Sunday, June 27, 2010

Macgyver on a bike?

I've seen some inventive repairs in my life, both in my bicycle work and theatre work, but yesterday a fella came in off the trail with an improvisation that really surprised all of us. Alas, I was unable to get a photo, but I'll try to describe in words what he did.

Apparently, somewhere along his ride, or perhaps over the course of several rides, 4 of his 5 chain ring bolts (chain rings are the big sprockets attached to the cranks that you turn with the pedals) had worked loose and fallen off the bike. When the rider realized this, he figured he needed a temporary fix to get him to the nearest shop, so he turned to something near at hand... grass stems! Seriously... he used a number of strong, fibrous grass stems to TIE the chainrings in place! The amazing thing is, it worked. I'm not sure how far he rode that way, but any distance is pretty remarkable.

So, next time you have a mechanical problem on your bike... maybe you don't have to reach for your cell phone first!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Progress: Riding Bikes to School

    This Spring we have tried to support parent and school administrator efforts to promote children biking to school.  This photo is of two of our Event Bike Racks being used at Cunningham Park Elementary School.  We have had three racks at Wolftrap Elementary since their Bike & Walk to School effort in May.  What we see at these schools and at the Vienna Farmers Market is strong interest in being able to use a bike for transportation.  The presence of a bike rack makes this more convenient and increases the participation.

Budgets are tight everywhere.  A demonstration project like the one depicted in the photo can show the use and need for placement of a bike rack.  Think about where a bike rack could improve the use of bicycles as transportation.  Perhaps we can work together on a test to prove the need for a permanent rack.                                                                                                   

Appreciation for Charlie Strunk

This article is directly from the Sun Gazette Newspaper:

Bicycle Coordinator Receives Transportation Achievement Award

(Created: Thursday, June 24, 2010 6:59 AM EDT)

Charlie Strunk has been honored with Fairfax County's annual Transportation Achievement Award.
The Fairfax Transportation Advisory Commission presented its 2009 Transportation Achievement Award to Charlie Strunk during the June 22 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Strunk is the bicycle coordinator for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation. He was selected based on his efforts planning facilities to allow non-motorized or bicycle transportation options.

In 2009, Strunk managed the following projects:

* Creating 10 new miles of bike lanes on Gallows Road, Westmoreland Street, Lawyers Road and other streets.

* Completing the bicycle and pedestrian bridge on Wolftrap Road near ilmer Middle School, providing non-motorized access between Tysons Corner and the town of Vienna.

* Supervising the purchase of 150 new bike racks for locations across the county.

* Securing a $104,000 federal grant to create the Sully District Historic Sites Bike Map, a guide to family-friendly bike routes that highlight Civil War and historic sites in western Fairfax County.

* Leading the effort in winning a Virginia Department of Health grant to buy and give away 200 bike helmets to children.

Since 2006, Strunk has served as the county’s first bicycle coordinator, where he oversees efforts to incorporate bicycle facilities as part of the county’s transportation infrastructure.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bromptons in, Bromptons out!

Well, it's quite a couple of days here, Brompton-wise! Thursday we got in another shipment of four bikes:

M6R in Flamingo Pink/Black
M6R in Yellow/Black
M3R in Orange/Black
P6R in Artic Blue/Black

And today (Friday) we've sold the M6R Flamingo bike that just came in, as well as a M6R in British Racing Green, a P6R in Turkish Green and a P6R in Black.

Four out, four in, in 24 hours!

Don't worry, we still have about a dozen of them in the shop, in various flavors, such as the Orange P3R you see here!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Basic Maintenance Class

Hey folks!

Mark your calendars! Our next Basic Maintenance and Repair class is being offered Sunday, July 11th, at 7 pm. Learn how to fix a flat tire, and how to do a basic gear and brake tuneup, all for less than you would pay in labor charges for a gear and brake tuneup from us! AND you get a free tool kit that retails normally for $22.

We ask that folks sign up and pay in advance, so we have an accurate idea of how many people are coming. Sign up now, we still have spots available for July 11th!