Paul Ryan’s Budget, Mushroom Hunters, Preparing Your Bike For Spring

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The weather is finally beginning to warm up and for Wisconsinites that means it’s time to get your bikes out of storage. During this week’s “Teach Me What You Know” segment, Veronica Rueckert learns how to get a bike ready for spring. Then she explores the world of mushroom gathering and finds out about the budget proposal released by Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

Featured in this Show

  • Spring Time Is Bike Tune-Up Time

    The promise of spring might have many Wisconsinites excited to jump on their bicycle again, but if the bike has been sitting in the garage — or worse, sitting outside — prospective riders might have some tuning-up to do to get it ready for a warm-weather ride.

    Carolyn Weber, co-owner of Coast In Bikes in Milwaukee, said that the “ABC Quick Check” is a checklist that bicycle enthusiasts can use to make sure their bike is safe to ride.

    Here is how the checklist works:

    • A is for “air.”

    Tires can deflate over the winter, so it’s important to check their air pressure before a first ride. Most tires list how much pressure they need in pounds per square inch (PSI) on the tire wall and people should pump up the tire correspondingly. There’s another benefit to proper tire inflation, in addition to a smooth ride: “Nine times out of 10, you can prevent flats just by keeping properly inflated tires,” said Weber.

    • B is for “brakes.”

    Brake pads should be checked pads for wear. A good rule of thumb is if less than a quarter of an inch of the pad is left, it’s time to get new brake pads. Also, make sure brake levers feel firm when a rider pulls them, Weber said.

    • C is for two different things: “Crank” and “Chain”

    The crank connects the pedal to the bike frame. Test the crank for safety by trying to pull it away from the frame. If there is any wiggle, it will need to be adjusted (by a professional, if one isn’t comfortable doing it alone). It will be more costly the longer one rides without this adjustment. According to Weber, “It can save you a lot of money just by checking the crank. It can go from a $5 adjustment to a $40 to $50 fix.”

    Riders should also make sure the chain isn’t too loose. If they do not have a tool to test for chain tightness, they can determine looseness by looking at where it wraps around the front crank. If it’s a little loose at the front crank, the chain might be stretched out. Replacing the chain will increase life of the bike’s drive train, which is more expensive to replace than a chain.

    • “Quick” is for “quick releases.”

    Quick releases are the mechanisms that keep some bikes’ wheels attached. Cyclists use them to easily remove their wheels to put them in their trunks or car racks. Make sure the quick release levers are tight and against the frame, otherwise a wheel might fall off while riding, Weber said.

    Weber recommends doing the “ABC Quick Check” every three to four rides. She points out that there are plenty of helpful videos on YouTube that explain how do basic bike repair, like lubing chains and changing flat tires, and that there are also Milwaukee organizations that will teach you bike repair in person, like the Milwaukee Bike Collective or the Boys and Girls Club.

    Weber also said that the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation offers a wealth of information for Badger state bicyclists.

  • Rep. Ryan Releases GOP 2015 Budget Proposal

    The House Republican 2015 budget was released today. Penned by Wisconsin Republican Rep.Paul Ryan, the budget proposes significant cuts to social services, including Medicare.Veronica Rueckert’s guest provides an overview.

  • The Underground World Of Mushroom Hunters

    A look at the men and women who make a living foraging wild mushrooms.

  • Teach Me What You Know: Bike Tune-Ups

    Spring is here, and the weather is slowly catching up with the calendar. Many of us are dusting off our bicycles and preparing to ride again. In this week’s “Teach Me What You Know” segment, we’ll learn how to tune up our bikes and assess it for safety.

Episode Credits

  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Marika Suval Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Cynthia Schuster Producer
  • Maya MacGuineas Guest
  • Langdon Cook Guest
  • Carolyn Weber Guest

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