Everything’s been pushed back this spring with the lingering cold. High Park sakura are probably not due for two weeks, unlike last year.

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.



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.


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.


Steve talks to a fellow Brompton rider.


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


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


Retrogrouch representation.


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


Martha gets us organized just before we start.


Our lead off rider was on a Brompton.


Here we go.


Stopped on Humboldt at Lake.


Turning east on the Midtown Greenway.


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


Here the pedestrian path is slightly separated.


The offramp towards Nicollete.


Going north on Nicollette Ave.



Arriving at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.


Group picture. There were about a hundred of us.



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


Steve and I.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


A good selection of Catrikes.


Recumbents, long tails, and commuter bikes.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


This was was better.


Videos from ASME East

Here is our long form video of the endurance race.

In addition, ASME HPVC has posted some official videos in a 360°C format.

Check these out:

The slalom (turn it 180°):

The rumble strip:


The team was filmed by Daily Planet the day before we left for East, and the short feature was broadcast on April 17. It is about 11 minutes on this video.



ASME 2018 Day 3

Airbiter lives! The epoxy appears to have cured during the day Saturday, and the team stayed up until midnight reassembling the trike.


So what went wrong? The consensus was that steering shimmy was induced by the flex in the steering linkage. The original layout had a vertical member linking the tie rod to the steering arm on the kingpin.


Now the tie rods are connected directly.

DSC05811The camber was off on the remounted wheel, but it was rideable.

Calvin practices before the start.

DSC05813Props to Rose Hulman who let many teams, including us, use their generator to power Dremels for emergency repairs.


UCF’s fairing conforms to their mascot, but that tail looks less than aero.


SD State is leading the competition, and you can see that they’ve added a grocery basket to their bike. They took it off during the race after doing the requisite number of drop offs and pickups.


Bikes lined up in order according to placement in the mens’ and women’s sprints. This puts SDSU and Akron at the front.


Since we didn’t run the sprints, we’re at the back.


Just to make things more fun, our left crank arm fell off and had to be reattached just before the start.


And we’re off, with the usual chaos of a LeMans start.


Calvin is delayed at the start because it takes a while to get belted in, etc , but is soon passing many bikes.



Clarkson is determined to run their bike the entire time.


Sadly, MS&T’s very pretty bike had a wheel failure on the first turn and decided to soldier on with a shoulder harness.


Rider switch to Valina. We’re in the lead at this point.



Pedalling strong with a bag of groceries just behind her head.


Rose Hulman having their share of troubles.


Now it’s Evan’s turn.


Chain came unshipped during his heat. This started happening more and more as the race went on.


Evan comes into the pits after he’s had enough. His knees were bloodied from scraping the fairing. This was partially because we elected not to move the BB position in the transition to the taller riders.



Bill’s turn.

DSC05844The shoebox.


Good to see MS&T running again near the end.


Pitt had a nimble and fast unfaired recumbent, and strong riders. They won the enduro. Here they take the checkered flag.


Bill finishes strong.


Flat spots from braking, where we’ve gone through the tread to the blue rubber and fabric casing.


Team checking the online report of enduro results.  We came in fourth, dropping out of third just near the end due to some mechanicals.


The requisite group picture.


Our team. Can’t get them to all smile at once.



Then time for lunch and the awards. Calvin is volunteering our table as part of a trivia contest while they delay to give the judges enough time to tabulate the results.


We get second in design


and second in innovation.


Then it’s time for the long drive home. Weather forecast is not so good, but we have trouble believing it as it was 30°C on Saturday.  Thanks much to hosts Penn State!


On the way home, we stopped at the original location of Duff’s for some Buffalo wings. Wings highly recommended. Duff’s beer not so much ; D’oh!


As we approached home, the weather got worse and worse. In Oakville, there was a sudden bang, and we had to pull off to check the bike. Part of the wooden stand had broken, and the straps were barely holding the bike onto the roof. We got to the next exit and strapped the bike back down.


All in all, it was a very eventful weekend. If we had managed to run the sprints, we would have placed well overall. As it was, even without the men’s and women’s sprint scores, we placed eighth overall. As always, I am extremely proud of how the team performed under pressure.

Full results are available here.

The future of the team is in flux, as Calvin is stepping down as captain, and many of the senior people like Arbiter project lead Bruce are graduating. The team is also seriously considering not coming to ASME anymore. The competition is structured so that bikes such as the ones we tend to build are not favoured. This is not in anyway to diminish the achievements of the teams that finished at the top of the field. Most of them are better organized than us, and in particular South Dakota State has executed brilliantly, winning East (and they were second last year), and West this year as well.

The only thing that is fairly certain is that we will show up to Battle Mountain one more time.





ASME 2018 Day 2

The day started bright and early with the drivers’ meeting at 7:30.


There’s always more to do on the bike.


Bruce and Valina.


Bikes lined up for women’s sprints qualifying. The top 16 teams go forward. They line up in order of bike number. We’re number 12.


At the front is Rose Hulman. It doesn’t look like their female rider has much forward vision.


Lined up with Akron, whom we hear did very well today.



We’re lined up with DTU with their volunteer female rider.


Velina all enclosed now.


Her run started strong, but then we saw some speed wobbles, and then a sudden swerve as the left front wheel buckled.

Viewing the aftermath.


The team took the rest of the day trying to repair the damage as best as possible. It remains to be seen whether we can run in the enduro tomorrow. The consensus was that there was too much flex of various components in the steering which allowed the wheels to toe out dangerously under speed, and the resulting dynamic loads were much higher than anticipated.

Wish us luck.



ASME 2018 Day 1

Friday the thirteenth is the day that we arrived at Penn State. Tasks for today: finish prepping  the bike, giving a design presentation, and then passing the safety check.


Susanna is our maven of all things electrical.


Recumbent enthusiast Gary dropped by on his homebuilt LWB USS machine. We met him two years ago when HPVC East was at Athens OH. He reminded us that we didn’t get our bike rolling that time, and was impressed that we had a working vehicle.


However, as is traditional for our team, we are finishing the painting just before tech inspection.


Masking the other side.


Now we are more or less ready to join the line up for safety inspection.


Safety is the first time that we get to look at some of the other entries. Check out the pool noodle seating on this one.


Clarkson continues to believe in the superiority of their arm powered design.


This number from Delhi Technical University had its look somewhat spoiled by the grocery basket grafted onto the rear end.


Lamar University’s vehicle was excused from the roll over test because doing so would have destroyed their fairing.


One surprise was that last year’s winner, Rose Hulman, showed up with a vehicle that did not look fully finished. It is their first ever tadpole.


We literally had the paint finish drying while we were in line waiting to be inspected. Here the masking tape is being peeled off.


Calvin starting the dynamic safety test. DSC02245

Our least favourite part of the safety test, inverting the bike to show that our tallest rider doesn’t have his head touch the ground with the vehicle is fully inverted.


Evan having survived being upside down. Also, not too bad for a last minute paint job.


We’ll be up bright and early tomorrow for the women’s and men’s sprints. Forecast is for sunny and hot weather, just like today. Fingers crossed.

Update: we scored second in both design and innovation, putting us second overall heading into the dynamic events.



ASME 2018: Day 0

We’re on the road to ASME HPVC East in State College PA.

Late this afternoon, the team was doing some last minute structural tests.


Then it’s time to load up the van and put the vehicle on the roof.


The “before” picture.


As the van doors close, Isaac, Luke and Calvin Jr. bid us a fond farewell and good luck.


Looking forward to passing safety and tech inspection on Friday.