Archives for January 2014

How To Know Which Bike Is Right For You

Buying a bike is rife with issues and questions, nerves and a subtle edge of uncertainty, as you struggle to make heads or tails of the rows of two-wheelers, accessories and dense jargon. You feel like you’ve walked into a bar where no one speaks your language. Break it down to needs, wants and curiosities, keeping your budget in mind as the sales rep attracts your eyes to the most suitable entries. How will they gauge suitability? Enter the fray forearmed with knowledge.


Apollo Transfer 10 – a great value hybrid bike,
perfect for fitness enthusiasts and commuters.

Image Credit: 99bikes.

Do You Know Exactly What You’re After?

If you’re up for a long browse and a round-about, frustrating experience, enter a cycling store at your own risk; though sales staff do their best to extract salient pieces of information from your mind and settle on a few applicable options, knowing your own needs first will streamline proceedings considerably. What will you be using the bike for? Commuting to work? Competition? Triathlon? Down Hill Racing? BMX? All-terrain biking? Mountain biking? Each sport has different needs and demands more or less from frame and wheels. Slim, aluminium rims are perfect for racing; strong, bulky rims suit more extreme ventures like cyclocross and hybrids are a beautiful balance of both worlds, as long as you don’t go too far either side of the spectrum. Research and consider your options, read forums and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A bike should be the right fit, down to the pedal size.

How Often Are You Going To Ride?

Be honest with yourself, you might be seduced by the thought of putting in a few hours of hard pedalling a day to get in shape and avoid the morning/afternoon commute, but do you intend to keep this promise? Alternatively, are you a leisure rider, a family rider, a daily rider or an adventure rider? Will you only drag out the manual wheels every few weeks or even few months, dusting off the cobwebs to stir up the calf muscles? You need a bike that will suit your needs, accounting for the duration of the intended ride as well. Comfort, terrain and hilly regions will all influence your selection.

Road Vs Terrain

We mentioned this before, but a shred of extra though should be dedicated to understanding the differences between road bikes, hybrids, touring bikes, BMX, utility bikes, Cyclo-cross bikes, mountain bikes and those neat motorised scooters. Finding the answers may not be as simple as Googling (though you should never step over a little renaissance), popping onto a site like illustrates the basic differences and applications for each model. Friends are vital sources of information (only if they’re involved in the sport), passing on tid bits of barely spoken wisdom; if you’re keen to know if you can handle the bike commute, borrow somebody’s bike first and make the commute for a week. Still excited? Great. You’re ready to bite the bullet and buy a brand new bike.

Do you have any cycling tips to share with your fellow readers? Holding a few inside must-knows you’d like to get off your chest? Let us know in the comments below.

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Business and Investments with Crowdfunding

Lack of funding is one of the common reasons why bright business ideas stay at the back burner. But this can no longer be an excuse today because there are already plenty of ways to raise funds for a new business venture. Financial institutions and Small Business Organizations are readily accessible to provide assistance for those who need capitalization. There are also Angel Investors that can help fund your venture and give you expert business advice as well. Another option that is becoming more and more popular is Crowdfunding, a fundraising method that makes use of the internet in bringing aspiring business owners and investment hunters together.


One can easily find crowdfunding platforms in the
internet as they have already grown in numbers.

There are two crowdfunding models being used today. One is the donation based model where project organizers present their objectives and programs for raising funds and getting pledges or donations from a crowd of supporters. The causes for this type of model can range from social awareness campaigns to disaster relief programs. There are also donation based platforms that promote social entrepreneurship where benefactors can support livelihood programs and get products in return. On the other hand, the investment crowdfunding model allows businesses in need of capital to sell ownership stakes to potential investors. In this model, funders can enjoy the benefit of a potential return of their investment. This is a very attractive way to raise funds for capitalization as businesses need not go through the tedious process of getting a loan. It also provides a wider reach to potential investors for those who have little or no experience in running a business. The beauty of this model is that it doesn’t have any bias in terms of business size and amount of investment. A business neophyte can sell shares for a t-shirt business that he runs at home, and one can already make an investment out of $20. No business or investment is too small for the crowd that supports crowdfunding.

One can easily find crowdfunding platforms in the internet as they have already grown in numbers. Most of them are donation based but there are also sites that focus on business and investment like Crowdfunder, Somolend, and AngelList. You simply have to find the site that best suits your venture.

Image Credit:
Renjith Krishnan – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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For The City Kids: 5 Pieces of Equipment You May Forget to Take Camping With You

Car packed, you head out to tackle the roads less travelled. You are going real camping; no shower, no toilet, no running water, no electricity and no phone reception (gasp!). Free from the strangleholds of demanding work emails, soul sucking social media and obligatory family commitments, you are on your way to filling your lungs with clean air and getting in touch with the earth. Guaranteed, you will always forget one item. Make sure it is your corkscrew and not one of these items that slip your mind.


Don’t let your camping adventure
turn into a holiday disaster.

Hygiene Kit

Camping is dirty business. You will share many things with your fellow travellers, food, beds and happy memories. One thing you want to minimise sharing is your stench. Shower access is limited at best and there is only so much your $10 bottle of supermarket deodorant can do after a full day (or week) of gallivanting around the wilderness. Make sure to pack a hand sanitiser, baby wipes and travel size soap (dry shampoo could be handy for those with oily hair). Bathe in running water where possible; stagnant bodies of water are a breeding ground for bacteria. A small shovel will also make things in the bathroom department much more civilised.

Miscellaneous Pack

Take a leaf out of Mary Poppins’ book and pack those just-in-case items. Duct tape, extra rope, a water bucket, spare batteries, cable ties and a spare drink bottle are all potential lifesaving items you will be thankful for. There is nothing worse than going to sleep on a soft bed of air and waking up with a tree root in your back. Make sure to include a mattress repair kit to repair those pesky punctures. Don’t let itching and scratching prevent you from sleeping; pack insect repellent and citronella coils to keep mosquitos and other nasties away. Add first aid kit to your checklist. Camping adventures come with an exciting element of risk, but it won’t seem so exciting if a tree branch flicks up, scrapes a chunk out of your shin and you have no equipment to sterilise and bandage it up.

Fuel Bladder

Luck favours the prepared. Hollywood has engrained this life lesson into your brain for years; the moment the damsel is home alone, the torch battery stops working, fuel runs out, these are the moments when poor protagonists are subject to unfortunate dangers. Not to mention, running out of fuel on a deserted road is going to kill the fun road trip mood. Make sure your pre-trip preparation includes acquiring a vessel for storing extra liquid supplies, whether it’s drinking water or car fuel. The size of the vessel will depend on how long you are planning on being away from civilisation. Tanks or cans can take up valuable space in your vehicle. Fuel bladders, such as those at Fabric Solutions Australia, are a more flexible alternative. You can have them made to suit the size of your storage space or fill them only as much as you need (no wasted air space).

Don’t let your camping adventure turn into a holiday disaster. A little bit of preparation goes a long way. Add these items to your checklist and the tales of your holiday will be told around the campfire for years to come!

Image Credit:
Simon Howden – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Benefits of PowerPoint Presentations

Business professionals that readily give visual presentations will benefit from using PowerPoint. The program is easy to use, and when it comes to adding value to a presentation, PowerPoint boasts a wide range of benefits. It doesn’t matter if a presentation is in need of a visual kick, easy sharing or multiple updates, PowerPoint can provide this. For people that have speaking anxiety, PowerPoint can even help with this because the eyes of the people watching the presentation are drawn off of the speaker. Let’s take a look at two other benefits of PowerPoint.

powerpoint presentation

Presentations are always more engaging
when they include multimedia.

Enhanced Visual Impact

Presentations are always more engaging when they include multimedia. PowerPoint allows for both pictures and videos to be incorporated into whatever information it is that is being presented. Many people who use PowerPoint testify they are able to become more interactive with the audience by incorporating videos and images.


The slides used in PowerPoint presentations can be customized to the needs of both the presenter and the audience. Presentations that are heavy with text are beneficial for lectures that require the audience to take a large amount of notes. Presentations heavy with images are ideal for content that needs the enhancement of visual cues.

Anytime a person goes about creating a PowerPoint presentation, it’s best to visit with a PowerPoint designer to acquire both advice and a wide range of design services.


Image Credit:
Ascencion Digital – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Helpful Smartphone Apps For Business Start-Ups

The start-up period is one of the most crucial parts in running a business. As such one couldn’t blame new business owners for keeping a close tabs on their operations and wanting to run it even when they are on the go. It’s a good thing that the mobile technology that people enjoy today have facilities to allow businessmen to run their enterprise anytime and anywhere. Most business owners, executives, and employees are quite familiar with Smartphone apps for business like Skype, Dropbox, and Office Suites. But here are some more apps that can help amp up your efficiency in running the business:

smartphone apps

1. Evernote is a free application that can work with iPhone, Blackberry, Pre, Windows and Android platforms. This app can help you store loads of information like handwritten notes, texts, images, audio files, web clippings etc. You can store your bright business ideas even while you are walking by simply recording it and storing it in your smartphone.

2. Timewerks. This application is available for iPhone and iPad users. It’s a time tracking app that allows you to monitor how much time is being spent for a project. At the same time it also has an invoicing feature where you can prepare the invoice and send them to your client. It is ideal for promoting sales and managing projects. This smart phone app for business comes at a cost of $9.99. Quite measly compared to the benefits you get.

3. i-Clickr Power Point Remote. This cool app eliminates the need for a Power point clicker every time you have a presentation. Just swipe the screen as you go through each slide and manage your presentation time precisely. It is one savvy tool for an impressive presentation.

4. Jott for iPhone. Those who want to make every minute productive tend to multi task even when they are not supposed to. Texting while driving is one road safety violation that some people tend to ignore. These people can stop this deadly habit by downloading Jott and using it to record their messages instead of texting them. The recording will be converted to text messages and sent to their contact.

5. WorldMate Live is a free application for the businessman on the go. It features a currency converter with current rates, weather forecasts, and time zone references. You may also store your flight itinerary through this app and make sure you stay on track with your scheduled travels. There are other smartphone apps for business that are available in the market today. One simply has to pick out the ones that can provide the most help for running the business.

Image Credit:
Emptyglass – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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