Archive for July, 2012

Test flight

We recently received this note from Customer Graham Smith, who previously chronicled his first train trip with his Bike Friday:

Jane and I have just done our first tour involving plane flights with our Bike Fridays. Just a short one to try out ourselves and the bikes with planes.

It worked really well.

I wrote a journal on the short trip with pics and commentary here.

Please feel free to use the link, or information contained therein for promo, or for the information in the journal with other customers.

Regards Graham
Canberra Australia

Add comment July 29, 2012

tikit to McKenzie Pass

Bike Friday owner Susan Reed wrote on her blog riding her tikit from Sisters to Eugene, over the McKenzie Pass.

Add comment July 27, 2012 Grand Opening

A nice crowd joined the festivities on Monday as in Santa Rosa opened its new shop.

Enjoy the show.

Add comment July 24, 2012

Fun in Portland

Portland Sunday Parkways at Multnomah Village kept us on our toes all day.

Busy, busy, busy.

Portland was hopping on Sunday for the Parkways event.

At the Multnomah Village stop, we watched a constant stream of cyclists cruise by. Many stopped and took a test ride. Great day, great crowd.

But the most interesting moment was realizing we were just a few feet down the block from Annie Bloom Books, which has a Pocket Rocket on display in their front window!

The front window of Annie Bloom Books caters to Portland’s dynamic cycling community. Not to mention Bike Friday owners.

Sorry, nothing leaps to mind for this caption.

As usual, a test ride answers all questions about Bike Fridays.

Add comment July 22, 2012

Rainy Sunday Mornings

What happens in Bike Friday's Unique Service Fabrications 
on a rainy Sunday morning? 
Killer Skeleton Robot Scarecrow, of course. 
This unique scarecrow was assembled from 
rejected parts and discarded utensils by 
Ryan Foote and his wife, Tracy, for their 
Jointed at the knees, hips and elbows, their
Guardian of the Garden can be posed in a 
variety of ways. 
Just a little reminder that Bike Friday's expert
production team can make anything that's feasible.
Just give us a call and ask!

Add comment July 20, 2012

ABFC raises $8,500

Friday (right) is well on the way to becoming a Guide Dog.

The latest tally is in from the 16th Gathering of the Australian Bike Friday Club in March.

The group raised $8,500 that was donated to Guide Dogs Victoria.

Bike Friday Expert Peter Berra joined in the celebration in Australia, and encourages everyone to check out this link to see what life is like for the vision impaired. Bike Friday tandems have been a great solution for many blind cyclists.

If you’d like information on next year’s Gathering, CLICK HERE.

Caroline Dazey recently sent this letter to Pam Haigh.

Dear Bike Friday Club Members,

Recently, at the 16 week puppy class, we were able to photograph the Bike Friday club’s little puppy “Friday” in her brand new puppy coat. Friday is now nearly 5 months old.

The 16 week puppy class is a milestone for all pups here at Guide Dogs Victoria as it not only marks the completion of their three sessions of puppy classes, but it also means that with the new coat comes greater learning opportunities.

Friday will now be able to socialise in places that pet dogs cannot go. Friday will gradually become accustomed to the small individual shops such as a post office, newsagency or milk bar. Her Puppy Raising Advisor will be there to support both Friday and her raisers as they take on the new challenges at this level. Over the coming months this level of socialisation will be stepped up as she begins to enter supermarkets and small indoor plazas.

There are challenges along each step of his journey toward maturity, such as learning to ignore other dogs, pretending not to see food scraps on the ground and being confident with all the new stimuli, such as ride on toys, trollies and prams.

I look forward to contacting you in the next few months to make arrangements for Bike Friday Club members to visit with Friday, but for now you would have to agree that Friday is definitely a beautiful girl and looks very proud in her new coat.

I have now been in my new role for just over a month and I look forward to being here to share the stories of Friday with you over the coming year. If there is any further information you would like to know on the Puppy Raising and Guide training programs please feel free to contact me further on 9854 4433 or for fundraising inquiries contact Caroline on 9854 4459.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the sponsorship program.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Dazey




Add comment July 17, 2012

Simple Elegance


It’s so easy, it’s crazy, really.

So simple.

You spend your weekends on your bike anyways, right?

So, with just a little planning and foresight, you can make a difference.

It’s just as easy not to get involved. Just as simple.

There seem to be an endless number of charity bike rides. They are everywhere. So much so, we sometimes let them slip under the radar.

Such a shame, when we could target the enemy. With radar precision.

Bike Friday jumped into the fray at the Ride to Defeat ALS in Mt. Angel, Oregon, this past weekend.

We get asked to help out with a lot of causes. Almost to the tune of one a week. Nearly one a day if you include the individuals working on their own.

Trust me, the heart of Bike Friday would like to participate in each and every one. The pocket book says otherwise.

So, we can help out here and there. Not as often as we like. It’s difficult making decisions on when to step forward.

We jumped into this one for a special reason. It meant something to a Bike Friday owner. And, by connection, to us.

It wasn’t the biggest fund-raiser of the year, for ALS or any charity, for that matter.

It was, however, an example of what happens all around the USA — all around the world — on a regular basis. Folks getting together for a cause.

Suddenly your regular weekend ride takes on a new context. You pony up a few bucks for a registration fee. Call or email a few friends. You raise some money, and do what you’d do anyways.

They raised more than $90,000 in Mt Angel on Saturday.

They raised more than that. They raised awareness. For ALS. And, for Bike Friday cyclists everywhere.

It’s so easy.



Add comment July 16, 2012

Aerospokes off the beaten path

The gravel fire road abruptly gave way to a rocky field, with a pair of deep ruts sweeping around a small band of pines inviting further exploration with, shall we say, a significantly higher degree of commitment.


The ruts resembled the high-bank turns of Daytona or Talledega, with a deep pit of red sand down on the apron ready to suck you in like a black hole.


In my mind, this is the standard line of demarkation that folks envision when they look at me with suspicious eyes as I attempt to explain the limits of the Pocket Llama — the Bike Friday we classify as our mountain bike.


They look at our small wheels and believe gravel would be the limit. I refuse to accept that. I try to explain. They see a dead end at the rocky field. I see the beginning of an adventure.


Which is exactly what prompted me to forge on, through the steep bank turns, onto a track wide enough for four-wheelers. One pedal stroke beyond.


Vacationing at Eagle Lake in the Lassen National Forest, I couldn’t help but get out and see the high Sierra in style. My mission, aside from testing some of the limits of a Llama, was to give the Aerospoke wheels a serious test.


When Rob English explained to me the real joy of the Aerospokes would be on rollers, up and downs where the heavier wheels would help maintain momentum, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to try it out.


Little did I realize it would be off-road.


I never raced BMX, but I imagine this is what it’s like. Zooming up and down, sweeping around corners like an eagle soaring on a summer breeze. The occasional rocky sections were no problem. The Aerospokes transmit a feeling of softened strength. Not too rigid. Just right.


Each time I’d see a challenging section, I’m reminded about those who ask about the limits. With the smaller wheels, I can accelerate quickly, maneuver swiftly, and feel more confident to attack small obstacles.


Granted, this isn’t full-fledged, all-out mountain biking. I wouldn’t dare suggest that.


However, when it comes to limits, the Pocket Llama offers just a little extra.




This is my first experience taking Bike Fridays along with us camping, and the typical benefits seem obvious while traveling with our small pop-up camper.


What surprised me was the ease with which we can stow the Bike Fridays in the camper while out hiking, or in the back of the SUV overnight. Stealth is a valuable commodity at a busy campground.




Add comment July 12, 2012

What matters?

Our greatest challenge is also our greatest asset.

Helping guide a customer through our nearly endless array of choices can be daunting. We know that.

But we can’t help it. We like choices.

Just like a one-size-fits-all frame can’t possibly please everyone, there is no perfect common denominator when it comes to choosing a bike.

Some people rate weight as their priority. Some rate stiffness. Some rate color. Really, they do.

So when we started offering Aerospoke wheels, well, we found a hung jury.

“It all depends on what you want in a wheel,” Bike Friday head designer Rob English says. “Some people just love the look. Others don’t like the look.

“Basically, if you want a strong wheel, it’s the perfect ch0ice. But they are heavy, so some people aren’t willing to make that sacrifice.”

I’ll admit. I love the look. I’m the one who paired the yellow Aerospokes on a Candy Apple Red Pocket Llama with yellow decals and yellow cable housing.

Aerospoke wheels are made in America, and, according to their website, called “bombproof.”

Some cringe. I chuckle. I think it’s awesome.

But would I buy based on looks alone? Yeah, if I could afford it. Sure, I would.

I do, however, want more in a wheel. And I didn’t have the chance to spend much time on Aerospokes until recently.

I have to say, I love them.

Sure, they are heavy. Then again, I’m the kind of guy who rode around a dual-suspension mountain bike on the road because it was a better workout (and more comfortable, in my mind).

So weight isn’t high on my list.

Still, once you get cruising on Aerospokes. Well, look out.

Rolling around on Schwalbe Big Apple tires, 2-inches wide, I felt like I was flying.

Add comment July 9, 2012

Buying a bike on a budget

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Before opening Bike Friday 20 years ago, Co-Founder Alan Scholz owned and operated a few bike shops, and spent time as a national level racer. ]

Here is the basics I learned long ago about buying a bike on a budget, in order of importance.

1. Make sure you get a good frame in the right size. Get help making sure the frame fits your body by someone who is knowledgeable about fitting. Look for the best frame you can afford of the right type for the riding you plan to do. Nothing else maters as much if you are on a budget. Everything else is upgradable later if you are short on funds. Good designers, cyclists, and shop employees know this. It’s a good test of their basic knowledge.

2. Ride the saddle if it came with the bike just long enough to see if you can put up with it. If the bike does not come with saddle and pedals, thank the designer. That means they invested that money into the frame and wheels for you! Get a saddle that works for you –- it is worth the individual focus. Price and weight are not good criteria to use to choose a saddle. You need to test ride a number of saddles and buy one now that is acceptable.

After you have been riding a while, you will be ready to trade up to a better saddle. When your butt is new to cycling, an acceptable saddle is as good as it gets. When you can ride 15-25 miles a day regularly get a nice saddle if you feel you need a different shape.Don’t believe anyone who says “this is a men’s saddle, or this is a women’s saddle.” Get one that fits and feels good. Ignore the rest.

3. If you can afford it, get a good set of wheels. After getting a frame that fits, wheels that are relatively light will give you by far the most bang for your buck.

4. If you are pushing your budget, then buy cheap heavy tires. You will be replacing eventually, and then you can get some good tires. Wearing out tires will happen sooner than you think, That’s when you can buy better tires. You will be best served to really enjoy your bike, although frame and wheels will do the most toward that goal.

5. Next change your steel stuff out for entry level alloy if you must limit funds. Steel chainrings, brakes, seatposts, and derailleurs are a dead give away that they are sub-standard for someone who want to be a real rider and can afford more than the minimum frame and wheels. They may work fine but they were put there to save money and they are heavy. Your motor cannot be changed. Weight matters. Used parts are often a good choice, but you need to really know parts design. Brand is not always a clear indicator. Ask a knowledgeable friend or expert consultant.

6. If your ship has come in, you can be picky but not arrogant about parts and prices. People who ”buy” into the sport usually do not become good nor happy cyclists. The most pricy and light gear will not perform for you out of the box if you have not already gained top level skills to utilize and appreciate them. From the experience in my shop days starting hundreds of folks to cycling, it takes as a minimum, three progressively better bikes as an adult to get to the top level, best for you. It doesn’t matter how much money you have.

7. Full Custom is usually not available or understandable to you until the third level of bike and thousands of miles. Small custom builders must charge 2-5 times as much as off the shelf mass produced bikes. If you do not know that they still mostly make less than minimum wages doing so, you will not appreciate their output anyway. Your best choice then is to buy an off the shelf imported bike and think you got a good deal. All small manufacturing concerns, one person to 60 people are squeezed by this math. Imports are cheaper because the factories are larger and they have the economies of scale. But they often also practice a lack of respect for good design that a small custom builder will have. Inexpensive or dear, a bike can serve you well if you take the time to choose. Take a ride with the local bike club and you will find there are far more important skills than a full wallet to keep up.



5 comments July 6, 2012


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