To boldly go where not so many went recently. Our friend Mike F. is doing just that with his Bike Friday and boy is that bike lucky! Oh, the places you will go.
Saturday, 2018-09-08: From Mittenwald to the Kaltwasserkarspitze
I rode my bicycle to the main train station of Nuremberg where I entered the 06:29 train to Munich. After entering the train I folded my bicycle and put it into a bag to avoid an extra fee for the bicycle transport.
In Munich, I changed to another train to Mittenwald. I met a nice cyclist with a cyclocross bike who wanted to ride from Garmisch Partenkirchen to Rome. He was using a bike-packing setup with only one big saddle bag. Today his destination was Gries am Brenner. We had a nice conversation and he stayed on the train until Mittenwald where we arrived at 09:53.
I unfolded my bicycle while he checked his tire pressure at the bicycle shop at the train station, then we rode together to Scharnitz using the gravel road near the Isar river.
In Scharnitz he continued south towards Seefeld whereas I turned east into the Hinterau valley…
We found this great little post on the Tesla website. Pretty great to see our TiKit fitting very nicely right into one of the many world changing vehicles in the world. Our mission is to change the world and glad to see we are not the only ones. Cheers to taking steps…one step at a time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: It has been nearly five years since Dolores McKeough sent us this email, reminding us that it’s never too late to chase your dreams!
Hi, I got home 24 hours ago.
What a fantastic, beautiful summer. The adventure, fun, stress, friends made, country seen, and on and on.
The trip started innocently enough with friend Cathy in Tampa on April 3. It ended yesterday after I biked from Malibu where I was camping with three companions, whom I met in Big Sur, to Santa Monica where I folded my Bike Friday into it’s suitcase (after I took the wheels off since it had been serving as my trailer).
So many good things happened on this extravaganza trip including the folding experience in Santa Monica. I didn’t want to disassemble the bike on the beach, although it was a beautiful day, there was too much sand.
So, I went to the REI store where Robbie, the bike repair manager, suggested I use part of his work space. What a generous offer. I took him up on it and had the trailer wheels and attachment off in no time. I then folded the bike (taking the accessories off is the most time consuming part of the process) and put it in the suitcase (the former trailer).
The suitcase with the bike weighed in at 52 pounds at the airport (even though it was two pounds over the allowance Suncountry let it go). My duffle bag with camping stuff, clothes etc weighed in at 28 pounds. And, I had two carry-ons.
So I figure the bike plus all my stuff was about 85 pounds. That’s a lot of weight to ride across the country and partly up and down two coasts. But, I did it and feel great.
I just added it up! I think I rode about 1,000+ miles from Mt. Dora, Florida, to Williamsburg, Virginia; then 4,500 TransAm miles from Richmond, Virginia, to Florence, Oregon; then 1,100 miles from Florence to Santa Monica California.
That’s 6,600 miles on my Bike Friday with 85 pounds, from April 3 til August 29. That impresses even me.
As you know it is not simply the miles that count but the terrain, the road surface, the elevation, the weather …
It was wonderful. The picture was taken North of San Francisco. Note the long sleeves; the weather did not warm up til Santa Barbara.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Before opening Bike Friday in 1992, Co-Founder Alan Scholz owned and operated a few bike shops, and spent time as a national level racer. Here are his expert tips on how to spend your money wisely when buying a bike.]
By Alan Scholz
Here are the basics I learned long ago about buying a bike on a budget, in order of importance.
1. Make sure you get a good frame in the right size. Get help making sure the frame fits your body by someone who is knowledgeable about fitting. Look for the best frame you can afford for the right type of riding you plan to do. Nothing else matters as much if you are on a budget. Everything else can be upgraded later if you are short on funds. Good designers, cyclists, and shop employees know this. It’s a good test of their basic knowledge.
2. Ride the saddle if it came with the bike just long enough to see if you can put up with it. If the bike does not come with saddle and pedals, thank the designer. That means they invested that money into the frame and wheels for you! Get a saddle that works for you — it is worth the individual focus. Price and weight are not good criteria to use to choose a saddle. You need to test ride a number of saddles and buy one that is acceptable.
After you have been riding a while, you will be ready to trade up to a better saddle. When your butt is new to cycling, an acceptable saddle is as good as it gets. When you can ride 15-25 miles a day regularly get a nice saddle if you feel you need a different shape. Don’t believe anyone who says “this is a men’s saddle, or this is a women’s saddle.” Get one that fits and feels good. Ignore the rest.
3. If you can afford it, get a good set of wheels. After getting a frame that fits, wheels that are relatively light will give you by far the most bang for your buck.
4. If you are pushing your budget, buy cheap heavy tires. You will be replacing tires eventually, and then you can get some good tires. Wearing out tires will happen sooner than you think. That’s when you can buy better tires. You will be best served to really enjoy your bike, although frame and wheels will do the most toward that goal.
5. Next change your steel stuff out for entry level alloy if you must limit funds. Steel chainrings, brakes, seatposts, and derailleurs are a dead give away that they are sub-standard for someone who wants to be a real rider and can afford more than the minimum frame and wheels. They may work fine but they were put there to save money and they are heavy. Your motor cannot be changed. Weight matters. Used parts are often a good choice, but you need to really know parts design. Brand is not always a clear indicator. Ask a knowledgeable friend or expert consultant.
6. If your ship has come in, you can be picky but not arrogant about parts and prices. People who ”buy” into the sport usually do not become good nor happy cyclists. The most pricey and light gear will not perform for you out of the box if you have not already gained top level skills to utilize and appreciate them. From the experience in my shop days starting hundreds of folks to cycling, it takes as a minimum, three progressively better bikes as an adult to get to the top level, best for you. It doesn’t matter how much money you have.
7. Full Custom is usually not available or understandable to you until the third level of bike and thousands of miles. Small custom builders must charge 2-5 times as much as off the shelf mass produced bikes. If you do not know that they still mostly make less than minimum wages doing so, you will not appreciate their output anyway. Your best choice then is to buy an off the shelf imported bike and think you got a good deal. All small manufacturing concerns, one person to 60 people are squeezed by this math. Imports are cheaper because the factories are larger and they have the economies of scale. But they often also practice a lack of respect for good design that a small custom builder will have. Inexpensive or dear, a bike can serve you well if you take the time to choose. Take a ride with the local bike club and you will find there are far more important skills than a full wallet to keep up.
Members of the Lane Regional Program for the Visually Impaired enjoy an afternoon in the sun riding Bike Friday Family Tandems along the Willamette River, thanks to the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes.
On the surface, Alan Scholz and Billy Henry might look as though they have little in common.
Alan, a Baby Boomer with gray edges up top, is Co-Founder of Bike Friday.
Billy, a Millenial with his hair spiked to a point in the middle, is Co-Founder of the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes.
Spend a little time chatting with each, and their kindred spirit shines as one.
Alan started his first bike shop as a teenager in his parent’s basement in Fargo, N.D.
Billy started his non-profit organization in his parent’s garage in Vancouver, WA.
Alan designs Bike Fridays to extend the wonderful experience of cycling to others.
Billy just took delivery of his first fleet of Bike Fridays to deliver the wonders of cycling to others like him.
“I started with six kids in my garage, doing powerlifting,” Billy said about the organization he started to get visually impaired individuals out and active. “This year we’ll touch more than a thousand people. For a lot of them, it will be the first time they get to experience the joy of riding a bike.”
It’s known as the power of one.
“We like to do whatever we can to help organizations like this,” Alan said. “We actually sell quite a few tandems that allow visually impaired individuals to get out on a bike. In working with Billy’s organization, we’ve been able to come up with a discount program for fleets of tandems, and we want everyone to know that opportunity is out there.”
A fleet of eight Family Tandems sat in the Bike Friday Showroom awaiting delivery to the Northwest Association of Blind Athletes.
Billy couldn’t wait to see his new fleet in action. He picked up the bikes at our Factory in Eugene, and drove them to the Rose Garden on the River Bank Bicycle Path for use by the Lane Regional Program for the Visually Impaired.
Each summer the Eugene-based program gets its students out for a day of riding. Billy was pleased to be able to provide the new tandems. On the same day, his organization had a ride going on in Portland. In coming weeks they will have rides in Salem and Albany.
Staff members of the Lane Regional Program for the Visually Impaired, parents and volunteers prepared for a ride on a wonderful summer afternoon in Eugene.
“We spend the summer organizing rides throughout Oregon and Washington,” Billy said. “Last year we had a 60-year-old go on his first bike ride ever. This year a 55-year-old did the same. We have a lot of programs, but without question, bicycling is our most popular.”
The smiles and excited chatter among the group reflected the popularity of cycling. The Bike Friday Family Tandems are highly adjustable, allowing saddles and handlebar heights to be set for different captains and stokers. The 20-inch wheels provide a low center of gravity, and give small children more comfort being closer to the ground.
“The bike was great,” said Joel Phifer, a braillist with the Lane Regional Program. “It was nice to have a bike that fits someone smaller like me. In the past we’ve had to try to ride some bikes that were a bit too big for some of us.”
Billy smiled as he heard the review.
“I can’t thank Bike Friday enough,” Billy said. “This first fleet is just great, and I can’t wait for people to ride these. I’m going out and see how much money I can raise to get another fleet as soon as I can.”
Jonathan Gault steers while Mark Miller provides horsepower from behind. Jonathan’s wife, Kristin, works with the Lane Regional Program and they have a son who visually impaired. They bought a Bike Friday tandem last year.
Joel Phifer captains while Kenza Minkler rides as stoker.
All shapes and sizes enjoyed pedalling along the Willamette River on a toasty summer afternoon.
Michael McKern toasted the release of the Haul-a-Day at a local celebration in Eugene, while powering the sound system on the Haul-a-Day provided by Pedal Power, a Eugene company and Bike Friday partner.
EDITOR’S NOTE: On the first evening of August, a dynamic group of families gathered at the house of Shane MacRhodes to celebrate the official arrival of Bike Friday’s Cargo Bike, the Haul-a-Day. The event brought together the many individuals who contributed in various manners to the birth and growth of the Haul-a-Day from an idea spawned by Shane to the latest offering in Bike Friday’s line. Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz, who worked closely with Shane and others, wrote this Thank You note:
Hi Shane, Missy, kids and Haul-a-Day revelers: Thank you so much to the MacRhodes family for bringing us all together at your house for what I feel in retrospect could be an important historical event for Eugene. What a great community this is that the long/cargo bikes brings together! The pieces are all there including what we all know is number one central, our families. I was so pleased and proud to be part of it with my family and the other families that were there. I feel we are all one family now. For a first event it was very appropriate to be at Shane’s. He came up with the idea for a Bike Friday Cargo Bike, and the name of the Haul-a-Day. Thank you for that partnership with him Missy! It has been good for me. Clearly family fits the “necessity is the mother of invention” concept well with your family. If we want to do the right thing and keep riding and “Arriving by Bike” even after kids, then the Haul-a-Day is the right response. Such wide interest makes for huge moral support that new complicated far reaching products like this really need to succeed. Few products I have done before have gotten such vocal moral support for them than the Haul-a-Day. This was really a very special group with many years of very specific unusual experience and talent represented that is sure to put Eugene and the Haul-a-Day on the map of “Helping make bikes an integral part of our lives.” A big thank you to each of you for the contribution you have given to this unusual and exceptional design team. From the folks who made the jigs, brazed, welded, painted and assembled the bikes to all the beta testers. I hope you all know who you are. I could not have done my part without all of your contributions and support. Perhaps someone will want to record the specifics as it is getting to be quite an interesting and far flung story.
I hope you all know who you are. I could not have done my part without all of your contributions and support. Perhaps someone will want to record the specifics as it is getting to be quite an interesting and far flung story. I feel it was one of those magic happenings. A special thank you to my daughter Fraeda who pulled this event together and not only cut a lot of the tubes for the beta Haul-a-Days but laced a lot of their wheels while sewing all their cargo bags. Thank you and love you Fraeda. Thank you to my wife Theresa for her unwavering support and her patience with months of me seeming to work 24/7. And to my daughter Hanna for keeping the rubber side down for the business while I have been so distracted by the scope of this project.
Bike Friday engineer Willie Hatfield displayed four uncrushed eggs to the crowd, confirming his victory on our new Cargo Bike the Haul-a-Day at the Portland Disaster Relief Trials on July 19th.
The buzz along the banks of the Willamette River began to intensify as the afternoon wore on and a blazing July sun beat down on Portland.
In the parking lot of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Disaster Relief Trials Cargo Fair floated in an easy-going manner for a small crowd while, somewhere out there in Portlandia, about 50 competitors zoomed around performing feats of Cargo Madness.
The concept of Disaster Relief Trials are simple: Show off what support human powered machines might be able to provide in a disaster situation. Competitors ride from station to station, performing tasks and picking up cargo along the 30-plus mile route.
The route itself is challenging. Pick your own route. Just get to the stations and perform your tasks.
Among those hauling around Portland were Bike Friday engineer Willie Hatfield and Co-Founder Alan Scholz. They came to Portland to show off Bike Friday’s new Cargo Bike, the Haul-a-Day.
Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz prepared his Haul-a-Day for competition at the Portland Disaster Relief Trials.
Willie is no stranger to racing with the Haul-a-Day. He rode one of Alan’s prototypes in the Eugene Disaster Relief Trials in the fall of 2013.
Willie placed second, although he did cross the finish line first. However, part of the challenge was transporting an egg, intact, to the finish line. Willie had broken his egg, and was delegated to second place.
So, back in the OMSI parking lot, as the excitement built in anticipation of the finish, we knew Willie had been among the top three for most of the day. He led at one point, then fell a couple of minutes behind two local competitors.
The Disaster Relief Trials began with a short sprint to a collection of buckets, lids and cones. Each rider had to grab one of each, get it on the bike, and ride!
Willie and Alan, of course, live in Eugene. That put them at a bit of a disadvantage in knowing the best routes to take.
Then the PA Announcer barked that they were getting close to the finish. At one of the last checkpoints they would receive eggs. We looked at each other as the tension mounted. Did Willie learn his lesson?
To best understand who Willie is, rewind first of all to the moment I went to Willie to propose he ride in Portland on Bike Friday’s behalf. Willie said he already committed to riding there, and agreed to ride in support of another local Eugene rider.
See, last year in Portland, a ringer showed up. Depending on who you talk to, he was a professional messenger/delivery biker from New York City. NEW YORK CITY!
Of course, he won in Portland. So the tight-knit gang from Eugene hatched a plan to make sure nothing like that would happen this year. They wanted to put Eugene on the Cargo Bike map, and show the folks in Portland what we’re made of down south.
“So,” Willie said, “I’m not going there to try to win myself. I’m there to ride in support. Are you okay with that?”
“Sure,” I said. “That’s really the Bike Friday spirit, not to mention the spirit of Disaster Relief: Find a way to help out, and be there for anyone.”
In the time between then and the Trials, Willie’s responsibilities at Bike Friday grew. He also came up with some ideas for a modified version of the Haul-a-Day to build for the race.
“I wanted to build something that was loud, and stood out,” the typically soft-spoken Willie said. “I wanted to build something that would kick a– and really show everyone what we are capable of doing at Bike Friday.”
Willie’s modified Haul-a-Day attracted a lot of attention as soon as the Cargo Bike crowd got a glimpse of it. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t even ask about the price of a paint job like Willie’s. It was crafted by Peter Kaspar. If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.]
Without question, Willie produced something loud, his paint job called Pink Lemonade. He also designed a pair of unique cargo racks that some so-called experts questioned, whispering under their breath, “I think he might have some trouble with those.”
Slowly the crowd gathered around the Bike Friday booth as Alan and Willie prepared their Haul-a-Days for battle. Even OPB cameras captured the buzz.
We heard that Willie took the lead by the third station, but then we heard how that station challenged them. They would have to pick up a wooden pallet, and carry it for the rest of the race.
Suffice to say, the imagination of the crowd went crazy. How would you carry a pallet?
“I just threw it on and strapped it down,” Willie said, “I really didn’t have any time to think about it.”
The first to congratulate the new Portland champion? Bike Friday owners Zane Ingersoll (right), and Lou and Sue Liserani.
At the seventh station, where they had to pick up a box of food — some as heavy as 30 pounds — Willie arrived in third place, but found the two leaders forced to completely unpack and repack. Again, Willie’s strategy was simple.
“I just tossed it on and strapped it on,” Willie said. “I gained a lot of time there.”
For sure. Willie crossed the line in 3 hours and 11 minutes. Two minutes later, second place Ryan Hashagen of Portland finished, dragging his cargo across as his trailer tipped.
Ryan Hashagen had some late race cargo issues, and finished second with a very strong showing with his bike pulling a trailer.
Amazingly enough, it would be 19 minutes before the first true Cargo Bike arrived after Willie. But that came after the PA Announcer greeted Willie as the first finisher, but asked if he could show his eggs. Willie reached back into the pockets of his Bike Friday Compass Jersey, and thrust a third-carton of eggs into the air, unharmed. The victor.
Alan finished with the neatest, tightest looking batch of cargo. His eggs, too, were unharmed.
Alan crossed the line 16th in the Open Division, covering the course in 4 hours and 29 minutes. His attention to detail displayed for everyone in how neat and simple his packing was on the standard Haul-a-Day rack.
All smiles, Alan was tired, but had a great time.
“That was quite a challenge, but also a lot of fun,” Alan said.
As for the gang from Eugene, who Willie planned to ride in support of, well, they finished and were thrilled to see that Eugene stood atop the podium.
Alan Scholz rode the Disaster Relief Trials on a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day with a standard rack and bags.
In addition to the wooden pallet, Willie collected a 9-foot 2×6 board, a five gallon bucket of water, a cone and a box with nearly 30 pounds of food.
He didn’t race, but Bike Friday owner Zane Ingersoll showed off his modified Tandem XL that he uses to haul up to 200 pounds of cargo.