Aug 13, 2018

Bikepacking The Elk Valley To Kimberley On The Great Trail

Last year a small group of us rode the Castlegar to Penticton segment of The Great Trail and it was really great. That trip opened my eyes to some of what the "Trans Canada Trail" (now known as The Great Trail) had to offer and I began investigating more areas that might be fun for multiday adventures. The Trail itself actually runs right through Calgary and that got me thinking: What if I could one day ride out my front door and onto a big segment of the trail? While that didn't happen this time, it just might in the future after doing this trip.

I had a few more days of planned holidays (with no corresponding activity plan) and decided to give this trip a go. I had also received a brand new bike from a brand new vendor to the shop and thought why not ride it to get a real sense of what it could do.

After deciding on the route, Nadia gratiously offered to drop me off in Peter Lougheed Park and pick me up from Kimberley at the end of my journey. If that's not true love, I'm not sure what is :)

 Please enjoy this photo essay and if you have any questions, leave us a comment, drop us a line on Twitter, FB, or IG. Cheers!


Jul 25, 2018

Canmore -> Elbow Lake -> Bragg Creek Underbiking

#Underbiking - To ride an inappropriate bike on a route (at least, that's what I think it means).

With a surprise activity free weekend available, and Nadia agreeing to do shuttle duties, a plan was hatched to ride a new-to-me route from Canmore to Elbow Lake campground, then from there out to Bragg Creek where I'd get picked up.

Little did I know how big a bite I bit off...

Day 1 Strava
Day 2 Strava 


My trusty Breezer Doppler Team "Gerollwagen" road bike and full Ortlieb bikepacking setup. Because I was going to be spending the night above 2000m, I brought more cold weather and rain gear than usual making my bike and kit around 60lbs total. I probably should have put those 54mm Schwalbe G-One Bite's on instead of the comparatively weenie WTB Riddler 42s - more on that later.


The trip started well enough with bright sunshine and beautiful views, but with a headwind that never really abated for the entire day. I was happy in one sense as the Smith-Dorien road was in pretty good shape with very little deep gravel, and not too much traffic to dust me out. 52 kilometres of continuous gravel ahead.


MOOSE! Actually, 2 moose. So rare to see them in the middle of the day. They didn't stick around to watch them for too long. What a treat.


While the gravel itself wasn't deep, the washboard (visible by the dark patches on the road) was present along the entirety of the Smith-Dorien Road forcing me to ride on the extreme right hand side of the road most of the time. Again, those views - wow! Sure did make battling the headwind easier as my mind would wander around the peaks in the distance.

Once the gravel was finished, the real climbing began. I was already feeling pretty merle'd (as in haggered) from fighting the gravel and wind, now it was headwind and part of the Highwood Pass climb to deal with. At the corner of the "Smitty-D" and Hwy #40 I came across this curious pack of goats. With so many young with them, I kept my distance, fearing one of them might get spooked and buck me off the road. 

I've ridden the Highwood Pass many times but never with camping gear onboard. The extra weight and stiff headwind made for some very slow going, including some walking, as my legs were feeling the days effort in a big way. Still ahead was the final (literal) 1.3km push up to the Elbow Lake Campground. That. Was. Hard. Just a few hundred metres up I decided to switch to my camp shoes as my riding shoes were making the push even more difficult.


Elbow Lake. Headwaters of the mighty Elbow River. The campground is just to the right in the trees and is really lovely. Being a backcountry site, the cooking areas are separated from the sleeping areas, bear bins for food and garbage are provided, and it had one of the nicest outhouses I've had the privilege of sitting in :)

Home for the night. By the time I got here, I was super blown and a little dizzy from the days effort, so priority #1 was to setup my tent and have a nap for an hour before doing much else. After nap bottle filling, dinner prepping, leg stretching, campground exploring, and relaxing into the evening was wonderfully peaceful. What a spot. Huge thanks to Lindsay (https://thismombikes.net/blog) for use of their reservation.
Morning vibes. Overnight temperatures were perfectly chilly and some rain overnight made the morning a little cool and damp. Thankfully I brought the aforementioned cool and wet weather gear. From speaking with friends, I knew the day ahead was going to be tough but I had no idea how tough it was going to be.


On my way across the top of Elbow Pass towards Tombstone campground and the Big Elbow trail. Equal parts walking and riding on the way there. It was around this point where I was wishing I brought a proper mountain bike. #Underbiking for the win! Spectacular scenery everywhere you look. And maybe the most honest road I have ever been on. To think that only a few decades ago you could drive a car right up to Elbow Lake,


Looking back towards Elbow Lake, with the Elbow River just below, "Gerollwagen" in all it's glory. This was not gravel grinding, I was now boulder bashing. Extremely slow going, my average speed over the first hour was only 8kph! At this point I was getting close to the beginning of the Big Elbow trail which is 21kms long and would take my out to Hwy #66.
Imagine riding a road bike over that stuff. I had hoped that once I got onto the Big Elbow trail that conditions would improve but to my chagrin the trail was equal parts fast and flowing and more boulder bashing. My tire choice was staring me in the face at this point with a couple of pinch flats as the icing on top. (...reminds self to get tubeless setup sorted asap...)  The floods of 2013 have completely transformed the trail and blow in out in many places. There has been a lot of work done to remediate it but it is definitely still a work in progress.
Some water crossing aren't as deep as others.


Pavement ahead. And more headwinds - ugh. And thunderstorms - double ugh. After almost 3 hrs my average speed was only 11kph! That was a grind. I was so stoked to have some smooth roads ahead but the relief was brief as strong headwinds and heavy rain made the 35kms into Bragg Creek brutal in it's own way.
All in all, this was a challenging route, probably best suited to a hardtail mountain bike with a lockout fork, but whatever - ride whatcha got, right? The bike and bags performed beautifully. Would I take a road bike across Elbow Pass again? Probably not with camping gear onboard, maybe yes unloaded and with bigger volume tires.

Thanks for reading.

Jul 6, 2018

We're Moving To Inglewood!


"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." ~ Albert Einstein

The time has come to make a shift.

After almost 9 years in business, we've decided to shift not only where we will be located but also how we do business and what we will be offering.

We're moving our shop into a beautiful, quiet corner of Inglewood - just off the main drag. It will be a little smaller, a little more focused, and a little more fun to operate. We'll be announcing the address of the new shop in a few weeks time.

The last couple of years have found Nadia and I feeling a little off balance, with so many structural changes happening not only in our industry, but in our community, and in our personal lives. The last couple of years have been pretty tough. We have been very conscious of these changes and challenges and felt the time was right to redefine what this business means to us and how we can run it so that we can continue to enjoy the process and offer our best selves to you - our customers and friends.

* New Community * New Format * New Energy *

New Community - Almost since the day we opened, many of the fine folks of Inglewood have been asking us to move our shop there. Being as brand new as we were, moving seemed like a very bad idea at the time. Times do change. We're older. We're more established. We're a destination for customers from all over Western Canada. And we have a new vision for what our bike shop can be. Now felt like the right time. Inglewood is on a tear right now, and we want to be there as this neighbourhood grows up.

New Format - In 2 words, appointments and focus. Yes, we will still be open to the public on regular days but moving forward we will be offering "Appointment Only" service - no more walk-in service - to help us be better and to get you back on your bike in very short order.

You will also be able to book appointments for sales consultations

 ~ Want some uninterrupted time talking about, test riding, and purchasing a cargo bike with one of our staff? Done.

~ Are you thinking about buying a Brompton and want to sit down with us to discuss all the details? Perfect.

~ Maybe you've decided you want a custom build of a new touring/adventure bike or commuter? Yes!

~ Are you trying to get the perfect bike or kid-carrying solution for your children? We want to take the time to get the right fit and model. We want to give you and your family our undivided attention.

Retail has changed. The way people shop has changed a lot in 9 years. When we opened, internet shopping and buying was not really a force in peoples lives like it is now. Finding cool products was difficult but these days, everything under the Sun is now a click away. The new store will have a much tighter focus on what we offer - think emporium or showroom - and will be purposefully limited in scope to the segments we are passionate about:

~ Moving Families

~Adventuring Around Your 'Hood And The World

New Energy - It's no secret that we were finding life on one of Calgary's "high streets" increasingly frustrating and also finding it difficult to be a neighbourhood bike store that can serve everyone.

We've realized we cannot be everything to everyone so we're scaling back what we offer and what we service, re-focusing on our core mission, and bringing a renewed level of enthusiasm back to the shop. Nadia and I are excited to be making this change and we hope you feel our excitement when you visit our new store. Our focus has always been on adventurous families and these changes will allow us to serve you and your families better.

Same Great Stuff - The new store will still be stocked with the coolest bike stuff on planet Earth and we will continue to search for the next best bike product out there. All the cool brands you love are coming along for the ride - and some new ones too! Stay tuned.

But first - we have some business to attend to - 





The timeline of the move is as follows:

July 6th through August 31: EVERYTHING MUST GO SALE.
September 2018: Physical store and webstore closed for business.
October 2nd: Planned opening of the new store.

As we plan our move, we want to acknowledge how grateful we are to have been able to serve all of you for all these years and to express our love for Alberta's cycling community - #yycbike and #yegbike.

It really does take a community to build a bike shop and we would not be here - growing and evolving - if it wasn't for you.

Thank you.

We 💗 you.

We'll see you in Inglewood in October!

Nadia, Sean, Monsieur, and the staff of BikeBike.

Jul 5, 2018

Rodebud Rambler 2018

Connor, Mr. Pillows, and Chris overlooking the Rosebud River Valley

In the never ending quest to ride in new places the 3 of us set off on a mostly-gravel bike overnight to the Canadian Badlands, destination Drumheller, Alberta. Our route was based around avoiding pavement as much as we could and would take us through Rockyford, Rosebud, Wayne, and eventually to the giant dinosaur in"Drum".

Day 1 Strava
Day 2 Strava 


Jun 25, 2018

Swift Campout 2018



For the last 4 years, Swift Industries - bag makers extraordinaire - have been hosting their free-form "Swift Campout" bike camping weekend right around the Summer Solstice to help inspire folks around the world to gather their friends together and get outside for the weekend. This year, we were finally able to pull together a trip and 12 brave adventurers joined us for our an weekend of pedaling and camping.

Day 1 Strava
Day 2 Strava

We hope this little adventure inspires you to go bike touring, bike packing, or even tackle a day trip you've been thinking about. Enjoy!


Jun 18, 2018

Bikeovernight into Rural Alberta

While the lure of the Rocky Mountains is unquestionably strong and there seems to be no shortage of beautiful places to visit, sometimes they can also be overloaded with happy visitors, busy highways, and full campgrounds.

So it was decided to head East and go looking for new roads, preferably some gravel, and to avoid those busy highways and campgrounds.A quick glance at some backroads maps and some time digging around Alberta Parks' website, I picked Wyndam-Carseland Provincial Park as my destination.

The plan would be to use as many range and township roads as possible and if there was some gravel, even better. On the return trip, the plan was to return to Calgary on the soth side of the Bow River via Dewinton. Here are the Strava links:

Day 1 
Day 2

Please enjoy this photo essay and if you have any questions, leave us a comment.

Sean


May 10, 2018

The Best Kid's Bikes In The World



Almost 3 years ago we had become completely frustrated by the quality of the children's bike we had been offering, finding all of them to be of poor quality, too heavy, with limited sizing, and often in horrible colourways. We decided that we would rather not sell kid's bikes then sell crappy kid's bikes.

The very next day the sales rep for Frog Bikes walked into the shop unannounced and totally blew our minds by showing us these incredible bikes we had no idea existed.

Fast forward to today and we are now Canada's most successful Frog Bikes retailer!

Frog Bikes set out from the very beginning to create a product that would give children high quality, easily rideable bikes that could also be adjustable as they grow so parents could get a few years of use out of them. As a first step, Frog set out to study the differences between children and adults and the results of that study led them to make major changes to the design of their bike range.

Very recently, Frog was awarded the Red Dot for design excellence and the Queen's Award For Enterprise. They are definitely doing it right!

A few words about cost: Yes, these bikes a little more expensive to purchase and like all things in life, you get what you pay for. Lightweight, high quality bikes are worth every penny, especially when trying to pass along your love of cycling to your children. Many families are reporting back to us that they are getting incredible resale prices when passing them along to other families. 



We asked a few of our Twitter followers what they liked about their Frog Bikes...













We strive to have a full size run of these bikes assembled in our shop to size your child. You can also do the sizing yourself at home before coming by. If you are looking for a certain colour/size combination, give us a call to see if we have it in stock. If not, we are more than happy to order it in for you.

We also offer run bikes from Strider, bike mounted baby seats from Thule/Yepp, and a complete collection of cargo bikes from Benno, Xtracycle, Larry Vs Harry, and Urban Arrow. 

Feb 28, 2018

Why Buy An Electric Car When An Electric Bike Will Do

In the last couple of years, electric bicycles have burst forth from the shadows into the mainstream and along the way have also become lighter, simpler to use, with bigger range, and more reliable than ever. In many cases, prices have also moderated and in some cases have come down significantly.

Gone are the days where you had to find a bike shop that was interested in and capable of installing an aftermarket kit on your existing bike. The e-bikes available at your local bike store today are sleek, well appointed, fully integrated, and can often be difficult to distinguish from regular non-electric bikes. They are also easy to operate, re-charge, and maintain - with many being not much different than maintenance needed on a non-electric bike.

If you're honest with yourself and take a quick look at your personal driving habits, you'll begin to notice a couple of interesting things:

- your vehicle is parked 95% of the time
- most of your city trips are less than 10kms - see chart below
- the amount of treasure you sink into it is astonishingly high - see image below.

All that time sitting motionless behind the wheel also has major health implications over the long term. Even for people who feel that they are fit, or work out on a regular basis - all that windshield time adds up and over years of driving can lead to negative health issues.

Humans are meant to move. All the time. We evolved as hunter/gatherers and although our technological society has offered us impressive shiny objects and abilities that seem to make us almost superhuman - we are all still those same hunter/gatherers that need to be in constant motion to stay sharp and remain healthy.

The vast majority of vehicle trips taken are well under 10kms. Think about that.

An astonishingly massive amount of money goes to servicing vehicle costs.


The car trip distances above are shockingly short and easily covered by an electric bicycle. When you begin to compare electric bicycles to electric cars the value proposition starts to look pretty compelling.

Here are a few blog posts about the cost comparison between owning a used car and e-cargo bikes:

Cost Comparison: E-Cargo Bikes Vs. The Car - Genpedia
Does Biking Save You Money Even When You Need A Car - Genpedia
The Cost Of Cargo Biking - This Mom Bikes

And we still haven't discussed the real physical health benefits that riding an electric bike offers its rider. Because the truth is, with today's generation of pedal-assist bicycles, you still have to work to make it go. No throttle means the systems only work when you are pedaling. You can choose the assist level you receive from pretty easy to full power to help flatten hills, shorten distance, and disappear headwinds. All the while having fun.

A recent survey conducted in the US showed that people that owned e-bikes rode more often than before their purchase. The reasons behind the purchases were all over the map, but included the ability to ride more easily in a hilly area; to ride longer distances; to help overcome limitations caused by a medical condition; and, of course, to just have fun.



We have curated a full spectrum of electric bikes for every city cycling style. Everything from the speedy commuter through to the family hauler extraordinaire. Bikes you can transport out of town on a car rack and bikes that can replace your car entirely. Scroll down to see the range available now.

All of our electric bikes are available for demo rides too. Pop by the shop to see them.

The City Commuter

Raleigh's value packed Detour iE is the perfect bike for those looking for a fun handling, lightweight city-styled bike with all the sensible commuter accessories included.  Utilizing Shimano's amazing STePS system, power is smooth and abundant with a range of almost 100kms between charges. A sturdy rear rack allows the use of a set of panniers to carry your stuff to work, pickup groceries on the way home, or attach a Thule baby seat to it and take your little one to daycare. Full coverage fenders keep road grime off you and your machine, and the included kickstand holds everything up. Our lightest electric bike and at $2500 there is no better value available anywhere in the city.




The Light-Duty Cargo Commuter

You like the idea of the Raleigh above but know in your heart you're going to end up carrying more than it can handle. Or you have more than one child and want to accommodate them onboard too. Or you want some big balloonie tires to cushion your ride. If any of this makes sense to you, than the Benno Boost E is the bike for you. Sporting 2.6" wide balloon tires, a rear rack with 150lbs capacity, available front rack that can handle an additional 50lbs, this bike can handle the grocery run and multiple children at the same time. Powered by Bosch's industry-leading mid-drive system, this is your new Smart Car. Full fenders keep you clean, built-in high powered front and rear German-engineered lighting keeps you visible day and night, and a study kickstand makes loading up easy. Step-over and step-through frame designs available.


The Medium Duty Utility and Family Hauler

When I discovered Xtracycle back in 2008, it was the brand that caused us to trip and fall down the rabbit hole of cargo bikes/utility cycling - ultimately leading us to conceptualize and open BikeBike a couple years later. Since that time, they have continued to innovate and are still leaders in the cargo bike ecosystem here in North America.

Their bikes are supremely capable on so many levels: city commuters, grocery getters, kid haulers, family bike camping vehicles - the sky is the limit on what these bikes are capable of. Carry up to 3 children or 200lbs of whatever you want - these amazing bikes are super fun to ride, easy to operate, are available in electric and non-electric models. The electric models utilize the reliable Bosch unit as well.
Xtracycle Classic 8e


The 21st Century SUV's and Pickup Trucks

Haul all the children, gardening supplies, groceries, recycling, IKEA run - you name it with these incredible machines. The future of urban transportation has arrived and it looks a lot like these bikes. Capable of doing anything a car can do - in fact - they can be more useful than a car when moving bulky items around.

If you've ever been to Amsterdam or Copenhagen you've seen bikes like these zipping all over the place loaded with a manner of animals, humans, and stuff. It is difficult to understand how incredible these are until you've had a chance to ride one.

As expected, they also sit at the top of the price range but even then, they are still 1/4 the price of the cheapest electric car, can carry more stuff, are cheaper to operate - and you get fit while using it!
Larry Vs Harry eBullitt
 
Urban Arrow Family Model

If you are seriously contemplating the purchase of an electric automobile, you should come see us and check out what the future of transportation actually looks like. Many of our past customers have sold of one of their cars, took the proceeds and put them towards a cargo bike and have not regretted it for a minute.

Your kids with thank you. Your wallet with thank you. Your retirement savings with thank you. And your heart with thank you too.

Still not convinced? Watch these...






Feb 17, 2018

BikeBike Pop-Up Shop - Edmonton!

Hey Edmonton! The cutest little bike shop on the prairie is coming to your beautiful city.

We'll have bicycle and accessory brands on display that you've never had access to before. Incredible cargo bikes, practical city bikes, modern electric bikes, and a full collection of curated accessories from around the world.

Opening Date: April 14 2018 at 10am
Closing Date: May 13 2018 at 6pm
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am to 6pm, Thursdays 10am to 8pm.
Location: 10816 Whyte Ave - Inside Kent of Inglewood

The bike brands we'll have on hand - with many available for demo rides-

Larry Vs Harry eBullitt
Xtracycle Edgerunner
Gazelle Electric
Raleigh Electric
Breezer City and Adventure Bikes