By Stan Purdum Sometimes bicycle journeys have benefits you don’t expect, as this narrative of a trip with my son Scott 30 years ago indicates. I wrote this shortly after the trip, but I was reminded of it recently during a conversation with him. “I don’t like long bike rides,” said my son, Scott. We were in the first five miles of our long-planned and anticipated … [Read more...] about A Journey to Appreciation
By Stan Purdum “I have a family, and although my dream is to have a bicycle pilgrimage, I would feel incredibly guilty about leaving my family. I’d have a sense that I had abandoned them, and I don’t think I could shake that feeling.” … [Read more...] about Dealing with Cycle-Guilt
by Stan Purdum I’m recently back from attending the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA), an annual cycling event that just completed its 31st edition. Each year, the GOBA team maps out a different week-long loop of Ohio towns and layover days, and 1500 riders pedal up to 400 miles. Though there are a few indoor sleeping areas for registrants that book and pay for them in … [Read more...] about How to Thrive While Camping in the Rain at Cycling Events
by Stan Purdum GPS computers are great devices for bikes, not only for navigation, but also for tracking your performance. Garmin and Wahoo are the big brands that most people are familiar with, but there are several other suppliers offering a range of choices. Here’s a roundup of all the available GPS bike computers we could find. Not every feature of each unit is … [Read more...] about GPS Bike Computer Roundup
By Stan Purdum Assuming you’re talking about a bicycle with the gear mechanisms out in plain sight, which is the most common way bicycles are geared, the hardest (highest) gear is when the chain is on the biggest toothed ring by the pedals (called the “front” in shifting jargon, even though the pedals are in the middle of the bike) and the smallest toothed ring on the rear … [Read more...] about Which Bicycle Gear Is the Hardest and the Easiest?
by Stan Purdum Note: This is excerpted from Stan Purdum’ book Roll Around Heaven All Day: A Piecemeal Journey Across America by Bicycle. Bicycling eastbound in central Kansas on my ride across America, I rolled into tiny Rush Center. In a grocery store, I grabbed an early supper. The sun, which had been shining merrily all day, continued to gleam. Assuming that promised a … [Read more...] about Taken by Storm
by Stan Purdum Ever wondered how far cyclists go in a typical road bike race? It depends a lot on the exact type of race. There are several types of road bicycle races, including criteriums, traditional road races, time trials, stage races, gravel races, gran fondos and even cyclocross races. The distances really depend on the type of race and which category of bicycle … [Read more...] about How long is a typical road bike race?
by Stan Purdum I recently rode a new route, which started at the trailhead of a long, paved bicycle path I’ve ridden many times. But the new route didn’t use the path; it was on the nearby crossroad, with the trailhead simply providing a good place to leave my car. From the map, I’d estimated my intended route as being about 22 miles, a shorter distance than I normally … [Read more...] about How a Ride Becomes a “Thing”
by Stan Purdum If you ride a recent model mountain bike or gravel bike, you've probably already dealt with tubeless tires. Road tubeless wheels and tires are also making inroads. Once you make the switch to tubeless tires on any of your bikes, you'll discover that mounting them using just the floor pump you used for regular tires with tubes is not easy and often … [Read more...] about These Floor Pumps Let You Mount Tubeless Tires
By Stan Purdum In 2011, while living in Ohio, I cowrote a book with Murray Fishel titled Pedaling on the North Coast: Biking the Streets of Greater Cleveland. It’s a narrated guide to 18 bicycle rides in the greater Cleveland area, published by the University of Akron Press. The collaboration with Murray was the result of a chance meeting on a group ride. We didn’t know … [Read more...] about Electrifying Murray Brings Back the Joy of Cycling
By Stan Purdum Most cyclists need a floor pump. If you have an air compressor with the proper adapter, it can be effective and useful for putting on tubeless road or tubeless mountain bike tires and seating them on the rim. But for day to day usage, a floor pump is essential for filling and topping off the air pressure in your tires. It's much easier than attempting to use a … [Read more...] about Road Bike Floor Pumps: RBR Editor Round Up
By Stan Purdum I noticed three things almost simultaneously about the mountain bicycle leaning against the earthen bank: It was a Cannondale, it was an adult-sized bike and it had a sign on it reading “FREE.” I’m primarily a road cyclist and have all the bikes I need for that pursuit, but I’ve been looking for a mountain bike to use on the 70-mile-long Delaware and … [Read more...] about Another Sort of Bicycle Adventure
By Stan Purdum Looking for a good, cheap road bike? If you’re new to road cycling you may not be willing to spend thousands of dollars to get a good bicycle -- and there’s no reason you have to. Almost all the major bicycle brands offer one or more road bicycle models for less than $1,000. … [Read more...] about RBR Editor Picks: Best Cheap Road Bikes
by Stan Purdum “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes Perhaps you’ve been thinking about taking up road cycling, but you’re already … [Read more...] about Road Biking 101: A Beginner’s Guide
By Stan Purdum During the year leading up to my 1995 trip on two wheels across America, I read every narrative I could find of other people’s tours, as much to quell my impatience as to prepare me for the road. I was glad to find that a considerable body of first-person literature about such trips existed, and I’ve enjoyed reading other accounts that came along after my … [Read more...] about This Eclectic List of Bicycle Touring Books Will Have You Itching to Hit the Road