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  • Mar 04 2014

    Brompton Travel & Touring Essentials

    So you've got your T Bag [3] loaded with everything for your travels. Maybe you're headed camping for the weekend or flying half-way around the world for a Brompton tour overseas. Once you've got all of your personal items ready for whatever your adventure may be, it's time to take stock and make sure both bike and rider will be well taken care of no matter what the road has in store. a list of items you'll want to have along on a Brompton tour If you're planning a lengthy ride or a multi-day tour, you'll want to make sure you stay well hydrated. Since a Brompton doesn't have water bottle cage mounts like you'd find on a typical bike frame,  most Brompton riders are accustomed to carrying water inside their front luggage or in a jersey pocket. When one bottle isn't enough, we like the Two Fish Quick Cage [1]. It fits well on both the Brompton main-frame and the stem riser below the handlebars. Both spots are accessible while riding. And let's not forget snacks [4], a lack of which often causes conflict while traveling. With food and water covered, let's delve into the care of your Brompton on tour. For multi-day rides and longer trips, it's important to be aware of what components are specific to your Brompton. Depending where you are traveling, these small parts can sometimes be the hardest to source. Sophie, an experienced U.S.-based tourist, recently shared with the Brompton Blog that she won't leave home without a spare Gear Indicator Chain [2, bottom]. Several of our local customers who travel by plane with their bikes on a regular basis also include a pair of Hinge Clamp Assemblies [2, top] in each suitcase. We recommend that these be removed before shipping or checking your Brompton on a flight to avoid any chance of damage, but to be doubly sure a spare set is an excellent idea. Before you fly, you'll also want to deflate somewhat both of your tires. So that you're ready to air-up when you reach your destination, be sure to pack your pump [5]. And, speaking of tires... many tourists erring on the side of caution like to bring not just spare tubes [8] (an absolute must), but even a spare tire along. Sophie mentioned she'll be packing a spare 16" Marathon for future trips. If you want to be prepared but don't have space for a Marathon, a folding Kojak [6] makes for a more compact package. Care to take your chances and save room for other items? Why not pack a credit card-sized packet of Emergency Tire Boots [9] just in case? While it's not unheard of to need a new tire as a result of a flat, more often than not the problem is with the tube itself. Of course, before you jump to fix a flat with a new tube, it's often wise to use a patch first — especially if your spares are limited. If you haven't yet gotten your hands on a Brompton Toolkit [10], we recommend carrying a good patch kit, the multi-tool of your choice, and the PDW 3wrencho [7] for removing a wheel and tire in the event of a flat. For tips on wheel removal, trouble-shooting a flat, and other tricks to keep in mind when traveling with your Brompton, join us this Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until close for a Brompton Travel Clinic and a screening of The History of Brompton. Get details about the event here. You can RSVP on Facebook to let us know you're coming. If you can't make this week's movie night, share your Brompton Travel Essentials with us on Twitter or Facebook.
  • Feb 17 2014

    Brompton Movie Screening + Travel Clinic, March 6

    The History of Brompton Join us Thursday, March 6 for a three-pronged event (did someone say Brompton Treble?) at Perennial Cycle, 3342 Hennepin Ave S in Minneapolis. We'll start with happy hour at the shop beginning at 5 p.m. followed by a travel maintenance clinic from 6-7 p.m. Sample a bottle from a selection of ginger beers or dream of summer nights with a lime tonic. Get inspiration for future travels as you chat with fellow Brompton owners and fans, including some experienced travelers who've road-tripped, flown, and toured with their Brommies. To cap off the evening, we'll be screening the The History of Brompton [71 minutes] promptly at 7:15. Beginning at 6 o'clock we'll have time slots available for a maintenance clinic with the Perennial Cycle service team. Register in advance to by calling 612-827-8000 and let us know if you'd like to sit in on Flat Fixing on the Road, Wheel Removal Basics, or both. If you have a preference for a session closer to 6 p.m. or closer to 7 p.m., please let us know when you call and we'll do our best to accommodate your request. Day-of registration will be available only as space allows. Each session will take place in a small group led by an experienced staffer. We'll focus on the ins-and-outs of removing your Brompton's rear wheel (plus quickly demonstrate front-wheel removal), talk through the basics of flat-tire trouble-shooting, and introduce you to the tools required for each. As a bonus, participants may choose to receive a follow-up email with video tips from Brompton & Perennial Cycle on the basics of servicing your Brompton. As we approach showtime the popcorn will be... well, popping. The film will begin at 7:15 sharp. Please arrive in time to grab a seat and a bucket of popcorn! (Click here to view the trailer on YouTube if you do not see the video above) Produced by British Local Histories, The History of Brompton is a polished and insightful film charting the Brompton's development from its beginnings to the present day. Featuring interviews with inventor Andrew Ritchie, footage of the bikes being made in the company's West London factory, and even action from a past Brompton World Championship. Brompton calls the film, "...an honest, compelling documentary that brings new insights to even the longest-standing members of [the Brompton] staff. There is much in here that will delight and surprise [Brompton owners]." The shop will remain open through the end of the film. While you're here, enjoy March's 1st-Thursday specials including 10% off in-stock Brompton accessories, buy-one-get-one 1/2-off tubes, and save $10 on all tune-ups for any bicycle(s) dropped off for service on 3/6/14. P.S. It's hard to talk about traveling with your Brompton without touching on the question of where the Brompton US Championship is headed in 2014. Many of you have asked, but while the official announcement has yet to be made, we are excited to share with you that we'll be sending one lucky Minnesotan to this year's race. By attending the March movie screening, you'll have a chance to be among the first to enter to win a round-trip ticket to the Brompton US Championship 2014's host-city. No purchase necessary to enter. Perennial Cycle will announce the winner in spring 2014. For complete rules, see a member of the Perennial Cycle staff. P.P.S. If the weather cooperates, keep your evening open  post-show for a possible group ride to Merlin's rest with members of the Perennial Cycle staff. WHO: Brompton owners + friends WHAT: Movie Screening + Travel Clinic WHEN: Thursday, March 6 from 5 p.m. to close WHERE: Perennial Cycle, 3342 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408 CONTACT: Call with your questions, 612-827-8000
  • Jan 30 2014

    February Service Specials at Perennial Cycle

    a photo of a Linus Dutchi
    Save $20 on any tune-up
    Save $35 on any overhaul
    a photo of a Yuba Mundo cargo bike
    a photo of an ICE trike
    Get a Winter Maintenance Membership for just $50
    If you're reading this in Minnesota, give yourself a pat on the back for making it through January. Now, let's put this cold month behind us, shall we? We've got brighter, warmer, longer days on our minds here at the shop and that has us thinking about getting you prepped for spring riding. For the next two weeks, we'd like to treat you to $20 off any tune-up$35 off any complete overhaul, and a final chance to get in on the Winter Maintenance Membership action: purchase a membership for the remainder of the season for just $50. The above specials are valid 1/30/14 through 2/13/14. May not be combined with any other offer. No coupon necessary. Mention this post to ensure savings, and tell your friends!
  • 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.
    Read more tips on starting a new habit here. All photos by Martha @ Perennial Cycle except: Left middle, by Dave Fayram; Bottom center, by Mahalia Stackpole.

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