How to keep my biking hydration bladder and tubes clean.

How to keep my biking hydration bladder and tubes clean.

I have always been a  little unsure about hydration bladders(reservoir) as my method of carrying water on the bike because of challenge of keeping them clean. Even with a bit of effort they seem impossible to dry and therefore water remains in the bladder and the tube after use. Our kitchen bench often has bladders propped open over drink bottles and tubes lying around on benches as we try and find the best way to dry the insides or the bladder and tube and avoid them growing mold.

With better design into solving some of these issues – its has got easier, it has got more hygenic.

Let’s look at how best to keep your bladder clean and hygenic. Using this method does require an investment in the Cleaning Kit but given your initial investment in a hydration reservoir and backpack it’s worth it, especially for a family where there is often more than one reservoir to keep clean. Keeping the reservoir clean will extend the life of the reservoir and make sure it is hygenic to use.Save

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Hydration reservoir cleaning kit goRide

Camelbak Cleaning Kit

Biking hydration reservoir cleaning tools goRide

Tools in the cleaning kit

1. Remove the tube from the bladder

2. Cleaning the Bladder

  • Always empty your bladder after use.
  • Pop some warm water into the bladder. Add a little a environmentally friendly detergent.
  • Use the large brush to scrub the inside of the reservoir
  • Tip the water out and rinse thoroughly.
  • Dry the inside of the reservoir with a towel
  • Insert the hanger and hang to allow to dry thoroughly
  • Insert the port to allow the inside of the reservoir to dry thoroughly

For a more thorough clean you can use the cleaning tablet (there are a couple in the kit) or add a tsp of baking soda and let sit 5-30mins and then repeat the cleaning process described above

3. Cleaning the Tube

  • Rinse the tube with water
  • Scrub the tube using the tube brush. The brush is designed so that it can clean the full length of the tube.
  • Rinse the tube again with water.
  • Tip the tube up to remove the water
  • Hang the tube to dry with the bladder.

4. Once dry store so you are ready for your next ride

The ease and the improved hygiene this solution offers is worth it.

get Better and goRide –  How to keep my biking hydration bladder and tubes clean

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The Old Ghost Road – Family Sharing

The Old Ghost Road – Family Sharing

We are collecting and sharing family experiences of riding on The Old Ghost Road so you can see what others have done.   This will give you some confidence and understanding of whether your kids may be capable of doing the same type of ride. The age is only a guide – you are better to focus on matching your families capability or riding experience, with this in mind you may have to read more than one section.

We hope this will help you and your family goRide more places, more often with a SMILE. This story is an active resource (we will be constantly adding to it) and sharing family experiences and comments.

Have you ridden The Old Ghost Road with family or a group?  Your story could appear here or in the individual riding section…

Simply hit the goRide Sharing button above and complete the questions.

RIDING THE OLD GHOST ROAD 

PLEASE NOTE: if your family has children that sit in more than one age range you will have to read more than one section

Kids Ages & Gender:

7 year old girl and 9 year old boy

Attached or Towed – how?  

Towed up hill (7yr old girl) on this trip as we were under time pressure – used a Tow Whee tow rope

Date of Ride

June 2019

Describe your families riding level or how often you usually ride together

Almost never in winter but approx twice per week in summer

Multi Day or Day Ride:

Multi day. Lyell to Lyell Saddle Hut return

Describe how you did the ride. Time/distance/days etc

We rode over two days. The hut was really fun.

ADULT COMMENT: Share with us your experience of the ride, what did you think of the trail?  Why?

We left Nelson after children’s football on Saturday and we were riding from Lyell by 2.30pm. The children did really well on the 18km distance despite less than ideal conditions – it was raining lightly within an hour of taking off (despite the forecast having been clear #Westcoast!) which made the trail much more slippy than normal. We had the hut to ourselves and played card games by candle light. Next morning we rode out – needing regular breaks for Miss 7 year old as her arms got sore on the down hill – it was by far the longest ride she had ever done, but she loved it and is already asking when we can do it again – but in summer this time as her toes were too cold on this trip!!

KIDS COMMENT/S: Share with us your child’s/children’s experience of the ride, what did they think of the trail?  Why?

The track was cold, wet and rocky. But I enjoyed it.

Any tips or comments for other families…

A great family ride. The advantage of a winter trip is that the hut is quiet.

Old Ghost Road - goride Family Sharing

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

 Kids Ages & Gender:

7 year old girl and 9 year old boy

Attached or Towed – how?

Towed up hill (7yr old girl) on this trip as we were under time pressure – Tow Whee Tow Rope

Date of Ride

June 2019

Describe your families riding level or how often you usually ride together

Almost never in winter but approx twice per week in summer.

Multi Day or Day Ride:

Multi day.  Lyell to Lyell Saddle Hut return

Describe how you did the ride. Time/distance/days etc

We rode over two days. The hut was really fun.

ADULT COMMENT: Share with us your experience of the ride, what did you think of the trail?  Why?

We left Nelson after children’s football on Saturday and we were riding from Lyell by 2.30pm. The children did really well on the 18km distance despite less than ideal conditions – it was raining lightly within an hour of taking off (despite the forecast having been clear #westcoast!) which made the trail much more slippy than normal. We had the hut to ourselves and played card games by candle light. Next morning we rode out – needing regular breaks for Miss 7 year old as her arms got sore on the down hill – it was by far the longest ride she had ever done, but she loved it and is already asking when we can do it again – but in summer this time as her toes were too cold on this trip!!

KIDS COMMENT/S: Share with us your child’s/children’s experience of the ride, what did they think of the trail?  Why?

“The track was cold, wet and rocky. But I enjoyed it” – 7 yr old girl

Any tips or comments for other families…

A great family ride. The advantage of a winter trip is that the hut is quiet.

Old Ghost Road - goride Family Sharing

Have you ridden the Old Ghost Road with children?  Your story could appear here.  Simply click the goRide Sharing button above.

get Better and goRide – The Old Ghost Road – goRide Family Sharing 

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goRide Sharing Form

The Old Ghost Road – Choose the Challenge

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Make biking easier with good efficient pedaling

Make biking easier with good efficient pedaling

Do you find getting up that hill or a short sharp rise a little challenging? Do you get tired when biking distance? How you pedal can influence how hard or easy these types of activities on your bike can be. So there is a lot to be gained from thinking about your pedal action on the bike and making that action more efficient.

IMG_0886

Efficient pedaling helps you get up a hill

The seat has been adjusted up a couple of inches.  Notice how the leg is much straighter at the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Efficient pedaling helps you ride distance

Lets look at ways to make your pedaling efficient

Seat Height: The first thing you need to do is make sure that the height of your seat is correct. This will allow you the optimal bend and straightening of the hip, knee and ankle to give you the maximum transfer of power and strength to your pedal. See 3 Simple Bike Seat Adjustments – Height, Tilt and Reach for information on your correct seat height.

Foot Placement on the Pedal: If you are not wearing clip in shoes we need to consider placement of your foot on the pedal. The ball of your foot needs to make contact with the pedal. Close to the arch of your foot.

Foot Alignment: The heel position relative to your toes should be similar to when you stand. Basically your heel should not point excessively out or in.

This position will give you the most efficient transfer of energy from those large powerful leg muscles through the foot then to the pedal. It will also help you to maintain a position of stability so it reduces the chances of your foot slipping or getting thrown from the pedal.

Foot placement on the pedal goRide

Foot placement on the pedal

Foot alignment on the pedal 600w

Foot Alignment: General rule = similar to how you stand. Your heel too far out or in is incorrect alignment

The Pedal Action:  There is a lot of information out there about what is the most efficient pedal stroke.  We are going to keep it really simple and our focus is pedaling while seated for the recreation, everyday rider.

A pedal stroke refers to a full revolution of the pedal that is going from 12 to 12 on a clock face. However both the left and right leg contribute to this revolution, to a pedal stroke.

  • Push Phase – The most powerful part of your pedal stroke is the push part, between 12 and 5 o’clock for both legs. This is also the easiest and most natural part of the stroke. We have big muscles that are designed to do that push, pushing down at all 3 joints the hip, knee and ankle and it is easy for them.
  • Momentum Phase – With a good efficient push phase you will have momentum to carry you through from 5-6 o’clock
  • Recovery Phase – (Note the opposite leg is in the Push Phase during the Recovery Phase) the leg is light on the pedal during this phase, so as not to provide any resistance to the push from the other leg and allows this leg to come around to prepare to repeat its push phase

Pedaling is continuous from one side to the other, a complete pedal stroke (from 12 to 12 on the clock face) comprises

  • L leg push and momentum while R leg recovery
  • R leg push and momentum while L leg recovery

and so on. Often we can have a dominant leg, so be aware of both legs being even?  Are your left and right legs contributing equally?

As long as we keep the whole action smooth, continuous and rhythmical, not jerky, and we can keep the momentum between the push and non push phases then the result will be efficient pedaling.

Push through the heel and have loose ankles: As you do your push phase on either leg you want to focus on pushing down through the heel not the ball of the foot. Your ankle should be loose and as you push down there should be a slight drop in the heel. I often see bikers pushing through the ball of the foot and this is a big contributor to getting what we call anterior knee pain – pain at the front of the knee….so focus on pushing through the heel.

Knee alignment:  The knee position relative to your toes. When you pedal your knee should be in line with your toes. When viewed from the front, your hip, knee and ankle should all line up.  As you look down during a pedal stroke there should be times when you can’t see your toes because your knee should block your vision.

Chi riding pedaling alignmnet knee heel goRide

Alignment of knee over the toes

Chi riding pedaling correct hip knee ankle alignment goRide

Looking down – as I go through the pedal stroke I won’t be able to see my foot due to correct alignment

Core control: The message is you need to engage your core when you bike. You drive your pedal action with the large powerful muscles of the leg. For these muscles to work well and give you good strength and power your mid region needs to be stable. In fact if your large powerful leg muscles work without that stable mid region they produce all sorts of horrible shearing forces on your low back and pelvis that can potentially lead to pain and dysfunction!  Read more at Tip 2 – Core Control.

get Better and goRide –  Make biking easier with good efficient pedaling.

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

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How to Grip your Handlebars

How to Grip your Handlebars

How’s your grip?  Can you get a hold of something and give it an almighty squeeze?  Wringing out cloths and getting lids off jars no problem.  Awesome for you if you can, I can’t, my grip though initially powerful has no staying ability.  A strong grip is not necessarily always a good thing mind you.  When it comes to riding a bike your hands can cause some problems especially if you are gripping a handlebar like your life depended on it.  Some people experience numbness or discomfort in their hands while riding this shouldn’t be your normal.

How to grip your handlebars – lightly

We have talked about the 3 points of contact you have on the bike – handlebars, pedals and seat in other stories. The relationship of these 3 things determines how your weight is carried down into the bike.  It is really important that your hand grip is light and relaxed when holding the handlebars. Let me remind you here of Chi Riding – Tip 4 – Breathing

In your riding position you should be able to effectively remove your hands from the handlebars. Your arms should not be working to prop you up. If you are leaning heavily on your arms, or the palms of your hands get sore on your handlebar grips, it is a sure sign that your core muscles are not working efficiently.

Soft elbows and light relaxed grip on the handlebar

Soft elbows and light relaxed grip on the handlebar

 Techniques to minimise hand/wrist discomfort
  1.     Loose grip, relaxed, light, can you let go and hold your body position? see Chi Riding – Tip 2 – Core Control
  2.     A relaxed natural wrist position – please read this story on brake lever placement it has a lot of information on where we position our hands while on our bikes and what this does…
  3.     Pump your brakes when you need to brake rather than squeezing them constantly
ergon-ga3-grips. Blue.goRide

Good handlebar grips promote a natural relaxed hand position.  These grips are Ergon GA3 endurance riding grips.

Riser bar hand position. goRide

Natural relaxed hand position

Outer edge padding protects your ulnar nerve

Good gloves & grips will help to minimise compression & absorb vibration

What helps?
  1. Good grips that promote a natural hand position.  The diameter of what you are gripping needs to fit your hand size and suit the type of riding you are doing (surfaces and time on the bike).  If you have problems in this area we really suggest ergonomic grips that support and relieve pressure points. Read more in our story Features of a Handlebar Grip
  2. Padded gloves.  See Why are Bike Gloves Important?
  3. Changing your hand position.  This is an easy thing to do and it’s important with the longer the amount of time you spend on the bike.  Bikes with drop bars have a range of hand gripping positions – see the photos below for examples of good, relaxed, straight wrist hand positions.
IMG_3809

Keep your wrist as straight as possible

Drop Bar hood hand position. goRide

Natural relaxed hand position, ready to brake

Dropper hand position

Again a straight, natural wrist alignment will help you to avoid numbness and discomfort

get Better and goRide –  How to Grip your Handlebars

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Handlebar Grips Buying Guide

Features of a Handlebar Grip

How to Attach Lock On Grips

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4 Regular Tasks to care for your Bike Chain

4 Regular Tasks to care for your Bike Chain

Choose to do 4 regular tasks and care for your bike chain …

Let’s gain some knowledge that will help you to keep your bike working well. These regular bike chain tasks are essential to caring for you bike chain and your bike

To ‘get better’ you need to invest a little bit of time to understand each of these 4 tasks. Choose to know what to do and care for your bike chain. Do regular maintenance and make sure you can goRide with a SMILE.

Cleaning your bike chain and the parts of the bike that the chain connects with – your drive train 

A bike chain is made up of lots of little components. These components need to move and be flexibile to work well. Because the bike chain is exposed to dirt, grit, sand etc as we ride… to keep the bike chain working well and to keep you SMILING when you ride we need to Clean our Bike Chain regularly. Cleaning your chain will be part of your bike cleaning routine but it does need special attention.

Choose to learn how to Clean your Bike Chain & Clean your Drivetrain and get the best from your bike

Durable bike cleaning brush chain  goride

Lubing you bike chain

One you have completed cleaning your bike chain all those little components of the bike chain need some help with some lubricant (Bike Chain Lube) to keep them flexible and moving well.

Choose to learn about Lubing your Bike Chain – what is right lube for the type of riding you how to lube your bike chain so you can get the best from your bike.

Applying Everyday Chain Lube 600w

Checking the length of you Bike Chain

Your bike chain will gradually lengthen over time as you ride your bike – resulting in poor meshing with the parts of the bike your chain connects to: the teeth of the chain rings the sprockets/cogs resulting in all sorts of problems. It is important to regularly test the length of the chain so you know when it is time to replace your chain.  We suggest checking/testing the length of your bike chain every 3 months. When that shows signs of elongation – replace it. You do not want to wait until  you have problems like the gears slipping.

Choose to Know when to replace your bike chain

Chain wear too on bike chain 500w

Replacing you elongated bike chain

Once you discover that you have a lengthened bike chain you need to replace it with a new chain. Replacing your chain is something that will need to regularly happen to keep your bike working well …so we suggest that you have the confidence and courage to learn how to replace your bike chain. Replacing your chain at home will give you the knowledge, confidence and skills to deal with any chain problems that you may have when you are out riding.

Choose to Learn how to replace your bike chain

New bike chain on bike
get Better and goRide –  4 Regular Tasks for Bike Chain Care

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

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