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Bike Culture

  • Jan 17 2014

    Bike Commuting: Building the Habit

    Bike Commuting images

    I see a lot of blog posts and tweets, and hear a lot of people in the shop repeating the same intention: I'd like to start bike commuting. But how do you go from the thought to the reality? In reading this line in a Zen Habits post today, I saw the answer:

    "You could keep putting it off. Or you could read an article or three about it. You could find three examples of people who have made the change. You could surround yourself with several people making the change themselves. Pretty soon the surrounding works. The repetition convinces you, motivates you, to take action. Repetition works."

    It's no wonder so many of our staff bike to work on a daily basis. It's contagious. There's a lot of *good* peer pressure to bike commute when you work at a bike shop. Wherever you work, though, you can create an environment and a community that will help you keep the momentum in that initial intention going strong. Inspired by Leo's post and a few others from the site, here are a handful of ways to make bike commuting a regular habit in your life.

    Surround yourself with others who bike commute in your city, neighborhood, or workplace. Talk to them about their experiences. Learn from what works for your neighbor, friend, coworker.

    Read about how others make bike commuting a part of their daily life. Learn from their example.

    Repeat to yourself, "I bike to work every day — it’s who I am." As Babauta says very clearly, "By repeating this to yourself, [biking] (or whatever change you’re making) becomes part of your identity."

    Make biking to work your #1 priority. What does that mean? Perhaps it's commiting to commuting by bike on Mondays. By starting your week off with a ride in to work, you'll be more likely to flow naturally into doing so on Tuesday, Wednesday, and the day after that. For some it's putting out their riding gear the night before. Packing a pannier or gathering your outerwear after checking the next day's forecast. For the committed, all-weather rider, it means being prepared to bike in whatever mother nature throws at you with clothing that will keep you warm and dry and practical accessories like fenders for your bike. These don't have to be expensive investments. You can make a fender from a milk carton, after all.

    If you've never bike to work before, make a route plan and practice the ride in on a non-work day when there's no pressure to arrive at a certain time.

    Start small. Maybe in and back is too tough when you're first starting out. Try taking the bus to work in the morning with your bike, then riding home. After a couple of weeks, take the plunge and do the both trips by bike.

    Get accountability from your fellow-bikers and others in your life. Once you start biking to work, you might notice that your coworkers greet you with the question, "Did you bike today?" each morning. Pretty soon, you'll be excited to reply with an enthusiastic, "Yes!" This will be especially true on those "bad" weather days you might have driven in the past, inevitably stuck in traffic. Cold, snow, and rain will change from obstacles to interesting new ways to experience your ride.

    Make it social. Share photos from your commute on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Plan to ride in (or ride home) with a coworker once a week or once a month. Participate in #30daysofbiking. Meet fellow bike commuters for happy hour on Friday at a spot with great bike parking.

    And finally, enjoy the ride.

    All photos by Martha @ Perennial Cycle except: Left middle, by Dave Fayram; Bottom center, by Mahalia Stackpole.

  • May 08 2013

    Almanzo 100: Packet Pickup and Last Minute Gear


    As many of you already know, we're hosting the Pre-Race Sign-in for the Almanzo 100 this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the shop, 3342 Hennepin Avenue South in Minneapolis. Weather permitting, packet pickup will be held outside behind the shop. Riders for the Almanzo 100 & the Royal 162 must exchange a signed release form in order to receive a packet. Ride over on two wheels if you can. A limited amount of parking is available in our lot, and there's ample on-street parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
    There'll even be a special for Almanzo participants looking to stock up on last-minute supplies. Don't miss it! Speaking of last-minute supplies... here's a list we've put together combining Mr. Skogen's recommendations and a few of our own. See you on the Spring Valley, folks.

    Almanzo 100 Gear Guide from Calhoun Cycle

    A supportive saddle, preferably one you've spent some miles breaking-in before race day

    Remember, as Chris Skogen himself has said, "Anything can happen over the course of 100 miles." We might also add: On gravel. In Minnesota. In May. If you're a fan of CO2 cartridges, bring them along.

    At least one spare tube.

    Don't forget your tire levers.

    You'll need somewhere to put it all, especially if you're carrying more than a jersey pocket's worth of items. New for 2013, Banjo Brothers Frame Packs, available in two sizes (medium and small), are the perfect companion on a gravel ride. If you're hunting a bag that is easy to access while riding, Banjo's Top Tube Bag, Phone Pack, and Bar Top Bag are all excellent, compact ways to go as well.

    A solid pair of shoes.

    At least one of us is bringing along an extra pair of socks. ANYTHING can happen. Keep that in mind.

    Hydration. We carry a number of unique solutions for helping you find places for your favorite water bottles. Minoura's dual-cage mount for saddles is a favorite of Almanzo riders. Not just for Brompton owners, the Two Fish Quick Cage is another great, temporary solution for squeezing in an extra bottle.

    A patch kit: lighter and smaller than packing multiple spares.

    Your multitool of choice. If it doesn't include a chain tool, consider bringing along a separate one just in case.

    Tires that play well with gravel. For every Challenge Almanzo tire sold through race day, we're making a $10 donation towards keeping the Almanzo 100 free for everyone.

    Sunscreen. Hopefully you figured this out on your training rides.

    Carrying a pump — possibly even better flat protection than your tire.

    Calories. Try your at co-op for the good stuff.

    Roomier than a frame pack but still compact enough for a minimalist rider, Carradice's Zipped Roll and slightly larger Junior are both great options for the items you'll need to access when stopping along the way.

    Blinky lights. One red, one white. Bookman has you covered.

    A jersey with plenty of pockets, preferably dark in color.

    p.s. If you cannot make it to Perennial Cycle on Saturday the 11th to pick up your packet, Chris has asked us to remind you that you'll be fine. You will be able to pick it up the night before the race in Spring Valley, or the morning of the race near the start/finish.

    p.p.s. It'll be more fun if you pick it up on Saturday, though.

  • May 01 2013

    Mapping out the Competition for this year's Brompton US Championship, hosted by Perennial Cycle in Minneapolis

    Registration for the Brompton US Championship • 2013 has been open almost a month now, and—as you can see above—the competition is all over the map. We are glad to see that many of the Minnesota-based competitors who took part in last year's race have chosen to return and that so many others from across the country have decided to make the trip to join us here in Minneapolis.

    Many of you have told us you've already begun your training programs: ranging from getting out on your Brompton to practicing your Windsor.

    If you don't yet see your home city city on the map, we have good news for you... there are still a handful of FREE T-shirts remaining when you use the special coupon code available at

    We can't wait to see all of you at the starting line on June 23!

    p.s. If you're not yet a Brompton owner, you might be interested to know that the wait time for special orders is just 5 weeks as of April 29, 2013. So, not only will your Brommie be here in time for race day, you'll even have time to get a bit of training in ahead of time.

  • Sep 25 2012

    Meet Kristy of the Beez Kneez • Ride with her this Saturday on our Urban Bee Hive Tour & Group Ride!

    Meet Kristy of the Beez Kneez

    If you've been reading about our upcoming Tiny Bike Shop Concert this Saturday (and the launch of the much-awaited Boda Boda from Yuba), you may be wondering—What's all the buzz about an Urban Bee Hive Tour? Why bees? A little context may be helpful. Kristy is the Owner, Co-Founder of the Community Bees on Bikes, Head Beekeeper, and Biker for the Beez Kneez. She does it all. And, she does it all by bike.

    Kristy of the Beez Kneez does amazing work with Bees! by Bike!

    The Beez Kneez LLC was established in December 2010 as Minneapolis' first bicycle-powered honey distribution business. Kristy's background is in beekeeping, education, and farming and she's a graduate of our own University of Minnesota. We met Kristy through this year's Powderhorn 24, where we fell in love with her mission and her m.o. The mission of the Beez Kneez has two parts: To deliver the sweet people of Minneapolis local, raw and unprocessed honey in a sustainable manner, and to educate and raise awareness about the honeybee's vital role in our food system. After a moment or two of talking with Kristy, you'll see bees and bikes just make sense together:

    • Beekeeping with bikes is lighter on the environment
    • Minneapolis is one of the best cities in the nation for commuting by bike
    • In the midst of health epidemics like diabetes, bicycles serve to promote a healthier lifestyle
    • And, in the words of The Beez Kneez, "We love bees, bikes, riding bikes dressed like bees, and dressing our bikes like bees!"
    2012 Beez Kneez Bee Community

    As you can see from the map above, The Beez Kneez has hives just about everywhere you'd want to bike in the very center of Minneapolis. It's a true urban operation, and pedal-friendly at that. Hence, our Urban Bee Hive Tour by bike with you and yours. We hope to see you there. This will be a family-friendly, bee-friendly, cargo bike-friendly ride. So bring your bike, bring a friend, and get buzzing with us this Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

    (Remember: each participant in our Urban Bee Hive Tour will receive two tickets with which to enter our Boda Boda giveaway, to take place at 8:15 p.m. following Saturday's Tiny Bike Shop Concert. Must be present to win. Stop into the shop between now and Saturday for details.)

    This post has been brought to you by the letter B.

    All Photos © The Beez Kneez. All Right Reserved.

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