RideTHISbike.comNews | Folding Bike Shop | Chat & Discuss Folding Bikes | Places To Ride | About Us

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Folding Bikes & Mass Transit - A Practical Choice

Yesterday in the Chicago Tribune's featured blog on health issues, lifelong athelete Julie Deardorff suggested that mass transit authorities need to do more if they want cyclists to combine biking and mass transit, particularly if authorities are serious about their Bike Plan. Apparently, Julie struck a nerve in Chicagoland. Thus far, over 40 people have responded to her post with their own thoughts on the issue.

Bikes on trains? You bet

Monday, August 28, 2006

20 Mile Bike Trail Loop Opens In Madison, WI

Madison Wisconsin's Mayor Dave Cieslewicz cut the ribbon today on the last link of a long awaited 20 mile loop trail through the city. Now, cyclists can travel between major local landmarks such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Kohl Center, the Monona Terrace Convention Center, Camp Randall and the Sheraton Hotel without hitting local streets.

Bike link is done, circle is unbroken

Copper Thieves Turn Bike Trail Dark

It seems that drug addicts are becoming increasingly more desperate for cash in Eugene, Oregon. To satisfy their habits, junkies are stealing everything from bronze plaques off tombstones to hundreds of feet of copper wire used to light up bike trails. City officials estimate that it will cost $250,000 to replace the wiring alone.

Read the complete story.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Trooper & Deputy Die During C.O.P.S. Charity Ride


While bicycling in a charity event to raise money for families of law enforcement officials that died in the line of duty, an Indiana state trooper and a sheriff's deputy were killed and a retired policeman was injured. The freak accident occured when a commercial vehicle struck the chase van at the rear of the charity ride, pushing the truck violently forward into the riders.

Read More

Bike Trailer For Your Surf Board

Attention all bicylists that are surfers:

Looking for a way to get the surf board out of your garage and to the beach? The Wheele bike trailer is designed specifically for this task.

The Wheele will trailer loads up to 50 lbs. Boards sit on top of the trailer while wetsuits, gear & supplies pack into a gear bag below. The trailer is a single wheel design that attaches to your bike's seatpost. When not in use, the trailer folds into a compact unit; it also adjusts quickly to accommodate the length of your surf board too. A rain cover is included to protect the trailer from corrosion. Price: $149

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Folding Bike Components - Standard or Proprietary?

Questions & Recommendations Regarding Dahon, Giatex, Mobiky & Montague Folding Bikes

Early this morning, I received an email from a bicyclist looking for a folding bike suitable for long distance riding on both unpaved rail trails and smooth but mountainous pavement (the Blue Ridge Parkway to be precise). No doubt other cyclists would find this info valuable too so here are the questions as well as the answers that I sent in reply.

"I found your website while doing a search for Giatex bikes. I live in Asheville, NC (I saw on your site you were up here biking this summer) and am looking for a folder to keep in the car and ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway whenever I have time. Whatever folder I get will probably also be the bike I'll take to do the Virginia Creeper Trail this fall."

Here are the questions and my responses as they apply to the Giatex Chiba & Bici models.
1. What sizes are the cogs in the rear cluster?
As I recall, 14 to 28 teeth.

2. Is the rear cluster a cassette or freewheel?
Free Wheel

3. Is the front crank one piece with the chainring or is the chainring replaceable?
Yes it is a one piece unit. The chianring can still be replace but it must be taken off with the crank arm as it cannot be disassembled any other way. The left side crank would need to be replaced as well to match. FYI, this is a 52 tooth chainring - alloy type.

4. How upgradeable is the bike in general?
I know people who have done all kinds of things with this bike and model. In fact we had some samples of the new NEXUS Shimano 8 speed internal gear hub on the same frame (don't ask , we sold it). The bike can be upgraded many ways and yes a 3 speed should fit no problem.

5. Would the bike handle a gravel bike trail well?
Gravel - yes, depending on how big the gravel pieces are (in other words, not for riding on large, loose rail bed ballast but hard packed limestone or small gravel, sure). Street of course. If you're talking terrain & rocks, go with the Montague MX or Paratrooper though.

6. Does the bike use standard parts or a lot of proprietary stuff?
On balance this bike uses MANY standard components. Seat post is standard 28.6 Dia, pedals are standard thread and mount, wheels are 20", tires, same, inner tubes, same as are the gears, brakes, spokes, etc.

The main proprietary stuff are Fender sizes, frame and handle bar folding stem. Aside from these, any major bike store would have parts.

By the way, the cyclist added "I understand Dahons don't even use a standard mount for the saddle - if you want to try a new saddle you have to get it from Dahon..." My first folder was a Dahon and I ran into this situation on that bike too. Although I don't know if all Dahon's use a proprietary saddle, seatpost or other components, one of the reasons that I offer Giatex and Montague bikes is because they use standard components. The folding frames are patented & proprietary but that's about it. The Mobiky Genius is a different story. Getting that bike to fold into such a small size required serious work. As a result, it does have a standard Sturmey Archer internal 3 speed but almost everything else is custom.

Larry Lagarde
Ph: 504-324-2492
Urging bicycling for recreation, commuting, health and a better future.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Paving Work Connecting Allegheny Bike Trails

In the scenic and historic oil country of Northwestern Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Valley Trails Association has been working to connect 40+ miles of smooth, asphalt bike trails into one network. Paving work underway now on the Allegheny River & Samuel Justus Trail and the Sandy Creek Trail is bringing that goal ever closer.

Getting Kids Biking & Indianapolis Bike Trails

Getting Kids Bicycling
Yesterday, I offered some bicycling statistics proving that cycling is in the interest of all Americans. If you want to get your kids in the habit of bike riding, cyclist & writer Ryan Werbeck offers these tips to get kids bike riding.

Family Oriented Bike Trails In Indianapolis, Indiana
In a separate but related story, Ryan (a resident of the Indianapolis, Indiana area) also offers advice about Indianapolis bike trails that are suitable for family bike rides. He mentions the Central Indiana Bicycling Association as a great source of info about upcoming group rides. Ryan also suggests visiting IndianaTrails.org and IndyGreenways.org for maps & more complete details about area trails.


The USA's Bicycling Paradise?

If you haven't heard, San Francisco is a great place to go bicycling (there's even a bike path over the Golden Gate Bridge). Frankly, in Confessions Of a Bike Nerd, Felipe Buitrago makes a pretty good case for naming the Bay Area as bicycling paradise. Read his complete article (published in MetroActive, a Silicon Valley weekly) and tell me what you think.

Rejuvenating A Rust Belt Town With A Bike Trail & Microparks

An in depth, cover story in the Buffalo New York weekly Artvoice suggests that an existing but little known & underutilized bike path between Buffalo's Tifft Farms and Riverside Park could be the key to revitalizing Buffalo's forsaken waterfront (which is described in the story as "Overgrown, unkempt, difficult to access, strewn with garbage. Invisible. Confusing. Divorced from the city and its people by highways, industrial infrastructure and chain-link fences").

Local activist Jay McCarthy proposes the creation of microparks catering to specific interests (such as dog lovers, skateboarders, inline skaters, fishermen, etc.). Costs to build such parks would be minimal and microparks face smaller hurdles than large projects (such as the long stalled but recently funded Buffalo Niagara Greenway). The microparks combined with a bike/ped bridge at a critical choke point and tieing the bike path to the Buffalo Niagara Greenway folks will make the path an important asset in the revitalization of Buffalo.

By the way, I rode on this bike path. The route was confusing and the environs were scary; however, the Erie Basin Marina and Riverside Park (near Niagara Falls) are quite pretty. Clean up the mess in between and it would be a gem of a ride.

Friday, August 18, 2006

5 Reasons To Go Bicycling

If you've seen some of the info at RideTHISbike.com, it's obvious that I believe in the value & benefits of riding a bike. If you need convincing that bicycling is good for health, saves money, reduces dependence on foreign oil, and improves quality of life, here are 5 stats that demonstrate the value of bicycling.

5 Reasons Why To Ride A Bike:

1. Bicycling can help you live longer.
Just three hours of bicycling per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.

2. Riding a bike is much cheaper than driving a car.
It costs about $11,000 a year to own and drive a car and as little as $120 to ride a bike.

3. Bicycling reduces obesity.
Today's kids are less physically active and 3x's more obese than the previous generation. Unfortunately, it's no coincidence that kids today ride bikes 70% less. Bicycling is a fun way to burn off energy & pounds.

4. Bicycle commuting beats gridlock.
Rush-hour auto commuters waste an average of almost 50 hours a year stuck in traffic, costing more than $63 billion annually in lost productivity and wasted fuel as well as needless stress and anxiety.

5. Bicycling reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
If all drivers in the USA used a bike instead of a car for just 0.5% of the driving they do, the US would save 462 million gallons of gas a year.

Sources for these statistics included the Centers for Disease Control, the US Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Transportation and the Texas Transportation Institute. For a complete list, visit BikesBelong.

45 Great Places As A Realtime Teaching Tool

Yesterday, I was talking with the folks at Amtrak (one of the sponsors of 45 Great Places To Go Bicycling) about how to interact online with classes and school kids around the nation during the course of my bike trail journeys.

When cell towers are nearby, cellphones are wonderful (I love my iPaq 6315 pictured to the right); however, trains and long distance bike trails in the USA & Canada can be so far from a cell tower that there is no signal available.

We discussed using satellite telephones to connect simultaneously via conference call to multiple schools (so teachers could use info from my trips realtime in their lesson plans & classes) as well as for uploading docs/photos from my laptop to the Internet.

Currently, I'm using Flagr.com to generate photo/description flags of notable locations on my trail routes. Flagr is very cool because it displays information laid over a Google Map; however, we also discussed the need for a system that records GPS waypoints. If such a system would allow me to note the exact position of something that I photographed or commented upon, teachers could use that information to bring more excitement to their Geography, Geology or History classes.

Although I'm pretty tech saavy and have used GPS equipment, I don't own a GPS device so I sought advice from an expert in this regard, Yury Gitman. Yury was responsible for the MagicBike project in Manhattan two years ago and regularly blogs about his bicycling journeys around the Big Apple. He uses a Garmin Forerunner 301 and MotionBased to record and publish his bike routes onto static maps online. Yury suggested that I discuss my project with Garmin to see what hardware & software that they would recommend for my project.

Clark at MotionBased was very helpful, suggesting use of either the Garmin Edge 305 (pictured right) or eTrex gps devices. Waypoint data can be uploaded to the MotionBased site. Html code of the maps created on MotionBased can be plugged directly into my webpages via a feature called Viewports. If I synchronize the timestamp on my camera with the time on my GPS, then I can know exactly where a picture was shot.

Besides discussing GPS equipment, Clark also suggested solar power chargers from Solio and Brunton as a means of charging my electronic devices when I'm in remote locations in the field. I'll certainly be looking into that as well.

Thanks Yury & Clark for some great info.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mountain Biking In Bonham (Near Dallas, TX)

If anyone is looking for a place to go mountain biking for the weekend that's only an hour's drive from Dallas, TX, Mike Vaught has some suggestions. Mike's the Dallas Off Road Bicycle Association's local trail steward for the mountain bike trail at Bonham State Park. In addition to the trail that he stewards, Mike suggests riding the bike trail at the Bois d'arc Creek Unit of the Caddo National Grasslands WMA (Wildlife Management Area) and a new trail opening this Spring at Lake Fannin. Here are more details on all three trails:

Bonham State Park Mountain Bike Trail
About 12 miles long, this is an excellent beginner to intermediate trail just 2 miles from the town of Bonham in Bonham State Park. DORBA holds a women's biking clinic here annually in August.

Bois d'arc Creek Trail
East of Lake Fannin on the Bois d'arc unit of the Caddo National Grasslands WMA, this combination hiking/biking/horse trail is over 20 miles long.

Lake Fannin Trail
Located in Northeast Texas in Fannin County about 15 miles north of the town of Bonham, Tx (@ 40 miles Northeast of Dallas), this IMBA quality trail runs through Forest Service land and is part of the Caddo National Grasslands. Part of the 1600 acre block sits on the banks of the Red River.

The trail will circle spring-fed Lake Fannin and will pass through one of the few post oak savannahs left in Texas. There are giant sandstone rocks and a huge variety of trees so the terrain is quite different from that which people expect to see here. The trail also passes near the restored Lake Fannin Lodge, restored cabins, latrine, and a partially restored bath house.

According to Mike, one of the more unique features of the trail will be the number and kind of bridges. Seven have already been built and there will be a dozen or so more. Two of the longer spans(26 ft and 36 ft) will be rustic covered bridges.

Mike mentioned that 1.5 miles of the Lake Fannin Trail have been completed, leaving 2.5 miles to go. There is also the possibility that an existing walking trail to the Red River can be improved to accomodate bikes, adding more variety and distance to the trail but this is subject to Forest Service approval.

After receiving Mike's email, I spoke with Jim Crooks, the USDA's District Ranger for both the Caddo & LBJ National Grasslands in Texas. Jim told me that the Lake Fannin Lodge is open now for overnight group stays. Constructed during the Great Depression in 1936-38 by the Rural Resettlement Administration, the 45-acre lake and 95 acre recreational camp complex is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cabins are still being restored (see photo, right); however, if you're interested in staying at the lodge, contact Sue Page at 903-640-4130.

If you have a suggestion regarding outstanding bike trail(s) that you've ridden within the last few months, let me know. I'd love to hear about it and may even mention it here.

Larry Lagarde

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Full Size Folding Mountain Bikes Now Available

Starting today, two, full size, top quality, mountain bikes that also happen to fold are now available for purchase from RideTHISbike.com. These folding bikes are the Montague MX and the Montague Paratrooper. Both are made of aircraft grade aluminum and use components available on other full size bikes. As a result, any bike shop will have accessories that will fit these bikes and the bike mechanics won't look puzzled when you bring the bike in for a tune up/servicing. Best of all, shipping to anywhere in the Continental 48 is included at no additional charge, making the bikes cheaper to buy from us than the manufacturer (Montague charges a minimum of $50+ for shipping).

I'm planning on riding one of the Montague folding mountain bikes on my upcoming bike trip next month to the Pacific Northwest so look forward to seeing this bike in action soon.


Great Places To Go Bicycling In TN & NC

I just returned from the first trip in my series to discover and profile great places in North America to go bicycling. I brought my family along and it was a great adventure. Here's a brief overview...

Tennessee & The MRT
We rode Amtrak's City of New Orleans from the Big Easy to Memphis, where I bicycled along a rolling, scenic section of the Mississippi River Trail in Western Tennessee. I rode with a group of local road cyclists through Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, a popular destination with local road cyclists due to its proximity to Memphis and the low volume of vehicular traffic. We bicycled about 45 miles and those roadies kicked my butt.

Mental Note: The next time I'm bicycling with a group and am the only one on a mountain bike, be sure that my tires ARE properly inflated -UGH-.

Driving Across Tennessee to North Carolina
We rented a Ford Freestar from Hertz to drive across Tennessee from Memphis all the way to Asheville, NC. I loaded 2 folding bikes, a bike trailer, skateboard, guitar, cooler, stroller, numerous bags, 3 kids & my wife into the minivan & hit the road. We traveled all day and didn't arrive in Asheville until 10:30 PM. What a day.

Asheville & The Blue Ridge Parkway
What a beautiful city! Set amid the mountains of Western North Carolina and bisected by the Blue Ridge Parkway, this was a great base for exploration. The Blue Ridge is made for cycling (excellent road surface & very little traffic) but BE READY for plenty of leg burning climbs, fast descents, minimal road shoulders and low guardrails. Summer storms pop up fast with lightning too but the views are awesome.

Eastern USA Mountain Biking Nirvana
Within easy reach of Asheville are the mountain biking meccas of Tsali Recreation Area, Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest. With limited time and the demands of a family, I concentrated on Dupont State Forest. About an hour's drive South of Asheville near the NC/SC border, DSF offers 100 trails of varying difficulty as well as lush scenery and WATERFALLS. The kids and my wife splashed around at the base of Hooker Falls while I explored trails. For challenging mtb riding & slickrock, ride the South side of the park, concentrating on Big Rock, Burnt Mountain & Cedar Rock trails. Burnt Mountain has the most challenging jumps, ledges & drops.

Returning to New Orleans from Atlanta via Amtrak's Crescent
I had planned on riding the Silver Comet & Chief Ladiga rail trails from Atlanta to Anniston but the temperatures were too hot for my wife and kids to do that. Instead, we stayed in the mountains a little longer and drove back to Atlanta where we visited with family for a day. With the beginning of school looming, we dropped off the rental car, and rode The Crescent back to New Orleans. We enjoyed a relaxed journey on The Crescent with good meals and the comfort of 2 compartments to stretch out in.

I'll be offering more info about this trip and the trails soon; meanwhile, here's a photo gallery from the bike trip. Enjoy!

Modesto Bike Trail Walker LIED About Rape

Yesterday in Bike Trails Pros & Cons, I reported on a story published this weekend in the Modesto Bee concerning a rape on the Dry Creek bike trail which runs through Modesto and into the suburbs. Today, Modesto television station KXTV reported that the woman rescinded the rape charge after police found inconsistencies in her story and confronted her. The woman told police that she lied for personal reasons which the police did not reveal.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bike Trails Pros & Cons

As rising fuel costs draw more attention to transportation alternatives like bicycling, classic cycling & trails issues are appearing more frequently in mainstream news. Here are a few examples from this weekend:

- Adair: Welcome the bike trails

Using his own experience and testimony from a local police chief, Metro West Daily News columnist Jeff Adair suggests that fears of those opposing bike trails (such as perceptions of negative environmental, financial or safety impacts) are unfounded and should be set aside.

- Woman raped on bike trail

This past Saturday at about 10:45 am, a five months pregnant 20 year old walking along Modesto's Dry Creek Bike Trail was raped by a cyclist on a trail section not visible from nearby streets.

Although local police suggest that women avoid walking alone on this trail, other comments about the trail on DirtWorld.com and CaSkating.com indicate that the section where the rape occured is clean, scenic and family friendly. There were rapes on other local trails 2 years back but police don't believe that they're related to this rape.

- Cycling past apathy

This editorial in the Cincinnati Post suggests that apathy to bike paths and other bike-friendly infrastructure is no reason to delay the creation of a regional bicycle transportation plan for the surrounding tri-state region (Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky). Some communities in the region have moved forward with bike friendly developments (such as Cincinnati's famed Purple People Bridge trail over the Ohio River) but that's not enough.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Folding Bike Price Increase

Giatex Prices Increasing $20 On 21 August 2006

Upon my return to the office this past Wednesday following 10 days in Tennessee, North Carolina & Georgia riding bike trails, while reading through 1000+ emails, I came across a notification of an immediate price increase from Giatex. The price increase is a flat $20 that applies to the purchase of any Giatex bicycle and is meant to cover rising freight & materials costs.

Although $20 is not a huge amount, I felt that it was important to offer customers advance notice of the price increase so anyone that wanted to save $20/bike could do so. I emailed and spoke with the president of Giatex North America about this and am happy to report that he agreed to extend the price increase deadline for RideTHISbike.com customers to August 21st.

If you are looking to buy a Giatex folding bike, there is no time like the present. The price increase deadline extension ONLY applies to bikes currently in stock so... for best price and selection, act now!

Giatex folding bikes in stock (including detailed folding bicycle descriptions & photos):

Giatex S*PORT 550 (the 10 second, 16" folding bike)

Giatex S*PORT 760 (the 10 second, 20" folding bike)

Giatex BICI 660 (similar to the S*PORT 760 model but w/upgrades like quick release front rim)

Giatex CHIBA 560 (10 second, 16" folding bike weighing 22 lbs)

Giatex CHIBA 660 (10 second, 20" folding bike weighing 24 lbs)


Cycling for fun, fitness & practicality.

Phone: 504-324-2492
Bike Shop Street Address:
231 Dauphine St
New Orleans, LA. 70112
(1 block from Bourbon St; 2 blocks from Canal St)
In the French Quarter

Email Us

© 2005-2012 Areafocus.com. All rights reserved. Website Terms & Conditions