Posts tagged ‘commuting’
Want to know what it’s like to stop by Bike Friday to check out folding, travel and cargo bikes?
Read this blog! It’s called HinesSight: How Things Look Through Oregonian’s Eyes
Add comment February 7, 2015
The desert scenery swept into my view like the opening scenes of a good old fashion Cowboy Movie.
The subtle pastel colors of sand and towering Saguaro cactus against a brilliant, nearly cloudless blue sky felt as comforting as an old pair of jeans.
As my tires left the hum of pavement behind and dug into the sandy gravel with a confident crunch, all my senses spiked, like coming home again. Sights. Sounds. Smells.
I’ve been lucky enough to pedal the Haul-a-Day up the hellish grades of Seattle down at Pike Place Market, zip along with traffic through San Francisco’s busy Market Street, and enjoy Eugene’s Willamette River Bike Path.
While the bike certainly appears perfectly suited for those typical urban challenges, those trials don’t necessarily mesh with my true dreams.
No, my idea for a Haul-a-Day is out and away from the places most people would envision for a Cargo Bike.
So during my week-long stay in Arizona for El Tour de Tucson in November, I got the opportunity to take a Haul-a-Day for a spin on my terms.
That meant four hours of riding the bike path until it ends, and hitting the open roads to head out of town, away from humanity, heading for the hills.
Since people often ask about how far you can ride any of our Bike Fridays, I wanted to give it a real test. The endurance test.
Any bike can feel good for a block or two. Or a mile or two.
Once minutes turn to hours, I feel the true test of a bike begins.
Let me toss in right here that I spend most my riding hours on a Bike Friday Llama, previously donned with 2-inch Schwalbe Big Apple tires that have been replaced by 2.2-inch Maxxis Holy Rollers with knobbies. To summarize, light bikes with low friction don’t appear on my radar screen. Results may vary for others.
Aside from the fact I was riding on flat pedals instead of my usual clipless pedals and shoes, the ride was as good as any. As Bike Friday dealer Mike Jacoubowsky said when he returned from a short test ride with the Haul-a-Day, “It has that smooth Bike Friday ride.”
When the road began to rise, I thought, like many, it would be a chore to lug this much bike uphill (the Haul-a-Day starts around 32 pounds, and with everything on my version including my load, it was probably pushing 40 pounds). It didn’t feel that way. That my tires were a slick 1.75 (thin for me) might have had a lot to do with that. Still, it felt sweet. Smooth.
Bouncing on and off the gravel on the side of the road proved to be a breeze (one of the reasons I like wider tires — giving me the ability to make a quick dive if necessary, and yes, I did have to do that way out in the desert). The longer wheelbase took away the chaotic sensation of hitting gravel. I felt totally in control.
By the time I rolled back into town, I had a new goal. Get way out, and way away.
On my drive back to Phoenix, the Saguaro National Park offered the perfect opportunity.
I parked at the Visitor’s Center (I’ll insert here that a Haul-a-Day fits perfectly in the back of mini van without having to take off wheels or shorten the handlebars or saddle), and pedaled back down the road to the dirt Bajada Loop.
As soon as I hit the dirt, my regard for the Haul-a-Day launched into the sky like a rocket.
Although the 1.75 tires weren’t quite wide enough for the deepest gravel and sand sections, the bike performed better than I expected.
Riding down the roller-coaster hills felt more like being on a toboggan as a kid back in Wisconsin. Charging up the hills felt normal, although I mistakenly expected the weight on the back rack would help give me a little more traction than a typical mo9untain bike would.
As I rode I could imagine my camping gear strapped to the back, and my black lab running alongside. That’s my Haul-a-Day vision.
Add comment December 17, 2014
When it came time to back up their talk with action, Bike Friday’s IT department looked to their Haul-a-Days.
With an every growing pile of old technology equipment piling up, a trip to Next Step Recycling was in order. Enter the Haul-a-Days.
The IT boys packed up three Haul-a-Days to the gills with used equipment.
Then they hit the road.
Add comment December 16, 2014
Our grew Cargo Bike the Haul-a-Day has Bike Friday employees dreaming of “Their Idea for a Haul-a-Day”
Add comment December 15, 2014
Bike Friday owner Scott Bernstein made his local newspaper, The Journal News, talking about his commute to Manhattan on his Bike Friday.
Here’s an excerpt:
“His route: Bernstein commutes by bike about four days a week and takes local roads in Westchester. He weaves through Yonkers and the Bronx, crosses the Henry Hudson Bridge and winds up in Riverside Park. He rides the bike path before cutting across Manhattan to the hospital on First Avenue.
“Total trip time: 1 hour and 30 to 45 minutes.
“Total ride distance to work each week: 120 miles.
“Getting home: Bernstein takes his folding bike on Metro-North in the evening. He rides his bike to Grand Central Terminal and home from the Tarrytown train station.”
Sounds like an adventure!
Add comment December 15, 2014
If you are looking to stay fit on the road, the LA Times has a great gift guide for you.
Add comment December 13, 2014
Add comment November 23, 2014
The conference room at the Bahia Resort buzzed as I reached my hand into the glass bowl to pull out the name of the winner of a New World Tourist at the National Bicycle Tourism Convention in San Diego.
For the past three days, the movers and shakers who represent the heart and soul of cycling stopped by the Bike Friday booth to drop their business cards into the bowl and chit-chat about cycling — the tie that binds us all.
Arlen Hall, a tour director for Adventure Cycling, is a Bike Friday owner and very vocal supporter of our bikes and our cause. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me at this event to tell me Arlen is Bike Friday’s biggest supporter.
As my hand swirled around the bowl and the anticipation intensified, Arlen said he started thinking to himself.
“I thought, what if he picks my name?” Arlen said. “I don’t need another Bike Friday. I have one and I have one for my girlfriend. So I thought, who would I give the bike to? Then I thought, I’d give it to Camille.”
According to Arlen, seconds later, I announced the winner to the crowd: Camille Solei Stupar.
She screamed and rushed to the front.
With 250 folks at this convention, it was hard for me to talk to every last one. I did spend an elevator ride with Camille earlier in the week, so I knew a little about her. But not enough.
Camille lived in California for a long time, and then moved to Florida. There she got rid of her car.
When she was between jobs, a friend offered to build up a bike for her.
“A good friend of mine built up a Trek 520 for me,” Camille said. “It was such a great bike, and I asked to pay him. He wouldn’t take any payment. Instead he told me, ‘This is your Gratitude Bike. Just pay it forward.’ ”
So, that’s what Camille does. She recently got certified by the League of America Bicyclists as an instructor, and started doing tours in Florida.
“To be honest, you have a new dealer in St. Pete, Two Fold Bicycles,” Camille said. “And I was there looking at your bikes. They were high on my wish list.”
Camille’s goals are to get bicycles into the hands of those who don’t have access to bikes. She wants to teach kids how to ride, and mothers.
“I think we’re losing a whole generation of cyclists,” Camille said. “There are a lot of kids who don’t know how to ride because their parents don’t know how to ride. I want to create mother-child classes to teach both.”
Camille simply couldn’t wipe her bright infectious smile from her face the rest of the day.
“Now that I have this bike, it will allow me to do a lot of traveling with my bike,” Camille said. “And it will let me take the bike riding now, and give it to one of my volunteers who recently got her bike stolen.”
Paying it forward.
“You couldn’t have picked a better name out of that bowl,” Arlen said.
I couldn’t agree more.
1 comment November 9, 2014
The buzz began months ago.
Check that. It began a year ago.
Back in October 2013, a couple of Bike Friday employees rode some prototype Cargo Bikes in the Eugene Disaster Relief Trials. Engineer Willie Hatfield was first across the finish line. Michael Macemon was fifth.
You could say from that moment, the race was on.
Over the course of the past year, Bike Friday moved aggressively to get its Cargo Bike, the Haul-a-Day, into production.
All the while, the list of employees hankering for a Haul-a-Day grew. So did the list of those who wanted to spend a Saturday riding around Eugene, hauling challenging loads up to 200 pounds, and just testing the limits of our bike.
When they lined up for the 2014 Eugene Disaster Relief Trials on Saturday, October 11 at Eugene’s Alton Baker Park, no less than 10 Bike Friday employees straddled Haul-a-Days.
When all was said and done, Bike Friday Engineer Willie Hatfield won the event. But not without some extra challenges thrown in.
The night before the event, Hatfield’s modified Haul-a-Day that he raced to victory in the Portland Disaster Relief Trials this summer was stolen.
At the last second, Willie switched to a production Haul-a-Day decked out in Gaylynn Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And he still won!
From start to finish, it was a Haul-a-Day event.
The wide range of Haul-a-Days showed off the custom designs available to all customers.
Bike Friday donated a Haul-a-Day to be raffled off at the event. And we loaned two Haul-a-Days to officials from FEMA, who competed to see what a real Disaster Relief might feel like.
Of course, the proud papa of the event was Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz. He worked closely with Eugene Safe Routes to School Coordinator Shane MacRhodes to design the Haul-a-Day. Shane’s wife Missy won the Women’s Class on a Haul-a-Day carrying three kids!
For Alan, who invented the Burley Trailer in the 1970s to transport his young daughter Hanna, it wasn’t just seeing his bikes everywhere that was inspiring.
“We had so many families out there,” Alan said. “That’s where my heart is. With families. So to see a lot of parents with their children was really rewarding for me.”
A lot of those parents felt the same way.
“The most memorable part is riding with little ones,” said Bike Friday Consultant Peter Berra, who rode with his three-year-old daughter. “You have to pry them off the bike when your done. Their enthusiasm is contagious.”
The heartfelt bond between a parent and child has been a driving force in Alan’s designs of tandems, and that translates easily to the Haul-a-Day. Bike Friday Production Manager Jordan Bishko enjoyed working closely with his five-year-old son, Eli.
“The DRT and Haul-a-Day allowed us to participate in a competitive event together as a team,” Jordan said. “I knew the stakes were high when I heard Eli mentioning the race to Mom and friends multiple times, as well as his expectations of winning. I was certainly engaged and excited, it was refreshing to see him as engaged.”
The fun unfolded over days, not just on race day.
“We practiced mounts, dismounts and talked about the various obstacles we might face,” Jordan said. “We even practiced the finish line salute and high five, if we were first.”
Although they didn’t get to do their salute, they did win! They were first in the Family Class.
“The Haul-a-Day set him (Eli) up right behind me during the event,” Jordan said. “We were able to chat a bit, as much as my elevated heart rate would allow. We both had a great time; Eli particularly enjoyed the variety of surfaces we traversed.”
For many of the Bike Friday entrants, the Disaster Relief Trials represent more than just a day of fun. They ride their bikes every day, and cycling is a key element in their lives.
Bike Friday Consultant Walter Lapchynski experienced a roller-coaster of emotion during the day as he described his time on his Haul-a-Day.
“Useful. Fun. Painful,” Walter said. “Saving lives is hard work, but rewarding. Springfield’s Washburne district and the path leading to it is darn pretty. It was an awesome turnout. It’s way better to be at a DRT in your community — it opens you up to opportunities to help your community be prepared for disaster.”
Seeing the various challenges a city like Eugene offers a bike proved to be educational for riders, and a good challenge to show off the Haul-a-Day’s features.
“I loved the off-road section,” Bike Friday Service Rep Kelly Humber said, echoing a sentiment shared by many of the Bike Friday riders. “I also really enjoyed getting to see parts of the city I’d never been to before. Anna, my girlfriend, accompanied me for a lot of it, which made it like a really fun ride all over Eugene/Springfield where you get it to wave at friends passing every few minutes.”
As for his Haul-a-Day?
“My Haul-a-Day performed excellently,” Kelly said. “Point it uphill and it goes like any other bike. I climbed up Skinner Butte no problem. Well, OK, it was hard still. The foot rails allow bulky weight to be carried low; it’s great for stability and handling”
Like Kelly, Bike Friday Sales Manager Robbie Dow was impressed with the Haul-a-Day’s ability to feel like a regular bike, especially while climbing Eugene’s challenging Skinner Butte.
“I was impressed with how well the Haul-a-Day handled, particularly on the off-road section,” Robbie said. “I climbed Skinner Butte on the bike, which was my first time ever climbing Skinner Butte on any bike. Even with 75 pounds of cargo, the bike handled the steep hill like a champ. The DRT proved that the Haul-a-Day is an indispensable tool for surviving a natural disaster or a zombie apocalypse.”
Bike Friday Webstore Manager Todd Reed has been experimenting with various electric assist devices over the years, and used an experimental prototype while winning the Electric Class.
“I used up almost my entire charge on three batteries I carried, so at the end was pretty much limping home,” Todd said. “One of my axioms for e-bikes is that they have to be good bikes when the power is off, so in that respect, the bike works pretty well.”
No, we aren’t quite ready to announce an electric assist Haul-a-Day is ready for production. Still more testing to do.
Bike Friday Consultant Michael Boggs summed up the event, which fits the Bike Friday mission statement and the goals for the Haul-a-Day
“The Eugene DRT was a wonderful event full of people trying to make the world a better place for bicycles,” Michael said. “It was so much fun seeing the things they wanted us to carry and to test your mind flexibility in packing your bike with water jugs, pumpkins, grain, and variety of smaller goods.”
1 comment October 20, 2014
Bike Fridays won all but one of the major divisions at the 2014 Eugene Disaster Relief Trials.
Bike Friday engineer Willie Hatfield won the Responders Class, while Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz won the Resilience Class. Bike Friday Production Manager Jordan Bishko won the Family Survival Class.
Willie, who won the Portland DRT this summer, had his modified Haul-a-Day stolen the night before the race. He raced on a stock Haul-a-Day and still won the overall title!
That means that the Haul-a-Day has crossed the line first in every DRT it has entered (at last year’s Eugene DRT, Willie crossed the line first, but finished second when his egg was found to be cracked!)
In all, 10 Bike Friday employees competed, as well as many other Haul-a-Days!
Responder Class (cargo bike): 13 cyclists carried 200 pounds of cargo 30 miles, with Willie Hatfield finishing first.
Resilience Class (cargo bike): 21 cyclists carried 75 pounds for 30 miles, with Alan Scholtz finishing first.
Survival Class (family): 15 cyclists carried their children 10 miles, with Jordan Bishko finishing first.
Survival Class (regular bike): Nine cyclists carried 25 pounds of cargo 20 miles, with Michael Carpenter finishing first.
Add comment October 13, 2014