Archive for March, 2013
Thank you Portland for another successful show this weekend at the Portland Expo Center.
Despite wonderful spring weather luring cyclists outside for some great riding, a strong number of cycling enthusiasts came indoors for the show.
Bike Friday’s showroom host Robbie Dow and marketing dude Raz got the chance to meet a lot of our Bike Friday owners, and show off our bikes including the new Silk to a number of folks.
The highlight of the show, for us, at least, was the Fashion Show, where model Carmen Ruud showed off our two tikits on hand, a Carbon Infinity tikit and future’s tikit.
Add comment March 25, 2013
Bike Friday owner Daniel van der Weide was a little hesitant at first, but when officials gave him the thumbs up, he pedaled away on his Pocket Rocket Pro in the Masters 50-60 division at the Hungry Dog Criterium in Mesa, AZ.
“I was apprehensive, but the official let me in,” van der Weide said, “and nobody gave me anything but compliments. Helps if you can stay up front and prove your credibility, and it also helps to look well ahead in the corners, since small wheels carry a lot less angular momentum. Sprinting wasnâ€™t as easy, either, but I gave my teammate a decent lead-out and finished in the bunch.”
Add comment March 25, 2013
Interesting story on Bike Radar about the airlines and their approach to flying with bikes that are not in a suitcase.
Add comment March 23, 2013
Some folks figure a New Year is a good time to start losing some of the weight around their waist, while others look to save money. You can call those various attempts at Tightening a Belt.
My Belt didn’t need tightening. Or greasing, for that matter.
I dedicated the start of 2013 to the Gates Carbon Belt Drive system.
OK, so I didn’t exactly plan it that way. But with the launching of our Bike Friday Silk, and its attention to the Gates Carbon Belt system, I didn’t have much choice.
My job is to get photos, write copy, write blogs, etc. That means it’s my JOB to get out on the Silk.
I did that big time in January. Commuted exclusively on Gates Belt Drive.
I can say that because when I wasn’t stealing a Silk out of the showroom hoping to find that perfect photo for our upcoming catalog, I snatched up a Carbon Drive tikit when no one was looking. Belt Drive all the way.
Aside from my instant love of Belt Drive, I focused on digging deeper.
In essence, the question is WHY?
Why is this a profoundly different feel?
I harken back to my baptism in the way of the Fixed Gear. Something about the Gates Carbon Belt that connects one to the bike, much like the sensation I feel on a fixed gear.
While some folks raise their eyebrows when I mention such talk, I think back to the New York Bike Expo last year.
Back when our only Gates Carbon Belt offering was the tikit, a tried and true NYC Bike Messenger hopped on one for a test ride.
She came back with a smile. I asked what she thought of the ride.
“Intimate,” she said, pausing while her partner nodded in agreement. “I’ve never felt intimate on a bicycle before. But that felt intimate.”
If you haven’t given a Gates Belt Drive a spin, do so.Â And tell us what you think.
Add comment March 18, 2013
Do this, don’t do that …
Whenever I talk about the tikit with a customer, it usually comes down to absolutes.
“But can you do this?” a customer will ask, skeptical about whatever I will say. It is usually quickly followed by a, “but you certainly can’t …”
I’ve never been really good with rules. Or suggestions, for that matter. So it’s hard for me to come up with answers that would probably satisfy them.
I find my answers, one way or another.
So when I had an hour or so to kill in Boulder, Colorado, during my trip to the North American Handmade Show in February, I decided to relive my past on the Boulder Creek Bike Path.
It didn’t dawn on me at first what time of the year it was. The bright sunshine and warm breeze probably had a lot to do with that.
It was mid February. The exact time of the year that I moved to Boulder many years ago, in another lifetime.
Back then I remember hitting the Boulder Creek Bike Path on a wonderful Saturday. My initial taste of cycling around town.
The first thing one must do on the Boulder Creek Bike Path is overcome the temptation to stop every 50 feet for another wonderful photo.
The views themselves are tiring.
Yet, you slowly climb on the path, following Boulder Creek as it snakes down Boulder Canyon.
Eventually, the pavement gives way to gravel. One of those absolute areas customers will question sometimes.
“You would never ride on gravel with these tiny tires, would you?”
That’s when I bite my tongue and wonder if they are really asking me if I would, or if I thought they should.
You probably have surmised the answer to my motives.
I didn’t even slow down. The Carbon Infinity tikit was on the move.
The farther you ride up Boulder Canyon, the more Mother Nature reminds you it is February.
The frozen edges of the creek beg for more photo stops.
Eventually, however, there’s no avoiding it.
The trail morphs into a snowy, icy path.
I remember that so well, way back when. It was my first taste of snow riding in a long, long time — having moved to Boulder from Southern California.
It didn’t take long for me to begin to sweat the slippin’ an’ a slidin’. And I was on a mountain bike. With fat knobbies.
This time around? Let’s just say I won’t be sharing this insight with customers, least the really believe me.
I can honestly say rolling on a slick surface with 16-inch wheels is a totally different experience than larger wheels.
I know I’m no more a bike handling expert today as I was back then [and in reality, at both times, I'm not much beyond a beginner in this respect]. But dang if that wasn’t easy. Simply. Comfortable.
I loved catching the looks of the cyclists who rolled past. Giving me the “Really! On that bike! Are you insane?” looks.
Those are the looks that get me amped.
And usually, it’s the look I try to keep under wraps, especially when a customer is asking me about limits. Limits? For the tikit?
1 comment March 14, 2013
BY STUART KNOLES/Bike Friday Owner
It’s not how you feel, it’s how you look; and you look mmuvalus.
I had planned on being showy for the Second Annual Triangle Tweed Ride in Raleigh, North Carolina. Cycling is another worldly, right? And when with others it is a kind of see and be seen.
I think there is something about a well-dressed lady on a bicycle. Maybe some ride a bike because the think they are not, but for me, rather riding fast and hard, or otherwise, the bicycle is sophistication — and motivated by a subconscious desire to be out there, and to blow some mindsÂ.
The long anticipated Silk was going to be shown in the tweed ride. I do like the whole thing of vintage bikes, and sharp dressing in vintage style clothing, but the Silk would be as far away from vintage as could be — as one of the first of a fairly radical new design to come out of production.
Had in mind a thrift store suit I had been keeping, and the fact that there was no practical reason for knickers, or any trouser leg modification in order to ride the Carbon Belt Drive. I am so serious about tweed rides that I was afraid of being thought: that is clever but it’s not tweed: he’s not tweed.
The Silk drew quite a bit of attention, or was it my attire? And if the derby hat and cane umbrella just seem classily surreal, yes, it is the Rene Magritte influence.
At the last minute, the label decals on the frame had to go: just clashed with the effect. Do not get me wrong; I am very proud to be riding a Bike Friday. There were many: hey, is that a Bike Friday?
To which I could say: why, it certainly is. I was riding with the umbrella in the start/finish area to get some shots for Bike Friday, as I had told them I was looking forward to getting the bike before the tweed ride — and be able to put it on show.
Then again how much respect comes from a guy in a bowler hat, rose-colored glasses, riding while holding up a cane umbrella? Well, the Silk is not your everyday usual bike (although is definitely for riding everyday). I just wanted to fit in.
You know, being extremely outlandish just to fit in. Rather surprised to be selected as the Finest Fellow. The award was a very fine VeloOrange saddlebag, which will be ideal for a tote bag for the bike — when I get it made.
Bicycles should also be style.
I think the Silk fits.
Add comment March 9, 2013
Bike Friday’s latest innovation, theÂ Silk, will make its Northwest debut this weekend at the Seattle Bike Expo.
Come down to the Seattle Bike Show March 9-10 at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. Doors open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
As usual, we don’t just want you to come see our Bike Fridays. We want you to experience them. Take them for a spin, and let us know what you think!
We will have special offers available, along with the chance to win a New World Tourist with NuVinci, valued at $2,400!
Also, come see Walter and Raz for a show preview on Thursday, March 7, from 4-6 p.m. At Montlake Bicycle Shop, Bike Friday’s Seattle Dealer.
Add comment March 5, 2013
Safe Routes to School National Partnership Joins First Lady Michelle Obama and Partner Organizations to Kick Off Letâ€™s Move! Active Schools and Fire Up Your Feet
“Parents can play a critical role at home byÂ encouragingÂ their kids to be active.”
-First Lady Michelle Obama at theÂ Let’s Move! Active Schools launch.
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership) joined First Lady Michelle Obama in Chicago last Thursday to celebrate the third anniversary of Letâ€™s Move! and the official kick-off of Letâ€™s Move! Active Schools, an unprecedented new collaboration to bring physical activity back to schools.
National Partnership director Deb Hubsmith joinedÂ leaders of other organizations, including Fire Up Your Feet partners Kaiser Permanente and National PTA. The energy on stage and throughout the auditorium was all about seizing the moment to build momentum for getting kids active in schools.
â€œSafe Routes to School National Partnership, the National PTA and Kaiser Permanente share goals with Letâ€™s Move! Active Schools around the importance of increasing physical activity for children, school staff and parents,â€ said Deb Hubsmith. â€œFire Up Your Feet is a leap forward in creating positive, early experiences to ensure that every child can achieve 60 minutes of daily physical activity a day while also encouraging schools and communities to be designed to foster safe, convenient, and fun ways to move.â€
As the national spotlight turns to increasing physical activity in schools and combating the childhood obesity epidemic through expanding opportunities for physical activity, the national expansion of the Fire Up Your Feet program this spring will create new opportunities for physical activity to, from and at schools and in daily life for students and families around the country.
Parents, school staff, and students can get involved in Fire Up Your Feet today!
- Sign up for an informational webinar on March 14 from 3-4 p.m. EasternÂ to learn about bringing Fire Up Your Feet to your state or region. Click here to register.
- Attend a healthy fundraising webinar to learnÂ more about raising money in a healthy, active way for your school. Click here to see full webinar schedule.
- Take advantage of free resources for encouraging activity in the classroom, organizing a walk and bike event,Â developing policies that support physical activity, and more. See all resources.
Add comment March 5, 2013
A bicycle belongs on a pedestal as much as your backside belongs on a sofa.
It might seem like a good idea, but it’s against its nature.
I’ve thought about that a lot as I’d stroll past our Super Pro sitting in our Factory Showroom in Eugene.
Don’t get me wrong. It looks great. Spectacular.
So does a Cheetah at the zoo.
Now, I’m not ashamed to tell you that my true drop-bar days are behind me. They have been for years, having embraced the comfort and safety of fatter tires and various suspension tricks [consider me the President of the Thudbuster fan club].
I have this strong desire to be able to dive into a ditch to avoid disaster on tires thicker than my thumb. That’s just me.
But that Super Pro. Dang if it didn’t call to me like an ancient Siren.
When I headed to Colorado for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Denver, Feb. 22-24, I flew Southwest Airlines with the Super Pro and a Carbon Infinity tikit Â packed into two suitcases. Yep, two bikes flying at no charge. Love it.
It has been 12 years since I’ve been in Colorado, a place I lived as I enjoyed the sweet life as editor of VeloNews magazine back in the 1990s.
We’re lucky to have these two great shops supporting our bikes. Both are full-service dealers who know more than a little about catering to a customer who believes in custom designs.
Heading up to Boulder meant I had the chance to check out my old stomping grounds. We owned a nice spread out in Loveland, near Carter Lake.
The memories flooded my mind. Colorado is where my daughters were born. They now head to high school each morning. Â Wow. Time flies.
I drove around in a bit of a haze, remembering a past life. I drove some of my old cycling routes, amazed at the fitness I must have had at one time to ply these roads on my 35-pound dual suspension Jamis.
I couldn’t help but drive up to Pinewood Reservoir, and just check it out. My daughter Sierra spent her first night camping up there. Well, almost the first night. She lasted a couple of hours before we headed home about 3 a.m. Heck, she was just 2 years old. It was the start of a love affair with camping for our family.
As I drove up the twisting, turning road I marveled at my long forgotten climbing ability. I do get out for an occasional mountain bike ride these days in Oregon. Mostly, though, I’m a commuter. With commuter fitness. You know, my biggest climb is the bridge over the highway. That sorta thing.
When I got to the top of Pinewood and looked out over a herd of Elk grazing on the incline, it stirred something wild inside of me.
The Super Pro in the backseat taunted me. Oh, no. I figured it would be ugly. Still, I had to know. How far up the climb could I get these days?
Knowing that the only witnesses were focused on chewing grass, I drove back down the hill to give it a whirl.
Again, remember, my lycra-clad roadie days went the way of the down-tube shifter. I packed light for this trip, which meant no cycling shoes.
If I was going to crank the Super Pro up the climb, it would be in my heavy hiking boots and long pants. Nothing fancy. No full pedal strokes. Halveses.
I’m a realist, and set my sights about a mile up the road where I saw a smaller herd of deer. Fitness aside, what dominated my thoughts were the t-shirts I saw at the airport in Denver.
Emblazoned across the chest it reads: “Got Oxygen?”
Starting around 5,500 feet elevation [that's a mile higher than Eugene's elevation], I churned out of the campground lot with a snowstorm charging in from Denver.
It didn’t take long to remember that a dozen or so years ago, even at my best, getting a full chest of oxygen was no easy task in this thin air.
I passed a new herd of deer about a half mile up. Witnesses who can confirm I made it this far. Super! Now it was just a matter of time before I would succumb to gravity. Or exhaustion.
Just past that group, I realized how sweet the Super Pro felt. Just a shade under 16 pounds, the Super Pro danced beneath me effortlessly. My old Jamis weighed 2.5 times as much. Light is nice. Real nice.
Climbing on small wheels? Not an issue. It’s all about the engine, baby.
I felt the temperature dropping while my legs were burning. I swung out of a swtichback to a straightaway, where the mountain disappeared on a steep slide just off the shoulder.
Down a hundred yards another lone deer watched me closely. I warned him of the approaching storm and laughed.
Time, it seemed, if not stood still, reversed.
If it didn’t transport me back 12 years, it zipped back decades further. Young again. On a bike. Slaying a hill.
I nearly lost all my momentum and my chance at redemption when I began to giggle a bit, overwhelmed that there’s a lot more left in my tank than I had imagined.
I swept around curve after curve, surprised my legs were kinda of enjoying this and absolutely flabbergasted my breathing slipped into a comfortable, measured rhythm.
In no time I hit the summit. I climbed about 1,000 feet in elevation over 3 miles. OK, not exactly the Tour de France. Still, I felt mighty proud.
I snapped a quick photo, and savored the view.
Yep, this is the kind of pedestal a bike like the Super Pro belongs on. For a moment before your descent. It’s in its nature.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: That Super Pro found a new home by the end of the weekend. Chuck Ankeny down at Pete's Electric Bikes snatched it up. You can check it out at his shop ... or, most likely, see him on it out on the road.]
How fast do storms move in Colorado? I took that photo above, descended 3 miles to the campground, tossed the bike in the car, and drove to the top to measure the distance.
Then took this photo from the same vantage point:
Add comment March 3, 2013