Design Your Own Schwinn Drawstring Bag: Contest

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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

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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!

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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

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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Peddler’s Creamery: We All Bike for Ice Cream

peddlers6Schwinn: When did you first know that you wanted to open an ice cream shop?

Edward: My first job was at an ice cream shop in high school and I realized I may never have a job again where I was able to make all the customers happy! That and it had some delicious perks. So I knew I would someday like to run my own shop.

peddlers3Schwinn: Did biking play a part in your life before Peddler’s Creamery? How so?

Edward: Of course, since childhood bicycling has provided that exercise outlet, you get to travel and observe the world, but at the same time clear your mind, relax and just have smile on your face. I love commuting via bicycle or taking a ride in the local mountains or trails for amazing scenic vistas!

Schwinn: What was the inspiration for including bicycles as a means to producing the ice cream of Peddler’s Creamery?

Edward: I like to think of new creative ways to do things that will be sustainable, this idea came about by combining two things I loved, bicycling and ice cream.

Schwinn: How did you make your dream a reality? Were there any setbacks in the beginning?

Edward: I decided to go for it and haven’t looked back. It’s like riding a century, there are always bumps along on the road or flat tires to be overcome, but the views at the waypoints and the people you meet along the path make it worth it!

Schwinn: What sort of reaction did you receive from people when you told them you wanted to make ice cream with a bicycle as your means of energy?

Edward: They were pretty excited actually and I still love new customers coming in and enjoying the concept for the first time!

Schwinn: Not a lot of businesses have found success on Kickstarter. Why do you think people were inspired to help you?

Edward: I think for two reasons, one I was lucky to have many amazing friends, family and customers that supported us ; and two , I think the concept resonated with folks looking to support and business that was focused on making sure that people, and the planet were taken care  of and it was just a fun idea.

Schwinn: Why did you choose to use Schwinn bicycles for this project?

Edward: Because Schwinn is an American Icon, just like Ice Cream.

Schwinn: How has the bicycle been modified to turn ice cream?

Edward: We set up the bicycle on a stand and connected it to a kinetic sculpture and an old fashioned churner via chains.

Schwinn: How long does it take to turn a batch of ice cream?

Edward: 15-20 minutes

Schwinn: How do you think that Peddler’s has created such a loyal customer base and how have you been able to continue to grow within your community?

Edward: Peddlers has a great positive energy and we strive to make our customers happy. We are a fun place to stop in and a place where your tastebuds and your soul can both feel great!

Schwinn: Is all the ice cream sold at Peddler’s Creamery turned by bicycle?

Edward: You bet! That’s the fun part!

peddlers7Schwinn: What is the most unique flavor the Creamery currently offers? What is the most popular flavor?

Edward: Perhaps our raspberry poptart, a crowd favorite. Most popular would be salted caramel , Mexican chocolate , and mint chocolate cookie.

Schwinn: What is the biggest challenge to making ice cream by bike?

Edward: Telling folks that they are finished after churning out a batch, sometimes they want to keep on going.

Schwinn: Your ice cream and other deserts include fair trade, organic and locally sourced products. Why were you confident in picking the more expensive resources?

Edward: These premium ingredients  ensure we have amazing ice cream, but just as important our customers can enjoy the ice cream knowing that they are contributing to a better world one delicious scoop at a time!

Schwinn: Biking is pretty prevalent in your work life, but do you still bike on your own time?

Edward: Of course! I love to ride when I have free time. I just rode the LA River Ride Century in June!

peddlers4Schwinn: The creamery is also a Benefits Corporation; giving back 5% of their profits to environmental and social issues, how do you think this has affected your business? How do you envision Peddler’s Creamery inspiring other businesses to take these progressive steps?

Edward: We love supporting the greater community and the work that the groups around us do: from the National Forest Foundation, Los Angeles county Bicycling Coalition, Habitat for humanity, to the Downtown Women’s Center. By making this business a success I believe we can help pave the class one bike path for others.

Schwinn: Everyone loves ice cream, so we have to ask when is Peddler’s coming to Madison? What is in store for Peddler’s in the next few years; can we get a sneak peek at the future plans?

Edward: You never know, we might be out there sometime soon!

Thank you Edward for the scoop 😉

Get Out and Ride (anyone up for some ice cream?)

-Samantha

Behind the Design: Andrea Menchero

Schwinn: What are 3 fun facts about you?

Andrea2Andrea:

  1. Just like people, I believe shoes have personalities too.
  2. You could call me a professional pattern-mixing, chunky sweater, accessorizing thrifter… no denying I have a love for shopping and putting outfits together.
  3. When you hear the rhythm of the music, it’s a guarantee you can find me on the dance floor.

Schwinn: What are you going to school for and what do you hope to do in the future?

This May I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BFA in Communication Design. I am currently working as an intern in New York City for the design firm JKR. My passion for package design is relatively new but everyday I find it more and more interesting. The attraction between design and consumer really motivates and inspires my work. What I imagine my future will look like is a career that explores and pushes design into all aspects of life.

Schwinn: When did you know you wanted to pursue art as a greater level?

Andrea: Moving from France to the United States at the age of sixteen, I was more preoccupied with learning the English language and adapting to my new life than my career ambitions. It was not until my senior year of high school that my art teacher, Professor Pierce, reintroduced art into my world. I loved learning the basic drawing techniques, the playfulness of creation, and the authenticity of screen-printing. I furthered my learning in a graphic design course at a community college. This is when I realized that I wanted to become an artist.

Schwinn: What has been your most memorable project that you ever worked on?

Andrea1Andrea:  My most memorable project took place while I was studying abroad at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. The brief: Design and produce a sustainable bag for an identified situation and particular audience. The solution: “Brelly Bag” named after the English nickname for umbrellas. I was so excited to incorporate design thinking into a three dimensional object, so I chose to improve the bulky, unattractive, and heavy camera bag. I redesigned it to be more aesthetically beautiful and functional in the rain. I made many prototypes out of recycled materials found on the streets of London and for the first time learned how to hand sew. From idea to final product, this was a rewarding process that left me feeling accomplished.

Check it out here – http://www.andreamenchero.com/#/brelly-bag/!

Schwinn: What does art mean to you and where do you find inspiration for your own work?

Andrea:  Art can really be anything that you want it to be, but most importantly, I believe it is an idea made visual which is backed by emotion, wit, aesthetics, and information.
I find that observing the environments I am surrounded by is the best way to get inspired. Carrying a sketchbook around is essential to quickly jotting down an idea if it comes to me, doodling, collecting, or working through concepts. I also find conversing with others and listening to new perspectives has influenced my work.

Andrea3Schwinn: How did you come up with “its all about the journey?”

Andrea:  After doing research, I knew I wanted to reflect the long legacy of Schwinn and portray the classic American bike brand in a creative way. I started coming up with different phrases, but they just weren’t cutting it. So I came across your Instagram profile which read, “its all about the journey, not the destination,” and thought it was perfect for the shirt! I made a typographical piece, hand-drew a combination of vintage types and illustrated an original Schwinn model to give it a nostalgic feel.

Schwinn: What role does biking currently play in your life? And /or What was your first interesting memory with a bicycle?

Andrea:  Growing up in France, biking with friends was the best way to get around. More then one person would pile up on a bike, one would be on the handle bar, one would be sitting, while another one pedaling. We would cruise around on our bikes and have a great time, but occasionally would also have a great fall. Like that one time I was sitting behind the seat and I attempted to find my balance when my favorite pair of shoes got cut and chunked up by the wheel. Let’s say I can laugh about it now. Either way it was always a blast!

Schwinn: Can you share previous work you have done and describe it?

Andrea: You can check out my website at: www.andreamenchero.com.

Andrea4Thank you Andrea for sharing such wonderful work!

Now, as always, Get Out and Ride!

-Samantha

 

Life on the Singletrack: An Initiation into the Mountain Bike Scene

When I was a sophomore in college I started working at a local bike shop. Until that time, I wouldn’t have considered myself much of a biker, cyclist, whatever…..I just needed a summer job and some money. However, shortly after I started biking I realized I was way out of my league, especially in terms of hours spent in the saddle.

At the time I only had one bike, a mountain bike, and it really wasn’t what you would call “trail worthy”. Every Sunday after work, many of the guys at the shop would head out to go mountain biking for a few hours before the sun went down.  Feeling like I needed to fit in with the group and being too embarrassed to say “no” I took up their invite to ride some “singletrack”. To be honest, I didn’t really know what singletrack meant (I found out later it was simply a trail designed for riding). The only off-road riding I had ever done at that point was around camp grounds or county parks.

So with no off-road/mountain bike skills and no idea what I was doing I tried to ready myself for the upcoming ride. After we closed up shop, we loaded the bikes and headed to a trailhead. I looked out the window at the changing scenery and thought to myself. How hard could riding in the woods really be? After 45 minutes of driving, we were at the trailhead and the guys announced it was time to prep our bikes for the ride. I didn’t understand what it meant to “prep” your bike so I just touched various parts of the bike to make it look like I was inspecting the bike, after all that kind of looked like what they were doing.

Soon we were off pedaling and within 500 feet from the trail I was completely taken aback. My legs felt like sand bags and try as I might I just could never seem to catch my breath in the humidity that stagnates throughout the Wisconsin Summers and was present that day. I soon discovered that not only was mountain biking really hard, but it was also incredibly dangerous. I hit my pedals on countless rocks and my handlebars snagged on bits of foliage on narrow passages through tight tree sections. Conservatively, I would estimate I flew over my handlebars and ejected from my seat at least 10 times during the 2-hour ride. The only tidbit of relief I felt during that entire ride was that I was in the back of the group so no one could see me crash repeatedly. It was a lonely and frustrating experience to say the least.

After I somehow managed to find my way back to the trailhead and meet up with the rest of the group, who seemed to be breathing rather normally and not sweating at all, it was clear that I was out of my league. During the car ride home it was a true mental test in toughness to try and hold back the pain from all the cuts and bruises I had accumulated while on the trail. When I got back to my apartment to clean off, I looked as if I had been in a huge bar fight the night before.

Despite all of this I kept riding with the same group of guys weekend after weekend until I graduated from college and moved out of town.  Needless to say my first season of mountain biking was a rite of passage and one I won’t forget. I even still have a couple scars from rocks, etc. However, it was during that time that I learned how much I enjoy the camaraderie of riding partners. I also learned how much I love mountain biking. To this day, mountain biking with friends or by myself brings me much joy and provides clarity in my life. So even though it was a rough start, if it hadn’t been for my first ride on my first crappy mountain bike, I would never have had all the great memories to this point in my life on singletrack.

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Mike

A Preferred Mode: A Response to the “Slow Ride” Post

It has been several weeks now since I posted the article Slow Ride: Biking Doesn’t Have to Be a Race. Since that post I was amazed at the many different responses we received about the article, both here on SchwinnRed and across the internet. The variety of opinion really got me thinking about what it means to ride a bike, not only in the States, but anywhere and if there truly is a preferred mode.for blog

This week on another one of my 2 hour long road bike journeys (yes I was dressed in lycra and going fast) I stumbled upon a realization. I prefer speeding along on my road bike. It is my preferred mode. It is the way that I best enjoy bicycling and the way that brings me the most happiness. When I am flying down a smooth paved path for miles on end I feel truly alive and that is not only okay, that is a great thing! In an article on Momentum Magazine’s website, Can Everyday Bicycling Make You Happier?,  author Karin Olafson explains the same phenomena of improved mental wellness and euphoria that I experience each and every day I “race” to work and which I believe is why people continue to cycle.

That being said, I also want to address a comment I received about the Slow Ride Article being a “silly fluff piece” by stating that, having written it, I truly disagree. I have partially embraced the Slow Ride since writing about it on May 22 by learning how to enjoy my bike rides in a new way. There are things that you miss when speeding from place to place that you experience when bicycling leisurely. On one occasion I took my old Schwinn cruiser to the beach on a lazy Sunday and stopped at several local stores on the way. I had no set time to be anywhere and I just enjoyed the capability to be mobile and engaged with my surroundings. Several other times when I wanted to wear a dress I found that taking that same cruiser to the Terrace was a fun way to people watch, check out the flowers, and as an added plus I was able to look fairly stylish (aka less shrink wrapped in spandex).

Sam Polcner's latest photo!

Sam Polcner’s latest photo!

However, I also agree with that same comment which stated that a Slow Ride bicycling style is not for everyone or everywhere. But I would counter with something someone shared with us on Facebook last month. When asked what their favorite type of bike was they said all their bikes were their favorites, because each was like a tool, designed with its own purpose and value. Upon further reflection I think the same should hold true when we question what the best method of cycling is. The answer shouldn’t be one style or speed is better than the other, but rather that whether you call it biking, cycling, racing, bicycling, cruising, slow riding, or cat sixing, all forms of cycling have a purpose. I also thought about my favorite bike photographer, Sam Polcner and his many subjects, with their many different styles in both dress and bike. Each of these people in Sam’s photos shows us that bicycling doesn’t have one face, but rather is a layered culture of diversity.  That is awesome! That is huge! That is GLOBAL!

Slow Ride: Biking Doesn’t Have to Be a Race was an exercise in changing perceptions; personally it was a challenge for me to embrace another style of biking, rethink my “preferred mode”, and a learning experience about the definitions that can be held in the overarching bike cultures. Yet, what I took away was not a preference for one form of cycling or the other, but rather an ability to appreciate and embrace the best of both styles and I haven’t even explored mountain biking yet!

Honestly, I will still be seen spending most of my weekends decked out in lycra and pushing myself to cut my time and with a most beloved road bike designed for that use in mind it makes sense for me to be riding like that; yet, I promise you this if you see a girl looking cute on a cruiser Slow Riding her way down the street, well, now that girl could very well be me.

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Cruising!

Get Out and Ride!

-Samantha

From Mountain to Hybrid: “Whose Bike is that?”

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So you’re ready to switch to a new bike, huh? Well I’m in the same boat.  I’ve been riding around on the same mountain bike for far too many years now. It still rides great, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s time to upgrade this bad boy for a bike in a popular new segment that has been catching my eye.

In recent years, bicycle designers noticed a growing trend in the number of casual, recreational and commuter bicyclists. This is the category I would drop myself into and most of the riders these days. They also realized that these bicyclists have different desires for how they want their bicycles to look and perform. So what did the bicycle designers do? They created a cross functional bike called the “hybrid” bike. This bike is the best of all worlds. It is perfect for riding to work, leisurely roaming around scenic unpaved trails, or just causally rolling down the street.

After dragging alongside with all my friends and co-workers on my old mountain bike, trying to keep up to them and then seeing how much my bike weighed compared to their light commuter bikes, I realized I needed something new. My mountain bike had the tire size, tire threads, and frame weight that was perfect for when I was riding on mountain bike trails, but it lacked the comfort, ease of use, and style I was looking for when I found myself wanting to bike to work every day.

Along came the hybrid. As soon as I saw it I was attracted to it.Screen-Shot-2012-12-06-at-12.06.41-PM  A lot of people I work with have these superfast, lightweight, carbon-framed road bikes with the skinny ole’ tires, but I quickly realized that that was not my style. What the hybrid offered me that road bikes didn’t was what appeared to be, a hell of a lot more comfort. The saddles on those bikes were so small and with no cushion! Not only that but I would constantly have to scope out each trail trying to dodge every bump because of the lack of suspension in the front forks. Call me lazy for not wanting to avoid every pot hole and bump on my bike ride, but I enjoy the ease of bicycling.

After I found what style of bicycle I was looking for, the finer search began as I looked for what specific model would appeal to my desires the most. I quickly turned to the Schwinn Bikes website. There I found a wide range of bikes, each with their own unique features.  With prices varying from $210 – $980, I felt like I didn’t have to break open my piggy bank to find the perfect bike.

S14_700M_Searcher1_CHR_D1

So I stuck to the features I wanted to find in my bike. I wanted a comfy stature while riding, not leaning too forward and not so far back where I’d be sitting straight up. Then the suspension fork; got to have it. I’m not trying to get rattled to smithereens if I decide to take off road it and take the gravel trail home.  Of course I need 24-speeds for maximum comfort when riding any terrain, and up or down hill. Last on my need list was disc brakes. I didn’t want to be riding to work and NOT have the option to stop on a dime if a squirrel was to dart right in front of me. (You see, you always have to be thinking about others when you make your choices too; it’s not always about you.)

So with my wishes and the animal’s consideration in place, I narrowed it down to the perfect bike for a commuter/recreational style rider like me. The Schwinn Searcher 2.The features on this bicycle matched my description perfectly.S14_700M_Searcher2_SLV

  • Suspension fork: SR Suntour® NEX suspension fork with hydraulic lock-out create a smooth responsive ride. Check.
  • Stylish: this model comes in a sleek gray with black and red accents. Not too much flash but not dull either. Check.
  • 24 Speeds: Shimano Alivio®/Acera® components with 24-speeds and Shimano Acera Rapid Fire+® shifters for quick shifting. Check.
  • Disc brakes: Tektro Novella disc brakes for extra stopping power, CHECK!

My next step was to find the right size.  I’m an average height kind of guy coming in around 5’10, 5’11 on a good day, so I asked some of my friends who are avid bike riders and they suggested that a “medium” bike would fit me just fine. For all you taller folks out there, 6’0” is on average the cutoff where you would find yourself looking at a Large or X-Large bike size.

 

Finally, the purchase! That moment when all of your hard work searching for the right bike pays off! Now in my opinion, this is the most exciting phase of finding a bike, so hang on to your seats because your about to be riding around in a brand new bike that all your friends are going to be eyeing up.

Get out and ride!

– Aric

Bicycles and Life Lessons: 5 Classic Kid’s Movies

When you are a kid a bicycle is truly your vehicle to freedom and adventure and no one knows that better than Hollywood.  After all what better way to solve a crime, locate lost pirate treasures, or simply escape the world of adults than by bike. The following are five classic kids’ films and five life lessons we learned from them.  Why are we counting down these films? Well, let’s just say that we are planning another big adventure, so stay tuned!

Now and Then (1995): This movie is perhaps one of the most defining childhood movies for girls at the time (I know it was for me). Now and Then took “Girl Power” to another level. In the movie four childhood friends, Samantha, Roberta, Chrissy, and Tina return to the memories of their childhood in the momentous summer of 1970. Initially the girls’ largest concern was how to pool money for their dream treehouse, but soon after a late night cemetery séance they become obsessed with finding out what happened to “Dear Johnny”. Becoming a new age version of Nancy Drew, they use their bikes to travel to a neighboring town’s library to search for clues. In a movie about friendship and the transition to girlhood to womanhood, bicycles serve as a vehicle for freedom and sisterhood.

gifLife Lesson: True friends will always be there, no matter what happens.

pee-wees-big-adventure-dvd-coverPee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985): Pee Wee Herman, a child in his own right, goes for his first big adventure in this eighties film. After his beloved Schwinn bicycle is stolen by his arch nemesis, Francis Buxton, Pee Wee sets off on a cross-country adventure to the Alamo where he believes his bike is located. Pee Wee discovers news things, new people, and eventually ends up in Hollywood where they’re making a film about, you guessed it, bikes!

Life Lesson: Sometimes you just have to let go and enjoy the whimsy of life.

My Girl (1991): It’s the summer of 1972 and Vada, an 11 year old girl, is in love with her teacher, a hypochondriac, and obsessed with death. With a father that runs a funeral parlor and a deep seeded personal belief that she was the cause of her mother’s death, it isn’t really surprising.  Despite all of these personal quirks her best friend, Thomas J. sticks by her side. Their summer adventure is complete with kisses, bikes, and tragedies that lead to a story that shows the true growing pains of entering adolescence.large

Life Lesson: Growing up is hard and sometimes life isn’t fair, so cherish each happy memory and live each day to the fullest.

Goonies-posterThe Goonies (1985): A group a friends face the end of the world as they know it when they find out their neighborhood, aka “the Goon Docks” is facing foreclosure to make room for a Country Club. Feeling powerless to the situation the boys escape for one last adventure to save their homes after finding an old newspaper clipping, a Spanish map, and an artifact that relates to a local rumor that there is hidden pirate treasure in the area. Bikes in tow, they find themselves in a sticky situation when the map leads them to a criminal’s hideout. The Goonies is a must see for a timeless tale of just how important friendships are.

Life Lesson: “It’s our time”. Never give up on something you believe is right.

The Karate Kid (1984): “Wax on; wax off”.  After moving to California from New Jersey, the main character, Daniel finds that his mother’s promises of posh living were not completely accurate. On top of that he struggles to fit in to the local crowd and quickly accumulates grief from a group of bullies who taunt him relentlessly even when he is just off on a bike ride alone. Just when life seems like it will never get better Daniel meets his soon to be mentor, Mr. Miyagi, who shows Daniel the art of karate and shows us how to believe in ourselves.

tumblr_mn8uppjc0i1qc3bo6o1_500Life Lesson: First learn stand, then learn fly.” It takes time to reach your dreams.

Have a suggestion for movies we missed? Leave a comment and let us know your favorite classic kid’s movie that featured bicycles below!

Get out and ride!

-Samantha

Slow Ride: Biking Doesn’t Have to Be a Race

Believe it or not biking does not have to be a full-fledged cardio workout every time you go for a ride. In fact, a lot of countries seem to be on to something that many of us in the States have yet to fully embrace, the idea of a “slow ride.”

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The thought behind the Slow Ride Movement is that cycling can be relaxing, and a mere trot to the typical American gallop. I am personally guilty of the latter. I can’t seem to slow down. Every day I bike to work like I am racing against every commuter on the bike path for first place in Tour de France. I arrive to work sweaty and tired, so when my manager put an article on my desk from Momentum Magazine’s May-June 2014 issue, titled “How to Bike to Work,” I was pretty skeptical that it could offer anything new for me. Yet, there it was. An idea I had heard many times, but had never really gave too much personal thought to… “moderate pace.” These two words sparked me to rethink my “Need For Speed” inspired biking habits.

The Secrets to Cycling Like An Amsterdammer: Momentum Magazine

The Secrets to Cycling Like An Amsterdammer: Momentum Magazine

Leisurely cycling is actually quite popular in other areas of the world. Places such as Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Utrecht all have large communities who bike in this way that seems to shout  “bicycle culture.” In the United States, where everyone seems to be in a rush, a change to a similar bicycle culture , or Slow Bike Movement, is just beginning to gain traction.

People who embrace the Slow Bike Movement may actually be even more bicycle-friendly than your sport centric cyclist. For many slow riders biking becomes less of a singular focus on physical activity and more of a way of life. Slow riders often favor the type of bike that allows them to sit up straight and comfortably. Added crates and cargo carriers are often additions to slow riders’ bikes to aid in shopping trips and slow commutes and in larger bike communities, like the ones mentioned above, safety becomes less of an issue as the majority mode of transportation switches to bikes. They usually do not bother with cycling sportswear and instead will wear whatever they have chosen to wear for the day, and with a slow pace it doesn’t make much of a difference, because sweating becomes a non-issue.

One of the many excellent photos from Preferred Mode

One of the many excellent photos from Preferred Mode

Images of New York cyclist from Preferred Mode immediately come to mind when I think about the possibility of a shift to the bicycle culture here in the United States. After all who wouldn’t want to be healthier, more environmentally-friendly, save money, and be photo ready when Sam Polcer and his camera come around?

The lesson I learned; I don’t have to be decked out in spandex or pushing a pace over 16mph hour every time I ride my bike. In fact, I think it is about time that I take out my old cruiser, throw on a spring dress, and go for a relaxing and leisurely ride around Lake Monona.

Get Out and Ride!

Samantha

Read our follow up: A Preferred Mode: A Response to the “Slow Ride” Post!

For more information about Momentum Magazine visit their website at: http://momentummag.com/

To view Sam Polcer’s photos and new book, New York Bike Style visit his website Preferred Mode at: http://www.preferredmode.com/