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Bicycles as Transportation in Minneapolis

  • Aug 25 2018

    DaMN 2018

    Me on The DaMN 2018

    The Day Across Minnesota (DaMN) is an amazing 240 mile gravel race that starts in South Dakota and ends in Wisconsin. Riders of the race are given 24 hours to complete the 240 miles. You have to make 3 time cutoffs throughout the day in order to receive the needed cue sheets to complete the race. The checkpoints that you get the next set of cue sheets are at 60 miles, 120 miles and 186 miles. The time cutoffs (including the finish), are based on a 10 mph pace. I cannot tell you how much fun I had crushing gravel all night and all day last Saturday. The event is extremely well organized by the amazing Trenton, who somehow does it all side by side with his family and friends with big smiles and much cheer throughout the entire race. Trenton also is the Race Organizer for the Filthy Fifty Gravel Race.
    DaMN starts at midnight. 170+ racers rode out of Gary, SD in pitch darkness due to overcast skies.

    Here are some random thoughts I had during the race:
    - Did I hear that guy say he's carrying a spare tire? Crap! I only have one tube, which I knew was risky, but now it seems preposterous... I'm doomed
    - Was I thinking straight signing up for this knowing that I was doing it alone... unsupported?
    - I wish I had worked out something so that I wasn't leaving a borrowed car out here.
    - Do I have time for one more sandwich? They taste great!
    - I'm pretty sure I'll be good with just the short sleeved Norsk shirt and a pair of shorts... I'll probably be a bit chilled at the start
    - It's go-time. I am sooo ready for this
    - Fireworks start the race. That's so fun.
    - Hey, there's Linda and Val
    - Wow, I've fallen back from the line of racers. I think I'll try and catch them
    - Whoa! sandy road conditions. What the hell was I so over confident about? This might turn out to be a nightmare. Last year the first 60 miles were smooth and fast. Yikes, that guy nearly sideswiped me.
    - Can you believe how we go from night chilled air to steamy hot air in an instant?
    - The fog and heat variances has my glasses way messed up with condensation, though they look more like I'm riding in rain
    - Hey, wait, this might be our turn. Yes, it IS our turn. Hey! Stop... Bummer, those 2 guys just missed the turn. I gotta be super careful not to screw up on the cue sheets
    - One things for sure, the cue sheets are not to be doubted.
    - My lights are solid... OMG, that muskrat is in my way and I don't have great control in this loose gravel. Whew! Just missed it. I guess it wasn't moving because my light blinded it.
    - Why are these guys hanging behind me? I know they're faster than me? "you having a good ride?" Oh, got it, your lights are out of power and you need an escort. All good
    - I can taste The Baker's Wife Doughnuts now. There's The Banjo Brother's Checkpoint one!
    - Wow! That owl hooting was amazing. I want to catch those two in front of me and see if they heard it. It was magical... Oh, I can't really catch them. I hope they heard awesome!
    - I'm 80 miles in and feel like I'm still running on adrenaline. 80, that's 1/3 of the way. No, don't think like that. This event is 4 races that are about 60 miles each. Stay focused on the 4 races...
    - Gas station! Nice time refuel... Wow, a day old raspberry scone, this is exactly what I'd be eating if I was at work.
    - Hey, just finished my first century of the year. That's nice... My pace is still feeling speedy.
    - I hope they have those awesome crepes at the HED (checkpoint 2) again.
    - Yes, there's the 120 checkpoint. Hey, Chris Skogen, great seeing you again. oops, I bet that hug was pretty stinky for him... Can you send me that pic you just took? Crepes! Savory please... any chance I can have two? HED is so awesome
    - I'm starting to bog down now.Looks like that guy's struggling with the route... yep, we're going straight here. How's your ride?
    - Henry, from the Hub. Nice too meet you. I can lead for a bit. I need a quick break as well. My feet are starting to get a bit sore... or rather numb actually...
    - I'm really guzzling the water now. I think it's hotter than I realize... These hills are really starting to slow me down... This road has some frickin' fast traffic. I need to make a safe left turn ahead.
    - Holy Crap! That's a huge hill. It goes on forever. So much for my bank. I think I'm falling back from my 5 hour/60 miles mark.
    - If there's not water at Checkpoint 3 (mile 186), I'm going to be knocking on a farmhouse...That's no problem... Crap... I'm struggling
    - Hey, there's The Hub's Checkpoint 3. OMG, wasn't sure I'd make it...Wow! There cheering me on. This is amazing. Hi Craig, oh, you're filming me, yeah, I'm really bogging down..OMG! Licorice and the water is COLD. Eric, mind if I sit down. Really, I'm doing well? I thought I lost all my momentum. This is such a nice Checkpoint. I can't believe how nice everyone is. A cold root beer, that's amazing! yes, please...
    - One quick tweet and I'm gonna hit the road. Totally gonna kill it on the last section. 54 miles to go
    - Hills, lots of them. This starting to wear me down
    - No way am I ever going to do this crazy race again. 240 is barely possible for a human with a job...
    - Wow! This is going great. I don't think I'm going to be hallucinating this year. That's kind of my final hurdle. If I start losing it I don't have anyone to pull me back to reality... you got this Luke
    - I need to get the most out of the downhills at this point because I'm not able to hammer the uphills at all. Straight up struggle at this point.
    - I'm pretty sure those are the trees that I thought were 25 foot tall bunnies last year.
    - Everyone I see is passing me, but I'm only competing with myself, so all good.
    - I'm pretty sure I'm going to beat sunset... that would be so amazing
    - I hope the construction at the bridge is finished... crossing the bridge was stupid scary last year
    - The bridge is still under construction. Yikes, that truck is pulling a huge boat... do they know how wide they are...OK, they got past me...let's pick up the pace and get off this bridge...I'd be OK with ending in a park in Red Wing and dipping my tire in the river as the Wisconsin ending...I wonder if there's a park with water access...
    - I'm glad they put that DaMN route sign there, I would have missed this road for sure. Well, actually it's not really really a road, but a construction project. That's kind of cool.
    - I did it, just have to find the finish... there's the tent...I know I dreamed of doing some cool no handed wave and smile thing at the end...I'm just not capable...There's that amazing Trenton...How amazing is he that he came up with this? He's smiling... yeah John, you can take my pic. Where do you want me?
    - I wonder if there will be another DaMN...I'd be into trying this again...

    Completing the Day Across Minnesota was definitely a highlight of my summer. 240 miles of gravel roads that cross the entire state of Minnesota turned out to be a surreal experience that I loved training for and I loved riding in.

    Training: For 6 weeks before the race I committed to riding super hard every single day for at least 25 miles (1-1/2 hours). This regimen got me in decent shape within a couple of weeks and it got easier and easier for me to knock off 30-40 miles at a fast pace. Whenever possible I jumped the rides to 35-40 miles. I got in several rides in the evening as a way to get comfortable riding at speed, in the dark. By the end I was able to do my typical loops as fast in darkness as in the light. I rode many of these miles with Derek, who typically is riding these events with me (though the DaMN weekend he was unable to race). My only 2 somewhat lengthened rides were a 70 mile and an 80 mile rides.

    Gear: I rode my beloved Curt Goodrich all-road bike. This bike is setup with a 1x11 drive train, Jones Bars, SON Dynamo front hub that ran my lights at night and charged my phone during the day. I used 700x38 Schwalbe G One tires (setup tubeless). My Banjo Brothers Frame Pack was loaded with snacks and a jacket and my Carradice Twiston had my tube and repair kit. The Tubus Rack and SKS fenders were not needed for the ride, but I felt it was a bit safer just leaving them on the bike rather than doing a lot of work to the bike right before the race.

  • Apr 16 2018

    Tiny Bike Shop Concert w/ FREE live music + Pastries and Portraits Ride

    Tiny Bike Shop Concert at Perennial Cycle featuring live music by the Decayed Realms

    As we dig ourselves out of our latest Minnesota April snowstorm, we are looking forward to warmer weather and a pair of great events this weekend.

    Tiny Bike Shop Concert

    Join us Friday night at the shop for a Tiny Bike Shop Concert featuring FREE live music by The Decayed Realms, “an electronic rock duo from Minnesota comprised of Victoria Malawey and Brandon Patrick Sullivan. Their combination of live-performed melody and percussion create a big sound, with wordless narratives ranging from the slow and pensive to the cinematic and intense.”

    WHERE Perennial Cycle, 3342 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    WHEN Friday, April 20, 6:30 to 9 pm

    WHO Music by the Decayed Realms + Special Guests from Thousand Helmets, Handsome Cycles, Banjo Brothers bags, and #30daysofbiking.

    TICKETS Register for FREE at EventBrite

    Once you’ve pre-registered via EventBrite, if you’re one of the first 25 guests to arrive for Friday’s show you’ll receive a special swag bag from Perennial Cycle and our event partners! These bags are only available to ticketed guests, and your ticket also gets you an extra entry into our prize drawing for gear from Thousand, Handsome, the Banjo Brothers, and more! There’ll be be plenty of ways to get extra entries into the prize drawing — your participation in any of the activities going on in the shop gets you an extra ticket:

    • Photo booth with Gloria from Thousand Helmets

    • Test rides with Handsome Cycles’s Jesse

    • Spin the Brompton Wheel of Misfortune with Banjo Mike & Eric

    • Blackout Poetry with Patrick from #30DOB and Allison from the Perennial family

    Live T-Shirt Screen Printing with Sofie from Perennial **BRING YOUR OWN SHIRT (or another printable object)!**

    Acupuncture with Katherine from Diamond Stone Oriental Medicine

    Photos of special guests for Perennial Cycle's April 20 Tiny Bike Shop Concert

    If you’ve been on a Perennial Cycle #pastryride before, you may already know Victoria and Brandon, whether you’ve met them as ride marshals checking you in for a ride or you even caught their performance on wheels! If you missed it, not to worry. It has been recorded in the annals of YouTube:

    Pastries and Portraits Ride

    After a good night’s sleep, join us again Saturday morning at the shop for a special edition of our April #30daysofbiking Pastry Rides. Ride your bike with us to a local bakery, coffee shop, or other destination and enjoy pastries, coffee, and a raffle with sweet prizes. The April 21st ride is proudly sponsored by Thousand Helmets and Banjo Brothers, and will feature a portrait session so you can get a sweet photo with your bike.

    WHERE Start @ Perennial Cycle… end at a delicious mystery destination!

    WHEN Saturday, April 21, 9am meetup, 9:30 departure

    WHO Special Guests from Thousand Helmets and Banjo Brothers bags and a professional photographer will be on hand to take portraits of riders at our destination

    RSVP Make sure we have a pastry on hand for you by letting us know you’re “going” on Facebook

    Pastry Rides at Perennial Cycle, every Saturday in April
  • Mar 08 2018

    Brompton x CHPT3 — Act fast! The CHPT3 edition is in stock now but won’t last long.

    One of the most exciting collaborations from Brompton since they began partnering with designers in the early 2010s, the Brompton CHPT3 edition is one sweet ride. If you follow Brompton on Instagram, you’ve likely drooled over it more than once! The bike design combines retired professional cyclist David Millar’s design vision with the beauty of Brompton’s compact folder. After retirement in 2014, Millar formed the CHPT3 brand with collaborator and architect/designer Richard Pearce. Together, they have created bike apparel, accessories, and complete builds with top cycling brands like Castelli, Brooks, Factor, POC, and now Brompton. Here’s Millar, pictured with his CHPT3 edition in London:

    David Millar and the Brompton CHPT3 edition

    For those not familiar with the CHPT3 aesthetic, it’s easy to see how their collaboration with Brompton so well represents their own design sensibility when viewed alongside a prior collaboration Millar and team created with Factor bikes (see below image, via The red Cambium saddle featured on both is the fruit of yet another CHPT3 collaboration with Brooks.

    CHPT3 Factor One and CHPT3 Brompton

    CHPT3 edition Spec:

    Model Type

    The CHPT3 edition is only available as an S2E-X or an S6E-X. This translates to an S Type handlebar for a sporty, more aggressive riding position like that of a road bike. The choice of 2 or 6 speeds allows for either an ultralight weight choice (2 speeds) or the more versatile (if a bit heavier) 6 speeds. Spec’d as a version E, the CHPT3 edition does not come with mudguards, but these can be added at the discretion of the buyer. About half of our CHPT3 customers thus far have opted to add Brompton’s black mudguards for practicality’s sake. Lastly, the X indicates both the S2 and the S6 models feature titanium extremities. Those familiar with the typical look of a Brompton superlight may wonder why the bike doesn’t *look* like it has a Ti fork and rear triangle. The reason? For the first time, Brompton has painted these titanium frame parts in a matte black finish.

    • S Type handle bars

    • 6 speed gearing

    • No mudguard or rack (to reduce weight)

    • Painted Titanium front fork and rear triangle in black

    Brompton CHPT3 edition in folded, parked, and riding position

    Technical Details

    • Custom Red & Black Cambium C17 saddle

    • Red Ergon GA2 grips

    • Special edition main-frame colors, sparkle grey and fire red

    • Black steel handlebar post

    • Black edition components

    • Firm suspension block

    • Custom Tan wall Schwalbe Kojak Tyres

    Brompton CHPT3 edition custom parts and accessories in red and black
  • Feb 20 2018

    The Time for Dynamo Lights is NOW


    dynamo | ˈdīnəˌmō | noun | a machine for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy; a generator

    Dynamo Lighting

    Dynamo setup on a commuter we recently built up

    Dynamo Lighting: A bicycle lighting system that powers lights with energy generated by a dynamo front hub. Your spinning wheel generates energy and powers the light(s). A new meaning for Pedal Power!

    Are you looking to get off the grid... at least a little? Us too! At Perennial Cycle we are big fans of dynamo lighting. The concept of never having to replace or charge batteries but always having quality lights seems truly magical, but in reality it’s not magical at all; it's completely attainable. We have lots of experience setting up bikes with Dynamo Lighting.

    What’s needed:
    - Dynamo front wheel  
    - Front dynamo light
    - Rear dynamo light (rear lighting is optional, but highly recommended)

    The cost to getting dynamo lighting is similar to any other part on your bike. There are several options with a large price range. The most basic setups (front wheel, front light & rear light) would be $250, while high end setups can be over $900.

    The majority of the dynamo lighting packages that we install are $375-$500 (parts and labor included).

    Dynamo Front Wheel

    Dynamo Front Wheel

    DYNAMO WHEEL: Over half the price is going to be spent on the wheel. This makes sense in that the actual mechanical generation of power (the magical part of the equation) is coming from the coolio front dynamo hub. In the basic dynamo package (totaling about $250 complete), the front wheel cost is less than $200. The high end package would have a wheel cost of $500-$600. The most common dynamo wheels we build sell for $245-$280.
    All of our dynamo wheel listings (online) have options offering many front and rear lights. This makes it easy to compare a variety of package prices simply by choosing the diffferent lights from the menu and watching prices adjust accordingly.

    Dynamo Front Lights

    Dynamo Powered Front Lights

    DYNAMO FRONT LIGHT: The range in lights is from under $50 to over $200. The entry level light is impressive, though we sell more lights in the $75-$115 range. The very top end (the Luxos U) gives you a light AND a USB port to charge your phone or other device.

    Dynamo Powered Rear Lights

    Dynamo Powered Rear Lights

    DYNAMO REAR LIGHT: The rear lights range from $25-$70. This will partly be determined by where you want to mount the light: on the seat post, rear rack or on a fender. Many of our taillights have a reflector built into the light.

    Dynamo Lighting on Luke's commuter

    EXTRA (for the more curious types):
    - All of our lights hold a cache of power. This means that the front and rear light will stay lit when you’re at a stoplight. Not at the same brightness, but enough to keep you visible.
    - The rear lights are powered (and wired) through the front light. This means that you only switch on the front light to get both the front and rear light on (or off).
    - As mentioned above, one of our headlights (the Luxos U) has a wire that mounts on your handlebar with an on/off switch and a USB port. This can be very handy if you are doing long rides and want to be able to keep your phone working (even with a maps app running). We carry a few other device charging products that can be added to your dynamo kit at any time. BTW: it is not uncommon for touring cyclists to set up a dynamo hub with a device charging unit and no light(s) at all. I wrote a different post about charging devices HERE.
    - If someone tells you how much a dynamo lighting system slows you down, we’d guess that they were early adopters of old dynamo lights that used halogen bulbs or even earlier adopters that used halogen bulbs with tire rubbing generators. While the hubs constantly evolve, the huge leap in practicality, reliability and minimizing drag came when LED lights arrived on the scene. This was about 10 years ago now, but they were pretty expensive, so halogen lights were still fairly common even just 5 years ago.
    - If you want to set yourself up with the most efficient system, your key item to spend the $$ on would be the dynamo hub. LED lights (all lights we currently sell) are very efficient, so your best bet to reduce drag will be to get a premium hub. The Schmidt/SON Hubs are the very best hubs on the market.
    - If you really want THE most effient hub possible, get the SONdelux hub which was originally designed for a small wheel (16" or 20"). By using the hub designed for smaller wheels on a 700 or 26" wheel you decrease drag considerably. This hub has the least drag of any hub we've seen (by quite a bit). The rub is that this hub needs you to roll a bit faster to get full power output. Below speeds of 7-9 MPH your lights will begin to pulse. I have 2 bikes running this hub and both have 700c wheels. I am perfectly satisfied with the power output and both bikes have lights as well as charging devices (one uses a Luxos U and the other uses The Plug III).

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