2 Cycling eBooks on Sale – Just 99¢ Each

6 06 2014

Beginning today, June 6th, and for a limited time, both of my cycling eBooks are on sale for just 99¢ each at the Amazon Kindle Store.

Regular Price: $2.99 Now just 99¢ each

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling at the Kindle Store

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling #2 at the Kindle Store

Both of these cycling eBooks are packed with valuable information that will help the beginning or returning cyclist with the choice of the right bike, how to save money when buying a bike, making sure your bike fits you, essential equipment and accessories, bike maintenance, where to ride safely, how to include the family, and so much more.

Praise from readers for “Rediscover #1″…Bicycles Cycling EBook on sale

“The Kindle is great for this information. Everything is practical; Richard Conte doesn’t talk down to beginners with lots of riding jargon and the topics make a good check list for professionals who can forget some things.

This book is about pedal bikes — the machines. The various types of popular bike use are referenced when describing different designs, but there isn’t discussion in depth about those uses — including bike touring, mountain biking, transportation biking exercise biking and everyday, joyous biking. Spinning was a new term to me.” ~ JudyAnn Lorenz, Author, Ozarks Missouri, USA

eBook Sale Price good through June 12th

High praise for “Rediscover #2″…Bicycles Cycling EBook 2 on sale

“This book is full of practical and helpful advice from the best time to purchase a bicycle and get the best deal to upgrades that will help commuters avoid punctures. I enjoyed the information about the tandem and tag-a-long bikes for families.

Highly recommended! I was glad to pick this up during the free GAW. Thanks for making it available!” ~ J. Robideau “Rob” Bhaisipati, Lalitpur, Nepal

Wow, “Rob” is a Top 1000 Reviewer at the Kindle Store, having reviewed 479 books for them, and he’s in Nepal. Gotta’ love this one! Thanks Rob.

Free Kindle Reader Apps for All Digital Devices

Did you know that you can buy and borrow Kindle books, as well as download free Kindle books, even if you don’t own a Kindle Reader? It’s true. All you have to do is download one of the many Free Kindle Reader Apps available for your PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, Tablet, or Android device, and you will be able to read anything Amazon has to offer for a Kindle reader.

Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Buy a Kid’s Bike

1 04 2014

A while back, my nephew asked me for some advice on buying a bike for his daughter. They live in Phoenix, where I also spent a decade, and where I returned to cycling back in 2008. Here is what I sent him…

The 1st thing to consider is what type of riding she will be doing. Will she be serious about cycling, or is it just for fun? Will you ride with her, offering a bit of a challenge for her to keep up with Daddy? Will she ride with friends, and what do they ride? Also, which is more important, to look cool or to ride well and have fun? (For kids today, this is a very important question. In fact, it was important when I was a kid too!)

Next, when you see an advertisement for a 20” or 26” bike, this is not the frame size but the wheel size. Generally, a 20” bike is for smaller children, while a 26” bike is for older kids. A 26” wheel is the standard wheel size, even for adults. (The whole 700c and 650c thing was TMI at this point.)

Bike size is actually determined by frame size, measured from the bottom center of the frame, or bottom bracket, to the top tube, the tube that runs from the handlebars to the seat post. She should be able to straddle the bike, and stand with both feet flat on the ground, allowing about 2 inches clearance between top tube and crotch. When mounted, place one of her heels on one of the pedals at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Her knee should lock in this position. Then, when she places the ball of that foot on the pedal, the knee should be slightly bent. This is the most efficient, most comfortable position for pedaling. If you can achieve this position, the height of the saddle is correct.

Here is a link to the REI Bike Fit page. This should be helpful. Bike fit is critical to safe, enjoyable cycling – for anyone, but especially for kids.

Most bike frames today are made by 1 or 2 plants in China and virtually all of them are strong. The key to buying a quality, long-lasting ride is found in the components, the stuff that hangs off the bike’s frame and make it go – and stop!

Wheel strength is very important. Weak rims go “out of true” regularly, making the ride wobbly and unsafe. Wobbly wheels also have trouble when breaking, since the brake pads may not contact the rim properly. Look for strong rims with a large number of spokes. Spin the wheels before buying to ensure they are true from the factory. If they wobble before anyone has ridden the bike, they won’t stay true for you, or her.

Needless to say, brakes are also important. Make sure there is plenty of adjustment available, allowing you to tighten their grip on the wheel rim as the brake pads begin to wear. Make sure the brakes are mounted properly, making contact with the wheel rim, not the tires or spokes. Also, the front of the brake pad should make contact before the rear of the pad (by millimeters at least). If the brakes squeak during a test ride, they are probably not mounted correctly. (Don’t allow them to tell you it’s just because the bike is new.)

If the brake pads make contact with a tire, the bike will stop almost instantly, usually sending your child flying over the handlebars.

A single speed bike is the simplest, easiest bike to maintain, but multi-speed bikes are easier to ride. If you choose a multi-speed bike, make sure the shifters work well and that the derailleurs work properly. Test the shifting thoroughly, moving through all speeds repeatedly. Twist shifters, where the grips are rotated to change speeds, are convenient and easy to use, but they are also the cheapest and least reliable. Thumb shifters tend to be more accurate and reliable. Make sure they are mounted conveniently close to the brake levers and grips.

Avoid bikes with suspension systems or shock absorbers. She will not need them to simply tool around the neighborhood and they make pedaling less efficient, absorbing some of the energy from every pedal stroke and wasting effort. They are only necessary for riding trails.

Tires and tubes will make a huge difference too, especially in the Phoenix area. Knobby tires are good on trails but bad on pavement. They also pick up more junk, which can lead to more punctures and flat tires. The smoother the tires the smoother the ride. Plus, they tend to roll over sharp objects and puncture less often. Cheap bikes have thin tires and tubes, so are more prone to punctures and flats. At a minimum, you should buy some “puncture resistant tubes” to replace the tubes that come with the bike. There are “goat heads” all over the place down there and punctures are very common.

Hope this helps. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Buying a bicycle for a child is a serious task, regardless of age. You want her to be able to enjoy herself, but also to have fun riding. The big box stores offer plenty of choices, but they tend to skimp on the details – like tires, tubes, and wheel strength. Spending a few extra bucks on a bike for your kid makes a great deal of sense, despite the fact that they may outgrow it soon. The market for used bikes is strong in every town and city across the US, so you should be able to sell her used bike easily when it’s time for her to graduate to a larger size.

For more information on buying a kid’s bike, kids and cycling, or buying a bike for yourself, check out one or both of these eBooks from  our cycling website, Mile Hi Cycle Guy…

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling #2

Both of these cycling eBooks are packed with valuable information that will help the beginning or returning cyclist with the choice of the right bike, how to save money when buying a bike, making sure the bike fits you or your child, essential equipment and accessories, basic bike maintenance, where to ride safely, how to include the family, and so much more. At just $2.99 each, they are a great value.





MHCG Cycling eBook on Sale for Just 99¢

19 12 2012

On sale now, and for a Limited Time, at the Amazon Kindle Store Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling, the eBook we created for beginning and returning cyclists over at Mile-Hi Cycle Guy. We put it ON SALE in time for Christmas giving!

cycling ebook for kindle

This is one of my favorite reviews, not only because it is so complimentary, but also because it came from a friend I haven’t seen in decades.

Thorough yet brief and easy-to-read…Increased knowledge for shopping wisely; better understanding of types of bikes available; good pointers about safety and cycling-related, off-bike exercise … I recommend it whole-heartedly! This book should be read – and re-read – as much as necessary, especially before shopping and buying things – by anyone who is a novice about riding, or anyone who may have interest in using a bicycle more often for a variety of purposes … It helped a great deal to see the must-haves, should-haves, and “cools” as far as what to buy and own for maximum riding enjoyment and safety, and to understand more clearly which are which.”-Martin “Tex” Maier, Houston, TX

Here is an excerpt from the Must-Haves Section of the book, mentioned by “Tex” …

“What Are Your Bicycle Necessities: 7 Must-Haves for Enjoyable Cycling

There are certain necessities, besides a bicycle, required for a consistently safe, comfortable, enjoyable cycling experience. By being prepared for any eventuality, you can make every ride a joy, even when something goes wrong!

Hydration … Hydration is critical to an enjoyable cycling experience. A simple water bottle, with bottle cage attached to the bike frame, provides a convenient source of water. Many, if not most, bikes will have two cage mounting positions, called braze-ons, where two water bottles may be carried; perhaps one would contain water to keep you hydrated, while the other might contain something like Gatorade, to provide other vital fluids and electrolytes.

Tube/Tire Repair … Experiencing a flat tire while far from home is no fun at all, however, being able to repair the flat quickly, or replace the tube, can salvage an enjoyable ride. Just remember this; if you actually use your bicycle – you will get a flat tire … so, be prepared with a basic repair kit … including an inflation device (e.g., a pump or CO2 inflator). These need not be expensive but are critical to consistent, enjoyable riding.

For more Cycling Tips, visit us at: Mile Hi Cycle Guy

Wedge Pack … Having a convenient place to carry your tools will also make your ride more fun. Putting your tools in your pockets can be uncomfortable, while a small bag tucked beneath the seat makes carrying tools, your ID, some emergency cash, and your cell phone convenient, but won’t interfere with bike handling. 

Helmet … Surprisingly, the debate over whether or not to wear a helmet while cycling is a very contentious one. We say this, for children … ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS wear a helmet. For adults … wear a helmet MOST OF THE TIME. In some states a helmet is required by law. Where it is not, I recommend this … anytime you ride in the street you should be wearing a helmet. This is why it is under our “must-haves” list.

Shoes … Cycling shoes are designed to aid in the transfer of power from legs to pedals; from pedals to cranks; from cranks to drive train; from drive train to rear wheel. They are supremely well suited to this purpose. However, they can also be quite expensive. A good quality comfortable shoe, with a stiff sole, can accomplish much the same thing for the novice or returning cyclist.

Clothing … Riding in comfort will also, of course, make the cycling experience much more enjoyable. Cycling-specific clothing is, again, very well designed to enhance the cycling experience. Once more, however, these items can be pricey. Athletic clothing, clothing designed to wick perspiration away from the body, can be worn just as comfortably for cycling; without being prohibitively expensive.

Another quick thought about helmets and cycling…

I am a huge proponent of freedom of choice and independence. In fact, I oppose mandatory helmet laws for both cyclists and motorcyclists. I believe that adults have the right to make the choice for themselves so, why do I so strongly advocate the use of helmets when riding a bicycle? After all, a helmet will do little or nothing to protect you if you are hit by a two-ton truck, right?

Quite simply, I recommend the use of a helmet because cyclists fall down – a lot – and a helmet will help protect you from serious injury when you fall from your bike. That’s it.”

 An eBook is a great way to stuff a stocking electronically and now, for just 99¢, you can give a great little gift to the beginning or returning cyclist in your family. Just choose the “Give as a Gift” button on the Kindle Store Page and enter their email address and, within minutes, they’ll receive their copy of Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling.

If you would be so kind, after you’ve read the book, please return to the Kindle store and write a review.We live for feedback.

Later





Free Cycling eBook Promo is Going Great!

25 08 2012

Yesterday was quite a day, what with the Great Kindle eBook Experiment under way.

This is the first time we’ve tried this and the numbers are gratifying. The book, Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling, went from a ranking of #4375 yesterday morning, to #691 this morning – that is out of more than 50,000 free Kindle eBooks at Amazon! And, we remain #1 in the Cycling category.

For an obscure little cycling book, in such a specialized category, by an unkown author – ME – that sounds pretty good. Don’t you agree?

To the more than 300 folks who’ve downloaded our little book – Thank You. We very much appreciate your interest. If you would be so kind, after you’ve read the book, please return to the Kindle store and write a review.We live for feedback.

Here is a little taste of the book…

5 Tips for Buying the Perfect Bicycle

Riding a bike is a great way to spend time with family or friends, or to get to work, or run errands, while at the same time getting some great exercise. Why doesn’t everyone ride a bicycle nowadays? For one, they are intimidated when it comes time to buy a bicycle. Here are five helpful tips for choosing the perfect bike for you.

Where will you be riding your bike? This question gets the ball rolling. There are bike shops, fitness stores and department stores all carrying bikes, but just a few main types of bikes: mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, and cruiser bikes. How often you will ride and the route you choose determines the best type of bicycle for you.

How tall are you? This factor is important because a short person doesn’t want to have a bike that will cause them to hit the crossbar, or top tube, every time they try to stop the bike. A bike that is the wrong size for you can mean cramped legs and sore knees or stretched muscles. For the answer to this question, you’ll actually have to sit on a bike, or at least stand over one, to check for clearance.

Ride a bike. Don’t let the first bike you ride be the one you purchase from the store. Try different models and types or, ask a bike riding friend to borrow their bike to “test drive,” in advance. Most bike shops will also rent you a bike. Try a couple of different types, if you like, to see how they handle and feel.

Buy the best bike you can afford the first time. In a recession especially, people have the tendency to stay on the cheap side. However, there are some things that don’t pair well with “cheap.” A bike and a car fall into that category. You will be riding this bike alone or perhaps with a carrier for your child. You want to know that you can depend on your bike to keep you safe while you ride. You don’t have to spend a thousand bucks to get a good bike, but try to get all the features you need for the best possible price. However, as with most things, you get what you pay for when you buy a bike.

Visit a bike shop for advice. When you want to know something you go to the experts. Those who sell bikes for a living know about bikes. Go to your local bike shop (LBS) first to get sized for a bike, to learn the type of bike you need, and find out all the nuances of bike riding. You might decide not to buy a bike from a specialty shop because of the price, but you will now be armed with the knowledge to choose a bike from another source without feeling as if you’ve been “taken for a ride.”

 There is more to cycling than just riding a bike. That’s the easy part. Choose your bike wisely to get the greatest value and enjoyment for your money.”

Later





A New Year’s Ride…

5 01 2012

…well, the day after anyway.

We finally had weather that was nice enough we could haul out the road bikes on Monday, the 2nd. We only rode about 11 miles but, you know what, after 2 1/2 months of too cold, too snowy, or too wet, we loved it!

Later





Top U.S. Cities For Winter Bicycle Commuting…

5 11 2011

I happened to catch this on the Webernet the other day and thought I should share it with you. Winter cycling “can be a daunting task” indeed, especially if you’re not properly prepared for cold weather, not to mention snow.

I’ve spent considerable time riding in the cold and the wet, but not much in snow. In fact, the very thought of snow cycling is kind of scary because…I Don’t Like to Fall Down. Perhaps I should employ some of my own advice and give it a try this winter, even though, working predominantly from home, I don’t get the chance to do much winter bicycle commuting

winter bicycle commuting

Top U.S. Cities For Winter Bicycle Commuting…

“For bicycle commuters, continuing to pedal through the winter months can be a daunting task, especially if one lives in a northern city. Often the decision for winter bicycle commuting comes down to perspective: Is cycling a sport or a viable form of transportation that offers a multitude of advantages such as saving money and improving the health of the cyclist and the environment? In order for bicycling to be respected as sustainable transportation, the surrounding community must be supportive of cyclists year-round. This includes city maintenance of bike lanes and paths during winter as well as supportive bicycle initiatives. It can be done…Here are five cities in the U.S. that are supporting bicycle commuting through the winter.”

Also, another great, inexpensive idea for cycling in snow, and for winter bicycle commuting, is to…

Use Zip-ties as Snow Chains for your Bike…

SNOWPOCALYPSE!

“No matter how much we swear we’ve learned our lessons, Seattle always seems to get caught by surprise by the snow. There we were, minding our own business with our feet all toasty in our sandals and socks, when the temperature plummeted and it turned into Juneau in January. While this year the City did a much better job than last year at preventing widespread carnage and destruction, we at Dutch Bike Seattle still didn’t bring in studded tires because it never snows in Seattle. Even if we had stocked them, I’m not sure they’d sell because it never snows in Seattle, right?

We found something else, though. Something else entirely.”

People are just so damned clever, aren’t they?

Later





Too nice not to ride this afternoon.

30 10 2011

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=217899610528741699049.0004b08d1634d624d991d








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