Bike to Work Day

Every month we give you five ways to be a good neighbor. Consider them little nudges to break out of your routine and think and act positively outward toward the community around you. We love to hear your suggestions of how you’re being a good neighbor, so please leave a comment or contact us.

Here are five suggestions for May, 2012.

1. Ride a Bike!: May is National Bike Month; to celebrate there are events around the Bay Area and nationally to get more people out of their cars. Nationally, Bike to Work Week is happening May 14-18, culminating with National Bike to Work Day on the 18th. The inaugural National Bike to School Day is May 9, according to The League of American Cyclists. In San Francisco and other Bay Area communities the 18th annual Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 10. Bicyclist organizations all over the region are planning events that day, like special energizer stations along commuting routes. Consider joining in on the fun that day as a way to improve your health, the planet’s health, and interact with others in the community. You can also form a team of up to five people for the Team Bike Challenge or Company Bike Challenge, and rack up miles all month to earn points and potentially win prizes.

2. Be Kind to Animals: May 6-12 is Be Kind to Animals Week. The East Bay SPCA is sponsoring a photo contest for photos of “Kind Kids” posing with animals. The Humane Society of Silicon Valley is conducting a class on how to raise orphan kittens on Monday, May 7 (reservations required). They also have a class on Thursday, May 10,  “Helping Homeless Cats and Your Community”, for people who want to find out more about how to help homeless kitties.

3. Pitch in to Clean a Local Creek: National River Cleanup Day is Saturday, May 19. There are 41 cleanup sites around the Bay Area, where volunteers will be asked to pick up trash from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Visit the site and click on the registration link for the cleanup site you are interested in. It’s best to register early, since registration does close for sites once organizers reach the predetermined number of volunteers needed for the site. Usually there are sites still available last minute, but you might not get your first choice.

4. Celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage: It’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, to celebrate the contribution of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to the United States. It was first established as a national week in 1978, actually celebrated for the first 10 days of the month to coincide with the anniversaries of the first arrival of Japanese immigrants in 1843, and the contribution of Chinese workers to the Transcontinental Railroad completed in 1869. It was expanded to the entire month in 1992. Look out for events around the Bay Area all month. Or come to the largest gathering of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, happening all day, Saturday, May 19, at the San Francisco Civic Center.

5. Pay Tribute to the Golden Gate Bridge: The 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge is being celebrated all  year long. On Sunday, May 27, during Memorial Day weekend, the Bridging Us All Festival, spanning the San Francisco waterfront, from Fort Point to Pier 39, will fete one of the world’s most famous landmarks. The event includes music, exhibits, tours, and more. It concludes at approximately 9:30 p.m. with a fireworks display.

List of bikepacking tips

The last couple of months were nicely punctuated by three 5+ day bikepacking trips. Two were solo expeditions and all three involved trudging fairly deep into the wilds of the Appalachian Mountains. Mistakes were made along the way, and preparation and packlists evolved. Prepping for this style of trip is different from an overnighter, or a big tour for that matter. It’s about weight, ruggedness, and survival. I assembled this group of bikepacking tips and notes based on repeated practices, pitfalls, and gear adjustments from these outings. It was put together for folks new to bikepacking, or maybe those who have tried a S24O (sub-24-hour-overnight) and are preparing to do a larger and longer trip; but even a crusty veteran may find something useful here. Tips 1-21 are common sense methods and products used to sustain and endure the wilderness…

1. A map, a GPS… and more batteries than you can shake a stick at.

Carrying both a map and GPS is especially important when covering new territory. Matching contours on a GPS track with lines on a map is a great way to stay on course and avoid backtracking. Make sure to carry a couple of sets of spare batteries as well. I got caught with a dead pair on the last 2 days of my latest expedition which made for a few extra miles sniffing out unmarked trails.


2. Blaze Orange

Blaze orange is mandatory this time of year, especially in the southeastern US. You never know when you’re waltzing through a hunt and visible from someone’s deer stand. This oversized super-lightweight vest was $4.99 at a local sporting goods store and is large enough to drape over a hydration pack to ensure visibility from behind. It’s also nice to have on the road for traffic visibility.


3. Back-up fire

There’s nothing worse than losing a lighter flint when you are 50 miles from the nearest store (this happened). Luckily I had a spare pack of matches. There is always the rubbing two sticks option, but who wants to do that after a 60 mile day. This handy titanium flint lighter from Vargo makes a good backup; it takes up almost no space and weights a scant 8 grams.


4. Gear it low

Riding 8 or 10 hours a day over rugged terrain can be rough on the knees and legs. Sometimes maintaining means slowly grinding out the miles. Try lowering the gears to increase spin; this substantially helps endurance when riding a loaded bike on mountainous terrain. On the Krampus I switched the 26/39T cogs to 22/36 and my knees have thanked me ever since.


5. Check your tires… and your patches.

Whether riding tubeless or not, carrying extra tubes is a must, as well as a patch kit. Somewhere far from civilization on the VMBT, I had 2 flats, then painfully discovered that the tube of rubber cement in the patch kit had completely dried. I suspect it was from being left in a hot car at some point. Check your patch ket before setting out; it would have saved me a 50 mile exit to find a replacement.


6. Keep you and your stuff dry.

No explanation necessary. Wet gear and clothing can be detrimental when temperatures are below 50. Bring a shell.


7. Zip ties and duct tape

Two things I never leave home without. They can fix almost anything. To avoid taking up extra space, wind a few wraps of Gorilla tape around your pump.


8. Back up fuel

Most of the time I use a Trangia spirit burner and store alcohol in small plastic bottles from REI. The Vargo Hexagon doubles as a windscreen and pot stand. But most importantly, when the alcohol runs out, wood is readily available. Read more about the Hexagon.


9. Bear whistle

It’s not really a bear whistle per se, but it could be, and has been used as such. Really the reason to carry a whistle is to call for help in the event of an injury. This item is required for PMBAR, Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race, and I started carrying one while bikepacking. I actually blew it full bore when a bear was sniffing at my tent one night… I don’t think it phased him, but I lived to tell about it.


10. 30’ Bear Snag

Nine and a half times out of ten I tie my food up in a bear bag at night. The one time I didn’t I had a bear sniffing around my tent at 4AM (see tip #9). According to most sources, a bear bag should be about 12-15 feet above the ground and six feet away from the trunk of a tree. To do this, it takes about 30 feet of line. I use a small carabiner to simplify attaching and detaching the dry bag. Also, some suggest that the bear snag be about 100′ away from camp, and 300′ in grizzly country.


11. Know your water sources

This is especially important on desert routes and ridglines. I recently got caught scrapping for water after I passed up a spring on the VMBT; I thought there would be another close by, but almost didn’t find a source for almost 60 miles. Plan ahead by finding streams and creeks on the map.


12. Fizz

Hammer Endurolytes Fizz tablets come in a small plastic cylinder, 13 per tube, and make a great hydration supplement. Having one before bed and one during the day can help maintain hydration and fend off cramps.


13. Camel up!

This technique involves chugging a solid 1+ liter(s) when you have access, and filling up bottles to save for camp. This technique is great for water conservation and in some situations can help lighten the load if you can speculate the next source.


14. Freeze dried gourmet

The term ‘dehydrated meal’ doesn’t make one’s mouth water… unless it’s prefaced by ‘Mountain House’. Lightweight meals are a must for big rides out in woods. I have tried several different brands, and Mountain House takes the cake. My favorites are Turkey Tetrazzini, Beef Stew, and Sweet and Sour Pork with Rice. Click the thumbnails below to read more details:bikepacking-tips-mountain-house-3-740x493

15. Backup Water

Cooking dinner, breakfast, and coffee requires a substantial quantity of water (for me about 1.5 liters). And sometimes it’s necessary to prepare for the following day riding in addition to culinary needs. I usually carry a spare foldable bladder to fill before making the last stretch to camp. It’s not always necessary, but sometimes comes in handy. This Platypus 2L bag made it through our Africa trip and is still going strong.


16. Oatmeal

Instant oatmeal makes a solid breakfast that surprisingly sticks for a few miles on the trail.


SIKAD Ozamiz 2013


SIKAD is a cebuano term for BIKING or as a slang word for biking known for every cebuano dialect.

SIKAD Ozamiz Bike Challenge is an annual event by the Ozamiznon Cyclist enthusiast held during the Feast of Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion del Triumfo (Birhen sa Cotta) on every 16th of July. This cycling competition is one of the highlight events of the festivities. This activity has been initiated by the former City Mayor Reynaldo “Aldong” O. Parojinog Sr., and Atty. ROBERTO “Baraks” A. CANTAGO JR. present city councilor and the founder of SIKAD Ozamiz. The purpose of which is so that our friendly residents in the hinterland barangays will also feel the spirit of city fiesta. It also seeks to extend the festivities to the surrounding provinces and to invite people to visit and experience Ozamiz City and Misamis Occidental.
After hosting a successful national level competition in 2009 and 2010. Again this year 2011 Atty. Cantago initialized the 3rd SIKAD OZAMIZ MOUNTAIN BIKE CHALLENGE. This time however, the newly formed MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL ASSOCIATION OF BIKERS (MOAB) Inc. with PC Supt JORGE CARREON NERI III (Ret) as its president, spearheaded the cycling competition. Since MOAB is a fully accredited and SEC Registered group, it fittingly inherited and in the process incorporated the said activity to its list of annual events.
This year’s 3rd SIKAD Ozamiz was successfully organized through the efforts of visionary MOAB officers and members. The goal was to simply offer biking enthusiast pure fun in a great ride. New and innovative concepts were used and were visibly enjoyed by the 110 competitors who raced the 27 kilometers of all-terrain race route.  Next year, the 2012 4rth SIKAD Ozamiz hopes to be more challenging and fun.