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