Archive for July, 2011

Tipper or Dipper?

  Ah, the beauty of summer.

More time on your bicycle.

More reflection. Introspection.

I see so many more cyclists this time of the year. Call me old school, but I still believe in offering some sort of recognition when passing another two-wheeled brethren (to be honest, I offer it to three-wheelers, too, but one wheelers? … It depends).

Which begs the question: Am I a tipper or a dipper?

A tipper, of course, is someone who throws his head upward, in a, YO! fashion.

Conversely, a dipper is someone who drops his head, in reverence.

OK, so I’m teetering on the brink of TMI. But yes, this is what keeps me amused on my commute.

If someone were to catch me off-guard, and point blank ask me, I probably would say I’m a tipper.

So this week I decided to test that theory. The results were enlightening.

I found, for the most part, I’m a tipper to dudes and a dipper to dudettes. Well, a dipper to dudettes and anyone whom I deem worthy of extra recognition.

Like my elders. Mothers toting children. Folks like that.

Once I established my MO, the question came up about everyone else.

I studied and studied folks. Looking for a trend. I couldn’t really established anything concrete on tipping and dipping.

Except for this. If you catch someone off-guard. If you KNOW they weren’t planning on offering any sort of recognition, but you toss them a tip or a dip.


They will mimic you.

You dip, they dip. You tip, they tip.

[Bear with me, we're almost to work at this point.]

But just when it feels as though I have a real grasp of this phenomena, reality surfaces.

I think I heard this on Car Talk. Great deep thought.

Reality astonishes theory.

As I rolled through the wetlands, I came upon a woman heading my way.

It’s a sad commentary, but a lot of woman avoid eye contact at all costs. They don’t want to send the wrong message. I certainly wouldn’t want my daughters ever sending the wrong message. So I understand.

Just at the last second, it appeared this woman was willing to offer recognition.

Without forethought, I dipped.

I’ll admit that in that nanosecond, I certainly expected a dip in return. A mimic.

Instead, she offered a lightning quick tip.

And for a moment, I thought all my research had gone for naught. Nothing about this encounter made sense.

Then she thrust her head forward. Time slowed. My brain whirled.

No, could it be? Is this going to be a tip-dip?

The anticipation swirled in a frenzy.

Then, my answer came.

Her head continued forward, as quick a dip as I’ve ever seen!





Add comment July 31, 2011

More photos from Portland

More photos from Kirk …

Shemanski Fountain crowd, Portland 2011.

More photos from Kirk …

Cyclists came early and often to Shemanski Fountain.

Alexis enjoys her spin on the Carbon Drive tikit.


More photos from Kirk …


9th Avenue looks inviting.

More photos from Kirk …


A steady flow of cyclists all afternoon.

More photos from Kirk …

Yep, that's a Bike Friday tandem.

Thanks again, Portland, we had a blast.



1 comment July 26, 2011

Portland Parkways

  We barely had time to get the canopy set up and the line of Bike Fridays unfolded before the rush began.

What followed was nonstop Sunday fun.

Bike Friday Showroom Host Kirk Toy and I busted a move early Sunday morning to Portland for the Portland Sunday Parkways Downtown event.

It is the third of five events over the summer where the city of Portland shuts down a strategically laid out course to motorized vehicles and hands the streets over to cyclists and pedestrians.

The course connects a few city parks, and they have little fairs at each park with vendors. That’s what we did, setting up at Shemanski Fountain Block, just off the corner of Salmon and 9th Ave.

Kirk Toy (brown shirt) shows off Bike Fridays on a beautiful day at Shemanski Found in Portland.

Like I said, we just got things set up about 10 minutes before the 11 a..m. start, and a crowd already formed as Kirk began showing off the elegant fold of our Carbon Drive tikit.

I managed to click off two pics, and then it was a seemingly endless parade of interested cyclists.

The Portland cycling scene is so vibrant. The folks we talked to said they estimated the last Portland Sunday Parkways ride attracted about 40,000.

They were saying this group was a bit smaller, but the lure of allowing families and kids to ride safely on downtown streets that they would never otherwise be able to experience was enough to draw an estimated 30,000.

Kirk managed to sneak off and get some pics of the cycling when he was working on a bike, but I don’t have his photos yet. We’ll get them up soon.

But all we could see, from a few minutes before 11 until the streets reopened at 4 p.m., was an never-ending parade of cyclists climbing the gradual incline of 9th Avenue in the shade of a towering natural Oregon canopy.

It felt like we always had someone, if not two, sometimes three and at one point four individuals out on the road test riding our Bike Fridays.

And the number of proud Bike Friday owners who stopped by to say hi, or bring around a friend to check out our bikes almost matched that number.

More than anything, what we’ll remember most about Sunday is the passion. Portland just buzzes around bikes. All ages, all shapes and sizes. Folks rode tikits, Rockets, Tourists, Llamas and even tandems.

With the throng of families, the tandems brought a lot of interest.

Overall, it was just a great day to be hanging out with bike people.

Thanks Portland, see you Sept. 25 for the next one!

Portland Sunday Parkways, July 2011







Add comment July 25, 2011

Friday’s Burden

I met Gerald Ross at the New Amsterdam Bicycle Show in New York this spring.

Before my trip out there, we exchanged a volley of emails. Gerald owns a Pocket Rocket Pro.

Gerald just sent me another, reflecting the experience that is all part of owning and riding Bike Friday.

In Gerald’s words:

No surprise to you, but I constantly get stopped and asked about the bike.

It seems people are shocked that a folder actually works like a “real bike.”

I do get a little tired constantly having to explain how the rear cassette cog sizes compensate for the 20-inch wheels – although I have found the solution: Riding alongside someone who insists that I have to work harder than they, I just point out that we’re riding the same speed and have about the same cadence.

I usually ride about three  times a week with a New  York Cycle Club “B” group at about a 16 – 17 mph pace. They are now convinced that the little wheels actually roll!

What I wanted to share with you was the following:

I was riding in Washington D.C., in Georgetown and stopped at a light. A car pulled up alongside and the passenger asked me if I had the bike made for me. I told him it was, but I felt about three feet taller after his question. I guess the bike exudes a certain aura of “bespoke class.”

It’s really a great bike and I convinced two acquaintances to get them – so they bought a pair of Crusoes from David Lam at Bfold.

The bike is such a natural for NY apartment living that I am surprised there aren’t a great many more.

Add comment July 24, 2011

Routine Sunday in Indonesia

We just received some photos from Antonius Iwan Tenggono, our Bike Friday Dealer in Indonesia.

Add comment July 22, 2011

Making of: A photoshoot

You might be able to imagine what it’s like to roll out a new model in Oregon in the middle of winter.

OK, if you can’t conjure it up in your mind, let me assist.

I sat at my desk as rain pelted off the window for the who-knows-how-many straight day.

Our first bike with its Select Group, a nifty Sky Blue  Sparkle New World Tourist with licorice red cable housing and red decals that I’ve previously spoken about, leaned against a pole in the office, mocking me.

The calendar said it was the dead of winter, yet an ad to appear in Adventure Cycling magazine in the midst of spring had a deadline looming.

The simple facts were this: We needed a photo of the New World Tourist with the Select Group. Not a bike on white photo from the studio. A real bike in the great outdoors photo.

And, the weather forecasters were calling for an appearance of the sun on Friday.

One of the beauty secrets of Eugene, as opposed to, say, Seattle, is that, yes, it rains here in the winter. But it feels as though just about every day there is a momentary sun break. The sun peeks out just long enough for everyone to realize it’s still there. The universe is right.

But when the forecasters start talking bravado, that sun is coming, well, it grabs your attention.

So I made a secret plan. If it really is sunny on Friday, I’m busting a move. To get a photo.

Still the new guy, I wasn’t sure how that might come across. Bolting at noon, the first sunny noon in ages, without planning on getting back to the office anytime before Monday.

I gave our General Manager, Hanna Scholz, my pitch. She approved.

The real countdown began.

It was already past noon. I needed to rush home and grab camera equipment, not to mention my Black Lab, Ridgely. She’s my photo assistant, so to speak.

Then it was a drive into the mountains for some scenery.

What says early spring better for the real adventure cyclists than snow?

Our neat new colors against some bright white snow? Sounds good to me. How high must I go into the mountains before snow takes over?

My goal was about an hour up Highway 126, heading out of Eugene.

Anyone who has been out here and ridden the legendary McKenzie River Trail knows the highway. Plenty of scenic shot possibilities there.

If the snow hadn’t gotten high enough, maybe, just maybe, I could swing all the way to Clear Lake.

Getting down to the lake on snowy roads could be tricky. But we gotta try, Ridgely, we gotta try.

About an hour later,  I realize in my haste to pull this off, I forgot one important detail: I might not have enough gas to get to Clear Lake and back to the gas station in Rainbow.

That’s when I realized another key factor:  Gas might be the least of my worries.

Yo, in case you never noticed, it gets dark early in the winter. Really early.

I wanted to get some evening light. Soft light. Maybe even sunset.

Reality, however, is that I needed light. Any light.

As I charged the final miles to Clear Lake, the shadows got longer and longer and longer. I pretty much figured that any stop for gas, even a splash, might leave me in the dark. Explain that to Hanna on Monday!

I rolled into the parking lot in time to see some decent sun sparkling off the lake.

Maybe, just maybe, this will work.

I wanted a snow shot, but not too snowy. Truth was, I had about 15 minutes of perfect light.

So now you can get back to using your imagination.

Picture me running through knee-deep snow, with my assistant bounding around like a new-born puppy. Ah, there’s some pristine snow. Yikes, there goes Ridgely. So much for untouched snow.

The temperature kept falling steadily from 40 degrees when I parked, yet sweat poured from every possible source.

The beauty of digital cameras, so they say, is knowing immediately whether or not you nailed the photo.

Click. Click.


Click. Click.


Talk about pressure. Come on. Work with me.

I finally got the photo that had been haunting my subconscious the entire ride up.

However, as I enjoy the spoils of victory in the viewfinder, all I could hear was Hanna in my head.

“There’s no one in the shot!”


She’s right, footprints, but no feet.




With the sun sinking fast, the ultimate challenge arose. I’ve got two living models for a shot of someone with a heartbeat, and only one can take a photo. Time for a timer.

Ever try to set up a timer on a tripod in snow?

Now imagine doing it without the tripod. And about 5 minutes to spare.

Still, I got something.














Then I tried one more. With my assistant. In the nick of time.


Add comment July 20, 2011

Creating a buzz

It’s the kind of moment that represents the true essence of Bike Friday.

It’s a day like any other.

Phones ringing.

People working.

Bodies shuffling in and out of the office.

Then Rob English appears from around the corner, rolling a Bike Friday into the room.

Our head designer simply slides it up against a pole, leans it just right, and disappears from the room without saying a word before anyone can really react.

And the buzz begins.

In a moment there are one, then two, then three, then four, individuals surrounding the bike.

“Oooh, check this out …”

“I like this …”

“Hmmm …”

“What about the color?”

Much, much later, I get the chance to do a photo shoot with the new celebrity up in our makeshift studio.

Under the lights you get a whole different vibe.

Wondering what the reaction will be to a photo.

And how it differs from actually being there, in person, looking at it.

It was the first Select model out of production. With an emphasis on color.

The color debate raged.

Sky Blue Sparkle with red cable housing and red decals.

Some hated it.

Some didn’t mind.

Don’t think anyone fessed up to really loving it, although I was digging something about it.

But, it worked. It struck up conversations about colors.

OK, maybe they weren’t conversations as much as they were passionate arguments.

But color came to the forefront.

What do you think of our color offerings?

What’s the combo you can’t wait to order?

Let us know.


4 comments July 18, 2011

The power of reviews

Steve Kato and his daughter rode the 2011 Seattle to Portland Tour.


Try as we might to spread the word about Bike Fridays, the simple truth is that no one does it better than our customers.

Steve Kato posted this review to our website this week, hot off the experience of riding the Seattle to Portland Bike Tour over the past weekend with his daughter.


1 comment July 16, 2011

A sacred bond

Josh and Shelley Hartman after tying the knot.


Just about the time we think we’ve seen just about every use imaginable for Bike Friday, along comes someone like Josh Hartman and his bride Shelley.

They used their Family Tandem as the getaway transportation from their June wedding in Bermuda.


The beauty of Bike Friday tandems. Take them where you need them.

Everyone at Bike Friday wishes Josh and Shelley a sincere congratulations, and hope that their ride together last forever. And we’re not talking about the tandem.

A Bike Friday Family Tandem offers the perfect getaway for Josh and Shelley Hartman.

Josh and Shelley Hartman.

Josh and Shelley Hartman ... Bike Friday wishes you the best.

Add comment July 14, 2011

Framing a display

The tikit has a prime spot, above the beer taps.

Portland’s rep as a cycling Mecca goes without saying. There’s just so many aspects to its cycling culture, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

No better example of that than Hopworks Urban Brewery BikeBar that opened in June.

It’s not just a typical Portland-esque hangout for cycling types. They have created a frame canopy where Oregon Custom Frame Builders get to display their handicraft for free.

We’re proud to have our tikit frame among the group, although, admittedly, it doesn’t fit your typical photo frame, if you will.

The tikit stands out.


Hanging around the BikeBar.

Add comment July 12, 2011

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