Protect Your Bike This Spring

Spring is here, and avid cyclists have already been tuning their wheels in preparation for a new season of riding. Besides rotating tires and lubricating your chain, there are a few other things you may want to consider this year regarding safety. I’m not talking about personal safety, as that is usually the foremost concern for any serious biker (wear a helmet!). In this case, we want to make sure that your bike is not lost, stolen or damaged. Here are a few clever ways to protect your bicycle.

1. Buy a Lock and Use It
This might seem commonplace, but the easiest way for a bicycle thief to get away with your ride is if it isn’t secured where you leave it. Even if you are just ducking into a gas station to grab a bottle of water, it just takes a second for an opportunist to ride off with it. Buy a quality lock that can be quickly and securely deployed, and be sure to lock it around the frame, not just the front wheel.

2. Install a Custom Name Plate
In the event that your bike is stolen, it can be really difficult to get it back. Some people have had success finding lost or stolen bikes for sale on Craigslist, but in order to allay doubt that a particular bike is your personal property you may want to discreetly attach an engraved name plate on it. If a bike shows up for sale in an online marketplace with your name quite literally on it, that will help expedite the retrieval process. If you want to be really sneaky, get a barcode engraved instead of your name written out. This code could store your name, address or whatever information you want, and likely would not be noticed by someone who swiped it off the street.

3. Protect Your Frame
Your bike’s frame is pretty hardy, but if you really like the paint job, or if you want to be sure it doesn’t rust when exposed to the elements, get some frame protection material. This flexible material is available in sheets and will prevent surface damage to the paint, ensuring that you won’t suffer any scratches and eventual rusting.

4. Get a Tire Repair Kit
Nothing cuts a day of recreational cycling short like getting a flat tire right out the gate. In a pinch, a tire repair kit can save your day, and are very affordable. They are widely available and can either attach to your bike frame or fit neatly in a backpack. Better kits include tools and a pump to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.

Feel the Warmth in Michigan

Ah, can you smell Spring the air? We can.

Winter has finally passed (hopefully), and the seasons are now gleefully changing toward warmer weather, fresh-cut grass and, something that many Michiganders love—outdoor festivals.

From Belle Isle to downtown Detroit, up to Royal Oak and then north to Traverse City, outdoor festivals are plentiful in Michigan. Plus, they’re tons of fun. Here you can search for all fairs and festivals by date, city or activity.

But, for those of you who want to dig a bit deeper into what actually goes into throwing those awesome summer festivals, read on.

It depends on the festival, but many have been planned months in advance. Spaces need to be rented, volunteers signed up and vendors contacted. A huge amount of planning is needed to make sure that everything is coordinated so that the festival goes off without a hitch.

Next, a lot of fairs and festivals are turning to social media to promote their event and encourage people to come. This includes making a Facebook page, Twitter account and utilizing other social media platforms to reach new audiences. Also, this allows festival go-ers, vendors and volunteers to share their experience during. Selfies are here to stay, and what’s more fun then smiling with a fresh-baked pie, farm animals or whatever else the festival has gotten?

Finally, many festivals are boasting bigger and better exhibitions and spaces for attendees to interact with. This includes expandable trailers for pull-out stages, tents to protect the weather’s harsh elements and other specially-orderd items. As an attendee, take advantage of these new attractions at festivals. And most important, enjoy the fresh Michigan fun!

Positive You, Positive Michigan

It’s time to spring into health! All right, excuse the pun and terrible line. We couldn’t help it. But, in honor of the new, fresh weather (and site!) it’s time to freshen up ourselves and make sure we’re prepped and ready for what’s to come.

If you live where it’s mostly cloudy most of the time, it’s exciting when the sun comes out. We get it, you just want to replenish all that Vitamin D you’ve been missing out on. But, before you run outside, remember to protect your skin. Sunburns are serious concerns, and will cause you more problems in the future.

If you can’t remember when’s the last time you’ve been to the dentist, that means it’s probably time to go back. Make sure to visit your dentist for a regular teeth cleaning. Just think, you’ll want those pearly whites all ready for barbecue season.

Check your fridge. Go ahead and take a serious look at what you’ve been eating during those long winter months. Often we shift to more filling, warm (and fattening) comfort foods when the months go cold. Clean out your fridge and pantry and restock with fresh veggies, fruits and healthier options.

Think of all this a spring cleaning, but for your body. Often we’re so focused on our jobs and on our homes, that we forget a bit of ‘internal’ cleaning. The change in season wakes us up to new and fresh ideas to improve ourselves this year.