Archive for the ‘Put a bike on it’ Category
Looking for a holiday present for the bike-riding loved ones in your life? Look no further. We’ve round up some suggestions for you, including the personal wish lists of some of our staff.
The ultimate gift of course is a new ride. Reminder to support your local bike shop or a local frame maker when you consider buying a new bike.
Unfortunately, a new bike isn’t always in the budget, but Craigslist is a great place to look for new-to-you bikes and bike frames.
And you can always spruce up a bike with new components like wheels, a crankset, tires, stems, brakes, saddles or a seat post.
Ridings of comfort and joy:
Riding is most enjoyable when one is comfortable. Even on the coldest, wettest day of the year, a morning bike commute can still be pleasant with the right gear.
Some gift suggestions for the all-year rider:
Gloves, wool socks, neoprene booties, leg warmers, winter knickers, ear-warmers, wool base layers, long-sleeve jerseys, rain capes, vests, balaclavas, and cycling caps all make great gift items for bike commuters and racers alike.
Who doesn’t like gadgets? From iPod mounts to portable speakers to GPS cyclocomputers, there are many fun and useful gadgets on the market.
Got a coffee addict in your family? Portland Design Works’ bar-ista cup holder attaches to the handlebars and keep any to-go-cup upright and in reach.
Green power: charge your electronic devices while you bike! Products like the BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack are personal power systems that connect to a hub dynamo and can charge most any USB-chargeable device, including iPhones, iPods, cell phones, cameras or GPS units.
Never get lost again. Garmin makes some of the best GPS devices on the market and their GPS cyclocomputer is no exception.
Got a mountain biker in your life? How about some new pads, body armor, shin guards or shoes to keep them looking good and safe?
Bags and panniers: In Seattle, having a waterproof bag makes a huge difference. Ortlieb makes great utilitarian backs and panniers. And Seattle-based Detours US and Alchemy Goods make fashionable bags with Seattle flair.
BONUS: Cascade Bicycle Club members get a 25% discount at Detours US.
Light up your ride:
Lights are essential for riding at night or in the greyness of short rainy Northwest days. Moreover, light are required by law. Lights come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. There are powerful lights like the Sigma Sport Powerled Evo with an extreme light output of up to 900 lumens, while other lights like the MonkeyLectric spoke lights are fun and festive and make riders visible from the side.
BONUS: Cascade Bicycle Members get a discount when they order lights from BikeGlow.com.
Likewise, reflective gear is also available in many forms. From stylish reflective clothing to reflective stickers.
Take the kids (and the groceries)
Love it and lock it
Little things make a big difference: tire levers, patch kits, mini multi tools, socks, reflective leg bands, and bike seat covers would make great stocking stuffers.
Bikes are in fashion. You can now proudly display your loves of bicycling even when you’re not on your bike with bike art, jewelry out of bike chains, up-cycled belts, innertube wallets and bags, and an infinite amount of items with bike motifs.
Give the gift of adventure and memories. How about a mountain biking weekend in Bend, Oregon, or a bike tour of the Walla Walla wine country? Or a jungle adventure in Mexico? There many ways to explore other regions by bike. Cascade offers several kinds bike tours: Cascade-affiliated international tours, Cascade Club Tours and the annual Ride Around Washington. You can join us in faraway countries like Japan and India, or right here in the scenic Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Don’t know what your biking loved-one needs? Get them a giftcard to your local bike shop and let them pick it out themselves.
Cascade staff wish lists:
Chuck Ayers, Executive Director:
If I’ve been really good:
- - 200 miles of world-class bike routes
- - A non-motorized facility on the 520 bridge – Portage Bay section
- - A world-class non-motorized facility connecting the eastside 520 bridge to Bellevue (Northup Way)
- - Conversion of the BNSF Eastside corridor into a rail-trail with a paved trail in the short- and mid-term and passenger rail with trail in the long-term (likely 20+ years out)
- - Financial support to refurbish Building 18 at Magnuson Park to create the NW Center for Bicycling
If I’ve been good:
- - Financial support for Cascade to hire a field organizer
- - Financial support for Cascade to hire a youth program coordinator to expand the Major Taylor Project, Trips for Kids, family biking and other programs
If I’ve been okay:
- - A new cyclocross bike
- - A winter make-over of my commuter bike
- - A new set of cross tires for my commuter
- - A new helmet
- - A summer weekend mountain bike get-away in the Methow Valley
If I’ve been bad:
- - Forgiveness
M.J. Kelly, Director of Communications and Marketing:
- - A stylish rain poncho. Top of the wishlist are the Cleverhood, a Rain Frog poncho, or an Iva Jean rain cape.
- - I’ve been drooling online over the EdgeRunner.
- - Fun, colorful lights to go with my Monkey Light, like the X-Fire bike lane light, the Blaze bike symbol light, or LED strips.
- - But what I want most of all is to see downtown cycletracks built in the very near future. I’m a confident, law-abiding bicyclist, and I hate riding a bike downtown. I don’t want to race buses, dodge taxis and jockey around speeding cars. Cycletracks, Santa baby, cycletracks.
Serena Lehman, Community Outreach Manager:
- - Coffee cup holder
- - Waterproof gloves
- - Firefly lights
- - A Haulin’ Colin flatbed trailer (for work)
Stephanie Frans, Commute Programs Manager:
- - Just one more sweater dress. Or two? Okay, three more would really do the job. This is my ultimate go-to piece of bike gear. They are dressy, but very bikeable because warm yet breathable. The knit fabric tends to shed light rain and even light road grit very well; stays on top of the knit and brushes off easily. Sweater dresses also lend themselves to tights and boots, also bike-friendly essentials.
- - Knog wrap blinkies for every part of my bike and body.
- - A brightly-colored, fashionable – but NOT bike-specific- wool coat. For riding warmly but beautifully on those cold but beautiful days.
- - A gift card to Hub and Bespoke
- - Two-way reflective vest from Iva Jean
- - New neoprene booties….or another roll of duct tape
Max Hepp-Buchanan, Advocacy Campaigns Manager:
- - Anything from Rivbike, especially the bags section.
- - And the Surly website is good, too. I like the flask, personally.
- - Finally, these guys make some great stuff and it’s all Portland-chic: http://www.ridepdw.com
Robin Randels, Classes Coordinator:
- - Ibex base layers
- - Smartwool over-the-knee-socks
- - rain cape and rain pants that actually keep you dry!
Leah Pistorius, Communications Specialist:
- - Waterproof gloves
- - Reflective stuff
- - Rain jacket that is stylish and reflective, open to suggestions
Ryann Child, Americorps Intern:
- - Bicycle helmet ear warmers
Bikenomics is a new series launched this month to spotlight the greater Seattle area’s growing bike businesses. Know a business that should be featured? Send me an email.
Vanessa Resler and Will Lemke couldn’t have asked for a better summer to kick off their ice pop business. As the dry, sunny days lingered into October, Resler and Lemke pedaled their mobile popsicle carts from neighborhood to neighborhood, getting their product into the hands of hundreds of Seattleites.
Resler and Lemke business, Six Strawberries, is Seattle’s first artisan ice pops company. They specialize in dairy-free ice pops with a focus on local ingredients and innovative rotating flavors such as PB&J, Asian Pear, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Thai Iced Tea, and many more.
But what makes Six Strawberries truly unique is that they are Seattle’s first licensed bicycle-powered mobile food cart.
“We’re a young business with a new product and a new business model of being a mobile food truck sans truck,” Lemke said. “There really aren’t a lot of bike businesses, and it’s been really fun to get out there.”
Six Strawberries was dreamt up one day during a video conference between Resler, Lemke and her cousin Alex, who was sick in a hospital bed.
Popsicles being Resler’s favorite food, the trio brainstormed delicious ice pop flavors: super sour apple, cake on a popsicle, a pop that tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
They decided that as soon as Alex was out of the hospital, they would start a business selling these uniquely-flavored ice pops. One week later however, Alex passed away at only 27 years old. As a tribute to Alex, Lemke and Resler decided to start the project that the three of them had dreamt up.
Six Strawberries grew from a brainstorming session to a grief-processing project to, ultimately, a young business.
“He really is the third founder of our business,” Resler said. “Many of our flavors were Alex’ creations.”
It took six months of experiments in a home kitchen, coming up with unique flavors, learning the chemistry behind varying freezing temperatures, improving the workflow, and tastings before the product was marketable.
“There was a lot of trial and error,” Lemke said. “There are no books on how to start a popsicle business.”
Thanks to catering connections, Lemke and Resler are allowed to use a commercial kitchen in the off-hours, which makes for a lot of productions shifts at odd, late-night hours.
And while the pops are in the freezer, Resler, a recovering CPA turned karaoke host, and Lemke, a filmmaker, return to their real jobs.
“This was only our first season so our first step was to get our product into the hands of people,” Lemke said. And the bicycle cart was the perfect means to do it.
The nice thing of having a bicycle is that it’s mobile, low-maintenance, and low-cost, Lemke said, adding that they were able to start the business without investors or going into debt.
A first of its kind, Six Strawberries had to apply for a mobile vendor permit, which allows them to move from street to street and sell, but it comes with a lot of exceptions. For example, they can’t sell their product in downtown Seattle, the U-District or Stadium district, nor are they allowed within a 50-feet-radius of a park.
“It’s a new thing for the city to deal with us bike vendors. And we’d be happy to help new bike businesses through the vendor application process,” Lemke said. “I think the zones will loosen up if there were a bunch of us. Portland is known for their food carts, we can be known for our food bicycles.”
“We also received really good worth of mouth,” said Lemke.
While the street sales wind down in the winter, Lemke and Resler are gearing up for a busy event season, and have started experimenting with holiday-inspired ice pops for special orders, parties and corporate events.
In the future, Resler hopes to make Six Strawberries her fulltime gig and see their company grow to a fleet of bicycles and maybe even a storefront.
“As a tribute to Alex, I want to have a charitable element to our business and work with organizations that help kids with illnesses,” she said. “Also, I never want to go on a job interview again.”
Now available at your local post office are these Bicycling Forever® stamps.
Rendered in graphic retro fashion, these stamps celebrate “the American love of bicycling, one of the most popular outdoor activities in the country”, according to the U.S. Postal Service.
The stamps are designed by art director Phil Jordan using illustrations by San Francisco illustrator John Mattos. Each of the four stamps in the series features a different kind of bike and cyclist: a young child learning to ride, a commuter pedaling to work, a road racer intent on the finish line, and an airborne BMX rider.
With the stamps, the U.S. Postal Service wants you to remember the joys of learning to ride, and celebrate bicycling as a healthy, affordable, and eco-friendly means of transportation.
From the U.S.Postal Service:
Remember the day you learned to ride a bike? That exhilarating sense of freedom is one you never forget and can easily recapture every time you hop on a bike. Perhaps that’s why millions of Americans young and old enjoy bicycling so much.
But bicycling isn’t just fun. It’s also good for the environment and for you. Each ride you take cuts down on traffic congestion, fuel consumption, and vehicle emissions. And riding a bike lowers the risk of obesity, heart disease, and breast cancer, while reducing stress and improving muscle tone and strength.
So climb on!
Serving “Artisan Peddled Baklava,” Frosene Sacco is a second generation Greek who knows how to make one delicious pastry.
“I learned how to make baklava from my grandmother and mother who made it often, especially during the holidays. I think of them as I’m baking. They taught me well,” said Sacco, who together with her husband founded Bikelava.
Baklava is a rich and sweet pastry made of layers of filo dough and filled with chopped nuts and syrup.
“It takes more time than the average pastry,” said Sacco, who worked as a baker before starting a career as an ESL teacher. “It can take almost two days.”
Sacco came upon the idea of becoming a bike vendor when leafing through a bike magazine a few years ago.
“I found this story about cargo bikes and the bike vendors who use them and I thought, ‘We could do that. We could sell pastries from a cargo bike’,” she recalled, adding that she has always been captivated by the bike vendors she encountered in Indonesia. “It took two years but that’s how Bikelava happened.”
Sacco said the bike simplifies the business and allows her to go out into the community and do something in a nontraditional way.
“I have biked all my life, especially long distances and self-contained tours,” said Sacco, a four-time STP-finisher. “And I enjoy meeting people and sharing culture through food and cooking.”
Sacco currently uses her vintage three-speed Schwinn or her husband’s touring back to haul the pastry-laden selling station to the Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market on Saturdays and the South Lake Union Farmboat on Thursdays.
They are awaiting a mobile vending permit and hope to share Sacco’s food and culture to more places.
But growing her business isn’t necessarily her goal.
Sacco said she bakes her baklava in a commercial kitchen, about 140 pieces per baking session.“I have a regular job so my main goal is to just have fun,” she said.
“I sold out last week but you never know how each day goes,” she said.
Since she launched her business a little over a month ago, Sacco has already gained repeat customers and word-of-mouth about the delicious pastries is travelling quickly.
“So far, so good,” she said. “This was something I wanted to do and I made it happen. It’s nice to have my own thing.”