Check out the local newspaper story about Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz. We get to work with this guy every day!
Homecoming means so many different things for different folks, but when it comes to Bike Friday owner Harvey Cain, returning to Lake Forest College for the Homecoming football game means much more.
Cain not only graduated from the school in 1952, he was born at the hospital on campus. Both his parents graduated from Lake Forest, and his siblings also attended school there.
When Cain wanted to find a way to help raise more funds from alumni, he decided he’d ride his Bike Friday from Sacramento to Chicago for this year’s festivities along Route 66
Route 66 holds significance for Harvey. He first got into cycling on Route 66 back in 1939.
At age 85, Harvey said he uses his Bike Friday because of some balance issues from a previous bike accident, as well as its easy step-over.
“My wife Marsha and I have done four three-week bike tours in Europe with the Davis Bike Club and one three-week bike tour of Vietnam — Hanoi to Ho Chi Min City,” Harvey said. “We also did a ride from San Diego to Brunswick Island, Georgia at a 70 mile per day pace in 2008. We did all of those rides on our Bike Fridays.”
On July 30th, Patrick Wanninkhof, a 25-year-old New York high school science teacher on a cross-country cycling trip was killed when he was struck from behind by a car.
The driver of the car reportedly told police she was looking at her cell phone at the time of the crash.
Wanninkhof was leading a group of more than two dozen riders from Maine to California with Bike & Build, a nonprofit organization that raises money for affordable housing.
When the Bike & Build group finished their ride in Santa Barbara, Patrick’s father, Rik, embarked on a tribute ride on Bike Fridays with two close friends, Bill Asher and David Ho. All three wore Bike Friday Compass jerseys when Ho came up with the idea.
“Rik was very appreciative,” Ho said. “It turns out Patrick had taken the year off and was planning to ride his bike through Central and South America. Rik thought it was appropriate that a map of the Americas was on the front of the jersey.”
Ho said that Rik’s original plan was to meet Patrick in California when the cross country ride finished, and take him on a pretty well known and beautiful — but grueling — ride in the mountains behind Santa Barbara called the Old San Marco/Painted Cave Loop.
“To remember Patrick, Bill Asher and I went on the ride with Rik on our Bike Friday folding bikes. The ride was only slightly over 30 miles, but had 5,500 feet of climbing and gradients up to 18%. I hope not to do it again anytime soon.”
Bike Fridays were one of the ties that bind these three friends.
“Rik, Bill and I have been colleagues for over 20 years,” Ho said. “We’re all Oceanographers. Bill was the first one to get a Bike Friday, and that influenced Rik to get one. After borrowing Rik’s bike in Corsica once when we were teaching a summer school, I decided that I need one too. We often ride together at or after meetings in various parts of the world.”
A nonprofit organization has been set up to continue Patrick’s cycling advocacy. You can learn more and donate here.
Here are two stories about Patrick:
On the eve of the inaugural Eugene Disaster Relief Trials two years ago, Bike Friday Service Rep Michael Macemon burned the midnight oil putting together his Haul-a-Day prototype that he would race in the morning.
“I paid for that,” Michael says today, laughing. “I dropped my chain on the first parade lap and then spent the rest of the race passing people making up for my loss.”
Michael and Willie Hatfield treated the locals to a grand introduction to this unique cargo bike, showing off how a light, agile Haul-a-Day can perform even loaded to the max.
Michael raced his way back to finish tied for fourth while Willie finished first overall, but was relegated to second place for cracking an egg.
The rest, as they say, is history. Willie won both the Portland and Eugene Disaster Relief Trials last year.
Come October 17th at Eugene’s Alton Baker Park, Bike Friday will again display its colors with a number of employees racing their Haul-a-Days. We’d love to have you come and join the fun!
And, you can win a Haul-a-Day at the event! [details to come]
Last year 10 Bike Friday employees raced, as Haul-a-Days won all but one major category!
More important than winning, it’s a great event to bring out the whole family for some great fun, not to mention challenging, riding.
You can register and learn more on the official website as details become available.
So make plans today! Alan and Hanna Scholz will be there, along with other Bike Friday folks who would love to talk about bikes and meet you!
PARK CITY, Utah — Roll around this small hamlet nestled in the green embrace of the Wasatch Mountains this time of the year and its allure to mountain bikers can make your head spin. Or maybe it’s the altitude. Who knows.
I came here to show off Bike Friday’s new cargo bike with BionX electric assist to a gathering of journalists, but managed to steal away enough time for me to get some serious experience with this ebike.
Aside from my test ride back in spring, I haven’t spent much time trying out electric assist.
I can understand its draw for riders with specific needs. Combining it with the versatility of a cargo bike transforms the vehicle from a wheel-barrow to a F-150 pick-up. That is to say, it makes a lot of sense when carrying stuff around.
Spend some time pedaling around a place like Park City, where a wrong turn will send you up a 10% or higher grade on some backstreet, and suddenly having pedal assist at your fingertips is more than an indulgence. Coming back down that grade in regeneration mode saves wear and tear on brakes, not to mention your psyche. It’s a must.
With some time to explore both Park City and the realm of electric assist, I ventured up from Kimball Junction to Deer Valley Resort. It’s a nifty 10-mile jaunt that’s uphill all the way.
A couple of steep inclines right off the bat set the tone for my ride. I suddenly realized my method for the convenient electric assist options BionX offers you — that’s four levels of power assist, 35%, 75%, 150% and 300%.
Instead of shifting my gears, I initiated pedal assist to keep my cadence at my preferred level. Ingenious, I thought, but have since come to know that’s the way a lot of people do it.
It just showed me how seamless the use of electric assist can be. In a matter of minutes, I wasn’t thinking about it. I was just doing it.
Of course, a big reason I jumped on the bike on my free day before the real work began was to get a workout. So oddly enough, the farther I climbed up to Park City the less I used the electric assist.
When I finished playing around Deer Valley and headed home, I toyed with the regeneration modes as my braking. By the time I returned to Kimball Junction, I’d recharged the battery to its original level. Too cool.
The next opportunity I had to explore Park City proper came and pedal assist was a must. Climbing up Main Street on a sizzling morning allowed me to maintain a steady pace without showering myself in sweat. When I stopped to take a photo, a small crowd usually formed with quizzical folks peppering me with questions.
Once at the top of Main Street, I ventured up and into the neighborhoods checking out the views that reward hard work to get up the steep streets. Again, BionX made it a simple task and enjoyable, rather than a chore.
By the time I finished my week in Park City, I’d become accustomed to the Haul-a-Day carrying around the extra 16 pounds from the BionX unit. It didn’t really seem like that much different from a standard Haul-a-Day. A little work, but that’s why I pedal in the first place.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bike Friday owner Rod Oram wrote this summary of the interesting story of his lost and found Pocket Rocket.
By Rod Oram
My wonderful Bike Friday, source of some great cycling adventures around the world over the past seven years, was lost/stolen from the United baggage system at Los Angeles airport last December when Lynn and I were en route from Auckland to Little Rock, Arkansas.
United was utterly hopeless and highly infuriating through my two weeks of persistent calls to them. They never found the bike; and applying for compensation was incredibly tedious. They demanded, for example, the original receipts for the bike. Handily, I got a copy from Bike Friday, the Oregon company that custom-built the bike for me in 2008.
My claim was for $4,500 for the bike plus $1,000 for all my cold weather riding gear, lights and tools in the suitcase with it. Eventually in late March United paid $2,200 and my travel insurer paid the rest.
One Tuesday morning I was at my desk and the phone rang.
“Hi, Rod! This is Peter from Bike Friday. Do you still have your Pocket Rocket?”
“Very sadly, no,” I said.
“Well, Rod, it’s in Scottsboro, Alabama now,” Peter said.
“…and it’s on sale at the Unclaimed Baggage Centre for $499. A guy named Mark was visiting from his home in Washington, D.C. and he and his family went shopping at the center. He saw this real nice Pocket Rocket and he said to himself, ‘What’s a nice bike like that doing in a place like this?”
“Mark bought a Pocket Llama from Bike Friday in 2002 so he’s real keen on our bikes. So he noted the serial number and sent it and a photo to us…so that’s how we know it’s your bike and where it is.”
I was still slightly stunned when a few minutes later, Peter forwarded to me Mark’s email with the photo of my bike. It looked in pretty good condition except the long handle bar stem, which separates from the fork when the bike is partially disassembled and folded into its travel suitcase, was missing. Also, the plate on the downtube reading “This Bike Friday was custom-built for Rod Oram” had been pried off.
I called the Baggage Center in Alabama and a woman sounded fairly helpful but not utterly convinced by my story. So I sent her Mark’s email and photo.
I didn’t hear back from her for a day. So I emailed her again, this time with the entire paperwork on my United claim, including the receipt for the bike. She replied saying she was working on it.
Jeez, I thought, how hard it is to pull the bike from the display and at least tell me that much. Or were they worried they would lose revenue if they had to give it back to me?
After a while, I was worried the bike might be sold if it was still on the floor. I needed external help.
I looked up the local paper of this distinguished little town, population 15,000…it was The Daily Sentinel A reporter named Wes answered my call. I explained I was a journalist from New Zealand and I had a bit of a story for him about a lost-and-found-bike from halfway around the world.
I said, please could you go and buy it for me I’ll send you my credit card details, or send you the money on PayPal, with a photo of the bike…then we can discuss afterward how to get it home.
He didn’t sound particularly interested but I persevered. I sent him the string of emails from Peter and Mark plus the photo. I added a few gushy word about how much the bike meant to me. I’ve ridden in here in New Zealand in Australia, the UK, Italy and China…in the US I’ve ridden it to the top of the highest paved road in North America, Mount Evans in Colorado (which, by the way, is 600m meters higher than Mount Cook), and I rode it around the circumference of Singapore in a day, etc., etc.
Two hours later, I got an email from Caleb L. Manning, vice president of Scott Group International, which turns out to own the Baggage Center. It’s a nicely integrated business. It writes software for airport baggage handling systems. The worse its software is, the more stuff they have to sell at the Center!
He was all gushy Southern charm, saying he couldn’t do enough for me to get the bike back to me … to which he added:
“Lastly, we fielded a call from Wes Mayberry at The Daily Sentinel here in Scottsboro, where our store is located. I hope that you would agree to reach back out to Mr. Mayberry and confirm with him that the wheels are spinning for a happy ending to this story, and that you did not even have to buy it back. We would appreciate that greatly!”
He said it was going to be awfully complicated to get the bike back to me in New Zealand. He’d work on it with United. Jeez, I thought, how hard is it t put a bike on a plane?
In reply, I suggested they ship the bike tBike Friday in Oregon for a replacement stem plus a new Samsonite suitcase for it to travel in. Then Bike Friday can ship it to a friend of mine in Chicago because I’ll be there for work in late September.
A senior person at United was now in on the email traffic, apologising profusely and expressing effusively how thrilled she and all her colleagues were that they are about to reunite me with my bike.
United agreed to pay for the shipping to Oregon and then to Chicago, and did not ask for a refund.
I haven’t had so much fun in a long time!
It’s almost as much fun as riding my Bike Friday in a wonderful part of the world!
PHOTO: Bike Friday owner Elle Steele riding with her boys on a Haul-a-Day.
Elle Steele pedals through the streets of Sacramento on her Bike Friday Haul-a-Day with her two boys sitting comfortably on the back.
The sun shines down upon another beautiful day as she makes the short trip from her home to pick up her oldest son from school.
As they roll past commercial buildings back to the safety of her neighborhood, Elle asks how his day went.
There’s a give and take of a little chit-chat as the boys enjoy the ride.
“The Haul-a-Day turns our everyday routine into an adventure with my two boys as we immerse ourselves in the sights and sounds and smells of our city,” Elle said, pausing to laugh. “I suppose you could take out the smells to make it sound better, but I think my boys really get a great sense of what the city is really like.
“Like when we ride past a bakery and they are baking fresh bread. There’s just so much to experience when we’re running errands or making a drop-off run to school, and being on a bike allows us to move at a little slower pace instead of just driving through in a car all closed up inside.”
From the Co-Designer of the Haul-a-Day, Shane MacRhodes, to a large number of other parents who have become Haul-a-Day owners, sharing special moments with their children is the ultimate reward of cycling with kids.
“There’s more to it than just riding them around from here to there,” Shane said. “You’re also showing your kids how to ride responsibly and safely. It’s just a great way to spend time with them, outside, experiencing the world.”
KayCee Millitante found her way to the Haul-a-Day after working her way through the bicycle learning curve.
“We sold our car in August of 2013 and wanted to use a bike as our primary transportation,” KayCee said. “I really didn’t know much about bikes and I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it, so I just bought a $100 bike from Target. But then I realized how easy it could be.”
A former teacher, KayCee home schools here two children, and that includes plenty of field trips around downtown Chicago.
“I started looking around and I’d been reading Elle’s blog online,” KayCee said. “I knew she liked a lot of things I like, so when she had good things to say about the Haul-a-Day, I knew I would like it, too.”
She did. In fact, her family now owns two Haul-a-Days.
“For me the most important thing is that I think it really makes us much closer as family,” KayCee said. “When we’re riding around we’re talking and looking at everything. There’s just so much more to it than I even imagined.”
Although it is summer vacation, it’s not too early to plan for the fall and the new school year.
Bike Friday’s production schedule for Haul-a-Days is quickly filling up, and if you would want to take delivery on a Haul-a-Day in September, you need to act now.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Elle and KayCee are bloggers who share a lot of information about family cycling and Haul-a-Days. You can read Elle’s blog “TinyHelmetsBigBikes” HERE and you can read Kaycee’s blog “ChicagoBikeMom” HERE.
PHOTOS: Bike Friday owners Maria Holeso and Greg Hartman in Iceland.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bike Friday owners Maria Holeso and Greg Hartman recently uploaded this travel story and photos to the What Do You Do on a Friday section of our website:
“This past June we went on our first ever biking adventure!
“We choose Iceland and Bike Friday. What an amazing bike!
“These awesome bikes took us 900 miles through some crazy rain, wind and steep mountain passes. We spent 5 weeks biking and camping all over the beautiful country of Iceland.
“There is such a great feeling of freedom and peace being able to explore a country by bike.
“Thank you Bike Friday for making it so simple. I am already ready for our next bike adventure. Patagonia here we come!
“If you would like to see our YouTube video biking Iceland on our amazing Bike Fridays, check out “two crazy trolls bike Iceland.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: You can always upload your own adventure stories and photos on our website at “What Do You Do on a Friday”
PHOTO: Bike Friday owners Adam Arlan and David Nestvold raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Vermont.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Bike Friday owner Adam Arlan sent us this note and photo about his travels and fund-raising on his Bike Friday.]
“Hello Bike Friday Team,
“I wanted to share this picture with you. Front row is me (Adam Arlan) and David Nestvold with our Bike Fridays.
“We are both bike coaches for the northwest chapter of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). We help riders train and prepare for destination rides as we raise money for the cure of Type 1 Diabetes.
“The photo is from our trip to Burlington, Vermont from Seattle for a century ride. In this picture we’re in the southern part of Burlington overlooking Lake Champlain.
“I purchased my Bike Friday from you in January 2014. So far it has been to Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
“Last November we traveled to Arizona with several JDRF riders as well. We rode El Tour de Tucson and raised money for JDRF on my Bike Friday.
“I’ll be taking it on another JDRF ride this fall to Death Valley. We also got another JDRF rider to buy a Bike Friday.
“Here is the link to my fundraising site for the JDRF ride this fall.
It’s nearly impossible to forget the first time I felt the exciting crunch of gravel beneath the wheels of my bike.
The summer sun beat down on us, four junior high renegades bombing around on our bikes with a thirst for exploration and adventure.
That’s a fancy way of saying we were looking for a shortcut to my friend’s new digs, hoping a closed road would pay off.
We skirted around the wooden barricade, and soon charged down a thrilling, winding, hill. That’s when the pavement disappeared beneath our rubber and gravel introduced itself at the most inconvenient of moments.
A quick, terrifying glance at my speedometer showed we were pushing 30 mph as we whipped through a tight corner.
My buddies, with more appropriate bikes for this, slammed on their coaster brakes and roared to a stop with their fatter tires. Meanwhile, on my less than ideal 10-speed with rim brakes and thin tires, I didn’t dare touch the brakes for fear of my wheels skidding out from under me.
With some sketchy fish-tailing not to mention Divine Intervention, I somehow managed to stay upright through the turn, but before the road could level off and I could breathe easy, reality hit.
I found no wooden barricade on this end of the road. No, I faced a 6-foot tall berm of dirt to discourage visitors. A small, foot-wide worn section showed I wouldn’t be the first to slip over this impressive obstacle.
Instead, I would just be the first to do so at 30 mph.
Here I bow to the reports of my witnesses, who say I launched 20 feet high and 20 feet out before flipping over my front wheel with my elbow somewhat softening the impact of my face on, you guessed it, more gravel.
Of course, by this point in my life I was well acquainted with the emergency room and stitches. So you understand how gravel sparks memories for me.
The emergence of Gravel Grinders as popular cycling events — my aerial acrobatics notwithstanding — makes sense to me. Especially having spent the better part of the past 10 years in Oregon exploring countless gravel fire roads.
My Bike Friday Pocket Llamas (yes, I have two) have proven to be perfect for Gravel Grinding, and after my recent trip to Sea Otter in California, I learned our Bike Friday Diamond Tourist might even be more hungry for that type of terrain, and for a more affordable choice we have our Bike Friday Pocket Expedition.
The greatest value of my Bike Friday comes from the travel aspect that few consider at the outset: Its ability to remain folded in the back of my SUV, under a blanket, giving me constant access to my bike without anyone knowing I have it with me.
Here in Oregon, that means endless opportunities to steal away an hour or two, simply riding up the nearest fireroad.
The ability to go to wider tires make the Llama, Expedition and Diamond Tourist perfect for this joyriding. Toss in a Thudbuster seatpost and you’re ready for action.
After countless miles on Schwalbe Big Apple tires, I’ve spent the past year enjoying Maxxis Holy Rollers, that give me a little bit of knobby tread that, I hope, might come in handy if and when that next berm rears its ugly head.
Here are two great resources for Gravel Grinding:
You can read more of Raz’s adventures in his ebook “You Can’t Cook a Dead Crab and Eat It”