Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Commuter bikes

A radical idea is sweeping the world of American bicycle manufacturing: building bikes that people will use for actual transportation.
The New Business Cycle, Wall Street Journal article, October 6, 2006.

For too long bike manufacturers concentrated on a few markets; recreational riders who wanted fast, lightweight road bikes, or mountain bikers who wanted suspended bikes with fat tires. Hybrid bikes have become popular, but most require additional accessories be added to allow bike commuting. The lightweight road bike and mountain bike frames are built in such a way that it is usually difficult to attached racks and fenders. Commuter bikes on the other hand generally come with integrated racks, fenders, and lights.

We carry the Uptown 8 bicycles made by Breezer Bikes that are mentioned in the article above. They come ready for commuting, with fenders, integrated lighting systems, a rack, puncture-resistant tires, and a chainguard. We also carry other bikes appropriate for commuting.

Many of our customers have already discovered the benefits of commuting to work by bike. Many use folding bikes in combination with Metro, others ride long distances on recumbents or uprights outfitted with racks, fenders, lights, bags, etc. They don't generate pollution or sit in traffic for long periods of time. They have fun, they get exercise, and they save money. They don't worry if their commute will take 20 minutes or an hour; they know how long it takes to cycle to work or to the store or wherever their regular commute trips take them. If you don't already, now is a good time to start commuting by bike.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

A small communication problem

Our DSL connection which allows us to roam the internet as well as read and create email is not working. It failed on Friday afternoon during a time of gusting winds and a power outage. We have been working with the service provider and we hope it become active today, but we wanted you to know that if you send us an email today it may not get answered until the evening.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Recumbent blogs

We've added a links to a couple of recumbent blogs on the left side of this window. You'll find some interesting articles on the latest developments in the recumbent world in The Recumbent Blog and in Recumbent Cyclist, Bob Bryant's blog, the publisher of Recumbent Cyclists News. Be careful, blog reading can be habit-forming.

Take a look at this beautiful Tour Easy that was assembled for author of The Recumbent Blog. It has many accessories that you'll usually only see on a traditional lug-framed steel bicycle such as Dura-Ace Bar-end/Paul Thumbies for shifters, Nigel Smythe & Sons bags, Rivendell Cork grips, and Full Wood, Figured Maple fenders. It's a work of art.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Eric and his KMX Kart

Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna.
This is the inspiring story of a determined young person which warmed my heart. Here is the message from Eric's father, Mark:


I thought you might find this interesting--my 8-year old son, Erik, joined the "Opportunity for Success" bicycle ride last Friday, which highlighted the need for employment of people with disabilities as part of disability awareness month. Erik has spina bifida, which limits his mobility and made riding an upright bike very difficult.  He had pretty much given up on biking when I learned about the KMX and ordered one from your shop.  The KMX has worked wonderfully for him after a few modifications, and really improved his self confidence.

The ride started with a core group of riders in New York, and people were invited to join the group as they went through each town along the route. There were supposed to be several hundred people joining the ride in DC, but that portion of the ride ended up being cancelled due to the poor weather (50 degrees and pouring rain) so only the core group rode through DC.

Erik had been "training" for several months for the DC portion of the ride using his KMX trike from Bikes at Vienna, but we were a little concerned about the bad weather. We offered him the option of backing out since it was cold and raining, but his response was "pack my raincoat." I had initially been worried he wouldn't be able to complete the 2-mile long DC portion of the ride.  However, he practiced for several months and we literally had to get him to slow down during the actual ride (despite the weather) because some of the adult riders couldn't keep up.

I was his run-along pit crew in case he needed technical assistance (he didn't), and to take pictures along the way.

Here is a press release with some info:

Thanks for your help getting the KMX,


The photo shows Eric on a much nicer day than he experienced on the ride last week.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

2006 Safe Kid Day is Saturday, October 14

Saturday we will be doing the safety checks on bikes at the Bike Rodeo which is just one aspect of Safe Kid Day & KidsFest. The activities of the day begins at 10 AM and continues to 2 PM. The location is the Faith Baptist Church at 301 Center St., S.

We invite you to bring your family to this free, community event. Please read the adjoining flyer for more information.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Moving the Full Moon Ride to Sunday

The rain and the cool weather have convinced us to move the Full Moon Ride from this evening to tomorrow (Sunday) evening. We hope that Sunday will be drier. The start time will again be 8 PM. Please remember to bring your lights and helmet. You might like to bring a light, windbreaker and perhaps some light weight gloves.

It was almost "Bye, Bye Birdy"

John Hayes has been a long time patron of bikes@vienna. Here is a message I received today about his travels and his Birdy.


    I was searching the Birdy on the WEB and came across your WEB page.  Yesterday (Thurs 10/5) Kathy, Henry (Williams younger brother), and I came back from Florida.  We spent a week down there visiting my mother (near Orlando).  I took my Birdy as we flew (usually I drive with road and recumbent bikes on top).  I notice that you are renting the Birdy-in-a- bag!  Great!!  You remember I took my Birdy-in-a-bag (bought them both from you) to Italy.  What a great trip which was even more enjoyable with my Birdy along.  That BAG with the wheels on one end and the handle on the other was in tow from Florence to Rome (via train) and through the streets of Rome (just to the hotel).  I rode the Birdy daily in Tuscany, all around Florence, and some in Rome.

    I use this "fold up" as an easy take along (just in case I get a chance to ride) all over PA and on frequent visits to VA.  As I mentioned I just took it to Florida and back this past week.  On this trip they lost my Birdy which caused me 24 hrs of consternation and a torn hand strap.  Actually, the tag came off (so they tell me) and the Birdy didn't know what flight it was supposed to board.  I filed a claim describing my "luggage" as a bicycle with the word "BIRDY" on a soft sided large suit case.  This was enough for them to find her and send her on her way (claimed 24 hrs later).  So, late today (Fri) we were re-united and Kathy and I drove up to Laurel Hill (our home in the beautiful Western Pa mountains).

    I have not been riding as much - miss the W&OD Trail.  We have a few more hills up here than No. VA.  I'll also miss the fun at your Halloween parade.  I'll be sure to stop by the next time we are in the area - William is due for a new bike this Christmas.  Keep up the great work and bike shop.  Ride safe!


    PS - Any one interested in hearing how great the "fold-ups" are and how I have traveled with my Birdy, well you know me - I'll swap bicycle stories any time (some say "all the time").  And the "GREAT" place to buy one, with great service and instruction is Bikes @ Vienna!


            Sharing the road, riding safe,

                                                        John Hayes 

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Randy Kling leading by example

Our customer, Randy Kling, approaches life with gusto. His first recumbent was an EZ Sport as he started commuting to work in Washington. After a year he traded up for a Tour Easy Expedition. Then he dressed the Tour Easy up with a body stocking. Now he has one of each of the body stockings available from Easy Racers. He was in to the store last Saturday to pick up a new Stars and Stripes model.

You can see Randy and his Stars and Stripes outfitted Tour Easy at This is a story on the Rails To Trails Conservancy website about bike commuting. There is a terrific photo of Randy with the Potomac River as the backdrop.

From reading the article I learned that Randy has given up his automobile. Randy, you're my hero.