Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Another Pat Kraker "Art Object"

eye 004, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

If you have visited bikes@vienna then you probably have seen Pat Kraker's artwork in the flashing I Ching Cube mounted high on the center column in the store. It is a continuing topic of conversation as people look up and then wonder what the cube with the flashing lights represents. At an earlier time when John Ashcroft was Attorney General and the ink was still damp on the Patriot Act, I would crack that the cube was monitoring activity in the store. "You know how subversive cyclists can be", might be my comment before sharing the true story of the cube.

Pat Kraker has moved to Denver. We used to get first hand looks at his art work and his creative efforts with his solar powered trike. Now we have to be satisfied with photos. This photo shows his recent creation which he called "The Eye". I hope you can see that it uses Pat's woodworking skills and a new creative twist.....beads. He sent me several photos and I like this contrast of nature to "The Eye".

Imagine how "The Eye" would look staring down from the center column in the store. Got to watch those bicyclists.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Guilt Reduction Ride

ReducedGuiltRide 004, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

Geoff Steele provided me with a photo that he took of the Guilt Reduction Ride group in front of the Herndon Station. I tried to fiddle with the photo to get a closer look at the group, but I was not successful.'s the best I've got.

You can tell from the photo that we had a nice sized group. We had trikes, tandems, recumbents, and uprights. It was a beautiful morning and we had a good time. About half the group went to Anita's, which is just acrossed the street from the station in Herndon, and had breakfast.

Thank you to the folks that participated in the ride. I appreciate the foodstuffs that you donated to the CHO Food Drive.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Zipcar & bikes@vienna/An attempt to reduce congestion

ziplogo_369_425_w_tag-1, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

The information on our home page quickly tells you that we're doing something special with Zipcar, a car sharing company with a growing presence in the metropolitan Washington area. It's a partnership which provides Zipcar members with a membership benefit (discounts of Dahon folding bikes) and bikes@vienna the opportunity to be presented to the growing Zipcar membership.

Yet there is something more here worth noting ---car sharing is a step to reduced traffic and parking congestion. Zipcar touts each of their vehicles as replacing 7 to 10 privately owned cars. I hope that by promoting the Dahon folding bikes we can expand the distance from a Zipcar that people will travel to participate in car sharing. Just the use of a bicycle can reduce car traffic and the need for parking. An intermodal effort of a bike and car sharing should hold potential and we're going to find out how much.

I anticipate that we'll be asked by people if they can have the Zipcar Member Benefit price. The answer is YES!.....if they will join Zipcar and become part of the effort to reduce the traffic and congestion that is diminishing the quality of life we have in this region.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Too Little Fun Today/Let's Look at Sunday

Good Morning,

I've been out in my flannel robe checking the current conditions. The pavement isn't bad. The cold and the rising wind are my reasons for calling the ride for today. I feel guilty about it so I'd like to suggest we try to ride on Sunday morning. We can go a bit later in the morning let's say 9:30 AM. I'll start serving hot cider at 9 AM.

I hope you have a joyous holiday.

John Brunow

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The "Guilt Reduction Ride" is looking iffy

us_dca_closeradar_medium_usen, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna

The weather map presents some concerns this evening. The snow out west of us is moving slower than originally predicted. An earlier forecast called for rain to follow the snow flurries, but the temperatures seem to be lower now. I'm afraid of the result for the Guilt Reduction Ride.

I'll check the weather first thing tomorrow morning and put a message on this blog and on the bikes@vienna voice mail (703-938-8900) I'm in this for the fun and companionship. Cold and wet weather reduces the fun and the number of people willing to ride. I'll let you know the plan early in the morning.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

BIKE FRIDAY CLUB OF WASHINGTON DC Chapter --- Dec 3 Ride with new club leader Charmaine!

This information comes from Lynette Chiang of Bike Friday.

You're invited to the Bike Friday Club of DC Dec 3 ride!  

Please join the club message board to be informed of future rides:

A bit about Charmaine:

I'm an avid bicycle commuter and touring cyclist.
I live within a few miles of the Mt. Vernon Trail,
which I ride often, but there are also tons of other
great places to ride in the area, urban and country roads.
I prefer a stop and smell the roses, appreciate the
scenery rides, and also to explore new restaurants,
while getting to know my fellow bikers. I am a legal
secretary (I "swim with the sharks!") and love to be
outdoors any chance I can.

WHO'S INVITED: All cyclists, all wheel sizes, but
especially Bike Friday owners and those interested
in getting a closer look at the Bike Friday.

WHEN: Let's meet 11am on Saturday, December 3, 2005,
at Mt. Vernon, at the gift store entrance, for a short
and easy 10-mile ride into Old Towne Alexandria for a
bite to eat and socializing. We can do monthly rides
in the future!

RIDE LEADER: Charmaine Ruppolt,,
phone  703-780-3607

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cooler weather and slick surfaces. Be careful out there.

Temperatures dipped last night. I received this message this morning from a customer who commutes to work on the Mount Vernon Trail:

"Hi John:

It's that time of year again. Myself included, I saw five crashes on the Mount Vernon Trail this morning.  All were on iced over boardwalks.  I am thankful that my Tour Easy keeps me close to the ground so that I had only a scraped elbow to show for my troubles.  (I'll bet my slide to a stop would have made Luis Aparicio envious!)  

I thought I'd pass along the news so that you could remind your other customers to be extra careful, expecially on those wooden bridges."

Many of us ride with tires that have little tread and a high pressure. Wet leaves and frosty conditions can result in slippery surfaces and a need for extra caution. Consider riding on tires with more tread. Consider releasing air from your tires to give you more stable contact. Reduce your speed.

When you do take a fall resist the human tendency to jump right back on your bike and take off. Get your bike off to one side and do an inventory of yourself and of the bicycle. Double check the wheels, brakes, and straightness of the seat and handlebars. Take a couple of deep breaths and regain your composure.

Riding a bicycle is a skill. On a cool, beautiful autumn morning use your skill with care.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

On the Boardwalk We're Having Fun

EZontheboardwalk059, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

This couple purchased two EZ-1 recumbents from us in early September. They told us that they planned to purchase the kit which connects the EZ-1s and creates a side by side. I received this photo today and obviously they have been successful in their effort. They are also obviously having a good time.

Our customers are very kind and thoughtful to share photos of their cycling experiences.. If you have a photo that you'd be willing to share, please send to my attention at bikes@vienna.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Oooooooo! Dahon Trunk Bag at a Terrific Price....$49

P1010001, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

I tripped upon this wonderful Dahon trunk bag at a delightful price. I had sold them for $69 a couple of years ago and now I offer you the same bag for $49. It has lots of room, plenty of pockets, and a great attachment system. Notice the bottom of the bag in the photo. That"s a base that connects to the rack on your bike. The bag bottom slides into the base and then clicks in place with a little tab.

Most trunk bags connect with velcro straps that weaken with time and with age many bags lose shape. This bag shouldn't have those issues. The connection system should help this bag give years of service. At this price you might like to buy serveral and give them to your cycling friends as holiday gifts.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ribbon Winning at the Halloween Parade

RibbonWinner, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

Monday night I attended the Award Ceremony for the 59th Annual Vienna Halloween Parade. bikes@vienna received a third place ribbon for our group of recumbent riders in the parade. I want to thank all the riders who helped us achieve this award. I had a great time and I hope that the other riders did also.

The Red Hatters took first in the same category. What a vibrant, fun group of people they are. I'm going to have to work to best them next year.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Now Appearing: Tim Fricker

TimFricker, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

I'm pleased to announce that now appearing at bikes@vienna is Tim Fricker in the role of Bikesmith. Why the theatrical introduction of Tim????? Tim comes to us after a long career in theatre technology. He helped this summer on a part time basis and it is wonderful that he is joining us full time.

Tim is a native of this area. He's an avid cyclist and he's been a mechanic for over twenty-five years. At one time Tim worked as the assistant manager for The Community Cycling Center in Portland, OR. Recently Tim was certified as a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor.

You may see Tim riding on the W&OD Trail. He's commuting to work on the trail which is perfect for an individual who loves touring, commuting, and recreational riding. Come in and meet Tim or greet him on the trail.

A Postcard With This Image

bikesatviennabg1, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

I'm starting on a project today to send postcards to the people that have purchased bikes since March 1. The postcard will feature the photo above of the store. The message carries news about "Continuing Care" and offers some discounts on accessories if action is taken before December 15th. We are anxious to have people visit us this fall to get their bike adjusted or repaired.

Tour de Lee and sunglasses

John Brunow1, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

Last Sunday we helped with the Tour de Lee which we've done for four years now. It is a multi-level ride staged by Fairfax County Supervisor Dana Kauffman and his staff which highlights cycling opportunities in the Lee District which Kauffman represents.

Whoever was in charge of the weather should be given a raise. It was a day of bright sunshine which was nearly perfect. There were lots on riders. People were in an upbeat mood. They rode the new bike lanes on Beulah while being escorted by members of the Fairfax County Police cycling unit.

From the photo you can see that Reed Hopwood and I needed sunglasses on this glorious day.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Beautiful Fall cycling weather

I hope everyone is taking advantage of these beautiful, mild Fall days to get out on the roads and trails with your bikes. These are some of the best times of the year for riding; the trails are not crowded and the temperature is ideal. I've found that the best days to ride are on football Sundays, when many people are inside watching tv, the trails are nearly empty.

Now is also the best time to bring your bike in for a late season tune-up. Our service work has slowed and there is a very short wait time for your repairs. Why not get your bike ready now for these Fall rides and for next Spring.