Warm weather is here, and it’s time to talk about shop rides.

Why do we do shop rides? We do them so that we, people who work at Pedal, can ride our bikes. We do it so we can mingle with our customers. We do it so we can make new friends. We do it because we like to ride bikes.

Our rides are challenging, but hardly impossible. There are hills, as will always be the case when you start your ride near the Kalamazoo River. It won’t take long for you to dominate the hills and make them your personal lackey.

Rides start promptly at 6:15. If you need to buy a Clif bar or a Hammer gel or whatever beforehand, please be early so the shop folk can don their cycling gear for a timely departure.

We have two routes at Pedal. One is a 27-mile speedy adventure. You should know the route and be able to take care of yourself if you have trouble, e.g., flat. You need to be able to ride in a group at a speed of at least 20 MPH. You should have good group riding skills and be a good ambassador for cycling while on the ride. This is the route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/40432728

We have a shorter (20-22 miles) ride that might be one of these three routes:

The shorter ride typically breaks up into two or more groups, one of which is as fast as it wants to be and the other is as fast as the slowest person, which we expect to be around a 15 mph average. The shorter route is about learning group riding techniques such as drafting, riding close and keeping a steady pace. We’ll also work on the rules of the road, such as a maximum of two abreast. It’s a no drop ride; participants are expected to help one another out in the case of a mechanical. It’s a good idea to know the route or to ride with someone who does. Getting all hopped up on adrenaline and going off course kinda defeats the no-drop policy. Some personal responsibility is required.

Speaking of personal responsibility, Pedal believes in it. If you ride with us you understand that cycling is inherently dangerous and that you may be hurt or killed. This is the tough truth of life, of cycling and of Pedal rides.

That scary stuff said, our rides are about fun and joy and a good group experience. I hope you’ll join us.

Monkeys on Typewriters

Each month we go to the zoo and hand out typewriters to monkeys. After a few days, we collect their thoughts and format them into an email newsletter suitable for framing or birdcage lining. Sound good? Enter your email below and check it out.

Note: we will never ever ever ever share your email. Ever. No monkey will contact you directly.