Skip to content →

Category: Cycling

Bike Shop Etiquette

Visiting a bike shop for repairs or maintenance is a routine part of a cyclist’s life. However, it’s not just about dropping off your bike and picking it up later. There’s an unspoken etiquette that ensures a smooth experience for both you and the shop’s staff. In this guide, we’ll go over some key points to remember before your next visit.

1. Clean Your Bike Beforehand

It’s basic courtesy to clean your bike before taking it in for service. A bike caked in mud or road grime can make the mechanic’s job more difficult and time-consuming. While bike shops are equipped to handle dirty bikes, they’re not a cleaning service. If you bring in a particularly dirty bike, be prepared to pay an additional fee for cleaning. A clean bike also helps the mechanic accurately diagnose and fix issues without dirt obscuring any problems.

2. Be Mindful of Shop Hours

Just like any other business, bike shop employees appreciate customers respecting their operating hours. Avoid bringing your bike in for service minutes before the shop closes. This doesn’t give the staff enough time to assess your bike and can lead to rushed or deferred service. Plan your visit with ample time for the staff to help you properly.

3. Know What You Need

Having a clear idea of what service or parts you need can greatly expedite your visit. If you’re unsure, that’s okay too, but try to describe the problem as best as you can. This helps the mechanic understand your needs and provide the right solution.

4. Patience is Key

Sometimes, the repair or service you need might take longer than expected due to various factors like parts availability or workload. Be patient and understand that the mechanics are working to provide the best service possible.

5. Trust the Experts

Your local bike shop staff are likely experienced and knowledgeable. Trust their advice and recommendations, even if it’s not what you initially had in mind. They understand bikes and can offer insights that might save you time and money in the long run.

6. Respect the Space

Remember that the workshop area is for staff only. It’s tempting to hover and watch the repairs, but this can disrupt the mechanics’ workflow and space. Feel free to ask questions, but also respect their workspace.

Following these simple guidelines of bike shop etiquette not only ensures a smoother experience for you but also shows respect and appreciation for the mechanics’ hard work. Happy cycling, and remember to treat your bike shop visits with the same care and respect you give to your bike!

Comments closed

Speedy Shoe Drying Tips for Cyclists

If you do a lot of winter riding, your shoes often come home wet or muddy. Cleaning those muddy shoes makes them wet. How do you dry them quickly, so you can get back on the trail (or road).

1. Grab a newspaper.
When it comes to quick shoe drying, the trusty newspaper is your best ally. It’s cheap and easily available. I usually get it from my neighbor.

2. Extract a single sheet.
Select a single page from the newspaper.

3. Fully unfold the sheet and crumple it into a ball.
Spread the sheet out, then crumple it into a compact ball.

4. Insert the newspaper ball into your shoe.
You can typically fit around three newspaper balls into each shoe.

5. Let it sit until the newspaper becomes wet.
Allow some time for the newspaper to absorb the moisture from your shoes.

6. Remove the newspaper when it’s saturated.
Once the newspaper feels damp or wet to the touch, take it out of your shoes.

7. Repeat if necessary.
If your shoes are still damp, repeat the process with fresh newspaper balls until they are adequately dry.

How long should you leave the newspaper in your shoes? The drying time depends on the initial moisture level. If your shoes are thoroughly soaked, the first round of newspaper may take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. For mildly damp shoes, leaving them overnight should suffice.

Additional Tips:

Consider Removing Insoles and Laces: In cases of extreme wetness, it’s advisable to remove the insoles and laces from your shoes. This allows for better airflow and ensures a more effective drying process.

Eco-Friendly Disposal: Don’t forget to dispose of your wet newspaper responsibly. Consider composting it to minimize waste and contribute to a sustainable environment.

With these practical steps and tips, you’ll be well-equipped to rapidly dry your cycling shoes and get back to your favorite trails or roads, no matter how wet or muddy they may be.

Comments closed

Bikepacking New Brighton SB

There wasn’t a whole lot of information online about Bike Camping at New Brighton State Beach, so here are some of my notes after a recent stay there.

There’s not much info on bicycle campsites on the State Parks website. When you check in you get a flyer with some good information:

Bicycle Campsite – New Brighton State Beach

Bike campsites for en route campers only

  • Must have a bicycle* to register for campsite
  • Limit is one night only
  • Check in time is 4:00pm – Check out time is 9:00am
  • Fees must be paid before occupying campsite
  • No guests permitted
  • Use limited to 10 days in a calendar year with a minimum of 48 hours between stays

Failure to comply will result in citation and/or ejection from campground
*Bicycle defined as per CVC 231
Title XIV CCR 4300, 4302, 4323(a)

CVC 231 states:

A bicycle is a device upon which a person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power, except as provided in Section 312.5, through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. A person riding a bicycle is subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5. An electric bicycle is a bicycle.

Some more details about the campsite:

  • $5 fee for campsite
  • Flush Toilets
  • Showers
  • Fire pit, wood from camp host
  • Cell Service
  • Bear Lockers
  • Water

Around New Brighton

Capitola Village
A short walk from the campsite. You can walk along the beach on a low tide. Lots of restaurants and coffee shops.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales // Brewery
103 Kennedy Dr, Capitola, CA 95010
Less than a mile from the campsite. Some of the best sour beers in California.

Pizza My Heart
2180 41st Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
(831) 475-6000
Will deliver to your campsite.

Gayle’s Bakery
504 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
Best breakfast spot in Capitola

Nob Hill Foods
809 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
Closest grocery store

Looking for other bike campsites in California?

  1. Go to: Find a Park
  2. Select “By Feature”
  4. Check: “Hike or Bike Campsites”
  5. Click on “Show Results on Map”
Comments closed

Serfas Thunderbolt USB Taillight Warranty

serfasThunderbolt I previous wrote about how much I liked the  Serfas Thunderbolt USB Taillight. Well now I have even more reason to like it.  A couple of weeks ago, a plastic piece inside the USB connector broke off.  This is the same plastic piece you see on all female mini USB connectors.  I think this is bad design on USB’s part, not Serfas.  I assume it broke because of the almost daily plugging in to be recharged.

I was about to order a new one, but decided to check out their warranty page: Serfas Warranty  I emailed their warranty email address about my problem and got a response within 30 minutes.  They said to mail it in and they would fix or replace it.

I mailed it in and about a week later I got a package at my door with a brand new Taillight.  This is an awesome product from a company who stands behind their product.   I highly recommend it. You can buy the Serfas Thunderbolt on Amazon I’ve already bought one for my kids.

Comments closed

Bike Lights

For the past nine months, I have been riding my bike to work. It’s a little over 7 miles each way. During the summertime, there is plenty of light in the morning and evening. In October of 2013, when it started getting darker earlier, I had to upgrade my bike lights. I ended up with a Lumina 700 for my headlight and a Serfas Thunderbolt for my taillight. I’ve been very happy with both. I’ve had other bikers, people in cars and people on the road ask me about both of them. They’ve been impressed about how bright they are. Here are some more details.

Lumina 700

NightRider Lumina 700
What I like about the Lumina 700:

  • It has three levels of brightness. It’s plenty bright to light up the dark road on my route where there are no street lights.
  • It has a flash mode with I use for daylight riding. It’s super bright and cars can see me
  • It’s rechargeable via USB. I usually charge at night, but when I forget it’s easy to plugin at work.
  • It’s light weight

You can read all the specs at the Lumina 700 product page. It’s a great light and I highly recommend it. You can buy the Lumina 700 on Amazon for $97. That about $20 cheaper then when I bought it.

Serfas Thunderbolt USB Taillight


What I like about the Serfas Thunderbolt:

  • It’s the brightest taillight I’ve ever seen. I’ve had several people comment on that.
  • It’s rechargeable via USB. I usually charge at night, but when I forget it’s easy to plugin at work.
  • It mounts on the seat post and is very easy to put on or remove.

You can read all the specs at the THUNDERBOLT (USB) TAIL LIGHT. You can buy the Serfas Thunderbolt on Amazon for $36 – $45 depending on the color.

Comments closed