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The latest goRide stories

Riding a bike up a hill

September 15, 2016
Can you bike up a rise or a hill? Would you like to be able to bike up a bigger and longer hill than you are currently able to ride? Would you like biking up a hill to feel easier? Is there a ride that you have been keen to do but there is some up hill in it that you are unsure about? Do any these situations relate to you? If so, then lets discover how you can feel more confident and find the joy in riding up a hill. As a women you will need to rely on efficiency and good technique to bike up a hill. They say the average female has only about two thirds the strength and power of the average male. Males can rely on that gifted power and strength to get them up a hill, but not us, ladies. We need to focus on good technique and efficiency to get ourselves up those hills.  Once you have good technique then the strength, power and endurance (fitness) will come. Lets look at what that good technique is:

The right bike gear at the right time.

September 1, 2016
When you are learning to use your gears you have to consider so many things all at the same time. You are approaching a hill and you know you need to make it easier to pedal otherwise you will not make it up the hill. But which lever and when do you change? Does this sound or feel familiar? Coordinating all the things involved in changing gears is challenging and it takes time to pull it all together. Practise, patience and perseverance and you will find your riding smile. In this story we are going to consider what is the right gear and when is the right time to be in that gear? Our previous stories on bike gears will help support you with your Understanding of bike gears and How to use your bike shifters to change gears, so you know how to get into the right bike gear. What is the right gear?..its simple, you will know whether you are in the right gear by understanding whether you are pedaling at a comfortable rhythm. That comfortable rhythm will differ between riders and only you will know what is a comfortable rhythm for you. If its too hard or too easy, too slow or too fast it is likely that you are not in the right gear and you will need to change gears. Below we will look at a guideline as to what gears you will most likely need to be in depending on the terrain and the conditions. But always remember… comfortable rhythm for YOU = the right gear  

Westcoast Wilderness Trail- John Family Inspiring Bike Touring Story

August 25, 2016
They did it! – riding the West Coast Wilderness Trail. A family of 4 bike touring with kids ages 8 and 10 years over 5 days and 4 nights! Reading stories about cycling adventures helps to connect you to other women who ride and makes you think about what you and/or your family could achieve. It’s that story of another family or women having completed a bike adventure that makes you wonder if you or your family can. A story that made you believe you can. Its that little piece of advice, or that must do, or must stay, that helps with the planning and preparation and helps make your adventure successful and special. Read the details of their bike adventure at The West Coast Wilderness Trail – Planning and Preparation Scroll through the photos in the slider of the bike trip – check out the amazing scenery, the  wonderful graded trail and the smiles. Kids highlights: The kids loved the ride. They enjoyed the motivation that having a signpost every kilometre gave them. Sam the 10 year old boy though tired at the end of each day both mentally and physically completed the ride with ease. Hollie the 8 year old girl had some ups and downs and suffered from the common complaint of the days being quite long on the bike and sore cycling legs. The third day of 37km uphill was the hardest, but it was manageable. There were a few times where Hollie needed to get off and walk her bike (because she was still coming to terms with using a geared bike). Mostly the inclines were quite gradual. Both Sam and Hollie loved the well graded single trail through the forests. Lots of magical moments whizzing through the trees. Riding the switchbacks from Cowboy Paradise down to Arahura river was really cool. The ride did get the thumbs up from the kids and they would recommend it to their friends and other families.  They thought they would do it again maybe when they are a little older. Though they now have the confidence that they can ride that distance and look forward to enjoying another long distance trail.  They enjoyed the T shirts that are available from the information centres showcasing  “we rode 139km along the Westcoast Wilderness Trail” and they even glow in the dark. Also the food rewards along the way especially Pizza from Fat Pippas Pizza in Hokitika, where we stopped to celebrate on the way home. Adults highlights: They had been told that the ride was amazing but it still exceeded their expectations. It was a great family trip with lots of diversity and history – coastal riding, alpine outlook with  snow capped mountains, rivers, beautiful reservoirs, lakes and some west coast quirkiness like staying at Cowboy Paradise. It felt like a privilege to experience this part of New Zealand from a bike. The trail was well graded and the surface made for pleasant riding and a great fit for families bike touring.

Westcoast Wilderness Trail – John Family planning and preparation.

August 25, 2016
The John Family are a family of 2 adults and 2 kids (8 year old girl and 10 year old boy).  They planned and prepared for an adventurous ride, bike touring the West Coast Wilderness Trail over 5 days and 4 nights in April 2016! To follow is the story of how they “got ready” for their ride and what you may need to think about to “get ready” for a ride like this. You can use the The Kids Guide to Riding – Planning & Preparation to help you with your preparation. Get Ready to goRide – The West Coast Wilderness Trail – Greymouth to Ross. Bike touring with Kids PLAN the destination.  They chose the 139km of the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Riding from Greymouth to Ross. Note the section from Hokitika to Ross is less developed and if this would suit your family better you could consider the 103km from Greymouth to Hokitika.  A good website to help with the planning of your trip is the westcoastwildernesstrail. Or there are some books available that include descriptions of the trail: The West Coast Wilderness Trail.   Specifically about this trail. Designed as a riders handbook and to help users to understand the rich heritage of the trail. A good percentage of the sale of each book goes towards the promotion and maintenance of the trail. Fantastic! You can download this handbook for $4.00 from this link. Alternatively if you still enjoy the printed version The Greymouth i site (at time of writing) have them available for $9.00 plus $3.00 postage. Make contact at info@westcoasttravel.co.nz to inquire about purchasing the book.  The New Zealand Cycle Trails. Nga Haerenga  by Jonathan Kennett or Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails by The Kennett Brothers.  These books also contain other New Zealand cycle trails so are good value for money if you plan on doing more than one trail. What did The John Family trip look like? Day One: The John’s drove from Nelson to Greymouth. They stopped at the Greymouth i site (which is opposite the start of the trail). They chose to bike the first 7km of the trail as their accommodation was located 7km along the trail. Ticking off the first 7km on their traveling day allowed the following day to be a little shorter to attempt to save the legs and motivation for the gentle uphill ride of Day Three. Biking – The start of the Westcoast Wilderness Trail outside the i site to their accommodation the Greymouth Seaside Top 10 holiday Park, 7km. Accommodation – stayed overnight at the Greymouth Seaside Top 10 Holiday Park.  With the trail on their doorstep it allows you to set off in good time for biking. The Greymouth Holiday Park offers storage for your car and transport/shuttle options for the trail. Car Shuttle – An adult rode back along the 7km seaside trail to collect the car (while the kids enjoyed the playground and exploring the holiday park) and drove it to the Holiday Park. The car was left in the complementary storage area

How to use your bike shifters – to change gears

August 18, 2016
What joy do you get from biking up or down a hill? Maybe it allows you simply to get to where you want to go, or it gives you a sense of achievement.  A different perspective on the place, that magical view from ‘on top of the world’ or the wind in your hair. Gears can make pedaling easier, to help you to get up that hill or rise or when riding into the wind. Or make it harder so your legs don’t spin really fast and out of control on the flat or if you need to pedal on a downward slope. Gears allow you to pedal relatively comfortably no matter the terrain or the conditions. Lets learn how to use these gears to get you to the places you want to go.  To feel the joys of biking up and down hills and into the wind.  To alter the gears on the your bike you use your shifters located on the handlebars. By using your shifters you can control and move the front and the rear derailleur. The derailleurs act as guides moving the chain onto different sized chainrings and sprockets.  Remember making it easier or harder to pedal comes down to what chain ring (the number of chain teeth) the bike chain is on at the front compared to the sprocket (and the number of chain teeth) at the rear. Chainring : Sprocket. Not sure if you fully understand then check out: Understanding your bike gears. There are few different types of shifters found on bikes. These are the most common types you will find.    

Yazmina – Riding in Savaii

August 4, 2016
New Zealand kids love to ride bikes. It’s almost a part of their DNA. We can all remember learning to ride and the fun that came with that journey. In this story you will meet a young lady who learnt to ride quite a while ago. She is learning new things about riding now and discovering the different kinds of places you can goRide – Riding in Savaii, Samoa with her family. She will continue to learn as her body grows and skills grow, it’s all about ages and stages… Like all our stories we hope to connect you to real kids and provide inspiration and motivation for you to goRide more places, more often with your kids. Enjoy your reading.   Riding in Savaii, Samoa for the NZ Falcon  This story gives us a couple of things Inspiration to take the family on a winter holiday with a riding twist Inspiration to do something for the less fortunate people or species on our planet     Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, like how old you are, how long you have been riding a bike, and where you like to go riding? My name is Yasmina and I am 11yrs old (10 years when in Savaii, Samoa). I have been riding a bike since I was 2.  My most favourite place to go riding is the Old Ghost Road When did you come up with the idea of raising money while cycling and why the NZ falcon? Because the Falcon is endangered and its my favourite animal. I decided 2 months before going to Samoa How much money did you raise and what organization did you give it to? $1000 for the Marlborough Falcon Trust How many days was your trip and how far did you ride each day? 7 days riding average 30km per day Did you do a lot of training before you went to Samoa? Not really What was your favourite part of the cycling trip? The hills What was the worst part of the cycling trip? When we had to have a rest day Can you tell us about the heat and how you managed riding in it? It was very very hot, I felt like I wanted to ride my bike into a swimming pool. If I went faster than 10km per hour I kept cooler What advice would you give to other children thinking about doing something similar? Be prepared for the heat and wear suitable clothing Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your trip or raising money? I enjoyed it very much, I will try to do it again with my family when I am 20 because I also did it when I was a baby.   Some details to help you decide whether riding in Savaii is for you and your family                      

Understanding Bike Gears

July 21, 2016
Understanding your bike gears and how to use them is a great way to help you feel more confident so you can goRide more places, more often. They say a great way to test your understanding on a subject is to teach someone else.  I was confronted with the reality of my  ‘knowledge’ on bike gears when I had to try and support my daughter, Hollie, to learn how to use her bike gears. As a family we were beginning to ride in more challenging environments. Environments that required Hollie to be able to use her gears well for her to be able to feel that the ride was manageable. Her ability to use the right gears at the right time was imperative to her success and enjoyment on her bike. Now that Hollie understands her gears and is getting better at knowing how and when to use them, we have gone from “I can’t do this” , “my legs are too tired” and pushing her bike, to giving things a go, getting stronger and loving to ride. I want you and your family to feel that success, so join me as we make sure you understand your bike gears so you too can teach someone else.  If you take the time to learn you will be amazed at the places you could go… What is the purpose of gears on a bike? The reason you have bike gears is so you can pedal relatively comfortably no matter what the terrain.  If you have bike gears you are able to pedal in a comfortable rhythm.  That means your legs are turning around at a comfortable rate – or cadence – not going too fast or too slow when you are riding down or up a hill, or on the flat or into the wind. Using the correct bike gears allows you to bike places that you might not otherwise have been able to go. As well as biking for longer and having the ability to bike faster or slower. Sounds like bike gears are worth knowing about so lets learn how to use them efficiently What are bike gears? Simply put it is a system, a mechanism, on the bike that allows you to make it harder or easier to pedal. How do you use this mechanism? To alter the gears on your bike you use your shifters located on the handlebars. By using your shifters you can control and move the front and the rear derailleur. The derailluers act as guides moving the bike chain onto different sized chain rings at the front and different sprockets at the back on the rear cassette. Unfamiliar with some of these terms then check out Know your bike chain How does being on different sized chain rings at the front and sprockets at the back effect how easy or hard it is to pedal?  This gets a bit technical but if you can hang in there and get it, it makes the whole gearing thing so

Cleaning the sprockets, chain ring and jockey wheels (the Drivetrain)

July 7, 2016
To have a sparkly clean bike chain that works well you need to do a little more than just clean the chain (Clean your bike chain). You also need to clean the parts of the bike that the chain comes in contact with – the sprockets (cassette), chain rings and jockey wheels. Otherwise when you ride your bike the chain will get dirty as it rotates over these unclean bike parts. Unfamiliar with some of these words check out Know your bike chain. I know we have introduced you to lots of different parts of the bike;  the chain, sprockets, cassettes,  jockey wheels but I also know you can take more – I want to introduce you to the term  ‘Drive Train’. The chain, the cassette (made up of sprockets), the chain rings and the jockey wheels are some of the components that make up the drive train.  The drive train is the part of the bike that is responsible for turning the power you generate when you pedal into rotating the back wheel to move the bike. It ‘drives’ the bike… like this…. You pedal. That force is transmitted to the rear wheel by the components in the diagram. The rear wheel rotates and the bike moves.   Use your hand to pedal your bike and see how these parts work together to drive the bike. Like the chain these parts are exposed to dirt, grit and water because they are low to the ground and they are not enclosed.  They need to be well looked after and maintained to keep your bike in good working order and keep that bike ‘driving’ forward.       What equipment do you need A brush – we use a bike brush for its long durable bristles to get in between the sprockets Toothbrush – for any residue dirt after using the large brush Bucket of water – to soak brush in water before use Cleaning agent – Try a spray on like Clean Green. Alternatively you can use biodegradeable dish washing liquid in your bucket of water A wet and a dry cloth Cleaning Process Set up:  Make sure you have the equipment you need. The bike can be placed upright or upside down. You need to be able to turn the pedals to be able to get access to all of the chain ring, sprockets and jockey wheels. Clean the chain ring, sprockets and jockey wheels . Soak the brush in the bucket of water. Spray on the clean green. Keep the nozzle close to the bike part to minimise any waste.  Scrub the chain ring sprockets and jockey wheels with the bike brush. The design of the bike brush allows the long bristles to reach between each of the different sized sprockets. For any dirt and grit that you don’t manage to move using the brush you can try any of the following methods. The method you choose may depend on your equipment, where and how much mud there is. Note: you would generally clean these components

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