Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Cargobikes’ Category

Perennial Cycle is a bike shop that I’ve wanted to visit for many years. Back when I was living in Michigan, I’d occasionally things from them since they carried many unique items for recumbents, such as Radical Designs panniers. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to stay in Minneapolis and so I finally got to see the shop in person. Even better: on Saturday they were running one of a series of Pastry Rides to promote #30daysofbiking during April.

DSC02339

DSC02340

Not quite knowing what to expect, my buddy Steve and I arrived at the shop at about 9 am. Quite a large crowd had already gathered.

IMG_8322

We borrowed bikes for the occasion. Where else in North America are you going to find a bike shop where the rentals are Bromptons? Mine was a superlight with dynamo lighting and a third party midrise bar. Quite an upgrade from my own number.

DSC02293

Steve talks to a fellow Brompton rider.

DSC02294

Yuba bikes was sponsoring today’s ride. This Supermarché was put to work hauling coffee from Peace Coffee. Note the Brompton shipping cartons.

DSC02295

All shapes and sizes of bikes and riders were in evidence.

DSC02296

Retrogrouch representation.

DSC02298

Mark and Mary were riding this Vision tandem with OSS and IPS.

DSC02299

Martha gets us organized just before we start.

DSC02300

Our lead off rider was on a Brompton.

DSC02301

Here we go.

DSC02302

Stopped on Humboldt at Lake.

DSC02305

Turning east on the Midtown Greenway.

DSC02306

This section has a pedestrian section marked by a white line on the right.

DSC02307

Here the pedestrian path is slightly separated.

DSC02309

The offramp towards Nicollete.

DSC02310

Going north on Nicollette Ave.

DSC02312

DSC02313

Arriving at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

DSC02315

Group picture. There were about a hundred of us.

DSC02316

DSC02317

And now pastries and coffee. Pastry from the Salty Tart.

DSC02318

Steve and I.

IMG_8323

Lots of fun talking with like minded cyclists. Minnesotans are very friendly! Since I happened to be riding a Brompton, there was lots of Brompton related chat as well.

Selfie with shop owner Luke Breen, who is a good guy.

IMG_8324

Luke is now giving away raffle prizes. If you go on one of their rides, be sure to sign up; there were some pretty nice things being given away.

DSC02319

At this point, we decided to leave a bit early. Mark and Mary were kind enough to lead us back on their tandem. Here’s glimpse of a separated bike lane on 26th.

DSC02320

Here on the greenway, we pass some Department of Transportation staff who were demonstrating an Autonomous shuttle. They yelled out that we should stop to check it out, but I responded that we preferred human power which drew a chuckle.

DSC02321

Back at the shop, it was time to take a look around. I really liked this mini bike rigged up to demonstrate dynamo lighting.

DSC02292

The colorway on this bike is clearly meant for adults, not kids.

DSC02289

Here is their rack of Bromptons. The gray ones on the bottom row are rentals.

DSC02322

A good selection of Catrikes.

DSC02323

Recumbents, long tails, and commuter bikes.

DSC02324

Of course I couldn’t leave empty handed. Among the things that I got were a SpedDial clamp set, and a Radical carrying bag that got a rave review on their website.

DSC02325

Thanks so much to Luke and his staff for their hospitality. If you want to visit a great bike shop that carries all manner of bikes that are not for the MAMIL set, you should definitely check it out.

Also thanks to the Salty Tart for their treats. Here is their stand at MSP.

IMG_8330

An additional shout out to Martha who apparently wants to visit this shop in Toronto that is just around the corner from where I buy most of my groceries.

#itsasmallworld #supportindependentbusiness

IMG_8335

Update: Perennial Cycle has posted their photo album here.

Just a few more pictures:

Just around the corner from the bike shop is a bike share station. It looks like it is run on the same platform as Toronto’s system.

DSC02291

There were a variety of bike racks around town. These didn’t look that space efficient.

DSC02326

This was was better.

DSC02336

Read Full Post »

Just posted some pictures from the Toronto International bike show over at Dandyhorse. My two favourite bikes at the show were the Tern GSD, and this Cherubim gravel bike commissioned by Blacksmith Cycle.

DSC02085 copy

DSC02086 copy

DSC02087 copy

Ridiculously small fender clearance….and yes I’m wondering why the fender is crooked as well.

DSC02084 copy

Even the derailleur pulleys were personalized.DSC02088

Quite different than the last Cherubim I saw.

The Tern GSD is a compact long tail based on 406 wheels, that looks like an evolved and e-powered version of my Haul a Day.

DSC02079 copy

It stands on end, just like my Haul a Day.

DSC02081 copy

The side bags fold in nicely when empty.

DSC02080 copy

From the local dealer, it retails for $6500 CAD.

The other thing I’ll mention is this smart helmet: the Cyclevision Edge. It has front and rear 160° HD video cameras. You can check out all the features at their kickstarter page.

DSC02072

It will eventually retail for $660 AUS (versus $500 AUS on kickstarter). I couldn’t help comparing this to the Classon helmet, a kickstarter campaign for a similar helmet that was funded back in July 2016, with a promised delivery of April 2017, but appears to still be nowhere near production.

The big story this year seems to be e-bikes, and the prices are slowly coming down in the segment, with the cheapest bikes being of the order of $1800. Still with the recent news that local vendor BionX has just gone under, there is still a lot of shaking out that will happen before things settle down.

Head on over to Dandyhorse for many more pictures and words.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

When life gets a little stressful, I often find it therapeutic to set aside a little time to work on bikes. This afternoon, I took advantage of a break in the cold weather to do a little cleaning of the two bikes I have been riding this winter. I’m going to be overly optimistic in calling this a “mid winter thaw”, as it was a brutally cold couple of weeks from about Xmas up to a couple of weeks ago, and it’s not quite the end of January.

I put studded tires on the Haul a Day for the first time this winter, with a little assist from buddy Tim. You can see that it’s looking a little rough now.

IMG_7764

The chain looks especially bad, even though a quick wipe shows that it is not as rusted as it appears.

IMG_7765

My Norco doesn’t look nearly as bad, even though it is my regular winter ride.

IMG_7766

In particular, you can see that the stainless chain I put on it two seasons ago is doing well.

IMG_7768

Before I put a coat of Chain L on it,

IMG_7769

I wipe off some of the grime.

IMG_7770

You can see the strings of oil after application, while running the chain backwards.

IMG_7771

and here’s a video. This stuff is tenacious.

 

Back to the Haul a Day. Here it is after a little clean up. I also wanted to make sure that I cleaned up the rear disc brake caliper as I’ve gone through two avid units that have seized due to corrosion due to being on the rear of long tails where they are out of sight, out of mind. The rear caliper on the HaD was replaced this summer after about two years.

IMG_7773

The other odd thing about the HaD was that in the two weeks after I put on the studded tires, I got a flat on both the front and the rear on two separate days.

IMG_7581

The second flat was particularly bad as I was out and about, and it was bitterly cold. The picture above was the only one that I got since my hands were freezing, and my phone was almost dead from the cold.

There was a little chatter on the internet claiming that the 406 size of Schwalbe Winter Marathons can be prone to flats due to the studs coming through the inner surface of the tire. I don’t know why I got those flats. It could have been a combination of using very wide tubes, and inflating the tires to 45 psi (which is still below what I would use with the summer tires).  Just in case, I decided to install some Mr Tuffy tire liners.

Here you can see that there is no evidence of the studs coming through the casing.

IMG_7777

Mr. Tuffy installed.

IMG_7778

The final touch was to replace the well worn seat cover that I got from Bike Law.

IMG_7779

I brought over the waxed canvas seat cover from the pink bike, made by Randi Jo Fabrications. It was the last of the Tarik Saleh editions.  The seat cover is great since it has a flap that protects the underside of the seat as well. (not necessary with fenders, but a nice touch nonetheless.)

IMG_7780

All set for the rest of winter. It’s not going to snow anymore is it?

 

Read Full Post »

So we’ve been dealing with unseasonably cold weather for the past couple of weeks, just like most of North America. This has been an opportunity for me to reevaluate some of my clothing choices for bike commuting, when the nominal temps have been between -15°C and -20°C. My commute is about 9 km, meaning about 30 minutes in normal weather, and 40 minutes when it is colder.

Last week, I used ski goggles while biking for the first time ever, even though it was only about -20°C.

IMG_7668

The googles were definitely overkill in the morning (at -20°C), but they were great the same evening, when I was biking into a bitterly cold headwind. Another plus was that they reduced the amount of fogging that I typically get when I have the balaclava covering my mouth. However, I didn’t like the tinted lenses reducing my night vision. I’ll probably only be using them when it is very cold and windy.

My more typical headgear for winter riding is this, without the goggles:

IMG_7428

Wool balaclava.

My favourite is now the one by Trew, which is constructed so that it is easy to pull down the lower half when I don’t want my face covered. It also is made of what they call Nuyarn, which has a synthetic core covered by wool, and I think that it is holding up to washing better than my pure wool balaclavas.

Earflaps

They look a bit puffy right now because I am actually using them to stretch over a pair of Cat ears.

Visor

the velcro taps on the helmet are for a velcro mounted visor.

In terms of clothing, I’ve been wearing the following:

Top:

wool T shirt, then a specialized thermal jersey, and my Proviz jersey.IMG_7672

Bottom:

Either my Makers and Riders winter pants, or my new Swvre blue pants. I think that the M&R pants are marginally warmer, probably because they seem to block the wind better. Note that the M&R pants would be way too warm if it is -10°C or above.

Footwear:

thick wool socks and light winter boots on flat pedals.

Hands:

Here is where it seems like my past winning combination of ski gloves and pogies just isn’t hacking it this year. Perhaps this is because the insulation in the gloves has gone downhill after about six years of use. Perhaps it is because I’m getting old.

Inspired by someone on the Toronto Cycling FB page, I broke down and got a pair of snowmobile mitts from Canadian Tire.IMG_7678 $33 after tax. Nothing fancy, but the kept my hands toasty warm for about 40 minutes of riding. At the end of my ride, the tips of my thumbs were a bit cold, but my fingers were fine. No problems braking or shifting. I could see my hands getting very sweaty in these above -10°C.

One last thing: the shock cord that holds up the kickstand on my Haul a Day is sagging in the cold, and I’ve had to effectively shorten it by moving the actor hook. This picture will only make sense to HaD owners.

IMG_7676

Note to self: must clean up all the salt off this bike in the spring.

Now that I’m all set for the bitter cold, of course it’s going to warm up this week.

Read Full Post »

After my recent acquisition of a Brompton, I started to think that perhaps I had too many folding bikes. Here are three of them, not counting the Dahon that I have stashed in Vancouver.

DSC01878

So the obvious thing was to put the Tikit up for sale (and I will still do that), but in the meantime there was some chatter on FB about someone with their apartment eliminating indoor bike parking, and so needing a folding bike……and ideally one with disc brakes.  Suddenly I had an opportunity to give my PBW a good home.

Here it is, packed up and ready to be hauled downtown. A few extra parts, like the fenders, a wheel with a spare Alfine 8 spd hub, and a 24h 406 rim to match.

DSC01884

DSC01885

Amusingly, on the way in, I catch the tail end of the Santa Claus parade. Santa actually saw me, and said “now THAT’s a bike!”.

IMG_7097

On a separate trip I also took in the suitcase that I used with it, bearing stickers from some of the adventures that I had with the PBW. The Illini sticker was from a trip where I was riding in past some corn fields in Hawkins IN Urbana IL, and four kids rode by on their BMX’s and said “cool bike!”.

IMG_7189

I’ve had some good rides with the PBW. It was custom made for me about sixteen years ago by Hugh in Chico California. He no longer builds, and is now a recumbent dealer. The long term plan was to rebuild it with the Alfine hub, but now both the bike and the rebuild project has been passed onto the new proud owner: Victor ex-Aerovelo, ex-HPVDT and all around good guy (and mad scientist).

IMG_7177

I’m glad I found a good home for the bike.

Read Full Post »

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 3.04.23 AMThe Bloor bike lane pilot project was installed last summer to some fanfare. This fall, City Council will consider whether or not to make them permanent. It has been stated from the beginning by the Mayor that the decision on whether to keep them will be data driven, and indeed there has been an unprecedented amount of study done on the bike lanes, including traffic counts, and various measures of economic impact. The first hurdle for the bike lanes is the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) meeting on October 18, and as that date approaches, both advocates and opponents of the bike lane are gearing up.

Yesterday’s CBC news had an article that mentioned some of the lobbying for and against. One of the issues that is always brought up is the question of how many cyclists are using the bike lane. Councillor Mammolitti was quoted as saying he wants a list of names of those riding in the lanes.

“I think that it’s the same people that just keep going in a circle just to be counted,” he said at the Sept. 19 public works meeting.

In addition, Denzil Minnan-Wong tweeted the following:

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 8.25.22 PM

in response to an article in the Toronto Star that said that the Bloor bike lanes are increasing the number of cyclists.  Unfortunately, both Minnan-Wong and Mammolitti are on PWIC. (Correction: D M-W is no longer on PWIC, but one can anticipate that Stephen Holiday will vote the same way that D M-W would.)

The city has cited a number of 4500 cyclists a day using the bike lanes, whereas various counts done by citizen groups such as Bells on Bloor and Cycle Toronto have come up with higher numbers.

Over the last week, 20 Bells on Bloor volunteers analyzed a video record of cyclists on Bloor at about Brunswick Ave, and for the first time, a full 24 hour count was done over five consecutive weekdays.

The results are in and the data show that over 6000 cyclists use the Bloor Bike Lanes on weekdays. A slightly deeper dive into the data shows some interesting trends. Here is a chart of the hourly variation, averaged over the five days.

chart

You can see that at the peak periods, there are over 600 cyclists an hour that pass by this point. Additionally during the entire daylight period, the minimum number of cyclists is over 200 an hour.

As one of the volunteers in the video analysis, I was assigned 6 am to 10 am on one of the days, and I was amused to see myself pass by during my commute. ( I was running a bit late that morning).

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 1.18.06 PM

The other things I noticed during the four hours:

  • I saw 12 total cargo bikes or bikes with trailers (including myself) (out of about 1400 bikes)
  • I only saw 5 sidewalk cyclists. I don’t have any data on whether this is a decrease from before the bike lanes were installed, but the number was lower than I expected.

The complete press release is here

BellsonBloor Bike Count Media Release FINAL Sept 28, 2017

and here is a sample video segment.

Metro News Coverage

Update: a great piece on iBikeTO by fellow blogger Herb.

Read Full Post »

It’s been two years and four months since I got my Bike Friday Haul a Day. In that time, it has been my second most used bike, with just over 5000 km logged in just over 800 separate rides. It was time to tweak things a bit since two things were starting to annoy me.

First, the rubber feet that I put on the kickstand were worn out. I had put some Tygon tubing on the kickstand a while back (any 5/8″ ID tubing will do) and it lasted a surprisingly long time.

IMG_6084

I replaced it with thicker wall tubing with some kind of woven reinforcement. Thick rubber tubing would have been even better, but I’m stuck with what I can find at the local hardware.

IMG_6086

Note that it is better to leave a bit of the tubing extending past the kickstand feet. The tubing has less of a tendency to slide up the leg that way. In any case, any kind of tubing lasts way longer than any of the rubber end caps that I’ve tried.

The second more serious issue is that with the front rack and basket combination, over time there has been some stress on the brake cables by having the rear part of the basket pushing on them, and they have been bent just where they exit the lever. This hasn’t been a problem functionally, but it could lead to a problem in the long run.

IMG_6085

Here is the front brake cable housing.

IMG_6089

I decided to use V brake noodles to have the brake cables make a clean 90° bend just after the lever. Note that I figured out that it was better to reverse the way the cable goes through the noodle (this entails reversing the internal plastic sleeve).

IMG_6090

Front lever done.

IMG_6087

Now both done. The basket now puts much less pressure on the rear brake cable, and the front cable misses it entirely.

IMG_6092

Note that I bought new cable housing and a tandem length brake cable from the LBS to do this, but it turns out that since I was shortening the cable housing by the length of the noodles, I ended up using both the original housings and the cables as well.

I’ll post an update if I see any downside to this new setup.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »