Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Report from Minneapolis

Verna, Steve & I went to Minneapolis last weekend to take in the Quality show, Frostbike. We had a great time, got lots o' shwag, and made some contacts that may benefit the BL in the future.

After we left the fabulous new LEED certified building where QBP lives, we made a quick stop at Hiawatha Cyclery in south Minneapolis.

Hiawatha is a small shop that specializes in cyclo-touring and tasteful transportation. They've got a lot of style, the kind that comes from earnest reading of the Rivendell Reader. While I'm not the type to think the RR is a guide to life and the universe, I do agree with the well-deserved attention being given to sensible, everyday bicycles and gear.

There was a fine arrangement of built bikes on the floor. From a freshly built Salsa Casseroll with a thousand-something price tag to a simple, 3-spd Breezer Freedom commuter for the smaller budget, $450. Handlebars, fenders, rims, stems, pedals, racks, baskets, and all those things we get excited about were well organized in the available space in plain view.

In the front window were some built-up classics, like this one:

1963 Freddie Grubb; Black in color; 56 cm C-T; Sturmey Archer 4 speed FW hub; Nitto stem and Northroad bars; B5N Brooks leather saddle; Perfect for the Lake Pepin 3 Speed Tour; Complete bike; $600

Hanging proudly over our heads was a beautiful Jack Taylor with a custom pink paint job executed by one or another of those wacky Taylor Bros once upon a time and, of course, a lovely Stronglight crank.

The owner, Jim, was riding this ANT with porteur rack:

And, his singular employee (or co-owner?), Kevin, was riding this well modified Stumpjumper:

Friday, February 15, 2008

Get a FREE bike if you don’t bring a car to college!

Ripon College, a small liberal arts college in the middle of a central Wisconsin cornfield, is giving a Trek 820 mountain bike (plus helmet and lock) to every student who pledges not to bring a car to campus for the 2008-2009 year. link

Pretty sweet. I'd actually prefer to have some store credit at a local bike shop, but hey a "free" bike. How cool would it be if the University of Iowa started a free bike program?