Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Recumbent Cyclists News - July/August

We just received the July/August edition of the Recumbent Cyclists News (RCN). This is an excellent publication for learning about recumbents and trikes. This edition contains reviews of the Catrike Road aluminum trike, the RANS Formula 26, a new long wheelbase recumbent from RANS with dual 26" wheels. RCN sells for $5.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Another wet day

We're wondering when the rain will finally stop. It rained almost continuously today, much like yesterday and the day before. We had what must be a record 6 inches yesterday. It's no fun dragging tarps on and off the bikes throughout the day, or worse, having all of the bikes inside the shop and not being able to move. As you can tell, we don't like rainy days at the shop.

John is riding in Bike Virginia and is having a wet ride, as the rain that we are experiencing is mostly coming from his direction in the south of Virigina. Today they rode from Emporia, VA to Roanoke Rapids, NC, towns that sound familiar to those of us who have ridden the Great Peanut Bicycle Tour.

We did have a few customers in the shop. Ralph and Kris LeMeur and Jim and Kathy Bremner just completed their cross country tour, Ralph and Kris riding a Seven Cycles tandem and Jim and Kathy accompanying them in their RV. Ralph needed a place to pack the tandem for the trip back to California. We provided space, tools, and two boxes that he combined into one large tandem box. We enjoyed hearing about their adventure and look forward to reading their blog, Biking from West to East.

My bike commute home was aborted due to news that a bridge on the W&OD Trail between Vienna and Reston is damaged. I hope it doesn't take long for the repairs, as there are few options for riding between the two places.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tim's bikes

We've started to post a few articles about some of the bikes that we ride at bikes@vienna. A while back we posted an article that our head mechanic Tim wrote. We just updated that article with some photos of a few of the many bikes that he owns. Check out these fine bikes in the article Tim's Bikes.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kids’ Bike Safety Check Set for June 21

The Bike Rodeo scheduled for Saturday, May 20 was canceled and has been
rescheduled for Saturday, October 14. The Bike Rodeo was an event where
bikes@ vienna, LLC provided a public service of inspecting and doing
quick repairs on children’s bikes. to make the bikes safer. Rather
than waiting until October 14, bikes@vienna, LLC will provide a free
bike safety check from 4 PM to 8 PM on Wednesday, June 21 at the
bikes@vienna, LLC store located at 128A Church Street, NW.

The safety checks will be provided for children twelve years of age and
younger when accompanied by an adult. In addition to the safety check,
small repairs and adjustments will be done. The value of the services
provided at no charge will not exceed $10 in labor per young person..

This is an opportunity to get bikes ready for summer vacation. The
rain date for the event will be 4PM to 6 PM on Thursday, June 22. This
event is being staged on a Wednesday because bikes@vienna, LLC is
traditionally closed on Wednesday. This will allow bikes@vienna
employees to work specifically on the safety check. This free safety
check service at bikes@vienna, LLC will not be available at any other

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Review of the Bacchetta Strada

bikes@vienna note: Long time customer Bill Perlman took the Bacchetta Strada with the Euromesh seat for a test ride and then wrote this review. Bill rides an underseat steering recumbent and has placed an order for a new Challenger which will be underseat steering so I was interested in how he would react to the aboveseat steering Strada. Bill also does a considerable amount of touring so the ability to pack and ship a recumbent is important to him. Here's what Bill thought of the Strada:

"The bottom line:  I like the Strada.  A lot.

The Strada felt good right from the start.  Some bents you never get a good feeling for.  Their steering or balance or riding position just isn't right and doesn't feel natural even after a few hours on the bike.  By the time I rode out of the parking lot, it felt like a bike I've been on for quite a while.  The Strada was stable at both low and high speeds.  It's a high racer configuration with 571 wheels and a shell-like seat.  It's seat height is low enough so that there was no problem getting a foot firmly on the ground.

I rode the Strada because I wanted to try the new Bacchetta Euromesh seat.  The seat is comfortable and I felt that the mesh back did indeed reduce the heat/sweat buildup that you get from fiberglass shell seats.  Fiberglass shell seats also seem to amplify the drivetrain sounds that come up the seat stays.  The Euromesh seat eliminated that sound.

The Strada is clearly built for fast riding on decent roads.  It's a light bike with very narrow tires on lightweight wheels.  It climbed well and it handled well on fast downhills.  It's SRAM X.9 components are good.  The chain management is via a double sided idler wheel and is quiet.  The cockpit is a bit tight but one can get used to it; and it does provide a pretty comfortable hand position.  The bike is an excellent value for the price.

Why won't I buy this bike?  With it's typical OSS design, there is no telescoping boom and it is thus too long to fit into a standard bicycle box.  Too long to easily take with me on a flight and be used for touring."

Exploring the C&O Canal with Author Mike High

C/D * 26 * MD * 10:30 AM * Point of Rocks (POR)
Towpath and Lunch at Harpers Ferry. Park at the picturesque Victorian train station on Rt 28 in the town of Point of Rocks. The bike ride itself is on the towpath to Harpers Ferry and back--an historic stretch where the Potomac cuts through the first line of the Appalachians: Catoctin Ridge and South Mountain. On the way to Harpers Ferry, there are great views of the islands and rapids of the river, as well as the old canal works and the abandoned mill town of Weverton. Hybrid or ATB tires are best, but it can be navigated on a touring bike. Bring a bike lock and money for lunch. Leader is planning to go rain or shine--it can be sunny up the river while it’s raining in Washington. If it’s raining cats and dogs at ride start, we’ll explore other options. C/D (10:30 AM) * Mike High * 703/597-7912.

bikes@vienna note: This should be a terrific experience. Mike High is the author of the C&O Canal Companion. Here is how the book is described:

" The first comprehensive guide to one of America's unique national parks, The C&0 Canal Companion takes reader on a mile-by-mile tour of the C&O Canal, the 184-mile Potomac River Waterway that stretches from Washington, D.C., to the Appalachian Mountains.

Outdoorsman and writer Mike High has spent many hours exploring the C&O Canal, asking questions, making notes, taking photographs, and conducting research to assemble this informative, user-friendly book. Beautifully illustrated with photographs and drawings, the guide blends history, nature writing, and tour-guide tips to create the only book of its kind. High offers practical advice on cycling, canoeing, birdwatching, and other pastimes along the canal and river. Exploring the canal's history, he relates the early struggles to build a trade route to the Ohio Valley and gives in-depth coverage to the Civil War years, when the canal became a dividing line between North and South. He also explains the nineteeth-century technology of the canal--how it worked and how its operations were related to water-driven mills and ironworks along the river.

For the convenience of visitors to the canal, High provides a helpful appendix that includes names and telephone numbers for such resources as hotel, bed-and-breakfasts, bicycle shops, river outfitters, nearby parks, campsites, and regional associations. The C&O Canal Companion is both a pleasure for the armchair tourist to read and an indispensable guide for anyone planning a hiking, camping, or cycling adventure along this remarkable landmark.

Mike High grew up in the Philippines, California, and Vietnam. He has cycled in many places around the world, but the trail along the C&O Canal remains his favorite ride. His interest in the canal began when he discovered he could ride the towpath all they way to Antietam Battlefield, 72 miles from Washington. "

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Blue Eyes

Mira1, originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.

Granddaughter Mira is growing rapidly (she was born the end of September). As you can see she has blue, blue eyes and is called upon to model interesting hats.

We'll get to see her in July during RAGBRAI. Her father will ride with us several days while she and our daughter Jessica visit my folks in Iowa.

Friday, June 02, 2006

New Opportunity to Explore: Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail

You're invited to join the Friends of the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail for the OPENING CELEBRATION!!

WHO: Friends of DRHT members, guests, and those interested in helping to celebrate this treasure in the heart of King George.

WHAT: RIBBON CUTTING CELEBRATION for the DRHT, a 15.7 mile "rails-to-trails" project being developed in King George, preserving the former CSX rail bed as a NATURE, HIKING, and BIKING TRAIL.

WHEN: SATURDAY, 3 JUNE 2006, 10:00 A.M.

Please JOIN US!! Bring your family and friends. Experience the beauty of this unique trail. Meet, greet, and visit with DRHT Friends and other trail enthusiasts.


DIRECTIONS: Parking is currently very limited at the trail's junction with Indiantown Rd. (Rt. 610), the Ribbon-Cutting opening ceremony site. Participants driving cars will please park at Caledon Natural Area Picnic Shelter on Caledon Road, (Rt. 218) by 9:30 A.M.  A shuttle will provide transportation to the event. Bicyclists will meet at the King George County School Board Office and depart en mass at 9:00 A.M. (sharp!), for the ribbon-cutting--an easy five mile ride away on quiet rural roads.  Immediately after the ribbon cutting and refreshments, interested bicyclists are invited on a celebratory ride to Colonial Beach for coffee and muffins!  For additional information contact Dave Jones at (540)663-2137(w) or (540)775-9364(h) or via email at .

It will be our pleasure to see you there!