Repairing a bicycle tire on the road may seem like a daunting task, but it is actually quite simple. Experienced bicyclists know that being prepared can mean the difference between being delayed or being completely stranded.

Before hitting the road, a smart bicyclist makes sure to pack an emergency repair kit. This kit should have a small pump or quick-fill CO2 cartridge, wrenches, bike tire levers, and a complete tube repair set or a couple of spare tubes. Our friends over at CRANXX have a pretty good list of tools that you might want to take with you on a ride. Some of those bike tools are EDC (every day carry) while some of them are built for the garage. If you want to find the best mini-pump to take on long rides, you should check out CRANXX!

Follow these instructions for a quick and hassle-free tire repair.

Remove the Tire from the Bike

If your bike has a quick-release clamp, you can simply unlatch it and remove the tire. If it has nuts, you must use wrenches to turn these nuts counter-clockwise. Most bicycles have safety clips under these nuts, and you must ensure that the clips are released before removing the tire.

Dismount a Tire Bead from the Rim

Bicycle shops carry tire dismounting levers for bicycles that make the task easier. Work a lever’s straight end into one side of the wheel between the rim and the tire bead. Flip the lever and attach the hooked end onto a spoke to prevent the tire from popping back into the rim. Insert the straight end of the second lever between the tire bead and rim, and carefully work the lever around the wheel until the bead is free of the rim.

Remove the Tube for Inspection

Carefully pull the tube out of the tire and the fill valve from the rim. Using a tire pump, fill the tube until it is slightly firm. This should make a leak easy to identify. Tube damage caused by a pinch should have two holes close together, and puncture damage is usually a single hole. Carefully inspect the tire’s interior for the cause of the leak and remove any embedded objects.

Repair or Replace the Tube

It is advisable to pack a couple of replacement tubes so a field repair is unnecessary. If you do not have new tubes, you must repair the original tube. [Buy some tubes here] Clean the damaged area with emery cloth or roughing tool and an alcohol-based cleaner from the patch kit. If your kit has glue-free patches, simply press a patch firmly over the damaged area. If your patch requires glue, apply the glue onto the damaged area and allow it to dry. Remove the protective film from the patch and firmly press it onto the glue area, making sure not to touch the glue or the patch’s adhesive surface.

Replace the Tube and Remount the Tire

Fill the tube until it holds its shape. Carefully insert the fill valve into the rim and push the tube into the tire. Work the tire’s bead back around the rim by rolling it over with your hands while pushing away from yourself. Avoid using levers to remount the tire as they may damage the tube. When the tire is remounted, work the tube into the tire by tucking the tire bead low onto the rim at the valve area and pushing upward on the valve stem.

Fill and Reinstall the Tire

Partially fill the tire. Make sure the valve stem is straight and that the tire beads are correctly seated. Completely fill the tire and reinstall the wheel onto the bicycle. Ensure the clamp or nuts are tightly secured and test-ride the bicycle.

If the bicycle rides normally, continue on your journey confident with the knowledge that if another flat occurs, you have the tools and experience to quickly address the problem.

wed-aug-3

On Wednesday August 3rd, 2016 we will meet to ride the “9’s” in the valley of the great river. We will ride for about 50 km and will be back in about 3 hours. Gerard will bring the wine and bread! See the course we will ride, this is the same route that we rode in 2011 on this same day. Check it out here:

Le mercredi 3 août 2016, nous nous réunirons pour monter les «9» dans la vallée de la grande rivière. Nous roulerons sur environ 50 km et retournerons en 3 heures environ. Gérard apportera le vin et le pain! Voyez le parcours que nous allons parcourir, c’est la même route que nous avons parcourue en 2011 ce même jour. Vérifiez-le ici:

Thursday August 4th, 2011 there will be short mountain ride and a picnic. Don’t forget your camera and some wine! Here’s the route:

Le jeudi 4 août 2011, il y aura un court trajet en montagne et un pique-nique. N’oubliez pas votre appareil photo et du vin! Voici l’itinéraire:

tue-aug-2

Tuesday August 2nd, 2016 we will meet to ride the Castles and Cattle ride through the reserve. We’ll go just over 110 km and will ride for 5 hours. Total ride time will be 6 hours. Please meet at 7:30 am and the group will leave from the start of this route:

Le mardi 2 août 2016 nous nous réunirons pour faire le tour des Châteaux et des Bovins à travers la réserve. Nous parcourrons un peu plus de 110 km et roulerons pendant 5 heures. La durée totale du trajet sera de 6 heures. Rendez-vous à 7h30 et le groupe partira du départ de cette route:

https://www.strava.com/local/fr/paris/cycling/routes/640

Nous voulons faire un très long trajet (200 km) en juillet et nous voulons commencer un programme de formation. Pour cela, nous aurons besoin de nombreux bénévoles. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous souhaitez nous aider.

Dans d’autres nouvelles…

Les courses de vélo en Belgique peuvent aider tout pilote à améliorer considérablement. Nous avons établi un partenariat avec Vertex Cycling et Threshold Endurance qui a créé un programme pour aider à former et à entraîner de jeunes cyclistes sur les rigueurs de la course européenne de manière à favoriser leur développement tout en réduisant le risque de brûlure ou de formation tout en le gardant amusant. Espace limité est disponible dans ces camps de sorte agir rapidement si vous ou quelqu’un que vous connaissez peut-être intéressé.

Pour plus d’informations sur ces camps, consultez le site www.vertexcycling.com OU contactez Threshold Endurance par le biais de leur formulaire de contact.

Consultez le site Web Threshold Endurance pour trouver plus d’informations sur Shawn et nos autres entraîneurs si vous êtes intéressé à devenir un athlète entraîné.

IN ENGLISH:

We want to put on a very long (200 km) ride in July and we’re looking to start a training program.. For this we will need many volunteers. Please contact us if you would like to help.

In other news…

Bike racing in Belgium can help any rider improve greatly. We have partnered with Vertex Cycling and Threshold Endurance who has created a program to help train and coach young cyclists on the rigors of European racing in a way that furthers their development while reducing the risk of burn out or over training all while keeping it fun. Limited space is available in these camps so act quickly if you or someone you know may be interested.

For more information on these camps, check out the www.vertexcycling.com website OR contact Threshold Endurance through their contact form.

Check out the Threshold Endurance website to find more info regarding Shawn and our other coaches if you are interested in becoming a coached athlete.

Cycling through Europe is an amazing experience, but there are a number of things you have to think about before you go, to avoid any snags in the program. Due to all of the different countries in Europe, I can’t just broadly tell you how your trip will be. There are different foods, culture, and languages in each country, even though they all share the common Euro. Because of the size of the counties, how much space they take up, and the geological differences, I couldn’t even really advise you about the weather either. (Broadly anyway) These are some of the world’s favorite cycle tours and trails, along with helpful tips for your journey regarding costs, setting a budget, safety, preparation, and travel. I hope this information helps your dream tour to be the most hassle-free, and memorable experience of your life!

Costs

If you have the money to stay in hotels, eat out, and live the high life, you can do that for about 100 Euros a day and up. By the same token, you can save your money and stay at campgrounds, cook your own meals, and “rough it” for about 20-30 Euros a day. You can make it for less than that. but not really. You need more than ham sandwiches and water realistically, right? I mean, especially if you’re biking. Remember to stay hydrated as well. There are over 10,000 campgrounds throughout Europe, so you should have no problem finding one nearby.

Budgeting on Your Journey

You should take out the money you estimate that you need for your main things, like travel, lodging, food, and flats, and set it aside, along with some more for an emergency fund. You’re in alien territory, on a bike, and to make it worse, your going extra long distances, and in some cases, treacherous terrain. You need an emergency fund. After that, you’re probably going to want to see the sites, eat out, or maybe catch a festival or a wine and cheese tasting, so plan way ahead, save enough money, and play smart.

TIP – If your camping, plan out your trip ahead of time, and call the campgrounds/hotels first to make sure they can accommodate you. As a lot of travelers have found out the hard way, when we are traveling, by time we stop somewhere, we’re ready to relax. It’s so annoying to be scrambling around for a warm spot if it gets cold, so it’s crucial for an outing like this to circumvent any kinks that might try to clip your schedule, and if you think out every step before you get there, and do your homework, you will have a much smoother, happier journey.

Cycling Through Europe

– Ireland –

The best time to travel to Ireland, even though it stays rainy a lot, is June, July, and August. April is supposed to have the least rain if you want to avoid it. In May, June, and September, you can get cheaper prices usually, because it is the outer edges of the peak season. 

The Three Best Trails of Ireland

The Kingfisher Trail – is said to be really beautiful, and not so domesticated. There is not much traffic on this stretch, so prepare for the trip accordingly. If you like “the scenic route”, then Kingfisher is Ireland’s most beautiful ride. It’s over 300 miles long and has some really remote areas and hills, so be ready! 

The Beara Peninsula – Quiet, light traffic, and country await at this favorite spot to cycle. West Cork, better known as the Beara Peninsula, is a perfect territory for the adventurous, yet quiet type.They have 4 local marked cycle routes, and lodging just look around. You can even find places online that do bike packages that are all inclusive. Bring your camera! 

The Derroura Mountain Bike Trails – 16 km in length, with incredible panoramic views into the Maam valley, and west to the Twelve Pins. Long climbs and thrilling descents, so make sure your bike is up to par.

Denmark

The best time to travel in Denmark is early summer in June. The days are longer then, with no rain and warm temps. July and August are also noticeably nice, offering lots of outdoor events, and pleasant temps. July and August are also huge tourist months, so you may experience higher prices and increased traffic, so they may not be the best cycling tour months. May, September, and June are recommended for biking, because of the off-season traffic and mild enough to work with temps.

Top 3 Bike Trails in Denmark 

Tornby Plantage Hvid Rute – Rated 5 Stars, and offers a #1 rated scenic, single route trail with water and night riding.

Hammer Bakker – Also Rated 5 Stars, Best track for MTB in Demark. Scenic, woody, and fun, this track has lots of flow and technical sections. Come prepared.

Roed Route – 4 Stars, and 27 kilometers, this route is said to be really nice, with no significant drops.

Italy

The best months for travel in Italy are July and August, because that is holiday season for Italians, and they are on vacation. There is less traffic, and navigation is really easy and lax. Most cities in Italy have lots of nightlife if that’s what you’re into, including a Latin dance festival at Fiesta, or go dance ‘al fresco’…”under the stars”.

The Three Best Trails of Italy

The Val Venegia – Dolomites – The best bike trails in Italy are The Val Venegia – Dolomites – Rated 5 Stars, and has a top elevation of 1,538 m above sea level. The Venegia is said to be a difficult trail, and at one point, you go underneath the glacier of the Pale di San Martino, so dress warmly. The peak of Baita Segantini is breathtaking, with pics that will have FaceBook hating you for a good while. the Dolomites are said to be the MECCA for MTB.

The Alpe Lusia – This is a favorite of many, ad also has also been rated 5 Stars, and if you get a chance, eat at the Malga Bocche!

Paneveggio Nature Park – If you prefer an easier ride, this one you could bring the kids on. Not a lot of climbing and the forest and lake are said to come to life with the energy of glacier water.

France

Burgundy, France is proclaimed by many as absolutely remarkable, with rolling hills, vineyards, and Road of the Great Wines. If you come through here, please don’t drink and bike lol. Seriously stay safe. Cheese and Wine tasting are bound to win, it’s just in our blood, but keep in mind that if you’re continuing your journey after drinking, it makes it really hard on a bike, so you might want to lodge nearby until the next day. 212 kilometers, rolling hills, and famous waterways are sure to make a peaceful ride, with lots of beautiful pictures. Avoid the heaviest rainfall season in October and November, and come when the weather is mild or hot, in June-August.

Three Best trails of France

Route des Grand Crus – Named “road of the great wines”. Vineyards and back hills will make your journey a memorable one Bring your camera, this area is the most beautiful thing, as famous as the wine that is cultivated here.

Vole des Vignes – You guessed it! A ride through wine country! Beautiful rolling hills and a 35 km bike ride into the heart of Burgundy!

Canal de Bourgogne – 212 kilometers, rolling k=hills, and famous waterways are sure to make a peaceful ride, with lots of beautiful pictures.

General Recommended Cycling Months

In general, I would say that April and October are the best months for cycling. If you are going to be in Italy, Spain, France, or Greece in August, plan around very high temperatures, and hydrate your body to accommodate, because it gets HOT!

Seasons

This is a good one. it depends on where your want to go, but the locations listed above tell you a time frame for each. Those are the best times according to reputable sources, blogs, and reviews. Northern Europe is in top shape for travelers in May- September, and if you happen to go in August, come ready for a battle because it get’s scorching hot! If you travel in the winter, try the southern regions of France, Spain, and Italy for a bit milder weather. if you’re the type that likes the cold weather, you are at an advantage to many, because you don’t have o worry about when to come. Just the rainy season. 🙂

Getting Around

Trains are the main mode of transport in Europe, and usually, don’t pose a problem transporting your bike from one place to another (if the need arises). Of course, folding bikes like Brompton or Bike Friday, along with the ones that can fold into a bag or case, won’t really be noticed, because they look like luggage.

You may have to avoid high-speed services like TGV or the ICE trains in Germany, but for the most part, you should be ok, especially outside of peak schedules. For longer distances, take the City Night Train, because they run between major cities, and generally will cost under 30 Euros.

NOTE : If you get a cheap seat on a long train, the seats are very uncomfortable. Just a heads up!

I hope this all helps!

Bicycle tourism isn’t a common term. Most people would nod their heads and say “mm hmm” if you tried to start a conversation with the term, but chances are that they wouldn’t know the first thing about it. In their minds, they would be thinking, ‘What exactly is bicycle tourism?’

On Saturday August 6th we’ll take a long ride over 120 km around France. We’ll call this ride the Vallée de Chevreuse. We will meet at 8am and will ride for around 5 hours total time. Here is a map & the route link:

Le samedi 6 août, nous ferons une longue balade sur 120 km autour de la France. Nous appelerons cette promenade la Vallée de Chevreuse. Nous nous réunirons à 8h et nous roulerons pour environ 5 heures de temps total. Voici une carte et le lien d’itinéraire:

sat-aug-6th

https://www.strava.com/local/fr/paris/cycling/routes/671