Love to Ride   by kristin on Sep 04, 2015

Here at Planet Bike we’ve been participating in the local Madison Love to Ride Challenge. The Love to Ride Challenge is a movement that has been spreading across the world and aims to encourage more people to try riding a bike to see how much fun and beneficial cycling can be. The program creates a sense of community and competition through local workplace teams and members can give encouraging messages and “high fives” to other members via the online interface. Rides can be measured in miles or minutes and the emphasis is more on just taking a trip by bike rather than racking up the mileage. What really sets Love to Ride apart from other programs is its roots in behavior change theory and a short survey given to participants when they register to find out what prevents them from riding more often and what motivates them to ride. Based on the answers, the program aims to help support new and old riders alike with personalized messages and encouragement. According to the Love to Ride Challenge website, the program has encouraged over 29,000 new cyclists to get out and go for a ride. We think it’s a fantastic program and the social aspect of connecting new and experienced riders together is a great way to encourage people to give cycling a try. In Madison our B-Cycle bike share has also joined the project and has given a free ride code to all registered members of the challenge so that even folks without a bike can be part of the movement. There are lots of prizes and incentives up for grabs in the program as well.

All seven of us at Planet Bike already ride our bikes a fair amount and don’t need a lot of external encouragement to get on our bikes, but we’ve found it really fun to be a part of this program and it’s gotten many of us to ride more than usual. You can easily check in on other local workplaces (they’re separated into groups based on number of employees) and encourage riders with the click of a button. We’re just about halfway through the 64 day challenge and we’re proud to say that we are currently leading the organizations with a staff of 7-19. We’re hoping that this program spreads across many communities throughout the nation and world and encourages traditional non-cyclists to see why riding a bike is so awesome. Even if you’re not part of a local Love to Ride challenge we urge you to encourage someone to go for a bike ride and discover the power of the bicycle!



Godspeed, Deb.   by jay on Aug 21, 2015

It's not often one meets a person that literally inspires you to be a better person. Someone that makes you believe you can accomplish great things. Such a one has passed, and I am sad.

From dancing to lobbying Congress, she taught us to take chances with joy in your heart.

To learn more about this dynamo, go to BR&IN and SRTS

Godspeed, Deb.



  by mark on Aug 20, 2015

JayP is quickly becoming (has become?) a living legend in the endurance bike world. Here's a short and sweet clip on one of his adventures abroad.

A Lone Mind: The Jay Petervary Story from Teton Gravity Research on Vimeo.




Hauling Your Kids by Bike   by mark on Aug 18, 2015

Arleigh, aka The Bike Shop Girl, is a passionate bike rider and new parent. She has been spending some time researching the best methods to take children along while biking (and writing about it). Check out part 1 and part 2 with more to come.



Summer Super Commuter   by mark on Aug 12, 2015

Ron Lessard is a consummate bike commuter. He started riding to save money but his pedaling quickly turned into a passion, if not obsession. We can't include everything in our profile and I wanted to share this bit that didn't make it as I think it really embodies what Ron is all about.

"Today, we (Ron and his wife Mary) ride together on weekends, and often summer evenings, on a Co-motion tandem. A tandem is far faster than a single bike on the flats. There is less wind resistance. Those that haven’t tried this, don’t know the exhilaration that comes from speeding down a straightaway, and packing in the miles together with someone you love. It is a bonding experience to successfully ride a five-hour century, sharing the exhilaration that comes from the speed on a bike with someone so close. It strengthens a relationship. At the end of long ride, we celebrate our accomplishment in unison for we have both contributed, and it seems the harder we work together, the greater the reward. How much closer can a couple get than that?

At this point, even though most of my miles are on my single bikes commuting, I would rather ride the tandem with Mary. Since she also works part time with me, we sometimes get to ride the tandem to work, a real treat for me, and something I wish we could do more of. Regardless, we have developed a riding relationship in which we are so sensitive to each other needs, we don’t need to speak to communicate. We can sense how the other is feeling through the bike. It’s as though the frame that holds us as one, has become a metaphor for our love. Mary knows when I’m about to stand, and quietly, simultaneously, rises with the first pedal stroke. I can easily sense for both of us, when it’s time to push, and when its time to coast. We’ve developed this closeness over the years, on the bike, and in our marriage. We have nurtured a trust as deep as the oceans, a notion as key to riding a tandem as it is to a happy marriage. We even wear matching outfits on the tandem, a cliche on wheels (but an advantage when lost in a crowd). I smile, and thank goodness for my lucky stars. It may sound corny, and it is, but it’s all true."

Check out his profile here.



Bike Path Courtesy.   by mark on Aug 10, 2015

It's summertime and the living is easy. You've likely noticed that your neighborhood paths are teaming with activity. The path that rolls past my front door is a human highway of cyclist, rollerbladers, joggers, dog walkers, birders and skateboarders. The nicer the day, the more the path bustles. To celebrate bicycling in the summer, we've come up with our top 5 list for what it takes to be an upstanding path user. Check out the list here!



Heath's Trek 930 Xtracycle   by mark on Aug 07, 2015

Heath rode this bike years ago before retiring it to his childhood home and taking off for college. Years later he discovered it was still hiding in the barn. A little elbow grease, some updated components and an Xtracycle Free Radical kit was all it took to transform this made in Waterloo, WI mountain bike frame into a grocery-gettin' kid-hauler!










This is awesome!   by mark on Aug 05, 2015

Many avid cyclists take the very act of riding a bike for granted. We're really glad to see more and more adult bike riding classes popping up around the country!




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