Embrace Forward Motion

Wellness, fitness & personal growth


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Preparing A Bike Emergency Kit

A normal bike ride can quickly turn into an instance of a flat tire, mechanical malfunction, or worse, an injury. Read here on the key tools and items to have in your Bike Emergency Kit:

Repair a Flat Tire

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A. Mini Pump – Not all that useful for inflating a whole tire, but good for shaping new tube for easier insertion back into wheel. Usually can be attached to the bike frame.

B. Spare Tube – Find the size and valve needed for your bike. (Little advice: keep in box to prevent accidental puncture from the other tools in the bag.)

C. Tire Levers – Use these to open up tire to remove tube, and later for getting the tire back on properly.

D. Tube Patch Kit – Sometimes a patch will do the trick on a punctured tube! May come with extra glue or as stickers.

E. CO2 Inflators – Now these will get your repaired tire back to full PSI riding condition! Use if you’re stranded on the road; if at home, save these and use floor pump instead.

Mechanical Adjustments

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F. Allen Tool – These will adjust most, if not all, your bolts and screws on your bike.

G. Swiss Army Knife – Mini screwdriver, a blade, and a few other tools. May come in handy for a variety of needs!

Medical and First-Aid

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H. First-Aid Kit – May include Band-Aids of different sizes, gauze, insect bite relief, alcohol wipes, hand-towelettes, and gloves.

I. Emergency Contacts and Assistance (not pictured) – Paper with your name, allergies, date of birth, as well as names and numbers of emergency contacts. May also carry health-insurance card and AAA Card. (Certain cities, like Minneapolis, offer bike road-side service to cyclists who are AAA members and are stranded.)

Storage and Closing Notes

Most often, bike emergency kits are carried in under-the-seat saddle bags, but may also be stored in backpacks or panniers. These can be purchased in a variety of sizes in local bike shops or online.

Always remember to carry a phone, identification, and money with you. Ride predictably and notify someone of your route if riding alone. Enjoy the ride!

Want to know what else to bring on your ride? Read up on the Essential Bike Accessories.


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Best Urban Trails in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Summertime is great for exploring the outdoors! The Twin Cities are well known for their beautiful urban landscape, with an abundance of vitalizing parks, trails and bodies of water.

Here is my selection of the Best Trails in Minneapolis and St. Paul for every mood. If you are looking to be by…

The Lakes

  • Check out the Chain of Lakes. Among the lakes, Lake Calhoun is the biggest (and seemingly with the highest number of active people) in Minneapolis. Looking for something calmer? Explore Lake Harriet–family friendly, with shade under trees and lake views throughout. Rest by the Lake Harriet Bandshell for food, and free movies and music in the summer.

    Chain of Lakes

    Chain of Lakes

The Mississippi River

  • Go see West River Parkway (Minneapolis side)–beautiful stretches between Broadway St. and Plymouth Ave., and south of Lake St. to Minnehaha Falls Park.

    West River Parkway

    West River Parkway

  • Try Mississippi River Boulevard (St. Paul side). Enjoy scenic views of the river between Franklin Ave. and Summit Ave. Be sure to stop at the landscaped rest area where Summit Ave. meets the Boulevard for amazing panoramic views, a historic monument and hidden dirt trail and waterfalls down by the river.

    Mississippi River Boulevard

    Mississippi River Boulevard

A Residential Area

  • Go for a stroll on St. Anthony Parkway in Northeast Minneapolis. Suburban feel in an urban landscape. Winding off-road trail and sidewalk, plenty of green to catch your eye and quiet neighborhood. Make a stop at Deming Heights Park to reach the highest elevation in Minneapolis. (The St. Anthony Parkway bridge on the west end of the Parkway will be under construction from Aug. 2015 to summer of 2017; plan for an alternative connecting route if coming from the west.)

    St. Anthony Parkway

    St. Anthony Parkway

Minnehaha Creek

  • Run on the Minnehaha Parkway trails. A hidden urban escape with fluid, gentle water sounds. The tree canopy makes it easy to forget you are in the middle of the city. Great connecting route between Lake Harriet, Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Falls.

    Minnehaha Parkway

    Minnehaha Parkway

Open Prairie Fields

  • Ride on the Cedar Lake Trail. Parts of the trail accommodate pedestrians and cyclists with three separate parallel lanes, including one-way bike lanes in each direction. Fast commute. with ample sun and open space. Bring your own water supply in the summer; there are only a few water sources available. Connect with the Kenilworth Trail for a tree- and shade-filled oasis that leads to the Chain of Lakes.
Cedar Lake Trail

Cedar Lake Trail

Kenilworth Trail

Kenilworth Trail

The Middle of the City

  • Go on the Midtown Greenway. Although not very scenic, it gets you where you need to go. With many street exits in the middle of Minneapolis, the Greenway starts at W. River Pkwy., stretches past Lake Calhoun and merges with the Cedar Lake Trail.

    Midtown Greenway

    Midtown Greenway


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Essential Bike Accessories

The spring weather is beautiful and it’s biking season! Here are some essential items and accesories that will ensure you have a smooth, comfortable and safe bike ride!

Need To Have

Bicycle – Most common types are road bikes (specialized for slick paved surfaces), mountain bikes (best for rugged terrain) and hybrid bikes (considered great commuter bikes).

Helmet – Safety first: protect your head, you only have one. Make sure the helmet fits right according to the instructions. IMPORTANT: Once a helmet has been in a crash, you MUST replace it. The material compresses only once (often not visibly) and it will no longer protect you in the future.

Lights – If you are going to do any riding during dark hours, you need a front white light and a back red light. Not only do they improve your visibility to drivers at night, but also they are required by law in many cities. Additionally, the front light will help you see where you are going and avoid potholes or rough bumps on the road.

U-Lock – Lock your bike whenever you make a stop and leave it unattended. U-Locks are harder to break than cables or chains. The better the lock, the less chance your bike will get stolen.

Nice To Have

Bike Emergency Kit – May include tools and items to repair a flat tire, make mechanical adjustments, and tend to minor medical needs and first-aid. Follow link for more information on what to pack.

Road ID – In case you become unconscious due to a collision or another circumstance, this handy wristband can list your name, city, emergency contacts and phone numbers, allergies or other critical information that may assist others (including EMTs) to help you when you are not able speak for yourself. You can get it for a good price in different colors and in different varieties (ankle bracelets, shoe attachments, etc.). Explore the RoadID website for more details.

Phone – For safety, in case you need to make emergency phone calls, and to track your route and progress. Fitness apps with GPS like Endomondo and MapMyRide can measure your speed, riding time, elevation, time splits, and map your route, among others. See Resources for more details.

Sports Watch – It’s nice to keep track of time in a visually accessible place.

Water Bottle – Stay hydrated during longer rides. Bottles can be mounted onto most frames for easy access while riding.

Gloves – Great for slightly chillier rides. There are also variety of sweat-wicking athletic gloves with good grip.

Windbreaker/Raincoat – Nice for the windy and rainy days.

Obviously there are a variety of other gadgets and accessories you can invest in depending on what kind of riding you do. Hope this list helps you get started on the basics; be sure to visit local bike shops or chat with cyclist friends for other useful accessory ideas!