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tikitintorontoI’ve had a Bike Friday Tikit for a couple of years now and I’ve been fairly happy with it. However, I’ve also been thinking about alternative folding bikes for a while.  In the interim, Bike Friday ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch a new 16″ wheel folding bike called the PakiT, which was advertised as being both lighter and cheaper than the Tikit. When I saw this, I figured it was only a matter of time until they discontinued the Tikit.

That confirmation arrived today via an answer I got on the Bike Friday FB page.

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“the tikit is being phased out. You can still order a tikit, but only until the end of this year, and at the new price listed on our website.https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/bikes/tikit-3/” Note that they raised the price quite a bit.

I’m a little sad about this since the Tikit has some unique features for a Friday, like the quick fold. It also served me quite well this past summer on STP. Nevertheless, from the looks of things, it is much more expensive to build than the PaKiT.

Also, given the fact that there is a limited market for folding bikes that cost upwards of $1000, it’s not a bad move to concede the quickfold focused commuter market to Brompton.

If I get a chance, I’ll try to test ride the PakiT so that I can do a direct comparison with the Tikit. Also still waiting on a chance to check out the Helix.  Or perhaps I’ll take a second look at putting a internally geared hub on the PBW.

So many choices in the folding bike world these days…….

Today was a great day for a bike ride with several hundred of my closest friends AKA Bells on Bloor. This year, the ride started and ended at Christie Pits since we were celebrating the installation of a bike lane pilot on a short 2.5 km section of Bloor St. Before the ride officially started, a smaller group of us gathered at High Park to ride to the ride.

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Our local MP Arif Virani rode along with us for the first part of the ride to show his support.

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I liked this heavily modded Dahon Mu with belt drive, Alfine 11 gearing, and loopwheels.  Apparently it was a prototype built for the Eurobike show some years ago.

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Lucy says time to ride.

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Stopped at Keele. For some reason, when you are riding with these guys, you get more respect from motorists!

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MJ leads us up the hill.

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Doug was rocking his brand new Fat Bike. With a front basket for Honey of course.

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A group shot upon our arrival across from Christie Pits.

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This must be the place.

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Bells specially decorated for the event were given out and mounted by volunteers.

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Had to get one myself.

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MC and chief ride organizer Albert Koehl gets things started.

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The crowd is enthusiastic.

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and now it’s time to ride.

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Angela and colleague in the lead with the official Bells on Bloor Banner.

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For your reference, this is what it says on the back (although the website is defunct, and has been replaced with bellsonbloor.org.

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Albert ringing his bell.

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Riding past the ROM.

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and along Bloor to Sherbourne.

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Back along Wellesley, and then turning north on Queen’s Park Crescent, which was fun because we were occupying the full width of the roadway.

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Police bike corking a BMW.

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Back along Bloor St.

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Greeted by the banner again at the end of the ride.

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Cycle Toronto was providing bike valet.

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There were many craft and food vendors. The longest line was for Pizza Libretto.

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This vendor regretted not having more of these shirts to sell.

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Large and small wheels!

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Just making sure that I get a decent shot of the forks on Doug’s bike.

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Honey had a good time.

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Thanks to the organizers of the ride, and to everyone who rode today.

Note that a different version of this blog post appears on the bells on bloor website, with more covearage of the speakers, and less bike geekery.

Also, here is a video.

 

Update: Dandyhorse coverage here.

 

BM2016: Danny Guthrie Images

Some images from the laptop of Danny Guthrie this past week. Most of them taken with a Sony Rx100 point and shoot, plus some photoshop artistry.

After a week of racing, we gather for the banquet and awards ceremony. I’m wondering how much food will be left after the Delft/Amsterdam team.

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Here are all the hats to be given out tonight.

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Here is Team Cygnus (extended edition)

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Here are all the riders

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and the people taking photos of them.
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The three fastest men: Todd, Ryohei and Aurélien.

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The three fastest women: Yasmin, Ellen and Sherry.

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The three fastest collegiate Teams: IUT Annecy, Policumbent (Torino) and Delft/Amsterdam.

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All the winners of the drag races on Friday afternoon. It was noted that the two people who raced on foot were both beaten by a fairly wide margin by Scout, a yellow Lab.

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All the new hat winners. Three of them (Evan, Thomas and Rossdan) were from HPVDT.

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This event has been growing, especially with the addition of many large university teams (six this year). There is also a growing divide between the well funded teams, and the smaller home builders. Nevertheless, this event continues to attract a wide spectrum of riders, and with the current seeding system and number of heats, everyone gets to run at least once a day.

Now some comments on each team, in the order in which they were introduced at the banquet.

University of Liverpool

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This is a well supported team that came last year and did extremely well their first time out with Ken Buckley pushing the British Mens’ record above 75 mph on the last day of racing. This year, they came back with a new bike (Arion2), Ken once again, and a very strong female rider in Yasmin. Ken pushed the British record up to 76.59, but the real eye opener was Yasmin, who as a first time rider is now the 2nd fastest woman in the world at 71.05 mph. They had high hopes of going even faster on Saturday evening, but unfortunately Ken crashed in heat 1, and so Yasmin was not able to ride in heat 3. Hopefully they will be back next year.

Team 60 @ 60

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Every time Greg and Peter show up, they do so with a different (and slower?) vehicle. This time, they wanted to see how fast they could push a production velomobile. Both of them easily qualified for the five mile runs, and Greg went on to almost go 60 mph. It was a hoot to see either of them come into catch, honk their horn, and use their turn signals.

Team Dos to the Tres

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Adam Ince has been showing up for years as a spectator and photographer. Several years ago he had a two wheeler that he crashed a couple of times. This time, after converting it to a trike, he got down the course with ease, eventually going 44.6 mph, just shy of the qualifying speed for the five mile run.

Team Delft/Amsterdam

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Traditionally one of the power house University based teams since they first showed up in 2011. This year, their bike seemed slow once again. Jan Bos said that he was putting out in excess of 700 watts during the sprint and yet he didn’t go quite as fast as he did several years ago in Velox 2. No doubt they will be back next year, but it appears that they are being held back by the fact that they build an entirely new bike every year, rather than perfecting and developing the same bike over several years.

Team Tetiva

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The Russians did well, with second time rider Alexei setting a personal best and getting a 65 mph hat. They are still chasing the fast run by original Tetiva rider Sergey.

Team Policumbent

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This team did very well last year, and they came back with a slightly evolved version of their bike PulsaR. Andrea set an Italian record of 78.85 mph, which is in the upper range of the 75-80 mph that they were aiming for, so they went home very happy. Now comes the task of fundraising so that they can build a faster bike for Andrea.

Larry Lem

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With every built Larry’s bikes look better and better. This year he came with Super 8, a camera bike that was more sophisticated than his previous bikes. He was disappointed that he was only able to go 64.55 mph, which was slower than what he did in Beagle. Word is that he is trying to get his brother Frank to run Beluga next year.

University of Toronto (HPVDT)

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Our team came with hopes of Calvin going 80 in Eta Prime, and running Vortex to give the other team members seat time. Evan and Rossdan (missing in the above picture) were able to get their first hats, and Thomas upgraded is hat to 60 mph on the last run of the entire competition. This was also the 100th run for Vortex down 305. I was informed that this is 100 complete runs and doesn’t include DNF’s. Vortex will now be retired from WHPSC, although they will still race it in the HPRA race series. Eta Prime will be back next year, with more refinement, and hopefully with Calvin having had more time to train.

Gareth Hanks

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Gareth was back with All Overzealous, and he managed to push the Mens’ multitrack record to 73.95 mph on his last run of the week. His parents were along as his crew, and they looked like they were enjoying themselves. Gareth said that if he comes back, it will be with a two wheeler.

Team Super Ketta

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This team is the most successful first time team at the WHPSC, with Ryohei Komori going 82.03 mph on his final run. This betters Sebastiaan’s performance in Velox 1 when he went over 80 his first time out in Battle Mountain. One can only wonder how much faster Mr. Komori could go if he had had a few more runs. They were set back by their decision not to run on the 5 mile on Monday evening, which held them back from running in the evening on Wednesday. They only did three 5 mile runs. One doubts that they will be back as their effort was for a TV show. Here is just a small part of the camera crew following them around all week.

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Andrew Sourk

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Andrew is a one man show from Michigan, although he had a solid background in HPV racing from his time as part of the MS&T ASME HPVC team. His trike had teething problems, notably because a fabrication error put his front wheel off the centre line. He did manage to get the trike down the road which was a moral victory. Also, the Mexican team learned a lot by serving as his crew.

IUT Annecy

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This team builds a bike that doesn’t conform to the cookie cutter type of fast streamliner. Additionally, Aurélien is a very strong rider. He set a new personal best, and went even faster on Saturday night, but his run was not wind legal. He is still chasing that 80 mph hat.

Aerovelo

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Once again, this team came in and executed a near perfect game plan, with Todd capping off the week with a run just shy of 90 mph.As Gareth put it, the other teams were left completing for the “non-Todd record”. The fact that they didn’t go 90 means that surely they will be back next year. In the meantime, they are aiming for an attempt at the one hour record sometime this fall. #1 issue: keeping Todd from cooking himself for that long duration.

Ellen and Hans

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This team came back with Velox XS, and got consistently faster as the week went on, with Ellen going just over 70 mph on her final run, just shy of her personal best set in 2014.

Team Kowalik

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After several years of trying, Florian Kowalik finally got the Junior Mens’ record, and proceeded to push it still higher another two times. Perhaps he could have gone even faster on Saturday, but he had a flat tire that ended in an in course catch. No doubt he will be back, but he won’t be a junior anymore.

Team Cygnus

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Team Cygnus always brings a lot of spirit to the competition. Jan Marcel is still chasing that elusive 80 mph hat. He did not get very many clean runs this year, ending up with a high speed of 75 mph (not wind legal), well shy of his speed in previous years. Wishing you better luck next year.

 

Some teams or racers left before the banquet.

Barclay Henry

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Good to see Barclay and Beth back at Battle Mountain after an absence of several years. Barclay’s trike had new bodywork, but it didn’t manage to go as fast as it did in its Backslider incarnation. Barclay did finish third in the multitrack class. In addition, their yellow Lab Scout won the footrace division of the Friday afternoon sprints.

 

Dave Sianez

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Dave actually went a bit slower in his new trike, compared to what he did in 2013 with Big Nose Pete. I didn’t get a chance to ask why that was. Perhaps there were some handling problems due to the fact that his new trike was switched from tadpole to delta in the course of this build.

Plymouth University

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This team left satisfied that Sarah Piercy reset the womens’ arm powered record. They elected not to run on Saturday as they had a hard deadline to crate and ship the trike back to the UK.

Universidad De La Salle Bajío

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This team showed up with plenty of enthusiasm, but unfortunately their trike was not complete. It was a rear steered design.  They hung out the whole week and generally helped out other teams, notably crewing for Andrew Sourke. Their rider got a few laps of the Civic Centre parking lot in Vortex, and rumour has it that they’ll be getting some CAD files from HPVDT as well. They also hosted a memorable party on Thursday night. Hopefully we’ll see them back with a complete bike next time.

 

Finally as a timer’s perogative, I’d like to thank the people that helped out at timing this year.

Firstly, my buddy Danny Guthrie who has been hanging out for the past several years. We used to be neighbours in Michigan, and this week has become our chance to re connect. I’ll be posting some of his excellent images later this week. (photo D. Guthrie)

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Secondly, Arnold and Marieke who were back after an absence of several years. Arnold has said that he will program an Excel spreadsheet to simplify record keeping for next year. (photos D. Guthrie)

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Brad, our faithful timer at 200 m.

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and new comer Petra Lynn Hofmann, who spent a couple of evenings with us and saw some records set.

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Finally, and big thanks to Al and Alice who were our tireless leaders all week.

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Signing off after another week of racing at Battle Mountain.  See you next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BM2016: Saturday PM results

As we set up timing, it seemed that the wind was largely above the legal limits, and so conditions didn’t seem nearly as good as yesterday. However, the fact that this is the last heat of the week always makes people give their all. Many personal bests were set, but unfortunately many of them were not wind legal.

During the first heat, Ken crashed in Arion2, but we were relieved to hear that he was alright, and that the bike was not too damaged. However, the crash did prevent Yasmin from running in a later heat.

Aurélien goes a personal best 79.32 mph, but winds were too high.

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The third heat started with a bang. This is what a new world record of 89.59 looks like. In the low light, my camera can’t get a decent focus.

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Gareth finally breaks his own multitrack record, with a new mark of 73.95 mph.

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Alexei goes a PB 65.83mph and earns an upgrade to his hat.

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The last run of the week was Thomas in Vortex. The number on the side indicates the fact that this was the 100th trip down 305 for this bike. There have been 5 DNF’s included, and I can personally account for two of them. He finally earned his 60 mph hat.

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Full results:

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BM2016: Saturday late afternoon

Just a few more assorted pictures from around town.

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I’ve brought my folding bike, seen here with another red and white belt drive folder, go figure.

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Sunrise this AM.

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Delft has converted a cube van into a mobile to work on their bike.

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The Mexican rider got a test ride in Vortex. He was doing laps of the Civic Centre with the top on. Apparently he’s a natural.

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Liverpool at the Big Chief, cleaning and polishing Arion2.

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Aerovelo doing some polishing of their own.

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It is a tradition for all the teams to be photographer in front of the Civic Centre after the racers’ meeting. The teams being to gather.

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Altair arrives.

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Super Ketta 162. I was told that the number comes from the fact that this is the second bike that was made in year 2016.

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Steve and Hans with Ellen’s bike.

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Eta and Eta Prime.

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Noses.

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Racers.

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First attempt at group picture.

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Team Cygnus and Ellen.

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Ryohei, Todd, Evan, Calvin, (Rossdan behind), Thomas and Andrea.

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You never know who is going to show up.

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The group picture, now with more Vortex content.

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The Vortex riders.

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HPVDT at Battle Mountain (D. Guthrie photo)

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Team Mexico.

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I wonder how fast Aurélien would be on a unicycle?

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It took me four tries to get this many smiles from the Japanese team.

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Perhaps this is because there were always being followed by their media people.

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Start list for tonight. Fingers crossed for low winds.

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