Bike Friday Boosters
Patrons come in many forms. Angels. True believers. Saints. Bike Friday has been blessed with a holy host of these. Special people whose enthusiasm, commitment and generous spirit has touched us and lifted us and inspired us. These are some of their stories.
Championing the otherly-abled cyclist
Thank you Irv!
Irv Housinger is a Bike Friday booster from the company's early days in Eugene. His passion is designing bicycles for otherly-abled cyclists like his wife Marion. Thank you Irv, for bringing possibility and mobility to the Friday fold.
In Irv's words:
WHEN ASKED how I wound up a Bike Friday booster and tinkerer par excellence, I say, I'm just a guy who likes bicycles! I always thought small wheels were a good idea. Why? They're stronger, they accelerate quicker, they make it possible to pack, and they're universally available because of the widespread availability of kids' BMX bikes (that is, the 406 wheel size). It's a long road to acceptance of the small wheel in the serious cycling marketplace and I believe it's long overdue.
Eugene cycling advocate.
I was active in the Eugene cycling scene for years, since 1979. I hosted groups going cross-country on Bike Centennial (now Adventure Cycling Organization) routes, and I hosted the McKenzie Riders bicycle club (now GEARS) monthly meetings at my house.
The birth of Burley.
Alan Scholz started Burley and made jackets, bags and panniers -- and later, that famous purple and yellow Burley child trailer. Alan later left, and I subsequently heard that Burley was planning to build tandems. I dropped in to investigate, and learned that Alan's brother Hanz was contracted to set up a shop at Burley to make them.
Smaller wheels made sense.
Around this time, mountain biking was becoming more popular. I felt someone should start building tandems with 26-inch MTB wheels, simply because smaller wheels are stronger. Since Burley needed some people to test the tandem prototypes, I and my partner at the time, Eugene Bicycle/Pedestrian Director Diane Bishop, managed to talk them into building a 26-inch wheeled tandem for us. This was Tandem #10, and it was designed so both of us could captain it. It worked great. Now if we could just find a way to take it on a trip without the big box hassle ...
Birth of ATP.
Meanwhile, Hanz and Alan formed a company called Advanced Training Products and were building tandems for Burley, recumbents for Ryan, and BMX bikes for someone else. I kept in touch, relishing the two-way exchange of cycling enthusiasm between us all.