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Perennial Cycle

  • 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.

    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.

  • Mar 14 2009

    Bicycle Shed Design Competition

    This past December I was asked to jury The St. Paul Prize Design Competition 2008. A somewhat unusual role for me as I'm not an architect, a designer, nor a member of the St. Paul Chapter of the American Institute of Architects who sponsored the event. However, I do own a bike shop that's dedicated to cycling as transportation. As luck would have it, architect Eric Lagerquist (Smithgroup) was in the shop to pick up a copy of VeloVision, and asked if I would participate.

    The judges included six designers/architects, myself and my friend who is car-free and a Minneapolis city bus driver. The entries were presentation boards as well as written explanation of the designers intent. All of the entries were exciting and well done. Everyone did a nice job of making it look fun and easy to commute via bike and bus.

    Participants in the competition were local architectural interns. The programmatic requirements were minimal in order to allow a more free hand for the aspiring designers. They were given two real locations with a few constraints for each:

    White Bear Location
    • Storage for 50 Bicycles
    • Two single occupant toilet rooms, ADA compliant - 80 s.f.
    • Coffee Hut – 50 s.f.
    • Work Space for attendant/repair man – 100 s.f.
    • Ticket Sales Kiosk
    • Integrated Renewable Energy Element

    Como Location
    • Storage for 20 Bicycles
    • Ticket Sales Kiosk
    • Integrated Renewable Energy Element

    Typically the simpler designs faired better than more complex ones. (It's true, less is more.) Not only were they cleaner solutions, but they would be easier to maintain, less expensive to build and more portable. One of the more complex designs was made of hexagonal glass sheets put together in a honeycomb style. It was inspired by the designers own carbon fiber bike frame. Everyone agreed it was spectacular, but the cost of building and maintaining it would most likely keep it on the drawing board, particularly in this economy.

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