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Archive for the ‘Cargobikes’ Category

As a prelude to RSVP, I had to make my way to Seattle. The plan was to fly into Vancouver, and then to take a bus down to Seattle. The Brompton would fly in a hard case, and then I would take it on the bus with a soft bag from Radical Designs. Here I am waiting for the UP Express on the way to Pearson.

Skipping a few steps, here is the Brompton on the way to the airport on the Canada Line.

Even though the Radical bag has a shoulder strap, I found that the easiest way to carry the bike was to put the regular handles over my shoulder, drape my arm over the bag, and to support the bike from underneath by grabbing the rack.

I’ve arrived in Seattle. Bike unfolded. The last time I was here, there were green Lime e-bikes all over the place. This time, these Jump e-bikes were very common. Although the indicator light showed that this one was dead. A postcard in the basket revealed that UBER is behind these bikes, which to me is not a selling point.

I noticed before I left, that my favourite bike shop in Seattle was between where I was going to stay and downtown. So off I went, while checking out some of the local bike infra. Here I am on 8th Ave headed north.

Bike infra should be obvious to the user. WTF Seattle, apparently at Virginia St I’m supposed to bike diagonally across the intersection while dodging cars?

On the other hand I enjoyed the MUP that runs along the west side of Lake Union.

A brief pause at the Fremont lift bridge to let some rich person’s powerboat to pass.

Arriving at G&O Family Cyclery.

The last time I visited, I noted that a good deal of the stock was e-bikes, and from what I could see, this trend has continued. BTW biking up to the Greenwood neighbourhood, I was reminded of how hilly Seattle is.

Davey was busy attending to real customers, but I did have a nice chat with Robert about a few of their newer bikes. Here is the e-assisted version of the Big Dummy, the Big Easy, which is still not available in Canada, although Morgan and Stephanie have one because they are special.

Robert said that they are popular because the riding position is more aggressive than other designs, but there were some minor issues with it as a family bike. For one, the position of the optional second battery makes a centre stand impossible.

Carsick bags come in many different colours, and G&O stocks “tie dye”.

I couldn’t leave empty handed so I got one of their bottles with their new slogan.

Now a short night’s sleep before the first day of RSVP.

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Given that I was on the left coast, I managed to clear a day to head on over to Vancouver Island to visit Naked Bicycles. More precisely, I went over to Quadra Island, which is an island off the coast of Vancouver Island. I wonder if Quadra residents consider Vancouver Islanders as mainlanders?

Starting from Vancouver, two ferry rides and a drive later, you encounter these signs deep in the woods at the end of a road.

Here is builder Sam Whittingham, of WHPSC and NAHBS fame.

He took over this workshop from his dad, who was a cabinet maker.

The space is 99% given over to bike production. Here are some of his NAHBS awards piled up near the ceiling.

Tucked away in a corner, some of his racing awards, including traces of the fact that he was the world’s fastest cyclist for over a decade.

Near the center of the room: his latest build, a steel framed bike for a larger rider.

A frame welding fixture, and Ti main triangle visible to the right.

Lots of interesting stuff hung from the rafters. Here is a Ti mountain bike with belt drive and Jones bars.

A full suspension art bike with wood rims and seatpost, back from the days when Sam says he was still showing off at NAHBS.

Back in a corner, I find the cargobike that Sam used to pioneer the concept of a 20″ rear wheeled longtail cargobike. This showbike is the basis for the Xtracycle Edgerunner, and all other longtails that have gone the small rear wheel route, including my Haul a Day.

A whole wall of Naked bikes.

Sam and I have a chat about bike fit. Tip: if you are going to visit him for a bike fitting, bring your regular saddle, shoes, shorts, etc.

If you have more time that I had, then you can also arrange to go for a ride. There were some nice looking MTB trails literally meters away from the front door of the shop.

It was great to see Sam again. I don’t think we had crossed paths in Battle Mountain since about 2011 or so.

My visit was a little shorter than intended due to a three hour delay for the ferry going over to Nanaimo. If I had even more time, I would have also tried to squeeze in a trip to Gabriola Island to visit Varna Innovations as well.

As a side note, here is a picture of me in line waiting for the ferry during that delay. Fortunately, I had saved an emergency Stroopwafel (served to me as snack on a recent United Airlines flight).

What made part of the long wait fun was that I noticed a couple of interesting looking bikes mounted off the back of a car a few vehicles ahead of me.

It turns out that the owner was an avid cyclist, Morgan, who reviews bicycles for Radavist. These fat tired tourers were evolved versions of the bikes he described here. Lots of details to geek out about, including Swift Industries bags, prototype welded construction Porcelain Rocket frame bags, and bottle holders from RandiJoFab.

Here is the under bag support for the Swift Industries saddle bag.

I didn’t know that Honjo made wide fenders.

It was a pleasure talking to both Morgan and Stephanie. They were enroute to cycling on Cortes Island, with kid in tow in a one wheeled trailer of Danny MacAskill fame. If you want to run into Morgan himself, he is often on the Friday morning rides for coffee in the Vancouver area.

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Four years ago, I spent some weeks in Calgary and in addition to exploring all of the great bike infrastructure in town, one of the highlights was visiting bikebike, a store that promotes family biking, and cargo bikes in particular. We were passing through Calgary again this past weekend, so I had just a few minutes to check out their new location in the Inglewood neighbourhood.

lots of e-assisted cargo bike goodness out front

The new store is smaller than the old location. They had an extensive selection of e-bikes; in fact more than half of their inventory on the floor were e-bikes.

Still they had some very nice regular bikes, like this VO Polyvalent frame hanging on the wall.

There was also this Breezer Doppler team, a 650b tired bike that looked like the way that I would set up something for gravel riding. Owner Sean said that this had become one of his personal favourites.

I regretting only having a very short time to look over all of the stuff that they had in the shop. I was told that the e-bikes are selling well, and that it has been good for their business to specialize in this segment of the market. If you are in the area, and are looking for an e-bike, a cargobike, a Brompton, or someone to set up your dream touring bike, this is the place to go.

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Today was the 30th annual City of Toronto Group Commute. Here we gather at the High Park start point on a brilliantly sunny morning.

Albert recruited a few of us to cycle in turtle costumes, in reference to the agonizingly slow pace of bike infrastructure construction across the city.

This year’s shirts are red/pink.

The TPS explains corking just before we take off.

Revved up and ready to go.

And we’re off. That’s Meri from Gord Perks’ office in the lead.

Turtles use hand signals too!
straight into the sun as usual

This bike dad was riding a nicely accessorized Costco cargo bike.

Climb, John, climb.

Corking, TPS style.

The lead group.

We were handed off to a bike based unit at Dufferin.

Bromptons well represented today.

This fellow was not on delivery yet.

Alberto always shows up with an interesting art bike.

He has a show of his work that opens on June 1 at 7 pm and runs for the month. Most of the artwork will be fish related. @the mezz, 1546 Queen St. W.

Turning south at Yonge.

Running into old friend Mikey of WHPSC fame. He didn’t have to ask about the turtle costume as he knows how slow I am.

Off we go.

This is an interesting low step over bike.

Arriving at NPS.

Friends with Bromptons. Rumor is that there is going to be a Brompton Ride during the August 18 Open Streets TO event.

Perhaps the youngest Brompton owner in town.

Picture time with Mary Margaret.

Albert and Joe Cressy after having a few words.

Nice to see Geoffrey working on a bike that is not painted white.

Turtles listening to updates about the Bike Plan.

Inevitably, they are somewhat disappointed.

Turtle video linked below.

Some of us wanted to remind people that cyclists are still dying on the streets.

photo: Geoffrey Bercarich

Bike Law continues to push for Vulnerable Road User legislation.

I was told that the legislature is voting on amendments to Bill 107 today, to bring in more in line with Bill 62, which was Jessica Bell’s private member’s bill (now tabled). Figures crossed.

Nice to see so many people out, but we still await the day when people feel safe commuting by bike without the benefit of police escort.

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The weather was glorious today, so Lucy and I decided to visit High Park, regardless of the fact that the sakura were not yet in bloom.

Car traffic blocked at the park entrance.

The long line up for the trolley.

Lots of people out and enjoying the weather.

Why is it that we can’t close the park to car traffic every summer Sunday?

Lucy does not look impressed.

Not too crowded yet.

The High Park Nature Centre folks used a cargo bike to haul their gear to this spot.

Lots of people taking close ups of buds not quite in bloom.

Never seen the Grenadier parking lot so empty on a weekend.

Multitudes still arriving as we left the park.

Peak bloom is predicted for later this week, but I’d keep an eye on the weather as well, since rain is in the forecast for overnight Monday and all day Thursday.

Robarts update: The city has been publicizing the other places where you can see sakura. The blooms at Robarts are coming along.

In fact, about 15% of the trees are in bloom.

So if you pick the right spot, you can pretend they are all in bloom.

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Never too late to do a little work on the Haul a Day to help it survive the winter. First item of business: addressing the fact that the bungee cord that retracts the kickstand gets a bit weak in cold weather. Solution: swap it out for a spring.

For those that are interested, here’s a picture of the specs on the spring that I used.

.53″ x 8.5″ x .054″

Next issue: dealing with a very corroded and worn chain.

I was really happy with the stainless chain that I installed on my Norco, so I searched for an equivalent item for an 8 speed derailleur. The closest thing that I could find was this chain by Wipperman.

Of course I had to check the old chain for stretch, and you can see that it is way beyond the 0.75% that is recommended as the limit. Given that the chain was the original one from April 2014, I figured this was OK.

Here’s a picture of the old and the new chain. They are lined up at the far end, and you can see just how much the old chain is stretched.

In this picture, I’ve lined up the end of the new chain, and the original chain, to show you how much additional chain I had to add. (Yes I had to buy two of the very expensive Connex 8Sx chains).

The new chain looks much better, and it shifts just fine. Fortunately, the chainring and cassette seem fine.

It was a gloriously sunny day today. Just for fun, can you spot the HaD in this picture?

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The bike friday Haul a Day comes with an integral centre stand that is quite sturdy.

IMG_6086

However, last week I suddenly noticed that one of the legs had dropped off. How it happened without me hearing it is beyond me, but I improvised a quick replacement, using 5/8″ threaded rod, which was the only thing available at the local hardware of the appropriate diameter.

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By the way, the M6 allen screws that secure the legs have special heads that have a reduced diameter, so it was not easy to find replacements. I ended up reducing the diameter of regular socket head screws with a belt sander. Bike Friday should up the price of each bike by $20 and use all stainless hardware.

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After looking for a more suitable replacement, I found 12″ long SS tubing on Amazon. Here’s a picture of the tubing, along with the one remaining kickstand foot.

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After a few minutes with a tubing bender:

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and here is the final product.

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Note that the 0.065″ wall tubing I ordered was definitely overkill. I would have been better of with the 0.049″ wall tubing instead. It would have certainly been easier to bend.

IMG_9343

 

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