Twelfth Bike

or Ride What You Will

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Big plans – Great Allegheny Passageway!

Posted by Susan on September 13, 2010

Liz and I are planning a trip the end of September. We start in Pittsburgh and will ride over 300 miles on dirt, away from cars, all the way to Georgetown! Keep posted, because I promise pics and a full trip story right here.


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Liz and Susan Go Grocery Shopping

Posted by Susan on August 3, 2010

Discovered a great big grocery store just off of the bike path, 2.10 miles from where we live.

Southwest Corridor Bike Path Sign

This way to Stop-N-Shop

Today’s grocery bike will be the Gunnar “Fastlane” , handbuilt right here in the USA by Waterford Precision Cycles, it’s got disc brakes, a beefy frame, room for fenders and wide tires. The front wheel is centered around a Schmidt “SON 20” dynohub. The panniers are by Ortlieb, and they’re sitting on a Tubus rack.

Of course, no commuting bike is complete without a bell, essential item for rush hour on the bike path.

Essential Bike Path equipment - the bell.

It’s part of the usual course of our lives to bike to grocery stores, but this was a treat, the bike path was re-paved, so all those nasty bumps were smoothed out!

Fully loaded with the weeks worth of groceries

Liz’s grocery bike is an upright Soma “Double Cross”. It’s also got a nice beefy frame, and works well for carrying a full load. We’ve installed a disc brake fork for solid stopping in the rain, and the front wheel is built around a Shimano Alfine dynohub that powers an amazingly bright Busch and Muller “Cyo N plus” front light.

Liz Grocery Shopper

Leisurely ride during rush hour!

The Ortlieb bags are waterproof, durable, easy on and off of the rack, and they carry A LOT of groceries! We love them!

I apologize for the quality of the photos, eventually I’ll get around to learning some photoshop.

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Mountain Biking at Cutler Park with motley gang

Posted by Susan on August 3, 2010

This last Sunday headed out to Cutler Park with Kevin, Theresa, Jonathan, Peter and a friend whose name I have forgotten. Everyone on a different species of steed: myself on a Gunnar Rock Tour with Big Fat Apples, Kevin on his Redline Monocog, Therese on a Trek 970 circa 1991, Jonathan on a single speed MTB circa 1985 (front brake only and upright “dorothy bars”), and Peter and friend on cyclocross bikes. Three of us were in jeans, cut-offs and t-shirts, the other three in our “kits”. The weather was perfect, there was lots of laughter, and no one took themselves too seriously. Will post pics later this week.

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Adventures on a Dahon: Dirt Roads, Double Centuries, and the Duomo

Posted by Susan on July 26, 2010

Well, here’s a first review of a couple of vehicles I really like: the Dahon Speed P8 and the Dahon Mu P8.

Lucy and the Dahons

Lucy has happily herded the Dahons

They fold fairly compactly and are light enough to put in the overhead bin of the Northeast Regional. They can also fit into a Samsonite legal size suitcase, after some disassembly, for flights to Italy. Dahon folded

They come stock with 8 speeds, a gear inch range from 30 to 83 inches, and can go anywhere that a “real” bike can with nearly the same expenditure of energy.

Don’t believe me? Take a look, the Speed P8, the red bike in the pictures, has performed dependably and beautifully on a few epic adventures:

  • Florence to Bologna over the Appenines
  • Steep climbs into the Florentine hills, gravel roads, and cobblestones
  • STP(Seattle to Portland) in one day
  • 200k Berkshire Brevet
Climbing out of Bologna

The Climb out of Bologna

The Mu P8, the white bike in the pictures, carried me on a recent excursion over the Delaware Canal Towpath from Trenton, NJ all the way to the end of the Delaware and Lehigh Trail in Allentown — 65 Miles all on dirt (Yet, all flat as a giant tilted pancake) and to my joy – almost entirely on a path closed to cars!

Liz on the Dahon

Liz on the Dahon

The first half to Frenchtown was fairly smooth, and the Dahon felt fast on the hard pack. The last half was rather bumpy, but the Mu P8’s 40mm Schwalbe Racers were enough, although I would have been more comfortable on 50mm tires. The trip was immensely enjoyable, despite riding 20 inch wheels, ¬†straight bars, on a stiff aluminum frame that was manufactured in China. (I’m accustomed to riding drop bars on hand-built steel frames ). Really, isn’t pleasure all in the mind anyway?


Set up with Ergon grips and Paul thumby

Now, if you’re curious about folding bikes, and you’re wondering what the difference is between a Dahon and a Brompton, here’s a little info:

Brompton is a superior, more compact fold, on a superior quality frame. It’s a favorite of the Harris crew. (Yes, Harris Cyclery sells them!) Gearing and handlebar options are somewhat limited, but this does not reduce their versatility significantly. I have my own reservations about riding 16 inch wheels over rough dirt roads, but as a commuter, it’s by far the best folder on the market, very well thought out design, exceptional quality. Way better for frequent folding than the Dahon. I lust after one.

Dahon: They have many different models for all purposes. In general, I find their 20 inch wheeled “urban performance” models to have features sufficient for epic rides, while remaining easy enough to fold for train hopping. ¬†They also happen to be available through Harris Cyclery.

Susan on Dahon

Me Riding Slooowly By

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Preview of what’s ahead

Posted by Susan on July 26, 2010

    Preview of Coming Reviews/Rants

  • Dahon Mu P8 and Speed P8: Dirt roads, Italy, and Double Centuries
  • Helmets worth noticing: Bell Sequence, Influx
  • Cycling Caps vs. Visors
  • Carrying Stuff: Racks and hacks you should know about
  • How I bike to West Newton from Jamaica Plain
  • Made in the USA: good stuff you should know about
  • Electric Assist
  • Feature Components: Handlebars for women: Nitto Neat M186 vs Noodles
  • Lighting: Supernova E3 Pro vs Busch &Muller Cyo N
  • What we ride: The Steeds of the Harris Cyclery Crew
  • My strange setup: small rings and half-step gears
  • Winter Cycling
  • Hot Weather Cycling: long sleeves?!
  • Ride reports: gear I used, route ratings
  • Feature components: Schwalbe Big Fat Apples
  • Things worth the money
  • Pashley vs Electra

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Day One

Posted by Susan on July 26, 2010

Hey there world! Bear with me and come back soon, this is my first ever blog. I work at the one and only Harris Cyclery, and hope to fill these pages up with some useful reviews and info for you fellow cyclists. Hope I can provide something new and unusual here.

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