Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa reads


Santa reads
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
Grandson Cyrus and I read a book yesterday, but my white beard, white hair, and typical red bikes@vienna sweatshirt made Cyrus wonder if he was interacting with Santa or Grandpa. It took him a little time to get comfortable with my appearance.

My habit of wearing a Santa hat this time of year has drawn second glances as Java and I walk to and from the store.

Ho, ho, ho.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ten Days in January --- bikes@vienna CLOSED

For months I've planned to have the store closed for a eleven day period in January (6-16). Three things are going on here. Park Tools puts on educational seminars during this period and Tim is attending sessions during this time in Philadelphia. Second, I will be in Seattle meeting my new granddaughter who should arrive any day now. Third, very little happens during this period of January during cold winters and this looks like a colder winter.

We will close our doors the evening of Monday, January 5th and reopen Saturday, January 17. If you have a bike in our care we will make every effort to get it back in your hands before January 5th.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The wonder of the internet

I do not know Tricia. In this era of the wonder of the internet I typed in "bike video" and there was Tricia being fun and excited about her Dahon folding bike. I share it with you because so many of our customers are like Tricia. They love how their bike goes easily into the trunk of their car. They are thrilled that they can easily fold, unfold, and ride their Dahon with just a bit of practice.

Tricia, I don't know you, but I want to thank you for showing the strengths of the Dahon folders.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Guilt Reduction Ride 2008

Twelve hearty cyclists turned out for this year's Guilt Reduction Ride from Vienna to Herndon. The thermometer registered around 28 degrees this morning as we bundled up for the ride to the shop. There was quite a collection of bikes on the ride; uprights, long and short wheelbase recumbents, a recumbent tandem, crank forward bikes, and a trike. The temperature steadily rose as we rode in the bright sun along the W&OD Trail to the Herndon station. We reduced our anticipated guilt from overeating later in the day by getting some exercise and donating several canned goods for the CHO Food Drive. It was a great way to start the day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Guilt Reduction Ride on Thanksgiving


ReducedGuiltRide 004
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
A bikes@vienna tradition is a bike ride on Thanksgiving morning that we call the "Guilt Reduction Ride". We ride up to Herndon (or beyond if you're feeling energetic) and back to burn off calories. We ask people to bring in canned goods for the CHO Food Drive. We provide ways for you to reduce the guilt that you might feel eating the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

You will have exercised. You will have been charitable. You will have had fun. How can you possibly resist such an opportunity?

I will start serving hit cider at the store at 8:30 AM. We will ride from the store at 9 AM. Come join us.

The photo is of a Guilt Reduction Ride at the Herndon Depot.

Red Bike Fridays on SALE


PockRockRed
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
This holiday season we have something exciting for you. We've brought in eight Bike Fridays for your gift giving. These are Pocket Rockets and New World Tours (NWT) all in red. We have the bikes in small, medium, and large. These would be amazing gifts for the cyclist wanting a quality folding bike.

How good is the sale? A similar Pocket Rocket would cost you $1054 for the bike and the shipping. Our offer is $960 (you do have to pay sales tax which creates a total of $1008)

The New World Tour would typically cost you $955 for the bike and shipping. Our offer is for $875 (the sales tax brings that to $918.75)

There is limited choice of sizes so I'd suggest you come in early. How about this weekend?

.

Holiday Stroll on Church Street coming December 1


StrollAd
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
This is our ad for the Holiday Stroll on Church Street which is Monday, December 1. The stroll has become a Vienna Holiday tradition with the lighting of the Holiday Tree, Santa's arrival by fire truck, horse drawn carriage rides, and warming fires that serve as marshmallow opportunities.

bikes@vienna will be taking 25% off the baskets, bags, and racks that you buy for holiday giving. We call it "Practical Gifting" because these items allow you to use your bike to serve as transportation as you run your errands. As we all tighten up in our spending the bicycle has a role to pay in our day to day travels.

Please mark your calendar for the Holiday Stroll. Please pencil in cycling equipment from bikes@vienna on that holiday gift giving list.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How's those hours working?

The Presidential campaign is over and although we live just outside the beltway the appointments of cabinet posts has not gotten fully underway. So the few people that are coming in the store are talking about their uncertainty about the economy and ask about our winter hours. How are these hours working?

We may know that beginning in November we began an experiment. Three days a week (Monday, Thursday, and Friday) I open the store at 7:30 AM. The store is open until 1:30 PM and we close until 5:30 PM when we open back up for two hours until 7:30 PM. On Tuesday and Wednesday we are closed all day. Our weekend hours are 10-5 on Saturday and 11-5 on Sunday.

It is kind of working. There is no line at the door at 7:30, but people are coming earlier. I think we're working our way to having earlier hours throughout the year. When I note the businesses along Route 123 that provide services which people use as they go to work. Why not be able to drop your bike off for service as you go to work? It may not be practical to have your bike on the back of your car in the parking lot all day and then go to the bike shop on the way home.

There is another important point. If people are going to commute to work on a bicycle then having a bike shop open in the morning may provide support for that effort. The press to use a bike for commuting may have lessened with the drop in gasoline prices, but as a society we are looking for cost savings in our personal lives and commuting by bike provides those savings even with less expensive fuel.

How's those hours working? Not bad, stop by and do some business some morning.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

New Cool Weather Accessory...?

... or fashion statement?

The other day, one of our customers stopped by the shop while on a ride, and demonstrated a remarkably clever improvisation for keeping her ears warm:


Yep, those are autumn leaves, tucked into the straps of her helmet, covering her ears and keeping them warm!

Our customers never cease to entertain....

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Hours as an Experiment

For this small business the question of when to be open in the winter has been a challenge. We have always been closed on Wednesdays all year round which is perplexing to many people. The last several winters we have closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Most bicycle businesses open mid to late morning and stay open through the early evening. We have noted for some time that when we open at 10 AM there is a flurry of business. There is another flurry during the lunch time. It goes quiet from 2 PM to after 5 PM and there is a flurry just before we close at 7 PM.

So I've decided to experiment on our hours this winter. We'll close on Tuesday and Wednesday as we have before. On the three weekdays we are open we'll open earlier at 7:30 AM and be open until 1:30 PM. We'll close at 1:30, but we'll reopen from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. No, my one visit to Barcelona hasn't made me aspire to a siesta. I'm trying to gauge if there is a market for being open earlier.

Will people come to the store on their way to work? That's what I'm trying to determine. I'll let you know how it is or is not working.

Here's our hours as of November 1:

Saturday 10-5
Sunday 11-5
Monday 7:30-1:30 5:30-7:30
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 7:30-1:30 5:30-7:30
Friday 7:30-1:30 5:30-7:30

As always, we will be happy to open earlier or stay open by appointment.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rans HammerTruck has been ordered


hammertruck-s
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
I have ordered a Rans HammerTruck which fits into the Work Cycles that bikes@vienna is moving into. Here is the description of the bike by the Rans folks:

The HammerTruck is a cargo hauler designed from the ground up incorporating our Crankforward design. As a Crankforward, it is an ideal package, since the lower seat and top tube height allows for easier mounting, controlling the bike at stop signs, and handling when loaded. At InterBike many cyclist instantly recognized the merits of using Crankforward design for a heavy hauler and took the “HammerTruck Challenge”. The bike was loaded 10 one-gallon water jugs, for an 80-pound load. Everyone was able to ride the bike back up the steep hill, and returned with positive comments about the smooth handling, great power transfer, plus the climb ability of the Crankforward position. We never told them there was any issue with standing and riding, and I observed many first time riders of CF taking to it naturally, the B-37 handlebars and curved riser placed forward make for a very inviting space to get off the seat and hammer it.

Based on the Dynamik the 4130 steel cro-moly frame is TIG welded and powder coated in a stunning silver and charcoal finish, all at our Hays Kansas plant. The custom frame features hard points to attach its made to order rack system. The rack consists of 1” and 1.125 aircraft aluminum tube, assembled using special fittings. The frame hard points are welded with tapped inserts, so removing the rack is a matter of 8 bolts and about 3 minutes. By itself the bike is a fun ride, even considering it’s wheelbase of 58.625”. All of our CF’s are longer than typical bikes, but the HammerTruck is another 9.125 inches over the Dynamik. The length makes the bike well suited to transport the loads, offering space to attach the large rack and bags. Being longer also means the design has to be stiffer in torsion. This is accomplished by adding a series of smaller tubes within the rear triangle. At 29.5 pounds, the bike is fairly light, and a very spirited ride, adding the tube rack, runners, sling bags, and runner covers bring it up to 42.5, still light compared to other long haulers. This is good, because a light strong, hauler can offer more net payload and better performance.

I'll let you know when the HammerTruck is here for test rides.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The 50 States and 13 Colonies Rides

Next Saturday, October 11th, WABA will stage the 50 States and 13 Colonies Rides in Washington, DC. What? The 50 States Ride? Yes, the riders will pedal on all of the streets in the District named after the 50 States. This is a 60 plus mile ride that goes through all eight wards of the District.

Registration for the rides begin at 8 AM at Walter Pierce Park on Adams Mill Road NW. The 50 States ride will depart at 8:30 PM. The 13 Colonies Ride which is under 15 miles will depart at 9 AM.

You can learn more at www.waba.org.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Historic View of Recumbents



In the 1930s English long distance cyclist, Evelyn Hamilton was in the news. A photo gallery of Evelyn shows her riding recumbents! Here's the promotional item:

"The latest in bicycles, direct from Paris, as shown at the Lightweight Cycle Show at the Royal Horticultural Cycle Hall, London. What is proclaimed to be the "Bicycle of the Future" is an entirely new conception of the bicycle. On this machine the rider sits as in an armchair and presses forward to the pedals thus being able to employ the leverage of the powerful muscles of the back to assist the pedalling thrust. Great speeds are attainable on this machine and one of the similar type but less advanced design, a continental rider has beaten records which the world's best riders had attacked in vain on normal mounts"

Thanks to Marty Walsh for sharing this information. You can see more photos of Evelyn Hamilton at: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/michael.bannon1/evelynhamilton/

Future bike classes

Our head mechanic Tim Fricker teaches a basic bike maintenance class on the first Wednesday of every month. While it is a popular and useful class, some people have requested a more advanced class or classes on different topics. We'd like to know what you think. We've added a link on our home page to a short survey on possible future bike classes so that we can determine interest in new classes.

Options for future classes include:
  • Intermediate Maintenance and Repair
  • The Bicycle Wheel
  • How to Customize Your Bike to Suit You
  • Bicycle Commuting Strategies

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday, October 12 - We'll have a Full Moon Ride

Please mark you calendar for a Full Moon Ride on Sunday, October 12th. Yes, that is the Sunday evening of the three day Columbus Day weekend. We will depart the bikes@vienna parking lot at 7 PM. Our destination is Reston Town Center for snacks and then a leisurely ride back to Vienna.

For a rider to participate they must bring their bike or trike, wear a helmet, and have a front and a rear light. We'll have little contest for the most creative cycle lighting scheme. There will be small prizes for lighting on cycle, lighting on clothing, and lighting on helmet.

There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that this ride is an effort on our part to sell more lights. But.....we will be open later that afternoon for riders who wish to purchase and install lights before the ride.

This is a fun, short ride. Why don't you join us?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bob Meyer's Vienna to Pittsburgh Ride



I don't get to ride my bike as much as I did when I worked downtown and commuted by bike four days a week. So I enjoy the opportunities to learn about the rides my customers are taking. Bob Meyers sent me his photo album from his ride from Vienna to Pittsburgh in early August. I thought you might like to take the trip through Bob's lens.

Here are Bob's photoshttp://picasaweb.google.com/meyers.robert/BicycleTrip2008#

Thoughts on a September Morning

My Monday night channel changing led me to C-Span and Boone Pickens giving a speech at the National Press Club. Boone Pickens is trying to get attention for his plan to reduce reliance on foreign oil. He has met with the Presidential candidates. He is speaking in front of groups of news shapers. He's proposing a shift to natural gas as the fuel for commercial vehicles (trucks). He's leading the way to develop wind power for electrical generation with intent to shift personal vehicles to electricity. He is pressing for this nation to develop and institute a plan to stop "the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world".

Go, Boone, go. Here is a man in his 80s trying to lead. I suggest you take five minutes and listen to his pitch. Go to www.pickensplan.com and watch his video.

Boone has got me thinking this morning about how I can promote cycling more effectively. Cycling has a role to play in moving us away from dependency on foreign oil.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Looking for Green Opportunities with Work Cycles.

You have seen several posts on this blog about the Batavus Personal Delivery bike with photos of packages and a well known Labrador being transported. This photo shows you another work cycle, the Yuba Mundo, that has the amazing capacity of 440 pounds able to be transported. For our demonstration we placed James on the back to show the capacity.


JamesMundo
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
If you go to www.yubaride.com you can see a number of photos that show the practicality of the Mundo. bikes@vienna is seeking opportunities to show these work cycles to enterprises such as universities, healthcare facilities, shopping malls, storage facilities ..... anywhere it can be more efficient for a person to cycle instead of walk or where a smaller volume of items can be transported on a bike instead of a truck, Cushman, or gas powered vehicle of any type. .

Saturday, September 13, 2008

bikes@vienna Grocery Getter

We submit for your consideration the bikes@vienna "Grocery Getter" This is a Burley Flatbed Trailer with a plastic container that can be sealed and could be locked. It has so many possibilities for use and is affordable at $235.

Just like many products at bikes@vienna it is possible to rent the "Grocery Getter" and if you decide to buy one within 60 days then we will credit what you've paid in rent towards the purchase of the item.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

She's a CargoDog!



Yep, that's Java, John's sweet chocolate Labrador, on her way home with John one recent evening.

Just to give you an idea of all the things you never knew you could do with a bicycle!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A RAGBRAI Slide Show

Ces put together a RAGBRAI Slide Show this afternoon.

Ces took nice photos from the stoker seat of the Barcroft Columbia tandem.

Go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/43898776@N00/sets/72157606722645696/show/

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Bear Story from Southwest Virginia

Tom Kehr has been a customer of bikes@vienna for years and years. He and his family moved to southwest Virginia a couple of years ago. Tom stopped in the store this week and shared stories about his new home.

He sent me this email detailing his recent bear encounter...........

RE: That was NOT a Bag Lady…

That was NOT a bag lady getting into our trash cans yesterday morning… It was a bear. While I enjoy living out here in the “sticks” and fancy the wildlife that goes with it, this is a bit much.

I awoke at about 6:30 am to the sound of crashing metal trash cans. I got to the window in time to see Mr. Bear carrying a fully loaded white garbage bag around to the front of the house. He (or she – like I would know the difference), appears to be a young bear that was pushed out from mamma this Spring to fend for himself (said the suburbanite in expert voice).

A bear enjoying our garbage is not exactly want I want hangin’ ‘round the house. But, first things first. “Hey kids, wanna see a bear?” Recall this is at 0630 hours. Nothing normally stirs around this place at that hour during Summer vacation. I couldn’t have gotten a faster response using an air horn. (Kris is in the shower at this time, missing all the events up to this point, is by the way.)

Now that everyone had gotten a good look at the bear not 30 ft. from their bedroom window, it was time to make Mr. Bear’s stay less pleasant. As I have not yet exercised my Second Amendment Rights, I had to resort to more, ah, “primitive means” of discouragement. I opened the window and threw my shoe at him. Startled, but not persuaded to permanently depart, he returned to his treasure. So I threw the other shoe at him. Ah, Mr. Bear apparently really likes our garbage (featuring last night’s chicken as the main course) and isn’t bothered much by this. So, I did what any good coach would do – I threw a baseball at him. (From the front porch and within safe distance of the front door, mind you.) And then another. And a couple of softballs. I believe the final count was five baseballs and two softballs. Each time, while startled, Mr. Bear came back faithfully to enjoy his easy feast. Let’s try a REALLY LARGE wrench. Nope. Same result. Then some 2x4’s about 18 in or so long. No change. By this point, I’m running out of new ideas for projectiles and we decide to let him finish and go about his business.

In cleaning up what Mr. Bear left behind, we find him to be very through. I cleaned up only trash. No leftovers. Unlike my children, Mr. Bear cleans his plate thoroughly.

A call to the local Animal Control Officer about our encounter reveals that he suggests using a paint ball gun to discourage Mr. Bear. Ummm… Let’s paint the bear. I’m going to have to think that one over. Hopefully Mr. Bear doesn’t have a Concealed Carry permit or I’m in trouble.

So…. This morning, Mr. Bear returns at 0600 hours. Again, he announces his presence by the sound of crashing metal trash cans. But this time, something’s different. We’ve used bungee cords to keep the trash can lids on tight. The combination of this low technology approach and his lack of an opposing thumb thwarts his efforts this morning. But do recall from yesterday’s lesson, that Mr. Bear is not easily persuaded to depart. I next find him on our back deck outside our kitchen as well as my office. What do I do this morning? Still unarmed with any real persuasive means, I open my office door and holler REALLY LOUDLY to frighten him. Again, startled but not departing, he wanders around the house, his nose up against various windows. You know how you might bang on a window to try and get something off the other side? Like maybe your dog has his muddy paws on the glass door? Imagine this scene: Mr. Bear is up against the house with his nose pressed up against my living room window. And I’m banging on the window where his nose is. “Bad bear! Now go lie down!” might be your imagery and you would be correct.

You might be interested to know that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has a video available entitled “Living with Black Bears in Virginia”.

It’s available if you scroll down on this page: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/video/?video=1

How very thoughtful of the Commonwealth.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

2008 Believable Hope Conference

This photo taken by Liz Reitz at the UCP 2008 Believeable Hope Conference catches me talking about Draisin products. The United Cerebral Palsy Annual Meeting was held in Washington earlier this summer. I just discovered the photo in the annual meeting photo stream.

The interest in cycling products for individuals with special needs continues to grow.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Mira on the Kidz Tandem


MiraKidzTandem
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
Allow me a little grandparent equal time which must be required somewhere in the grandparent world. Mira is visiting from Seattle this week so we have been out riding the Kidz Tandem. You'll notice that Elmo rides with us in Mira's left hand. Yes, Mira likes to ring the Lady Bug bell.

Mira is almost three. She likes to ride on the Kidz Tandem.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Beekeeper Statue


Statute
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
Our digital photography is typically photos of family and bicycles. Ces was taking photos the other day as I looked through my bee hives. She clicked this photo of her geraniums with me in the background looking at a frame as I tried to locate the queen. I look like a statue.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Batavus bike arrives

Earlier John discussed the new Batavus Personal Delivery Bike that he saw at Interbike this year. It arrived yesterday and John promptly assembled in and took the first test ride. That's him with a boxed bike on the front rack, held on by a bungie cord. There is room for a couple of more boxes on the rear rack.

The bike comes with a Shimano Dynamo front hub for the lighting system, a three-speed Shimano Nexus rear hub, and an integrated lock for the rear wheel. It's a very stable, comfortable ride. Why not stop in for a test ride.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Batavus Personal Delivery Bike


Batavus Cargo
Originally uploaded by Hugger Industries
During InterBike I took photos of this Batavus Personal Delivery Bike. They did not come out as nice as this photo from Flickr that was uploaded by Hugger Industries.

Last week we had a conversation in the store about how many people come into the store and comment on how our business must be growing with the escalating cost of gasoline. While we are see some increased interest in baskets, racks and panniers it is still a trickle compared to what people assume is happening.

This Batavus Personal Delivery Bike and sales of similar bikes to this one will be a signal that Americans are moving to the bicycle for transportation. I expect to see growing sales of folding bikes first. The lack of bike routes and safe bike access will lead to people driving to a location, unfolding their folder and doing their errands in that area with their gasoline powered vehicle parked.

I suppose that you can call this intermodal transportation. I expect to see more folding bike to Metro trips. Change is coming and like everyone else I am trying to figure it out.

This coming week we'll have a Batavus Personal Delivery Bike in the store for a test. No it is not a recumbent or trike or folding bike, but it is a niche and you know how I like niches.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Bromptons are Here!

Okay, I'll send out the word, since I was the big advocate for carrying them... our first shipment of Brompton folding bikes has arrived! These bikes are handbuilt in England, and feature a quick and ingenious folding system that makes for a remarkably compact package. And added feature is that they have rollers that make it possible to roll them around when folded.

We have an assortment of colors and at least one each of the three different handlebar designs... see our home page for an explanation, or go to:

http://www.brompton.co.uk/

To see the fold in action, check out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3tgdlk8xl

So how do they ride? Great! Sure, it won't make you throw out your favorite recumbent or road bike, but you'll be surprised at how "normal" it feels and how fun it is to ride. So come on in and give one a spin.

Now that they're here, boy do I want one!


An interesting feature is that when you tuck the rear wheel under the bike (the first step in folding), the bike ends up free-standing, allowing you to "park" the bike:







And to the left you see the bike fully folded... a very tiny package!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Battle of North Valley Hills Ride


BVNHFlyer2008
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
bikes@vienna receives interesting information about rides and activities. We try to pass the information on to you. This information is very appealing with its location and the cooler September time frame.

Just click on the poster and you can get a larger version for easier reading.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bike Maintenance Class for July

Hey gang! Here it comes again, the Basic Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Class, on Wednesday, July 2nd, at 7:00 pm. I cover the basic tools needed to work on your bike, basic gear and brake adjustments, and how to fix a flat tire. Cost is $36, which includes a small tool kit which retails for $20. Please come by the shop, call, or email tim@bikesatvienna.com to reserve your spot. We ask that you pay in advance so we know for sure who is coming. No need to bring your bike, but if you have specific issues you'd like to ask about, you can bring it and I'll try to address them.

Also, I'm pondering options for more advanced classes, so if you have any ideas, or are interested in a more advance sort of class, drop me an email and let me know your thoughts.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Pedal From Shimano

A number of our customers use the pedal on the left, the Shimano M324, or one of a a number of similar "clones" of this pedal. The reason for their popularity is that it gives you what many see as "the best of both worlds"... that is, a SPD style pedal on one side, with a variation on a more conventional "quill" pedal on the other. It's handy because you have the option of wearing your special bike shoes with cleats that click into the pedal, or regular shoes that just sit on the opposite side like a "normal" pedal.

Well, as I understand it, the M324 is being or has been discontinued by Shimano. Don't despair though, because they've introduced a new model, the A530, that I think is even better! Take a look at it in the picture to the right. You can see that the non-SPD side is a very different shape. This new pedal supports your foot with a large, cast aluminum platform, rather than the thin, wraparound steel cage of the M324. As a result, there's more surface area under your shoe, which is really nice if you are riding in a more flexible shoe. I did about 20+ miles today on a set, wearing a pair of Teva closed toe sandals, and they were wonderful! Much better support, and no sensation of the pedal "digging" into your foot. To top it all off, the M530 is lighter than the 324 as well. All in all, a great improvement to a great idea.

I'm trying to keep a few sets in stock at all times, but it's been tough... they seem to fly off the distributor's shelves the moment a new shipment arrives, so I'm guessing demand is high. It's such a nice pedal, I'm not surprised. Come on by and take a look sometime... I think you'll like them. I do!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Got Gas Pain?


Got Gas Pain?
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
With gasoline moving rapidly up in cost we are all financially pained by the increased expense. We are starting a "Got Gas Pains?" campaign to promote riding a bike or trike. Just a folding bike in the trunk of your car and a bit of planning would allow you to run your errands more economically.

At $5 per gallon of gasoline it does not take long to offset the purchase price of a folding bike. It is good for your health, it is good for your wallet, and it is good for the environment.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Luke's First Ride


First Ride
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
My nephew, Luke, and his father, Scott, have such nice smiles as they take their first ride on a Captain Duo. Luke is ten years old.

The Captain Duo is the perfect cycling machine for the two of them. Scott is interested in slimming down and getting Luke out to exercise. The three wheeled stability of the Captain Duo will allow them to ride together as Luke gets bigger and Scott gets smaller. The capability to set the pedaling contribution by Luke will allow for longer rides. Having Luke in the front allows for more oversight and conversations.

This photo would probably be better if there was more of the Captain Duo appearing. Yet the real story is in the smiles. Look at those smiles on father and son.

June 4th repair class re-scheduled!

Due to the storms and loss of power on Wednesday the 4th, I've re-scheduled the class for the 11th. Only three of the five folk originally scheduled can make it, so we have room for a couple more. If you are interested, call the shop or email me at tim@bikesatvienna.com. We request that you pay in advance, but we can handle that by phone if you'd like. The course starts at 7 pm, and runs until about 9 or 9:30, depending on how many questions come up. The fee is $36, which includes a toolkit that normally sells for $20.

Lose the Training Wheels

This opportunity to volunteer is worthy of your consideration. Here is the description provided by the Park Authority:

The Fairfax County Park Authority is sponsoring a bike camp called Lose the Training Wheels (LTTW), a program where children with disabilities learn to ride a standard 2 wheel bicycle without training wheels. We will run this program for three weeks during the summer, July 14-18 2008, July 21-25 and July 28-August 1st. We are asking for your help. Please post the attached flier and registration form where they will get the most attention.

This is a life changing event that was a great success last year when we held the camp for one week. 32 of the 40 participants successfully learned to ride a standard bicycle without training wheels. This is a great volunteer opportunity for groups, families, and individuals. You can really make a difference in a child's life.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me, 703-324-8641 and emily.house@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Coming Soon Catrike Villager

Catrike has introduced a new model. I have ordered one. This Villager mirrors an effort by several tadpole trike manufacturers to provide a simpler and lower priced model.

Here's how Catrike introduces the new model:

This is an affordable, user-friendly Catrike that anyone can ride. Based on strong demand, we have given it a higher seat, 20” wheels, a wider stance and incredible ground clearance. This is a true utilitarian vehicle that has many uses; ride it to the grocery store or out to dinner; it’s great for a picnic in the park, or ride it wherever you want to go. You will enjoy the scenery more than ever and discover the great joy of riding all over again.

The Villager’s 12.5” seat height allows you to get in and out with little effort; 5.5” ground clearance helps you negotiate speed bumps and curb transitions; stable 31” track; simple 9-speed drive train with quality components. This Cat is easy to ride and friendly for a first time buyer. And best of all, it’s affordable.

Human power is great for the future, but even better today.

Beautiful-Simple-Functional Catrike Villager priced at $1610 (the price is $1550 plus shipping).

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Stormy Wednesday at bikes@vienna

Well, yesterday I was at the shop, trying to get caught up on repair work. As most of you know, we had quite the series of storms during the afternoon. The power went out around 3:00pm, and hadn't come back on by the time I left at 8:00pm. As a result, we had to postpone the maintenance and repair class, and I got a lot less done than I had hoped. But I didn't let the weather completely thwart my efforts, as you can see in this clip:


video

Yep, that's one of those LED headlights I'm wearing. Handy little gadget!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Me and Bee


Me&Bee
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
For Viva! Vienna! Ces decorated a helmet using a bee stuffed toy and a fake sunflower. I wore the helmet in the bikes@vienna booth on Church Street to hand out flyers about our ViVa! Helmets contest. We had some delightful entries and the winner will be named tomorrow. I misplaced the down load cable from the digital camera until today so the process is taking longer than I anticipated.

I became a backyard beekeeper this spring after taking an eight week course sponsored by the Beekeeper Association of Northern Virginia (BANV). I now have two hives in the back yard and I am enjoying the experience very much. I would recommend the hobby to you. I have learned so much about bees.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You'd feel better on a bike

Well actually it's a trike, or rather three of them. An 86 year old mother and her 55 year old daughter have mostly stopped using their car and they now get around Carlsbad, California on their two single trikes and their trike tandem. Watch them in action. Hat tip to Adventure Cycling Bike Bits e-newsletter.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bike To Work Day Thank Yous

Bike To Work Day 2008 was wet and given that fact it still was a success in my view. The downpour of rain during the earliest morning hours made me wonder if anyone would ride on Friday morning. At 5:30 on my way to the store and then to Whole Foods I noted the drizzle. But those determined cyclists started arriving at the Vienna Pit Stop a bit after 6:00 AM. During the next two and one half hours the stream of riders was steady and the water tailed off.

It was a good morning. Upbeat people riding bikes are inspiring. There were lots of volunteers helping with the distribution of t-shirts, the new Fairfax County bike maps, and W&OD water bottles. My thanks to Jeff, Larry, Jo, Marty, Anne, Tim, and Jeff.

Keren and the Whole Foods group kept the snacks, juice, water, and good strong coffee coming. Thank you so much Keren et al!

Keith Oberg was there from Bike For The World. We had a VDOT representative, a Tour de Cure representative, Barbara from PPTC, and Hunter from Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling. Once again Fairfax County Supervisor Linda Smyth joined us and listened to cyclist talk about what they believe needs to be done to improve cycling conditions in the county. Thank you to all of those people for joining in.

Fox 5 News chose the Vienna Pit Stop for their news coverage of Bike To Work Day. It added excitement to the morning as they did interviews and on the spot reports. A thank you to Fox 5 for giving the event coverage.

Over 6,000 riders registered for Bike To Work Day. Their motivation to ride is varied, but I always marvel at the emphasis that gets placed on the Bike To Work Day t-shirt. Thursday evening as I printed out the list of those registered for the Vienna Pit Stop I received a call at the store. It was a cyclist who wanted to know if he could get his t-shirt even though he would not be in town for the event. He was calling from Venezuela! He'd been there for business and his flight back to Washington had been cancelled so he would not get back in time for Bike To Work Day. A regular bike commuter, he had a collection of BTWD t-shirts and he did not want to break the string. I like it.

What ever the reason........$3.96 a gallon fuel, endorphins, or a Bike To Work t-shirt; I hope you can find a way to ride your bike to work, to school, to the store, or around the block because it is good for you.

More Dahons have arrived

We had 31 additional Dahons arrive last Thursday and Friday. We now have Ciaos, Glide P8, Mu 24, Mariner, and Vittesse models added to what we have in the store. I probably did not order enough Glide P8s. Two sold immediately because of the great ride and terrific looks. The saddle and grips with a leather look and the deep root beer color of the frame make quite an impression.

Folding bikes continue to sell briskly. This would be a good year to purchase your folder. I am already hearing conversations about big increases in folding bike costs in 2009. Come test ride a folder.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Do you sell tandems?

Oh yes, but we are not conventional in our tandems (just like we're not conventional in our other bikes).

What tandems do we have in the store?

Barcroft Columbia (recumbent)
Hase Pino (Mixed upright and recumbent)
Bike Friday Family Tandem (take apart bike)
Kidz Tandem from Brown Cycles (Upright with child in front)
Rans Dynamik Duo (Crank Forward)
Rans Screamer (Recumbent)
EZ-1 Side by Side Tandem (recumbents connected side by side)
EZ-3 SX Trikes connected in Tandem (recumbent delta trikes connected in series)
EZ-3 USX Trikes connected in Tandem (recumbent delta trikes connected in series)
Hase Kett Trikes connected in Tandem (recumbent delta trikes connected in series)
Draisin Plus (wheelchair and upright)
Draisin Captain Duo (upright riders on trike)
Draisin Twister (Side by side recumbent riders on trike)

Do we have road or mountain style tandems, nope.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Next......Hase at bikes@vienna

Today I have a broad range of Hase products in the store. Hase manufactures very nice trikes, tandems, singles, and a kid's trailing device that will turn into a sporty trike.

On this date I have:

1 Pino Tour w/Double Kickstand

3 Kettwiesels with 27 speeds

1 Kettwiesel Handcrank

1 Lepus

1 Trets Trailer

I sold the Tangun on Friday. I have ordered a replacement.

I have these high quality German bikes and trikes for you to test and purchase.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Do you have Dahons in the store?

We get lots of phone calls. I kid that it is because a human answers the phone here most of the time.

A reoccurring call involves whether we have certain products. For example, people call and say that they see we are a Dahon dealer. I confirm that and then they go on to ask if we have any in the store. It seems that they have called or visited other stores to find that while those stores are dealers there are not any or many models to see and test.

Sooooooooo I thought some blog entries might be helpful for our prospective customers. We have many, many Dahons. As of this date we have:

06 Dahon Hammerhead 1

07 Dahon Curve D3 7
07 Dahon Speed D7 1
07 Dahon Mu P8 1
07 Dahon Expresso 18" 9
07 Dahon Cadenza 18" 1

08 Dahon Speed D7 8
08 Dahon Speed P8 4
08 Dahon Mu P8 6
08 Dahon Expresso 16"/18"/20" 15

We have Dahons in transit (Ciaos). We have an extensive pre-season order that is being filled by Dahon as their containers of bikes arrive in California.

That's the Dahon news for today.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Recumbent Blog retires

The Recumbent Blog has been an excellent resource for recumbent enthusiasts since 2005. Alan Barnard maintained the commercial-free site, providing many excellent bike and accessory reviews, photos, and recumbent tidbits. It was one of the few bike blogs that I checked on a regular basis.

Alan's focus had changed from writing about recumbents to writing about bicycle transportation when he began using his bikes for his daily commute and for local trips.
You may have noticed that an increasing number of my posts fall outside the realm of what would be considered appropriate for a “recumbent blog”. As my focus has moved away from recreational cycling toward transportational and utility cycling, my interests have also grown to include bikes other than recumbents. This is a good thing, but I sometimes feel as if I'm doing my readers a disservice by veering off the advertised topic too often. So, at some point in the not too distant future, I'll be starting a new blog with a broader focus that encompasses any and all topics related to using bicycles for transportation. The new blog will continue to celebrate the beauty and elegance of bicycles, as well as the joys of bike riding, while simultaneously focusing on bicycles as instruments of change; in my view, these are not mutually exclusive concepts.
We look forward to reading his new blog and we suspect it will continue to include many entries about recumbents. What better bike to use for transportation cycling. We use ours for our daily commute to work, to get groceries with our trailer, and for touring and recreational rides. We just happen to like to be comfortable while riding. We'll miss The Recumbent Blog.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A success in organizing an event

As a community business I get lots of opportunities to donate money or products. I appreciate it when I receive a follow up thank you letter like this one. I really appreciate it when the organizers are wise and achieve the kind of success that tripling the number of elementary school students participating represents. Wow, an increase from 46 to 131 is remarkable. FANTASTIC!

Dear John,

I am writing to you to thank Bikes @ Vienna for their support of the 4th Annual Vienna Elementary Run for Fun that was held on Sunday, April 27th 2008.

Our event this year was the biggest yet, registering over 550 runners and exceeding the fundraising goals for our school. Our sponsors have greatly contributed to the success of The Run for Fun by supporting our efforts with generous donations of products, services and money. We truly appreciate our local sponsors and the individual support of people like you, whose time, generosity and community spirit go the extra mile.

This year we made a push to get more elementary students to run the race. We began in the fall with a weekly before school fitness program. Throughout the spring we offered weekly training runs and the physical education curriculum put extra emphasis on the 5K. As a result, 131 elementary students (compared to 46 last year) completed the 5K and each one received a medal for their efforts.

By sponsoring, you become a catalyst for our mission, to prioritize physical fitness and encourage kids in motion. This run, while providing motivation to adhere to a healthy lifestyle and improve general fitness, also funds many activities and improvements for our school. We appreciate your support and are grateful to live in a community that encourages fitness. We also hope that you feel it was a valuable promotion of your business and hope that you will consider sponsoring our 5th annual race next year, Sunday April 26th 2009.

Sincerely,

Laura Goyer
PTA President
Vienna Elementary School
128 Center Street, S.
Vienna, VA 22180

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vienna Map with possible routes for travel to the W&OD


ViennaBikeRoutes9-26
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
This map is part of the Fairfax County Bike Map effort. Charlie Strunk, Fairfax County Bike Co-ordinator, and I talked with the Vienna Town Council about the County's Map project last September. It was a good discussion with the Council members making suggestions which Charlie incorporated into the map shown.

In attempting Fairfax County's first bicycle map Charlie Strunk has faced a wide range of challenges. This is a huge county. The traffic congestion is daunting. There are political sensitivities to be considered and accommodated. Charlie is doing wonderful work.

I present this map to you as a map that shows how a person might wish to travel in Vienna to get to the W&OD Trail.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

ViVa! Helmets! bikes@vienna's contest


IMG_0663
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
bikes@vienna celebrates a 10th anniversary in May. We opened days before ViVa! Vienna! in 1998 and by golly, we're still doing business.

Now I'm a low key celebrator, but we need to do something fun to observe this anniversary. In 1978 I rode a day of RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) from Iowa City to Maquoketa. I noted a family with three children who had decorated their helmets with colorful nerf toys shaped like cars, trains, airplanes, and ships. This distinctive headgear allowed family members to spot each other in the crowd of riders.

In recent years as I've ridden on RAGBRAI I've noticed that the decorating of helmets is the norm. In 2003 I came across the guy with the Starship Enterprise displayed atop his helmet day after day. The teams decorate not only their helmets, but they many times wear costumes especially on the last day of the ride.

Easter Sunday we went to Richmond to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. They took us to the Richmond Easter Parade on Memorial Avenue. The Easter hats were everywhere with colors, shapes, and forms. Sooooooooo these experiences resulted in the idea for this contest...... ViVa! Helmets!

Our booth (#116) at ViVa! Vienna! will be where to wear your decorated helmet to enter our 10th Anniversary Contest. We'll take a couple of photos of you and your helmet. The photos will be the basis for a panel of judges to select winners for a new folding bike, a new youth bike, weekend rental of a recumbent tandem, weekend rental of a Kidz Tandem, and several free bicycle tune-ups. Our categories will be Youth, Adult, Couples, Parent and Child, plus Pet and Owner.

Now my photo here is not a prize winner, but something to get you thinking. Yes, that is a little Chocolate Labrador dolly on top of my helmet. Java, the Chocolate Lab, is such a part of my days that it made sense.

The idea is to have fun and promote safety. The decorations need to be light weight and flexible. Entries which use wood, metal, or items which would do harm if your helmet has to do its duty will not be considered for prizes.

Have your ideas started forming yet? ViVa! Helmets!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Coming Soon! GT-1


gt1 full shot b
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
This is a message from Mick Sims of Greenspeed.

There have been leaks and rumours for a while that Greenspeed was releasing a “cheaper” trike and we would like to squash those rumours! We don’t feel like we’ve created a cheaper trike at all, what we have created is the ultimate commuting trike. From the outset what we wanted to create was a hassle-free trike for commuters and ‘returning’ cyclists. Like the great new commuting bikes coming out with internal hubs and brakes we thought, ‘how easy would this be to incorporate into a trike’.



Appeal for this trike was two fold:

One was for your everyday commuter needs for a solid care-free machine that wouldn’t take up much of your time in maintenance. We understand that you as a commuter needs to rely on your trike day in and day out and with out getting grease on your hands. The second was for you who wanted a simpler or more integrated trike. Incorporating internal gears for the use of a single shifter, and internal brakes and single front ring, the gt1 is a very functional trike packed into a sleek looking design. But let’s face it, a reliable trike is going to appeal to all but the most touring or sports minded trike riders.



We started with the tried and true gt-series II frame; hand made from air craft grade Cromoly tubing, for light weight reliability, and a ride that isn’t going to shatter teeth. In that package you get all the gt-series II features of NSR steering for no brake steer and a smooth road feel, up-dated chain management and the alloy crank extension with adjustment markers. We stuck with the 16” wheels for their light, zippy feel and fast take off combined with high strength/weight ratio and their ability to transfer less stress to the frame under cornering loads.



As has always been our goal at Greenspeed, we feel such a worthy trike is really going to get people thinking more about human power. Oh yes, and by the way, this trike has a suggested retail of 2350USD. Although this is a new price point for Greenspeed, we feel it is more than worthy to carry our name along with its ‘derailleured’ brethren. Please take a test ride and see for yourself.



Full spec as follows:



Model gt1

Colours Deep Metallic Red w/ safety yellow seat

Frame Hand made cromoly 4130 main frame and seat

Alloy crank extension (no post, w/ light tag and adj. markers)

Folding Removable seat and folding mech.



Sizing Standard 41-49” x-seam

Small 37-45” x-seam



Steering. Linkage USS ‘NSR steering’. Bars with width and fore/aft adj.

Seat. Cromoly/Mesh 40dg with lumbar and shoulder curves



Track width 29.5” / 750mm

Wheel base 39” / 975mm

Seat height 9.75” / 250mm



Wheels 16 x 1-1/2” 40-349 Hand built w/ Jetset rims, SS spokes and Scorcher tyres

Brakes Sturmey Archer cable act. Drum brakes w/Promax locking levers

Cranks Driveline 170mm (std) 155mm (sm) fitted with 2 chain guards

Gears Shimano Nexus 8speed 25 - 78 g”s

Fitted extras Rear mudguard and flag



Build Options Schlumpf drive. (speed drive expands range to 22-113g”s)

Accessories All Greenspeed tadpole accessories, along with a myriad of other manufacturers’ accessories

Sunday, April 06, 2008

W&OD Trail Patrol Seeks New Members

The W&OD Trail runs through the communities of Arlington, Falls Church, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, Sterling, Ashburn, Leesburg, Hamilton, and Purcellville. The Trail Patrol is seeking new members to be on-scene ambassadors of safety, courtesy, information, and goodwill. All adult trail users--cyclists, walker, runners, skaters, carriage pushers, dog walkers, horse riders, or wheel chair users--are eligible to apply.



Four orientation sessions are already scheduled for 2008: The first will be held on Thursday, April 17 in Alexandria from 7 to 9 pm, the second will be held on Saturday, April 26 in the Ashburn Library from 2 to 4 pm. The third will be at the Raflo Park in Leesburg on Saturday, May 3 from 2 to 4 pm and the forth will be Saturday, May 17 at the Vienna Community Center from 10 am to noon.



For further information and signup please contact John Boone at 703-726-6993 or jmboone1@verizon.net.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It is a wonderful gift.


ViennaComm 20080404 Flyer
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
Seems like this blog has become a community billboard recently, but there is lots going on. The displayed flyer is for the blood drive scheduled for Friday, April 4th at the Vienna Community Building.

I give blood every two months. It is good, rich blood laced with plenty of fat. It takes about 45 minutes. I feel good about my donation.

My appointment is late in the morning. Join me for orange juice and Fig Newtons when we're finished.

9th Annual Providence District Environmental Fair

bikes@vienna gets all kinds of opportunities to make donations of goods and services. This Saturday is the Providence District Environmental Fair and we'll be there providing some basic bicycle repair and evaluations. While this is an event close to our core values it is also a way to say thank you to Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth. Supervisor Symth continues to be a supporter of improving conditions for biking in Fairfax County. Each Bike To Work Day she comes early in the morning to the Vienna Pit Stop to talk to cyclists. Her support for creating the Fairfax County Bike Coordinator position, researching and publishing the new Fairfax bicycle map, and efforts to improve bike parking in commercial areas are reasons that she is appreciated.

This fair is Saturday from 9 to 12 at Fairhill School. It looks like an interesting event. I'd suggest that it would be a good opportunity to say thank you to Supervisor Symth for what she does for cycling and the environment. That is the reason that bikes@vienna will be there.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Yoga For Cyclists


Yoga For Cyclists
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
My friend, Luann Fulbright, is a wonderful yoga instructor. I've taken classes from her for several years. Tim Fricker is now enrolled in her classes. During a recent visit by her to bikes@vienna we got talking about a yoga class that would help prepare individuals for the cycling season. The result was Luann setting up a series of four classes to be taught on Sunday afternoons during April at her studio. bikes@vienna is co-sponsoring the classes.

Please click on the flyer and learn more about these classes. I think you will both enjoy and benefit from Luann's instruction.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

BTWD is Friday, May 16th


BTWD Rack Card
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
This is a request ............ go to your calendar and mark Friday, May 16 and Friday, May 9. May 16 is Bike To Work Day. May 9 is the last day you can register for BTWD and if you are one of the first 7,000 riders be eligible to receive the prestigious BTWD T-shirt.

Big red circles on those days because this is going to be a noteworthy day for the Vienna Pit Stop. My plans are to expand the size of the event. I go to Spokes this afternoon to talk with Jeff Palmer about their participation this year. My Whole Foods partner, Ann Biesel, is going to the Alexandria Whole Foods so there will be a new Whole Foods person with which to work this year.

You mark your calendar. I'm going to get working.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

EZ-3 SX Connected


EZ-3 SX Connected
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
Al Tyre and Jae Im are shown on a set of EZ-3 SX connected with a Van-Guard Manufacturing connector. Consider that the trikes can be pedaled and braked independently. Yes, the rider in front (captain) is doing the steering, but the rider in the rear (stoker) controls their own resistance, cadence, and some braking.

The cost of the trikes and connector is $2135. That brakes down as $980 per trike and $175 for the connector. This is based on costs as of 3.1.08. Sun Cycles is preparing to increase their price for the EZ-3 SX trike

Click on this photo to go to photos on Flickr.com which will show the connector more clearly.

EZ-1s set up as a Socialable Tandem


Socialable EZ-1
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
In an effort to find more opportunities for people to enjoy cycling together bikes@vienna has brought in the socialable tandem kit from Black Bird Manufacturing. As you can see in the photo........take two EZ-1 recumbents and add the connector kit which hooks the frames together, synchronizes the steering, and creates a platform between the bikes.

This configuration has so many potentials. The seats on the EZ-1s slide along the frame of the bike so an individual 6'4" and an individual much, much shorter can ride together. The pedaling is independent so riders of different strengths and stamina can enjoy riding together. Can there be wrestling over the steering, yes there can. This unit promotes socialability.

bikes@vienna sells the EZ-1 recumbent for $680. The kit adds $750 to the cost. Let's just call the cost $2050.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Spring hours begin March 20

Oooooooh, am I ready for Spring. Beginning Thursday, March 20th bikes@vienna will return to being open on Tuesday and lengthen hours to be open until 7 PM except Wednesday and Sunday. Wednesday we will continue to be closed. Sunday we will close at 5 PM. So here is the schedule beginning March 20th:

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat 10 AM to 7 PM
Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday Closed

As always, we will be happy to open earlier or close later by appointment.

In Praise of Fenders (aka Mudguards)

If you come by our shop, most days you'll see one of my bikes sitting out front, since I ride in most of the time. Folks that know me and know my bikes can pick them out by a couple of key features, one of which is the fact that most of my bikes have fenders on them. In this region, that sets my bikes apart from the vast majority of bikes, since folks here generally shy away from fenders. So why do I buck the prevailing style? It's not simply curmudgeonly behavior... there's a practical reason.

Take a look at my Bridgestone to the left there. Look closely at the tires and the inside of the fender and especially the black mudflap at the bottom. Notice the plethora of mud caked on the tire on the inside of the fender/mudflap? That's the accumulated goo from two recent rides on the C&O Canal after rainfall. What you don't see is any appreciable gunk on the rest of the bike, or on me, after the ride. In marked contrast, on both rides I saw a number of other folk riding bikes without fenders who had amazing mud streaks up their backs.

Aside from the forays on the towpath, one of the things I enjoy about having fenders on most of my bikes is that I never have to think about whether or not it's going to rain... I'm always prepared. It makes my bikes ready to go any time, any place... in other words, versatile. And honestly, they don't add significant weight or air resistance or anything like that. Sure, you probably wouldn't put them on a high end carbon racing bike (you probably can't fit them anyway), but on many other bikes they are a great feature.

I used to think in terms of having a "rain bike"... now I suppose I have a couple of "sun bikes"... the few without fenders that I only ride when I'm reasonably sure the weather is clear, while most of my bikes are fendered. It just makes it easier to have fun on my bikes. So give some thought to adding them to your bike... I don't think you'll regret it, and you may very well find it helps you get out on your bike more often, and that's always good!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Molly Raymond in the Inside BIS quarterly newsletter


Molly - BIS Newsletter0002
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
This weekend I was given a story about Molly Raymond who purchased an EZ-3 trike from bikes@vienna late last year. It is such an inspirational item that I want to share it with you. I contacted Mike and Molly Raymond to get a copy of the profile that appeared in Inside BIS which is the quarterly newsletter of Brain Injury Services, Inc.

Molly sent me this note which tells you more about her level of energy and how much she is enjoying the trike:

"hi john,
i dont mind if you use my story and photo. i am soooo enjoying the bike. freedom!! i used to ride a mountain bike 5-15 miles sometimes everyday for many years. so not being able to ride for the last 3 years -and then now. feels so great. my Physical Therapist is thrilled and says i am getting stronger. they have my photo up in their practice. my Neurologist is thrilled too and has the photo and gave both of them your web site. i gets lots of questions as i drive around the area with it on the back of my car. everyone wants to know where i got it so i tell them. one of the ladies at my church just this am -has a disabled daughter-she said in their special school one of the older kids was wanting one-the mom had looked into it and they were the real expensive ones-so she took down your number and website off my bike and will share it with the school this week.

attached is my photo.

thanks,
molly raymond"

Molly inspires me. I hope you will enjoy reading about her progress. Click on the article to gain a larger sized image and then click again where it says "All sizes" for an even larger text.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Our Change in 2008


Our Change in 2008
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
n 2008 bikes@vienna is moving away from selling conventional bikes. For an extended time we have not stocked road bikes and had just a few entry level mountain bikes. Our offerings have included hybrids and comfort bikes.

Our forte has been recumbents, tricycles, tandems, and folding bikes. I've decided to take us more that direction. Through several sales we will sell our more conventional bikes and end having those models in the store.

The rental program will also change. Rental bikes have always been a way for customers to test their interest in cycling and a way for us to sell bikes. The plan is for that idea to continue, but that means we will not rent hybrids this year. The yellow Fusion shown in the photo will be our most available rental bike. These crank forward bikes are very comfortable and I hope will provide hours of enjoyment on the W&OD Trail. Forgive me for pounding on this point, but we are NOT renting road, mountain, hybrid, single speed, cruisers, or ten speeds.

This shift in bicycles available for sale will prompt people to ask if we will do service work on all types of models and the answer is YES. We will continue to do repairs on all types of bikes and we will honor our commitment for "Continuing Care" for the bikes that we have sold regardless of style.

2008 is bikes@vienna's 10th year in business. We are moving towards "All Ability Cycling". This is an exciting change in a year when the word "change" holds hope for many people.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Live from Portland!

Tim here, coming to you from Portland, Oregon, at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show.
To the left here you see one of many amazing limited production bicycles at the show.  You're not seeing things... it's made of wood!  I don't recall the specific species of wood, but it's from Brazil, and I'm told it's being harvested sustainably.  It's from a company called Renovo Hardwood Bicycles, and it looks really lovely.  And they had one of their bikes hanging from a scale to show that it weighs in at just under 18 pounds!


This is just one of many very cool bikes I've seen so far at the show.  Many of the builders are working in steel, which is the material I am gearing up to work with myself.  There are a surprising number of small framebuilding outfits springing up around the country these days, and several of the "grand old names" in the business are still actively building, like Richard
 Sachs, Peter Weigle, Brian Bayliss and Bruce Gordon, who are all at the show.  In addition, there are a number of companies showing framebuilding equipment, which is of particular interest to me.  I got to meet Joe Bringheli, who built the jigs that I recently bought, as well as Hank Folson of Henry James Bicycles, who manufacture some of the most popular and well designed fixtures in the industry.  I had a really enjoyable chat with him at his booth today... a fascinating and very nice guy.





Finally, to the right here is a City Bike from Pereira Cycles, here in Portland.  He (Tony P.) builds some truly lovely bikes in steel.  He won awards at this show last year in three different categories, and I can see why.  Amazing work.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New at bikes@vienna.....Hase Tagun

I'll get a photo to go with this item.

James Anderson has been working this winter at bikes@vienna. Yesterday James assembled the first Hase Tagun that we've had come into the store. The Tagun has underseat steering, rear suspension, and it folds to fit more compactly in your vehicle or on Metro. James was out riding the Tagun in the parking lot and it was obvious that he was enjoying the bike so I suggested that he write a paragraph about his view of the Tagun.

Here's James' view:

Just wanted to write and express my thoughts on riding the Tagun I just built. Oh! What fun it is to ride! I know you asked me to keep the hyperbole to a minimum but I might have a really hard time. The highlights: A long wheelbase that feels like a short one, the SRAM dual drive gearing felt like the perfect set of ratios for the bike, I mean low down and dirty for the climbs and woah! widen that baby out and you're flying man! The motorcycle-esque-brake setup was ideal and sensible in a bike like this. I really liked the low center of gravity, It made all the crazy Hase promotional material (you know X-games style riding) seem like a great idea! Responsive all around. You know I'm pretty much an out and out road frame guy but this bike was nimble and quick reminding me of my super-lean Raleigh Supercourse.. Just fun, fun fun. Like the HP Veloteknik Street Machine fun, only more primal. The Street Machine feels like a leather lined BMW, the Tagun is like a Porshe.

James

I think this tells you a little about the Tagun and a little about James.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Your opinion..... Which icon suggests "recumbent"?


Iconbent
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
I would like your opinion. The adjacent graphics are meant to be icons suggesting a recumbent bike. Although there are four examples you'll note that the two at the top are the same shapes and the two on the bottom are the same shapes with the difference being the a positive or a negative.

Be part of my focus group, please and tell me which better symbolizes a recumbent bike in your opinion. Send me an email at john@bikesatvienna.com.

In the near future I will be asking about icons depicting the other styles of bikes in which we specialize. Yes, this is our tenth anniversary and I'm working on a new look.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Rans Dynamik Duo on order


08Dynamik Duo
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
I have struggled with the issue of "upright" tandems since we lost Burley as a supplier. I used a good deal of my time at InterBike investigating available tandems.

I keep coming back to the Rans Dynamik Duo. Our success last year in selling Crank Forward models has continued in 2008. People like the Crank Forward models. They are a wonderful combination of comfort and performance.

So Monday I ordered a Dynamik Duo. If you are interested in a tandem then I'd like for you to click on the adjacent fact sheet and read through it. We should have the Corvette red Dynamik Duo here late in February. Could it be a belated Valentine for the one you love?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

VTRCC's March 1st Casino Night


CasinoNightPoster
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
The Vienna-Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce will hold their fifteenth Casino Night on Saturday, March 1. The site is the Westwood Country Club which is on the east edge of Vienna on Router 123. This is an enjoyable event which bikes@vienna supports with certificates for bike rentals.

Click on the adjacent poster for more information about the event.

Monday, February 04, 2008

In Praise of Dynamo Wheels

What you are looking at is the front end of my '93 Bridgestone XO-2, which I frequently use for commuting. While most of the bike is original, one big change I made was installing a dynamo (generator) hub on the front wheel, and a light to go with it. Specifically, the hub is from Shimano and the light is from a German company, Busch & Mueller. In a nutshell, the spinning wheel sends electricity to the light, thus negating the need for batteries. The advantage of the hub dynamo over the older style tire-driven style you may remember from days gone by, is that the mechanism is impervious to weather and requires no adjustment. The tire-drive units are prone to slippage, especially in the rain, are noisy, and less efficient than the dynohub.

Now, some of you are saying "but the light goes off when you stop moving, doesn't it?" Well, the more observant might notice that the light is glowing (hard to tell in daylight) with the bike sitting still in this picture. That's because the light has a capacitor that charges while you ride, which powers an LED which comes on when you stop. Not all dyno lights have that, but it's a nice feature.

So, how much does this all cost? I knew you'd ask. Since it involves a new hub and building a wheel, it's true, it's not cheap. However, it's not out of line with other high quality lighting systems. Assuming you start from scratch, and have us build you a whole new wheel around the hub, you're looking at around $250 or so as a starting point. This gets you the high end Shimano hub, new double butted spokes, and a good quality, strong rim, as well as a dynamo headlight. Depending on specific options you choose, it could be a little lower perhaps, or higher. But a good investment for the long run. I can just hop on the bike and know I've got light without having to worry about batteries being dead or forgetting my light altogether.

Come on in and talk to me (Tim) about your options if you're interested. We have a demo wheel built up for you to look at and a couple of bikes in the shop that come with a dynohub stock. And there's a good chance that one of my 3 dynohub equipped bikes will be around.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fun in the Service Area

Winter is a relatively slow time in the service area here at bikes@vienna, since many folks aren't riding their bikes much. On the other hand, because they aren't riding as much, we do get a few people who bring in bikes that are sometimes longer-term, more involved projects for us. While they are a lot of work, they can also often be among the more fun projects I tackle here.

A good example of that is the bike you see to the left. It's a 1980s Alpine, a brand of bicycle made and sold right in the DC area back in the day. This one came in needing some serious TLC. The owner loved the bike and rode the heck out of it in days gone by, but over time his riding fell off, and the bike sat for a long time. He's back on bikes again, zooming around on a Rans "crank forward" design... but he really wanted his old friend back in riding form, so he brought it in to us. I have an affinity for classic steel road bikes, so this one appealed to me immediately, especially with the idea of "reconnecting" the owner with the bike he had enjoyed so much in the past.

It took a LOT of time and work and care, but it was worth every second of it when I saw the look on the owner's face after his first loop around the parking lot on the bike. Based on discussions with him, I had put a set of "butterfly" bars on the bike, and a new stem, to raise his hands up compared to the position on the old drop bars, and that seems to have really worked out well. A really fun project, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from the owner about his re-discovery and enjoyment of his bike.

Funny thing is, around the same time this bike came in, another fella brought in a '73 Motobecane Grand Jubilee, a really nice bike of the era, with a very similar story. Again, it was so much fun to work on the bike, and most of all to see the owner's face when he rode it after it was finished. It really gives me a lot of joy to help connect or re-connect folks with the joy of riding a fine bike.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fairfax County Bike Map


SharingIdeas
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
Last night close to 50 individuals attended the Fairfax County Bike Map meeting at the Vienna Community Building. The Fairfax County Bike and Pedestrian coordinators as well as representatives of the consultants assisting with the map and representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation all listening to cyclists suggestions for the map.

Charlie Strunk, the Fairfax County Bike Coordinator, (on the right) is shown in the photo receiving a suggestion.