Here is the second great post about our soon-to-be-released Haul-a-Day.
Gates recently blogged photos of a sweet Bike Friday they caught at the National Hand Built Bicycle Show in Charlotte, N.C.
Bike Friday owners Bob Stockinger and Mary E. Duffy are world travelers, as well as organizers of a Tandem Rally in France each year.
They told Bike Consultant Ruthy Kanagy that Bike Fridays are popular in France. They sent Ruthy this email:
“Mary and I wanted to let you know that the Tandem Club of France’s most common model is the Bike Friday tandem.
“We were at the annual meeting of the club this past weekend and there were four Bike Friday tandems. No other mark was even close to four.
“We ride our Co-Motion tandem here and use our Bike Fridays when we are touring the world. We spent four weeks in India two years ago and this past winter we were eight weeks in Thailand.
“Other than one fast downhill blowout they continue to be wonderful to see the world on.”
Bob Stokinger & Mary E. Duffy
Mary E. Duffy on the road to Chai Nat.
We’ve been showing off the beta version of our new Cargo Bike, the Haul-a-Day.
Here is a great blog from someone who checked it out in Seattle in March
We’re coming up on our 22nd Birthday on April 1st.
We’ve built more than 40,000 bikes over the years, and in all honesty, it would be difficult to find two exact matches.
That’s because our customers have insight and imagination that, well, that create magic.
So here’s a blog post for the dreamer’s out there, from two whose dreams came true.
Enjoy. We sure did.
One could be a bit stereotypical and wonder about a blog called “The Retrogrouch.”
Then again, Oscar on Sesame Street is a grouch, and a rather lovable one at that.
So we read this review of Bike Friday holding our breath.
I mean, don’t you want to know what “The Retrogrouch” thinks of his Bike Friday?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Douglas Hoffman, executive director of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association, recently reviewed a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro for their January Newsletter. Here are some excerpts from his review:
“I ordered from Bike Friday a bike that would perfectly match the fit of my most comfortable bike for long distance riding. I ordered a Pocket Rocket Pro, as I wanted the bike to be something that, if I needed to, I could ride in races and other events. I wanted the controls to be familiar, and as much as possible the set up to be identical to that of my most pleasant race bike, a titanium Serotta built to fit me in a few years back. So, when I ordered the bike from Bike Friday, I measured everything exactly to the nearest 0.5mm, confirmed this against my fit measurements on file and provided them with all of the information they requested.
“90 days later, a box arrived, and though I was anxious to get it all together, I very carefully clipped each zip tie and went through all of the parts one by one, before beginning assembly. I have a default approach to putting things together. I figure things out, try a few things, if something doesn’t work, I try something else, but it took only a moment to realize what care had been put into building this bike and I felt it deserved more respect. So instead of my “when all else fails read the instructions” technique, I sat down and read the very clear paperwork that came with the bike and laid out each piece with great care. Then I began to put the bike together. Having done the necessary reading, everything was easy. The bike had been well packed and each piece was well protected. Of course, Bike Friday makes bikes for many purposes and that includes bikes that come together and break down in seconds, but this was not that. The Pocket Rocket Pro is designed to be the best possible combination of a fully functional race bike and a bike that packs easily and efficiently. And what a combination it is.
“As the bike came together I continued to be amazed. The fit and finish was impeccable. There was one detail I did not think was a masterpiece, and that is the little plate with my name on it that they added at no cost to me. The adhesive had peeled off a bit and so it was a bit loose. Nothing necessary or even useful, it was just a cute add-on, done in my opinion too cheaply. I would rather not have it. Again, the overall fit and finish is excellent. Rather than providing me with a fixed and ultra light stem, they included an adjustable one, so that I could dial in the precise fit and then send it back for them to use as a template for the final. Frankly, for me I do not think this was necessary as I have all of my fit numbers precisely logged and ready to go. I assume that this is not the case for most people, and as such, the adjustable stem process is a good step. It was a non-issue for me, however, as they make the process so easy. There is a next day air box, label, and packing material included, and once I had confirmed my fit, I had the new stem in hand in less than a week. Well done!
“So, I got the bike all set up, did some local riding and packed the bike up in a rather spacious suitcase (provided) with all of my riding gear including helmet, shoes, pump, etc., as well as my garment bag, and hopped on a plane for Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. …
“Each day for the next week, after I had done what I was there to do, I got on the Bike Friday and took off. As I rode off the property of the ashram, I rode into a world to which I have limited exposure, a world that I would never have seen without the bike.
“I rode the bike hard at times: standing sprints up hills (trying to keep up with 3 young people on one Honda Rebel Motorcycle, yelling, “Come, come we race!”) and braking hard (on a descent a water buffalo, easily 1000 pounds, burst forth from the bushes on the side of the road). I also rode the bike on familiar roads here in the Catskills, climbing Meads Mountain and descending McDaniel, roads I have ridden many, many times on bikes I know well. There is nothing this bike does not do well. It would not be the first bike I would reach for if the only factor were the ride. I own beautiful bikes built for me by Spectrum and Serotta. For most days I would reach for one of them. But the fact that I can consider this bike, which weighs under 20 pounds and fits in a suitcase, against them at all, the fact that I give up so little in handling, braking, climbing, and descending, as compared to bikes that are arguably the best in the world, is an astonishing testament to the abilities of Bike Friday.
“I would recommend a Bike Friday to anyone who is looking for a folder and would urge them to do as I did, contact Bike Friday, tell them what you are looking for, listen well and then make choices. The people at Bike Friday know what they are doing, and the engineering work behind their designs, much of which was done by legendary bicycle builder Rob English, simply works.”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Bike Friday Service ace Michael Macemon checked RAGBRAI off his bucket list this past summer, enjoying a week of riding his Bike Friday across Iowa. Here are his memories:]
By Michael Macemon
Why is riding a Bike Friday across Iowa with 10,000-plus other bicyclists so much fun?
Just imagine the video evidence to answer that question:
Helmet-cam shots of the road stretching ahead, a rainbow-studded ribbon of bicycles and riders.
Slow camera pans revealing the same view on the road behind, filling the pavement to the horizon in either direction with a mass of smiling humanity.
Video of Amish families operating old-fashioned ice-cream makers at roadside stands filled with homemade pies served up to hungry cyclists, who will surely burn off those calories before reaching their destination.
Action shots of front flips off docks into cool farm ponds. Scenes of a team of bicyclists riding hard while wearing tutus. Evidence of exhausted, but satisfied, friends napping after riding 118 miles on the hardest day of the week.
And possibly best of all? Scintillating footage of a ride down the World’s Greatest Slip-n-Slide.
My friend Scott had just dropped $300 on his new waterproof high-definition video camera specifically for RAGBRAI 2013.
The footage he gathered on that camera over more than 430 miles of riding could demonstrate why Iowa is such a fun place to be each July. Including the fantastic story of the World’s Greatest Slip-n-Slide, which I’ll share with you now:
It’s in the upper 90s (F), and sweat is dripping. Actually, sweat isn’t dripping so much as congealing into a salt-laden deposit on the skin while I ride along with a steady flow of bicyclists.
Ahead the road rises gently up a broad hill, and I can see hundreds of people have stopped to take a break near the top. A wash of music permeates the air. It’s surreal, actually; I’ve been hearing music all day as a collage of snippets from various riders’ on-board sound systems, ranging from tinny renditions of Queen’s Bicycle Race to serious PA systems pumping the latest pop hits out of custom trailers pulled along for the ride.
What I’m hearing now, though, is something more. As I ride over the gentle crest of the hill and approach the place where everyone is stopping, the sound swells to the roar of a live rock concert.
The scene expands as I pull off the road and see that in addition to the crowd fist-pumping along with the band’s dialed-in covers of Back in Black and Stairway to Heaven, there is the World’s Greatest Slip-n-Slide.
The World’s Greatest Slip-n-Slide stretches down a long hill that slopes away from this entrepreneuring farmer’s house where the band is playing in the driveway. A huge green four-wheel drive John Deere tractor pumps gallons of water each second up from a farm pond to the top of the World’s Greatest Slip-n-Slide, itself a 100-foot-long chute formed from hay bales lined with the tarps smooth black plastic. The torrent of pond water rushes invitingly as a line of folks queue up for a turn at cooling off.
Scott and I waited in line watching people take their runs with speeds proportional to either their abandon or trepidation.
When my turn came up, I tried to resurrect my sprint start from high school track days. I backed up as far as possible, sprinted hard, jumped into a superman dive and let gravity do the rest.
The water was refreshing. When I surfaced, Scott was right behind me shouting, “We’ve got to go again!”
So a few minutes later, just before my next run, Scott put his beloved new camera into my hands and said, “You’re the fastest person on this thing — the camera is running, go for it!”
The first thought in my mind was “OK, hold onto the camera no matter what else happens.”
I crouched into my starting position and then leaped into movement with my bare feet peeling out on the mud and wet grass. Apparently someone in the tractor had turned up the gas since my first run, because now the water on the World’s Greatest Slip-n-Slide was a raging torrent.
Diving into the standing wave at the top of the slide, I repeated the mantra in my head: “Hold onto the camera no matter what!”
The bumpy slide down the World’s Greatest Slip-n-Slide went by in just a few disorienting seconds this time, and I imagined the awesomeness of the video footage I was capturing. As I reached the end of the slide and splashed into the hydraulics where the slide met the pond, however, the mantra had cleared out of my mind.
When my head came up and I started treading water, it was a great relief to realize that the camera was still in my hand! My next thought was “OK, swim back to the edge and hand this thing to Scott right now.” Except Scott had hopped in the pond to swim out to the middle where a group of people had formed a barge of inflatable tubes.
“All right, I’ll swim over there,” I thought, making sure my grip was still tight. As I reached the edge of the first tube, I kicked hard and reached to pull myself up. That was the moment that the camera left my hand. For some reason I expected it to float back up to the surface. That thought dissipated in a fraction of a second as logic set in.
I quickly dove underwater, straining to see anything through the brown silt. Resurfacing, I had to tell Scott, “I just dropped your camera.”
Not believing me, he laughed. “No, really,” I said, “I don’t know how deep this pond is, but I’ll try to find it.”
We dove at least 15 times between the two of us, and found that at about 12 feet down, the water quickly turned to icy pitch-black darkness, with soft mud at the bottom. Almost needless to say, there was no luck finding the camera.
Months later, after multiple calls to potential scuba-diving salvage crews, the farm pond was drained for maintenance. The owner looked for the camera containing our memories from the amazing time we had at RAGBRAI. Countless beer cans were recovered, but unfortunately no camera.
I replaced the camera, but of course could not replace the footage. Hopefully this story at least paints in words a few of the images that were lost. There were many more great scenes, and for now they live on in my imagination as I look forward to the next time I can take my Bike Friday to Iowa and join in the fun rolling party that is RAGBRAI!
Michael’s Bike Friday
MODEL: Pocket Rocket Pro
BARS: Salsa Cowbell 2
HEADSET: Cane Creek Solo
BRAKES: Avid BB7 Road
CRANKS: SRAM Force
SHIFTERS: SRAM Rival
REAR HUB: BF Xlite with 9-32 10-speed Custom Capreo Cassette
REAR DERAILLEUR: SRAM Rival
TIRES: Schwalbe Durano 20×1 1/8