Posts tagged ‘Rob English’

Tandems are Family

         Bike Friday is more than a family business for the Scholzes.

That’s because cycling is part of the fabric of their lives.

Alan Scholz, co-founder of Bike Friday, cracks a wide smile when he thinks about today’s cutting edge cycling publications that are geared toward young families. Magazines like Momentum and Bicycle Times.

“These are the kids who grew up in Burley Trailers,” says Alan, the man who designed the Burley Trailer in the ’80s to transport his daughter Hanna as they lived a car-free life.

“Now they have kids of their own, and they have cycling in their blood. It’s part of their life and they want it to remain part of their life –- and their children’s lives.”

While Bike Friday has built an international reputation with its travel and folding bicycles, tandems always have held a special place in the company’s DNA.

Bike Friday General Manager Hanna Scholz (captain) and Co-Founder Alan Scholz (stoker).

When Alan and his brother Hanz decided to try their hand at designing bicycles, their first creation was the Burley Duet Tandem.

The brother duo raced tandems, and put their designs to the ultimate stress test.

That knowledge is built into every Bike Friday tandem.

         All Bike Friday tandems break down and fit into two TravelCases for airtravel.

And the Bike Friday Two’sDay folds to conveniently fit in the trunk of most sedans or the back of an SUV.

“There is great utility in our tandems,” Alan says. “But more than anything, they are built to be legacy tandems. They are built to last and to be handed down from generation to generation.”

When Alan’s youngest daughter, Sarah, came along, Alan designed the Bike Friday Family Tandem. He quickly learned the magic of a tandem.

“Sarah was only four years old and we had it under the tree for Christmas,” Alan remembers, noting that the stoker seat was set for a child –- one of the benefits a Bike Friday tandem can offer. “When we came out, she was already sitting on the stoker. Even a young child can see it’s right for her.”

The Bike Friday Tandem XL Select is set up as a great mix of components to give you the best ride at the best price.

Tandems are a Family Affair at Bike Friday.

1 comment August 17, 2011

Blackberry bRamble 2011

Some photos from Sunday’s Blackberry bRamble here in Eugene.

The Bike Friday booth was decked out with a full selection of bikes.

 

Everyone loves a treat at the end of the day.

 

Sunshine, bikes and blackberrys. A great combo.

Add comment August 10, 2011

Triathlon Training, Bike Friday style

Thom and Pam Dodd on the cycle track out east overlooking the Pacific Ocean in New Zealand, 2011.

    Thom Dodd is our Bike Friday Dealer in New Zealand, and is using his Bike Fridays to prepare for an Ironman distance triathlon.
     Here’s an update on his training:
     I am half way through a year of preparation for the Challenge Wanaka, an Ironman length triathlon that will be held in Wanaka, near Queenstown on the south island of New Zealand January 21, 2012. 
     I have a few goals for the event:
  •     Complete the new Ironman length tri here in NZ (I have previously completed  the New Zealand Ironman in Taupo, North Island.)
  •     Get to the start (and finish!) injury free and healthy.
  •     Do all of my training rides, runs and swims in beautiful settings here in New Zealand
  •     Do swim training all in the Marine reserve near my house in Hahei to prep for the 3.8k (2.4 mile) lake swim
  •     Do training runs all on trails in the area as the 42k. (26.2mile) run in Wanaka is mostly off road, and rides mostly along the coast and through the coastal hills
  •     Prepare for the 180k (112 mile) ride throu the Otago area.
  •     Enjoy every minute of the preparation and the event.
  •     Perform all of my cycle training on my Bike Friday (I have done more than 5,000 kilometers in 2011 on either my New World Tourist or my Pocket Llama, depending on weather and road conditions).
  •    Compete on the actual day on a Bike Friday, either my New World Tourist or my wife’s Pocket Rocket.
  •    Raise awareness among triathletes about the versatility and quality of the line of bikes Bike Friday produces.
     My rides so far have taken me to some of the most scenic places on the planet, and my favourite 120k ride hits 14 of the most beautiful beaches (plus more bodies of water) that you could imagine. 
     For those of you with Googleearth, they are:  Hahei Beach, Hot Water Surf Beach, Hot Water Main Beach, Cooks Beach, the Purangi Estuary, Lonely Bay, Flaxmill Bay, Ferry Landing, and across on the ferry to Buffalo and Brophy’s Beaches, Wharekaho Beach, Kuaotunu beach (after a 200 + meter hill), Greys Beach, Rings Beach, and Matarangi Beach and then back home. 
     I do that ride most weeks, with an alternate ride going the other way over a 240+meter hill, via Tairua and Pauanui Beaches, along the Tairua estuary for about 10k and over two more 200+ meter hills to Opoutere Beach and then onto Whangamata, which has a great surf beach, and back home over the same route. 
     I like to get both rides in each week, and want to give you all the idea that it doesn’t have to be a grind. 
     This time of year (winter down here) I hardly see any vehicles — maybe 20 per hour or so, and the weather here isn’t much different than Santa Cruz, CA, where I lived until 16 years ago when I moved south (about as far south as possible)
     I will post something every once in awhile — maybe fortnightly — until the event (on rainy days). 
     So unfold that bike in a gorgeous place, hop on and have a great ride!!
      PHOO INFORMATION: Pam and I rode around the Coromandel Peninsula where we live — about 300k (180 miles).  The road up the west side is only connected to the road up the east side (both dirt roads for the last 40-50k) by an 8k stretch of cycling/walking single track.  Very remote — it is the site of the Kona Colville connection mountain bike race in March every year. 

Pam at the north end of the track at a place called Fletcher Bay -- which is a campground and hostel but is bring your own food or a fishing pole.

A hiker we met en route under a low frowing ancient Pohutakawa tree, complete with ephitic plants hanging off it in a real jungle scene.

Our Bike Fridays at a Pohutakawa tree at the other end of the track, Stony Bay -- another camping ground with excellent ocean and stream swimming spots.

Add comment August 8, 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

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

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

The perfect solution

Everyone has a story.

That has been the primary lure of journalism for me over the years. The story.

It’s also one of reasons it’s fun to come to Bike Friday each morning.

This is an eclectic bunch.

Not too long after I arrived, Co-Founder Alan Scholz made a point to have me search out Merle Rothweiler, who works in production.

“He could be a really great resource,” Alan said. “He has some incredible artwork.”

That’s the kind of teaser that sends my creative juices whirling like a blender at Jamba Juice.

Think about it. A guy who works in the line with a flair for art. It’s already a great story.

A few days later, Merle took an afternoon break to stop by my desk with his portfolio. It blew me away.

I didn’t know how I’d find a way to use Merle’s artistic talents. I just knew I had to find a way.

Fast forward a couple of months, and we had a brainstorming meeting about a new project: The Bike Friday Poster.

We wanted to create something that would be cool, that Bike Shops around the world would love to have hanging on their wall. Something that would capture the essence of Bike Friday — not to mention grabbing the attention of anyone passing by.

Time to talk to Merle.

Now, one might wonder how some creative meetings unfold. The answer is, it depends.

Back in my days at VeloNews, we’d have regular brainstorm meetings for headlines. That was really code for blow off steam meetings in the late afternoon. Ideas would fly. We’d be roaring. Some good stuff came out of that.

Sometimes creative meetings don’t need anything more than to light the fuse.

I met with Merle. Said we’re thinking maybe a map. Bike Friday. Oregon. Adventure.

Merle looked up with his eyes sparkling with ideas — a sure sign there was no need to go any further.

He went out and started drawing, and nailed it. Just what we were looking for.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bike Friday Poster, available on the webstore …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merle Rothweiler putting the finishing touches on a Carbon Drive tikit. He has been a member of the Bike Friday production team since 2004.

 

 

1 comment June 22, 2011

World’s largest recreational ride

When the world’s largest recreational bicycle ride, Vätternrundan in Sweden, finished at midnight June 18th with its highest number of participants, Great Britain’s Patrick Stevens aboard his Pocket Llama was among the 18,272 cyclists who completed the full 300 km course.

Vätternrundan, held for the 46th consecutive year, starts and finishes in Motala at the north-eastern end of Lake Vättern in south-central Sweden, halfway between Stockholm and Gothenburg. The main event circles the scenic Lake Vättern, while the shorter rides are held on its eastern side.

The 300 km ride this year saw the largest ever number of overseas registered riders, 4,548  (20% of total), representing 37 nations –- so many that the organizers had been forced to erect more flagpoles along the finish, to accommodate all nationalities participating.

Here’s part of Patrick’s report to Bike Friday:

“I have just come back from cycling Vätternrundan (pronounced vet-turn-rund-an) which is a 300 km (about 190ish Miles) and is meant to be the largest recreational bicycle ride in the world.  People from all over the world were there. It is one of the Swedish Classics.

“There were super expensive racing machines all over the place and I got a lot of laughs (and scoffs) for riding on a folding bike touring bike with phat tires. OK, I wasn’t exactly Lance and I did have to work a lot harder than my friends who were on their road racers, but I did put  quite a few others to shame by whizzing past them on the Lama.

The comment most people seemed to make was that I would be so much slower on a folder. OK, I was slower than those who were on racing bikes and cycling in groups, but I put that down to being on a Lama touring machine and  and not a Rocket racer. Still 13 hours including breaks etc., was not bad and I am very chuffed with my 28 kph average speed.”

Thanks Patrick.

Anyone interested in 2012, entries for the 2012 Vätternrundan are accepted beginning September 1st. Entries are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Last year, all spaces for the 300 km ride were filled in six weeks.  Cyclists wishing to participate in any of the 2012 events should contact the organisers at:  info@vatternrundan.se.

Add comment June 20, 2011

A New Fixation, Part III

[NOTE: The ongoing saga of Raz and the fixed gear tikit continue.]

Back at the office, my goal is clear.

Time to corner Walter. He’s the fixie dude. He’ll fill me in.

What, I ask, is the essence of the fixie?

Walter drops the basics on me. Stuff I’ve heard before. Low or no maintenance. Simplicity. Some people think it’s cool. Blah, blah, blah.

None of it registers with me. No, there’s something more at work here. I know. I felt it. I lived it.

Then he ventures into that realm.

For some, Walter says, it’s the connection. The pure connection. You and the bike. Nothing else.

Cha-ching.

Maybe more like, I-ching.

I sit back down and dabble with some work. But my mind is elsewhere. That’s it. Or something like it. There’s something else going on here. Something beyond gears and pedals.

I take it home for my commute. Suddenly I’m taking a different route, without even thinking about it. I’m slipping in and out of some sort of zone.

I know, it sounds crazy. It feels just as crazy.

It’s the same feeling that has me at the base of the real Bailey Hill the next day at lunch.

Whoa. Now that’s a hill. No wonder Chris raised two eyebrows when I told him the other day I rode up Bailey Hill. I didn’t want to disappoint him, and clarify which hill or which part I rode.

Here we go. Can we do this?

Wait. We? No, bike riding is about me. Can I do it, right?

Not today. It’s a collective effort. At top it’s collective exhaustion and admiration. Don’t ask how I know. I just know.

And, I know whether or not I give this bike back, something has changed.

Way, way, down inside.

Something feels so right.

Not that it felt wrong before.

But now, it’s right.

It’s, I don’t know, maybe it’s fixed.

 

Add comment June 17, 2011

A New Fixation, Part II

[NOTE: When we last left Raz, he had spent his first 20 minutes riding a fixed gear tikit around the neighborhood, and decided to take it home for the night.]

In the darkness of a cold Oregon night.

Through the city.

Onto the bike path.

Over the river.

Sorry Grandma, no woods.

Onward on my fixie. Usually by the time I get home, after a day at work, I’m not all that interested in rolling on. This time, I didn’t want to get off my bike. But I had to.

My legs proclaimed that if we keep this up, they’ll be buff beyond recognition in SF. They’ll be calling out the hills. They’ll be calling out anyone. Bring it on.

I slept on it.

Then I rode the fixie back to work in the morning, understanding the nuances of addiction much, much more intimately than 24 hours ago.

It’s the kind of bike that you expect to see after someone interrupts you in a back alley with, “Pssssst. Come here. I’ve got something to show you.”

That becomes one of those moments you rerun over and over in your head.

Why did I look?

That’s the way I’m starting to feel. I knew better. Really I did.

Part of me wanted to run away screaming at the mere thought of a fixie. I’m just not a fixie type. Just like I’m not a suit-and-tie guy. Or a BMer dude.

But I didn’t listen to those instincts.

Next thing you know, I’m spending lunch on my fixie. The early rise of Bailey Hill Road was a test, but a real test would be something like Skinner Butte in town. Sure, it’s not climbing Mount Evans. Or Washington. Or Hood. But it’ll get your heart rate up, and it’s urban. Let’s not forget the tikit is primarily a commuter bike.

Next thing you know, I’m huffing up Skinner Butte, on a wonderful sunny day in Oregon. At the top I can see the snow-covered peaks of the Sisters in the distance. It feels like something cosmic is happening. I attribute it to lack of oxygen, and head back toward work.

On my way down, though, I find myself playing a game. How long can I go without touching that brake? Going pure fixie, you know?

Seriously, the answer is not very long. This has to be a an acquired taste, or talent.

When I get back to city cruising, I find my hands ignoring the brakes with an air of bravado. I know these challenges begin in the head, but at this point, my head is enjoying a front-row seat in this game of chicken between my hands and my legs.

Sick. I know. Totally sick.

The rest of the way back, my speed is up, down and all around. It’s like I’m clicking through my gears, seeing what’s right for me. Only there are no gears. It’s just me and the fixie. And we have a lot to learn about each other.

What’s this mean for my future? I’m not certain. I just know it will involve shaking legs.

Stay tuned.

2 comments June 15, 2011

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