The Perfect Cafe For Cyclists!
West End Park Cafe & Restaurant- the perfect place for cyclists!
Are you putting some serious miles on your bike, enjoying the weather while it lasts? Riding along the river, looking for the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy the city surrounds? Look no further, because the West End Park Cafe & Restaurant is your perfect cyclist’s rest stop! With two long bike racks, we have ample bicycle parking and room for all your equipment. Large-sized cycling groups can enjoy outdoor seating in our manicured garden area.
But what goodies await the cyclist during their break at the West End Park Cafe & Restaurant? The West End’s best coffee, both light and full breakfast items, and baked goods, as well as lunch specials and cold drinks such as vitamin water, energy drinks, protein shakes, and smoothies. Whether grabbing a small snack or refueling with a hearty plate, the West End Park Cafe & Restaurant takes care of you- and your bike.
For those who perhaps have put their bike aside for a bit but want to get out for the season’s ‘last hurrah’, here’s our ‘tune up tips’ (and if your bike is in great shape now, just bring these out again in the spring!):
Tune-up task #1: Clean your bike.
A simple enough first step, but something as basic as cleaning actually extends the life of all the bike’s components. Use a biodegradable cleaner like Simple Green with a little water and wipe down all moving parts with a towel and even a toothbrush as needed: frame, chain, sprockets, derailleurs, pedals, brakes, and also the seat. Remove the seat and apply bicycle grease to the seat post to prevent rusting.
Tune-up task #2: Inspect your brake system.
Bad brakes reduce your ability to control your speed and avoid collisions, as well as inhibit your maneuverability. Carefully check over the brake pads, the rectangular rubberized pieces that actually touch the metal tire rim. You’re looking for uneven wear or any ridges, either of which may mean the pads are due to be replaced. Squeeze the brake levers on your handlebars and watch the brake pads in motion, seeing if they hit at the same time. If not, they are easily adjusted with the brake arm tension screw, located on one of the brake lever arms near the tire. Also check for too much slack in the brake cables when pulling the brakes and adjust if needed with the barrel adjuster at the end of the lever where the cable enters its housing.
Tune-up task #3: Go over your wheels.
Wheels (rims) hold onto your tires and support the bike when riding through constant contact between the tire and the road. Damaged wheel rims cause the tires and break pads to wear unevenly, shortening their lifespan and making for a less smooth (and safe) ride. Clean your wheels with rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth. Look carefully at the rims for any nicks, dents, or other damage. Lift up one wheel and spin it, checking for whether the wheel moves without wobbles- then repeat for the second wheel. Wobbly rims can be adjusted with a spoke wrench, though if you aren’t familiar with this, a bike shop may be best for this one. For very badly dented wheel rims, replacing them is best rather than risking a flat tire on the road.
Tune-up task #4: Inspect the drivetrain.
What’s a drivetrain? The drivetrain of a bicycle is the setup that includes the pedals, chain, chainring, derailleur, and rear wheel cassette (the piece in the middle of the rear wheel with all the little teeth). The drivetrain assembly functions to transfer the power generated by your legs pedaling to the rear wheel to move the bicycle forward. Using another person or a bike stand to assist, raise and spin the rear wheel, but this time change through all the gears while you do so. You’re looking for smooth shifting- if it’s not smooth, it’ll require a derailleur adjustment. You can do it yourself if you know now, otherwise get a shop to do it correctly- the last thing you want is jammed-up gears that won’t shift easily when you’re heading on an uphill climb! Also look carefully over the other parts of the drivetrain- chain, chainrings, derailleur, and cassette for signs of wear and damage such as dents, scrapes, and missing teeth. Chains tend to need replacement every 2,000-3,000 miles or if you carry cargo (including a child carrier!) frequently with the bike. For the cost of only $20-$50, a new chain will protect your entire drivetrain system.
Tune-up task #5: Check the tires.
Tires protect the wheel rims and function as as source of friction (traction) with the ground surface so that you can ride on pavement, dirt, and gravel. They also cushion you on the same surfaces, smoothing out shock and making your ride more comfortable. Check the rubber material of your tires for cracks, splitting, tears, and punctures, and also check the tread for uneven wear. And if you find your tires are bald, you’ll want new ones. When in doubt, a new tire is always worth it for piece of mind.
Tune-up task #6: Inspect all cables.
Your bike’s cables are constructed of pieces of plastic tubing that encase a network of coiled metal wires. Cables serve to connect the shifters and handlebar brakes controls to the derailleur (which then controls the gears and chain) and brake pads- basically hooking up the rider controls to the items on the bike that they control. By now, you probably know the drill- carefully examine all your cables and their plastic coatings for cracks, dirt, and damage. Worn or damaged cables are easily replaced at your local bike shop; 2-5 is a typical lifespan, or if you’re a year-round rider, yearly would be ideal to ensure optimal condition of your bike.
Tune-up task #7: Lubricate
All moving parts of your bicycle will benefit from oil lubricant, reducing dirt accumulation and improving their lifespan and performance. You’ll want to lubricate the chain (move the pedals counterclockwise while you do so) and drivetrain, the moving parts of the derailleur, the pivot point of your brake levers, and any metal bits of cable wire that remain exposed. Wipe off any excess oil with a rag and touchup minor rust spots with steel wool.