Thursday, December 31, 2009

Canceling First Ride

I am sorry, but the rain and temperatures hovering close to freezing make it sensible to cancel First Ride.

I do want to wish you a Happy New Year.  I hope you find many ways to spend days riding your bike or trike in 2010.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rode to work today!

The side streets are still a mess, but my studded tires kept me
going! Fun ride!

Shortening hours for the winter

bikes@vienna needs a cleansing coat of interior paint and days of organization.  We start in after Christmas with a plan to paint, move the service area, and organize, organize, organize.  Our plan is to be open four days per week ...... Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  This extends our closed days to Thursday so the three days Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we'll be officially closed.

We'll keep you posted on our progress with photos and descriptions.

Luminary Ride and First Ride? I doubt we can have them.

The snow storm has created doubt on whether we can have the Luminary Ride on Christmas Eve or First Ride on New Year Day.  The Luminary Ride is out through the neighborhoods of Northeast Vienna which do a wonderful job of lighting the night with thousands of luminaries.  How will that be possible with the mounds of snow everywhere?  It most likely won't be possible so I'm canceling today.

First Ride is a week later so there may be some hope, but the W&OD Trail has sections that are out of the sun and stay frozen.  I have concerns.  Check back here next week.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And then...

... Tom and Beryl came in on cross-country skis!

A Customer!

Well, he just stopped by to say hi, but Chris deserves notice for
riding in to see us. Those are Nokian studded tires on his old
Schwinn. Great fun in snow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Great "Stocking Stuffer"!

For the holidays, here's a great gift set of accessories from Sigma Sport

You get:

BC506 Cycle Computer (regular price $25)

TriLED LED Headlight (regular price $20)

CubeRider LED Taillight (regular price $15)

All three together for only


Hurry! Supplies are limited.

Days are Short, Nights are Long

It's that time of year when the year-round cyclists among us end up riding a lot in the dark. The good news is that there are a huge array of options available in bicycle lights these days. One really good option that Tim uses on several of his many bikes is a system built around a hub dynamo. What's a hub dynamo, you ask? Well, some of you may remember the little "generators" that bolted to your bike, with a little roller that pressed against your tire, creating a lot of noise and drag and just enough electricity to power a dim headlight and maybe a tail light. Well, the hub dynamo is a further refinement of that idea, and a huge improvement. All the power generation components are enclosed in the hub of your front wheel, safe from the elements and directly connected to the rotation of the wheel, so there's no slipping and no noise. There is some resistance... that's the nature of a dynamo... but when riding it's hard to feel any difference.

One more improvement... You may recall that the traditional generator systems left you dark when you came to a stop. Many of today's lights come with a "standlight" that stays on when you stop moving! A very nice safety feature.

We currently have in stock two complete wheels ready to roll. Here are the specs:

For 26" Wheel Bikes -

Shimano DH-3N72 Hub Dynamo: $120
26" Sun CR-18 Rim: $36
32 Stainless Steel Double Butted Spokes: $32
Labor: $45

Total: $233

For 700C Wheel (road, hybrid, touring) Bikes -

Shimano DH-3N80 Hub Dynamo: $168
(the 3N80 is a bit lighter and more efficient than the 3N72)
700C Sun CR-18 Rim: $36
32 Stainless Steel Double Butted Spokes: $32
Labor: $45

Total: $281

The above are just two possible setups. Other options are available. Lights compatible with dynamo hubs start at around $40 for a head light, $30 for a tail light. Ask us about the options available. You can see an example of a wheel and headlight in the shop, so come on by!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Recumbent Bicycle back at bikes@vienna

Recumbent Cyclist
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
After a long drought we have The Recumbent Bicycle back in stock for the holidays. This book is quite interesting for anyone interested in cycling, but of significant interest for someone trying to learn more about recumbents. Do you need a stocking stuffer for someone or for yourself? This book is a good choice.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Nihola Family 3 coming to bikes@vienna

Sometimes I just need to be patience.  At least five years ago I started emailing the Danish cycle manufacturer, Nihola in an effort to become a dealer for their tricycles.  I had no success getting a response  for a period of time.  Then I got a response I didn't like.  So I stepped back and scratched my head.

This fall the folks at Fourth Floor Distribution in Toronto have been successful in importing the Nihola Family 3.  I now have a Nihola on the way to bikes@vienna.  I'm excited about the potential for the Nihola products in this area.  The Family 3 provides for an adult piloting the trike and up to three children in the front compartment.  The compartment has a seatbelt or has optional shoulder harnesses.  It also has a hood available to keep young passengers dry and out of the cold.  The Nihola site in Germany says it this way:

     "Our new Öko-Tex-100 hood (an ecological fabric), now available in bright fantastic colours, will ensure that you will be easily spotted by other traffic users. Underneath the hood our smaller Nihola passengers will be cosy, dry and warm.  No expense was also spared for Nihola's lighting system.  Niholas are factory fitted with one of the safest dynamo driven bicycle lighting systems produced by the German leader "Busch & Müller.“ Additional easily fitted bright positioning lights (two in the front and two in the back) allow you to be seen even better.  And each and every Nihola is fitted with super robust anti burst tyres by German tyre manufacturer "Schwalbe.“ Pinched or burst tyres will be other people's problems.   Remember that with a Nihola you are safely on three wheels and won't tip over in any weather, even in wet or icy conditions."  

You can review a number of photos of the Family 3 by clicking on

If you'd like to see how the hood goes on the Family three you can view a video showing the installation at Nihola YouTube Install Video  plus you'll get exposed to some German language too.

I believe that the Nihola Family 3 will appeal to families who have wisely chosen to live close to schools, stores, and activities so they can cycle.  The Family 3 can be the replacement for a second auto and perhaps even a first vehicle.  Sooooooo how much does a Nihola Family 3 cost?  Generously appointed the Family 3 costs $4150.

Thinking that is serious money?  Let me take your mind off that number with a lighthearted video featuring the Nihola trike in an outdoor pageant.  Click on this swimmingly interesting video.

When you've stopped smiling then here's a video looking over a Family 3 up close.

Places to visit:


The Nihola trikes available to bikes@vienna are outfitted with:

7 speed SRAM internal hub
Drum Brakes
Padded Bench Seat
Child Harnesses
Cargo Straps
Clear Front Panel
Rain Hood

The trikes are black frame with a black container (remember the clear front panel) with Rain Hoods in black, red, tan, white polka dots, or green.

The cost ready to ride from Vienna (includes shipping, assembly, and continuing care) is $4150 plus Virginia Sales Tax of 5%.

bikes@vienna is located in downtown Vienna on an alley just off of Maple Ave/Route 123.  We sell cycling equipment that you don't normally find in a bike shop such as folders, trikes, recumbents, and tandems.  We're open five days a week.  We're open on Saurday and Sunday so we close on Tuesday and Wednesday.  We're close enough to the Vienna Metro Station that we can pick people up at Metro and bring them to the store.  Call us before you begin your journey.

128A Church Street, NW
Vienna, VA 22180

First Canal Ride on Brompton

Well, it's taken me too long to get around to it, but Tuesday I
finally tried the Brompton on the C&O Canal. I started at Carderock
and rode about 8 miles out and back, and it was great. The small
wheels handled the surface with aplomb, and the bike was comfortable,
fun, and fast. My speed was right about the same as on my full sized
bikes, and it was great to be able to just tuck the bike away when
done. Watch my personal blog for a longer post and more pictures.


Friday, November 27, 2009

We're open!

And now it's easier to tell that we are, thanks to our groovy, new,
LED "Open" sign!

Now we just have to remember to turn it on and off every day.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

5,000 miles since February

There are people who inspire us and this is a news items about one of those people.  I received a message last evening from a customer who came in last February with his wife to buy her a trike.  She had been injured in a bike accident and was walking with a cane.  Yvonne loves cycling so much that she was looking for a way to continue riding.  She bought a Trice trike and several months later her husband Henry came in and bought a Trice for himself.  Henry's message to me last evening noted that on their Saturday ride Yvonne had passed the 5,000 mile mark on her trike.   Here's his message:

Hi John,

Today we went on a Potomac Pedalers bike ride from Frederick, MD up to Thurmont and back. Just before we got back to the starting point, Yvonne's odometer crossed the 5,000 mile point. She got her Trice T trike from you this past February. You might remember that she was still using a cane when we first came looking at them in December or January.  Last year this time she was in a hospital bed in our dining room, recovering from a bike accident.  Thanks for helping to keep her mobile!


Yvonne's resolve is admirable.  Both she and Henry have ridden extraordinary miles this year.  Here is a photo on them from earlier this year on Skyline Drive.  Henry thanked me for helping to keep Yvonne mobile, but my thanks goes to them for the inspiration.  

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Play on Word Possibilities --- Black Friday

The Bike Friday folks out in Eugene have come up with a promotion of their bikes that has so many plays on words possible.  Leading up to the consumer day called "Black Friday" they are offering their black bikes at a 15% discount.  This offer includes the black bikes that bikes@vienna has in stock as well as bikes ordered in black.

b@v has three Model T Tikits in black and an Expedition which is black.  My goodness, Henry Ford would enjoy this offering.  As you may remember Ford is quoted as saying, " "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black".

This is the second year for this Bike Friday offering.  Last year in a swirl of last minute promotion Bike Friday made the offering and was surprised by the response.  It will be interesting to see the consumer response.  It plays nicely with the Bike Friday question ---- "Where will you go on a Friday".  Certainly we hope you'll come to bikes@vienna.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bromptons for Personal Transportation

Think of your experiences growing up.  A bicycle was an important symbol for many of us.  It was "freedom".  It expanded our worlds.  It was our personal transportation.  It can be again.

The folks at Brompton portray it well (abet with an British tone):

"The Brompton is truly personal transport you can take with you even when you’re not riding it. On trains and buses it tucks neatly into luggage space (it is welcome on practically all public transport)… on aircraft, although it won’t fit as luggage in most (though not all!) cabins, it can be checked in; and it’s great to ride off at the other end… in cars, on yachts, behind the pilot’s seat of a single-prop, in caravans and on narrow boats, Bromptons are taken on trips as frequently as they take their owners on journeys.

And at the end of your commute, your trip or your voyage, your Brompton will fit safely and snugly in a cupboard, under your desk at work or in a cloakroom at the theatre or restaurant. With no risk of theft, your Brompton will still be there later – your personal transport."

bikes@vienna offers Brompton bikes as your personal transportation solution to the challenge of getting around this Washington Metropolitan Area.  We try to keep Brompton models in stock for you to test and purchase (we say "try" because often they sell quickly).

We offer the convenience of having you ride the Metro Orange Line to Vienna Station where we will pick you up.  Call us to arrange this service and to check what Brompton bikes we have in stock.

Who is bikes@vienna?  Please check the Washington Consumers' Checkbook to learn about our high rating from our customers.  Recently we were selected by Adventure Cycling Association to be the 2009 Sam Braxton Bicycle Shop Award winner.  We are honored by the ratings in the Checkbook and the recognition from Adventure Cycling.

Do a bit of research on folding bikes.  You'll find names such as Bike Friday, Dahon, Birdy, and Mezzo in addition to Brompton.  bikes@vienna stocks these brands too.  Soooooooo come visit us.

bikes@vienna is in downtown Vienna at 128 Church St, NW (the NW is important).  You can see that we are on an alley.  We're behind Terra Christa on the Church Street side and Mattress Discounters on the Maple Street side.

We are open five days a week.  We're closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Hours are 10-5 on the weekend and 10-7 on weekdays.

Call us at 703-938-8900.  Email to  The website is .  You'll find us on Facebook .

We look forward to hearing from you.  We'd like to help with your personal transportation.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We are honored by Adventure Cycling Association

Late in October I'm up on a ladder handing a boxed Dahon to Al when Tim brings in the telephone.  "It's Amy from Adventure Cycling", Tim told me.  I expected to have Amy be a salesperson working for Adventure Cycling Magazine making an advertising sales call.

I was wrong.  Amy told me that bikes@vienna had been selected for an award.  I'd climbed down from the ladder and I sought definition.  Oh, for the mid Atlantic area?  For small stores? How many were selected? Oooooooooh, it is for the entire country and we are the only one? Oh my.  You can read the details at

During the last week the news releases have gone out from Adventure Cycling and congratulations have been coming in from customers, vendors, and friends.  It has been very nice.  It has energized me.  For long before I started bikes@vienna I have admired Adventure Cycling and aspired to ride my bike throughout this country using their maps.  The recognition from them and the fact that long time customer Bruce Alton made the nomination have made this extra, extra special.

For this moment allow me to use the attention you have given this item.  There is no better way to travel and experience an area than by bicycle.  Some of my most joy filled days have been exploring or traveling by bike.  My hope for you is that during this next year you can plan a trip with family and friends on bikes.

This year I got to enjoy riding the Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle, the New York Five Boro Ride and RAGBRAI again.  I did not get that ride to Pittsburgh on the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage.  But I'm going to start planning and try to achieve that in 2010.  It is near time for those New Year Resolutions.  Where will you ride a bicycle in 2010?  How will you be an advocate for better bicycling routes and facilities so you can ride safer and more conveniently in your home area?

Tim's England Photos

Below are links to all the photo albums I currently have posted from my trip to England in October. Enjoy!

England 9/29/09-10/01/09

London, 10/02/2009

London, 10/5/09

BWC 2009

I hope to post a few photos from my visits to the Brompton (folding bikes) and ICE (recumbent trikes and bikes) factories when I get the chance.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Catrike White Sale

I'm dreaming of a white Catrike ............ our friends at Catrike have announced Color Fest for November and December.  They are making it very attractive to buy their models with three methods of savings:

First, you can buy any Catrike in white with a standard seat mesh and get a discount of $251 off MSRP.  They changed their seat design earlier this year and ended up with a large amount of what had been their standard seat mesh,

Second, you can buy any Catrike model in its own stardard color and get a discount of $151 off MSRP.

Third, you can go wild and buy any Catrike with a color upgrade at no additional cost.  This is for all non-standard colors including Candy and Sparkle colors.

Catrike Color Fest will be available until the last day of December, but think of the potential for holiday gift giving.

bikes@vienna currently has Expedition and Villager models in the store for test rides.  Why don't you come test ride and learn why 2009 has been such a "Trike" year for us.

For the people coming from Facebook to this posting:

128 Church Street, NW
Vienna, VA 22180

bikes@vienna is open 10-7 on Monday, Thursday, and Friday.  We're open 10-5 on Saturday and Sunday.  Sorry, but we are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you'd like to take Metro to Vienna we'll pick you up at the Vienna Metro Station.  Call us to make arrangements.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

New Bromptons Have Arrived

New Bromptons
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
We sold almost all the Bromptons we had in the store in late September and early October. Thankfully we received three new Bromptons this week. All three Bromptons are 6 speeds with fenders, rack, EZ wheels, and front carrier block. The colors are Cornflower Blue, Orange, and Turkish Green. The handlebar configurations are either M or P. These models are priced at $1360.

We have three more in the Brompton pipeline for delivery late in November.

Sun Handcycle Now at bikes@vienna

Sun Handcycle
Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
As a store that carries specialty cycling products we meet people trying to get exercise and enjoy outdoor experiences. There are many levels of need and not always good matches of need and affordability. This Sun Handcycle is a welcome addition to the products we can order.

This is a three speed model with quite a bit of adjustability. The price of $1,000 is modest for a handcycle.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Progress in Cycling in Fairfax County

I just got home from a Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling meeting and I'm feeling positive.  Good things are happening because people are working on projects at the regional, county, community, and neighborhood levels to make cycling more possible and safer.

What kind of things are being considered and worked upon?  Fairfax County has let a bid for bike racks which will be delivered in early November and some of those racks will be assigned to Herndon and Vienna.  Plans are being developed in the Dranesville District for signage for three projects by the Pedestrian Task Force/Bicycle Subcommittee.  In November the construction begins on a Bike Ped Bridge to connect disconnected sections of Wolftrap Road to the northeast of Vienna.  The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors are talking about a Bicycle Master Plan for the county.  In the Sully District a Federal Enhancement Grant is nearing for planning routes that can be cycled between historic sites.  WMATA (Metro) has planner looking at the Vienna Metro Station and others in the system to promote the increase use of biking and walking to Metro Stations.  Work is continuing on drafting Fairfax County Bicycle Parking guidelines and specifications.  The first meeting of the Vienna Bicycle Advisory Committee was held last week with over a dozen people participating.

Progress...........the two guys in the photo are Jeff Herman (left) and Charlie Strunk (right).  Jeff is a Transportation Planner who works with Charlie who is the Bike Coordinator for Fairfax County.  I learned much of what I outlined above in listening to their sharing during the FABB meeting at the Vienna Community Center.  Interested in what's happening?  Go to

Exxon/Mobil Health Fair

I took folding bikes to the Exxon/Mobil Health Fair at Exxon Mobil Corporate Headquarters on Gallows Road this morning.  It was a good sized event with a steady stream of Exxon/Mobil employees seeking ways to be healthier.  If your employer, church, or health club has a health fair, please let me know.  Typically there is no charge for our participation and it does get bikes@vienna in front of people who have not considered cycling recently.

REFind, our new neighbor down Church Street

I think the last open space in the new building on the northwest corner of Church and Center Streets has been filled with a consignment store called REFind.  Keith Bodamer and I stopped in for a visit recently and found interesting furniture and furnishings.  The shop is on the second floor and I considered the large attractive couch they had on display at what seemed a reasonable price.  I considered the work of carrying it up stairs or wrestling it into an elevator.

Church Street continues to features interesting stores with delightful people pursuing the American dream of starting your own business.  When you come visit us take an extra ten minutes and visit one of the other stores.

Friday, October 16, 2009

HRH must mean His Royal Highness

Tim's trip to the Brompton World Championship has us paying more attention to everything Brompton in the afterglow of his journey.  This morning we received a news release from Brompton telling about the design award given to Brompton founder, Andrew Ritchey, last evening.  You can read the release and view the award.  I had to blink and think about the HRH.

The 2009 Brompton World Championship

So here goes... my report on the Brompton World Championship, October 4th, 2009.

I first learned of the event shortly after bikes@vienna became a Brompton dealer. In with all the various catalogs and promotional materials we received a poster advertising this rather unusual race in which all riders rode Bromptons and were dressed in business attire... jacket, tie, and collared shirt. I have to admit, it appealed to me immediately, largely due to the offbeat nature of the race... and the fact that it was all Bromptons... but I never thought I'd really get the chance to participate.

Then this summer, when I mentioned it to John, owner of bikes@vienna, he said he thought it would be a good idea, and might even be an opportunity for us to get the word out on Bromptons if I were to ride in the BWC! So off I flew to England on September 29th, arriving in London on the morning of the 30th.

The morning of the event was a bit harried for me. I'd left myself a LOT of time to get to the Brompton factory, since I really wasn't that knowledgeable about London's public transit system. Brompton had coaches (what we'd call a bus, such as Greyhound) arranged to transport riders to Blenheim Palace, so I didn't want to be late for that. Based on spending some time on the official London transit website, I'd mapped out a pair of buses that should get me to there in plenty of time.

Well, the best laid plans... Making a long story short, I missed several critical connections and had to adjust my plans on the fly, ending up on entirely different buses, but I managed to sort it all out, making it to the factory in time. In fact, I even had a moment to pose for a couple of photos in front of the factory.

Then it was time to box up our bikes and stow them in the baggage compartments of the motor coaches. Fascinating to see about 80 folks stuffing nearly identical folding bikes into identical boxes. Note that some folks are already decked out in the required shirt, tie, and jacket. At this point I had my fingers crossed... I had neglected to pack my "outfit" and was relying on one of the Brompton people, Nigel, to bring me some clothes to borrow! He was traveling to the event on his own, so I wouldn't know for sure that I was all set until I got there.

The coach trip took about an hour and a half, I think. Time went pretty quickly as I spent the ride talking to Ed Rae, the new U.S. agent for Brompton. He's a nice guy, and very informative. We mostly chatted about Bromptons and some of the ups and downs of being a dealer in the U.S. It was a good conversation and left me feeling glad they decided to hire him for the job.

On arrival at Blenheim Palace (birthplace of Winston Churchill), we all made our way to the registration tent and picked up our timing chips and number cards, both of which were attached to the bike. I did a little racing back when I was in college, but that was long ago, and I honestly never imagined I'd have a timing chip fastened to my bike! Least of all, a folding bike!

Once all that was taken care of, I tracked down Nigel, who true to his word, had the clothes for me... a blue shirt, blue tie, and a maroon jacket with the Brompton logo prominently displayed in several locations! It was the same jacket their team was wearing, so I caused some confusion when folks would ask me questions and I had to confess I didn't actually work for them, I was just borrowing the jacket!

Before the start of the race we were instructed to place our fully folded bikes on a spot that was marked with the same number we were issued at registration. Next we were given a briefing that explained the basics of how the race would go. There were a total of 600 riders, so we were divided up in groups of 100, and guided (herded!) to a series of roped off "pens" where we were to wait for the start signal. There was a lot of good natured joking and talking as we waited, along with some sheep-like bleating to go along with being herded and penned.

We had all been told that once the horn sounded for our group, and the rope was dropped, we were to walk or run to our bikes, unfold them, then walk them to the road and mount and ride, crossing the official start line which would activate the timer when our chip crossed the line. Obviously that means that the speed with which one got to their bike and unfolded it and made their way to the road didn't affect your official time.

Regardless, once the horn sounded, most of us made a mad dash for our bikes, unfolded them rapidly, and raced to the road, some walking, some running and some mounting their bikes right away and riding to the road! I guess it's just the adrenaline rush of a start signal, combined with the mindset of a group competition.

The race consisted of two laps around a lovely, narrow, rolling road that wound around the grounds of Blenheim Palace. Each lap was a bit more than 6.5 km, making the total distance around 9 miles. We all started off very quickly, with the first stretch leading to the gates of the palace, where we took a sharp turn around the building and down a nice hill. Not quite half way into the lap there was a pretty challenging climb that took me a bit by surprise, and honestly took more out of me than I expected. But the bike and I soldiered on and I recovered my pace as I came back around the palace after crossing a small stone bridge. All in all, it was a beautiful setting, although I confess I didn't fully appreciate it until I took a relaxed lap AFTER the race! I'm not the most competitive person in the world, by any means, but in the rush of actually racing, I really didn't admire the scenery so much.

In the end, I finished the 13+ kilometers in 32 minutes, 50 seconds, right smack in the middle of the field, placing 338th out of 600. That's pretty much where I expected to place, so I was pleased. My worst worry was that I wouldn't fall into the "30 to 40 minute" range that I had predicted when I signed up. I had no illusions about actually competing for a high placing... for a frame of reference, the winner, 3 time Tour of Spain winner Roberto Heras completed the race in 21 minutes, 45 seconds! But it was a lot of fun, and I have to admit the adrenaline rush of competition was fun to feel for the first time in a long time.

After the race the kind folks at Brompton provided tea for the competitors... for the Americans reading, that means not just tea, but tea, small sandwiches, and small cakes. I have to admit, it's a very civilized custom that I kinda wish we had in the States! And it really hit the spot after the ride. The rest of the afternoon was spent chatting and getting acquainted with Brompton fans from all over, which was a lot of fun. In many cases, it was a chance to put faces with names I had grown to know through the internet, which I always enjoy. I even had the gratifying experience of someone telling me they've read this blog (Hi Steve!)!

Before re-boarding the coach to return to London, I took some time to explore the palace gardens and grounds, which were lovely, and to ride around the race course one more time, slowly. What a beautiful setting! And a gorgeous day!

You can see more photos of the event and the course, as well as a few of the palace, in my BWC 2009 set on Flickr. While you're there, you can also check out some of my other albums from sightseeing in London and Cornwall.

There I am, borrowed clothes and all, leaning into a curve, racing around Blenheim Palace on my Brompton. Even I have to admit it's a somewhat comical sight!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Me at the BWC

Here's one of the photos from the official photographers, showing me zooming past Blenheim Palace, decked out in the official Brompton jacket. Despite the look of "grim determination", I was actually grinning like a schoolkid inside! It was just so fun to think that here I was, in England, with 599 other people, racing folding bikes around the palace where Winston Churchill was born. Besides, it was such a beautiful setting... rolling fields, thick groves of trees, sheep, pheasants, dove... a lovely place. I didn't really pause to enjoy the scenery so much during the race, but went on an additional lap afterwards, when I stopped and took photos along the way. Look for them in my BWC folder on Flickr.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

BWC Pictures on Flickr!

Okay, I haven't captioned them yet or anything, but I put my photos from the Brompton World Championship in a set on my Flickr site:

Basically a bunch of before and after shots, since I couldn't race AND take pictures at the same time. Reportedly one fellow who tried that crashed as a result. We had two crashes in the race, both in the same location.

More to come!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Official Results are In!

...and I'm back from England! And a bit tired, so it may be a bit before I get cracking on writing in detail about the trip.

But, I wanted to post how I did. About where I figured, actually, smack in the middle of the field. Overall, I placed 338th out of 600. In the Men's catgegory, I was 315th, and in the Male Senior (adult under 50) 247th. My time for the whole race, two laps, was 32 minutes, 50 seconds, split as 15:41 on the first lap 17:10 on the second. Yes, I know the math doesn't work, but that's what the official site said. Clearly the first lap took a lot out of me. Thinking back, I probably hit it too hard on the first lap, not realizing there was a pretty sizable hill about halfway in the lap, which really knocked me for a loop. Now that I know the course better, I could probably do a little better, but I'm happy with my time. Roberto Heras has nothing to fear. :-)

I also wanted to take this opportunity for thanks... most of all to John, for making it possible for me to take this trip, as well as helping keep you all posted while I was gone. And thanks to all who have been following along. I'll post more soon, about the BWC and about the rest of the trip. Watch here and on my personal blog Spokes of a Wheel.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Photos from the BWC

Bikes on their start marks. Tim's is red one in front.

The gent in the loud suit won best dressed

 By the registration tent before the ride

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Tim Report: Race Results

9:48 EDT  Roberto Heras won the race. I did not.    We're disappointed, but proud.

9:49 EDT  But I had a blast. Tough course actually!  Okay, now on with the fun Tim!

Race Day Tim Report

Using Tim's Tweets from Twitter we surmise the following:

Sunday morning, race day.  Tim is up and he knows what day it is.

Up before 6am to catch 2 buses to factory.  He has to be excited about the prospects and he is getting pretty good at getting around in London.  Perhaps he has had some coaching from Brompton representatives.

On the bus at the factory.  Bike in back.   Good Progress!

At Blenheim Palace now.  Just out of the coaches.  Tim has not mentioned the weather and the UK shows sunshine so he probably would have disembarked to a beautiful fall day with the gathering of thousands of cyclists and fans.  Perfect!

Bike is on it's mark and Im suited up.  This is a Leman style start so the bike is placed folded on a specific mark.  Tim will walk or run to the bike to unfold it and then ride.  By suited up he means he has on his helmet, shirt, tie, suitcoat, shorts, and knowing Tim his riding sandals.  Now we don't yet know about that wardrobe malfunction that he alluded to in a tweet several days ago.

Im in a maroon jacket with Brompton logos.  Oh, there it is.  He must have left his suitcoat (actually mine) in Vienna.  So instead of a bland dark coat he'll be wearing a maroon one.  How sporty!

Blue shirt blue tie also borrowed from Nigel of Brompton.  Wow!  He must have left his entire riding outfit at home.  Good thing Nigel is so generous.  Wouldn't that Nigel in oue of the photos yesterday?

Crazy outfits here.  Lots of fun.  Yep, the videos on Youtube show wacky outfits were worn in past years.  I'll bet it is fun with all those wacky outfits, Bromptons, and cyclists.

We've just been briefed and soon we're off.  Yes .........yes............ now what's happening?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Tim's Tours Today: Brompton Factory and London by Brompton

The Saturday Morning Tim Report

Tim is getting more comfortable with his environment.  He reports he is on his way to the "Tube" to go to the Brompton Factory Tour..

As an aside ...... I got notice yesterday that Brompton's production line is fully sold out until January.  Humorously this was an hour after I had mailed in a check and order for Bromptons.  So they'll come in January.

Yesterday Tim encountered a rating activity that you don't see much in this country.  The British recognize the importance of clean facilities.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Afternoon Tim Report

Tim is working his way through London to see the sites.  Here are photos of the White Tower at the Tower of London and of London Bridge (didn't that get moved to Arizona?).

At this moment Tim is at the Tower of London

Tim Fricker is out being a tourist in London today.  Right this moment he is at the Tower of London and he promises photos later.  We do get to see the view out his hotel window from his photos.  We also now know that his number for the Brompton World Championship will be #0722, he thinks.

No, he has sent no more information about his wardrobe malfunction.  As soon as we know the story it will be shared.

Here's the view in London today.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oh my, is this a wardrobe malfunction?

It is not entirely clear from Tim's tweets, but it seems that he must have left part of his riding outfit out of his packing.  He's asking about a London second hand clothing alternative.  This should be a good story.

In the meantime, he seems to have had a good day in Falmouth.  He had photos of Neil and Hero in front of their cottage.  We saw the roads of Cornwall as he took a spin on an ICE trike.  There was also an opportunity to see the inside of the ICE work area.  Here's that photo for your inspection.

A view of the ICE/Trice works on Twitpic

Tim is in Cornwall visiting ICE/Trice

And about to go to bed.  Tired!  Long day after a long night's flight, but fun anyway.  Neil and Hero are great.  I see the factory tomorrow, and get back on the train to London.  Cornwall is gorgeous... if I had it to do again, I might have planned another night here.

So far I haven't found a wifi zone that will let me in.  I'm using Neil's computer right now.  Hopefully when I get to my hotel tomrrow it will work fine there.  Otherwise I have to set data roaming on, and that might cost a lot if I'm not careful.

Hope all is well there.  Say hi to folks for me.

Tim is visiting 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There Goes Tim Fricker!

I took Tim and his Brompton to Dulles for his 6:30 flight on Virgin Atlantic. Why did he fly on Virgin Atlantic? They don't charge for checking a bicycle and that is a big deal these days in the world of traveling with a bike.

He will get into Heathrow early in the morning and make his way to the train station. He'll use the train for his trip to Inspired Cycle Engineering. He'll spend Wednesday and part of Thursday at ICE/Trice and then return to London.

He'll be sharing information from his iPhone. He'll be looking for wifi opportunities because the cost of data transfer in England is pricey. Without a prepurchased plan the cost of a one meg data transfer (about the download of this page) is said to cost $20 ($.02 per kilobyte). Tim has 50 megabytes prepurchased and then additional megabytes will cost $5. So we'll find out how he can report on his progress.

The news is ......... he's off.  Please note that Tim's Brompton in the bag (left) is about the same size as his suitcase.  Also note the Twitter information at the top left of this page that Tim has send.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not quite the same as it ever was

This morning's Washington Post carries a review of a new book by David Byrne called "Bicycle Diaries". The Post says this is no travel diary, but muses by Byrne on a wide range of subjects.  It sounds like a book reflecting the old Albert Einstein quote of "I thought of that while riding my bicycle".  It is the feeling of freedom that stimulates the mind, I think.

According to the review Byrne has "taken on bicycle promotion as a pet project".  Wonderful.  We need all the help we can get.

"Bicycles Diaries" by David Byrne is published by Viking and sells for $25.95.  I would hope there is a Kindle edition.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Isn't life interesting?

This evening I checked my email and let out a hoot when I got a message from Facebook telling me that my father had asked me to be his friend.  So I confirmed that I was in fact friends with Philsy.

Now I didn't call my father to ask him about his venturing into the Facebook world because the Iowa - Penn State game was starting.  Phone conversations during Iowa games are best avoided although in the past I have called home and asked to have the phone set near the television so I could listen to the end of a game.

I called Ces who went to Seattle today to report this expansion of my Facebook friends and then I called youngest daughter Sara and giggled at the prospect of her Facebook activity being influenced by having both her parents and her grandparents seeing her Facebook posts.  Then I called Tim to share the smile and both of us got laughing when he told me that his 82 year old mother had friended him on Facebook two days ago.

Life is interesting.  A social network that began with university aged participants has expanded to 87 year old dads and 82 year old moms reaching out to their sons.

So I found this photo from RAGBRAI this summer when my folks met us at Moravia for lunch.  I posted it on Facebook with the message;

"Let's see for all the times I snagged you with fish hooks, allowed the ladder to fold up and drop you to the ground, backed out of the driveway and left you in mid project, got the Chevelle beaten by hail and let's not forget the couple of times I peppered you with buckshot....... sure Dad, I'll be your friend on Facebook. It will make me proud. And while I'm at it, Happy 87th Birthday coming up next Friday. I'm going to get your present mailed."

I hope it makes him laugh when he sees it on Facebook.  Although last summer I asked him if he'd forgiven me for the 1968 damage to the Chevelle and he said "not yet".

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Adam and Jen Ward

Originally uploaded by bikes@vienna
Allow me to introduce you to Jen and Adam Ward. They were married last Sunday on the beach at Oak Island, NC.

Long time bikes@vienna customers will remember Adam's years in the store and his skill as a mechanic. Although Adam has moved on to use his formal education for Spot Image, bicycles still are an important part of his life. In fact so significant that Jen noted his joy of cycling in her wedding vow.

The Wards live in Fairfax. Adam generously comes in to help in the store when I get in trouble.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Coming soon: Brompton World Championships

Tim Fricker is packing his bags and his Brompton for a trip to England, his first. Tim will be competing in the Brompton World Championships at Blenheim Palace on Sunday, October 4th. The day is dedicated to a day of British cycling and the details of the overall event can be viewed at

The details of the Brompton World Championship can be viewed at . If you have a bit more time there is a delightful bit of video from the 2008 event which can be viewed at Now don't laugh too loud when you watch the Le Man style start of the race and when you see the participants in suitcoat, dress shirt, tie, and shorts with wild colors and patterns. This is a wacky, fun event which get Brompton folders in front of a larger audience. It should be a fun filled occasion.

You may have noticed the new Twitter box in the top left of this blog. We are planning to use Twitter for Tim to report on his activities. He'll be sending Tweets and Twitter Pix to let us know the details of his adventure.