It’s Bike Week in Boston

Boston Bike Week kicks off a series of events designed to encourage riding in the city. Coordinated group commuting rides from all surrounding communities make it fun and easy to test out a bike commute, or to re-invigorate your commuting experience.

Bike Week culminates in the first “Bike Friday” event of the season. Bike Fridays are coordinated rides that end at City Hall Plaza with a free breakfast and expo. They are a fun way to motivate yourself for the commute, meet other city cyclists, learn about local cycling companies, and get a free breakfast.

Find out more about Bike Week here: Boston Bikes.

Do you commute to Boston? What’s your best tip? Answer in the comments.

Photo credit: John “Pathfinder” Lester

A new kind of bike

I recently had the chance to try a new kind of bike from Travelon, a new company (disclosure: this is my friend’s dad’s company) that is aiming at utilitarian riders who want something simple and low-maintenance for riding around town, riding with the kids, and taking scenic expeditions.

As you can see, it’s styled like a comfort bike. And it is comfortable. The geometry allows for setting a good seat height for pedaling, yet allowing both feet to touch the ground comfortably while seated and stopped.

But the key is the drivetrain. First – there’s no deraileur! This means less breakdowns and less maintenance. No greasy chain handling or confusing adjustments to cable tension. Which is nice for those who just want to ride.

All the magic happens inside the “Continuously Variable Planetary Hub.” If you’re interested in that technology, head over to their website and a neat little video shows you how it works – Travelon NuVinci hub technology.

Second – there are no gears! You can adjust the torque just like a traditional bike, but because of this fancy new hub technology the gears are not incremental. Rather, you increase and decrease torque along an analog continuum. This means that you simply turn the tension up or down to just the right setting for the terrain you’re covering. And you can make these adjustments while stopped – you don’t need to be pedaling to change “gears.”

Check out this snapshot of the indicator and it’ll give you a clearer picture:

I love the clear, simple, and intuitive design of the indicator.

And I always like to learn about the latest cycling technology. For more info, check out their website: Travelon Bikes.

2 Easy Steps to Pack Your Bike Securely for a Day Trip

Bike in trunkwheels and bike packedSnug as a bug in a rug! Two simple steps to packing your bike for a day trip or after-work evening ride or indoor cycling class. Here’s my bike in a pretty standard size car trunk. I’m not sure of the exact classification of my car size, but it may even be “compact,” so try this out at home and see if it works for you.

You do need to have an empty trunk, which may be the first challenge. Once it’s clear, though, the rest is pretty easy. Just take off both wheels (if you have any hangups about removing the back wheel, just watch the video on this post about how to change a flat tire to see how easily it comes off and goes back on). Now, place the frame like so in the trunk. You’ll probably need to turn the handlebars sideways as shown. Also, I’ve found it’s a good idea to gently place the rear triangle in first just so I can keep an extra careful eye on the deraileur as I’m placing the bike in the trunk.

Next, take an old towel and place it over the frame to protect from scratches. Then, place the back wheel on the frame, balancing the rim against the frame and handlebars (being careful not to tangle the spokes in any way). Finally, place the other wheel on top, again resting the rim on solid footing, and viola! You’re good to go.

This packing method keeps your bike out of sight and secure while you’re toiling away at the office.