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:


a. said...

I was checking the calendar and noticed that Ladies' Night is no longer around. Is Spring going to bring it back?
And on a funny note (and we need some laughs at least on such a long winter, right?), I found this blog many of you may find hilarious: http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/2008/02/10/61-bicycles/

Cody G. said...

Hi A.,
Ladies' Night will start probably in April. We're going to set it up a bit differently this year. Instead of simply making it free shop time, we're putting together a series of classes.

If you have suggestions for topics, I'd love to hear them! We're still figuring out a curriculum.

Thanks for the shamefully funny link!

a. said...

Great news, one more reason to look forward to April!

How about a class on how to prep winter-beaten up bikes for Spring? Mine has stayed on the porch all winter and it ooks pretty bad. And b/c I like the seasonal themes: one of the posts on this blog a few months back made me extremely curious about how to make studded tires; how about a lesson on that, especially since winters around here seem to start ... taking their time?

Until Spring, all my best!

tjkp said...

Looking forward to ladies' night! I think bringing winter-beaten bikes back to life is a great idea for a class (and maybe winter prep once we get back to the end of fall again)... I also think adjusting derailers, brakes, changing tubes and tires might be another good place to start. Perhaps a session on how to install extra components to make carrying stuff on your bike easier (both for commuters and those interested in riding self-contained on longer rides)..panniers, racks, baskets, etc. Just a few of my ideas...

Cody G. said...

Great ideas, a. and tjkp!

It looks like the first Ladies' Night for 2008 will happen on Saturday, April 19th. This will be set up as a preliminary class before the events of Bike to Work Week in May. It's intended for beginning beginners, like how to shift gears, how to lock up a bike, and general demystification of bike commuting.

Stay tuned, though. We'll move into more advanced material as we get closer to summer!