Posts tagged ‘NuVinci’
We get calls every day. From people all around the world.
Sometimes the names sound kinda familiar. Like really familiar.
Sometimes we have to ask, “Are you THE [fill in the blank]??”
Guess who called in to order the Triple above?
HINT: Look at the nameplate!
Add comment September 11, 2013
Denny Fuhrman looked out across the tarmac at the Independence Airport, splattered with a decent number of airplanes and declared that was only a nibble of what’s to come.
“This will be packed with planes,” Fuhrman said in the wee hours of the morning as cooks began preparing flapjacks for the pancake breakfast at the Independence Fly-In and Van’s Homecoming. “Just wait.”
Sure enough. One by one, small planes descended upon Independence, Oregon, under clear skies and a bright morning sun.
Most of them were Van’s kit planes. Usually hand-built by the pilot at the controls.
“They take about 2000 hours to build,” Fuhrman said, “and usually cost around $70,000 — or more — by the time they are finished.”
Van’s has been a great promoter of Bike Fridays over the years, and has one on display at their facility.
Eventually a pilot came to the booth and wanted physical proof that the 2014 Pocket Companion could fit into the storage area of his RV4.
I’ll be honest. The owner of the plane pulled the seat back, looked at the folded Companion and shook his head.
The pressure was on. But …
5 comments September 9, 2013
I got up early Sunday to run some errands.
Early to rise, early to bed.
My goal for the day was simple: Chill in my chair.
I had no other plans. Nor designs.
But I made a huge mistake when I finished my errands. I didn’t close the back hatch on my SUV.
As I settled into my chair, my wife walked in with disturbing news.
“You know Ridgely is in the truck,” she said.
Dang that dog.
If we are ready to embark on an adventure, she goes nuts. Like a caffeine addict at a Starbucks Grand Opening.
The only solution is to open the hatch, and let her in. She’ll sit there for hours if she has to. Her message is clear: You ain’t leaving without me!
Only this time, I wasn’t planning to leave. Period.
I tried to ignore her. I really did. I wanted to rest and relax. It’s been a long month.
No such luck. So after cursing her under my breath, I folded my Aerospoke Llama and put it in the back of the truck.
Suffice to say, Ridgely was pleased.
We headed out near Oakridge to ride the Middle Fork Trail.
It has been ages since I rode the Middle Fork Trail. It’s a mountain bike trail, but extremely well groomed.
I’ll tell anyone who listens that you probably wouldn’t want to ride a Llama on a real technical mountain bike trail. On well-groomed trails, well, it’s a blast. Kinda like BMXing with real mountain bike gears.
The last time I rode the Middle Fork was on my regular Llama. The big difference on this ride would be the disc brakes.
I haven’t spent a huge amount of time on disc brakes. And fewer miles off-road with them. The question is what impact they have.
Since I haven’t been mountain biking in a long time, at least not serious, push the limits mountain biking, it took a while to get adjusted.
The disc brakes take a little adjusting, too. They stop you in a hurry.
Once I got the feel for the brakes, they were super.
In and out of water crossings, the brakes were there, ready to respond, the same way they did the first time.
Not hearing a little grinding of sand and dirt mixed with creek water on my rims helped showcase the value of the disc brakes.
Wet or dusty, they stopped me the same. Everytime.
Maybe it’s just me, but on a very steep descent, I felt like I had much more control over the braking.
This particular descent usually turns into a no brake let’s walk, or drag the back tire affair.
Instead, with the discs, it was a sweet, slow, controlled event.
And listen, control and mountain biking aren’t two things that often come together for me. I’m average at best.
As Ridgely took a couple of dips into the Willamette River to cool down and hydrate, I snapped a couple of photos.
It struck me that it has been a really, really long time since we’ve ridden this trail.
And I LOVE this trail.
So I started searching my memory. When was the last time we rode this.
Oh, yeah, the LAST TIME!
It was an early spring ride. Since I wasn’t sure how folks would handle it, I never published the photo of why we turned around.
We came up a hill and, whoa, check it out!
[The photo appears at the bottom for those of you who would prefer not to look.]
A half-eaten Bull Elk was down in the middle of the trail.
Suffice to say we turned around at that point, and headed home.
This time? No Elk. No worries.
We’ll be back. Sooner than later.
Add comment September 9, 2013
OK, that’s a lot of letters. Alphabet soup. What’s it mean?
Well, it means that the Bike Friday OSATA [which stands for One Size Adjusts To All] was a smashing success at the SRTS [Safe Routes to School] National Conference in Sacramento.
On Tuesday morning, LeeAnne Fergason of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, and our local Eugene Safe Routes to School Coordinator Shane MacRhodes took a number of cycling advocates on a ride around Sacramento to share some of their teaching techniques.
MacRhodes brought five of his fleet of 40 OSATAs for some to ride. When they were still short of bikes, Dan Allison from the San Juan School District just outside Sacramento loaned eight more OSATAs from his fleet of 30-plus.
After some quick adjustments, the group of more than 20 was off and riding.
With Shane leading the way in his top secret prototype Bike Friday.
Judging by the response of the riders, the OSATAs are just the type of bike they are looking for to use as fleet bikes.
For educational fleets, the OSATA offers a simple design with 8 speeds and front and rear hand brakes.
In the Safe Routes to School programs, instructors got into a school with bikes and teach an entire class how to ride safely. MacRhodes says it’s very beneficial to have a fleet of identical bikes, to avoid the fight over who gets which bike.
3 comments September 2, 2013
Everything came together rather quickly. I suddenly found myself with a free weekend. The girls were out of town. Just me and Ridgely, my black lab.
Time for a quick camping getaway.
My sights were set on a long hike I’ve been saving up for such an occasion. Since we’d be camping alone and hiking, bringing a bicycle would typically be out of the question.
I wouldn’t want to leave it locked up unattended at the campsite. I certainly wouldn’t want to leave it unattended on a roof rack atop my truck at a remote trailhead.
This is what Bike Fridays were made for. Taking up as much room as a suitcase in the back of my truck, I brought my Pocket Llama along just in case I found some extra time to pedal around a bit in the Cascades.
Leaving late Friday, the chances of finding an open campsite had me a bit worried. When we arrived at the first option, the notice read: NO CAMPFIRES.
The idea of being way out in the middle of the mountains without a campfire didn’t exactly appeal to me. I do my best thinking in front of a campfire. And even though it has been sizzling hot during the day, nights still have a chill in the air. Plus, it’s just me and my pooch. Call me a wimp if you will.
So we drove on, and made alternative plans to hit the trail from another route. We got off the highway, and hit the gravel of a forest road.
When the dust settled, we found a great campground. Plenty of room. We were the only ones there!
My best guess at the reason for the open occupancy was the fact that the road, for motorized vehicles, ended at the campground.
The area was still recovering from a massive fire a few years back, and the road closure was set to help the rehabilitation of the area.
That also meant we couldn’t drive the three miles to the trailhead I hoped to hike. Rats.
However, I could ride my Llama.
When the sun rose the next morning, casting a soft glow on South Sisters peak, I hopped on my Llama before breakfast.
With no traffic on the road, Ridgely could come along for the ride.
We headed in about a mile, then dropped the bike and climbed up a ridge to get the perfect morning shot of South Sister.
We rolled back down the hill and back to the campsite for breakfast. Before the girls left town, they went out and picked peaches. My mouth was watering the whole ride back, savoring the thought.
August in Oregon is awesome because of peaches and blackberries. After some delicious peach pancakes, we loaded up again, and headed out.
As the road climbed toward our trailhead, I began to ponder my options. The cool morning offered a perfect opportunity for a nice bike ride, with Ridgely able to safely come along.
It has been a while since we rode together. She’s quite an athlete, this dog of ours. Did a 14-mile hike this summer at Lake Tahoe. She’s done a 6-hour mountain bike ride with me before, too.
Ridgely set a blistering pace up the climb, even stopping on more than one occasion to allow me to catch up.
Just after one of her short breaks, we ventured around a corner and surprised a herd of about 20 elk standing in the middle of the road.
One look at Ridgely and they busted a move for the valley, which was good, since they were some huge creatures.
The sound of 20 elk thundering down a hillside sounds like a bulldozer blazing through the forest.
When we got up to their exit point on the road, I glanced down. It was nearly a straight drop — going down an angle steeper than 60 degrees.
About 10 minutes later, a doe and her two fawns bounded across the road, up the other side, and disappeared into the woods.
Of course we missed the turn to the trailhead. Vandals had destroyed the sign, save for a little nibble that we saw hidden in the bushes on our way back. It’s hard for me to tell what three miles is when I’m climbing. We probably did 6 before turning around.
We made it to the trailhead, and hiked in a pinch. Not much. Just enough to find a cold creek for Ridgely to refresh and rehydrate herself [for the first three hours, she was the only one drinking from the Camelbak].
As she soaked herself and drank up, I realized cycling had won the day. The grand hike would wait for another day.
We got back onto the road, and headed down to the campsite. Cooked up some salmon for dinner. Finally some other guests arrived at our outpost.
By the time they got there, the Llama had returned to the back of my truck. No one knew I had it there. Except me. And I’m glad I had it. You just never know.
Add comment August 8, 2013
See, this graffiti artist Gabe DeLao stopped by the Factory .
“Listen, you have trouble with taggers,” he said. “They tag blank walls. But if you have artwork, they respect it, and leave it alone.”
Kinda made sense to us, especially when Gabe admitted that he started as one of those taggers when he was young, but has since seen the light.
So he made us a great offer we couldn’t refuse.
And presto. The container out front got a makeover.
You can check out Gabe’s work at muralogy.tumblr.com
1 comment August 8, 2013
Adventure Cyclist’s Patrick O’Grady has a video review of the Bike Friday Silk online. Check out the whole review in the latest issue of Adventure Cyclist.
Add comment August 6, 2013
She’s at it again.
Bike Friday owner Carol Collins went to the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio, in July, and walked away with three more gold medals.
Collins, who lives in Houston, won her age group in the 5K and 10K time trials, and the 20K road race. That age group? The 90-94 category.
At age 92, Collins is a numerous gold medal winner.
According to reports from her daughter, Cathy Brechtelsbauer, Carol won the 5K in 15:26, the 10K in 38:08 and the 20K road race in 1:03:52.
“I thought you would be interested in these reports I sent to family and friends from the National Senior Games,” Cathy said. “You would be proud to know she wore her Bike Friday jersey, so it got in a lot of photos. And of course, the bike received a lot of attention. The other bikes seemed to be of the highly competitive sort.”
Carol proved to be quite the media magnet.
“Many people wanted her picture,” Cathy said. “Also, she was interviewed by NPR reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty.”
Extremes, it seems, define Carol.
“She was quite a celebrity for being the oldest woman in the race and for having the tiniest wheels,” Cathy said. “Soooo many people wanted their picture taken with her, even the National Senior Games officials. See photo below with granddaughter Chris Arnette Daugherty too. In the 2nd photo, the medals seem different colors, but they are all gold.”
Cathy said the road race course was up and over an overpass — twice! That meant four long uphills!
“When I saw her off the bike pushing it up part of the first uphill, I knew it was going to take awhile,” Cathy said. “But she must have made up for it on the downside. Then I thought I saw her take a wrong turn and miss the start of her second lap. But someone must have got her around in the right direction.
“Her time was 1:03:52 — faster than I expected. And get this: there were two or three cyclists who came in after her, even though they started at the same time! The announcer got all excited at mom’s finish and called her over to ask some questions. She answered that “It was all right, except for the hills.”
“Pretty funny, since the course was nothing but the up and down. He got her to agree to come to the Games in Minneapolis in 2015.”
Add comment July 31, 2013
More than a hour before Alan Scholz’s scheduled talk at the Portland Art Museum on July 27, Bike Friday owners began rolling up to the courtyard.
First a couple of Pocket Rockets zoomed up. In a matter of minutes, they were test riding a Silk. Then some New World Tourists arrived. A Silk. A Tandem. And more.
One-by-one, the group grew. They exchanged glances and compliments of each other’s bikes, talked about their adventures, and waited anxiously for the talk to begin.
By the time they sauntered into the auditorium for Alan’s talk on bicycle design, the group swelled to nearly 30 people. For the next hour they were entertained by Bike Friday’s Co-Founder, as he discussed elements of bike design and its history.
The Portland Art Museum opened up early for our special group, and the plan was to allow us private access to the exhibit about 9:30.
Instead, Alan engaged the audience and had them wanting more. The Question and Answer segment rambled on past the actual opening of the Museum at 10.
Lou Liserani and his wife Sue live in Vancouver, Washington, and are regular visitors to the Bike Friday booth whenever we are in Portland. They enjoyed the day.
“We had a great time on Saturday,” Lou said. “We had not previously met Alan or heard him speak about the product and the company. We love our Fridays, so it was very interesting to hear the thought that goes into the design of these products.”
Everyone eventually headed to the main hall, where they were treated to Alan’s insight to the 40 bikes owned by collector Michael Embacher, that are on display until September 8.
As they wandered about the 40 bicycles, neatly hung from the ceiling, Alan offered insight into what makes each one special, from a design element.
“We had seen the exhibit before, but it was nice to observe the bikes once more but without the crush of humanity we encountered the first time,” Lou said. “Very impressive that the display contains a New World Tourist, apparently just one of several Fridays in Michael Embacher’s enormous bicycle collection.”
Eventually the group spilled back outside.
With beautiful summer weather on display, a small group hopped onto their Bike Fridays for a ride around Portland, led by former Bike Friday service mechanic Chris Nelson, and Alan.
Alastair Calderwood is an IT professional from London who has been working on a project in Salem, Oregon, and he joined in. He hopped on a Pocket Rocket Pro for a test ride, and joined the bunch.
“The Pocket Rocket was a very smooth and fast ride, and the scenic route along the River Willamette only added to the enjoyment,” Calderwood said.
“About half way I swapped with another rider for a New World Tourist — a slightly heavier bike, slower to accelerate, but with more momentum at cruising speed. After 10 miles on both Bike Fridays, I hardly felt as if I had been cycling at all — despite the hills!”
He rode on Lou’s New World Tourist, and Lou got a ride on the Pocket Rocket Pro.
“The 10-mile ride through downtown, and along both sides of the Willamette River, with Alan and a number of Bike Friday owners was really fun,” Lou said. “It highlighted with great weather and Chris Nelson’s ‘off-road’ adventure along the East side Willamette bike path and the resulting flats. ”
Add comment July 29, 2013
Every now and then I need a reminder that there is more to riding your bicycle than pedaling.
On vacation at Lake Tahoe, I rolled out of the campground at Fallen Leaf Lake for a ride. As I began pedaling up a gentle climb toward a waterfall, I noticed a couple walking along the side of the road. She paused to take a photo of some flowers alongside a rustic, wooden fence. He was picking up garbage and putting it into a bag.
“Thanks for picking up the trash!” I said, offering encouragement. So often we never see the individuals responsible for keeping our wonderful views, well, uncluttered.
As I pedaled on, I heard him yell.
“BIKE FRIDAY!” he shouted, “we have Bike Fridays!”
I spun my Pocket Llama around and went back. They were Bike Friday owners from the Bay Area, up and vacationing in Tahoe. I actually met them last October at the Biketoberfest Celebration in Fairfax, California.
We struck up a conversation and talked of all things Bike Friday for more than 20 minutes. Eventually I rode on.
I’ve been thinking about that chance encounter a lot during my morning commute. I see all sorts of riders roll past.
I’m always struck by the ones who have their heads down, and are cranking full speed.
Now, I have nothing against someone who wants to ride fast. Those individuals of that ilk paid my salary for years as a journalist covering cycling. Yes, you can make a living cycling fast.
Then I also remember one of the first major events I went to, and how a novice reporter asked Frankie Andreu about riding in the Tour de France. It must be wonderful, the reporter said, riding through the beautiful fields and backroads of France.
Frankie, never one to mince words, said [I'll paraphrase for family audience purposes], “Well, actually, in the Tour you spend 99 percent of the time looking at the [rear end] of the guy in front of you.”
Imagine that view for three weeks. 2700 miles. Fun?
I opt for a slower speed. One that allows you to stop, and savor.
The past few mornings I’ve counted cyclists. It comes out to an average of one a minute that see while riding to work in Eugene.
When I stopped this morning to take the photo above, three sunflowers popping up in a wetlands with some ducks swimming behind, I wondered how many would stop to take a photo? How many even pause to look around to catch something like this?
It’s funny. Some of my most memorable moments on a bike are not ones that make my heart beat faster. It’s those that slow it down a bit. Just enough to savor life.
2 comments July 24, 2013