Bike Shop Hub Center:

The business and work culture of Bike Shop Hub in all it's glory.

When we have new products, sales, weird marketing ideas, commentary on the cycling industry, or embarrasing photos of of the staff, this is where you'll find it.

And since we are located in Arizona, we'll talk about the cycling scene in the state.

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Send In Your Cycling Photos

We get to see and touch and test all sorts of great cycling gear here at our world headquarters. But we actually get to meet very few of our customers in person.

We just know you are out there taking pictures of your amazing cycling adventures. We want to see them! The best ones will be shared on the relevant section of this blog: Bike Cargo Trailers, Bike Touring, Bike Technology and Family Cycling.

Monthly Archives: March 2006

Kayaking Down the Verde

Yesterday, spring time was beckoning and so was my roommate Chris to join him and his friends on a Verde River adventure about an hour South of Flagstaff. I had never been before but decided that I definitely could use a day off to float down the river of life. We met up with Elson Miles, the man who pretty much brought mountain biking to Flagstaff, starting the shop Cosmic Cycles back in the 80′s. His girlfriend Cindy and Chris’s friend Nina completed our ragtag crew of snowed under fellows seeking a springtime adventure.

For most of the float I got used to a big inflatable kayak, getting the feel for the water and the paddle strokes. The river is running a bit low due to the dry winter we’ve had, but still provided plenty of challenges and fun. After about half the trip, Chris let me try out the kayak. I instantly fell in love with it. I was immediately darting through the rapids, using the sense of balance and flow that I’d developed over two decades on a mountain bike. I was using one of Chris’s beautiful, all wood, custom made kayak paddles. He has been building these paddles under the name Zuzu paddles for about 8 years though taking a break from it for a while. The thing was a gem to hold with the feel of wood in hand, custom feathering in the blade and as light as a carbon fiber paddle.

I may have found my second sport. Cycling will always be my first love, but the parallels yet difference of kayaking have really caught my attention. The self-supported and minimalist traveling potentials compare to those of bike touring. Giving in to the flow of the river has a very alluring draw that is all its own.

We plan on going back again next weekend. This time, bikes will be in the picture as we use them in our shuttle. This got me thinking about bike trailers for kayaks and canoes. Apparently there are several available including the sharp looking Paddleboy Flyer.

Bike Rental Idea

Having recently gone to the Netherlands and been awed by the current state of excellence in their cycling infrastructure, I’ve been thinking of ideas for improving cycling infrastructures in the US.

An idea for a bike rental system popped into my head. The idea would be to have rental bikes with credit card machines attached to them. To rent the bike you pop in the credit card which releases wheel locks on the bike. You use the bike as long as you want (getting charged a low hourly rate) and once you reengage the wheel locks your credit card stops being charged.

This bike rental system could work well in dense urban areas. A key part of the idea is that after someone uses the bike, it ends up in a convenient place for someone else to pick it up. New York City or Boston could be a good place to try it out. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Tucson might be even better with their milder winters. The bike rentals would have to be made very visible with a distinguishing color to the bike and a large fleet so that people would quickly become familiar with this transport option.

Admittedly, this system has plenty of potential for problems. There could be people stealing the bikes or the bikes could end up in places that no one will use them. Putting a tracking devise on the bike could help alleviate these problems. Bicycle that hadn’t been used or showed up in remote locations could be retrieved and at the same time have maintenance done. The costs with setting up bikes with the credit card machines and tracking devises could be prohibitive. Also insurance might be another big problem.

Currently, bike rentals are available in many cycling friendly cities. A problem is you must return the bike. You can’t use it for a quick jot across town and then just leave it somewhere. I’ve heard of some cities that just have bikes that are available for everyone to use. In pursuing such a bike rental scheme, it would be interesting to discover how these cities are doing with their free bike programs. In fact there is a rental program of note underway in France… http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,11882,1547732,00.html

2 Ft of Snow

It’s been a long dry winter in Northern AZ, but finally the skies have opened up and dumped 2 feet of snow on us. The moisture was much needed and it is great to see the snow again. But being cooped up in the house for a week makes me long for the summer cycling season ahead. Not getting to ride got me thinking about really getting to ride and I started having a look at my recently made acquaintances Cass Gilbert and Cara Coolbaugh who really go out and do some real riding, leading multiple self-supported bike tours through the Himalayas every summer. Check out there web site at www.out-there-biking.com . They often use BOB trailers on there trips and have alot of interesting and well informed opinions about what equipment to use when you are pushing your gear to the limits. Beyond bike trailers they are big fans of Rohloff Hubs, steel framed mountain bikes, and overall going for gear that is tough, simple, and easy to maintain.

AdventureCyclist,PedalthePlanet,Bike4Travel

In the last few weeks we’ve added several new dealers to our list. Recently Adventure Cyclist www.adventurecycling.org added us to their online store and the CELLO will be available in their spring catalog. Also Pedal the Planet www.pedaltheplanet.com , a bike-touring specific online-retailer added us to their excelent mix of bicycle touring products. We are very interested in the growing niche of bike touring specific websites and retailers. Our online retailer in the Netherlands, Bike4Travel www.Bike4Travel.nl , had the grand opening of their first retail location yesterday in Rotterdam. Their entire store is dedicated to bicycle touring, with a full selection of touring bicycles, touring accesories, bike maps, and camping equipment.

The growth of the bike touring niche is progressing in multiple directions, from online and brick and mortar retail to a wide variety of bike touring companies to manufactures focusing of touring specific products. The rapid growth of Adventure Cyclist members in the US to 42,000 shows a growing interest in touring and traveling with bicycles.