"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill
As all of the loyal subscribers to MILES PEDDLED (MP) will fondly recall, the November 2021 Edition of MP was the comprehensive BUYING GUIDE. Management at MP, however, retained the services of the MILES PEDDLED INSTITUTE (MPI) to conduct some marketing research on the name of the November 2021 issue. MPI suggested that this Year’s edition be named the NOVEMBER 2022 GIFTING GUIDE. Playlist suggestion: GIVE TO LIVE by Sammy Hagar.
Before we get to the subject matter of this Month’s Edition, Management has some postscripts to address from the October 2022 BIKING AND HIKING COMBO ADVENTURES Edition of MP; and, the announcement of a new fattie bike trail in the Chicago area.
Please recall that in the colorful October 2022 Edition of MP, Management outlined several hiking trails with nearby biking. As usual, the major media outlets, this time the Chicago Tribune, were paying attention to the work product of MP and about a week after the publication of the October Edition the Tribune came out with its own Midwest hiking recommendations. (See the October 16, 2022 Sunday Edition of the Chicago Tribune). Management at MP appreciates the imitation from the Tribune, but they should be reminded: “An echo has no voice of its own.” – Marty Rubin.
The Tribune recommended hiking the Ice Age Trail (IAT) in the Kettle Moraine Forest Preserves in Wisconsin. In the north section of the Kettle Moraine, they recommended a trek on IAT that strolls atop the world famous Parnell Esker for approximately 4 miles. MP recommends the nearby biking at the Eisenbahn State Trail. Use Google Maps or the more enhanced DMAPS to find the location of the hike and bike trails.
In the southern section of the Kettle Moraine, the Tribune recommended hiking the IAT that goes through the Brady Rocks. MP recommends the nearby Glacial – Drumin Recreational Trail that runs over 65 miles from Waukesha on the east to Cottage Grove, Wisconsin on the west for a nice long bike ride.
A little closer to home, the Cook County Forest Preserve just opened up 13 new miles of mountain bike trails in the Paul Douglas Forest Preserve in Hoffman Estates. This trail system, created through a partnership between the Forest Preserve and volunteers from Chicago Area Mountain Bikers, which includes THE MAD VIKING (MV), will take riders through woodlands, grasslands and wetlands. There are multiple loops of varying difficulty. Check out the attached You Tube video.
Now to the GIFTING.
Management at MP will be making recommendations in 3 areas: bikes, helmets, and lights. With respect to the latter two, please remember the third rule of biking: SAFETY FIRST.
The bikes being recommended are in the trail/urban/trek (TUT) category.
Management at MP used the following resources to make the recommendations:
· Jamesthebikeguy at https://www.jamesthebikeguy.com
· Electric Bike Review at https://www.electricbikereview.com
· Miles Peddled Institute at https://www.mpisavingtheworld.com
A. Fitness Hybrids
Fitness Hybrids offer a balance of lightweight and speed with a confidence inspiring upright position that can make cycling more comfortable and fun. They are also ideal as a daily commuter bike and can handle choppy pavement and gravel. The bikes are simple and low maintenance. Just take it easy and enjoy the ride. Playlist suggestion: TAKE IT EASY by The Eagles.
1. Marin Fairfax 1:
A fun to ride and capable commuter bike that can handle the trails on a longer weekend outing. Price: $599.00.
2. Specialized Sirrus 2.0:
The Sirrus lineup runs from the entry level 1.0 up to the high end 6.0. They all combine fun, speed and practicality. The 2.0 is noteworthy in this lineup due to its comfort and reasonable price of $775.00.
3. Trek FX Sport 6:
The FX Sport 6 is the lightest and fastest fitness bike in the Trek FX lineup. It has almost every performance feature of a high end road bike but with flat handlebars and wider tires. The carbon fiber frame and quality components push the price up to $2,800.00.
B. Gravel Bikes
Gravel bikes are a relatively new category. Basically, they are road bikes which have a little more relaxed geometry and a bigger fork on which wider tires can be placed so that the bike can be ridden on any almost any type of terrain. Most have drop handlebars, but some come with straight handlebars. Be forewarned, the price can escalate pretty fast in this category. Playlist suggestion: TRUE LOVE TRAVELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD by Percy Sledge.
1. Camino AL Apex 1 Flat:
The Camino AL is built for those moments when the road turns into trail and the trail turns into a single track. A capable, tough, quick aluminum adventure bike with flat handlebars. Price: $1,449.00.
2. Kona Libre:
Kona makes it clear that the Libre is ready for some serious adventure. The bike is dirt oriented and has wide handlebars. Price: $2,099.00.
3. Sage Storm King:
The Sage Storm King is a favorite of the MPI adventure biking group. This bike has extreme clearance for wide tires and is meant for those looking to go on the aggressive ride. Price $4,300.00 for the frame set only.
C. Ebikes – Light Duty
The recommendations in this category are beautiful, fast and offer some practicality for your daily ride. Playlist suggestion: I AM THE BODY BEAUTIFUL by Salt-N-Pepa.
1. Aventon Soltera 7-Speed:
A Class II ebike that is nimble and powerful enough to weave through the jungles of the City yet light enough to carry up a flight of stairs after a day’s work. The bike comes in both a step-over and step-through version with multiple color options. Price $1,399.00.
2. Specialized Turbo Vado SL and SL EQ:
This is a Class III ebike. SL stands for “super light,” with the SL coming in at 33 pounds and the SL EQ coming in at 37 pounds. The “EQ” stands for equipment with this version coming with fenders and a back pannier rack.
This bike is the sports car of ebikes. Only those in the know, which obviously includes all the loyal subscribers to MP, would be able to identify this bike as an ebike.
Speaking of loyal subscribers, recently 3 loyal subscribers purchased different versions of this ebike. Specifically, the SAGE MASTER purchased the SL 5.0 and he has described it as a “game changer.”
Both the RENAISSANCE MAN (RM) and JULIA CHILD (JC), have purchased the SL EQ 4.0 version. On the day that he got the bike, RM took it out for a 36 mile ride after which he stated “it handled like a dream.”
The prices range from $3,750.00 starting with the SL 4.0 and go up to $5,250.00 on the SL EQ 5.0.
D. Ebikes – Heavy Duty
The recommendations in this category are powerful Class III ebikes that can handle any task or trek that you may desire. Playlist suggestion: DESIRE by U2.
1. Aventon Level Number 2:
With the second generation Level (the Level 2) Aventon has knocked it out of the park. Most bike reviewers have characterized it as the “most bang for your buck” in the ebike world.
The Level 2 is a Class III ebike but also has a throttle that will take the rider up to 20 miles an hour without pedaling. The battery is fully integrated into the bike, it has 4 integrated lights 2 of which are on the back and are brake activated, and it comes with a front suspension fork. The most exciting additions to the Level 2 are the new torque sensor which makes the ride much smoother; and the new backlit LCD display which syncs to the Aventon mobile app and provides many interesting options to the rider. All of this for the reasonable price of $1,949.00.
2. Gazelle Ultimate C380+HMB:
This Gazelle is the ultimate electric bike (as the name indicates) to take on any task, errand or adventure. Equal parts sporty urban bike and comfortable touring bike. It is powered by the mid-engine Bosch formidable performance line speed motor. In addition, it has the Enviolo 380 trekking internal gear hub with stepless shifting. The gearing is combined with the Gates belt drive which makes the bike whisper quite and maintenance free. This Class III ebike comes in at $4,999.00.
Management at MP acknowledges they continue to preach to the loyal subscribers that they must wear a bike helmet. In part, this is due to the fact that, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2021, 97% of bike related deaths occurred when the cyclist was not wearing a bike helmet. Management loves its loyal subscribers, so do not frustrate Management and not wear a bike helmet. Playlist suggestion: TRUE LOVE by Pink featuring Lily Allen.
When looking to purchase a bike helmet, the 2 most important criteria are fit and the protection system that it provides. Note the following:
Go put the helmet on. Make sure that it is not too loose or too tight. It should be easily adjustable and comfortable to ensure proper fit and use.
· Protection System:
Always, and Management means always, purchase a bike helmet that comes with MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) technology or an equivalent system such as the Trek “WaveCel” system.
1. Nutcase VIO MIPS:
This helmet has the MIPS system and can be used for all types of biking including ebiking. It has excellent ventilation, but what you will appreciate the most is the integrated lights on the helmet. Price $150.00.
2. Bontrager Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet:
Bontrager is the Trek brand. This helmet is perfect for all biking including ebike riders. The helmet has a minimalistic design, excellent airflow, and an attachment on the back for a light. Price $159.99.
According to DMANOPEDIA: A lumen is a measure of the amount of brightness of a light – the higher number of lumens, the brighter the light.
The front light should be at least 700 lumens, but do not be afraid to go over 1,000. The back light, should be at least 65 lumens better yet, look for something in the range of 80 to 90 lumens. Playlist suggestion: SHINE A LIGHT by the Rolling Stones.
1. Front Bike Light – Bontrager ION Pro RT:
1,300 lumens; micro USB charting port; no tools required to mount; with 3 hour battery life. Price $140.00.
NOTE: There are other excellent front lights with lumens ranging from 700 to 1,200 at a lower price.
2. Rear Bike Light – Thousand Traveler Rear Light:
80 lumens; USB-C charging; easy mounting with rubber strap; 6 hour battery life. Price: $35.00.
One last thought on GIFTING before moving on to the Trivia/Quiz section of this Month’s Edition. Specifically, Management at MP always appreciates the feedback from its loyal subscribers, particularly when the feedback is accompanied by an oblation, cash preference. Remember: You make your life by what you give to Management at MP. Playlist suggestion: THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR by Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Sir Elton John.
Now it is time to move on to this Months’ Trivia/Quiz section. Below are 10 questions regarding holiday gift giving. The answers to the questions will be in the Postscript section.
The average shopper buys presents for how many individuals? 4, 6 or 8.
Which gender gives more gifts?
Which region of the U.S. gives the most gifts? Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest or Coastal West?
The average holiday budget is over/under $1,000.00?
True or false: After pillaging and burning a village, it was custom among the Vikings to gift a body part of the conquered victims to their spouse when returning home?
Do animals give gifts?
In China, what color hat should not be given to a man? Black, Red, Blue or Green.
In what countries is it common to refuse a gift before accepting same? Pick 2: Egypt, Japan, Ireland and Norway.
This practical item used to be a popular housewarming gift: Alcohol, Firewood, Candles, Pen/Ink.
What is the gift that keeps on giving?
TEASE TIME: As all of the loyal subscribers to MP will recall, the December 2021 Edition of MP was the tasty WINTER GLÖGG Edition that addressed the issue of Why You Should Embrace the Fattie Lifestyle!. The December 2022 edition will be the sequel to the Fattie Lifestyle. Please be forewarned that Management at MP will be soliciting the aid of MV and hence, the tenor of the December 2022 edition may be a bit more aggressive. Nonetheless, it will contain some great recommendations for embracing the fattie lifestyle. Playlist suggestion: ROLLING IN THE DEEP, by Adele.
Time to go, but Management at MP will: “Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” Management will never forget its loyal subscribers particularly if they remember to R, R & R!
Answers to Trivia/Quiz Section:
1.Number of present recipients:
A: Women. Women give gifts to an average of 9.5 recipients; whereas men give gifts to an average of 7 recipients.
A: Midwest is Number 1 with an average of 9 recipients of gifts. The second is the South with an average of 8.5. In last place is the Coastal West with an average of 7.
4. Holiday Budget:
A: Under $1,000.00 with the average being $708.00.
A: False, but admit it, if the answer was true you would not have been surprised.
A: Admittedly, Questions 5 and 6 are a bit redundant when talking about Vikings and animals, but the answer is yes, animals do give presents. For example, chimpanzees give food in exchange for receiving favors, particularly the males. In addition, it is thought that when a cat brings a dead animal to its owner this is a form of oblation. To the loyal subscribers of MP, don’t get any wise ideas and give Management a dead animal as an oblation.
7. Chinese Hats:
A: Green. In China, a green hat means that the wife is cheating on the husband.
8. Countries in which it is common to refuse a gift:
A: Japan and Ireland. In Japan it is common to refuse a gift 2 times before accepting it.
In Ireland, it was common to refuse a gift. This etiquette began in the Great Famine when families could not actually afford to give gifts. Thus, refusing a gift from the giver was a polite opportunity for the giver to keep the gift that they could not afford to give.
9. Popular housewarming gift:
A: Firewood. In the past, visitors would bring firewood as a gift when they came to a party. Hence the name “housewarming” party.
10. The gift that keeps on giving:
A:According to URBAN DMANTIONARY: A cash gift to Management at MP ensures the continued publication and receipt of the Hardest Working Blog from now until at least the end of December 2022.