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Get Into Gear

Outfit yourself with trusted equipment and you can go anywhere your two wheels can take you, no matter what the weather or road conditions.


This post is in partnership with the CLIF Bar 2-Mile Challenge


Having the right equipment can make all the difference between a good cycling experience and a bad one. First things first: choose a bike that fits. “Find a bike you can stand over comfortably,” says Kat Cummings, owner of San Francisco’s Missing Link Cooperative. “The seats should be at the proper height, so when pedaling legs get almost straight, but don’t lock out the knee.” Cummings says the seat may be the culprit if you get left behind when riding in a pack. Finally, she advises, when seated, make sure the handlebars are a comfortable distance away. Another tip from many commuters – consider getting cycling gloves to prevent slipping (plus they help keep hands warm).

Next, don't forget a helmet. Cummings doesn’t recommend a specific brand, citing that all helmets are safety-tested by the same agency. “Choose a helmet that fits you well and isn’t damaged. Most helmets are designed to be good for only one crash. They crack when dissipating the force of a crash. This is the time to replace them.” And for those living in areas with inclement weather, Debbie Dust shares her stay-warm strategy for cycling in Chicago – a Craft Scandinavia knit cap to wear beneath the helmet.

Commuters traveling at various times of days make good use of lights when cycling. When purchasing lights, Cummings suggests starting with at least one white light in front of the bike and one red one in back. “Most lights will do,” she says. “Flashing ones are even more visible.” Two brands she personally likes – RAVX and Light & Motion. Dust, considers lights a worthy investment. Her faves – Blackburn Flea. Margaret McGlynn goes all out with lights for her Los Angeles bicycle commute. “I light myself up like a Christmas tree.” For McGlynn that includes a NiteRider lighting system and Princeton Tec headlamp for her helmet.

Rain doesn’t stop some cyclists from their daily ride. Dust maintains her route on wet days by equipping her bike with fenders. “I like the non-permanent ones,” she says. “When it’s raining and windy, they keep the road spray off your body.” On rainy days, Dust also dons her Assos of Switzerland micro-climate jacket in hard-to-miss white. “It breathes, vents and keeps the water out. It’s a good wind jacket as well.” McGlynn adds arm warmers and rain pants to the mix for cold, wet days in LA.

Also key for commutes or errand runs by bike is lugging equipment. A basic setup includes an under-saddle pouch containing tire tubes, pump, C02 cartridge and patch kit. A CamelBak bag can be worn as a backpack when biking long distances.

Robyn Cooper makes her LA commute with a bike basket strapped to a rack in the back of her bike. In the basket she keeps a backpack and bike locks. McGlynn has a similar set-up using panniers. “Being able to carry things on your bike instead of your back is a huge upgrade,” says Cummings. “Most modern bikes, unless they’re intended for racing or training, come equipped to install a rack.” She loves her Planet Bike rear rack.

When cycling from the Oregon border to Santa Cruz, California, Rob Morton knew exactly how he wanted to outfit his bike. “Jandd panniers,” he says resolutely. “They held five days worth of camping gear, clothes, food and fluids.” Want even more? Consider Riley McAlpine’s favorite gear for lugging. “Xtracycle is my top pick,” she says. “It easily attaches to bikes, has pannier bags and lots of attachments and can carry human passengers. It’s so fun.” And isn’t that what cycling is all about?

Read more about urban biking in our GOOD Guide to Biking for the Planet.

Articles
via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.





Culture
Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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The Planet