Friday, May 20, 2011

Buncha stuff

First of all, sorry for the long wait between blog updates. This post will be full of good info, so read carefully, please.

Happy spring!
Spring has finally come to Minneapolis. I got a minor sunburn last weekend on a ride out to Carver Park Reserve. It was raining today, but I got out for a fun utilitarian ride on my recently acquired 2011 Robin Egg Blue Cross-Check (fixed-gear).
Minneapolis in bloom
The leaves and flowers exploded into existence just within the last week or so. After a long, hard winter, the fragrances and supersaturated colors are most welcome. I really like the Cross-check, by the way. If I could have just one bicycle, this might be it. But that's crazy talk.

This weekend
The Lake Pepin 3-speed tour is this weekend. I had been planning to ride with my 6-year-old daughter Elissa on an old French 3-speed kid-crank tandem, but the weather forecast is gloomy, to put it charitably. Instead I'll stay in town and keep the shop open normal hours on Saturday. To the hearty 3-speed excursionists who brave the all-weekend thundershowers, I salute you from the dry comfort of HCHQ.

Surly price increases
Effective today, many of the Surly complete bikes are increasing in price between $50 and $100. These bikes still represent one of the best values and arguably some of the best designs in the bicycle world. Current HC stock will be sold at old prices, but any new orders will reflect the increase.

Used Sam Hillborne for sale
Sam Hillborne
I can post some better photos later, but this is a nice Rivendell Sam Hillborne for sale. Size is 56 cm in Rivendell's "expanded geometry", which is somewhat bigger than a 56 in Rivendell's traditional geometry. It feels somewhere between a 56 cm and a 58 cm Surly Cross-check, Long Haul Trucker, or Pacer. It should fit most people between 5'9" and 6'. Lots of nice parts: Phil Wood rear hub, Nitto rack, seatpost, stem, Noodle bar, 105 sealed-bearing headset, Brooks saddle, SKS fenders, Topeak pump, Marathon Supreme tires, and many other nice features. Personally, I love this bike, and if I didn't already have more bikes than money, I'd be tempted to buy it for myself. $1800 or reasonable offer.

Group bike tour
Unless there is a compelling reason to change it, I'm setting the dates for the group bike tour (described in a previous post) for August 7-13. This is a self-supported tour with moderate daily mileage, and I am inviting everybody. Details are far from solidified, but I think it would be fun to ride our bikes from HC to St Paul early in the morning of Sunday, August 7, get on a train, and continue from, say, LaCrosse, Wisconsin for 5-6 days of glorious southwestern Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota. This region is known as the "driftless area", and its topography and scenery are far different than what most people associate with this part of the country. In my opinion, the driftless area, for the most part, is just about as good as it gets for rural bicycle touring. If this trip is of interest to you, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss questions and concerns and to make the necessary arrangements at work, with family, etc, to make this happen.

My jim@hiawathacyclery email address, which has been my work email for 5+ years is getting a lot of spam and has some other drawbacks. I'm going to avail myself of the convenience and virus/spam protection of web-based email. I am now using two email addresses both @gmail. My personal email is thill.jim and my shop email is hiawathacyclery. I will still check the jim@hiawathcyclery email, but I'm gradually going to transition to the gmail accounts.


xjoex said...

Hey Jim - I can help you move the email address to google/gmail. It is a free service, and you get the benefit of googles anti spam tools. I use it on 3 domains, it is fantastic.

We could arrange a trade? Maybe a blinky light, tshirt or something.

If you are interested let me know.


-s said...

I'm down for the Aug 7-13 tour.

Jeff said...

I agree with Joe - You can move your domain to google for free and get the benefits of their spam protection. You also get customized google apps domain and can give out domains to your employees.

Jim Thill said...

Thanks for the email suggestions, but I already use gmail to access my HC mail.

Shaun said...

You made the unforgivable Craigslist ├╝ber-newb mistake of not providing the frame size of the Hillborne you're selling, Jim. Shaking my head.

Hokan said...

Jim, you may use Google to read your email, but they are not hosting that email.

You should consider xjoes's offer.

The free version is somewhat limited in that you get only 10 accounts, but that's probably enough for you and it works quite well.

What you get is effectively branded versions of Gmail and Google apps.

Jim Thill said...

Thanks for the clarification, Hokan. I'll look into it.

Shaun, I added info about the size. Generally, my strategy is to limit the amount of info I give, which forces people to talk to me.

adventure! said...

The week long tour sounds great! Love to join y'all, but don't think we'll get to Minneapolis until after the tour. Not like we won't be doing some riding!

Anonymous said...

Jim - the robins egg blue surly bicycle is delightful. Is that a custom color that you personally specified? I'm also curious why you are not employing derailers. Seems to me the single gear would become tiresome on longer slogs. I agree that the splendid spring awakening is most welcome after the long, dark and dreadful winter. Can you also give me some idea what your new surly weighs (without the cumbersome packsacks of course). Are the tyres 26 inchers or the more commonly preferred 700c dimension? Thank you very much for your blog post update. It is always a pleasure to read about your bicycle adventures.

- J J