Monday, August 31, 2009

Friday night ride, and Saturday family ride!

This Friday, Sept 4, Mark Stonich will be leading one of his famous (and usually well-attended) night rides. The route, what I know of it at least, should be pretty good. Bring a bike that has good lights. HC at 7:30 PM.

The next morning at 8AM, we will have a "family ride", so feel free to invite a friend, relative, spouse, kid, or anybody else who may not feel up to our usual speed and distance. It will be a modest pace, with a shorter-distance route that won't include much hill-climbing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Remember Halloween, 1991?

29 inches of snow. And that's only 8 weeks away!!

With the weather turning cooler this weekend and the State Fair in full swing, some cyclists start thinking about winter commuting. Visions of numb digits, black ice and out of control SUV's driven by texting teens dance in their heads.

Well, being the proactive folks we are, we have just received our initial shipment of studded tires. In stock, we have:

Nokian Hakkeplitta A10 700 X 32 -- 72 studs. $50 each or a pair for $90.

This is the narrowest studded tire we are aware of and may solve the problem of fitting studded tires in that old French dumpster find you're planning on riding this winter.

Nokian Hakkeplitta 700 X 35 -- 106 studs. $55 each or a pair for $100. A classic.

We will also be getting Schwalbe studded tires in the near future.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Introducing Thill Custom Wheels

Over the last 4 years, I've built just about all the wheels for the bike builds we've done at HC, and perhaps even more wheels for customers who wanted to upgrade older bicycles, add generator hubs, etc. Most of these wheels have rolled thousands of miles in the Twin Cities, around Minnesota, across the US, and even in exotic places that I never heard of. I've built more than my share of wheels for heavier riders, cargo bikes, tandems, offroad, touring, commuting, brevets, small-wheel recumbents, wheelchairs, and even a couple for competitive racing. I am proud to say that aside from a little minor truing here and there (usually just once, if that), my wheels, and there are probably at least a thousand of them by now, have proven to be reliable and dependable.

Anyhow, until now, this service has been generally an implicit part of putting together a new bicycle at HC, and it will continue to be. But there are a lot of older bikes out there that would benefit from better wheels, and maybe a lot of people thinking about wheel options for a future new bike. Therefore, I'd like to publicize my wheelbuilding service a bit, which is why I started a web page for Thill Custom Wheels. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

HC closed Saturday

HC will be closed this Saturday, Aug 15, for the family camping trip. The Saturday morning ride at 8 AM will be going out to Carver Park Reserve. For those who are not camping but still want to do some riding with us, we will have a coffee-stop in Hopkins, which will be a good turnaround point. Non-campers are also welcome to continue the ride out to Carver Park, of course, for a round-trip of about 60 miles.

We still have plenty of space available in our reserved campsites for both Friday and Saturday nights. If you are interested in joining, let me know. I will be camping only on Saturday night, but we do have reserved space on Friday, so that's an option. Call or email me if you want to make use of the camping spaces I've reserved.

Monday, August 3, 2009

HC family camping weekend

I reserved 3 adjacent sites at Lake Aurburn campground in Carver Park Reserve for August 14th and 15th for a family bike-camping trip. I'm working out the details of whether I'm going to do one or both nights, and when I'm going to lead a ride out to the campground. I think there will be some people who can go Friday night, some who can only do Saturday, and some who will want to do both. We have room for up to 6 tents and 18 people per night, so let me know if/when you want to load up the family and join us. If I have to reserve more sites, I will, but it'd be better to do it sooner than later. It's a flat 30ish-mile ride (mostly on bike trails) to the campground, and I plan to take the Big Dummy and pull a Burley.

If you're going to do this, please let me know:
1. how many in your group
2. which night(s)
3. how committed you are (the committed will get priority if we run out of space)

I may pick up some food (aka meat) to roast over the campfire, but everybody who attends will have to be responsible for his/her own food. You'll also need your own camping gear, sunscreen, bug repellent, etc, etc.

Local Framebuilders and Gravel Rides

Ok, they could be related but in this case, they're not.

First, frame builders. A number of the best have chosen the Twin Cities as their base of operations, and now's your chance to see their work in one place. Peacock Grove and Vine Arts Center presents the first Minnecycle, a collaborative display of their work.

HC will close at 6 on Friday, 8/7 and ride over there. If you own one of their bikes, this is the perfect time to ride it. Meet at the shop @ 5:45.

Gravel. We like riding it, period. Jim is leading a ride around Lake Pepin this Sunday, 8/9, and the goal is to ride as much of the route as possible on the fantastic gravel roads that go up and over the bluffs running down Lake Pepin. Meet at Baypoint Park in Red Wing at 9AM or, if you need transport, at HC World HQ at 7:30.

We recommend tire width be at least 32 mm wide if you want to do the gravel route. Anything thinner is going to be pretty uncomfortable.

There will likely be a group that sticks to the paved roads.