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

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

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:

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