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Perennial Cycle

  • Jun 23 2009

    Larry vs. Harry: the Bullitts have Landed

    Larry vs. Harry Bullitt Cargo Bike

    Last week we took delivery of Larry vs. Harry Bullitt cargo bikes. We have been anxiously awaiting these newly engineered cargo bikes. Homeland Security decided to put them in the slow lane of our customs office and about the time we were thinking they'd never arrive, a truck pulls up with the goods.

    I had Bike Club at the local elementary school  that afternoon and thus raced to get one put together in time to ride with the kids (thanks for the ride Mary. I still can't believe I fit it into our undersized minivan). I hadn't ridden 25 feet and a boy yelled out of a crowd "cool bike!"). What a great start to this new relationship!

    Now I've had a chance to shop for groceries, make a few runs to the warehouse, commute to work as well as just riding the Bullitt out and about with the family. My expectations were high (really high). The Bullitt has performed all tasks in an amazing fashion. It's fast as all get out, it's completely FUN to fly around on and then comes the cargo part of the deal. This bike can take your load with hardly a notice of it. My typical loads have been 20 -50 pounds and I'm telling you, it's effect on the handling is a non-issue. The bike has exceeded my expectations by a lot.

    Yesterday I was at a stoplight downtown and someone yelled out "Hey guy, what is that?". I responded :"the future" as the light turned green and I took off with a smile. Believe me when I tell you that the Bullitt is special and it will push the Cargo-Commuter category of bikes well beyond its current position.

  • Jun 19 2009

    Civia Loring! Just in time for SUMMER

    Civia Loring

    Arriving in the shop this week are the much anticipated Civia Lorings. We fell in love with these bikes when we first saw them back at Interbike last year. In their words 'From its gently sloping top tube to its bamboo fenders and matching trim, the Loring is a study in elegance, simplicity and fun. Designed for short runs, the Loring carries up to 50 pounds of cargo while delivering an exceptionally balanced ride.'
    An urban commuter so beautiful you can't wait to be seen on. The first one built is going to Mary but the second will be available for test rides this weekend. I'll post more details when I've put a few miles on.

  • Jun 02 2009

    May Century on a Pair of Airnimal Joeys

    Looking across the Mississippi at St. Paul (the Home Stretch)

    May was month #9 in the 12 x 100 Challenge (one century per month for a year). It was a busy month (as are all) and we scheduled the ride with a day to spare (whew!). So this past Saturday (May 30th) we set off early. For the first time in 9 rides we had beautiful weather (that's right, we were 0 for 8 as of Saturday morning). JOY!

    Derek's Joey D
    Luke's Joey Explorer

    Being that we have now completed the really challenging months I decided to add a theme to our May Century. I loaned Derek an Airnimal Joey D (drop bar Joey) and I rode my Airnimal Joey Explore 27 and we called it our Joey Century. The Airnimal Joey is a suitcase style folding bike with 24" wheels. I set up Derek's Joey D to match the fitting he has with his Surly Cross Check. I ride my Joey Explore every day as it's my daily commuter set up with fenders and  rack. I have fallen in love with this bike as it's a sporty rocket that can be nicely fit into a trunk with a simple 45 second "trunk" fold. I have suitcased it a couple of times to fly with it, but I don't travel enough to take huge advantage of that aspect of the bike.

    The weather was absolutely beautiful  and the only hiccup in the 100 miles was me having a worn out rear tire and thus having to deal with those consequences (shame on me). Derek rocked out on the Joey in spite of the fact that he'd never ridden a folding bike. The transition was pretty seamless for him. I learned that my Joey is just as versatile as I knew. I've said many times that if I had to have one frame for the rest of my life I'd choose the Joey. I Love It!

    We met up on the Greenway here in Minneapolis and we headed east through St. Paul and out to Stillwater. Then we followed the St. Croix river south to Afton before swinging west and making our way back to Minneapolis.

    Bike Details:

    Derek's Joey: 9 Speed Joey D with a bottle cage and a Carradice Nelson seat bag supported with a Utilitarian Transports UT Support Rack. 52 tooth chainring with an 11-32 cassette on the rear. Panaracer Pasela tires (24 x 1", 115 PSI)

    Luke's Joey: 27 speed Joey Explore with Salsa Bar-Ends, bottle cage, rack and fenders. This Joey Exp;ore was built up with 520 wheels ("roadie" sized 24" wheels as opposed to the 507 wheels that are the stock Joey Explore size) with Intense Microknobby 24 x 1-3/8" tires.

  • Mar 26 2009

    February Century

    Snow is your friend

    I can be a bit foolish. I really thought that when Derek and I finished the January Century of our 1 century per month challenge we were on easy street. Ha! One and a half days before our last minute run at a February century (yes, we scheduled it for the 28th) we happened to get 6 inches of snow. I took the bus home rather than struggle through a ride home on Thursday night (the ride was scheduled for Saturday morning).

    Derek e-mailed me Thursday late afternoon that he'd contact me Friday to work on a plan of attack. My response to him (Thursday night) was:

    Leave early and stay late.
    Yes we can.

    Derek immediately responded to me:

    we are on the same page.
    -D

    Wow! I think I'd be hard-pressed to find a more stubborn individual that was able to stick to the task. Derek didn't even hesitate. Our nordic heritage may be playing a role here (yes, we are in Lake Wobegon).

    On Friday we discussed routes and because of the quantity of snow we were grasping for a route (with no agreement or argument), but then late Friday afternoon it was sunny enough that the roads were clearing fairly well despite the cold temperatures (around 16º). Thank goodness for that. We were able to plan on heading out of town 50 miles, have lunch and head back.

    It was a difficult century for sure. Start temp at 4º with unknown road conditions, but the roads turned out to be pretty decent and the sun shined brightly enough that the afternoon was pretty speedy riding.

    Mentally it was my biggest challenge yet, but we pulled it off and had fun throughout the ride. Good times.

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