Dec 24, 2011

Thank You Calgary!

As we approach the end of our second year in operation Nadia, Uncle Joe, and myself would like to thank each and every one of you - our customers and friends, for supporting us in our quest to create and establish our happy little bike store on the prairie. We feel truly blessed.

2012 is shaping up to be an incredible year for bike riding in Calgary - the new $24 million comprehensive bicycle strategy has been funded, bringing much needed infrastructure to the downtown primarily, Cyclepalooza will be happening again bigger and better, and of course, more people will be choosing to cycle more often making our beautiful city a more enjoyable place to live and work.

There has never been a better time to ride a bike in Calgary and it is only going to get better. Bravo Calgary!

See you all in 2012. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Sean, Nadia, Uncle Joe

Oct 12, 2011

Call to Action! BikeCalgary AGM October 13th

Hey Folks!

Calgary's biggest and bestest bike advocacy group - Bike Calgary - is holding its AGM tomorrow (October 13) and everyone with an interest in commuter/utility cycling is invited.  Elections will be held for a new Board of Directors as well as a few surprises.

You do not need to have any experience to be on the BoD - just a desire to see more and better bicycle infrastructure in Calgary and a willingness to volunteer some of your spare time in that pursuit.

IMO - we in Calgary are in a very unique and exciting position with regards to bicycling - a new bike friendly Mayor, a newly passed comprehensive bike strategy, new bike lanes popping up, and plenty of media coverage of all of these exciting developments. 

Now is the time to devote some of your energy to pushing the bicycle agenda forward - get involved!  Come to the AGM, meet other bicycle people, and find out what your city's bike advocacy group has planned for the coming year.

See you there?

Oct 7, 2011

New 10 St NW Bikelanes - Traffic Chaos or Hot Air?

A cyclist heading south on 10 St NW new bikelane. Photo Credit - Calgary Herald

The City of Calgary sprung a surprise on everyone this week with the installation of a pilot project bike lane on 10 St NW, running from 5 Ave NW all the way up to Confederation Park and beyond. 

With this new project, they have instantly created one of the best bike routes in the city because it actually connects to something - the downtown core to the central NW via the Kensington/Sunnyside neighbourhoods and passing right beside SAIT/ACAD.  People who live in this area now have a safe, connected route where none existed before.  Thank you City of Calgary!

On the flipside, the City has also created an awful lot of animosity and negative press by the way this project happened - essentially out of thin air, with no warning, and no consultations with communities along its route.  As I understand it, 10 St NW was slated to be repaved this fall and this route has been "on the books" for close to a decade.  If the new bike lanes were painted now it would save a lot of money because the roadway would not need to be repaved next spring. 

Fair enough.

But some notice would have been a good idea to help educate motorists and journalists on the full scope of the project.  Instead, local reporting seemed to focus on the "traffic snarls" and chaos with no mention of the full scope of the project and the reasoning behind it.  The city should have sent out information to the media on how this was being implemented so the story would be less about bikes vs. cars and more about the creation of a neccessay cycle link and implementation of the Comprehensive Cycling Strategy which was passed in the spring.  Let's remember that 59% of Calgarians also said they would cycle more if they felt safer.

The reality is that traffic has not actually been horribly affected - but based on the news stories in local papers you'd think that people were having to get out of their cars and push them down 10 St NW.  Even The Mayor is not impressed. 

Funny thing though, there have been exactly ZERO traffic reports on the snarls and chaos on 10 St NW since the lanes went in - no radio mentions, no mentions on Twitter using the #yyctraffic hashtag - nothing but crickets...

So, here is my advice to the City - please, please, please get a communication strategy sorted with regards to upcoming cycle infrastructure installations - press releases to media detailing the full scope and schedule of projects would be a good start. 

Oct 3, 2011

Coming to BikeBike in 2012 -Touring Bikes and Accessories

One of the founding missions of BikeBike is to provide everyday transportation options for our customers and, to date, those everyday options offered by us have been primarily city bikes - which is to say, a more sit-up style and posture on the bike characterized by the classic "dutch" style bike. 

201 Salsa Vaya 3, the ultimate road tourer?
However, if you live a good distance from your place of work, or need to bring more stuff with you, or want just one bike to use for both commuting to work, recreational/charity rides, and grand fondos on the weekends, you may want a different bike - perhaps something more efficient than a pure city bike but still comfortable - and this is where touring bikes are an perfect option.

"But it looks like a road racing bike".  Well, perhaps so to the untrained eye but there are a few significant differences between a performance road bicycle (think Lance Armstrong and lycra) and a road touring bicycle.  Here are a couple key differences -

1. Touring bikes tend to have much higher handlebars relative to the height of the saddle - meaning, you can sit up taller on a touring bike offering all day comfort.
2. The wheelbase of a touring bike is longer than a racing bike allowing for use of wide tires and fenders, but most importantly, a long wheel base can help the bike have a more stable manner, especially when loaded with panniers/gear/work stuff/groceries.
3. Touring bikes place an emphasis on durability, serviceability, and flexibilty over lightweight, stiffness, and performance found on road bikes used in racing.

Brodie Elan, to work during the week, across Canada in the summer!
 Wikipedia  has some good background on touring bikes and the different types of touring that people do.

"A touring bicycle is a bicycle designed or modified to handle bicycle touring. To make the bikes sufficiently robust, comfortable and capable of carrying heavy loads, special features may include a long wheelbase (for ride comfort and to avoid pedal-to-luggage conflicts), frame materials that favor flexibility over rigidity (for ride comfort), heavy duty wheels (for load capacity), and multiple mounting points (for luggage racks, fenders, and bottle cages)".

Morning at Ghost Lake, getting set to ride back to Calgary
Our initial product offering is as follows, with expected deliveries early in 2012 -

Bicycles - Brodie's amazingly comfortable Elan, Argus, and Circuit and Salsa's Vaya, Fargo, and Casseroll - oh yes, we cannot forget about Brompton folding bikes!
Racks - Salsa, Old Man Mountain, Surly
Panniers - Ortlieb, Arkel, and Brooks England
(other products too)

A word about frame materials - the general consensus is that the best material for touring bikes is steel due to its very comfotable ride qualities, affordability, durability, and serviceability.  Steel is one of the best materials for making a bicycle frame because it dampens vibration better than aluminum, it is relatively inexpensive to buy, it has an incredibly long fatigue life, and it is repairable in the event of breakage.  We have chosen to offer only steel touring bikes this season - with Brodie, Salsa, and Brompton all having long heritage of using steel for many of its bikes.

A quick mention about touring on a Brompton - click this for a sweet little video showing Russ Roca and his gal touring on Bromptons and this for a report from one of the folks at Clever Cycle in Portland.  I would also mention a British fellow who came through the shop this past summer riding across Canada on a Brompton M6R!

We cannot wait for 2012 and all the cool new products coming to the shop!  Whether you are touring to the supermarket, out to Banff, or around the world, make sure you come check out Southern Alberta's best selection of touring bikes and accessories.

If you need more information on anything mentioned give us a call or send us an email - we'd love to chat.

Sep 23, 2011

BikeCalgary.org's Urban Cycling Skills Courses

Are you wanting to ride more often but are afraid to?  Do you still ride on the sidewalk?  What about you, yes you, the "seasoned" cyclist - aka road warrior - who is comfortable riding on the roads?

Well, all of you will probably learn a few strategies and tips to make on-street cycling safer if you take BikeCalgary's new One Day Urban Cycling Skills Course.  Here are a few words direct from BikeCalgary's site -

"Would you like access to Calgary's complete transportation grid every day of the year? Do you want to be able to treat most every street in the city as a bike route, and not have to wait for the City to build dedicated bike infrastructure?  You don't have to be a lycra-clad roadie to ride your bike to work. In fact, you don't have to be an athlete at all. We believe anyone can quickly learn to bike competently and confidently on our roads, and we offer a fun and effective way to do so. Modeled after the rigorous CAN-BIKE courses, and taught by CAN-BIKE accredited instructors with decades of bike-commuting experience, our one-day urban cycling skills course will increase your comfort levels and confidence when navigating all sorts of streets—from quiet residential avenues to the busiest streets of downtown Calgary."

Courses are currently running on a monthy basis, from now until November.  Check BikeCalgary's main page for dates and registration info.

www.bikecalgary.org

Sep 18, 2011

Respect on the Roads


I had an interesting conversation with a fellow at the shop yesterday that I have to share - mostly because his attitude about cyclists on the roads bothered me for the rest of the day.

It started like this -

Man - Why do cyclists ride in the middle of the lane on 4 St SW?
Me - Well, first, because cyclists are allowed to use the full lane under the HTA, and second, because the lanes are narrow on that road making it unsafe for a car to pass a cyclist in the same lane.
Man - Why don't they instead ride on 2 St SW, there is a bike lane over there.
Me - My guess is many don't ride there because that road doesn't take them where they need to go. 2 St does not go into the core, 4 St does.
Man - Why do cyclists always insist on riding past all the stopped cars at lights? When they do that I get very frustrated because I have to repass them again and again and it slows down traffic.
Me - Well, sir, that is one of the advantages of cycling is that you can filter past long rows of cars in heavy traffic. Do you get frustrated when repassing the same cars in traffic?
Man - But when cyclists do that they slow down traffic.
Me - Bikes do not slow down traffic sir, traffic slows down traffic.
Man - Bikers need to show more respect, by doing that they disrespect drivers and that makes us frustrated and angry. (A female customer in the shop is quietly listening to our conversation and at this point she starts to bristle...)
Me - Sir, if you want to talk about respect I think you need to realize that when a cyclist "disrespects" you all that can happen is that you get upset. When a driver "disrespects" a cyclist they can potentially kill them or seriously injure them, depending on what they do. There is a big difference.
Man - (starting to visually upset that I am confronting him) Well, I think that cyclists need to ride more safely. It's dangerous out there, that's why I drive to work instead of cycling.
Me - You know, if you cycled to work more often you would help make the streets safer for everyone, drivers too. You would also have a better understanding of what it's like for cyclists and perhaps have more empathy for your fellow citizens who cycle.
Man - I don't think so.
Me - Exactly.

(Then he leaves the shop with his wife, who I have to say, was supporting my arguements)

After he left, a female customer who was listening to the exchange pipes up that she wanted to jump on him at his "respect" comments - "He should have seen the so-called respect I was given yesterday by a driver who squeezed me off the road."

Normally I try to avoid those sorts of conversations with customers that are in the shop because I do not want them to feel uncomfortable about our shop but part of me is wondering if that's a good idea. That part of me feels that those sorts of attitudes need to be confronted head on with the hope that perhaps I can help them have a different perspective on cyclists.

This fellows attitude seems to be very common here in Calgary and I am loathe to let it go unchallenged.

Have you had a similar conversation with a non-cyclist lately? Do you avoid challenging these kinds of attitudes or face them head on?

Sep 12, 2011

Interbike Baby!

It's that time of year again, tradeshow season!

For those of us in the bicycle industry, September is kind of like Christmas for kids - new things, surprises, and good times with your friends.

We'll do our best to take lots of pictures of products we like and hopefully post them later next week.

Till then, here is a little taste of what we are heading down to -

Aug 26, 2011

BikeBike's "Bike To School Sale" Starts Next Week!


Howdy Folks!

We've had such a crazy year that we thought it'd be a good idea to turn up the crazy to 11!

So, beginning at 10am on Friday September 2, everything in the store is on sale. Yup pardner, everything!

But wait! There's more! If you "Share" the videos on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc you will be entered to win awesome prizes, including a prize pack from Brooks valued at $350! Click on the "Vimeo" button on the sidebar to see the videos or you can click this as well.

Start spreading the news and hope to see y'all down here at BikeBike's "Bike To School" Sale.

Aug 24, 2011

Introducing Bobbin Bicycles!

We are very excited to offer our style concious customers a brand new bike line straight from England - say hello to Bobbin!









There are three models available - the Birdie 3-speed for $649, Birdie 5-speed for $749, and the Vintage 5-speed with drum brakes for $849.  Now in stock and waiting to be loved up by you!

In the new year we will also have 2 mens models - the mens Vintage and the Daytripper - and a super cute mini bike reminicent of the non-folding version Raleigh Twenty called the Bobbin Shopper, image below.

Jul 17, 2011

Calgary Cycle Chic

Cr. Gian-Carlo Carra and his brand new Velorbis Scrap Deluxe.
Metro News Calgary also ran a story on his decision to start cycling more - link here.

Jul 4, 2011

More Euro-Goodness Enroute To BikeBike!

We love European city bikes and have 3 new brands enroute to us as we speak - Pilen, Velorbis, and Christiania

Christiania Cargobike
Pilen Lyx Stepthrough
Velorbis Student Balloon
We are only bringing in a few of these bikes this first time around to check them out.  If they pass "the test" we will look add bringing in more models and colours as we go forward - including those stunning Velorbis leather satchels!

We expect to see the bikes instore sometime this week - pop by the shop closer to the weekend and hopefully they'll be ready for test rides.

Jun 4, 2011

Civia Halsted First Impressions

Peace, dood.
We have had the new Civia Halsted cycletruck-style cargo bike in the shop for a couple weeks now and have a handful of rides on it as well, with very positive impressions so far.

First, here are some words from Civia directly -

"Civia’s take on the traditional cycle truck is designed for every-day hauling. Featuring a frame-mounted front rack with a sturdy base made from recycled dumpster plastic, Halsted’s versatile design lets you carry up to 50 pounds of awkward objects like soccer balls, pizza boxes or a few bags of soil for the garden. Delivering an extremely balanced and comfortable ride, its 20” front wheel lowers the load’s center of gravity, while a 26” rear adds speed and stability. Halsted’s compact wheelbase allows tight maneuvering in urban spaces".

Here are the specs -

  • 4130 steel frame and fork
  • 26" rear wheel, 20" front wheel
  • Frame mounted front rack
  • Recycled HDPE rack deck made in Minnesota
  • Civia semi-horizontal dropouts
  • Fender and rack bosses on frame and fork
  • Canti-bosses on frame, disc brake tabs on fork
  • Ring-lock bosses on frame
  • Civia custom-designed kickstand plate
  • Stainless steel headtube badge
  • Civia stainless steel seatpost clamp

The Halsted is basically a fresh take on the "deli bike" or "butcher's bike" which were used, as their names perhaps suggest, as delivery bikes for bakers, butchers, and general delivery men back in the day.

One of the reasons why we like this bike so much is that it offers people who are interested in a utility bike a new option that is much smaller and lighter than most of the cargo bikes currently on the market and allows those who have limited storage space or apartment dwellers a complete utility solution.  All you have to do is look at the photo above to see how versatile this bike can be - kid on the back, junk in the front - with the possibility of carrying 2 kids and junk if needed!

Of ride characteristics - in a word, nimble.  Riding the Halsted is a real treat!  Here are some thoughts -
  • lighter overall weight (when compared to other cargo bikes) and a 9-speed gear range means faster acceleration, easy hill climbing, and top speed aplenty.  
  • a longer cockpit area makes the bike feel very similar to a standard mountain bike and makes out-of-the-saddle climbing easy.
  • low overall weight makes carrying the bike up stairs possible (again, comparing to cargo bikes)
  • when loaded with cargo (and perhaps a child) the bike is stable and confidence inspiring, with a maximum load on the front flatdeck of about 50lbs or so.  
  • semi-stephrough toptube design makes getting on/off easy.
If you are curious about this affordable utility option, pop in to the shop sometime and take it for a test ride.  Affordable cargo bike utility has never been in such easy reach for the masses!

May 31, 2011

City of Calgary Comprehensive Cycling Strategy Release


Ok folks, now is your chance to get involved with what could be the biggest thing to happen to cycling in Calgary since the decision to build the pathway network all those decades ago.  Calgary City Council will be presented with a new cycling strategy that aims (we hope) to make the roads safer to cycle on, make finding your way around the city easier, and help establish cycling as a legitimate transportation option in our car-crazed metropolis.  More info can be found in a previous post here.

All the information you need is below - so read on - and please take a few minutes toget involved any way you can.

Watch for the release of the City of Calgary’s new Comprehensive Cycling Strategy. It will be available for public review starting on Friday, June 10th and will go to the City’s Standing Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation for public comment on Wednesday, June 15th. CivicCamp will be holding the following workshops.

CivicCamp Public Information Sessions and Workshops - 7:00 pm, Monday, June 13th

There are four locations where you can participate:
  • Room 342, Earth Sciences Building, University of Calgary
  • Rosscarrock Community Hall, 4411 10 Ave SW
  • Old YMCA, 223 12 Ave SW
  • Forest Lawn Library, 4807 8 Avenue SE
CivicCamp will be holding public meetings for those interested in the City’s new comprehensive cycling strategy. Learn more about the strategy and offer your feedback about what does or doesn’t work for you.

CivicCampers and cycling enthusiasts will be on hand to walk you through the strategy, answer your questions (where we can) and guide a discussion to solicit your input. Information will be collected from the meetings and brought forward to the Standing Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation.

For more information, please visit http://www.civiccamp.org/paving-the-way/


If you want to comment directly and publicly to Council members about the strategy, please plan to attend the Special Planning Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation.

Standing Policy Committee on Land Use, Planning and Transportation
9:30 am, Wednesday, June 15th
Location and Agenda to be Announced

Check this link on the City web site for the agenda and the location. Appearing in person before the LPT committee makes a powerful statement but if you can’t attend, be sure to write/email/tweet your Alderman beforehand to give your feedback.

 

May 22, 2011

Junk in 'da Trunk!

We love hauling all manner of cargo by bike and one of the more affordable and versatile options is to use a trailer.  Trailers are great for a few reasons - you can use your existing bike without major modifications, they are a lot less expensive than a purpose made cargo bike, and they generally attach/detach quickly making them easy to use just when you need them.

On the flipside, here are a few of the challenges sometimes presented by trailers - the added length can make tight spaces and maneuverability a challenge, the added weight of the trailer to your existing bike will change the way your bike handles, and curbs/bollards/posts all need to be navigated with extra care, being sure not to clip them with the wheels on the trailer.

We stock 3 cargo trailer models, all perfect for use in the city - the Topeak Journey $450, Burley's award winning Travoy $419, and the Croozer Cargo $225

First up is the Journey, Topeak's take on the single wheel trailer.  Single wheel trailers are popular with those that like touring and mountainbiking as the trailer tracks right behind the bike and make singletrack trails easy to navigate and only has one wheel making it more efficient over the long haul.  The attachment system needs a quick release rear wheel for attachment and uses an innovative mechanism to prevent the trailer from coming loose during use.  A review of this trailer can be found here.


Travoy with included bag.
Travoy as a golf cart.
Next up is Burley's award winning trailer design - Travoy.  The Travoy fills a gap in the trailer market for the bike commuter with a convenient and secure way to carry your stuff to work, including a change of office clothes, a laptop, 60lbs. of groceries on the way home - or even for golfing!  A friend of mine bought one so he can load his golf bag onto it, cycle to the course, unhook the trailer - and voila! - golf cart!  A review can be found here.


Last up is the Croozer Cargo trailer, our most affordable trailer.  This trailer is pretty basic but perfectly suitable as a grocery getter, recycling runner, or garden centre hauler.  The unit is pretty simple to use and will attach to virtually any bike out there, including bikes with internally geared hubs(needs an adapter), full-suspension MTB's, and road bikes.  It comes with an easily attached cover and folds flat for storage.  User reviews can be found here.

Here in Calgary, virtually every community is within a couple kilometres of a grocery store and easily cycled to.  Why not consider using one to reduce your automobile use for simple tasks?  You'll enjoy the bike ride, get fitter, save money, and avoid the inevitable parking lot chaos.

May 16, 2011

Safer Bike Lane Opportunity Missed?

While out riding today I came across a new painted bike lane on 66 Ave SW and was saddened to see that people (yet again) have been placed between the travel lane and the parking lane on a road that could very easily have had a treatment like this...


Portland Unveils Downtown Cycle Track from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Instead, we have this...

Click on image for a bigger version
Hey City of Calgary, this could be fixed pretty easily and quickly, and be a great example of putting cyclists from 8 yrs old to 80 yrs old first and perhaps showing how easily this type of safe bike infrastructure can be installed. 

Here is another short video showcasing the concept.

What do you think? 

May 3, 2011

Mia Birk is coming to Calgary!




Mia Birk is one of the foremost transportation planners in North America and we are excited to find out that she is coming to Calgary May 12th for a book reading and to meet with City of Calgary officials.  Here are some details about the event...

Joyride: An Evening with Portland author and cycling advocate Mia Birk
7:00 pm, Thursday, May 12th
John Dutton Theatre at the Calgary Central Library. 

Co-presented by CivicCamp and the Calgary Public Library, in partnership with First Calgary Financial and with the support of Clifton Associates, Mistri, Sustainable Calgary and Thrive.

Mia Birk’s new book Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet tells the dramatic and enlightening behind-the-scenes story of how a group of determined visionaries transformed Portland into a cycling mecca and inspired the nation. Through a panoply of hilarious and poignant stories, Birk takes readers on a 20-year roller coaster journey of global and local discovery and education, while bringing into sharp focus some of the planet’s most pressing and hotly debated energy and transportation issues, policies, shortcomings, and solutions. See the Youtube trailer here.

Register for this free event.

Mia Birk is President at Alta Planning + Design, with 20 years experience in sustainable transportation focused on pedestrian, bicycle, trail, and greenway planning, design and implementation.


Apr 27, 2011

Beautiful Bicycle Giveaway!

We are hosting a contest with the organizers of Calgary's Bike To Work Day to give away this beautiful LINUS Mixte 3-speed. You want to win it, right?

Sporty Chic! The LINUS Mixte 3 

Entering the contest is easy. Here are the details...

- snap a photo of yourself riding to work and post it on Twitter mentioning @Bike2WorkDayYYC and @BikeBikeYYC.
- If you are not of the Twitter persuasion, post your picture on Bike To Work Day's Facebook page or our own BikeBike Facebook page
- Maximum 5 photos per person
- The lucky winner will be drawn on Bike To Work Day and contacted by the ride organizers

During the week leading up to Bike To Work Day on Friday May 6, Breakfast Television will be talking about various aspect of cycling in Calgary - including a bicycle style segment on Monday May 2 at 7:52am hosted by us!

Apr 21, 2011

Bike Rentals!

Bike Rental Rates and Information

Batavus BuB 3-Speed City Bike
Day $30
Overnight $45
Weekly (5 Days) $120
Rentals include a great lock, and if desired, a helmet too.


Batavus BuB

BoxBikes/CargoBikes

Bicycles for riding with family, moving bigger loads, or simply for fun.  Call us for availability.
Day $50
Overnight $75
Weekly (5 Days) $150
Rentals include a great lock, and if desired, a helmet(s) too.

Call 403-457-2453 for more information or to book your rental.  

Apr 10, 2011

Cyclepalooza!

www.cyclepalooza.ca 

WOW!

I am completely blown away by Calgary area cyclists yet again.  A bunch of us met on a cold February day just 2 months ago and within that short period of time we are here, launching a bike festival like nothing Calgary has ever seen before.

10 days of events for all types of people - part of me thinks that Calgary may never be the same after this first year.  Lets hope!

For those of you reading this who are not familiar with what the festival is all about, check this out to get the skinny.  For those of you who like to organize things - check out the organizers information here.  Organizing an event does not need to be a big production - set a date, invite your friends, and go ride your bike!  It's that easy.

We've already added 2 events to the festival - how are you contributing?

Apr 5, 2011

World's Finest Folding Bikes Are Here!

We finally received our first batch of Brompton's and last week in between snow storms I took our demo bike out for an hour and a half test ride to see what all the "fuss" was about.

What do I mean by "fuss"? Well, Brompton owners absolutely love their bikes and have such passion for their little bikes that it's hard not to be drawn in by it.  These owners use these bikes for everything under the sun - daily commuting, grocery shopping, travelling, touring, and even racing.  Brompton's are well suited to all of these endeavours for a number of reasons - super small dimensions when folded (easy to carry on a train or bus), light weight, available luggage, travel cases, and rack options, and models available with super fast tires and gearing.

Below are some photos of my test ride...

The bike is so small I was able to bring it inside the market while I picked up lunch.

Guarded.  Our demo S6L with S-Bag in parking mode - simply flip the rear wheel under and presto! Parked.



The Elbow River meeting The Glenmore Reservoir.  Amazed at how fast and stable the bike is.  It has a much longer wheelbase than most other folding bikes giving it a remarkably stable ride.

Overpassed.  During my test ride I had to fiddle with the fit quite a bit but had it sorted by the end.  Only one complaint, the grips were a bit uncomfortable.

At rest.  I loved the 6-speed system and found it easy to find the perfect gear.  Brompton's gear system is all their own with specially designed Sturmey Archer hub and Brompton's own "derailleur".

The S-Bag attaches to a block on the headtube keeping the handlebars free to turn and placing the weight nice and low.  Incredibly stable and very well balanced.









































































































***May 2014 Update***

Meanwhile, here in Calgary, we are fortunate to have a transit service that has been willing to embrace the multimodal capabilities that folding bikes offer.  So long as your bike is folded up and inside a bag you can bring it onto buses and trains during rush hour, offering a solution to the "first and last mile". 

Instead of waiting for the bus to take you to the train then waiting for another bus (or walking) to take you to your final destination, employing a folding bike allows you to take control of your time needed for commuting and frees up a seat on the bus for someone who may need it more than you! 

Here is a little video Stewart Midwinter and I created to show how easy (and fun!) it can be -




We have a fleet of bikes currently in stock and demostrator models are available for test rides.  Give us a call or pop in sometime to test out these remarkable little machines.




Apr 4, 2011

Are We On The Cusp Of A Cycling Renaissance In Calgary?

There has been a lot of chatter in recent months about The City of Calgary's Comprehensive Cycling Strategy and whether we might finally see some progress towards getting safe, onstreet cycling infrastructure built here.

Am I dreaming in technicolour?  I don't think so.

Mar 26, 2011

New at BikeBike - LINUS Bikes!

LINUS Bikes have finally arrived at the shop and we are thrilled to be able to bring these beautiful bikes to Calgary.  Currently we have all the models in stock with the exception of the Gaston/Dover - those bikes and the accessories will arrive later this spring.

If you are in the market for a stylish and affordable city bike, do yourself a favour and check out LINUS bikes.

From their website - "...LINUS… a simple, affordable, elegant bike for riding around and doing stuff."

LINUS Roadster - available as a singlespeed/coaster brake, 3-speed IGH, and 8-speed IGH.

Mar 8, 2011

The British Invasion is on at BikeBike!

Pashley's iconic Guv'Nor pathway racer.

 Pashley's enduring designs and impeccably styled bicycles are finally here, including the Brittania's, Princess Sovereign's, and Classic Sovereign for men.  City cycles fit for the King and/or Queen of every home!

Feb 28, 2011

My Commute Home

I treated myself to a GoPro camera with the intention of documenting my own cycling as well as bike events in our fine city. Here is the first edit.

The commute normally takes about 20 minutes, however I edited it down and sped it up to keep it short.

Feb 13, 2011

Radical!

Oh man, what I would have done to have one of these when I was a kid.

Come to think of it, I want one right now!  I think it would be awesome on my cargobike.

Feb 10, 2011

BikeBike Welcomes Mission Workshop

First, some video fun featuring their gorgeous backpack, the Vandal -

San Francisco Halloween Keg Ride from Mission Workshop on Vimeo.

MW was created by the same fellas that started Chrome way back the tha' day, however their backpacks and messenger bag designs are totally new and offer many more features than most messenger style bags and traditional backpacks - including totally waterproof and roll-top closures.

Our first order consists of the Vandal and Rambler backpacks, as well as the Rummy messenger bag.  MW also has SPD-compatible footwear and beautiful jackets available.

The sun is out!  Go pedal!

Feb 9, 2011

Bikes For Humanity - Calgary Chapter

Calgary has its own chapter of Bicycles For Humanity and we are very proud to be a supporter of this incredible program that is changing lives in Africa everyday.

There is that old saying - "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you can feed him forever".  This same principle is being applied by B4H volunteers in Africa with amazing success!

Here is a video showing the great work being done and how bikes are transforming people's lives for the better.


Where on Earth is MY Bike? from Bicycles for Humanity- TBAY on Vimeo.

We are a designated dropoff point for old bikes, parts, and tools, so, please, before you toss a bike in the garbage, consider bring it to us and we'll make sure B4H Calgary gets it.

Feb 7, 2011

Bicycles = Insulation From Economic Turmoil

**Update March 4 2017** What I like to call the #oilpocalypse has dramatically affected tens of thousands of Calgarians and it's affects are still reverbertaing through the economy at every level in. Downtown office space available is approaching 30%, acommodation rental prices are falling through the floor, retailers of all kinds are feeling the slowdown, and it is probably fair to say that everyone in this city knows someone who has been directly affected. Times are indeed tough right now and doing whatever you can to reduce your costs has gone from being a nice idea to absolutely imperative.

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**Update January 29 2015**  Here in Alberta, the rapidly plunging price of oil over the last 6 months has seen 10's of thousands of announced layoffs hitting the industry, resulting in skyrocketing home listings - up 80!% year over year - and corresponding dropping home sales - down 38!% year over year. More layoffs are coming and it won't be long before we start to see real challenges for some who've been living like there's no tomorrow.

My advice to those worried about their jobs in the oil patch is quite simple - figure out a way to reduce your costs NOW and start with looking at your current spend on transport. Cars are expensive and ditching a vehicle can save you $10,000 per year.

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Unless you have been living under a rock in the woods, you have no doubt heard the term "peak oil" mentioned in the media or perhaps in conversation amongst some of your oil/gas business friends.

For an explanation of the term, check out Wikipedia's page.

The Globe and Mail today has an interesting article relating directly to peak oil and its effects on our economy in a real way - rising food costs due to rising fuel costs.  Here is another article from the same paper over the weekend on how Canada's economy has inexorably changed over a very short period of time.  Also today, I found this series of short videos with James Howard Kunstler talking about peak oil. 

The reason for mentioning these big issues is simple - fuel costs are rising, food costs are rising, and there does not seem to be much chance that some other source of energy will be able to replace oil as our liquid fuel (for transportation) of choice any time soon.

Lets face facts: Here in Calgary (and many other big cities), the majority of the population live in far-flung exurban communities and need to use cars for just about everything as their residences are not within walking distance of anything.  These same folks are the ones who will feel the rising fuel and food costs the most as their lifestyle is based on using a car to literally survive.

The purpose of this post is not to debate other fuel technologies (none of which IMO will make a big impact, including electric cars) or to pass judgement on individuals choices on how they live their lives.  The purpose is to point out that there is a way for you to perhaps insulate yourself from those rising costs by incorporating bicycling into your life.

Using a bicycle more often can insulate you and your family from rising costs.  Perhaps your family has more than one car (Calgary has the highest car ownership rates in Canada) - why not sell one of them, save the money you would have spent on it  and pick up a bicycle to use for commuting to work or doing grocery runs with?

No more car payments.  No insurance.  No gas station visits.  No parking tickets.  Ever again.

Depending on where you live and work, there are a few bicycle types that could be added to your life to help you to be save money, live healthier, and add value to your own life experience.

  • Traditional City/Commuter Bikes - the sometimes forgotten bicycle type that is the cornerstone of Northern Europe's amazing bicycle culture, city bikes usually come equipped with useful features like fenders (to keep you clean), racks (to carry a load), chainguard (to keep your nice clothes clean), kickstands, lights, and bells making cycling convenient and safe. Many may imagine a slow, heavy, cumbersome bike but this is definitely not the case. Modern designs from Raleigh and Breezer offer zippy bikes that can also haul your goodies. Ride it from home to work and back again. Ride it in your neighbourhood to run errands or pick up groceries. Ride it to the train station and use transit to get further afield. Explore our city's incredible pathway network on the weekends with your family, modelling healthy outdoor choices to your children. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. We have many brands to choose from, across a wide ranch of prices to fit your budget.
  • Cargobikes - 21st century SUVs - plain and simple. These incredible machines have the power to transform your lifestyle, save you money, enhance your health, and add family enjoyment to normally mundane "life maintenance" tasks. Cargobikes come in many shapes, sizes, and pricepoints. For more information on the styles and possibilities of these life-changing bikes - read this post - "Biking With Your Baby Onboard".

    We are Alberta's cargobike experts and can help guide you towards the perfect cargobike option. For a primer on them - click here and start your journey towards a more resilient lifestyle.
     
  •  Brompton Folding Bikes - Brompton bikes are considered the "gold standard" of folding bikes by many and are truly incredible machines. Super fun to ride, capable of toting a large load of groceries and accepted on Calgary Transit buses and trains - they are amazing range extenders and can help you park a vehicle for your commute to work and/or run to the local grocery store. Ride to the train station, fold up and hop on, and ride to work at the other end. Easy. Fun. Cheap. We have demo's available for you to try as well.

The money saved can help offset the rising costs of food and fuel, as well as reducing your carbon footprint - meanwhile making you fitter, happier, and more connected to your community. You'll find new ways of doing things, new people to interact with, new neighbourhoods and parks, and a new appreciation for what the humble bicycle can do.

Perhaps even more important than saving money: better overall health. Riding a bike daily will keep you happier (mental health), make you fitter (physical health), and expand your horizons (community connection).

Don't you think its worth it to try?

Feb 4, 2011

Bike Sculptures by Bob van der Wege














We love bike art of all kinds and Bob van der Wege's bike art is incredible! 

Bob and his wife Sherri recently moved here from Austin, TX and they are hosting an open house to celebrate their arrival in Calgary and to showcase his brilliant scupturework.  Here are the deets -

Sunday February 13 2-6pm, 2615 2 Ave NW.  If you would like more information about the event, email rjvanderwege@yahoo.com or call 403-803-8167

Feb 2, 2011

Winter In Calgary



















One of the many amazing natural areas within Calgary's city limits.  The Elbow River is right below and the front range of the Rocky Mountains can be seen way off in the distance.

I frequently take the long way to work so I can ride through this beautiful slice of Calgary.

Jan 31, 2011

Car-Free Living - One Year On

Our family has just past the one year mark of carfree living and I thought an update on how our life has changed was due.  Overall, I feel like I am more content with my life than I was when motoring was what I did for a living (sales rep), I feel like I have less stress in my daily life, and I am more relaxed about life in general.  To help me keep this post from turning into an ADHD back and forth ramble from topic to topic, I've broken down my experiences into a few key categories. 

Jan 27, 2011

Bar Fight!

A small sample of the various city handlebars we stock.

Ah, the lowly handlebar, how we often overlook thee.  Too often we forget about you and under estimate the power you wield over our comfort.  An afterthought for many - not surprising when so many people are always proselytizing about this gearing system, that frame material, or what brand of bike you are attached too.  Pfft! - how important is that stuff anyway (kidding of course but trying to make a small point)!

All of which is a shame because you - the unheralded handlebar - can enable both a blissful or heinous cycling experience depending on your shape, sweep, and rise.

K - enough of that :)

Seriously now, the choice of handlebar is critical for a comfortable bike ride and a pleasant cycling experience.  Unfortunately, most MTB type bikes and traditional hybrid bikes come with traditional riser style MTB bars or worse yet, straight bars.  While these styles of handlebars are great for the demands of offroad or aggressive riding, they leave much to be desired  in the realm of comfort.  Sure, they'll work just fine for many people but if you are not comfortable on your current bicycle, changing your handlebar can be a quick, easy, and inexpensive fix. 

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, neck pain, or wrist pains, you might be a candidate for a different style of handlebar - the traditional swept back city handlebar.  There are multitudes of options in city bars with various sweep angles, rise heights, and grip area lengths - too many to get deep into here, but all helpful in offering more relaxed shoulder, neck, and wrist angles which can help reduce the pain associated with the more aggressive positions on most MTB and hybrid bikes.

There is no perfect city handlebar that will work for everyone so, if you are considering changing it up, the best thing to do is to bring your bike to the shop and we'll have a look at you on your bike and help you decide on the right handlebar upgrade.  Also, make sure you click through to EcoVelo's assorted articles on city handlebars as they get quite in depth into the various designs on the market - most of which we stock.

Only 6 more weeks till spring!