small group of members she refers to as the “rad femmes” (short for radical feminists). “The problem with OBRA right now… is because you have the rad femme group that terrorizes a lot of people and the OBRA board is not willing to deal with this. This group targeted three members of the OBRA board, so they’re scared… And a lot of people don’t race because of this rad femme group and OBRA itself is complicit for allowing this to happen,” Thompson said. “At this point it’s not even about transgenders, it’s this rad femme group. The transgenders I know are all very reasonable, very good people.”

“I’m a woman brave enough to speak out,” she continued. “Most people won’t speak out due to fear of being labeled a transphobe.”

And many transgender/non-binary people fear that racing in a separate category would jeopardize their privacy and put a dangerous target on their back — a fear that’s not unfounded in a society where gender discrimination and hate crimes are common. When I asked Thompson about this, she went back to the “rad femmes” theory. “Why do the rad femmes not want more inclusion of transgender women? I find it really interesting that they won’t support the women that choose not to do hormone suppression therapy.”

When I asked Thompson about the Save Women’s Sports article that stokes fear about athletes like Rachel McKinnon “taking over”, Thompson distanced herself from the article and the organization. “I’m not Save Women’s Sports, I’m part of it, but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything,” she said. And despite the fact that a photo and a quote of her appears in the article, Thompson claimed she wasn’t aware of it. When I read her quote back to her (“I feel that the International Olympic Committee and USOC will do nothing until there are no more biological women on the podium”) she said it was a misquote and that she was commenting on the IOC’s stance, not her personal views.

“Separate but equal is inherently unjust. Inga is knowingly spreading irrational fears of trans women in sport, which is the dictionary definition of transphobia.”
— Rachel McKinnon, PhD and 2X World Champion track racer

For her part, McKinnon is not a fan of Thompson’s separate category idea. “Separate but equal is inherently unjust,” McKinnon share with me today. McKinnon feels cis women (those who identify with their birth gender) aren’t excluded by including trans women. “Creating a cis-woman only category necessarily excludes trans women. Inga is knowingly spreading irrational fears of trans women in sport, which is the dictionary definition of transphobia.”

Asked whether she feels Save Women’s Sports is a transphobic organization, Thompson avoided a direct answer and said her involvement with the group is for networking. “It’s about getting feedback from all people. Because of involvement from all sides, one can find a balance in the middle to have fair play and inclusion of all.” Pressed for an answer, Thompson said, “Beth [Stelzer, the organization’s founder] believes in protecting women.” When I asked if it’s possible to adhere to OBRA’s inclusivity bylaws while working with Save Women’s Sports, Thompson again didn’t answer directly. “You need to be asking the hard question from the activists as to why they don’t support more inclusion and forcing transgender women to take hormone suppression,” she replied.

At this point, Thompson said she feels the unanimous vote of support from the OBRA Board validates her proposal. “They might not have liked the way I got there, but if no feelings get hurt you have not had a true open discussion.”

For OBRA member Rachel Cameron, Thompson’s work and statements thus far have been “hurtful and harmful” to trans athletes. “OBRA saying that she has experience with discrimination in sport, while she is actively trying to discriminate against trans women, feels disingenuous.” Cameron says she’ll now focus on the two open OBRA Board positions opening next month. “I’m going to focus my energy more on getting allies on the board, and less on getting Inga removed.”

*OBRA has an adopted policy on transgender athletes which you can read here (PDF, begins on page 103).

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and [email protected]
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Mandatory bicycle helmet laws are a terrible idea

A federal government agency is making a controversial recommendation to all 50 states that all bicyclists be required to wear helmets.  

Mandatory bicycle helmet laws are a terrible idea.  Cycling as a form of recreation and transportation offers a myriad of benefits to the individual and the community as a whole.  An adult or child riding a bike to work or school takes one motor vehicle off the road thereby reducing traffic congestion and pollution.  It also reduces the strain on mass transit.  Buses and trains are less crowded and more pleasant to ride.  Also, motor vehicles place a physical strain on infrastructure that a much lighter bicycle does not.  Bicycle trips save the community money by taking heavy cars and trucks off the road.  In this age of rampant obesity, cycling helps promote good health.  This too saves the community money by reducing expenditure for health benefits such as Medicaid, particularly with regard to treatment for ailments closely associated with obesity like diabetes and heart disease.

These benefits are placed at substantial risk by helmet laws, because such mandates discourage higher rates of biking.  This very concern prompted the City of Dallas, Texas to repeal its adult bicycle helmet ordinance in 2014.  That city wanted to see more cyclists on its roads through a bike share system.  However, civic leaders recognized that such a program would likely be doomed to failure if casual bikers were required to fetch a helmet in order to rent a bike.  Australia is one country that requires all adults to wear helmets when cycling.  The impact has been unfortunate. According to the Institute for Public Affairs, an Australian think tank, “When the laws were introduced in the early 1990s, cycling trips declined by 30-40 per cent overall, and up to 80 per cent in some demographic groups, such as secondary school-aged females.”

If the goal is to reduce the likelihood of serious injury for the individual bicyclist, then helmet mandates are the wrong way to go.  Yes, wearing a helmet while biking is safer than not doing so.  But the factor most likely to reduce the likelihood of bicycle versus motor vehicle collision is to increase the number of riders on the road.  More people on bikes means motorists are more likely to anticipate a bicyclist when turning or opening a car door.  More bicyclists also encourages municipalities to invest in bicycle specific infrastructure like protected bike lanes, and to keep them in good repair.  Understandably, city officials are less likely to push for such measures if they do not think people will use them in substantial numbers.

Laws that require helmet use can also have a devastating impact on a cyclist’s ability to receive just compensation should they be injured due to someone else’s negligence.  The way some laws are written, failure to obey a helmet requirement could be used against a bicyclist in personal injury litigation as evidence of their own negligence, even if failure to wear a helmet had nothing to do with how or why the crash happened.  (But see, for example, Deerfield, Illinois municipal code Sec. 22-121A(c) which states, “A violation of this Section shall not constitute negligence, contributory negligence, assumption of risk, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence, or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages arising out of the operation of any bicycle.”)

Bike Law is not anti-bicycle helmet. But legislation requiring helmets are a bad idea.

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DA charges man with manslaughter, DUI, and reckless driving in crash that killed bicycle rider

Charging document and probable cause affidavit. (PDF)

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has filed an indictment against Nicholas Martinez, the driver who struck and killed Lance Hart while he rode his bicycle on SE Flavel Street in the early morning hours of June 23rd.

Martinez, who faced a judge at a hearing this morning, is being charged on three counts: Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, and Reckless Driving.

In the probable cause affidavit filed last week, Deputy DA Kelley Rhoades said a witness saw Martinez get into his car at the 7-11 on SE 82nd and Flavel and then leave the parking lot “in an aggressive manner ‘at a high rate of speed’” just prior to the crash. Here’s an excerpt from the affidavit:

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“Martinez told Officer Hunzeker that he was drinking Sprite and Tequila most of the day with his friend and had never drank Tequila before… He reported his speed had gotten up to 30-40 mph and he was looking down to take a bite of his taquito. When he looked up a person with a bicycle was in the middle of the road. Martinez said he applied his brakes, but could not stop and crashed into the bicyclist.”

Hart was riding on a street with no physical separation from auto users or protected space for vulnerable users. He was the 26th person to die on Portland roads so far this year and the second person who was riding a bicycle. We’ve had 27 people die in traffic crashes in 2019.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and [email protected]

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Brompton beater: The world’s lightest folding bicycle weighs under 6kg

The world’s lightest folding bicycle has been built by a talented engineer who wanted to take his mind off his health problems. And what a job he’s done.

It’s no overstatement to describe Derek Cranage as a guru where folding bicycles are concerned. Not content with modifying a Brompton so that it weighs only 7.1kg, Derek has built his own aluminium, carbon fibre and titanium tribute to the iconic British folder which tips the scales at a featherlight 5.9kg. For reference, Brompton’s range-topping S1E-X is a claimed 9.3 kg.

The world's lightest folding bicycle

Derek’s hyper-light bike looks like a Brompton and folds like a Brompton…it doesn’t weigh anything like one

The world’s lightest folding bicycle

Carbon fibre is 40 per cent lighter than aluminium and many times stronger, but due to the main frame hinge assembly and its mounting, which had to be in aluminium (a one off in carbon fibre would have been prohibitively expensive), Derek plumped for a bespoke frame in aircraft spec aluminium paired with a carbon rear frame and forks. Every single item in the bike’s construction is bespoke or trimmed to the last fraction of a gram.

The world's lightest folding bicycle

God is in the details – Every single item in the bike’s construction has been reduced or purposely made to the last fraction of a gram

For example, Derek made his own headset expansion nut that he bonded into the forks tube. This came out at under half the weight of the lightest one he could find for carbon forks. Forgoing a standard Brompton rubber for the rear suspension, Derek opted for a lightweight titanium version that he fitted with a titanium bolt and carbon fibre washers.

A standard seat tube clamp proved too heavy so a titanium bolt with an aluminium quick release does the job of keeping the seat stem in place.

The frame weight when painted (powered coated) and complete with the carbon fibre down tubes and their fixing bolts with all the folding hinge assembly comes out at 1.20kg – over 42 per cent lighter than the Brompton.

Derek has form when it comes to beating Brompton at their own game. When we covered news of the Tern Elektron and eagerly awaited Brompton electric folding bicycles, he wrote to us about two bikes he had recently built.

To my mind, Tern have lost out; both ours fold considerably smaller than the Elektron.

One is a highly modified Brompton, which folds in the same way as the standard version but is 1 cm wider. It has v brakes and an eight-speed hub gear. It weighs 14.9 kg and the battery takes it 25 miles with an output about twice that of the Tern Elektron.

The second bike  is another eight-speed hub gear with v brakes, the same electric drive and battery as our Brompton, and a folded size of 73 x 56 x 34 cm; a bit larger than the Brompton, but considerably smaller than the Tern.  It weighs a more at 17.3 kg, but considering the eight-speed hub gear, it is light.

Both bikes have the motor in the front wheel, the battery goes in a Brompton bag at the front, and with a small amount of pedalling will go 25 miles.

Watch this space. We’re confident we haven’t heard the last from Derek and that not content with building the world’s lightest folding bicycle (with 16″ wheels), he’s already working on another hyperlight tribute to Brompton.

ETA cycle insurance

Ethical cycle insurance

On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has judged us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.

The post Brompton beater: The world’s lightest folding bicycle weighs under 6kg appeared first on ETA.

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Ontario Bicycle Laws

ONTARIO BICYCLE LAWS

It’s important to know your legal rights (and duties) when bicycling in Ontario. It is especially important after a bicycle accident (we call them bicycle “crashes” and explain why here).

For any questions about the Province’s bike laws, or about your rights to the road, contact attorney Pat Brown directly.

Right to the Road

  • Ontario bicyclists generally have the same rights, and same responsibilities, as drivers of motor vehicles.
  • Most of the laws that apply to bicycles are contained in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).  However, municipal bylaws can also regulate the use of bicycles.
  • The HTA defines a bicycle as “bicycle includes a tricycle, a unicycle and a power-assisted bicycle but does not include a motor-assisted bicycle.”  Therefore, a bicycle is considered a vehicle under Ontario law.
  • Cyclists have an absolute right to use public roads.  When using the roads, a bicyclist is required to follow certain laws intended to ensure that bicyclists use reasonably caution and safe cycling practices.  

Prohibitions

  • Bicycles are prohibited on expressway/freeway highways such as the 400 series, the QEW and on roads where “No Bicycle” signs are posted.
  • A bicyclist shall not attach themselves to a vehicle or street car on a highway.
  • No person riding or operating a bicycle designed for carrying one person only shall carry any other person thereon.

Helmets

  • Helmets are mandatory on bikes for person 17 or under.  A parent shall be responsible for children under 16 who do not wear a helmet.  
  • A person who is 18 years old or older is not required to wear a helmet.

Alcohol

  • You can not be charged criminally for impaired driving or over 80 on a bike.  However, if you are caught riding impaired and in an unsafe manner, you can be charged under the Liquor Licence Act with being intoxicated in public.  You can also be charged with careless driving under the HTA. Both the Liquor Licence Act and the HTA are provincial offences and do not have criminal consequences.

Where to Ride

  • Ride approximately one meter from right curb.

Taking the Lane

  • It is permissible to take the lane in Ontario and move with traffic flow.
  • HTA (147(1) does require bikes (and cars) that are travelling slower than the normal speed of traffic to travel in the right lane or the close to the right hand curb “where practicable”.
  • The words “where practicable” therefore allows cyclists to take the lane due to various road conditions that include potholes, construction, street car tracks, grates, parked cars, or other unsafe conditions on the road.

Sidewalks

  • Each municipality can pass bylaws prohibiting sidewalk riding
  • Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 950 states that “No person age 14 and older shall ride a bicycle on a sidewalk of any highway, except for those locations designated in § 886-6 of Chapter 886, Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths, Bicycle Lanes and Cycle Tracks.”

Dooring

  • No person may open the door of a motor vehicle unless it is safe to do so.  

Bike Lanes, Bike Paths and Multi-Use Paths

  • No person shall park, drive or operate any vehicle, except a bicycle or power-assisted bicycle, on a bicycle path or bike lane.
  • Bikes are allowed on footpaths and pedestrian ways in Toronto

Transit Stops and Vehicles

  • Cyclist must stop at least 2 meters from the rear or front entrance or exit (on the side the passengers are getting on or off) and must wait until all passengers have crossed.

Left Turns

  • To turn left bicyclists may perform a “box turn” or use the left turn lane.

Stop Signs and Traffic Control Devices

  • Bicyclists are required to come to a full and complete stop at all stop signs and traffic lights displaying a red signal. Idaho stop is not permissible.

Signaling

  • Bicyclists must use hand/arm signals when turning and stopping.

Crosswalks

  • If at an intersection,  the cyclist may ride along any crosswalk but is not allowed to ride within the crosswalk
  • If not at an intersection and no traffic control signal, then the cyclist can ride within the crosswalk.  If there is a traffic control signal, the cyclist is not permitted to ride within the crosswalk

Drivers Overtaking Cyclists

  • Drivers must provide a minimum of one-metre distance when passing a cyclist.

Bicycles Passing on the Right

  • Bicyclists may pass motor vehicles on the right if it is reasonably safe to do so and where there is unobstructed pavement for two vehicles to safely pass.

Group Riding

  • The HTA does not explicitly forbid side by side riding.
  • The HTA requires that slower moving vehicles (cyclists) move to the right, but only when being passed and where practicable.
  • The HTA only forbids side by side riding when it impedes normal flow of traffic.
  • If there is not enough room for faster vehicles to safely pass, cyclists should ride single file as far right as safely practicable.  
  • Municipalities may have specific bylaws prohibiting side by side riding.
  • Toronto repealed their bylaw requiring single file riding.

Bike Equipment

  • White or amber light on the front and red light on the rear ½ hour before sunset, ½ hour after sunrise, or when unfavorable/light conditions.  
  • White reflector on the front forks.
  • Red reflector on the rear.
  • Flashing red light on the rear is permissible .
  • At least one brake system acting on the rear wheel that will enable the rider to make the braked wheel skin on dry, level and clean pavement.
  • Bell, gong or horn in good working order, but not permitted to have sound similar to emergency vehicle.

Walking Your Bike

  • If walking your bike due to disrepair or fatigue, you must walk on the left hand side of the road facing traffic.

Police Stops

  • Cyclist is to identify themselves and provide their address
  • Cyclist does not need to show their drivers licence.

Reverse Onus Law (Civil)

  • Ontario has a reverse onus law that requires the driver of a motor vehicle that strikes a cyclist to prove that the damage or injury did not arise through their negligence or improper conduct (as opposed to the cyclist having the onus of proving the driver was negligent)

Civil Remedies

  • Cyclists are permitted to sue drivers/owners of vehicles who are negligent and cause injuries to the cyclist.
  • Families of cyclists killed by negligent driver/owners are entitled to sue for wrongful death.
  • No fault benefits are available to injured and killed cyclists in Ontario regardless of fault provided a motor vehicle is involved.  
  • Joint and several liability applies to the negligent actions of defendants
  • Owners of cars are jointly liable with drivers
  • Cyclists may be held contributorily negligent for their conduct but there is no restriction in the cyclist pursuing a claim if so found to be partly at fault.
  • Municipalities can be held liable for improper design and failure to repair.  They are responsible for their percentage of fault
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How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle

Most people know how to ride a bike. They learned when they were kids.However, this doesn’t mean that they actually ride their bikes often. Most people take their cars for even the shortest trips.Just because people do it, though, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea.Biking provides you with a variety of benefits that driving just can’t.You […]

The post How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle appeared first on Dave’s Cheap Bikes Blog.

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How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle

Most people know how to ride a bike. They learned when they were kids.However, this doesn’t mean that they actually ride their bikes often. Most people take their cars for even the shortest trips.Just because people do it, though, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea.Biking provides you with a variety of benefits that driving just can’t.You […]

The post How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle appeared first on Dave’s Cheap Bikes Blog.

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How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle

Most people know how to ride a bike. They learned when they were kids.However, this doesn’t mean that they actually ride their bikes often. Most people take their cars for even the shortest trips.Just because people do it, though, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea.Biking provides you with a variety of benefits that driving just can’t.You […]

The post How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle appeared first on Dave’s Cheap Bikes Blog.

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How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle

Most people know how to ride a bike. They learned when they were kids.However, this doesn’t mean that they actually ride their bikes often. Most people take their cars for even the shortest trips.Just because people do it, though, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea.Biking provides you with a variety of benefits that driving just can’t.You […]

The post How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle appeared first on Dave’s Cheap Bikes Blog.

Go to Homepage

How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle

Most people know how to ride a bike. They learned when they were kids.However, this doesn’t mean that they actually ride their bikes often. Most people take their cars for even the shortest trips.Just because people do it, though, doesn’t mean it’s the best idea.Biking provides you with a variety of benefits that driving just can’t.You […]

The post How to Save & See the World Differently with Your Bicycle appeared first on Dave’s Cheap Bikes Blog.

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Cyclone offers cycling soundtrack

Cycling can be better with music, but earphones make it harder to hear the traffic around you on the road. The Cyclone is a shock-proof speaker designed to fit inside a water bottle cage.

A rechargeable battery provides up to six hours of continuous music playback and its Bluetooth connectivity works at a distance of up to 10 metres from your smartphone or other device.

The splash-proof Cyclone has an output of 2x5W and weighs 433g.

bicycle speaker

Win a Cyclone speaker

To be in with a chance of winning your own cyclone speaker, simply leave a comment below and let us know what you’d play on yours.

Ethical cycle insurance

Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, they devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.

With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. No wonder The Good Shopping Guide judges us to be Britain’s most ethical insurance company.

ETA cycle insurance


The post Cyclone offers cycling soundtrack appeared first on ETA.

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Budget bike tour: 7 ways to do your next adventure on the cheap

In the UK, we love to go away for the summer. And naturally for cyclists, our favourite travel companions are on two wheels.

One of the main perks of cycle touring is that it’s cheaper than your standard getaway. It’s also a great way to meet new people (cyclists or not) while discovering lesser-known sights and making impromptu pub stops – all rather spontaneous.

However, be careful not to rely too heavily on your future self. A lack of planning (trust me, I’m well versed in this area) can lead to stress, dead bike light batteries in the dead of night and in many cases, wasting your money.

Sort the core details out before you set off and your trip will run as smoothly as some freshly-serviced brakes. Try these tips to save some cash while you’re at it.

Use the Warm Showers website

The first place to shave your costs is accommodation, and with Warm Showers, you can stay with a fellow cycle enthusiast for free.

Warm Showers is essentially Couchsurfing for cycle tourists. Just create an account which says a little more about yourself and your adventures and search for people to stay with on your next trip.

The idea is that you would host them and other cyclists in the future. I can’t host as I live in private shared accommodation, so I give my hosts wine or chocolate instead.

Oh, and mention dietary requirements on your profile too – you don’t want to get there starving and be given something that you can’t eat.

Some areas are a little sparsely populated when it comes to hosts so in those cases you can either try finding a place to stay through Couchsurfing or by heading down a more traditional camping/hotel/hostel route.

parked bikes on tour

Do your research

Being clued-up ahead of the tour will save you time as well as money.

Look up route essentials like nearby rest and food shops, bike shops and diversions. Have Plan B routes and accommodation in mind should your journey take longer than expected.

You could miss out on must-see sights like historic buildings, markets or viaducts if you don’t do your research first.

If you’re travelling internationally, pick up a guide book about your chosen country. Have a read over Travel the world by bike: 7 of the best books for international cycle trips for more ideas.

And if the book you’re eyeing up is a behemoth, you can rip out the pages you need and take them on the road with you.

Pack food and drink before you go

It’ll soon become apparent how important food is to your journey and you may not always be in a town or village with food shops.

But when you need to eat, you need to eat – otherwise you’re going to bonk. Expect to chow down by the roadside with drivers thinking you’re rather peculiar.

Bars and gels are good when you’re on the road, but they’re also very expensive. Instead, go for small, calorie-dense food like malt loaf, banana bread or peanut butter sandwiches. Of course, take plenty of water. Just don’t try anything new on your trip just in case it doesn’t agree with you.

Bring plenty of water on your bike tour

Share the load

If you’re heading out with someone else, divvy up the budget to split the costs.

Sit down with them when you’re planning your trip and sort out who’s covering what.

Find discounts where you can

It could be yellow sticker items in the supermarket or a pre-trip sale on bike essentials.

You might even find a last-minute offer on accommodation if it’s piddling down and you don’t fancy another night in the tent. Getting to know the locals helps too as they might know cheaper places that aren’t so tourist-y.

Check your bike is in good nick before you go

It sounds financially counter-intuitive, but depending on the length of your trip, it’s worth taking your bike in for a tune-up or a full service before you go.

If something happens when you’re on a trail, there probably won’t not be a bike shop available to see to it. Even if it doesn’t cost you money in damages (or possible injury), it could cost you precious time which means that you might miss out on the accommodation that you were going to stay at (time for that Plan B!).

So, if there are any persistent squeaks, rattles or clinks coming from your steed, take it to the mechanic!

On the trail bike tour

Book early

Let’s finish on the obvious one – booking early is essential if you want to save money on your trip.

Train tickets are released 12 weeks before departure and flight seats can be released as early as 11 months before departure so, the bigger the trip, the earlier in advance you should book.

This also goes if you want to plan a big night for your accommodation or go to a popular visitor attraction.

Happy travels!

Do you have any more tips for saving money when you’re touring? Are you going away anywhere in the near future? Tell us in the comments below.

The post Budget bike tour: 7 ways to do your next adventure on the cheap appeared first on London Cyclist.

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9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

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9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

Go to Homepage

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

Go to Homepage

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

Go to Homepage

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

Go to Homepage

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

Go to Homepage

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

Go to Homepage

9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring

Winter blues got you down? Don’t feel as up to biking when the temperature is below freezing? Can’t even bike since there’s so much snow and ice on the street? There’s an answer to your problem—go where it’s warm! Wouldn’t you love to follow the sun and get training again before a third of the

The post 9 Best Bicycle Tours in the Winter & Spring appeared first on Cycling Blog | Bicycle Adventures.

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