Boston Bike Polo Presents: A Polo Cat

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Artwork by Michael McDuffee


Boston Bike Polo is hosting a “Polo Cat Race” on September 6th to help make some dough for our 4th Annual Commonwealth Classic. The race will be a tour of Boston Bike Polo history.  We have an awesome route planned, some fun stops, and its going to be a rockin time for all. Race registration costs $10 and gets you $1 buurs at the after party. Come out to support your favorite (and only) local bike polo club!

 

Woman on Wheels: A Night out with RAWRbikes

10172729_735819809801598_5343727886099412595_nRAWRbikes (Really Awesome Women Riding Bikes) is hosting a night called ‘Women on Wheels’ on Thursday, May 1st (tomorrow right? my days are getting confused).

After a brief hiatus, welcome back to our series of regular women’s cycling meet ups, join us for this month’s edition of Women on Wheels!

Thursday May 1st at 7pm at Flat Top Johnny’s come meet other women who ride and learn more about cycling! 

Please note this event is 21+ only.

This is only a few hours after I get back from Ghana (flying out tonight), but I’m hoping to go stop by. Looks like an awesome way to meet some rad biking ladies in Boston, and something about the name of this night sounds familiar…

Winter Biking Tips Vol. 2

We’ve hit another cold snap in Boston, and so I’ve been thinking about more winter biking tips.

On any given day, my bikes go from 82F (my apartment is no joke a sauna) to 0F on the cold days. Sometimes I ride my steel-frame fixie, and sometimes I ride my aluminum polo bike – especially when the snow is fresh. The thing is that temperature fluctuation like that is pretty terrible for your frame, and wrecks havoc on tubes. The rubber doesn’t know what to do! It’s hot! It’s cold! It’s mildly uncomfortable sitting in my 60F office! I was ashamed of myself the other day when I went to pump up my tires, after ignoring it for 3+ weeks, and my 120psi front tire was hovering around 30psi. The shame! But oh man was my ride home fast compared to my ride in.

Here are some tips specifically around frames and temperature flux:

– Steel gets brittle in cold temps. Normally steel (as opposed to aluminum) has more flex, and won’t have brittle breaks, it bends. Not so in cold temps. Keep this in mind especially if your steel frame goes through big temperature swings in a day.

– Aluminum + Salt and Steel + salt = a chemical reaction which corrodes metal. In general a decent paint job protects the frame, but it’s important to be ever vigilant. If your paint job is terrible, and you care about saving the frame, consider buffing your frame with car wax to protect it.

– While you’re at it, protect alloy seatposts and stems from seizing with anti-seize compound. Since they are entry points for water on the frame, they are the first to seize. If you don’t want to buy anti-seize compound, just take em out, clean em, and lube em often.

– I know I should say that you need to wipe down your frame everyday to get the salt off. But then I’d be a liar, because I never do that. So instead I’ll just say that we should all be doing that more.

– Aluminum shrinks more than steel as it cools. So if you have an aluminum frame and a steel fork (like my polo bike), your headset is likely to loosen since the metals expand and shrink at uneven rates. Just keep an eye out and adjust as needed.

– Pump up your tires more often than you normally do. Maybe I’ll even begin to heed my own advice.

What are your experiences with drastic temperature changes and frames? Aluminum vs. steel? Tell me about your winter ride.

First Snow

Today was my first day biking in the snow (slush) in a long time, because last year I had the great fortune of not experiencing the season of winter. Here were some things I was reminded of today as I slowly rode the 3 miles to my office (yes, I know. I have it easy Minnesnowta folks):

1. Take WIDE, slow turns.

2. Brake early because it’s going to take 4eva to stop.

3. SLUSH IS THE WORST AND GROSS.

4. Front fenders exist for a reason. Mostly to keep your feet dry. I should probably buy one.

5. I really need to get a proper winter bike instead of just riding my polo bike. That being said my polo bike is pretty ideal – it has a low gear ratio, and I feel really stable and comfortable on it, BUT it only has one front rim brake. Not ideal.

6. Take the lane. No excuses.

7. Winter biking is pretty awesome, and makes me feel super legit.