See why Bike Friday and so many of our customers are excited about the Haul-a-Day. It’s potential to change lives is vast.
The conference room at the Bahia Resort buzzed as I reached my hand into the glass bowl to pull out the name of the winner of a New World Tourist at the National Bicycle Tourism Convention in San Diego.
For the past three days, the movers and shakers who represent the heart and soul of cycling stopped by the Bike Friday booth to drop their business cards into the bowl and chit-chat about cycling — the tie that binds us all.
Arlen Hall, a tour director for Adventure Cycling, is a Bike Friday owner and very vocal supporter of our bikes and our cause. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me at this event to tell me Arlen is Bike Friday’s biggest supporter.
As my hand swirled around the bowl and the anticipation intensified, Arlen said he started thinking to himself.
“I thought, what if he picks my name?” Arlen said. “I don’t need another Bike Friday. I have one and I have one for my girlfriend. So I thought, who would I give the bike to? Then I thought, I’d give it to Camille.”
According to Arlen, seconds later, I announced the winner to the crowd: Camille Solei Stupar.
She screamed and rushed to the front.
With 250 folks at this convention, it was hard for me to talk to every last one. I did spend an elevator ride with Camille earlier in the week, so I knew a little about her. But not enough.
Camille lived in California for a long time, and then moved to Florida. There she got rid of her car.
When she was between jobs, a friend offered to build up a bike for her.
“A good friend of mine built up a Trek 520 for me,” Camille said. “It was such a great bike, and I asked to pay him. He wouldn’t take any payment. Instead he told me, ‘This is your Gratitude Bike. Just pay it forward.’ ”
So, that’s what Camille does. She recently got certified by the League of America Bicyclists as an instructor, and started doing tours in Florida.
“To be honest, you have a new dealer in St. Pete, Two Fold Bicycles,” Camille said. “And I was there looking at your bikes. They were high on my wish list.”
Camille’s goals are to get bicycles into the hands of those who don’t have access to bikes. She wants to teach kids how to ride, and mothers.
“I think we’re losing a whole generation of cyclists,” Camille said. “There are a lot of kids who don’t know how to ride because their parents don’t know how to ride. I want to create mother-child classes to teach both.”Camille Soleil Stupar
Camille simply couldn’t wipe her bright infectious smile from her face the rest of the day.
“Now that I have this bike, it will allow me to do a lot of traveling with my bike,” Camille said. “And it will let me take the bike riding now, and give it to one of my volunteers who recently got her bike stolen.”
Paying it forward.
“You couldn’t have picked a better name out of that bowl,” Arlen said.
I couldn’t agree more.
The buzz began months ago.
Check that. It began a year ago.
Back in October 2013, a couple of Bike Friday employees rode some prototype Cargo Bikes in the Eugene Disaster Relief Trials. Engineer Willie Hatfield was first across the finish line. Michael Macemon was fifth.
You could say from that moment, the race was on.
Over the course of the past year, Bike Friday moved aggressively to get its Cargo Bike, the Haul-a-Day, into production.
All the while, the list of employees hankering for a Haul-a-Day grew. So did the list of those who wanted to spend a Saturday riding around Eugene, hauling challenging loads up to 200 pounds, and just testing the limits of our bike.
When they lined up for the 2014 Eugene Disaster Relief Trials on Saturday, October 11 at Eugene’s Alton Baker Park, no less than 10 Bike Friday employees straddled Haul-a-Days.Bike Friday Engineer Willie Hatfield won the Responder Class at the Eugene Disaster Relief Trials. Willie has crossed the line first in the three Disaster Relief Trials he has competed in on a Haul-a-Day in the past year.
When all was said and done, Bike Friday Engineer Willie Hatfield won the event. But not without some extra challenges thrown in.
The night before the event, Hatfield’s modified Haul-a-Day that he raced to victory in the Portland Disaster Relief Trials this summer was stolen.
At the last second, Willie switched to a production Haul-a-Day decked out in Gaylynn Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And he still won!Bike Friday General Manager Hanna Scholz carted the booth canopy to the event on her Haul-a-Day, a little pre-race work for the bike.
From start to finish, it was a Haul-a-Day event.
The wide range of Haul-a-Days showed off the custom designs available to all customers.
Bike Friday donated a Haul-a-Day to be raffled off at the event. And we loaned two Haul-a-Days to officials from FEMA, who competed to see what a real Disaster Relief might feel like.Bike Friday’s Hanna Scholz (right) helped FEMA official Thomas Sendgraff prepare to race on a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day.
Of course, the proud papa of the event was Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz. He worked closely with Eugene Safe Routes to School Coordinator Shane MacRhodes to design the Haul-a-Day. Shane’s wife Missy won the Women’s Class on a Haul-a-Day carrying three kids!
For Alan, who invented the Burley Trailer in the 1970s to transport his young daughter Hanna, it wasn’t just seeing his bikes everywhere that was inspiring.
“We had so many families out there,” Alan said. “That’s where my heart is. With families. So to see a lot of parents with their children was really rewarding for me.”Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz prepared for a day of Disaster Relief on his Haul-a-Day, and he won the Resilience Class.
A lot of those parents felt the same way.
The heartfelt bond between a parent and child has been a driving force in Alan’s designs of tandems, and that translates easily to the Haul-a-Day. Bike Friday Production Manager Jordan Bishko enjoyed working closely with his five-year-old son, Eli.
“The DRT and Haul-a-Day allowed us to participate in a competitive event together as a team,” Jordan said. “I knew the stakes were high when I heard Eli mentioning the race to Mom and friends multiple times, as well as his expectations of winning. I was certainly engaged and excited, it was refreshing to see him as engaged.”Bike Friday’s Jordan Bishko and his son Eli charged toward the finish line and won the Family Class.
The fun unfolded over days, not just on race day.
“We practiced mounts, dismounts and talked about the various obstacles we might face,” Jordan said. “We even practiced the finish line salute and high five, if we were first.”
Although they didn’t get to do their salute, they did win! They were first in the Family Class.
“The Haul-a-Day set him (Eli) up right behind me during the event,” Jordan said. “We were able to chat a bit, as much as my elevated heart rate would allow. We both had a great time; Eli particularly enjoyed the variety of surfaces we traversed.”Bike Friday’s Walter Lapchynski worked on his hefty load, with more than 200 pounds of equipment strapped on his bike.
For many of the Bike Friday entrants, the Disaster Relief Trials represent more than just a day of fun. They ride their bikes every day, and cycling is a key element in their lives.
Bike Friday Consultant Walter Lapchynski experienced a roller-coaster of emotion during the day as he described his time on his Haul-a-Day.
“Useful. Fun. Painful,” Walter said. “Saving lives is hard work, but rewarding. Springfield’s Washburne district and the path leading to it is darn pretty. It was an awesome turnout. It’s way better to be at a DRT in your community — it opens you up to opportunities to help your community be prepared for disaster.”Bike Friday Service Rep Kelly Humber moved to Eugene this year and is still exploring the city.
Seeing the various challenges a city like Eugene offers a bike proved to be educational for riders, and a good challenge to show off the Haul-a-Day’s features.
“I loved the off-road section,” Bike Friday Service Rep Kelly Humber said, echoing a sentiment shared by many of the Bike Friday riders. “I also really enjoyed getting to see parts of the city I’d never been to before. Anna, my girlfriend, accompanied me for a lot of it, which made it like a really fun ride all over Eugene/Springfield where you get it to wave at friends passing every few minutes.”
As for his Haul-a-Day?
“My Haul-a-Day performed excellently,” Kelly said. “Point it uphill and it goes like any other bike. I climbed up Skinner Butte no problem. Well, OK, it was hard still. The foot rails allow bulky weight to be carried low; it’s great for stability and handling”Bike Friday Sales Manager Robbie Dow is ready for a zombie apocalypse.
Like Kelly, Bike Friday Sales Manager Robbie Dow was impressed with the Haul-a-Day’s ability to feel like a regular bike, especially while climbing Eugene’s challenging Skinner Butte.
“I was impressed with how well the Haul-a-Day handled, particularly on the off-road section,” Robbie said. “I climbed Skinner Butte on the bike, which was my first time ever climbing Skinner Butte on any bike. Even with 75 pounds of cargo, the bike handled the steep hill like a champ. The DRT proved that the Haul-a-Day is an indispensable tool for surviving a natural disaster or a zombie apocalypse.”Bike Friday Webstore Manager Todd Reed won the Electric Class at the Eugene DRT for the second straight year, this year on a Haul-a-Day.
Bike Friday Webstore Manager Todd Reed has been experimenting with various electric assist devices over the years, and used an experimental prototype while winning the Electric Class.
“I used up almost my entire charge on three batteries I carried, so at the end was pretty much limping home,” Todd said. “One of my axioms for e-bikes is that they have to be good bikes when the power is off, so in that respect, the bike works pretty well.”
No, we aren’t quite ready to announce an electric assist Haul-a-Day is ready for production. Still more testing to do.FEMA Official Keerthi Vemulapalli splashed a Haul-a-Day through the water hazard, getting a cold wet feel of what Disaster Relief might be like.
Bike Friday Consultant Michael Boggs summed up the event, which fits the Bike Friday mission statement and the goals for the Haul-a-Day
“The Eugene DRT was a wonderful event full of people trying to make the world a better place for bicycles,” Michael said. “It was so much fun seeing the things they wanted us to carry and to test your mind flexibility in packing your bike with water jugs, pumpkins, grain, and variety of smaller goods.”Bike Friday’s Michael Boggs (left) and Walter Lapchynski chill before the Eugene Disaster Relief Trials. Bike Friday had 10 employees compete in the event and Bike Friday Haul-a-Days won three categories.
Bike Friday’s tikit won a Good Design Award in Japan.
The Good Design Award is a comprehensive and annual program for the evaluation and commendation of design, organized by Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP).
Its origin was “Good Design Selection System” established in 1957 by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
Since then, it has been given to approximately 40,000 outstanding designs for more than 55 years.
Bike Friday owner Merle Ledford sent us this note that a couple of Bike Fridays make cameo appearances in the latest Safe Streets video.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We recently received an essay from Bike Friday owner Dr. Murray Fishel, who discovered cycling and let it change his life. He retired from teaching and took up cycling.
In 1991 I was a professor of Political Science at Kent State University. In the previous 10 years I had become increasingly sedentary in my life. No major activities or exercise, only pacing across the front of the classroom. By this time I weighed about 250 pounds.
Then the University announced that it would offer a 5 year buyout to faculty members who had a minimum of 25 years of service. After buying 2 years of service from other universities at which I’d taught, I had 27 years, making me eligible for the buyout. I suspected, however, the program would be so popular with more senior faculty that I would not be included in the buyout, at least for several years.
My suspicion proved wrong. I was selected in the first year. While I had a skill that would allow me to continue to earn money —namely political consulting– I began to panic because I had no real outside interests beyond politics. So, here I am a 54 year old professor faced with early retirement and nothing to do most of the time.
Everything I’d read warned against allowing that to happen. The caveat was, “Don’t retire unless you have a variety of outside interests.” And, I didn’t. As luck would have it, around this time, I happened to see an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on mountain biking. Intriguing. That night I decided that I would take a chance and risk investing $300 on a mountain bike. Hopefully, I would like it.
In September, 1991, I went to the Wheel and Wrench Bike Shop in Kent and purchased my first bike as an adult… a Diamondback Sorrento mountain bike. Mark, the salesperson, persuaded me that I should also buy a helmet, tire levers, patch kit and a spare tube. I did, even though I didn’t have a clue as to how to fix a flat.
I vowed to myself that I would never spend a lot on biking “stuff.” and would NEVER EVER wear those funky looking spandex bike shorts!
Shortly after buying my Diamondback, I ventured out for my first ride. I was scared, a bit embarrassed at 250 pounds and was hoping I wouldn’t see anyone I knew. I put on an old pair of jeans, Cleveland Indians tee shirt and my vintage converse All Star shoes. I also wore my new helmet. I was the living incarnation of the anti-biking persona.
I rode 3 miles on the Summit County (OH) Bike Hike Trail. I took a radio so I could listen to the Cleveland Browns. (Yes, another loss.). I made every rookie mistake possible. I missed shifts, threw the chain on a hill and was unaware of bikes around me.
After the 3 miles, I thought my legs would fall off. The next morning I woke up sore with an aching butt and legs. It took me another few days before I was willing to try again. But I did. And, that was 113,000 miles ago.
From Retirement to Bucket List
After I retired I began to do political consulting around the country. I realized quickly that I needed some form of exercise or I’d go crazy. The consulting was high pressure work. Candidates and organizations expected me to be smart, creative and instantaneously give them answers to complicated questions. I always did the best I could; but by the end of most days I had a bad case of fried brain.
Sometime in the early to mid-1990s some biking friends, Greg and Judy, bought Bike Fridays. These bikes were remarkable since they allowed riders to fold them, pack them and travel with them. I decided to spend the money and get a New World Tourist from Bike Friday.
Pretty soon I was taking the bike on consulting gigs in different states. Sometimes, I’d ride very early or very late on a certain day; other times I’d build an extra day or two onto the trip itself.
Since getting the Friday, I’ve ridden about 20,000 total miles on the folding bike.
The convergence of political consulting and the Bike Friday in my life were the initial stimuli for my biking adventures outside of Ohio. The versatility of the Friday is remarkable. Without it and the consulting I’d never be writing this essay. It was years later–2007–however, that I actually put the goal of biking in all 50 states at the top of my bucket list. By that time I had pedaled in 40 states. I’ve used a Bike Friday to ride in 35 states and 4 countries. (See Table provided)
On Saturday, August 30, 2014, I flew to Anchorage, Alaska to bike in state number 50. And, on September 4, 2014, I returned home, having pedaled 160 miles in my 50th state.
Favorite Friday Tours
- Seattle, WA to Crescent City, CA along the Oregon Coast (Self-Contained)
- Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England to Edinburgh. Scotland (Coasts and Castles)
- San Francisco, CA to Santa Barbara, CA (With the Bicycle Adventure Club)
Toughest Friday Rides
- C-2-C, Whitehaven, England, to Newcastle. England
- Ireland, Cobh Island to Galway
- Death Valley and Lake Tahoe
Most Beautiful Friday Rides
- Oregon Coast
- Pacific Coast of CA
- Big Island of Hawaii
- Moab, Utah, Arches National Park
Best Friday Trail Rides
- Centennial and Hiawatha Trails, Spokane, WA to Coeur d’Alene, ID to Hiawatha Trail
- Bird to Gird, Anchorage, AL
- Military Ridge Trail, Madison, WI
- Ohio and Erie Canal, Towpath Trail, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland, OH
Most Satisfying Experiences on the Friday
- Riding with my late wife Judy on the Big Island of Hawaii, England and Ireland
- Using the bike to ride with my Grandson, Max, Stepdaughter, Amy, and Granddaughter, Jude
- Using the bike to help fulfill the bucket list goal of biking in all 50 states
Bike Friday’s Silk. Is it worth it?
This vibrant exchange popped up recently on a camping enthusiast site. Real talk by real people.
Mike Cheek welds a Bike Friday frame.
Here’s a neat story about bicycle building here in Eugene, Oregon done by our local weekly newspaper.
Our friends at Adventure Cycling posted a neat story about Bike Friday owner Lou Schweickart celebrating his 80th Birthday on the Southern Tier route.
Check out his Bike Friday!
Happy Birthday, Lou!
Graham and Margaret Day.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Graham Day passed away on April 15, 2014. According to his wife Margaret, Graham died at home, peacefully and with the whole family around him. You can leave a tribute to him in the COMMENTS section below.
The Days came to visit the Bike Friday factory in 1995 to pick up their Bike Fridays, and to check out the company. After getting a tour and meeting with Co-Founders Hanz and Alan Scholz, they promised to introduce Bike Friday to Australia.
They did exactly that, with a passion and determination unmatched in the history of our company. To date the Days are responsible for more than 300 referrals.
The Australian Bike Friday Club is one of the most dynamic, vigorous clubs in the world. Its annual Gathering [see Robbie Dow’s report below on the 2014 event] is the gold standard for the Bike Friday Community.
We hope all Bike Friday owners take a moment to share the wonderful memories of Graham and Margaret Day, and tell the tales of their incredible impact on our company.]
A tribute from Bike Friday Co-Founder Alan Scholz:
As a cycling Oregonian from the Emerald City it was my good luck and pleasure to have ridden tour with Graham Day in OZ.
We live a long way apart — Oregon to Australia — but the dynamic duo of Graham and Margaret has been an important part of my life since meeting them 19 years ago in 1995 when they visited to pick up their Bike Fridays. I hope they knew, and know, I love them.
Even though I build many travel bikes for the intrepid traveling cyclists of the world, I am pretty much of a stay at home guy. My world has felt much bigger ever since my trip to Australia. That wedge into my consciousness to include far away Australia into my world made, I feel, my life a great deal more substantial.
With the fine folks I continue to meet in that part of the world through them, I can truthfully say that Australians are some of my most favorite people.
Of the few travels I have done, one stands out in my memory above others. That was a trip to do the yearly Australian Bike Friday Club Gathering in the early part of this century. The trip in many ways was overwhelming.
But I want to say to all as I cannot to him, one of my most favorite and stand out memories was riding, talking, and being in a group with Graham. I remember one corner we waited on together out in the country somewhere. We were fixing a flat or waiting for someone to catch up, but it stuck in my mind. It was one of those moments where you say to yourself, “I enjoy this moment and this person is somehow part of enjoying it. I really like being around them. They are safe, they are gentle, and they care.”
I have carried in my heart since that tour with the fine Aussies, Graham as fine of a friend as you could have. One you do not need to confirm that he is there or has your best interest at heart. I am sure that many from his extensive family and friends will miss him. I will carry him in my heart along with the rest of that exceptional experience that he, Margaret, Bronwyn, Dave and all the others enabled.
I feel loss with his passing and send my love to Margaret and all those others that were/are part of Graham’s life. And know you feel as I do, he made our lives better.
From the Bike Friday Oregon side to the Australia Bike Friday side.