Handlebar Hours – Spring 2014!!

Hello bikers!!

Handlebar hours for the Spring 2014 semester have been announced!

We will be open Mondays and Thursdays from 4 to 6pm!

Whether kept inside or outside, the long winter was probably hard on your bike. Snow, salt, and a lack of riding can cause bikes to rust, wear, and become stiff. The tires will probably have lost a good bit of air, and there might be a layer of grime to be wiped away to make your bike look absolutely pristine. Even if your bike looks perfectly fine, it’s always good to give it a tune-up for smoother and safer riding.

Stop by The Handlebar, where our volunteers will teach you how to correctly use a variety of tools to fix-up your bike! Or just stop by to chat – we love to have visitors!

Don’t worry – we’ll help prevent this from happening

You’ll look more like this when fixing your bike

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Winter Bike Storage and Green Bike Pick-Up

I know that you love your bike; bikes are pretty awesome! And I’m guessing that if your bike is in Winter Bike Storage, or if you are borrowing a Green Bike, that you’ve missed it sorely these past couple months.

But don’t fret! You and your bike will be reunited and able to ride off into the sunset very soon!!

Pick-up dates for both Winter Bike Storage and Green Bikes will be as follows:

February 25th and 26th from 1-4pm
March 24th to 28th from 9am to 4pm

To pick up your bike, just stop by the Center for Sustainability Education. Make sure to bring your Dickinson ID!!

In addition, we still have a handful of Green Bikes that can still be reserved for this semester. If you or anyone you know would like to be loaned a Green Bike, send an email to  biking at dickinson.edu with your name and height (in inches).

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Dickinson Cycling Apparel is Here!!!

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Do you have the urge to show your Dickinson pride wherever you ride?

Do you feel a longing to adorn yourself with Dickinson Red Devils?

Do you believe the claims that wearing red makes people better at sports?

Do you need to own YET ANOTHER biking kit? Or do you need to purchase your first?

If you said yes to any of these, then I have exciting news for you!

Biking @ Dickinson, along with the Dickinson Bookstore, are accepting orders for Dickinson College biking apparel for a limited time. The prices of these clothing items are being offered at only a few dollars above retail value, which is drastically less than what the Bookstore will be selling them for in the future.

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All apparel is being custom made by Primal, a company who specializes in cycling apparel. Jerseys, bibs, and shorts are all being sold, in both men and women’s cuts.

This is a limited-time offer; orders will only be taken until February 15th, so make sure to order today!

Click this link to see the advertisement for the jerseys.

To order, go to the Dickinson Bookstore website.

 

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A New Kind of Riding

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On Wednesday, I decided to try something new: spinning class. Yes, even though I am a cyclist with a love of road riding, I’ve never tried a spin class before.

So what did I think of spinning class? It was… different.

First of all, I’m very used to the geometry of my own bike, so trying to adjust the spinning bike to be perfect was a bit of a challenge. I found a place where I was comfortable, but it was different than what I’m used to.

Then there was the fact that I had no one to chase. I really enjoy following someone while riding, as I have to push myself to keep up with them. Alternatively, when I road ride, I time myself on the same routes to see if I can beat my record times. On the spinning bike, I was so very tempted to turn down the resistance adjustment so that I could have an easier ride. I managed to resist, and actually turned the resistance up most of the time, but the idea of an easy ride definitely crossed my mind.

The most disconcerting part of spinning was the absence of hill crests and downhills. When riding outdoors, there is always the reward of a fast-paced, twisting descent. The rush of wind in your face, the changes in the road, and leaning into the turns is normally what pushes me to continue climbing. In spinning class, however, I had to find other ways to motivate myself.

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Don’t get me wrong, the workout was amazing. I was breathing heavily, had an elevated heart rate, and was absolutely drenched in sweat by the end of the class. It even felt similar to riding a road bike up hills. I will, without a doubt, return to spinning class. Spinning is known as an excellent form of exercise, one that burns hundreds of calories an hour, increases cardiovascular health, increases muscular endurance, lowers stress, and is low impact.

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And the spinning instructor, Angie (who’s actually my boss) was amazing. Not only does she do the workout with the class (so she knows what you’re going through), but she is incredibly encouraging and persuasive. Even when I was thinking of giving up or turning down the resistance, she would shout out to the class to keep pushing or to envision the hill or that we only had a minute left. These words spurred me and the class to keep working and to push harder. Angie also made sure to check in on all of us periodically, and threw in some jokes to make us laugh and take our mind off of the work that we were doing. Plus, she has a really good taste in music!

For any of you who haven’t yet taken the plunge into a spinning class, here are some things to know:

1. BRING WATER. No matter who you are, you will be sweating by the end of class, which means that you need to be hydrating during the class. I recommend bringing a water bottle that fits into a bicycle water bottle cage, so that it’s easy to reach without having to get off of the bike.

2. Bring a towel. I made the mistake of not bringing a towel, and I highly regretted it. Like I said, I was drenched in sweat, which started to get in my eyes and made my hands slippery on the handlebars. It would have been much nicer to towel off during the ride.

3. If you have riding shoes, bring them. If you don’t, bring tennis shoes. Some of the bikes have clips for people who can use them, while the rest of the bikes have toe straps that work with tennis shoes.

4. Don’t wear baggy pants, as they might get caught in the spinner. I personally wear padded cycling shorts so that my butt doesn’t hurt, but it’s not necessary to (however, your butt will hurt for the first couple classes without padding).

5. Eat before class. You want to have eaten enough that you don’t feel too full, but not too hungry. The worst thing after exercising is to have a blood sugar crash.

6. The instructor and other people in the class will make sure that you’re bike is set up properly so that you don’t injure yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

7. Don’t sit in the back of the room! It’s much easier to hear the instructor from the front of the room, plus he/she can give you tips about your form. I personally like being in the front so that I can see my own form in the mirror, plus I feel more motivated when I’m up close.

8. Don’t be scared! Spinning is fun, and it’s an activity that allows you to go at a level that is right for your body. Try a class to see what you think!

Spinning classes are held in the Kline Spinning/Dance Studio (the one upstairs behind the front desk with the glass walls). Come on by for a great workout and a great time!

Monday 4-5 (Angie Undercuffler)
Monday 5-6 (Barry Tesman)
Wednesday 5-6 (Angie Undercuffler)
Thursday 5-6 (Barry Tesman)

 

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Bicycle of former Handlebar Shop Manager Avery McGuire ’13 attacked by Danish thugs!

The Ghost Rider strikes again! The Guest Blogger this week sets out to unravel the truth in a violent act of bike mangling!

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avery's bike

Just what on earth happened here?  Clearly thieves used a hacksaw and later a bolt cutter on the seat tube and stays.  They didn’t want the saddle……  Was there a gold nugget stuck in the bike’s seat tube?  A hidden stash of blood diamonds?  What do they need that piece of seat tube for – rolling Danish pastries?  If you figure it out – please contact the Copenhagen police immediately.  And let Avery know how much we miss her presence in the Handlebar!  I imagine she’s REALLY missing the Handlebar now…

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Winter Bike Storage

My bike’s name is Penelope, and one of her greatest fears is snow. She trembles at the thought of her frame corroding from the street salt, her chain seizing up due to rust, and her brake and derailleur cables freezing. She’s a fair-weather bike, so this winter I’ll be making sure she’s safe and sound indoors.

If you have a bike that is afraid of the snow, make sure to bring it by the Center for Sustainability Education (Kaufman 190) so that it can be stored in the basement of Kaufman Hall, free of charge. Bike storage will be happening December 2nd – 6th between 9am and 4pm. Make sure to bring your bike, as well as your ID. For more information contact Mariah Murphy at  biking at dickinson.edu.

Don’t let your bike get buried like these bikes:

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Green Biker Profile – Glen Peterman

You may have noticed that there are an extraordinary amount of Green Bikes around campus – we currently have 54 working bikes!

Starting this week, we will be profiling some of the Green Bike riders. This first profile is by Glen Peterman, the Handlebar Adviser, who built the first Green Bike.

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Name: Glen Peterman

Staff: Director of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance; Handlebar Adviser

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Glen Peterman rides one of the Bike Blenders

I loved biking the instant my dad took off the training wheels, pushed me down our sloped driveway and yelled, “PEDAL, PEDAL!!” I was six years old.  Later I graduated to 27” wheeled bikes – a Schwinn Continental,  later a Schwinn Sports Tourer, and then a top of the line Schwinn Paramount racing bike that I got for $500 in 1973.  In high school I started working in “bicycle setup” at the local Schwinn dealer, got my Schwinn Factory Trained Certification, moved to the repair shop during and after college, and then ended up managing the place for a year.  My boss was such a jerk that I quit and helped start another shop that sold Miyata bikes. We broke even in the first year – and eventually drove my first boss out of business. (Don’t mess with Glen!!)

Since then I went on a lot of formal rides – one a Double-Century (200 miles). Two friends and I rode all night with no moon (but we did have lights) and I came in third(!) among about 500 riders sometime in the early hours.  Also made a couple tours around the Great Lakes, to upstate New York, around Israel in an organized bike-tour, and even started on a cross-country ride.  I had to bail in Jackson, Wyoming, but that’s no surprise since my foot had been broken under a fork-lift about a month before.  It was pretty stupid to actually DO a tour like that in my condition – but the experience, fun and memories have far outlasted the pain.

I built the FIRST “Green Bike” and instituted the program at the Handlebar.  Since that first one I’ve built about 50 of them with help from Handlebar volunteers.  Frankly, the reason they’re called my Green Bikes is because that’s my favorite color! (Just like my Paramount). It was merely fortuitous that my favorite color matched the sustainability jargon.  Painting all those green forks was a challenge, though. (I never told anybody but once I ended up with green hair and moustache! It was just a bit windy and the overspray got EVERYWHERE.  Happily it was a Friday night, so I had the weekend to wash my hair about 10 times).  I use my green bike as a commuter bike from home to the Handlebar when I’m fixing bikes – I mainly ride it in the summer time.

I’d recommend a Green Bike to ANYBODY.  I paid about $150 to sandblast, paint, build and rehab mine (new wheels, crank, pedals, and tires, etc., ) – but anybody else can pay a $25 refundable deposit, get a Greenie, a helmet and a lock. You can get help fixing it for free at the Handlebar if it needs fixing, then bring it back when you don’t need it anymore – and you get your deposit back!  You just simply can’t beat that kind of deal.  And you’ll love the speed and the wind in your face and hair – just like I did when I was six.

Avery McGuire '13, former Handlebar Manager, works on Glen's Green Bike

Avery McGuire ’13, former Handlebar Manager, works on Glen’s Green Bike

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Smoothies on Britton Plaza (Guest Post)

This week we have a guest blogger by “The Ghost Rider,” who writes about Smoothies on Britton Plaza (aka S.O.B.P.) – enjoy!

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Once again, the Green Devil  got wildly out of control at the recent Campus Sustainability Day on Friday, October 25. Tyce Herrman, our Projects Coordinator, was selling berry smoothies and wouldn’t you know it, the Green Devil appropriated our Handlebar-built bike blenders for his goofy fun!  Fortunately that green cape didn’t get caught in the wheels.  And the smoothies?  Mmm, mmm – good!!  All smoothie sales went to support biking initiatives on campus, such as the Handlebar, volunteer training, events, and bike rack purchases. With a fleet of 55 Greenbikes and so many students riding bikes (we’ve fixed about 180 bikes at the Handlebar already this semester!) the campus seriously needs more bike racks.  Tyce, Philip Safran ’17; Kaitlin Moriarty ’13 and the Green Devil did their part to fix that!  So the next time you see S.O.B.P.  - do your part and buy a smoothie (or two)!!

 

fall 2013 Sustainability fest 10

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Weekend Activities

This weekend was especially exciting for cyclists and bike enthusiasts. Friday was Campus Sustainability Day on Britton Plaza. Both the Bike Blenders and the Handlebar could be seen making smoothies and performing bike tuneups. The chilly October weather couldn’t deter students from churning out delicious bike blender smoothies.

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Even the Green Devil got in on the smoothie-making!

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The Handlebar fixed a couple bikes and spread the word about what we do and what our hours are in the shop. Four of our volunteers showed up to help out, and had a blast talking to people.

IMG_6828After a busy Friday afternoon came Bike to the Farm Potluck on Saturday. This semester’s Bike to the Farm Potluck was a bit different, as it was held on a Saturday afternoon, and participants got to bike both to and from the Dickinson College Farm. Before departing, Officer Killinger from DPS gave everyone a quick speech about cycling on the road. The crowd was broken into five different speed groups for the 6.7 mile ride.

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Unfortunately, it was very windy on Saturday, so the ride out to the Farm was a bit more difficult and slower than usual, but everyone managed to make it. At the Farm, we were greeted by the Anthropology and Archaeology departments, who had been harvesting and cooking quinoa early that morning.

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Once all of the bikers arrived, it was time to dig in. There was bread, pasta, cake, cookies, cheese, salsa, apple cider, salad, and more. Many people sat around the bonfire to keep toasty-warm, while others mingled with friends.

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The ride back to campus was much faster, as the wind was at our backs and it was more downhill. People grabbed their bags and dishes, which had been driven to and from the Farm, and left, full of food and happy that they had attended the event.

IMG_6942 IMG_6943If you weren’t able to attend these awesome events, never fear! Even though as the semester progresses the weather will get worse, that does not deter us from holding events, opening the Handlebar, and jumping on our bikes for a quick ride to Leo’s or around the countryside. Keep an eye out for more bike blenders, more bike fixing, and more cycling!

 

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Bike Blenders

Last spring, a group of students decided that they wanted to build something new and exciting in the Handlebar. Different ideas were tossed around, but we eventually settled on building a bike blender.

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What is a bike blender, you ask?

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It’s just what you would expect – a blender that works by pedaling a bike. In our case, we have two of these blenders: a mountain bike that was originally going to be a Green Bike and a stationary bike that was donated to the Handlebar in order to be a back-up blender.

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The rotating of the bike wheel causes a second skateboard wheel to rotate. This skateboard wheel has a rod going through it that is welded to the blades of the blender. When the skateboard wheel rotates, the metal rod causes the blender blades to rotate, which blends whatever ingredients we put in the blender. While we modeled our design off of other bike blenders we had seen online, we had no instructions to go off of, and we mainly used parts already on hand in the Handlebar.

Blender 6 done!

While we were initially apprehensive about blending anything (what if we broke the bikes we had put so much time into?), we found that our blenders were extremely efficient. In under 60 seconds, we could blend a 12oz smoothie out of frozen berries, yogurt, a banana, and apple juice. After some calculations, we found that our blenders could run at around 40,000rpms if we tried (but we tend to have people run it at a lower speed so that we don’t damage the bike or blender). Compare this to a regular blender, which runs at around 10,000 to 15,000rpms.

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Our blenders have been a huge hit at events like Campus Sustainability Day, EarthFest, and the Family/Homecoming Weekend Picnic. We also are looking to rent out the bikes to groups that would like to use the blenders at their own events.

Keep an eye out for the the Bike Blenders in the future! We promise they’re delicious!

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