365 Days Commuting by Bike: Wait… You are going to bike in this?

Wait... You are going to bike in this- So you have decided to bike through winter. Your mind is made up and you are already getting everything in order to have a safe, warm, and successful winter ride. Everything should be dandy, right?

Unfortunately, I have begun to realize that the idea of biking through winter doesn’t seem to sit too well with my friends’, family members’, significant other’s, or volunteer acquaintances’ minds. Which leads me to believe that many of you who have decided to bike through winter may be receiving the same hesitant responses and questions that I have been receiving since announcing my intension to bike in the snow. Here is a list of some of the most popular questions, and comments I continuously here from the concerned parties mentioned above and my typical responses. I would love to hear the questions you receive and how you respond in the comments after this article as well!

1.       Isn’t it dangerous?

  • For this question I usually like to mention how all mode of transportation can be dangerous and when you are aware of the dangerous points you can make changes to avoid them or reduce the danger.
  • For me this means altering the path I take from summer to a safer and more bike path focused commute this winter.
  •  I also like a vehicle or snowmobile going out for the first time in the winter snow will make sure that my bike is tuned up for winter.
  • Like people who ride in cars but still wear their winter jackets;  I to will wear my winter biking apparel.
  • And finally like people who walk anywhere in the snow and ice, I too will keep an eye out for any potentially risky paths layered with ice.

2.       How will you manage to bike through all the snow and Ice?

  • The great thing about this question is I can talk about the wonderful amends Madison has made for its yearly bike commuters. In order to keep the paths open the City of Madison has to be sure that they are clear of snow for commuters. In fact, some fellow winter commuters in the office mentioned that the paths are sometimes cleared before the road!
  • As for the ice, once the weather hits the worse many winter cyclists, reduce air pressure, and increase the traction in their tires, perhaps even adding studs to their tires.

3.       Isn’t that bad for your bike?

  • Well actually, yes, it can be. That is why many cyclist have a winter bike, a “beater” or a bike specifically for commuting. You would never take you really nice sports car through a winter in Wisconsin and likewise I don’t plan on taking my prized road bike through the winter either. (More on this topic later 😉 )
  • Instead I will combat the cold and dirt with a bicycle that has fenders and is rough and ready.

4.       It gets dark in the winter…

  • Yes… it does. This is something that I realize I need to be prepared for even before it gets pitch black at 5:30 p.m. and it is the creeping reduction in daylight that I think should be all 365 day commuter’s concern. To combat this is as simple as beginning to make practice of riding with your lights on when commuting as early as the beginning of October. This way you will never run into that issue where you can see the road but the vehicles find it hard to see you.

5.       What if it is really cold?

  • I have to admit here I always hesitate a bit since the cold is really one thing I am dreading, but many people have commented here and on Facebook telling me that once you get going the cold really isn’t an issue anymore. They key seems to be keeping the core warm so that the blood can continue to circulate into your feet and hands. I have taken that to heart and often remind the questioners that biking is cardio exercise and that if I am not warm enough I just have to work a bit harder.

6.       Why don’t you just buy a car?

  • This is probably the most common question I run into when telling people about my winter commute. Apparently, it is very hard to understand why someone who could buy a car would decide not to in favor of biking in the cold.
  • Now I am pretty sure you cannot change people’s minds on this one, but I like to explain to them a few key elements that keep me on the bike such as:
  • When I bike I don’t feel obligated to get a gym membership. I torch an average of 300 calories a day just commuting.
  1. I don’t have to fill up on gas
  2. I don’t have to buy car insurance
  3. There is no need for a parking spot, which living in the city can get ridiculous or can be hard to find.
  4. I don’t have monthly car payments….
  5. And to top it all off my commute is on average 15 minutes shorter. It is hard to argue with the facts!

7.       Are you really biking in the winter?

  • Yup… I’m writing a mini blog series about it on SchwinnRed, so yeah it’s happening!

If you are or have ever ridden in the winter what questions do you receive and how do you respond to them? bundled up for winterKeep an eye out for an article about my hunt for the right Schwinn for winter and for a post that explores my preparation to stay warm this winter. (Hopefully I will find a more efficient way to stay warm then when I wore 4 layers in the picture to the right from when I went to visit the Ice Caves in Northern Wisconsin). Get out and Ride, Samantha C

365 Days Commuting By Bike: Fall Clothing

Edited4Last week I had my first taste of just how chilly the fall months can be and although I wasn’t prepared for this early of an unset the first lick of cold has helped me realize exactly what I will need for the erratically varying fall weather.

glovesThe first thing I learned when hoping on my bike in the cold morning hours, I typically leave my house before 7a.m., is that I really need a pair of light gloves! It takes about 5 or 6 minutes to really warm up your core and after that the warmth will spread to your hands, but before that occurs the chill can be pretty brutal.  Because it is still warm enough out and my hands do get warm before my commute is over I plan on getting some simple gloves that are easy to remove during my ride. This past Spring I had several pairs of basic cotton gloves that worked okay, but I plan on checking into some light running gloves that are also easy to slip off. You can also get fingerless gloves or gloves specifically designed to provide a better grip on the bicycle, but knowing that I will have to get a thicker pair for winter later I think that the very basic runner’s glove would be best suited for how I ride in fall and fit all my needs.

HeadbandMy ears had a tinge of coldness to them too so I am debating waiting it out for a while, but I know I will need some sort of ear protection very quickly and perhaps even before the end of October. Any ear covering combined with helmets seems a bit awkward to me and I am not really ready for full head covering, because that would just be too much heat this early in the season. That is why once again for my ear gear I am planning on using a head-warmer or headband. I think that this would be most convenient with a helmet because if it gets too warm I will always be able to slip it off my ears and leave it around my neck. Once again I am aware that I will need something different later in the season so I am keeping my first level of headgear rather basic.

socksThe other obvious difference was my need for sleeves and quarter length ‘thicker’ socks (my legs always tend to be a bit warmer, but you may also need longer pants if your legs also get chilled easily). For sleeves I am a huge fan of fabric that keeps the sweat of off you and was lucky enough to already have a MidZero Zip from Sugoi’s last season which is a polyester spandex mix with an incredibly warm inside that you would not expect considering how light it is and I plan on getting a few more sleeved items with that blend for Fall. When I am ready to cover up the legs a bit more I will lean toward tights with lined material for added warmth. I am personally not a huge fan of bibs but those are also a great option for winter. As for the socks, right now I am quite content with basic socks, but I know in the coming months my feet are going to be an area where I will want to contain heat and will have to look into that as the winter approaches.

Two other concerns crossed my mind when I thought about the approaching winter.

The first was the reduction of light both in the morning and at night. I have a feeling this will sneak up on me rather quickly and want to be prepared sooner than later. A set of front and back lights are great, but recently when I was in a car one night I realized how little visibility these actually offer. That is why I am looking in to clothing with reflective material and lighter colors. Sugoi has recently come out with this new material that is highly reflective. Under daylight conditions the jacket looks, well normal; however when you shine a light on it the entire jacket becomes reflective. This jacket is definitely on my wish list going into winter and I know it would make my mom feel just a bit better about my biking escapades. (Check out this video to see what I mean: 

a37c94b3832e1d2ce64ca6e77fb0d2aeThe second and more socially embarrassing thing I am already nervous about is what will happen when I am super bundled up, perhaps with a balaclava, and my nose starts to run. (I have sinus issues ALL THE TIME so this is not a matter of if…). In the warmer months I admit my socks are often the go to, but in winter when I am all bundled up I think I need to find a cleaner solution and one that doesn’t require my face turning into an icicle. Perhaps a hanky is in order? At least that would be a classy addition to my commute.

I would love to hear some solutions to these concerns and more tips and tricks you might have in the comments below!

And as always,

Get Out and Ride!

– Samantha C.

 

A Taste of Fall Biking

Today marks the first day of fall and for many one last hurrah for their biking season. After a summer of biking you may have found that biking has lost a bit of its luster and that your old go to routes may seem to be well… rutted, well worn, and boring. This can be especially true if you ride your bike every day to commute to work or school, but I promise, it is amazing what a change of scenery can do to help make your last few weeks of biking just as fun as those first few in Spring.

Orchard2The following are a few of my suggestions to shake up your fall riding, get excited about the season once again, and enjoy some time with family and friends!

Schwinn5Orchards: Apple picking is one of the iconic activities of fall and a great opportunity to try some local fruits and baked items. Often times these orchards are located at the edges of towns, but are still close enough to bike to; a quick google map search will help you determine if you can make a safe route to an orchard by your bicycle.

Whether you bike there just for the view and a fresh slice of apple pie with your family or friends or put a basket on your bike and pick a few apples to bring home for later biking to an orchard can be a fun and healthy activity for those cool fall weekends.

Pumpkin Patch: Not into apples? How about pumpkins? Like an apple orchard pumpkin patches are a great way to support your local community, have fun with friends and family and get in a little exercise too!

Be warned pumpkins are heavy and the ride home might take a bit longer to accommodate that added gourd.

Brewery Tour: Another fun fall activity is to head over to a local brewery for a tour. Many breweries offer a flat rate for both the tour and samples or even a pint, like Ale Asylum in Madison who encourages tourist to have a full glass in order to better enjoy the tour.

Farmers Markets: Fall produce can be some of the tastiest items around.  With seasonal squash, carrots, green beans and many more there will be plenty to look at and many new items to try out. If you aren’t into cooking Farmers Markets often have baking companies who will happily provide you a yummy morning breakfast while you have a look around.

mom and samSponsored Rides: Most of the items in this list have been primarily about food and while I would lean toward a sponsored ride that also was about food, you can also just concentrate on the bicycle riding for this one!

Simply visiting a city’s event page or googling bicycle tours in a specific area will help you begin to locate when and where these events take place. You should also keep an eye out at local establishments for unique community rides!

Remember to bring:

A bike lock: If you want to stop in the shop or continue on foot it is a good idea to have a lock to keep your bike protected while you are out of sight.

A basket: If you want to bring home apples, beer, and produce or if you happen to find some other tasty treat to take home on your fall adventure, a basket will help make sure that your items don’t get squished like they could in a backpack.

Tell us about your Fall Bike Adventures in the comments below or share a picture or two!

And as always…

Get out and Ride!

-Samantha C

365 Days Commuting By Bike: Mini Series

snowI once saw an info-graph that depicted bike commuting in terms of the seasons and your physical state of being during those seasons; only allowing just a sliver of “brief delusional joy” which fell in what the designer must have imagined was a ridiculously short period of Spring and Fall; however I feel the need to mention that some years in Wisconsin we don’t actually experience either of these seasons… at all.

49fcfdc4684ba5dd8f3463bcf0fd338dNow in all honesty there is a lot of truth to this info-graph and as the real season wheel begins to turn toward a brief Fall interlude I find myself sweating thinking about the upcoming Winter months. “Absurdly Freezing” the graph says. Again I wonder if they have ever biked in a Wisconsin Winter, but the point is clear biking in the cold is going to take some adjustments.

I started my daily commute to work last March as soon as I determined that the bitterness of the cold was almost completely over and the roads were clear enough of snow.  This year, however, I no longer have a carpool to easily get me through the “Absurdly Freezing” period of Winter. That combined with my love of a challenge has led me to delve into the idea of not only stretching out my commute as long as possible, but actually tying it to the start. In other words I plan on biking straight through the absurd Winter!

The good news is I will be taking you, SchwinnRed readers, along for the ride.

This Thursday I will be talking about clothing transition from Summer to Fall and about little subtle changes that you may run into with the slight seasonal differences.

Future article will discuss, choosing a Winter bicycle, prepping your bike for Winter, dressing for Winter, and posts about my experiences that will inevitably occur.

If you have any ideas about topics you would like me to cover I would love to hear them! Please feel free to comment below with your suggestions or email me at socialschwinn@pacific-cycle.com.

Now get out and ride while we are still in the tiny window of “brief delusional joy.”

-Samantha C.

Biking to School: Why, When, and How

Many adults can recall a time when they took their bicycles anywhere and everywhere, sometimes miles from home without a backward glance from their parents. However, the times have changed and safety has increasingly become a well-founded concern for parents of young children.S13PH_21147

The dual questions of: when is my child ready to bike to school alone and will they be able to get from home to school and back safely continue to rise parental concern and leave parents asking is it worth the risk to even let them bike?

So let’s break it down!

AGE:

lilly1The age a child starts biking to school is a big concern for many parents, but there is really no right answer to this because every child is different and develops at different times. For some children this can be as early as third grade or perhaps younger, for others it may mean middle school is the best time for them to begin biking. Therefore, it is important to go by what feels right to you as a parent, for your child, and your family. A great way to learn if your child is ready is to start by biking with them to school. This way you can see where their skill level is at and if there are things they still need to learn you can teach them as they go. After you believe they might be ready you can always do what my father did and follow them, secretly, in the car to reassure yourself that they are in fact ready to bike on their own.

Another great way to let your child ease into biking to school is by starting out young and giving them levels of freedom. Perhaps first they are just allowed to bike around the block alone. Then to a nearby park; each time increasing the distance and practicing this new form of communication.

If you are not comfortable with your student biking alone it is possible that a bike train in your community already exists or you could create one. A bike train is a group of children who bike to school together every day and are led by an adult supervisor. For more information click here.

Fact: According to the Safe Routes to School website: “In 1969, 48 percent of children 5 to 14 years of age usually walked or bicycled to school. Compare that to 2009, where 13 percent of children 5 to 14 years of age usually walked or bicycled to school.

SAFETY:

lilly2Many parents’ biggest fears are about traffic and safety and living in an area with high levels of traffic make this quite understandable. To address this concern it is good practice to ask yourself if biking to school is a possible option for your child, for some parents who live far away or in a very busy town the answer may be no, but perhaps there is another route to school that is safe for your child. If a safe route exists you can ride with your child and teach them how to ride the route safely; where the stop signs are; where they should be riding their bike; and areas where they may have to be more cautious.

Secondly, more general safety concerns can be prevented by teaching your child both the rules of the road and safe practices such as wearing a helmet every time they are on their bicycle. These lessons can be instilled early and be non-negotiable rules when your child is on their bike. For more educational information about safe riding and how to correctly wear a helmet check out the Bicycle Safer Journey which provides videos and quizzes to educate your child and have them sign the pledge to wear there helmet every time they ride their bike on Helmets on Heads

HEALTH:

Lilly3Finally, it is easy to say that there are just too many concerns and questions to deal with or that the risk is not worth it, but conceder this. According to Momentum Magazine “studies demonstrate that a 30-minute walk or bike ride to school greatly increase a child’s ability to focus in the class room”. To top that, the USDA recommends 60 minutes of physical activity for children each day. With the staggering numbers reported pertaining to childhood obesity and inactiveness biking proves to be a potentially successful way for children to not only hit their levels of active minutes each day and maintain a healthy weight, but also be more focused in school.

RESOURCES:

For more information check out these great resources!

Safe Routes to School: http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/

Bicycle Safer Journey: http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/bicyclesaferjourney/

Helmets on Heads: http://www.helmetsonheads.org/

Get Out and Ride!

-Samantha C.

 

National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads Mini-Grants Program

safe_routes_to_schools_logoThe National Center for Safe Routes to School and Schwinn’s Helmets on Heads program are teaming up to provide 25 $1,000 mini-grants to 25 schools across the country.  These mini-grants support a common goal of both organizations: to support educators, communities and families in encouraging children to safely bike to school.

“Communities across the country continue to be creative and successful in finding ways to make it safer for children to bicycle to school,” says Lauren Marchetti, Director of the National Center.  “We want to use these mini-grants to help support schools in their efforts to cultivate a culture of safe bicycling and helmet use for students.”

Applications are now being accepted for mini-grant activities planned for the second half of the 2014-2015 school year. These funds can be used to fund activities ranging from the nuts and bolts to help start or sustain bicycling programs, to new, inspiring ideas that explore the range of benefits of safe bicycling.  Selected mini-grant proposals will fit a school’s needs and interests around safe bicycling and helmet safety education, and will require that correct helmet use be a mandatory component of any program. Recipients are also asked to share the Helmets on Heads pledge with students or youth involved in their program.

Helmets-on-heads-blog“Schwinn, through the Helmets on Heads initiative, is excited to team up with the National Center to offer support to schools throughout the U.S.,” says Milissa Rick, Global Director of Consumer Activation, Pacific Cycle. “These grants will aid local communities in educating children and parents about the importance of wearing a helmet each and every time they ride a bicycle. And we think that this kind of local level education is one of the best ways to help instill good cycling habits.”

Mini-grant applications are due Wednesday, October 22, 2014, and award winners will be announced in December. The mini-grant activities should occur between January 1, 2015, and the end of the Spring 2015 semester.

Download the application or apply online.

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Vasu

Communications Manager, Safe Routes to School Programs

vasu@hsrc.unc.edu

(919) 962-7769

Design Your Own Schwinn Drawstring Bag: Contest

S14_ToteDesignContest_MICROpage

All ages are invited to participate!

The first 6 entries will receive a Zazzle Schwinn iPhone 6 case!!

The submission period continues until September 24, 2014.

Step 1

Schwinn_RedS_iP6 CaseEntrants should submit originally designed artwork that is bicycle related in nature. It can be in traditional mediums such as oil, watercolor, charcoal, pen and ink or modern digital graphics. No actual artwork needs to be submitted just a digital file or good quality photo of the artwork.

You may email your submissions directly to schwinnsocial@pacific-cycle.com or send them via Facebook Direct Messaging on Ride Schwinn’s Facebook page.

Please include a short description about your design.

Step 2

Wait for Schwinn to upload your artwork to Facebook (facebook.com/RideSchwinn) once uploaded invite your friends to “Like” your entry on the Design Your Own Schwinn Drawstring Bag Photo Gallery located here!

The first round of voting ends on September 24, 2014 where five (5) finalists will be chosen.

Step 3

The five (5) finalists will enter a “Final Voting Period” to determine which one will become the Grand Prize Winner!

The “Final Voting Period” ends on October 7, 2014

The winning design may be reworked by the Schwinn design team and may be available on Schwinn Shop Now for a limited time sale. You may have your artwork produced on Schwinn bags with your name credited as the artist. Be creative and have fun!

Prizes

The Grand Prize winner will win a Schwinn Bicycle from the Schwinn Shop Now website and the four finalists will each receive a $100 gift card from one of the following: Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, or Dicks Sporting Goods.

Get out and design!

-Samantha C.

For complete rules visit:http://www.schwinnbikes.com/usa/schwinn-bag-design-contest

A Petite Retreat: Bike Getaway

IMG_0550

As we head into fall, the leaves begin to change and the air starts to acquire a coolness to it, and there seems to me no better way to spend the day than in the saddle. But why not take that up a notch and spend a whole weekend on the bike relaxing with friends, family, or a loved one in a mini-vacation before school starts, the work days get long, and the weather turns south?

Why not?

That is exactly what I thought when I started planning my own petite bicycle retreat with my mom this past month.

Now you may be thinking that a mini vacation would be more of a hassle than it is worth, but a petite retreat doesn’t have to be too expensive or too time consuming to plan. In fact, it can be rather simple, easy, and fun!

Here are a few tips that I learned from planning my own petite retreat:

1. You don’t have to travel too far.

With many cities beginning to adapt their town to include more bike paths and bike friendly layouts a weekend bike getaway can be a fun way to explore nearby areas, a change of scenery, new food, and local shops, without spending too much money on traveling expenses.

The city I planned on going to, Dubuque, Iowa, intrigued me because of its historical background, closeness to the Mississippi River, and its interesting bike paths of course!

A simple Google search of either the best cities for a vacation or bike routes in your state or surrounding region can help you narrow down your options too.

2. Stay the night or plan for a day.

Staying a night or two and making it a whole weekend trip would make your mini-vacation actually feel like a true getaway, and with new online apps for cheaper hotel pricing you can keep it rather affordable (after all you just need a place to clean up and lay your head at night since there is so much to do!).

If you can’t stay the night you can still make it a full day by simply packing a change of clothes and something to freshen up with, so that after your ride you can explore the town.

3. Do a bit of research.

The Fenelon Elevator

The Fenelon Elevator

Since you only have the weekend, make sure to check out the town you are going to before you go. This way you will already know what trails are offered, the distance of each of them, and you can plan which you want to ride.

You can also check out what else the town has to offer before you go;  you can then make sure to see and do the highlights off your list. (Especially research the food, you can never go wrong with a highly-rated, local restaurant and after your bike ride you are going to be hungry!)

4. Pack what you already have.

Now in my case I felt it was necessary to get my mom some bike shorts, anyone who has experienced long distance biking with and without these wonderful padded shorts would know why, but really you don’t need to buy too much when heading out on your petite retreat (unless of course you don’t already have a bike… that could be an issue).

The trick is to use what you have and make it work.

If like us your bike rack isn’t on the vehicle you are taking or you don’t have one, you can simply remove the front tire and lay blankets between the bikes to prevent scratching. (This may require more maneuvering, but where there is a will…)

As far as clothing goes, wear what you normally wear when you bike, unless of course you see this as a good excuse to get that new kit you have been looking at all Summer (Not that I did that or anything… but there were owls on it and it supported breast cancer. How could I say no?).

5. Buy what you will need.

IMG_0555There are somethings that you may just need to buy if you don’t have them already.

I suggest first and foremost having some form of a water bottle to rehydrate you. If you haven’t experienced it, I cannot even begin to explain how awful dehydration can be and how quickly that can set in without you realizing it when you are biking.

I also would highly suggest bringing tools for your tires in case you should need to fix a flat. We are bringing a patch kit, a spare tire, and a frame pump, because I am not taking any chances!

You may also need snacks, sunscreen, or other items depending on where you are riding, how far you are going, and what your individual needs are. Check out our article Top Ten: Energizing Snacks for Those “Longer” Rides for a few snack tips.

So like a Boy Scout; be prepared!

6. Ready the bike!

IMG_0566

Our attempt at a Sefie!

Finally, make sure that your bike is in good condition before you take it out on any ride. The tires should be inflated at the appropriate psi for the type of bike it is and be sure your brakes are in good working order.  Having a bike that is tuned up for your ride makes all the difference between a nice relaxing and enjoyable experience and one that is not so great, so don’t neglect to check!

With that, get out, explore your surrounding areas, relax a little, enjoy the September weather, HAVE FUN, and ride!

-Samantha C

Top Ten: Energizing Snacks for Those “Longer” Rides

20140820_190742**If you stick around to the end of this article you are in for a Schwinn Social Secret**

There is no way around it, when you are working hard and extending the distance of your bike ride you are going to need to refuel. Proper nutrition and healthy snacks  are the key to maintaining energy during and after your long bicycle rides.

Not all snacks are made the same though. A proper snack for a cyclist should be simple and easy to carry with you and eat by bike, should serve to refuel you with the proper carbohydrates and nutrients your body needs, and should be able to make it longer than 5 minutes in the heat or in a cramped location like your jersey pocket or draw string bag.

Some people recommend eating and having a sip or two of water every 15, 20, or 30 minutes, but that just means you should do what feels right for you!

The following are ten of our favorite items to pack for those longer rides.

1. Bananas – A banana is the super food for every person who works out! As most people know bananas are chalk full of potassium, but they are also full of easily digestible carbohydrates. This combination is a one to punch for nerve function, muscle function, reducing muscle cramps and quick releasing fuel.

The best time to eat a banana would be right before your or early on in the ride in order to maximize on the fruits power supply.

2. Nut Butter – Peanut butter, almond butter,  sunflower butter, you name it! The muscle building protein of a nut butter combined with the carbs from the banana or next two items on our list will help keep you at a nice balance between energizing carbs and the healthy fats and proteins of the nut butter. Nut butters can help to slow the release of the carbohydrate you pair it with, but try to keep it as natural and unprocessed as possible to optimize its effect. One our favorite natural butters is the Cranberry Coconut Peanut Butter from YumButter located in our home town Madison WI. Check them out! http://yumbutter.com/

nutsAlmond butters also offer an added bonus of iron and calcium, so if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go!

Nut butters work best when paired with carbohydrates, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Nut butters are calorie dense so a little goes a long way!

3. Apple (with peanut butter) – For those who don’t like bananas, or are looking for something to put their peanut butter on an apple is the perfect fit. The apple may contain a sugar, but it also has filling fibers that slow the release of those sugars into the bloodstream for sustained energy. Plus it has antioxidants to fight off some of those free radicals!

The best time to crunch into this tasty snack is before or after a long ride when you have a little more time to enjoy this sweet treat.

4. Whole Grain Bagel – These portable morning carb loaded wonders are an excellent way to get your energy back up after a ride. Once again they are best when paired with a nut butter or even some lean meat for the added protein to carb balance.

Since whole grains take a bit longer to digest it is best to eat your bagel a half an hour before you go out or take your bagel with you for an end of the ride snack.

trail mix5. Trail Mix – Trail mix offers an easy and portable snack with a mix of dried fruits full and nuts packed with protein, carbohydrates, and good fats.

While trail mix can be a good option for those looking to gain a bit of muscle it also must be stressed that not all trail mixes are created equally so keep an eye out for mixes laden with candy and once again a little goes a long way. Nuts and dried fruit are extremely calorie dense so if you are looking to lose a little weight you may want to measure out a serving before diving in.

20140820_1904036. Energy bars – Energy bars such as Cliff, LUNA, Powerbar, and more offer a quick and easy way to fuel up on a lot of carbs and protein, and other necessary nutrients.

Always look at the package label to see how much sugar, protein and carbohydrates are actually in your energy or protein bar. Does it have at least 15 grams of protein? Keep in mind that an average adult is only recommended to have 25 grams of sugar a day some energy bars meet or exceed that number in one serving.

7. Sports Drink – One of the timeless questions for people who live an active lifestyle is whether water or a sports drink is the best option for those longer workout days. The fact of the matter is when we sweat and water is release from our body things such as sodium potassium and other electrolytes leave with it. Therefore it makes perfect sense to replace what was lost with a sports drink which offers the additional benefits that water cannot.

Remember whether you drink water or a sports drink it is important to keep hydrated before, during, and after a workout!

20140820_1904248. Energy Gels – Energy gels really fit into the same category as energy bars in my book and are something I would personally leave for the most intense or lengthy rides you have. Energy gels are meant to replace the glycogen that you use and can deplete in extra intense or long workouts while giving you a little extra boost of energy.

While you may receive that boost in energy mentally you may still run into basic muscle fatigue and soreness. Therefore these energy gels are really something that needs to be tried out on an individual basis to see if they work for you, when they will benefit you most during your workout, or if they are the best method to reenergize during your ride.

9. Granola – Granola bars or cereal mixed with some low-fat protein dense yogurt are especially great choices for after the ride. Granola offers protein, carbs and healthy fats to reenergize you and when paired with a yogurt the balance that we have seen before of carbohydrates to protein ratio will keep you moving for the rest of the day.

Check out the recipe at the end of this article for my go to post work out low calorie, nutrient dense snack.

10. Coffee – As a college once said to me, “nothing beats a cup of Joe after a long workout”. Which is why coffee made our list at number ten. While coffee may not seem like the most natural of choices coffee can serve a dual purpose of easing back into the day and catching up with a cycling buddy after a long and relaxing morning ride.

Do you have any go to snacks that we missed? Comment below and lets us know how you stay fueled on those longer bicycle rides!

 

Sam’s Post Workout Snack

This is one of my favorite post workout snacks because it is chalk full of protein, has potassium from the banana, some healthy fats, and a good dose of carbohydrates to keep me going.

Ingredients 

1 Dannon’s Vanilla Greek Yogurt (12 grams of protein!)

1/8 cup of oats

1/2 Banana sliced

1 Tsp of Peanut Butter

A sprinkling of granola

Directions

Put the yogurt into a cereal bowl and mix in approximately 1/8 cup of whole oats and 1 tsp of peanut butter into the yogurt. Top with one half of a sliced banana and a sprinkling of granola for an added crunch.

Total Protein: Aprox 25 grams

Calories: Aprox 250

20140820_185217**As promised if you made it to the end of the article I would let you in on a Schwinn social secret. If you liked the Schwinn drawstring bag featured in some of the images seen throughout this post and think that you could make something just as cool if not better than get ready to step it up! In September Schwinn will be hosting a design contest for all of our fans to create a new design for our next Schwinn bag.

The top 5 designs will be awarded prizes with the Grand Prize winner, decided by our fans, receiving a Schwinn bicycle of their choosing on Schwinn Shop Now!

So get your design on and keep an eye out for the official announcement coming soon!

Get out and Ride!

Samantha C.

Restoring a Classic: Petr and the Jaguar

Recently Petr, of the Czech Republic, sent us some stunning pictures of his 1962 Schwinn Jaguar that took him almost five months to restore. Intrigued, we asked him to tell us a bit more about how he transformed an old frame he bought on ebay to a bicycle that is now truly a work of art!Jaguar9

In February of this year Petr unfortunately found himself without a driver’s license for three months… he may have been going a tad too fast. So faced with no means of auto transportation he thought about what alternatives he had to stay independently mobile. He quickly remembered his time spent in Maui, Hawaii, a few years back and about the abundance and convenience of the beach cruiser.

His solution, why not build one of his own?

He took to the Internet and quickly stumbled upon pictures of old classic Schwinn cruisers and fell in love with the style. After a few more clicks and Petr had purchased an old Jaguar frame on ebay!Jag

Once the frame finally arrived in the Czech Republic, the biggest difficulty in refurbishing the frame was painting the bicycle. Fortunately Petr currently works as a master at a powder coating company; in other words he has the skills necessary to give the Jaguar a paint job that would last and truly set this refurbishment apart.  He utilized three colors, a light blue, a dark blue, and a white for the stripes, painting it layer after layer and finally finishing with a pearlescent final paint to give the bike that glittery shine.

Another difficulty was in finding the right parts to fit the threads. The threads utilized currently in the Czech Republic are not the same threads that were used in 1962. This is a problem many classical Schwinn refurbishment enthusiasts run into and which Petr solved by patience. The waiting game and expense was just another part of the process and with most of the parts coming from the U.S. he slowly collected everything necessary to complete the Jaguar. Sometimes this patience was harder to come by as Petr explained to us; originally he had purchased white pedals for the bike, but because of problems with shipping they were delayed. Unable to wait to take his first ride he bought some black pedals and made new threads for them so that he could get on the bike and ride right away!

Jaguar2Finally, his last trial was putting the decals on the Jaguar. He had hoped to buy the original water decals online, but found that an original was too expensive. His solution was to simply make his own. Petr used his background in computer design to remake the stickers that he has seen posted on ebay to draw a copy of them. They are almost identical to the original, except for the one on the seat tube, which he said was because he just couldn’t print such tiny letters.

Ironically the total work on the 1962 Jaguar took Petr almost five months to complete, meaning he had his car back before the bicycle was even ready to go. Yet, with all that time and dedication poured into one bicycle it is easy to imagine Petr’s feelings when he finally got on the bike.

As soon as he took the first ride, he fell in love!Jaguar11

Check out the complete process in pictures of Petr’s Jaguar restoration below!

Get Out and Ride!

– Samantha C.

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