Tag Archives: Rocket Pro

Help Bike Friday Win

We have entered a contest to win a Fed Ex Small Business Grant that we would use to boost our Safe Routes to School OSATA bicycle program.

To support our cause, just go to the Fed Ex website link below, and vote. You can vote once each day! Voting continues through February 23, 2014.

Thanks for considering it!

VOTE HERE

20 Years Strong

Jim Langley, a former editor at Bicycling magazine has ridden his bike every day for the past 20 years, some of those days spent on his Bike Friday while travelling.

Wow!

There’s not much more than we can say. We just read in the latest Bicycle Retailer magazine that our old friend, Jim Langley, has successfully doubled his long-time goal.

Years ago Jim, a former editor at Bicycling magazine, decided he wanted to attempt to ride every day for 10 years. This December, he completed 20 years of riding every day! Way to go Jim. That’s nothing less than astounding!

You can read about what Jim thinks of his Bike Fridays here.

Bike Friday Road Roots Run Deep

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  It has been a while since we first shared this with you, so why not bring in up again. Here’s a little peek into Bike Friday’s roots in bicycle racing in North Dakota in the 1980s, showing that our road racing experience runs deep.]

As success stories go, you’d be hard-pressed to fabricate one as endearing as that of the Scholz family, that includes brothers Hanz and Alan, who founded Bike Friday in 1992.

Their love affair with bicycles blossomed during the 1970s and 1980s, when elite bike racing re-emerged from its long hibernation in the United States. Alan became interested in cycling while working toward a Boy Scout badge as a youngster.

It’s not as though the Scholzes jumped on the band wagon in some cycling haven like New England or Colorado — or even Indiana or Wisconsin — where the seeds already were sown. These unassuming beginnings unfolded in the Great Plains of Fargo, North Dakota.

It was a family affair.

“There were a lot of families involved,” Alan says, noting that his family was among the most active. “At that time our cycling clubs were really family clubs. We would all ride together: parents, kids and racers. Everyone had the opportunity to learn from riding with the best. There was a lot of mentoring then.”

Fast forward a bit, and Alan opened a bike shop in the basement of his parents’ house while he was in high school. It later moved to the garage, and eventually became a traditional bike shop called Nomad.

Young Alan Scholz

Alan raced as senior in the district known as the Dakota Territories — the vast landmasses of North and South Dakota combined because of the tiny population of racers. The brothers’ parents, Earl and Mary Esther, became the district representatives. They organized and officiated at races.

Nomad became the center of the club.

“We sponsored weekly events and rides,” Alan says. “Since our club was an everything club, everyone went to tours, state races, and even nationals together. Moms, Dads, kids from 8 years old on up.”

While Alan’s business grew with the opening of a sister store in Grand Forks run by his brother Ian, so did the community of cycling enthusiasts in the Dakota Territories. When youngest brother Hanz began racing in Fargo, so did another youngster in the district, up the road in Grand Forks.

“Back then we had maybe three races a year, I believe,” says Andy Hampsten, an upstart youngster who pedaled his way from Grand Forks to European Grand Tours, including the Giro d’Italia title in 1988. “I started my first race when I was 13 or so. I guess, I was 12. It was at the University of North Dakota. In my class, it was my brother, Steve, my best friend, Pete O’Kelly and myself. I was third. Maybe that was before anything was sanctioned.”

Hampsten started racing on a Raleigh. When Steve bought a Gitane, Hampsten went to the Grand Forks Nomad shop to upgrade, and bought a Peugeot PX 10 from Ian Scholz. It was time to get serious.

“We did a lot more riding than racing,” Hampsten says. “We would drive six hours to Bismarck to do the state championships. It’s a pretty big state. It was hard finding a ride. There were only half a dozen racers in Grand Forks. I’d do touring, just riding five days a week.

“There were just so few races. My bother was a year and a half older than me. We would talk about racing and hash over what happened after a race, that we went too slow in the corners, things like that. But there were only a few times a year we could practice anything we learned in a race.”

So much of that riding and mentoring took place on club rides.

“As I think back to Hanz and Andy’s rise to national class, it comes from an inclusive mentoring atmosphere that the shop and club were central to,” Alan says. “We presented possibilities that simply would not be there in an outback like Fargo. Our closest competition was Winnipeg or Minneapolis — full day trips out of the realm of possibilities for budding juniors. We had to build and run our own system.

“My parents supplied the ‘wheels’ in so many ways to make it possible for young talent to develop.”

That’s exactly how Hampsten remembers it.

“Their parents were the Dakota Territories,” Hampsten says of the Scholz family. “One (parent) would be District Rep, both be judges at the races, and they’d be giving out food, feeding everyone. It was the whole Scholz family.”

With his strong foundation, Hampsten took what he learned in North Dakota and built on it.

“I went to England in the summer of ’77 when I was 15,” Hampsten says. “That changed everything.”

To hone his skills, Hampsten spent his summers racing in Wisconsin, living in Madison. But each year he would come back to race his district championship. And face his Dakota rival, Hanz Scholz.

“I remember one championship, traveling from Wisconsin — must have been my second year as a junior,” Hampsten says. “I came to the Junior Boys race, and it was only Hanz and myself. We had 80 miles to do, 5 laps.

“I remember when we got our feed bags, we decided to sit down and eat sandwiches. It was a little bit of a hilly course. I attacked a bit at the end. Hanz was really good. We came down to a sprint — doing track stands for the last mile.

“He jumped early. I came past him with 150 meters to go, but he fooled me. He came back around, and we had a photo finish before there were cameras. It was too close to call.”

Too good to forget.

“Yes, I remember that race,” Hanz says. “It was the world’s longest matched sprint. I remember how strong he was and how determined I was that he wouldn’t drop me. I wasn’t strong enough to lead at a very fast pace, and he wasn’t strong enough to ride away — 35 miles of hell and we could have just ridden up the road a quarter mile and sprinted in. The result would have looked exactly the same.”

As it was, the result looked to be a dead heat. Normally, it would be up to the judges to pick a winner.

“His Mom and Dad were judges,” Hampsten says, with a chuckle. “They talked it over a little, and then came over and asked, ‘Between you guys, who do you think got it?’

“I thought I held him off. But Hanz threw his bike better. They asked us to talk about it. We both thought we won it. Then Hanz said, ‘I’m not going to go to the National Championships anyways, you’ll go. So we’ll say you won.’

“It was really a fun time.”

It was where the heart and soul of Bike Friday was forged. Where love of cycling ran deep.

“I remember one year riding from Grand Forks to Fargo for a race,” Hampsten says. “No one I knew had a car. We drove with people from Sioux Falls, driving through the night. Then I rolled a tire in a race, and drove all the way back. But the center of all the hubbub, was the Scholzes.”

And Alan’s Nomad Shop, which specialized in bicycles and cross country skiing.

“We only had six months to ride our bikes,” Hampsten says. “We had long winters to think about where to ride and to tinker with bikes.”

That tinkering became the fertile ground from which Bike Friday was born.

Today, Hampsten splits his time living in Boulder, Colorado, and Tuscany. He and his brother Steve own Hampsten Cycles in Seattle.

“Everything is great,” Hampsten says. “Everything is fun. Hampsten Cycles is doing well in Seattle with Steve. We’re selling Olive Oil. Business is keeping us busy. But we’re still having fun and riding our bikes.”

So are the Scholzes.

CHECK OUT ALAN’S SUPER PRO.

 

 

Forever Young

Fred Time and his refurbished Pocket Rocket Pro.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Least we forget the thrill that 
comes with a new bike, Bike Friday owner Fred Time 
recently sent us this note:]

OMG !!!

After a two-day delay in arrival, my beautiful Green 
Bike Friday arrived. I almost drove my wife, June, 
crazy waiting at the door and constantly calling 
Fed Ex about the delay.

Once a Fed Ex truck slowed down in front of 
my house, and when I ran out in the yard it sped away. 
This created much laughter from my wife and the
next door neighbor.

Finally on arrival, I dragged the box, gently, into 
the room and began ripping the box open  Once its 
beautiful green frame appeared a sense of relief 
and pride came over me.

I spent the rest of the day putting it together. 
I was pleasantly surprised how much I remembered from 
all of my overseas trips putting it together after 
arriving at a foreign airport.  I reminisced riding 
out of the airport into a foreign city on my way to
a bicycle adventure.  

I can't begin to thank you all for making my biking 
dreams reappear, and for making my 80th birthday 
one I shall always cherish.

Love,  

Fred Time

 

Celebrating Her 70th

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Bike Friday owners Eugenia Hart and her husband Peter rode their Bike Fridays from Minnesota to the East Coast.]

By Eugenia Hart

Having already completed the western half of a transcontinental bike ride from Washington to the Wisconsin border, I wanted to figure some way to finish the quest. With my 70th birthday rapidly approaching, my husband got an announcement of his 50th high school reunion to be held in Connecticut. We decided that riding our bikes out there was the perfect way to accomplish both objectives in one shot and really have something to remember. It may not say much for the value of his public education, but it may win him a prize for the most unusual way of getting to the reunion.

We packed up the Bike Fridays and flew from our home in Arizona to Minnesota where our daughter and grandchild live. After a week of enjoying being grandparents, we committed to the trip by taking the suitcases to the Post Office and mailing them to our ultimate destination in Connecticut.

With the cases on their way, we left Minnesota and headed into Wisconsin in what was mostly the most direct route across each state/province to the Atlantic Ocean. We did take the ferry across Lake Michigan which was an enjoyable experience even though it consumed most of the day … only rode 7 miles that day.

Our travels took us across Wisconsin, Michigan, Ontario (Canada), New York, and Massachusetts to the Atlantic ocean. Having relatives north of Boston, we figured if time allowed, we would go see them. Well, we discovered that we were well ahead of schedule and easily made it to the east coast. We ultimately reached the ocean at Plum Island, north of Boston where I was able to dip my tire into the Atlantic Ocean, completing my cross country (self contained) bicycle trip with weeks to spare before my birthday.

There was still the matter of the reunion, so we still had to make it to Connecticut. Considering that we had had nothing but clear skies and tailwind since we left Minnesota, the rolling hills of Massachusetts and Connecticut were a bit of a grind. Nothing you couldn’t do with the gearing range we had, but they just keep coming and kind of wear you out. We made it easily in three and a half days, which left us plenty of time to get ready for the reunion.

We utilized a wide range of options for our nightly stays. There was always the credit card for a hotel, but we especially enjoyed the Warmshowers stays. Having hosted bikers for many years before when we were in Fargo (northern tier route) and since we have moved to Arizona, it was kind of interesting to see how kind people can be to what many people see as “strangers.” We may well be strange, but we seem to have a common interest in the bike and sharing our stories of the road.

Other overnights were utilized with another organization we belong to for people over 50 years of age. Much like Warmshowers, people take you into their homes and you have a much better experience than another lonely night in the motel. We did manage to camp one night but not sure it made carrying the necessary gear a wise decision.

We had overpacked our clothing needs because we were in a transitional period of the year. It was warm, but well could have been cold; it was dry, but well could have just poured down on us. One thing is for sure, we were happy after we stopped at the Post Office and mailed some of the things on forward. We figured if things changed, we could always find a thrift or department store to acquire what we might need and discard it afterward.

We have fond memories of our trip and the wonderful experience it was. So many people were just in awe of what we did, but we told them: anyone can do it…. It isn’t a race, you just do what you can. The best part was that we had fun doing it!

An inspiring video

For anyone who has ever been frustrated changing a flat tire, this video might change your perspective.

 

Introducing a Bike Friday for riders up to 330 pounds

As folks all around the world make the commitment to change their lifestyle, we’ve found more and more people turning to Bike Friday to offer solutions.

We’ve had the ability to build Bike Fridays with heavy rider upgrades to 280 pounds, but we still found individuals yearning for change whom we had to turn away. No more.

The Diamond Tourist is an upgraded fully custom version of our long time popular New World Tourist.

It comes with a mountain bike style flat handlebar and 24-speed twist shifter, but can be customized to fit your desires.

In addition to using our original Bike Friday diamond frame design, the fork and rear end are built for heavier loads. We’ve added upgraded rims and tires to complete the package.

There are 20 color choices available, as well as frame sizes from 48 cm to 60 cm.

The Diamond Tourist starts at $1,398.

Click Here to visit the Bike Builder and see Diamond Tourist design options!

Bike Friday Vahana

Nateon Ajello enjoys a quiet moment during an adventure cycling in India.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bike Friday owners Pamela and Nateon Ajello captured the adventure of a lifetime to India on film, and created an amazing short feature.

By Nateon Ajello

When we made the decision to tour 1,300 miles across India, Nepal and Bhutan, we knew we need a bike that was tough and could handle the varying terrain.

We also knew we needed a folding bike, because chances were we would not be able to cover all of that distance in our one month off without having to hop on a few trains or buses. So the search began.

We looked at all types of bikes, from tiny 16-inch wheeled Bromptons, to big 26-inch folding mountain bikes. We had never owned folding bikes, so it was all new territory. The bike needed to be able to hold a lot of weight, ride on dirt roads, have a sturdy steel frame, and fit into a suitcase for travel.

We had done a few previous tours and tried all other options besides packing a folding bike. We had tried buying bikes when we got to our destination, renting them when we got there, or bringing our bikes from home in boxes on the plane.

All of these options ended up being a pain in the neck for some reason or another, whether it was because you would spend three days of your vacation when you arrived somewhere looking for a bike, or the price of shipping a bike on an airplane ($200 dollars each bike each way for International travel!)

After all of our research we discovered that a company had thought this through already called Bike Friday.<br><br>

They design very sturdy folding bikes, specifically for bike touring in countries that need to be accessed by plane, with all of the things we needed in mind.  <br><br>

We tried all kinds of folding bikes out for our tour, and in the end they felt wimpy and cheap compared to the Bike Friday. Bike Friday felt like a real bike, just folding bike proportions.

So we got them, and they held up like champs for 1,300 miles, on all kinds of roads, being crushed on top of Nepalese buses and under Indian train seats.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Please watch their short film here.  It is an amazing 26-minute film, well worth your while.

LA Times reviews Silk

Roy Wallack of the Los Angeles Times just published a review of folding bikes, including the Silk.

Check it out here.

Hardly Extinct

At 8-feet tall, Willie Hatfield’s pedal powered dinosaur stands heads and shoulders over most cyclists, despite having short arms.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of an on-going series on the individuals who make Bike Friday what it is: A collection of unique cycling enthusiasts spreading the word in interesting manners.]

By RAZ

Everyone has a story, but if you wander around the Bike Friday Factory you might be amazed at some of the tales of life that can be told.

Take one of the guys on the production team, Willie Hatfield.

When Willie starts talking about his life, it moves along as a somewhat typical story.

So, you might ask, how did he come to create something so amazing as the 8-foot- tall human pedal powered Dinosaur in the photo above?

Willie’s dinosaur was a work in progress when it appeared ready to take a ride on a Witch’s Broom. Hey, it could happen!

He grew up primarily in the Midwest. Went to study engineering at the University of Michigan.

Then, well, like most people, his story takes on a life of its own.

At Michigan, Willie studied Naval Architecture. That eventually drew him to New Orleans, where he worked for defense contractor working on ship concepts.

That job and life isn’t what Willie had envisioned for himself. So, he hopped on his bicycle, and spent the next three years touring the US, basically circling the country.

One day his travels took him through Arcadia, California, where he saw a post for the Kinetic Grand Championship.

What’s that?

Well, it’s a race of Kinetic Sculptures. Their website says:

“Kinetic Sculptures are all-terrain human-powered art sculptures that are engineered to race over road, water, mud and sand. Kinetic sculptures are amazing works of art; many are animated with moving parts like blinking eyes, opening mouths, heads that move side to side and up and down.

“Kinetic Sculptures are usually made from what some people consider junk. But one man’s junk is another racer’s raw material. Each Kinetic Sculpture is a work of art and each racing team has its own theme.”

It piqued Willie’s curiosity.

“It is a combination of art and engineering, and that sounded neat,” Willie says. “I thought about it, and realized that I would need access to a full-time shop. So I just kept it in the back of my head.”

Fast forward four years later, when Willie focused on Oregon as a place to find a job in the bicycle industry.

He came to Bike Friday, and got hired.

“One day Julia [Findon] was talking about daVinci Days in Corvallis,” Willie says, “and I had an immediate flashback to that day four years earlier.”

You could say Willie dug up a fossil of an idea.

Willie put in more than 1,000 hours into building his dinosaur.

He went to work on his project for daVinci Days almost immediately.

More than 1,000 manhours of labor later, he was the toast of the da Vinci Days’ Graand Kinetic Challenge.

“No matter what it is that I’m working on, I try to offer a fresh approach to it,” Willie says. “That makes it more challenging and interesting for me.”

Willie spent less than $200 on materials.

Willie entered his creation in the da Vinci Days’ Graand Kinetic Challenge.

The 8-foot-tall tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is made up of bones from recycled steel bike frames and buoyant foam. The wheels are attached to the legs and tail. It cost about $200 in materials.

While he didn’t win any of the major prizes at the event, he’s proud to say he won almost all the favorite awards.

“I was fans’ favorite, volunteers’ favorite and the racers’ favorite,” Willie says, “I won all the favorites, and that was neat.”

And Greg Alpert, safety judge and emcee of the event, told the Corvallis Gazette-Times newspaper, “I’ve been watching this race since the mid-1980s and participating, and I’ve never seen anything like this vehicle. This is really cool, very unique.”

Willie also rode his creation in the Eugene Celebration Parade.

So if you get a chance to stop by the Factory someday and take a tour, make sure to ask who the Dinosaur guy is.

You can watch a video here.