Best Bike Trails Near Dallas

Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in Bikes, biking, Cycling | 0 comments

Bike Trail

Even in the middle of one of America’s most bustling metropolitan areas you can still find ways to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors without traveling too far. The Dallas-Fort Worth(DFW) area is home to many trails for biking; you just need to know where to find them. Whether you’ve been biking for years or you are thinking about purchasing your first bike, you will be able to find something that you can enjoy. Here are some of our favorites:

L.B. Houston Nature Trail

This trail can be found in Irving. It is only five miles long so if you are just starting out as a biker, this is a great place to see how you do on a trail. It also doesn’t have any big rises or drops which is another thing that makes it perfect for the beginner and gives a great view of the Trinity River.  

Trinity River

Riding the Trinity River this way offers something a little bit different than your ordinary bike trail. Perfect for those who prefer to ride in a group, you can take your bike and ride the Trinity Railway Express westbound train to Fort Worth. You’ll join members of the Greater Dallas Bicyclists. There is more than 20 miles of trail next to the River, the group has lunch and then comes back on the 2 p.m. train. The only cost is your $10 day train pass. Discounts are offered for people 65 and older and students.

Arbor Hills Nature Center

Located in Plano, this is by far one of the best bike trails for the Dallas biking enthusiast. It is a 200-acre park and has a variety of trails for hikers and walkers and paved paths for bike riders and strollers. In addition to a variety of paths, this park also showcases some of the area’s best natural sites including a lot of trees that you don’t get to see too often in the heart of the city.

White Rock Creek Trail/White Rock Lake.

This area is one of the most popular bike riding areas. Riding along the lake will give you access to local wildlife including great blue herons, ducks, pelicans and turtles. There are different paths you can take to ride different lengths. One trail measures 7.5 miles one-way and if you add the loop around the lake, you can add an additional 10 miles to your ride.

Rowlett Creek Preserve

This area is great for mountain biking enthusiasts. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, if you prefer mountain biking, head to this area. Trails are mapped out to easily determine the difficulty of each trail. In addition to a variety of trails, this is another great area to take in some wildlife scenery.

 Windhaven Hill, The Colony

If you are a biker who is looking to get some interval training, you’ll want to check out this area. This is the home to the steepest hills in Dallas. You will be in the company of the area’s more advanced bikers and there is a nine-mile look that provides an excellent workout with a big push at the end on the area’s steepest hill. 

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Chas Carrier is a cash home buyer and real estate expert who buys and sells homes throughout the DFW metroplex with We Buy Ugly Houses Dallas.

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How To Prepare For A Bike Riding Event?

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Bicycle, biking, Cycling | 0 comments

So you signed up to that all important charity bike ride event a few months ago and the event date is getting closer and closer. All the good intentions of sticking to your training regime slowly crept out the window and now it is just one month until the big day, to ensure that you successfully complete the bike ride, preparing for the event is essential.

Here are some top tips to consider when preparing the cycling challenge:

Bicycle

What is more important than having a bicycle that is fit and ready for the big day. You should regularly get your bicycle checked over, this will ensure that it is safe to use on the road. It is especially important to get it checked over before a big bike ride. Checking the brakes, tyres and chain is absolutely essential.

It is possible to check these things yourself; however you may be liable to miss some things. Taking it to a bike repair expert will give you the confidence that your bicycle is ready for the big event.

Adding some last minute accessories to your bicycle is also equally important. Ensure you have a bottle cage so you can successfully carry water with you during the bike ride – the last thing you want is to be dehydrated during the bike ride event.

Kit

Wearing appropriate clothing for the bike ride event is absolutely essential. If you are wearing clothes that are not suitable for cycling, you may find that you will be slowed down or you may be putting yourself at risk of an accident happening.

You do not need to spend a fortune purchasing a cycling kit as there are many budget shops available.

As part of your kit, you may want to purchase a saddle pack – in this you can include any essentials that may be required during the bike ride. Some essentials may include a spare inner tube, multi-tool including Allen keys, a small pump and tyre levers. This will mean that you will be prepared for any punctures or bike incidents.

Food

An essential part of your preparation should be focusing on what you eat and drink. This does not just concern the day of the bike ride, but in the days before the cycle.

What you eat and drink in the day will play a huge part of how you perform and feel out on the road on event day. Breakfast remains the most important meal of the day, particularly if you are going to be spending the majority of the day on a bicycle.

When cycling, try not to leave too long between eating as when you become hungry, you will lack energy and it may encourage you to go on a food binge when you have finished cycling – this is not good.

Drink plenty of water in short and regular spurts – do not try and drink lots at once as it may make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Preparation is an essential part to succeeding on your bike ride. If you do not take the time to prepare then you may struggle to complete the ride or be injured whilst doing so.

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Falco designs and manufacture cycle shelters for businesses and events all over the world. You can view the fantastic range of cycle parking solutions on their website.

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What Are The Realities Of Cycling In Greater Manchester?

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in biking, Cycling | 0 comments

Riding A Bicycle In Manchester
Manchester may be the home of British Cycling with the National Cycling Centre based around the Manchester Velodrome, but that isn’t to say it’s a city set up for cycling.

While the nation’s elite cyclists live and train in the area, the roads are no less dangerous than elsewhere in the country, as proven by an incident in November 2012 when British Cycling head coach, Shane Sutton, suffered bleeding on the brain after being involved in an accident while cycling.   The incident occurred less than 24 hours after then Tour de France champion and Olympic gold medallist, Bradley Wiggins, had been knocked off his bike.

Clearly, these things can happen to anyone and there is an acknowledgement that more can be done to keep Manchester cyclists safe.   There have been a number of suggestions relating to the format of driving tests. Many feel it should include more instruction on how to accommodate cyclists, while others feel there should be an entire cycling module.   Vélocity 2025   More can be done with infrastructure as well and it is for this reason that Greater Manchester is making a bid for £20 million of investment over a two-year period which would be put towards making cycling not just safer, but also easier.

The government’s Cycle City Ambition Grant offers financial incentives for UK cities to make themselves more cyclist-friendly. Greater Manchester has even bigger plans, however, with an aim to increase the numbers of cyclists in the area by 300 per cent by 2025. Banded ‘Vélocity 2025’ the project would be kick-started by the award of a Cycle City Ambition Grant and it is thought that could trigger £150 to £200 million of investment from public and private backers.   Vélocity 2025 is a vision of a healthy, sustainable city. It would see integrated and ideally segregated cycle routes to major business and education centres; ‘cycle and ride’ facilities for people travelling by train or tram; and a great deal of promotion and education regarding cycling in general.

As it stands, Manchester cyclists have to put up with the same dangerous conditions as those in other parts of the country, with inconsiderate motorists and unhelpful road design.

Cycle lanes
Nowhere is the lowly status of the cyclist more apparent than when you look at cycle lanes. The vast majority merely pay lip service to helping the cause of cyclists, being unusable and occasionally even outright dangerous.   It is not uncommon to see a cycle lane extend for a few hundred yards where the road is wide enough that cyclists would be relatively safe anyway, only to end just as the road narrows and things become more dangerous.

Many involve stopping at junctions in order to cross roads or navigating items of street furniture, such as signs and bins which might be positioned within the lane itself, should it have to venture onto the pavement for a time – something that is not uncommon.   For the most part, cycle lanes are unusable and most cyclists will simply ignore them as it is safer and more logical to simply ride on the road. However, clearly Manchester is serious about addressing these issues and should it receive the anticipated funding, it will be exciting to see the city transformed.

Alessandro Bodino lives in Whalley Range and commutes by bike, making use of bike sheds provided by www.speedyshelters.co.uk.

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4 Tips for Bicycle Safety when Sharing the Road with Motorists

Posted by on Sep 28, 2013 in Bicycle, Bikes, biking | 0 comments

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, once remarked, “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” That’s so true when you consider the rush of adrenaline from pumping the foot pedals, and the wind against your face. Biking is one of my favorite activities.

Sadly it just takes one accident to rob a bicycler of those simple pleasures. Believe it or not, bicyclists have the same responsibilities of following traffic laws as motorists. The difference is that most places do not require you to take any kind of written or practical test to obtain a license that allows you to operate a two-wheeled bicycle.

A lot of accidents are caused by bicyclers who mistakenly ride the wrong way on the highway. Another common reason is because bicyclists weave in and out of traffic, or ride in the wrong area of the lane on narrow roads. Bicyclists are not always at fault, but when they are it is because of a lack of knowledge about traffic laws.

Sharing Is Caring about Everyone’s Safety

Sharing the road means being courteous whether you are behind the wheel of a car or pedaling a bicycle. Because bicycles are the more vulnerable of the two types of transportation, they have a higher risk of taking extra safety precautions. These tips will help everyone share the road safely.

  • FOLLOW ALL TRAFFIC LAWS – As previously stated, following traffic laws goes a long way towards staying safe while sharing the road. Ride in the direction of traffic and be sure to obey all traffic signs and signals.

  • WATCH FOR SURROUNDING TRAFFIC – When you are riding in traffic, especially with vehicles that make very wide, right-handed turns, it is imperative that you keep aware of your surroundings. That is a case where one wrong turn could literally be deadly.

  • STAY VISIBLE – Wear bright colors. Use reflectors on your bicycle, or consider wearing reflective clothing. Have a headlight for times of low visibility. And always use hand signals making sure you use them well enough in advance for motorists to see them.

  • RIDE WITH TRAFFIC – This was mentioned earlier but is important enough to warrant another mention. Riding against the natural flow of motor traffic not only causes you to miss pertinent signs and signals, but it also puts you in unnecessary danger when crossing through intersections.

Bicyclers are not the only ones required to follow rules and regulations, though. Motorists should allow at least three feet of passing space between the right-hand side of their car and a bicycle before trying to pass. Ideally, they should treat a bike just as they would a slow-moving motorized vehicle, even if there is a bike lane present.

Furthermore, motorists should never pass a bicycler if oncoming traffic is approaching or if they will making a turn immediately after passing the bicyclist. That could cause an accident in the intersection which, if they had merely been patient, could have been completely avoided.

Why Alcohol and Vehicles Do Not Mix

Whether it is a motor vehicle or a foot-powered bicycle, drinking and driving just do not mix. Police in Denver, Colorado are now enforcing state-wide drunk cycling laws. What does this mean for cyclists? It means that if they cycle while under the influence, they can get a DUI just like any other intoxicated driver on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of 30% of Americans will experience some kind of crash during their lives where alcohol plays a role (http://www.nhtsa.gov/). However that figure only accounts for motor vehicles. Can you imagine if bicycles were included?

Although the law is harsher than some surrounding states rules about the same subject, it was created after a complaint from someone involved in a crash with a drunk cyclist who was not charged for riding while under the influence.

Failure to cite drunk cyclists before now has incited cases of “bike rage” that pits motorists against cyclists while on the roads. And unless some cyclists change their habits, they could wind up needing a DUI attorney as much as a driver who operates a motor vehicle.

Freelance writer Mark Harris lives with his wife in White Rock, BC on Canada’s beautiful western coastline. He always uses sites such as www.travisblacklaw.com to get inspiration and fact check when writing legal articles. Being so close to the beach gives Mark, an avid outdoor enthusiast, plenty of opportunity to spend time on outdoor hobbies such as kayaking and hiking.

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Socially Smart Bike Navigation System

Posted by on Sep 21, 2013 in Bikes, biking | 0 comments

 photo hammerheadbikepaths.jpg

Innovative device guides bikers onto good and safe bike paths

Hammerhead wants to guide bikers onto desirable and known bike paths all around the United States with a unique system to navigate streets or trails with ease. The compact device, named the Hammerhead affixes to handlebars and conveniently guides your ride with a bright LED light array. The LEDs provide turn-by-turn directions, and lets you know when you’ve reached your destination. As the name implies, it looks a little like a hammerhead shark.


Social media aspect to the Hammerhead

For social media junkies, the Hammerhead iPhone® or Android® app allows them to access crowdsourced route suggestions based on geolocation and other preferences. Similar to other popular social sharing apps such as Waze, Hammerhead showcases the best bike routes in a user’s area. For the first time, users can immediately send routes to others. Once a route is selected, the app communicates via Bluetooth Smart, allowing the phone to remain safely stashed away with its screen turned off.

Integration potential with local businesses

Hammerhead is the first device built to work seamlessly with major bike share networks Bixi and B-Cycle – the companies that offer public bikes for New York’s Citibike and other major cities like San Francisco. When utilizing the “sharing clip,” which quickly removes and affixes to handlebars, Hammerhead notifies time remaining on a rental bike, or navigates to the next rental docking station.

What else can it do? And will competitive cyclists care about this?

Hammerhead doubles as a bike light for night visibility, incorporating a bright headlight and two side lights. It’s packaged with a universal handlebar mount and can achieve approximately 15 hours of navigation use. The app will allow approximately 6 hours of smartphone use. Hammerhead believes in a strong biking community, and better health for people as well as the planet. Can you say low carbon footprint? As the first crowdsourced navigation solution for bike routes, Hammerhead will also bring real-time feedback to competition on popular apps like Strava and MapMyRide, showing riders how they are doing as their segment unfolds. It will showcase speed relative to competitors’ speeds at any given point in the segment.

What inspired Hammerhead?

“We think there is a huge gap in the biking market, in which we can not only promote safer, more frequent bike riding, but also leverage existing smartphone hardware rather than duplicating it as is done by standalone GPS units,” says Hammerhead Founder and CEO Piet Morgan. “Hammerhead offers users a simple, safe and efficient means of navigating.” “We are bikers ourselves, and aim to bring the power of real-time social navigation to biking, all in an affordable and simple package.” Piet Morgan is a Yale graduate from South Africa who, while biking from Connecticut to California, realized how crucial but difficult it is to be able to find safe bike routes. The danger of this this situation became viscerally apparent when this long-distance ride claimed the lives of more than one of his Yale peers, including a fellow Yale rower. Morgan realized how absurd it was that there was no easy way to find or follow safe bike routes. He noticed bikers actually resort to taping paper maps to their handlebars or trying to consult their cellphones while biking. With Bluetooth Smart and the new Dragon Innovation crowd-funding platform, Hammerhead Navigation has been able to create a solution that will bring bike navigation to a variety of bikers.

Will they make their funding goal?

Hammerhead is now live on one of the newest additions to the crowd-funding platforms, Dragon Innovation. Dragon Innovation is a venture backed outlet that ensures hardware projects are poised to execute before funding. Unlike similar platforms, Dragon Innovation will work directly with its first cohort of companies before, during and after the funding campaigns. “This new endeavor with Dragon Innovation is another game changer,” says Morgan. “As one of the first companies to collaborate with this new funding platform, we feel a great sense of confidence that we will successfully bring such an intriguing and promising device as the Hammerhead to the market to simplify anyone’s ride.” You can acquaint yourself with the Hammerhead project at Dragoninnovation.com. With less than 30 days remaining, Hammerhead is seeking $145,000 to bring this to market. They’re trying to spread the word through Facebook too. Visit that page to read what people are saying.

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By Alex H Yong

Alex H Yong writes reviews on popular smartphones, tablets, cloud services, and other tech topics for his blog, TechMania411.net

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A Few Things To Consider Before Buying A Mountain Bike

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in Bikes, biking | 0 comments

If you are thinking of purchasing a new mountain bike in the foreseeable future, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before you make your final decision. Probably the most important factor of picking a mountain bike is what you are going to be use the bicycle for.

For instance – avid downhill mountain bikers, as the name suggests, would like to take their bikes to steep, rocky mountain terrain and trails. On the other hand, more placid mountain bikers would prefer unpaved roads and trails, while some might stick to paved roads and bike trails.

As a result, there is a direct correlation between the kind of riding you want to do and the type of mountain bike you should buy. As a rule, there are three mechanisms you should pay special attention to -These are the bike’s tires, forks and saddle.

The Tires:

Before you buy a mountain bike, first inspect the bike’s tires. Are you planning to ride on very rocky terrain?  If yes – make sure the tires are bulky, wide, and provides lots of traction. If you plan to ride only on paved roads –rather stick to tires that are smoother and narrower, but still provides enough traction. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t use a thick tire on pavements, but you will gain more speed with a smoother, thinner tire.

The Forks:

There are numerous types of mountain bike forks, but the main thing you need to look for – is shocks. Mountain bikes with shocks generally offer a more comfortable ride than those without shocks. As a result, bikes with shocks are better equipped to ride over rough, rocky terrain. Mountain bikes that lack shocks will typically have a more rigid ride to them, but this is because these bikes are more focused towards speed rather than mountain-biking. The more advanced downhill mountain bikes will include Triple-Clamp Shocks, which offers the rider even more suspension on the bike’s fork.

The Saddles:

Certain saddles are light weight, whilst others are rather heavy. This is mostly due to the amount of cushioning offered by the saddle – The more cushioning, the heavier the saddle. Mountain bikes saddles with little padding are usually high performance oriented, whilst saddles with more cushioning are designed for leisurely riding. There are also some saddles that have shock absorbent seat posts, for those individuals who want a very soft ride. Also bear in mind that you can easily switch your saddle for a more comfortable one.

As with any pricey purchase, it is advisable to do your homework before buying. Take your needs and the amount of money you are willing to spend into consideration. A mountain bike will last anywhere between 5 to 10 years, so see it as an investment rather than a one-time expense.

Mountain biking is a wonderful past-time. It’s a fun way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, and improve your health. These are only a few things to consider, but ultimately – you should buy a mountain bike that you enjoy riding.

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Muun-unit is a hippie, eco-warrior, and nature-loving kind of guy – who enjoys travelling the world and cooking gourmet dishes. He is passionate about everything “green” or eco-friendly, and believes that everyone should do their part in conserving our beautiful environment. Muun-unit wrote this article for an online mountain bike shop that promotes eco-living through cycling.

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