Best of The Blog
These posts are some of the most popular content from our blog. We hope these resources can help you start a bike habit, ride more often, find the right bike for you, or discover why drinking specialty coffee is better than your average cup of joe!
SIX REASONS TO START A NEW BIKE HABIT, RIGHT NOW
A bike is faster than walking, transit, or driving for virtually any trip less than five kilometers. Not to mention less expensive. You get to move on your own schedule, and get fit while you're doing it. Bikes help you get better grades if you’re in school, and keep your body healthy as you age. That jolt of physical activity in the morning is the best thing for your concentration since... coffee. We do that, too.
Don't take our word for it, we've done our homework. Here are six great reasons to start a bike habit.
HOW DO YOU FIND A GREAT NEW BIKE?
How do I find a great bike? This is a question I know a lot of you are asking yourselves this time of year. Spring is just around the corner, the roads and paths are clear of snow, and the flowers are starting to bloom. It's a perfect time to start to ride.
We've written a lot on this blog about why you should start riding a bike, and as spring rolls in we want to write a bit about how you should go about finding your new ride in 2018. There are a lot of different ways to find your perfect bike, but we've distilled it down to three.
NEW BIKE SHOPPING: THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEPARTMENT STORE BICYCLES
So you're in the market for a new bike, something to get around town, visit your friends, go to the market, maybe ride the TVP on weekends. Why should you think about buying from a local bike shop instead of a department store? Canadian Tire, Walmart, Costco etc. sell bikes that come with a smaller initial price tag compared to what you find at our store. The smaller price tag can seem very appealing, especially if you're a price-conscious person. However, what you don't pay upfront at department stores, you'll almost certainly pay in the future.
QUALITY YOU CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT
We are passionate about four things at London Bicycle Café: Service, Quality, Inclusiveness, and Community. Our coffee is the best in the city, because we source better beans, and serve your coffee with incredible precision and attention to detail. All of the steps to a great cup, farming, roasting, and preparing/serving, take the time and dedication of real humans to make sure you get the best possible drink in your cup. We admit that our drinks cost a little more than a coffee elsewhere, and we're proud of that. We feel that your extra coin is well spent, because it's invested in people through our entire supply chain. We don't use the money you spend on your coffee for expensive marketing campaigns, or branded stadiums, we use it to support real people working to make you the best cup of coffee in the city. Here's why coffee from us is different than coffee elsewhere in town.
INTRODUCING FINANCING FOR YOUR CITY BIKE, E-BIKE OR CARGO BIKE
We’ve written before about how much less expensive a cargo bike is compared to your “other” vehicle, or how much you can save by starting a bike habit, but we know that making the leap to becoming a one-car, or no-car family can be challenging because of the up-front cost of a cargo bike. So let’s fix that. We’ve partnered with Financeit.ca to offer a new way to get you onto a new bike without the sticker shock. By offering instant in-store financing for your new bike, we can help you realize some big savings, while having more fun with your family, too!
FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS USE CABLE LOCKS
While no lock is impenetrable, with enough time a professional thief can get through just about anything, the goal of locking up in the city is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to steal your bike. This is our blog highlighting our best security choicess to keep your ride safe.
A KILOMETER BIKED IS A DOLLAR (OR TWO) EARNED
I've been waiting for the right time to write about the personal economics of riding a bike for transportation, and a discussion on Twitter this week spurred me to finally do it. If you don't want to read the rest of the post, here's the Coles Notes: riding a bike is probably the best "get rich quick" scheme ever invented, and is guaranteed* to make you a couple hundred thousand dollars before you retire if you start right now.
WHICH BIKES ARE BEST FOR EVERYDAY USE?
What makes a great bike to get around town? Just ask the Dutch. Watch the video, and look closely at the bikes and people riding them. What do you see? For starters, there is about an equal mix of men and women, and people of all ages visible in the 20-second clip. Virtually everybody is sitting upright. Most if not all of the bikes have sensible features like fenders, chainguards, and racks with panniers (or milk crates). Maybe more importantly, nobody seems to be in a big hurry, with slow pedaling being the norm, and nobody breaking a sweat. Everyone looks cool, comfortable, and casual. Nobody is wearing a helmet; nobody has any special "bike riding" clothing at all. And did you catch the mom with two kids on her bike? To me, these look like ordinary people getting around their city the most efficient way possible: on a comfortable, upright bicycle.
THE MANY (NEW) FACES OF #LDNONTBIKE - 2018 EDITION!
When you buy a bike from us, one of the last things we ask you before you roll out the door is “would you like to take a photo with your new bike?” Understandably, not everyone wants to have their face published, but many give us an enthusiastic yes! We love sharing your new bike stories, and showing that there are all kinds of different people riding bikes in our community. Thanks to all of you who have been part of our first full year, we’ll be here to help you sustain your bike habits for many years to come.
WINTER BIKE CLINIC
This is a summary of our annual Winter Bike Clinic! These events always spur great discussions about how to make riding year round part of your routine. If you're interested in reading more about winter biking, we highly recommend Tom Babin's Frostbike. We have a copy in our store library, and we recommend curling up on our cozy couches with a tasty latte while thinking about winter riding. Here's a summary of our discussion:
LONDON'S AAA CYCLETRACK NETWORK: OUR VISION
Safe. Maintained. Connected. On street. Direct. Using secondary roads where possible, but Downtown use Dundas. In the middle of last week, after spending some time riding around the city, I started dreaming about what a complete cycletrack network might look like in London. This is a concept piece, built from experience riding a bike every day in London, Hamilton, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Boston, and Berlin. The installation of this entire network could be completed in a few months, and would cost a very small fraction of what the city is proposing to spend on BRT, and the return on investment for protected bike lanes is exceptionally high. Providing safe spaces to get around by bike is the least expensive transportation infrastructure a city can build, and it comes with incredible health benefits for residents of the city. Let's start thinking about what London's AAA bike network would look like.