I’m a New World Tourist!

18 05 2011

My Bike Friday NWT chilling by the gorge waterway...

In Calgary I was a Tikiteer for sure and my Bike Friday NWT was a fun bike to ride, but if I had to choose I would have picked my Tikit. Lately I’ve realized that I am grabbing my New World Tourist for most rides into town and if you made me choose I’d stick with my NWT.

Why the change?:

  • in Calgary I lived right downtown and ride were short and frequent with high theft potential at each of the many stops.
  • in Victoria every ride into town is a minimum 8km round trip and theft potential is lower.
  • so now I ride into town less often, but I tend to save up errands and hit a bunch at once.
  • I can load up my NWT with a ton of stuff with its burly racks.
  • My NWT has drop bars which I am into at the moment and prefer for longer rides.
  • My NWT has a dynohub and light so I’m always ready for rides that extend into the PM.
  • I don’t have any lighting for my Tikit now that I am not using my Dinotte lights if I can help it.

Loaded and ready for more!

The only thing I want to do to my NWT to perfect it is install some full coverage fenders. I have them in my garage – in fact I’ve had them for 2 years! But I am finally getting motivated with the wet winters here to install them. The Bike Friday fenders do a decent job and are much easier to travel with if you pack your bike into a suitcase. I’m more a fold and trow in the truck kind of guy so I don’t need that sort of packability and I do need optimized fenders.

Well actually there is another thing I need to do to my NWT – it’s time to replace the grubby white bar tape. Using the NWT a ton means that the gleaming whiteness of her beauty is somewhat less gleaming!




Heinz Stucke’s Bike Friday Pocket Llama…

25 03 2011

Heinz Stucke's PL...

I saw this Pocket Llama at Bike Friday HQ recently that Heinz Stucke rode for many miles on his far flung tours.

The man and the machine...

8spd Shimano Nexus IGH like my NWT...

I love all the place names he's written on the frame...

Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires...

Well earned dirt and rust...

If this bike could talk...

Heinz at Bike Friday HQ in Eugene OR...

I need to get my NWT dirty again...=-)

Frame tube detail...

Heinz made it to Hawaii - smart man....=-)

Faded pannier...

Photo: ridecc.wordpress.com





Bike Friday New World Tourist Select

27 02 2011

A sweet looking Bike Friday NWT...

Bike Friday will be offering a line up of their core bikes in a special specification which, if my memory serves me, is going to be called Select – as in Bike Friday NWT Select.  These bikes will feature a number of colour and contrasting cable/rack choices to make them look sweet.  This bike doesn’t have the exact build being offered….I’ll post it when I have it, but it does give you a feel for where they are headed.  These bikes will be available from Bike Friday dealers for sure and I’m assuming direct from Bike Friday.

One thing for sure is that the contrasting rack/cable colour is very eye catching….I love it…=-)

I'm starting to get a jones for H-bars...

Contrasting racks and cables look hot...

and contrasting decals...

Wide range gearing for touring or grocery hauling...

Dual water bottles on main frame + one on seat mast = 3...

and even red panniers...=-)

One final glamour shot...





First Ride…

22 02 2011

My Bike Friday NWT ready to roll...

Coming back to Canada from Mexico I was stoked to have so many choices of bikes to ride.  Sharon and I had a number of errands to do in town so naturally we decided to ride our bikes.  I rode my Bike Friday New World Tourist.  With a fleet of awesome bikes why ride the NWT?

  • the small size was easiest to wrangle out of the packed garage
  • the NWT is a nimble bike ideal for city riding
  • the Nexus 8 IGH meant that I knew shifting would work without any fuss
  • the NWT fits me great and is very comfortable
  • it has dual racks so carrying stuff is a no brainer
  • the flat BMX pedals are street shoe friendly
  • fenders provide protection from road spray should it rain
  • dyno headlight provides 24/7 lighting without fussing with batteries
  • battery taillight doesn’t need attention often
  • rear view mirror makes mixing it up with downtown traffic easier
  • supple 40mm tires make the ride fast and comfortable
  • v-brakes with salmon Koolstop pads provide reliable all weather braking
  • small bell is nice for politely getting people’s attention on the MUP

Some of these things are specific to a high quality folding bike like the NWT, but a lot of them are additions/upgrades you can make to any bike to make it more practical.





Sooke Potholes Tour

22 11 2010

Aaron pumping up a slow leak...

I was getting a little twitchy that I hadn’t done a bike tour this year.  Not that I can complain…I’ve done lots of bike riding and lots of camping this year…just no bike camping! Aaron is a local LHR rider that I’ve met up with a few times for coffee and to chat bikes.  We discussed a quick overnight tour out to the Sooke Potholes campground. The weather forecast was a bit gnarly, but we decided to go for it…a decision I was later to regret somewhat.

Our tour started ~430pm when Aaron rode from his job at the Rus Hays Bike Shop. He was riding his 700c LHT and I was on my 20″ wheeled Bike Friday New World Tourist…Aaron dubbed it the Laurel and Hardy Tour because our bikes looked quite mismatched.

Our awesome rain shelter...

First off I should advise you that the pics in this post are not going to match the text very well as most of the ride was at night or in the pouring rain so I didn’t take many photos.  Especially since I’m sure this ride will happen many times as it is so conveniently located to my house and I’ll photograph it when I’m less wet!

We rolled out of my driveway and jumped on the Galloping Goose MUP which is very near my house.  I usually ride this MUP into town so going the other way was new to me.  My first surprise was the fact the pavement ended within a few kms from my house.  Most of the 110km round trip was dirt, rock or gravel.  I had selected my NWT because it had a dynohub and light which are useful when your first day is actually a night ride.  This bike runs 40mm Greenspeed Scorcher slicks which I’ve used on some short dry dirt sections, but never on a dirt tour and never on a dirt tour in what was to be pouring rain.

Sooke River...

The night ride was a lot of fun.  We stopped early at about KM 10 in the town of Langford for some asian noodles and beer to fortify us for the more remote sections of the trip.  From Victoria to Langford the MUP rides through some fairly developed areas and crosses roads frequently.  However, once you are done with this necessary hassle the Galloping Goose is a very quite forest track the rest of the way to Sooke.  There had been a big wind storm the night before our ride so there were lots of leaves and branches on the ground as well as 4 or 5 large blow downs closer to Sooke that we had to lift our bikes over.

Aaron used two high power battery lights and I had my dyno light as well as one of my Dinotte 200L-AA battery lights blazing.  As we rode side by side chatting we illuminated a nice swath through the forest.  After Langford we had the MUP to ourselves which made for a very quiet peaceful ride.  Being able to roll along at a comfortable pace without traffic or other cyclists and pedestrians to contend with was very relaxing and I was really pleased this trail was right at my door step.

Clean fresh water is not scarce on Vancouver Island...

Aaron had a slow leak to contend with on the ride out.  We decided to just pump it up and keep rolling.  He was able to ride several kms before more pumping was required and that was fine since we took the chance to snack.  The ground was damp from the previous night’s storm with many puddles.  I was pleasantly surprised how well my Scorchers handled the less than ideal traction situation…especially on steep downhills or steep climbs.  I didn’t lose traction once or have to worry.

When we got to Sooke we had a tough choice to make…ride an extra 3kms uphill [and then back] to a pub for a few pints and nachos or keep going and finish off the last 10-15kms to the campground?  Aaron repaired his flat while we pondered these options.  Eventually we decided to skip the pub and keep riding.

I'm not functional in the AM until the 3rd cup of tea...

The last section from town of Sooke to the campground was the roughest and most remote part of the trail.  I really enjoyed it and was impressed how well my smalled wheeled Bike Friday was handling things.  I pretty much forgot I was riding a folding bike and enjoyed a very beautiful night ride to the campground.  When we got there the whole place was empty and may in fact have been closed.  We found a huge shelter to set our tent underneath and tried to start a campfire.  The damp wood was not cooperating and I was sleepy so we settled for a hot cup of tea before crashing soundly in our sleeping bags.

Aaron loading up his trucker...

I woke up several times during the night to heavy rain and fell back asleep hoping it would abate by the AM.  When I woke it wasn’t raining which made me happy!  We had a quick breakfast and many cups of tea before loading up our rigs.  Sadly just as we were ready to get rolling the rain started coming down in earnest again…=-(  Not much we could do so we pt on our rain gear and headed back down the trail.

I don’t love riding in the rain.  Riding on a rough gravel and dirt trail in the rain is less fun…especially with poor drainage that results in huge deep puddles across the whole trail.  I was trying some new rain gear out which worked okay except for my feet.  My NWT has these funky travel fenders that work okay for light rain on a paved road, but were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of water I was riding through and they dumped a bunch of it into my poorly chosen footwear.

The silly thing was I had a pair of waterproof Keen light hikers that would have been ideal for this mission, but somehow I had overlooked my feet and the likelihood for rain.  I won’t make that mistake again!

Small, but powerful...=-)

I also made another dumb mistake in under estimating my need for food and forgetting a bag of apples on my kitchen counter when I packed.  Being cold and splashing through water and soft ground on the way back I plowed through all the food on my bike very quickly.  Aaron was better prepared so I started in on his snacks!  One thing that made me very happy was that even in these sopping wet conditions the slick 20″ tires on my NWT were giving me lots of grip.  On the 55km ride how there were two or three muddy spots were I slide a bit, but the rest of the time I was rolling along like it was dry.

MMMMM...food!

Not shockingly as we neared Langford we started homing in on a warm dry restaurant that would serve us copious amounts of food.  We ate, we laughed and we dried off a bit.

Aaron enjoy the last few kms and our first sunshine of the day...

The sun finally made an appearance on our last few kms so we broke out the camera for a few pics.

The might Bike Friday nearing home...

Notice we are smiling like fools?  Food and sunshine will do that to a bike tourist.

This is my turn off...

Aaron offered me a fine post ride beer at my turn off on the Galloping Goose before he headed further into town.

The Horror! The Horror! The Horror!

All in all I had a lot of fun riding bikes and hanging out with Aaron.  I re-learned some valuable lessons.  Had I been wearing waterproof boots and had twice as many snacks I would have had a lot more fun.  I’m also now highly motivated to install the full coverage Planet Bike fenders I bought for my NWT over a year ago! We’ll be doing more tours this winter, but we’ll be sticking to paved roads when there is rain in the forecast…=-)





The beauty of being prepared…

21 11 2010

Ready to roll...

I would love to tell you I never drive when I could bike, but that’s not true.  I do bike a lot, but there are times like last night when I’m tired, it’s dark and cold out, rain is likely and I need to run out to get something from the grocery store.  Do I jump into my truck or do I ride?

It was a close call.  I ended up riding my Bike Friday NWT because:

  • it’s a bike I am stoked about
  • it fits me well
  • I can wear any shoes with it
  • it has fenders and racks
  • it has a dynohub and light that never needs charging
  • it has two tailights on it that rarely need batteries so one will always be working
  • it gets ridden enough that I know it’s tuned well and the tires have enough air
  • I keep grocery panniers by the door
  • I keep bike locks by the door
  • I keep all my bike/outdoor clothing organized so that grabbing the right gear takes little though and is fast
  • I have spares so that when two pairs of fleece gloves are in the laundry from a wet bike tour I can pull out a ratty 6yr old pair and keep rolling
  • I have bike friendly routes planned to all my usual destinations
  • I have safe spots to lock my bikes at all my usual destinations
  • I remind myself that biking is good for me and I’ll be glad I rode

When you look at that list it starts to become obvious that you don’t end up riding a bike by accident.  If I had to look for some charged batteries and swap a light over from another bike then look for my SPD bike shoes and search for a pair of gloves to wear and then I couldn’t remember where the grocery panniers got put away I might just say screw it and drive.  However, because at every turn when I have to make something happen it’s easy then I don’t get deflected from my goal to ride.

If you want to ride your bike next week you need to start putting the pieces together today.





Be prepared…

14 11 2010

Getting a little carried away...

One of the first things I do with most of my bikes is to fit front and rear racks.  When you have a couple dedicated cargo bikes it may seem excessive to have dual racks on so many bikes.  The thing is I tend to get carried away when I run my errands and with racks on your bikes as well as a few straps you can turn any bike into a hauler on short notice.

Small wheel - big load...

I also take a perverse pleasure collecting things along my ride and having people exclaim “…you can’t carry that on your little bike…” just to have me prove them wrong…=-)