Building our community, one bike at a time…

At the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, we work on building community through bicycling. As we continue to fulfill our mission, we often meet opportunities to work on special and important projects.
Meet Olivia. This pint-sized dynamo came into the co-op to request our assistance with a school project: to learn how to build a bicycle.

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We paired her up with veteran velonteer and mechanic extraordinaire Dr. Tim Anderson and over the course of several weeks, Olivia built a bike with us.

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Working on wheels under Tim’s helpful tutelage.

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Making adjustments at the trueing stand.

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Tim helps Olivia make the necessary adjustments.

 
grease!
Getting greasy! And repacking this wheel’s hub.

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Olivia discusses bike safety with Rick after finishing her bike build.

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Done!! Tim and Olivia show off the finished bicycle.

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Olivia with her family, her new bike and Tim at the co-op.

Biking through the winter

Cycling through the winter can seem daunting! Northern Colorado brings more than its fair share of  icy roads, blizzards, blowing snow, freezing rain and more. Add to this that the sun goes down by 5pm every day and it’s easy to see how a lot of cyclists find it simpler to garage their bikes than brave the winter riding.
Riding in winter can be so much fun, though, and in Fort Collins I’ve found that often the bike paths are plowed before the roads are! Cycling in Northern Colorado can also be perfectly safe . . . as long as the proper precautions are taken.
Cycling safety in the winter is fairly common-sense: use front and rear lights (at least!) to ensure maximum visibility. Wear light colored and/or reflective clothing. Keep a sharp eye out for traffic and try to use bike paths as much as possible.
Running your tires at lower pressure can increase traction (but don’t go below the recommended minimum)! Maintain your bike after every ride to keep brake and shifting systems functioning smoothly, and make sure to dry and lube your chain after wet rides.
Safety is only part of the equation: staying warm and comfortable is important too, especially in maintaining safety. Our friends over at REI, who kindly helped sponsor our 10th Anniversary Party with a generous donation of cycling accessories, have a vast offering of comfortable, warming underclothes, pants, fleeces, sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves and specialty items, like balaclavas and scarves and neck gaiters, to help keep your ride as comfortable as possible.
Cycling throughout the winter can be fun and adventurous. As long as the proper precautions are taken, you can cycle all year round.

Keep it safe riding in the rain!

Handlebars in the rain
image by viwima

The unusually wet weather lately has a lot of cyclists stumped about staying safe on the road…we’re just not used to this kind of moisture in Colorado! A couple of tips for riding in the rain:
-Nobody likes getting sprayed soaking wet while riding. Fenders are a great way to keep rain and road debris off of you while riding. They can help protect your frame from dings by road debris as well.
-Keep your bike’s performance in top shape by drying and lubricating your chain after riding in inclement weather.
-Consider your surroundings and your bike’s responsiveness. Your bike won’t respond as quickly in wet conditions as it normally would, so braking needs to be anticipated with adjusted expectations.
-Rain reduces visibility for everybody, so wearing reflective clothing or accessories (ankle straps, coat tags/pulls/details, Watch for Bikes! stickers…) and working lights and reflectors on your bike is a must -especially at night! Drivers are experiencing reduced visibility too: make yourself as highly visible as possible to reduce the opportunities for accidents.
As always, ride safely!