Spring Bike Events That Ya Might Be Into

April 20th and Every Sunday Thereafter barring rain: Sunday Whatevering Rides

Every Sunday, we go for a rambling, slowish, dirt strewn ride through the forgotten roads of Frederick. The rides are casual in pace (12-15 mph on flats) and usually have loads of climbing, because flat roads are boring. You need to bring: good lights, bright enough to see with, a spare tube, fattish road tires. Meet at the shop at 5, wheels down at 5.30. Back around 9, usually. 20-30 miles for the spring, going to 30-50 miles by summer’s end. Questions can be addressed to bikedrfrederick (at) gmail.com  Sign up on the appropriate day on our event’s page.  We’ll try to post up a map if we have time, for that week’s route.  


 

April 23rd and every Wednesday Thereafter barring rain:  Wednesday Night Climbing Ride.  

Meet at the 7th Street Starbucks, Frederick Maryland.  
Wheels down at 5:30. 12-16 mph pace to the climbs and re-grouping at the top. Expect 25 miles and harder/slightly longer as we get more daylight.  Bring your extra legs! 


 

April 25th and every Friday as trail conditions allow:  Friday Mountain Rides at the Shed.

Meet on an alternating schedule (see events page for exact info) between the maintenance shed on Mountaindale Road and the Hamburg Parking Lot.  Ride speed adjusted to whoever shows up.  Some fitness and technical ability is expected.  Ride until dusk.


 

 

April 26th: Frederick Watershed Cleanup

If you love and use the Frederick Watershed, then come out and give back to it. All sorts of trash gets thrown around up there, because some people think that nature is a great place for an old TV or a tire. We’re going to do our part to help clean it up. This whole thing is part of the Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup. Our ‘shed drains right into the Monocacy and that goes right into the Potomac, which goes into the bay. It’s a pretty good idea to keep all that clean, ’cause we drink that water, play in it, fish in it, etc. Anyway, we’re gettin’ together with our friends at the Common Market, The Frederick Bicycle Coalition, The Bike Escape to make this happen. There’s gunna be a raffle for some prizes, including gift cards to the aforementioned businesses. Meet up is at the foot of the mountain on mtn dale road, where there is an old county maintenance shed. Map link at our facebook events page! www.facebook.com/bikedrfrederick

 

May 9th Salsa Demo Day

The Salsa demo truck is rolling into town. 
Join us in the Frederick Watershed for an afternoon of trying out cool bikes, hitting some rad trails and tearing it up down some dirt roads. All ya gotta bring is your normal riding gear w. a helmet, and your shoes and pedals. We’ll fit ya up, adjust suspension and tire pressure, and get ya rollin’. We’re going to set up the truck at the same place we did last time, the intersection of Fishing Creek Rd and the dirt side of Gambrill Park Rd. Map link at our events page. Fun starts at 3pm and goes till dark.

We’ll have all of the Salsa bikes out there except the Colossal and the Vaya. The truck is only so big! Let us know you are coming and share this with your friends!  
 



May 17th: Waffles and Wheels at Bike Doctor Frederick

Join us on May 17th for a day of Waffles and Wheels. La Pearl Waffles will be cooking up fresh made Belgian Waffles out front and we’ll be raffling off some rad bike gear and a FAT TIRE LIMITED EDITION CRUISER BIKE! Here’s a link to detailed who, what, where, when so you know exactly what’s up.  Raffle Tickets are available now at the shop.  20 bucks cash or check.  


 

Emmitsburg Trail Work Series May 4th.

Emmitsburg is working on a cool new mountain bike trail system. More places to ride, especially within a quick drive, are always welcome. They need our help to make rock the casbah. Trail work is a ton of fun, even if it is work. You get to shape a trail that you can later ride on. That’s… very rad. 
They’re providing a light breakfast of coffee, OJ, bagels and fruit before work begins. Afterward, BBQ. You can never have too much BBQ.
Meet at Rainbow Lake on Hampton Valley Road. It’s a pretty location, if you have never been out there.
Dress ready to work.

Thanks for helping make our area more rad!

Bike Doctor Frederick’s 4th Annual X-mas Lights Ride

Ha! The 4th Annual Bike Doctor Frederick Xmas Lights ride in downtown Frederick is fast approaching.

Who: You and 100 other riders. Kids who can easily pedal 4 miles can come along, if they have lights and a helmet.
Where: Baker Park Bell Tower, next to the Armory.
When: 7:30 sharp, or earlier by a bit. It’s cold, no one likes hanging around for stragglers
What is it?: A X-mas lights viewing ride around Frederick City. A few miles, casual pace, mostly flat. We ride as a big group, no one gets spit off the back.
What do I bring: A bike, a rear blinky light or enough battery powered xmas lights that you dont need a blinkie. Gotta decorate your bike. BRING A LOCK, if you are coming to the post ride hang out at Firestones.
The Competition: We’ll be giving out good prizes for the top 3 decorated bikes. Employees can’t compete, so don’t worry about that. Any December holiday counts, so do whatever you want on that front. The bigger, the better. Last year we had someone toting an actual tree around, a snoopy mobile, bikes with ornaments, bikes made up like giant sparkling reindeer… photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.526507777367752.126464.359366150748583&type=3
Post Ride Party thing (21+): Firestones on Market Street.

Still have questions: Email us at bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (dot) com

Here’s the deal: We ride around in the bitter cold and look at good and bad X-Mas lights on houses in various parts of the city. It’s a short ride, probably ok for kids over say… 8, that are used to pedaling. It’s a super casual pace, we ride as a big X-mas theme’d Amoeba, and eventually end up at Firestones for the afterwhatever. You have to decorate your bike. The more extravagantly the better. Any December based Holiday theme applies, not just X-mas. We will post helpful hints about this as the time draws near. The top 3 decorated bikes (popular vote) win some cool bike theme’d prizes. Much better than last year, where we gave out some peach colored glasses and some half eaten cheetos.

 

It’s a perennial problem.  People are always faster than me.  Better climbers, better on the flats.  They have better bikes, or weigh forty pounds less.  They have less years on them, or more miles in them.  And so I’m always off the back.  So I’ve taken to subtly sabotaging their bikes, in order to slow ’em down a bit.  Here’s my quick in dirty guide to making them slower and you faster.
1.  Fill their inner tubes with water.  About 2 cups per tire.  Take out the valve stem, dump it in.
2.  Put 6 rolls of pennies in the seat tube.  Remove seatpost, insert rolls of coins, tamp with paper, reinstall post.  Adds about 4 pounds to the frame.
3.  Lube their chain with butter.  It will seem nice and quiet for about 20 miles, then it will wear off and start making a horrible racket, demoralizing the rider.
4.  Over tighten their brakes.  So they just rub when they are climbing…
5.  Dial in the limit screws on the rear derailleur, so they can’t get in really high or low gears.
Note: don’t actually do any of this.  It’s a joke.  The real way to slow anyone down is to feed them a huge burrito preride, and an extra large ice cream cone.

The impending autumn means a few things at the shop.  More time for bike fitting, weird custom builds, endless cups of coffee.  Wool jerseys and rides where it’s ok to wear jeans.  Our clinics really took off last year.  We covered all sorts of topics, everything from disc brake bleeding (3 different brands!) to bike camping to recycled bike jewellery making.  We’d like to open it up this year to suggestions.  What do you want to learn about?  Chances are we either have someone on staff who can talk about it, or know someone who can.  Are skills clinics more rad than mechanical clinics? Do we need more art?  Do we need to have classes on road etiquette?  Let us know, either via email, or if you are reading this via the blogosphere, in the comments.  Our email address is bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (dot) com

We’ll be starting clinics in about two weeks, the first of which is always the comprehensive, hands on fix a flat clinics that takes place at 7pm on the first Wednesday of October.  Figure it will take about an hour.

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Don’t forget to register for the Bike Doctor Frederick Grand Fondue.  It’s coming up in about a month, and we already have a good group of folks showing up, so sign up before it fills up!  For those that don’t know, the Grand Fondue is a semi organized ride that takes in the rural roads of Frederick County.  There will be dirt roads, gravel roads, normal roads and tiny barely paved roads.  Four ride lengths are on offer, so there is something for {almost} everyone.  You don’t need a whatevering bike to do this ride, but it’s not a bad idea!  Way more info on the ride here.  You can register via paypal here, and just email us with what your t shirt size is and your ride length.  Again, our email address is: bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (dot) com.  We’d love to see you out there!

Lastly, the shop rides:

There are only two right now, both on Sunday.  The women’s road ride is every Sunday morning.  It’s location varies, but if you qualify (ie you are not a guy), head over to the BDF women’s group ride Facebook page, like it, and get more info!

Sunday evening (meet at 5, wheels down at 5.30) is the whatevering ride, 30-50 miles of mixed surface road riding.  Bring: a suitable bike, real lights (200 lumen min) a relaxed attitude and a willingness to climb lots of hills.

-The Bike Doctor Crew

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Grand Fondue Part Deux

The Bike Doctor Frederick’s Grand Fondue will take in some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain in Frederick County.  We’ll be hosting it on the 20th of October, 2013.

Here’s what the Grand Fondue is about:  Not Racing.  Great roads.  Hard Climbs.  Food.  Drink.  Scenery.  Maybe a band.  Also, a really cheap entry fee.  A no-profit venture.  Races are pricey.  100-150 bucks for a day of riding.  What about a big ride that costs riders 20 bucks, gets them some wine and food and a free t-shirt?  That’s what we’re talking about!

Our Grand Fondue is about eating and riding.  Ride a huge ride, come back to a scenic winery in Middletown for a communal chili cookup, and wash it all back with some Merlot and Mead and chocolate fondue.  Andre, who used to work at our shop, is also part owner of the Orchid Cellar, a family owned Winery that specializes in traditional and contemporary meads.  The Orchid Cellar will be hosting the after party, where riders can grab some food, sample some wine, and enjoy a beautiful valley overlook.  We’ll also have a few fire pits going!

The Grand Fondue Frederick is going to be a beautiful but hard ride.  There will be gobs of climbing, dirt roads, and then more climbing.  Nothing will be timed, there will be no winners.  It’s going to be a challenging but relaxed ride, an easy pace to ease the legs through the terrain.  We’ll take in some of the finest and smallest roads in Frederick County.  Even the 35 mile ride is going to be challenging, even with 1/3 of the miles and 1/3 of the elevation.  Don’t worry though, even the shortest ride has some fantastic scenery and barely travelled roads.

Here’s some details:

What: Four possible rides: a quick, almost easy 20 mile, a 30ish mile ride, hard but not super long, a really hard 65 miler, and a 99.9 miler, really hard, and really long.  Really.  

When: October 20th

Where:

100 mile and 65 mile rides start from the Orchid Cellar at 7am, so get there earlier to sign a waver and give us money, if you didn’t in advance.  At the latest, get there at 6.30.  You think you won’t need headlight, but the last riders last time got in well after dark. 
The shorter rides will leave from the Orchid Cellar at 1pm.  Again, get there earlier.  There will be a mechanic on hand if you have minor issues with your bike.  He won’t have cables, housing, chains, tires or cassettes.  We are talking basic stuff: tighten this, loosen that.  This is a cheap event, and we wanna keep it that way.  If you have doubts as to whether your bike can handle the ride, get it into the shop at least a week prior to the event.
It’s hilly, and the pace will be decidedly relaxed, so it’s not like we are gunna knock this out in 2 hours.

Who:  The Bike Doctor Frederick and The Orchid Cellar are hosting this event.  Because this is a winery, you need to bring an ID with you if you want to partake.  This isn’t a 21+ event, and we have to card because of that.

How Much:  The entry fee is really reasonable.  The support on the ride therefor is minimal.  We’ll go into what to bring in a minute here but first the cost…
$20 and some beans.  Yeah, some beans.  The chili is going to be communal (one pot veggie, one meatatrian), and everyone has to pitch in some good beans to cook up.  Bring some kidney or pinto beans, 1 can per person.  We’ll cook it up so it’s ready to eat when you get back.

What does my 20 bucks get me?  
Two glasses of either Merlot or Mead, a Tshirt with something about the Fondue on it, access to the chili pot, and fondue based desert.  We’re also talking to a few local bands about coming out to play.  There will be a few sag wagons, but KNOW YOUR LIMITS.  If 13,000 feet of climbing sounds like a lot, it is.  The riding will be hard, even if the pace is not.  There will be gravel and dirt roads.  Challenges galore.  Please sign up for the appropriate ride for your abilities.  Remember, even the short ride will be rad!  We’ll have a mechanic who is roving around, but he will be minimally equipped.  The 65 miler and the 100 are both harder this year.  Rougher, too.  Come prepared.

What to bring:  This part is going to sound preachy, but it contains the important nuggets, so bear with me. A bike with low enough gears to get you through a big HILLY ride.  Water.  Lots of food, including something to get you through if you start to bonk.  That means Gu or some other sort of energy Gel.  Appropriate clothing.  We’ll be huffing up huge hills and coming down them pretty fast.  Sweat+steep roads=wind chill.  We won’t have spare clothing, so figure out what works and bring it.  There will be very few places to stop for additional food.  There will be only a few designated rest stops, and they will have minimal provisions: extra water, Gatorade, basic snacks.  This is not a supported century ride.  This is a big ride in the country with like minded folks.  Please bring a blinkie light, if it is overcast, starts to rain, or you just get caught out in the dark, we want you to be safe.  Spare tubes (2 per person), a patch kit and a enough C02 or a hand pump to fix at least 2 flats.  We will be on some dirt roads, so please bring a bike you will be comfortable riding on such surfaces.  If it is a road bike, get some durable 25mm tires or 28′s if they fit.  Ask in the shop if you are unclear on any of this.

How to sign up: Stop by the shop or email us.  We’ll set you up with a paypal address to pay on-line.  We need to get registration moving, so think about it this week then let us know ASAP.  bikedrfrederick(at)gmail(dot)com

We hope to see you out there!

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Tour De Frederick What’s Your Epic Giveaway

FREE STUFF ALERT! The 4rd annual Tour De Frederick is coming up mid August and we’re giving away a 3 day pass for the event. If you have never done the ride, it’s 3 days of riding in Frederick, fully supported, on great back roads. There’s also tours of downtown, food and more. Here’s what ya gotta do to win it. Email us a story about your most epic ride. Keep it to maybe 3-5 paragraphs. Alternatively, you could send a photojournalist style essay with lots of photos and few words or a video. The deadline is August 2nd. We’ll announce the winner the following Monday. Submit emails to bikedrfrederick@gmail.com Put Tour De Frederick in the heading. Keep in mind that epic is a personal thing, and a ride to the grocery store could be just as epic as a ride across Sibera. So take the meaning liberally!

tdf

Wood Shims, Wobbly Legs and Elmers Glue

Our local frame builder checking frame alignment on a lugged steel frame.

When a wooden chair has a wobble in it, you go in the basement, find a tiny sliver of wood, jam it in the space between the wobbly leg and the base of the chair.  If it’s a close enough fit, and it makes the wobble go away, you take it out, dip it in some wood glue, jam it back in and sit on the chair the next morning with a satisfied smile.  Now, try that with a plastic chair.  Or a particle board chair.  Report back.

I like things that are fixable, by anyone.  Jason, a good friend/customer of the shop recently found a crack in his 25 year old (give or take) steel road bike.  He’d recently done a fair amount of rehab on it, so this was bad news.  The crack was at the seat cluster, one of the hardest areas of a frame to connect up.  This one was overheated at the factory, which resulted in premature failure.  IE, the frame should have rusted out before this happened.  As a side note, Jason had been riding it for ages like this, basically cruising around with one functional seatstay.  He’s not a tiny, whippet climber like say, Dan the Younger, so he was putting a bunch of strain on this bike, with only one chainstay, and it was still rideable.  We know it had been cracked for a while because the crack was really rusty.  Anyway, moral of the story, he took it to Rudy’s Cold Beer and Welding and had it Tig’d back together for less money than a trip for two to the movies.  And the bike is fine now.

When we went to design our signature frame, ‘The Gary’, there was never any question about what material to make the frame and fork out of.  It had to be steel.  Steel is still the quintessential frame material.  It has more development behind it than any other material.  No other material can ever catch up, because steel has about a 4000 year headstart.  The very first bikes that we would recognize as bikes were steel.  They tried iron, but it was too brittle, despite being appealingly castable.  We knew the bikes had to be steel because steel is repairable.  It can be ridden when damaged.  It’s a beautiful frame material.  Even tig welded steel frames have a certain industrial beauty to them.  The mitering and welding must be pretty precise to not have nasty gaps.  Our favorite though, is lugged steel.

What the heck is a lug?  A lug is a sort of metal socket that frame tubes fit into.  The tubes are cut and mitered to length, stuck in the lugs, and then put in a frame jig.  Then they are brazed together, using a sort of metal glue made out of some liquid brass or silver.  The lug, when finished, acts as an external reinforcement for the tube.  If it’s shaped properly, the lug helps distribute stress around the joint.  It’s a strong way to put a bike together.  It’s also repairable.  If a tube gets severely damaged, you can melt the brazing material, pull the tube out and stick in a new one.  Not a bad program, if you are riding a bike you really love.  Here’s a picture of a top tube and headlug, before brazing and mitering:

Lugs have other interesting facets, not the least of which is their shape and shape-ability.  Here is a sample of some of the different lug styles offered by our friends at Waterford Cycles:

Many custom frames can be ID’d sans paint.  The builder often incorporates custom touches that no other builder uses.  The Gary is lacking fancy lug work.  We intentionally kept it minimal, to keep costs down.  We did chose the lugset (simple, Italian cut) and we did spec certain aspects of the lug shaping so that it will hold up better to off road riding.  We also designed the brake cable routing so the cable stops on the top tube wouldn’t dig into your shoulder if you have to portage your bike somewhere.  There’s thought in the frame, for sure.  It’s just utlity thought, not overt fancy ornamentation thought.

We’re taking ‘The Gary’ prototype in for paint this upcoming week.  I’ve been riding the heck out of it, on road, off road, and in between.  It’s been exceeding expectations so far.  We’ll have more pics and build options soon on the final product.  We’re shooting for a base price of $2550 complete.  It’ll be offered in 3 sizes to start with: 52cm, 54cm, and 56cm.  We’ll do a bigger size run if the demand is there.  Locally crafted and locally painted.  Still sorting out graphics, but there will be two options for each frame: traditional and punk rock graphics.

Here’s a pic of it out in the wilds:

 

 

Whatevering 101, Ride Numbero Uno

Original Whateverists. Vintage racing in France. You know it’s serious when you need googles. We should start selling those.

It’s time for some continuing education.  We’re going to be offering hands on classes in whatevering this spring, summer and fall.  There will be 101 course, senior level courses and even doctoral level courses.  Locally epic is the theme.  Finding a road you had no idea existed.  Exploring a forgotten piece of single track.  Swimming in a pond hidden in the woods.  Taking a picture of a fleeting black bear.  Going way too fast on a skinny tire on a sketchy dirt road.  We keep talking about it, now we’re going to show you what whatevering is all about.  We’ll prep you, give you the syllabus here and on the blog.  You’ll show up to class all ready to rock.   The classes will vary in difficulty, but the idea is inclusiveness.  That said, not everyone wants to be a whateverist, and that’s ok.

Our first class will be on May 4th.  Everyone’s invited, but class size is limited.  Sub 25 miles.  Plenty of dirt and climbing in that span, so bring your legs.  The good stuff is always hard to get to.  These are some of the more mellow dirt roads, and some of the easier climbs to be had, making this route about as intro as you can get.

We’ll have a roughly mid ride stop where we nosh on some food.  Bring a sandwich, something real to eat.  The shop will have basic refreshments at that mid point.  Some easy eats, some drinks.

The start of ride will be a Q and A, and cover how to ride on dirt, what to do in corners, etc.  We’ll take the first dirt road slow, and then show you just how little there is to be scared of.

Nutshell info:

Where: sub 25 mile Middletown Valley loop, leaving from Middletown Recreation Park, off of Route 17.  Here’s an unfinished route map.

When: Saturday May 4th, 10am until whenever it’s over.  Block off a good chunk of hours.

How much: $5, payable at the shop in advance, or if tickets are still available, the day off.  Limit 15 riders.

Prerequisites: the desire to check out whatevering, a roadish bike or cross bike in good working order with at least 25mm tires, and a handful of spare tubes + a working pump. The ability to ride 25 miles with lots of little hills.

What we’ll provide:  Some grub and water half wayish thru, and some more at the end.  Help fixing flats and basic mechanicals.  No sag wagon, no crazy mechanical support.  If your bike breaks in half, or you get 15 flats, you gotta have someone come get you.  This is ultra low budget.  Not a Grand Fondue.

Email w/ Questions: bikedrfrederick (at ) gmail (dot) com

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A few more bits of news:

There are two functioning weekly shop rides, as of this week.

Brian’s Wednesday night climbing ride, which, believe it or not, happens on Wednesday.  Wheels down at 5.30 from the shop. Fastish hill climbing ride.  Popular with those who like the pain.

Sunday night whatevering rides.  Join James, Andre, Dan the Younger, and whoever else on a 30-45 mile ride thru the local backwoods.  Dirt, climbing, pain, but at a slow, semi conversational pace.  Might be some singletrack, dirt roads, etc.  We’ll stop, chat, swim, whatever.  Roadish bike.  Bring tail light and a good head light, too.  Good means you could go down a black tunnel covered in dirt at night with it.  Meet at 5 at the shop, wheels down at 5.30.

The Evens are coming to Bike Doctor Frederick

evens poster2 copy

 

The Evens (DC legends Ian MacKaye and Amy Farina {ex members of Fugazi, Warmers, Minor Threat and more}) are coming to our shop to rock out with their brand of politically and socially conscious music.  March 9th, which is a Saturday. We’ll be selling advance tix at the shop for 5 bucks, so just stop by the shop with five bucks cash. If we get a good turn out, it might sell out, so come in soon. Doors at 7, show starts at 7.30 sharp, so don’t be late. We’re going to do a ride from downtown to the show, meeting at the Gazebo in Baker Park. Stay posted for details on that.

http://www.dischord.com/band/evens for more on the band.

A Good Fondue Kit is a Good Frederick Whatevering Kit

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The log lady donated her eldest for this display.  Apologies for the slightly blurry picture.  James gets the shakes when he has to handle a smart phone.

 

A Good Fondue Kit is a Good Frederick Whatevering Kit.

also: more Grand Fondue news, upcoming clinics for October, Shop rides…

This is the second in a series this month on what kind of gear we use for riding in Frederick.  In part duece, we’ll check into what kind of stuff to jam in you saddle bag.  On a long unsupported ride, such as the Bike Doctor Frederick Grand Fondue, you need to be prepared.  99.9 miles of riding means you have to pack most  of the food you want to eat, and bad roads and long miles means you need to be able to make field repairs.  The kit outlined here will serve you well for big and short rides.

We’ll be hosting clinics all winter, covering how to use most of this stuff.  The class on how to peel a banana though, has been postponed until we find a suitable primate.

Most people carry most of this stuff, and some people even know how to use most of it.  But having it and using it are both keys to being a prepared cyclist.  The silver thing on the left is a mini pump.  I prefer a little pump to C02, which always seems to fail on me, aka I mess it up and end up shooting cold air everywhere but in the tire.  Also, pumps never run out of air.  The Lezyne is a good small pump that uses a hose to attach to the tube, so when you are yanking it all around trying to get it up to 100psi, you won’t yank the valve out.

The pink thing up top is tire levers, which you use to yank your tires off the rim in case of a flat.  They might have one more use, but I don’t know what it is.  Bright colored Pedros levers are my favorite, easy to use, hard to lose.  The blue box is filled with patches.  A quick bit of advice on patches: wait for the glue to dry before applying the patch, and don’t peel the thin clear plastic off the back of the patch after you apply it.

Two tubes isn’t a bad number to have.  If you have just one, you will be less likely to lend it out to someone in need.  Above, Dan is installing a tube I lent him, after his replacement tube flatted.   Also, sometimes you’ll randomly double flat.  The silver and black thing that vaguely looks like a tool is a multitool, with all of the basics you need to tighten something after a crash, or to raise Dan’s seatpost so his knees stop hurting.

Food wise, we have a banana (always good to have some real food along, andBananas have a nice case built into them, plus potasium, which I hear is  good for something.), a ‘Probar’, some drink tablets, and a caffienated gel food like product.  Have a nice mix of solids and super easy to digest ‘magic food’.  If you are bonking hard, you need something to get you out from under the man with the hammer.  Agel will do that.  A banana, probably not.  Conversely, just eating gels is gross and bad for you and a good way to ruin your stomach.  Probars are great, they are what you would make at home if you had time.  A bunch of seeds, nuts and dried fruit mushed together with very little filler.  The drink tablets (these are sugarless Nuun brand tabs) turn any gas station water refill into a good drink for riding.  Electrolytes are your friend!

Just two more things, and we’ll wrap this up. Lip balm is a great thing for colder rides, and having a tin of it means you can share.  The hankerchief is the do it all addition that you really should make room for.  Clean you hands after a flat fix.  Honk your nose in it.  Tourniquette.  Placemat for tools when making repairs.  Sweat rag.  Best 1.89 you will spend.

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The Bike Doctor Frederick Grand Fondue is coming up here at the end of the month.  There are two rides, for those who don’t know yet.  99.9 miles and 35ish miles.  The 99.9er will have loads of climbing and plenty of dirt roads (about 20 miles worth).  The shorter ride will have way less climbing, and only 3 short dirt sections, which are really well groomed.

ye ole poster

The big guy will have a bailout at roughly 65, if you are dead by then.  The ride is the last Sunday in October, which is the 28th.  Both rides are only 15 bucks, plus a block of cheese for the communal fondue at the end.  That 15 bucks gets rudimentary sag support, basic mechanical support, a few glasses of wine or mead at the end, and access to the communal dinner plus a few blazing fire pits.  We’re starting and ending at the beautiful Orchid Cellar Winery in Middletown MD, where part owner Andre (also a mechanic at the shop) will be hosting us.  Also, great local band “The Galt Line” just signed up to play, and they are a ton of fun.  We figure that’s quite a bit of goodness for just 15 bucks.  The other ride that is happening that month, the Grand Fondo, which sounds suspiciously like our Fondue, is 100 bucks, and no band and no wine!

Preregister (we need head counts sooner rather than later) even if you don’t know which ride you want to do.  Send us an email at bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (dot) com to do paypal, or just stop by the store with cash money.  Please have exact change, it will make our lives easier.  If you just have a 20, we’ll give you a Frederick Bicycle Coalition waterbottle, but no change.

Way more details here.


Clinic season is upon us.  Sign up in advance for individual classes (some have size limits).  Almost all are free.  We have a big listing of all of them, here.  This Wednesday, we’ll be doing our popular fix a flat clinic, which is a comprehensive look at how to fix flats, cut tires, and how to use moss as a tube.

Here’s the rest of the month’s breakdown, but really, go here to see the full deal. 

10/17:  Touring and Bike Camping basics.  We’ll talk about need vs want, where to get stuff, and how to use it.

10/24: TBD

10/31:  Winter Riding Clinic: clothing and equipement to stay warm and safe.  Learn about practical layering, embrocation, and hydration.

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Well, it’s finally happened.  The Wednesday Night climbing ride, after making thefront page of the paper, decided to call it quits for the season.  Not enough light.  We’ll start it back up in the spring.

Tuesday Mornings, join James and Andre for a ride into the hills.  We’ll hit whatever roads we have the legs for, and be back in the early afternoon.  We meet at the 7th street Starbucks at 8 am, eat some food, drink some coffee, and then head out.

Sunday mornings, meet Tracy at the westview shopping center’s Starbucks at 8am for the Women’s road ride.  Welcoming environment, good place to learn how to road ride!

Sunday evenings, join James, Andre and Dan the Younger for an epic whatevering ride.  Wheels down at 5.30, but get to the shop at 5.  You have to bring real lights for this, we return in the dark.  150 lumen minimum for your headlight!  30-50 miles.

For all rides, check facebook to see if they are on or not, due to weather.

A Good Fondue Bike is a Good Frederick Whatevering Bike

We’re going to put together a basic series this month on what kind of gear we use for riding in Frederick.  Not all of us at the shop subscribe to this program, but maybe 75% of us do.  The series will also provide an idea of what kind of bike and gear works well on a long unsupported ride, such as the Bike Doctor Grand Fondue we are putting together, on the 28th of October.  99.9 miles of riding means you have to pack most of the food you want to eat with you, and cooler weather means storage space for layers.  Riding into the evening means you have to think about lights, and riding into bad weather is always something to be prepared for.

We have a few names for this style of bike.  Gravel roads bike.  Randonneuring bike.  Light Touring.  Sport Touring.  All Road bike.  Whatevering bike though, I think best fits what this bike is up to.  As in, it’s up for almost whatever you throw at it.  Obviously it’s not a mountain bike, but you can take it on some pretty twisty singletrack if you ride it carefully.  It’s not a loaded touring bike, but the fat tires and rack mounts let you take it into the mountains for a night of camping.  It’s not a race bike, but the main thing holding back your top speed is always your legs, not your bike.  A stable bike with good tires will descend faster and more confidently than a ‘nimble’ bike with narrow high pressure tires.

Locally built bike for local riding.

This sombre fellow was built by local custom frame builder Jeff Buchanan.  Here’s some basic details of what makes it a good whatevering bike.  The tires are bigger.  Wide 28mm tires have more volume than a 23mm racing tire.  That means lower pressure, less flats, better traction and a nicer ride.  These are run between 65 and 85 psi, depending on the ride.  That means versatility.  Think 65 psi is slow and soft?  Tom Boonen won a huge spring classic race (Paris-Roubaix) at 60 psi with even wider tires.  He didn’t win because his tires were slow!

Lots of spokes.  Having 32 or 36 spokes means your wheels can take a beating and still come out on top.  Good light wheels with lots of spokes are repairable, and even if you are unlucky enough to break a spoke on a ride, you have at least 31 more to keep the wheel together.  With a 20 spoke wheel, good luck getting home, even with your brakes open.  High spoke count wheels generally use normal J bend spokes, which you can source at any bike shop, if you do need to get them repaired.  Bladed spokes, proprietary spokes, alloy spokes… all of that is usually special order stuff, which costs more and takes more time to install.  Lest you think that lots of spokes means heavy wheels, it really doesn’t have to.  One of the nice race oriented Mavic Wheelsets we sell is the Kysrium SL wheelset.  It clocks in at about 1550 grams for the set.  A typical high end set of handbuilt 32 hole wheels is about 20 grams heavier, but with 20 more spokes.  You could easily make up that difference with a lighter tube.

Fenders.  Fenders are a point of contention.  Some people love how they look, and others hate them so much that they won’t even consider their positive points.  But let’s at least look at why fenders make sense, and debunk some myths.  Myth #1: fenders make you slow.  The biggest air turbulence on your bike comes from the tops of the tires.  (besides you, of course)  At the top of the revolving tire, air is whipped into a frenzy, and gets really aerodynamically messy.  A fender hides that part of the tire from the air, negating the turbulence.  Myth #2: fenders are heavy.  Cheapo fenders, and steel fenders ARE heavy.  But lightweight french style aluminum fenders are light and stiff and plenty durable for whatevering.  Fenders protect your feet from road spray, so if it just rained, no wet feet.  If it is raining, no crud trail up your back, or mud in your eyes.  Your drivetrain stays cleaner too.  All good things.  Plus: they are shiny.

Low gears.  Not everyone needs low gears for everyday riding, but this is a whatevering bike, built to take on whatever the rider wants to do.  Some steep fireroads…. a quick camping trip on a mountain?  Gotcha covered, if you have low gears.  The thing about low gears is even if you don’t use them on every ride, carrying them around won’t hurt you.

Storage.  Some people like to wear jerseys and stuff everything into the pockets in the back. But try putting a jacket, a nice camera, a sandwich, arm warmers, some magic food, spare tubes, a real pump, a multi tool, warmer gloves, a wallet and a handkerchief into those pockets.  If you do get them in there, the sandwich will get mushed, you will drop the camera trying to remove it, and the magic food will taste like rubber.  Also, you will look like Quasimodo with that big bulge back there.
Get a basic bit of luggage for your bike.  You bike lacks rack mounts?  Sad day, but not insurmountable.  Get a nice Ortlieb handlebar bag that clips to your bars.  You can fit everything listed in there, and still put a cue sheet on the top.  Storage is your friend, and having the ability to bring layers on a cool day makes riding way more enjoyable.

Optional whatevering items:  Pedals that have cleats that let you walk around, rather than hobble around.  Comfortable bar height, so you can look around, not just at your power meter.  Steel Frame, for durability and ride comfort.  Strong brakes with good brake pads, for hauling you and your overnight gear to a stop when the deer jumps out in front of you.  Built in lighting.  Generator (dynamo) front hubs let you ride all winter without having to constantly charge a light.  Surprisingly low drag, and lots of light.  Roughly 300 lumens, forever.  The bike above has two front wheels, a summer wheel and a whatevering wheel.  The whatevering wheel, pictured, has the dynamo hub laced up.

We have a few whatevering bikes available for demo purposes.  Stop by the shop to find out more!
You could even check one out for the Grand Fondue ride.  Dan the Younger’s whatevering bike was just posted on our facebook page as part of our new series on what the Bike Doc staff rides.  Check it out here.

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The Bike Doctor Frederick Grand FondueIs coming up here at the end of the month.  There are two rides, for those who don’t know yet.  99.9 miles and 35ish miles.  The 99.9er will have loads of climbing and plenty of dirt roads (about 20 miles worth).  The shorter ride will have way less climbing, and only 3 short dirt sections, which are really well groomed.

ye ole poster

The big guy will have a bailout at roughly 65, if you are dead by then.  The ride is the last Sunday in October, which is the 28th.  Both rides are only 15 bucks, plus a block of cheese for the communal fondue at the end.  That 15 bucks gets rudimentary sag support, basic mechanical support, a few glasses of wine or mead at the end, and access to the communal dinner.  We’re starting and ending at the beautiful Orchid Cellar Winery in Middletown MD, where part owner Andre (also a mechanic at the shop) will be hosting us.  Also, great local band “The Galt Line” just signed up to play, and they are a ton of fun.  We figure that’s quite a bit of goodness for just 15 bucks.  The other ride that is happening that month, the Grand Fondo, which sounds suspiciously like our Fondue, is 100 bucks, and no band and no wine!

Preregister (we need head counts sooner rather than later) even if you don’t know which ride you want to do.  Send us an email at bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (dot) com to do paypal, or just stop by the store with cash money.  Please have exact change, it will make our lives easier.  If you just have a 20, we’ll give you a Frederick Bicycle Coalition waterbottle, but no change.

Way more details here.

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Clinic season is upon us.  Sign up in advance for individual classes (some have size limits).  Almost all are free.  We have a big listing of all of them, here.  This Wednesday, we’ll be doing our popular fix a flat clinic, which is a comprehensive look at how to fix flats, cut tires, and how to use moss as a tube.

Here’s the rest of the month’s breakdown, but really, go here to see the full deal. 

10/3:  Fix a Flat.  Comprehensive look at flats and how to fix them.  Topics include: tire booting, patching, checking for stuff in the tire, and installation.

10/10:  Basic Tri Bike maintenance:  Brian will teach the ins and outs of how to care for your tri bike, including cleaning, adjusting stuff in the middle of a race, and pre race inspections.

10/17:  Touring and Bike Camping basics.  We’ll talk about need vs want, where to get stuff, and how to use it.

10/24: TBD

10/31:  Winter Riding Clinic: clothing and equipement to stay warm and safe.  Learn about practical layering, embrocation, and hydration.