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Bike Commuting

  • Feb 05 2018

    NEW: Souma Handlebar Bags for Brompton

    Anyone who has stopped into our shop on Hennepin Avenue (or browsed our website, for that matter) knows for a fact that we absolutely love bicycle bags. We have bags to fit just about any bike, and our selection of Brompton-specific bags is especially formidable. So we were thrilled to find out that Souma, a tiny company operating out of the Czech Republic, is making a handlebar bag that's unlike any the ones we were already stocking. We knew we had to get them in the store!

    Souma bag for 2017 handlebar in Topaz (show on a Brompton H2L in grey/black)

    There are many handlebar bags that could be used on a Brompton, but nearly all of them fit weirdly, or get in the way somehow, or simply flop awkwardly onto the concrete when you're folding the bike. These Souma bags, on the other hand, perfectly fill the unused space in the middle of your M- or H-type Brompton handlebars. They're easy to mount up with four leather straps and four heavy duty snaps. They don't flop around or interfere with the fold, and they keep your essentials within easy reach. A snap closure keeps your stuff inside when the bike is folded and the bag is upside down. It's a design that we've never seen before, and as soon as we saw it we wondered why the heck nobody had thought of it until now.

    Handmade in Brno, Czech Republic from full-grain leather, Souma bags are available in two versions to fit either your pre-2017 or current model M/H bar (for those who don't know, Brompton modified the shape of the M/H handlebar back in 2017 - see photos for clarification). The 2017 version is slightly smaller to fit the updated handlebar, and comes in three colors: Topaz (which matches Brooks "Honey" saddles), Brown, and Black. Folks with pre-2017 bikes can choose a brown or black bag.

    Souma bags for 2017 and newer bikes (left) and pre-2017 bikes (right), in black

    Souma bags for 2017 handlebar in (from left) black, brown, and topaz

    If you need color suggestions: Topaz looks especially nice with softer colors like grey and turkish green. Brown looks excellent on our nickel edition bikes. When in doubt, black looks good with everything (but we like it especially well with bright colors such as red or lime). Like any quality leather good, your Souma bag will acquire a unique and beautiful patina with time and use, so buy it, use it, and love it and know that you're only making it look cooler. Click here to check out Souma bags on our website.

  • 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.

  • Dec 19 2012

    Holiday Gift Guide — For the Commuter

    There's still time to shop before the Holiday Season is through! Here are a few last-minute ideas for the Bike Commuter in your life. Below you'll find a mix of new products, old favorites, top-selling items this fall, and a few gift ideas from nearby local shops.

    1 - Super Shield Gloves

    2 - Commuter Combo Light Set, including the Urban 200 front light and the Vis 180 Micro tail light from Light and Motion

    3 - A small saddle bag like this one from Gilles Berthoud is the perfect place to stash a few essential tools for flat changes on the fly

    4 - For any Minneapolitan commuter, a Winter Maintenance Membership from Perennial Cycle is a gift of piece of mind that will keep the bike commuter in your life rolling with whatever our Minnesota winter throws our way, now through March 31, 2013!

    5 - A 2012 must-read for any bike commuter, The Enlightened Cyclist by Bike Snob NYC is available through Magers and Quinn and at ROAM Interiors on Hennepin.

    6 - Ortlieb's waterproof Pelican is the perfect commuting bag for any weather.

    7 - Minoura iH-400-OS Phone Grip with Clamp

    8 - 3Wrencho from PDW

    9 - Give the gift of added safety with a high-visibility reflective vest with a long tail designed especially for cyclists.

    10 - A sturdy pair of MN-made Red Wing shoes for him or for her.

    11 - Who knows bike commuting better than the Dutch? The Mirte Shopper, designed in the Netherlands by Basil Bags, makes a great commuting bag and is especially handy for running errands by bike.

    12 - The Giro Reverb Helmet was named one of Oprah's Favorite things this year and is a great fit for any commuter.

    13 - Rema Patch Kit

    14 - No bell has a more classic sound than the Riten Rotary Bell from Crane.

    15 - MN Loves Bikes 12.5x12.5 print, available locally at Forage Modern Workshop or online from the Aesthetic Apparatus design team. An added bonus: this print fits in an inexpensive record album frame.

  • Nov 29 2012

    Holiday Gift Guide — for the Student

    Holiday Gift Guide by Calhoun Cycle

    This week we're excited to share a selection of gifts for the student. When you're commuting to and from campus, biking can help save money (free parking!) and time (convenient parking!). But, when you're a student... the reality is you can't always afford the niceties (and even necessities) that make the commute a little easier. This holiday season, why not treat the scholar in your life to something special?

    a selection of gift ideas for the bike commuting college student

    1 - Delta's Cargonet will hold a lock and a jacket or stretch to fit a large stack of books in a pinch

    2 - Klean Kanteen 27 oz. sport bottle

    3 - Abus' Bordo lock is the perfect combo. It's both light and compact while being incredibly secure.

    4 - Basil Memories Malaga XS makes a great lunch box

    5 - The Touchscreen Gloves Kit from Brit & Co. includes conductive thread and needles that will help you give your favorite gloves (and the included pair) touchscreen-friendly fingertips so you can check your schedule on the go while still keeping your hands cozy in the Minnesota winter

    6 - Pair the Arkel Bug backpack/pannier with a laptop sleeve from Ortlieb to get your student (and his or her laptop) to and from campus safely

    7 - Hamburger Bell

    8 - Chocolate Milk Nutcase Helmet

    9 - Brighten up a drab dorm room with a BIKE poster by Minneapolis artist Laura Brown. (psst... if you're in Minneapolis, contact Laura for info about local pickup, and mention that you're a Shopcast reader)

    10 - Bike commuting 101: Never leave home without reliable rain gear. We love O2's Calhoun jacket for men and the Club Pro jacket from Shower's Pass for women.

    11 - Logo Evo rack from Tubus. Set your student up for life: invest in a rack that's built to last.

    12 - Bookman Light Set

    13 - Woodie 8 Multitool from Soma

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