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So You Love Bicycling…

July 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, DRBC, Outreach 

Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition Supporters,

The DRBC would like to start by thanking you for your past support.  Everyone who rides knows getting more people on bikes more often makes better riding. With your help, we intend to continue that mission.  

A couple of ways you can help us is what you have done in the past, giving time helping at events and monetary support. The other is free of both. Follow us via the websiteemail or Facebook. We need to know you are there! Please send us your name or like us on Facebook so we can add you to our roster of cyclists who want a better bicycling environment here in the Coulee Region.

Here is what DRBC has been doing for the bicycling community this last year from October 2012 to October 2013:

Oct 2012

Light up the Night event at UWL Eagle Rec Center, Oct 18

Feb

Supported the 2nd Annual Bike Winter, (in conjunction with Wisconsin Bike Fed) various events between Feb 10 – Feb 23

Supported a Winter Riding Tips Workshop/Fashion Show at Earl’s Grocery and Saloon, Feb 17

April

Offered bike tips/education at Earth Fair at Myrick Park, Sunday April 21

May

Supported Fitness Festival, Saturday May 4

Assisted at Hamilton/SOTA Bike Rodeo, May 9

Organized Bike to Work Week Saturday May 12 – Friday May 18

June

Supported Summer Leisure Rides from the Wine Guyz

July

Organized Bike Valet at River Fest

Celebrated the City of La Crosse construction of a bump-out for the Bike Corral on 4th Street

Aug

La Crosse Public Library Bicycle Rodeo – Main Branch – Aug 2

Family Ride trail ride and camping at Perrot State Park – Aug 17

Bike Safety Rally – Franciscan Healthcare-Mayo Clinic Health System – Aug 31

Sept

Supported Bike Fest – Labor Day Weekend

On-going

Continue to expand DRBC Business Partners Program – businesses that offer great

discounts to DRBC Members!

 

Presently we are working on artistic style bike racks for the arts district in La Crosse, expanding bicycle recycle programs and creating events year round to help you ride, even in the winter.

 

The coming years in the bicycle community are looking pretty exciting. All around the US and the world people are looking back at the humble bicycle as a viable form of transporting themselves and cargo. Cities are seeing how the infrastructure for bicycles is a fraction of what it costs to accommodate an automobile and how cyclists tend to support more local business. People are starting to realize that their car is taking a very large chunk of their income. I personally like having an extra $9100 (AAA national average cost of ownership) in my pocket every year. Just having an extra $200 a month from not buying gas is pretty nice.

Riding bicycles helps save you money, makes you healthy, connects you with your community and put a smile on your face. We believe in ‘More People on Bikes More Often’.

Please help us continue our mission.

 

Michael Baker

President

Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition

 

Website:

http://www.driftlessbicycle.org

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DRBC/190046991773

Email:

info@driftlessbicycle.org

Postal mail:

Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition

P.O. Box 423

La Crosse, WI 54602

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Hauling Couch

July 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, Gear, How To, Lifestyle, Outreach 

8ft couch with kickouts.

8ft couch with kickouts.


I took the challenge of moving a couch, by bicycle.

It started with my wife’s desire for a new couch, ours was getting pretty, well, not pretty. It was about 10 years old and it was time. She picked one out this winter and we ended up making room in a corner to store the old one. My friend was having a garage sale across town recently, time to get it out of the house.

I designed a heavy trailer for towing behind the Xtracycle, tested it with something lighter, then, planned the big haul.

The couch was an 8’ overstuffed with kickout recliners on both ends. It wasn’t light. Not as heavy as a sleeper, but close.

I strapped the two hundred plus pound couch to the trailer and got rolling. At that weight, I had to use the granny ring in 3rd and 4th cogs on the flat road.

It was a pretty good slog (sorry, the word slog is the best descriptor I can think of). The sale was 7 miles away.

Made it with no problems, even felt I could encourage the sale by offering to deliver it.

It did sell, I did haul it, though twice as far as I had written on the tag (4 more miles slogged). The buyer was a bit surprised.

Would I do it again? Yup. Maybe not over 5 miles though. I crawled up a few short hills with that thought we all have when we are doing something kinda crazy, but made it.

Why did I do it?

Well, because the bike can…

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Grandma’s pretty tough…

July 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, Commuting, Gear, How To, Lifestyle 

TrikeTremp

The classic delta tricycle, AKA ‘Grandma’s Trike’.

In an earlier article, I described having broken my left clavicle. Having a deep desire to ride, I’m on a trike with one arm in a sling.

This is the classic Schwinn single-speed delta style trike, borrowed from a friend of mine. It has a rear drum brake on the drive axle and front cantilevers. The gearing is low. 80 RPM spinning gives about 8 MPH. That is all there is to this machine, just a simple three wheeler.

It needed a good test ride, so I gave it a quick going over with lubrication and adjustments, then loaded with bike gear.

The ride. To the state trail, then through several towns on the trail and back.

The first few miles had me thinking the title of this article. I am a seasoned rider and was wondering what I had taken on. Hulk Hogan would have quite a time pedaling one of these this far.

I found the ride to be pretty jostling compared to the standard bicycle. The rear wheels would hit a bump or hole and the whole bike would launch me from side to side. I am tall so with the seat all the way up, it really amplified the effect.

Riding on the bike trails of Wisconsin (limestone), one wheel in the track and two wheels in the grass or middle. Bumpy ride. Riding the streets was better.

During the ride I did some calculations in my head which equaled to many hours of pedaling and the chant in my head of ‘what have I done?!?’.

Once I found a rhythm though, it wasn’t a bad ride and ended up being very familiar to riding any other bike, just slower.

I even found myself out racing a storm.

You may have done this. If not, keep riding and you will. You’re looking behind you at the approaching ‘wall of rain’, looking ahead saying to yourself, ‘where is this place? It must be right up here.’

Looking back and forth, wall of rain, street address, wall of rain, heart pumping, thoughts of getting absolutely drenched, wall of rain, cranking on the pedals…

Now think of doing that on Grandma’s Trike, one handed…

I did make it by about 30 seconds and it really downpoured.

TrikeSwim

I also went swimming with it (PLEASE don’t do that to a bike. I did a complete overhaul the next day, water was in everything, even the sealed bearings). The trail was flooded and being tired with no desire for the two mile detour, I swam it.

We’ve had a lot of rain and the marsh trail was under water. The water went almost to the top of the 26” tires for about 30 feet. Again, Grandma’s Trike got through, seaweed was lodged and hanging all over it. It made for a fun picture, but a lot of work during the overhaul.

The trip totaled 44 miles starting at 10:30AM. Got home at 6:30PM (4 stops for beer and a lunch).

Sitting bolt upright on a stable platform feels being a passenger along for the ride, like cargo in the basket. The handling is best at slow speeds, a bit more squirrelly when going faster. Sit, pedal, go. A tough go to go far on, not something for long trips, unless you just are not in any kind of hurry. The defining word is: slow.

Conclusion, the single-speed delta trike is a worthy machine. Not really cool or fast, but well maintained, it will keep you rolling, haul lots of stuff and get you there with a bit less stress.

No matter what you think of the Grandma Trike, it’s better than walking…

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Moving a House(hold) on a Bicycle

June 15, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Advocacy, How To, Lifestyle, Outreach 
Hauling couch

Hauling couch

I watched this video showing someone being moved, from one residence to another…only using bicycles. Think about that. Hauling all your stuff from your house, across town, to another house. Seemed impossible, even watching the video. I still had a hard time believing it worked. They hauled boxes and beds and couches and tables and lazyboy chairs. Everything by bike.

There were a couple big trailers for beds and couches, but otherwise just standard cargo bikes and kid trailers.

I found several other videos from many cities in the US and Canada, same concept.

The most interesting thing, almost no one on a bicycle knew the person they were moving.

A call goes out to the local cyclists (many who did know each other) and they show up. One person commented on how you have to get to these events early to get the big stuff. She was hoping to get the couch!

The standard cost…Lunch and beverages.  

On one move, the owner said it only took only 3 turns to move her. She said it normally would take her all weekend to move herself by car.

Sounds like fun,
I’m in, anyone else?

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Loaner Bikes at Ballweg Midwest Toyota

June 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Commuting, Lifestyle 

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    The DRBC work to getting more people on bikes, more often by advocating for bicycling infrastructure and a dynamic bicycling culture.

    The DRBC currently seeking organizations and individuals who support the idea of complete streets in our community.
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