Sunday, June 7, 2015
Every year since 2010, I have created a vacation countdown calendar for my family. Whether our crew will be visiting the Carolina coast, going to Disney, or spending a week up north in a cabin on a lake, we always have a countdown to vacation. The format is akin to an advent calendar in which each of our kids takes their turn pulling a tab of the day to reveal a picture on each day of the calendar. For pictures, I typically insert jpegs of our family, area landmarks, and scenic attractions from previous trips. If there is not enough picture files in your photo inventory, one can always check out flickr or other photo sharing sites for photos assuming you borrow the content from those jpeg authors/owners that permit you to do so. Being a spreadsheet person, I use none other than Microsoft Excel to produce my countdown calendar and I can show you how. Typically I create a thirty day or one month countdown to the big departure day. That time frame allows six rows or weeks that easily fit on one eight and a half by eleven inch sheet of copy paper.
Creating the Calendar Grid in Excel
1. Days of the Week. First you will create a new spreadsheet for your calendar. Next you will highlight columns B though H and set column width to be 22.50. Set the column width for column A to be 8.
2. Calendar Header – Grab cells b1:h1 and merge as one cell. This will become one cell that you can type your header such as 2015 Vacation Countdown Calendar, etc. Also, set the row height for row one at 30.
3. Days of the Week Header - Set the row height for row 2 to be 16.5.
4. Weeks- Be sure to set row height of rows 4,6,8,10,12 and 14 to be 85.
5. Date Header – Be sure to set row height of rows 5,7,9,11, and 12 to 16.5
6. Border Lines – Highlight cells b3 and drag done to H14 and click border all sides icon. This will ensure every cell in this field will have black lines/borders on all sides.
7. Calendar Title – In cell B1, type your calendar name (E.g. 2015 Vacation Countdown) in font size 14 with the font size of your choice. I used Bradley Hand. Also bold the font. Justify the font to center position so the title of your calendar is right in the middle.
8. Days of the Week Title – Start in B2 through H2, start typing the days of the week. I go with Bradley Hand font style and a size 11 font. Be sure to center the type in each cell and also bold the font.
9. Calendar Dates – These calendar instructions allow for six weeks covering the countdown of 30 days. Since departure dates don’t always start at the beginning of the week or very end of the week, this six week format allows you to place your dates accordingly. I usually find my departure date and count back. In my example I am leaving on July 5th and counted back 30 days. Just follow along with a real calendar in front of you to establish your dates. You will type in your dates for rows 3, 5, 7,9,11 and 13. Go to “Format Cells” and pick date option. For font I used Bradley Hand size 11 font and bold. Also justify the date to the right size of cell. Also use color fill function, but try to avoid dark colors that will hide your font.
10. Enter Remaining Days – Start with your departure date and label “Vacation”. Count back towards your thirty days. I used Bradley Hand and size 11 font.
11. Adding pictures into the vacation countdown dates. To insert a picture into a date cell, simply click on cell of choice, then click insert picture and select picture file, click insert again. You may need to shrink down the picture to fit inside the cell. At this point it is optional if you wish to cover these dates like an advent calendar. Kids can pull the labels off each day as you get closer to vacation.
There you have it. As mentioned earlier, please feel free to adjust fonts and colors accordingly to your tastes. Also consider adding pictures to the border of your calendar. Feel free to leave comments if you have questions on your calendar set up.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Choosing vacation accommodations does not necessarily need to result in lodging at a chain hotel or resort. Many times, vacationers will consider renting a condo, cottage or villa from a private owner. One of the more popular sites for finding such vacation rentals is through VRBO.com or homeaway.com. This website has listings of vacation accommodations for just about anywhere around the globe. The concept of this website is brilliant as it provides a site for private owners to list their properties and describe their rental to the open market of renters visiting the website. Each rental listing typically includes pictures, description, availability calendar, list of amenities nearby, map and pricing. It is an ideal marketplace to navigate a desired location and pick that one spot that looks ideal for your next vacation. I have been using this website for nearly thirteen years and learned a few helpful tricks and tips that are worthy of mention.
Before falling in love with the glamorous picture of that Maui villa or mountainside cabin in Aspen, the prospective renter needs to consider carefully these points below before deciding to book a stay through this site.
1. Read all prior renter reviews carefully. Most vacation listings have a history of comments by previous renters. Pay attention to these comments. A few comments on the board about lack of cleanliness or noise complaints can be a red flag to move on to the next listing. I try to keep an open mind on some of the testimonials as even the most generous and meticulously clean landlords will occasionally have a one or two negative reviews on their listing due to occupants that had unrealistic expectations.
2. Avoid rental cost surprises. Most listings show the different rates charged to renters for the duration of their stay. Typically the rates will fluctuate by high and low seasons. Read all the fine print on listing and on rental agreement. Most owners will charge the weekly fee, then also add in a security deposit/damage deposit and perhaps also charge a state tax. If the vrbo listing by owner is vague on actual price, then e-mail the owner to request a complete cost breakdown for the duration of stay. It is always a good idea to get the total cost breakdown in writing before making that PayPal or credit card deposit. A negotiated amount over the phone can get lost in translation, so keep it in writing.
3. Make use of the map features when searching a property. If the listing has a map link, you will certainly want to click on it to know where the accommodations will be in proximity to other places of interest (water, amusement park, restaurants, etc.). That great deal you were quoted for a week’s vacation may be low because it is in a poor location.
4. Scrutinize rental pictures closely. If the unit description explains that the rental has two bedrooms, then make sure the pictures of each bedroom are shown on the listing. Also be wary of listings that show only interior pictures of unit and no outside pictures. If falling in love with unit is only based on inside the property, consider e-mailing the owner to get an exterior picture.
5. Consider the “extras” included in the rental. Several property listings may include items in the weekly rental price that a vacationer may have to purchase extra for. For example, renting a villa or condo on the Outer Banks that includes bicycles or beach cart for the week may save money when considering the extra cost one would have to pay renting these items ala cart from a local store. Similar amenities may include access to pools, tennis courts, or golf courses. These can be excellent perks to your next vacation.
6. Considering a pet friendly rental. I actually stumbled upon VRBO several years ago through a search engine when perusing South Carolina coastal properties that were “pet friendly” as we like to take our mild mannered golden retriever along for the week. The website has a filter that will list only those properties in which the owners allow renters to bring their dog for the week. Typically there is an extra pet deposit required for such rentals. This is also important feature for those people highly allergic to pets that need to avoid such properties.
Bottom line for newcomers to VRBO is to read the listings carefully. Do not hesitate to ask ownership regarding any concerns prior to booking the trip. If there are no reviews on a listing, then do some detective work and request more pictures from owner. Also Google the address to see if there is something revealed that might send up a reason not to rent.
Monday, September 22, 2014
While I have played numerous courses in the area (Kiawah’s Turtle Point, Osprey, Cougar, and Oak Point), I have yearned to get on at least one of the two courses at Seabrook, known as Crooked Oaks and Ocean Winds. Both of these courses are considered the resort courses on Seabrook Island. These courses require staying on the island via the Seabrook Island Resort, or you better at least know someone on Seabrook to play on as a guest. I have not played these courses but have walked a few fairways a few years back when I was on to Seabrook during an island tour (touring a few homes with a realtor).
Crooked Oaks which I consider more the inland course is a 6,754 yard course offering up a slope rating of 139. The course was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. One of the unique features to this course, aside from it majestic oaks is the bent grass greens. Speaking of those oaks, shot selection will require precision due to the nature of these tight fairways and smaller sized greens. Prices for play at Seabrook Island Resort’s Crooked Oaks range from $93 to $170. The costs can be lower depending upon amenity cards that may be included with rental. Tee time discounts of 50% also should be considered if teeing off after three p.m.
Ocean Winds Golf Course
This course designed by Robert Byrd Sr. is over 6,765 yards with a slop rating of 139. The par 72 course features 9 holes that meander through marsh and forest. The back nine works its way back to the Ocean with picturesque fairways. This course is teeming with wildlife be it egrets or alligators. The course plays much more narrow on the inland front nine, with the back nine playing more open, however the wind becomes a nuisance off the tee box.
For more information on playing golf on Seabrook, please visit www.discoverseabrook.com
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Every summer our family spends hours traveling up and down the U.S. interstate highways.
Though not as quick as flying, the road trip experience can be lots of fun and a good way to bond with family and friends. Our trip usually involves a few stops along the way at interstate rest areas. These rest areas serve a great purpose as they are much quicker to get off and get back onto the highway in comparison to exiting off at gas stations or restaurants. Our family even stops off at a scenic rest area every year to have a picnic lunch before moving on to our destination.
Though they are convenient, rest areas stops should be exercised with great caution as these locations can also serve those engaged in criminal activity.
Here are a few common sense tips to remember when deciding to pull off at a rest area.
Stick to Well Lit Areas
If nature calls and you need to stop off at rest area in late evening or early morning, consider using a rest area that is well illuminated. If the rest area is poorly lit with no cars or even one car or truck, I will proceed on to the next rest area or use a gas station or fast food establishment.
Avoid surrounding areas of Rest Areas
If your stop off at the rest area is for the purpose of stretching or using the toilets, then stick to that purpose. Avoid having anyone in your group run off into nearby woods or any places that would allow strangers to hide. Also avoid parking next to large vehicles such as recreational vehicles or trucks that would permit a stranger in one of those vehicles to snatch and grab one of your passengers.
Buddy System when using Rest Area Restrooms
If the rest area has a family restroom offered, then it is advisable that it used otherwise use the buddy system. Parents should take children with them. Even if a child does not need to use the facility, he or she should accompany parent. No one should be left alone in the parked car.
Avoid Desolate Rest Areas
If the stop off reveals a very empty parking lot, then consider moving on. Just because there are no vehicles spotted at the rest area does not necessarily ensure safety. Actually the threat can be just as great if not greater because predators will like his or her odds of getting away with a crime as chances for witnesses or police are minimal at a vacant rest stop.
Friday, July 18, 2014
One of our vacation highlights while we were down at Kiawah during the second week of June was the fishing. The ocean and inter-coastal waterways are teeming with a variety of fish whether it is flounder, reds, trout, shark and so much more. These areas are also plentiful for netting blue crabs and shrimp. For those anxious to shellfish, just remember to bring some cast nets or traps and be familiar with the SC fishing regulations. I am definitely going to give crabbing a try during my next visit.
Our focus during the vacation week was on fish. We managed to do all of our fishing from the pier at Rhetts Bluff on Kiawah Island. The Rhetts bluff area features two piers (only one for fishing), boats launch/landing, and even a gazebo to picnic or seek refuge from the rain. There is even a portion on both piers that have covered sections. This little roof came in handy when we went fishing on our second day down in Kiawah and experienced a quickly approaching downpour.
With light fishing gear, tackle box, and my two sons and father in law along, we were able to cast some lines from the end of the pier using cut up squid and mullet. The squid is the ideal bait for inter-coastal fishing, as it is rubbery and the dense tissue stays on the hook pretty good in spite of the numerous bites. The fishing pier has a great stainless steel bait station to cut the bait and has a hose to rinse off.
What started out as slow bites for the first hour quickly turned to catching a bunch of croakers. (You’ll know a croaker when you catch one by the noise they make). We then managed to catch even a few smaller sharks and a ray. My father in law had a serious fish on his line until the line snapped. That was a painful reminder that we should have been using heavier line, especially when casting heavier baits towards the middle and deeper parts of the river. For those that want to get a little flavor of salt water fishing without going through the exercise of chartering a boat, I highly recommend doing some fishing along this Atlantic inter-coastal spot. It is also a great way to introduce fishing to the younger anglers.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
This year’s June 2014 vacation spent on Kiawah had a slightly better kick to it. This year we had the honor of having extended family from Chicago join us in addition to meeting up with cousins from Atlanta. We got a lot of beach time with family along with other fun outdoor activities each day. The days all concluded with some really great moments of breaking bread with family, friends and good conversation.
I am a foodie by nature so I figured dining stops merited their own post. My play time and other outdoor activities will get written down her at some later time.
Eating Out in the Low Country
During our time in Kiawah, we prepared a little over half of our meals during the week. We stocked up on groceries at the West Ashley Publix to get us through most breakfasts, lunches, and a few dinners. Over half of the evening meals were prepared by our parents (my in-laws) as we walked over to their villa just a stone’s throw down tennis club. The in-laws were once again more than gracious with their hospitality. The meal quality and company was second to none. Aside from Kiawah’s natural beauty, vacationing with extended family is a prime reason we keep coming back to this area. When we did not eat our meals “in house”, we visited the following places to dine.
Reds Ice House (John’s Island - Bohicket) – Our first dining out experience was Monday night at Red’s Ale house at the Bohicket Marina near Seabrook Island. Our group had spent the day at the beach enjoying sand and surf and preferred to keep things close to home. The wait for a table at Red’s was about half hour, but we did score an outside table which was a bonus. The food was decent as usual as table orders included blackened grouper sandwiches, peel and eat shrimp, assorted salads, she-crab soup, fish and chips and crab legs (noted specialty at Red’s). As far as I am concerned they could have served me a cheese quesadilla and I would have ranked the experience as phenomenal simply due to the sunset view over the marina. The view encouraged us to remain for a drink or two more and spot a very large storm cloud out on the horizon that displayed some pretty stellar lightning; though too far to be of any concern.
Vincent’s (John’s Island - Freshfields)
Always a mandatory stop, I brought the kids to Vincent’s for ice cream. The place was hopping with a lunch crowd at two o’clock and very noisy. It wasn’t quite the same experience as with previous drop ins during my walks around Freshfields. The counter help consisted of five teenagers bumping into each other and concerned with discussing their own private lives and telling jokes. Attention to customers seemed secondary. When it came down to processing orders, there really seemed to be just two people doing all the labor with the other three just standing around. Didn’t quite understand that work flow. Perhaps it was just a shift change and that stirred some commotion. Regardless, the cones took about ten minutes to prepare for just myself and my three kids! The lack of attention made the tip jar on the counter come off as quite comical.
Lucky Lucianos Pizza (Bohicket)
After another one of our long beach mornings, we returned to the villa for lunch. I ordered two pizzas from Lucky Luciano’s over at Bohicket. Pizza was ready within a half hour. I ordered a plain cheese and an Italian sausage thin crust. The pizzas were pretty decent and the price was fair as it set me back about $30; much cheaper than the Market at Kiawah. The gentleman that rang up the order and handed me the pizzas could not have been any nicer. In my fourteen or so years of travelling to Kiawah, I have always hoped a good pizza joint would thrive down here. I hope this business lasts a long time.
We did our mandatory Thursday evening stop at Bessingers in Charleston. Why visit Bessinger’s on Thursday? Well, because kids can eat for $.99. It used to be free, but I will happily pay a buck a kid. It was a great evening of barbecue (Big Joe), sweet onion rings and iced tea. The added benefit of world cup soccer being televised on the flat screens inside the dining room was the cherry on the sundae. I would love to have a Bessinger’s up here in Chicago. As with most restaurants in South Carolina, don’t pass up the banana pudding at this joint!
Sticky Finger’s Barbecue (Charleston)
Like Bessingers, a trip to Sticky Fingers is an annual ritual. We ended up stopping in early Friday afternoon after walking through the Market. The lunch menu was pretty solid and reasonably priced. Just about the whole group ordered some sort of barbecue lunch special whether in the form of ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken or wings. The meals tasted good and I was happy to get my fix of sweet potato casserole as a side dish. The food server was a tad irritable and seemed annoyed by the size of our larger group of eleven. He did finally manage a smile, though only when he was paid his tip.
King Street Grill (Freshfield’s)
We ended our week at King Street in the shopping mall. We did our final Friday dip in the ocean at sunset and all had room for some light fare and drinks. The restaurant was bopping as the wait time was close to an hour. Apparently King Street and most of Freshfields is quite busy on Fridays! The influx of customers at King Street was attributed to the lawn entertainment concluding. Overall, the food and service were good, and I did enjoy the sports bar theme with several flat screens located throughout the restaurant. Our group came in with light appetites as we had dined on Sticky Fingers earlier in the day. Everyone went with appetizers and drinks. The food was solid and wait staff seemed attentive to our needs. Our waitress even referred to my twelve year old daughter as “princess” which I mockingly dubbed her the rest of the evening. Doesn’t that make me a King? I will have to come back here at some point and get a regular sized meal.
A week’s time did not allow us to hit our usual favorites. Yes, we got our good fix of barbecue and had some good seafood at Reds, but I have a few I will need to visit next trip. I will have to pay a return visit to Hominy Grill, Mustard Seed and J.B’s smoke shack. Until then, I will be counting down the days until my next visit.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
In my thirteen plus years of vacationing in Kiawah, I have spent most of those visits doing my grocery shopping either at the Newton farms store (now a Harris Teeter) or at the local Piggly Wiggly (Johns Island). Those plans changed when the Publix store was built about five years ago within West Ashley Place shopping center (3642 Savannah Highway). My trip to this Publix from the Kiawah villa takes about twenty to twenty five minutes depending on traffic.
Not sure if it is due to this store still being somewhat new, but cleanliness appears to be a priority of this Publix store; inside and out. The aisles always appear to be easy to navigate. The check out belts and deli counters are always spotless. Even the parking lot appears to be tidy.
Most store associates are extremely friendly. The deli help is super friendly as they occasionally offer up a shaving of sliced meat to sample. I also find it courteous that the check out attendants will sometimes point out store savings when I could be potentially getting ripped off because I overlooked a sale. Thanks guys.
It is a challenge for me to do any comparison pricing when measuring up Publix against Johns Island Newton Farms (now a Harris Teeter). The island store price markup makes most items at Publix appear very inexpensive. The real measurement would be comparing Publix to the local Piggly Wiggly (“The Pig”) or Food Lion. I can’t make that comparison because I do not shop at those other locations. Still, I like Publix prices and find pricing comparable to some of the items I can purchase at my home store in the Chicago suburbs.
Aside from being super clean, I really adore the Publix store brand items. Since first walking into a Publix, I have found most of their labeled goods such as their cheesecake, wheat bread, and cinnamon French toast sticks to be the best. If we could find away to bring home numerous cheesecakes back to Illinois in the dog days of summer, we would do it.
All in all, I would highly recommend those staying anywhere relatively close to West Ashley area (within thirty minute drive) to do their weekly shopping there. You will save a bundle. Just remember to bring a really well insulated cooler if purchasing perishables.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
There is nothing better than spending quality summer time with the family on the South Carolina beaches. Sand and surf can be pleasing to the senses until someone gets a bad rash from playing in the ocean and beach. There are plenty of reasons why people get sand rash in the trunks. Some fall victim to exposure to sand lice or sand fleas, though most rash issues are attributed to the salt water and sand and their abrasiveness to legs and groin area. The unpleasantness of such a bad rash can be a vacation game changer. At that point, even the simple activity of walking becomes a miserable experience. This actually happened to me a few years ago down in Kiawah as my inner thigh became raw from a day at the beach. A little detective work revealed there are ways to prevent this from happening. Here are a few tips to try and avoid getting rash when spending a day (or week) at the beach.
1. Remove mesh lining from swim suit to prevent rash. Most people swear that removing the netting or mesh liner inside the suit will go a long way to keeping away unwanted sand. Of course, the removal of the netting will leave potential for possible “exposure” so consider first putting on a layer of cotton briefs before wearing the altered swim trunks. Those that wear the lengthier board shorts can wear tight fitting spandex bike shorts underneath.
2. Use outdoor beach showers to prevent skin rash. Many beaches have a nearby beach house with showers or even outdoor hoses to rinse off. Take advantage of such amenities whenever possible and rinse all sand and salt water away from the body and suit. This will go along way into preventing sand rash.
3. Avoid starting the day wearing a damp suit to the beach. If planning on swimming every day at the beach, then consider packing a second suit. Many rashes are created by wearing yesterday’s swim trunks that have not had adequate time to dry. Kids will run to the beach and the wet suit will soon get a head start on aggravating the skin before they have even set foot into the water. Make sure the suit is entirely dry to start the day or choose the backup trunks.
4. Apply Protective Skin Barrier to Prevent Rash – Take precautionary measures before putting on swimsuit by applying a protective barrier to your inner thigh and groin area with skin barriers such as Body Glide, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, or A&D. You might scoff at the idea of walking around smelling “baby fresh”, but you will be re-assured to keep away the rash later on.
If you do fall victim to sand rash, then apply a coating of A&D or Gold Bond medicated powder to the affected area and it should be pretty cleared up the next day. Just remember then to follow the four tips above.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
The warmer temperatures of April will be a welcome to the lowcountry as locals and vacationers get out to enjoy the spring and Easter events happening right here in the Charleston area. There will be a lot of buzz and excitement in the area with numerous egg hunts, spring festivals, and brunch destinations. Those staying in Kiawah will want to check out Easter week events board by visiting the following link: http://www.kiawahresort.com/blog/kiawah-island/2013/03/28/kiawah-island-easter-activities/
April 11th – April 13th
24th Annual Sea and Sand Festival
Where: Folly Beach – Center Street, Folly River Park, and the Beach
Time: Friday: 7:30 p.m. & Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Sunday 8:00 a.m.
Things to Do: The three days of sea and sand festival includes pageant, street party along Center Street, live music, jumpies, face painting, games and a surf competition on Sunday.
Contact: For more information, visit: www.follybeach.com
April 14th – April 20th
45th Annual RBC Heritage – PGA Tour Event
Where: Harbour Town Golf Links – Hilton Head
Time: Daily event 4/14/14 through 4/20/14
Things to Do: PGA tour comes to the lowcountry for Easter week. Order tickets now to see some of your favorite PGA players come out to test the challenges of Harbor town.
Contact: For more information, contact (843) 671-2448 or visit: www.rbcheritage.com/tickets
Mingo Point Oyster Roast – Kiawah Island
Where: Mingo Point – Kiawah
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Things to Do: Inaugural oyster roast of the season featuring oysters, barbecue pork/ribs, chicken and steak with musical entertainment on hand.
Contact: For more information, contact (843) 768 – 2790 or www.kiawahresort.com/dining/mingo-point-oyster-roast-and-bbq
Mt. Pleasant Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Storytime
Where: Village Branch Library – Mount Pleasant
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Things to Do: Come out to the public library for story time, an Easter egg hunt and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny.
Contact: For more information, contact (843) 884-9741 or visit www. www.ccpl.org/
Where: Freshfields Village Lawn
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Things to Do: Grab a blanket or chair and head out to Freshfields on John’s Island for some sunset music courtesy of the Shem Creek Boogie Band.
Contact: For more information, visit: www.freshfieldsvillage.com
Where: Middleton Place (4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston)
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Things to Do: Come out to Middleton Plantation for Easter egg fun. Aside from the grand Easter egg hunt there will be plenty of games and entertainment.
Contact: For more information, contact (843) 556 – 6020 or www.middletonplace.org
Easter Egg Hunt – Isle of Palms
Where: Isle of Palms Recreation Department (#24 28th Avenue, Isle of Palms)
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Things to Do: Come out to IOP for some Easter egg fun. Aside from the grand Easter egg hunt there will be plenty of games and entertainment which include inflatable jumpies and pony rides and a chance to meet the Easter bunny.
Contact: For more information, contact (843) 886-8294 or visit: www.iop.net/departments/recreation_youth_easteregghunt.aspx
Easter Festival - Freshfields
Where: Freshfields Village Lawn –Johns Island
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Things to Do: Come out to Freshfield’s grand lawn to meet the Easter bunny. Entertainment will include inflatables, face painting, crafts, and live music.
Contact: For more information visit: www.freshfieldsvillage.com
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Spending time down in the Carolinas on vacation, I have seen a lot of bicycles suffer tremendous wear and tear due to sand, salt, water, and other elements. The salt air alone can quickly degrade a bicycle to an unusable state if not properly cared for. Most bicycles no matter how much TLC you offer them will eventually show some rust. Given the humidity and the salt air conditions, surface rust can appear in as little as a few weeks after bringing a new bike to the coast. Rust on the surface will eventually slow down and serve more as an appearance nuisance than hinder your ability to ride the bike. If one is really afraid of getting rust on the bike, then consider rust proofing the bike starting with the inside tubing of the frame. That process involves taking the bike apart. That also is a prime reason why people on the coast ride beach cruisers obtained for a few hundred bucks knowing they will have a shorter life span. Those that have bikes on the coast can follow some of these easy tips to keep the bike in decent shape.
1. Storage - Even if you don’t ride the beach cruiser on the sand or in the sea, there is a tremendous amount of humidity that can wreak havoc on the bike. Store the bike in a garage when not in use. Keeping that bike out on the porch all season will expose it to salt spray in the air created by the nearby surf.
2. Rinsing & Drying - Rinse salt and sand off bike with fresh water hose after going for a seaside ride. The worst thing you can do is leave the salt or sand on the bike for long periods of time which can wear away at the bike. Dry the bike off with towel or compressed air after rinsing.
3. Tires - Keep tires properly inflated. Bike tires underinflated can cause damage to rims if the bike manages to hit a deep hole or crack. Pedaling is also much less of a chore when tires are properly inflated.
4. Chain - After finishing a beach or trail ride, remove any grit or debris attached to chain and relubricate if necessary. Bike chains are usually the first integral bike part to be destroyed by salt. Plan on going through a few chains if you are planning on having the bike for a long time.