Finding your ideal stepthrough bike in Ottawa

When I was at my LBS the other week, a mom and her daughter were shopping for a nice upright bike.  I could tell it was hard for her to compare the pros and cons of different models because, well, everything about buying a bike was new to her. When she saw a bike with an internal gear system, she assumed it only had one speed.  (A reasonable assumption when you’re used to seeing Clicky McCog geared bikes everywhere.) There are two important questions to ask yourself before you start shopping: Do I need to…

Training for bike camping and riding to Montreal

Last Sunday, I spent the better part of the day on my bike (well.. bikes) "training" for my upcoming ride to Montreal and our family bike-camping trip.   I registered the family for the CHEO 35km bike ride in the morning and in the afternoon, I booked off some "mom time" and rode to the Chelsea Pub with a good friend. There were lots of cyclists out for the 35km CHEO ride.  We arrived early before the 70km group left and there was a lot of spandex on display. There were many fancy road bikes. …

Biking to an Ottawa museum? Better know a bike rack.

If you're doing the downtown Ottawa museum circuit on a bike, here are the types of bike parking you can expect at each location.  I find these destinations always have lots of information on their websites about the quality and location of vehicle parking, but little about parking your trusty two-wheeler.  Fret no more. War Museum Located near the main entrance there are drop-ring style racks.  If you bike on the sidewalk from Booth to reach them... I won't tell. Museum of Canadian History There are racks near the restaurant entrance just off the pathway…

Grocery shopping on a bike? Clip your pannier on your shopping cart

I saw a tip about clipping your bike's pannier onto your grocery cart on the Flat Iron Bike website last week and gave it a try over the weekend. Sure enough.  It works like a charm.  With your pannier(s) clipped onto the side of your cart, you've got more room for vegetables... or cheese or wine.  I'll leave it up to you to decide how best to manage your cartspace.  

Doing stuff on a bike: Groceries

Ditch the backpacks and the slinging of bags over your handlebars.  You can shop efficiently and effortlessly using your bike.  Depending on how much you buy in a single outing, your set-up can be very basic or (like me) "family-size". Easy options for small shopping trips: They're not very expensive and you can use your own reusable grocery bags that you probably already have. Panniers - You can use regular panniers from any bike shop.  Arkel and others have "grocery panniers" with a drawstring closures. Your pannier can even clip onto the side of a…