June 2009


Please don’t think we are not still moving copious amounts of stuff by bike.

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That is yesterday’s recycling run, today I moved our trash on the cargo bike, and as an added bonus and test of skill I got to ghost-ride a free curbside parts bike for six blocks.  Score.

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We were closed today, but still had visitors.  Like this slinky black kitty cat that boldly walked in to check things out.  Some people stopped in that had read about our shop in the June issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine.  We did not even know that was happening, so it was pretty cool to find out we were featured!  Other visitors came in for minor repairs and small purchases, we were there so could not say no.  And our old friend Paul was passing through town on his way home to Michigan and he stopped to check out our shop, too.

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Cody finished up her PUCH with Ira Ryan custom built fork and porteur rack, she is going to ride it on our overnight bike trip to Anamosa this weekend.  Oh yeah, good time for an announcement:

We will be closed Saturday, July 4th and Sunday the 5th, we will reopen Tuesday July 7th.

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Also in the stand today, finishing up this MASI Rando build, switched the sidepull calipers out for Paul Racers.  Not only do they look really cool, but they will increase the Whoa Nellie factor as this bike will be used for loaded touring.  Those pedals were just for test riding, no worries.  The rack will be in and on tomorrow and a set of Arkel t-42’s will finish it off.

One of our duties as a commuter bicycle shop is to help bikes carry stuff.  We sell a fair amount of racks and bags and such, and baskets, too.  We had yet to sell the double bin paper delivery style until this week, and wouldn’t you know it, not one but two people made the request.

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These baskets are notorious for being big and steel and heavy and they are.  There are reasons nobody makes a carbon fiber basket.  If that stuff can’t even keep your handlebars attached to your bike who wants to trust it to get your groceries home from the store?

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Silly bike racers…

Off the beaten path

Newly opened Clean Bean Café ‘stands out’
Brian Morelli
Iowa City Press-Citizen

It’s a little off the beaten path, but sometimes you have to go out of your way to find something special, said the owner of a new espresso cart in Iowa City.

“What I really like about it is it is out of the way, and it stands out,” said Ben Hansen, owner of The Clean Bean Café. “When you break from a routine, you stand to benefit. You stand to discover something new.”

Hansen’s philosophy guides his business approach and the choice of beans he uses, he said.

The Clean Bean Café opened in Iowa City last week. The aromatic trailer is parked outside 30th Century Bicycles, 310 E. Prentiss St., and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

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Press-Citizen / John Richard

Several years ago in Tucson, Ariz., Hansen met Daniel Fourwinds, the founder of Capulin Coffee. Hansen bought into the mission and started purchasing Capulin beans to roast and serve.

Capulin prides itself on being environmentally friendly and fulfilling the fair trade designation beyond industry standards. Capulin beans come from the Village of Tecuitata in Nayarit, Mexico. The coffee cherries are shade-grown, sun-dried and hand-sorted, and the farmers who harvest the beans are paid double what mainstream coffee producers pay, according to the Capulin Web site.

The coffee is sweet, with low acidity and low bitterness, Hansen said.

“This coffee is why I am doing what I am doing,” Hansen said. “Everything about this coffee is what I believe we are looking for when we drink a cup of coffee. It is heightening. It is stimulating. And, the crash doesn’t exist.”

Out of his small red trailer, Hansen sells espresso-based drinks, including straight up, Americano, latte and mocha. Hansen urges people to bring their own cups, and more to the point he charges 49 cents to provide a cup. Transactions are cash only, he said.

At the bike shop, the owners are glad to have some company.

“It brings a lot of life to the parking area. It makes it seem like a small ped mall,” owner Cody Gieselman said.

It  is the busy season.  We have more bikes in here than we can comfortably hold.  Which is a good thing, unless we need to show somebody our light display, which is buried.

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The great outdoors display.

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New bikes, repair bikes, new bikes in boxes.

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Bikes, bikes, bikes.  Bikes in front of bikes under hanging bikes.  Cody working on bike.

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New bikes on display, repair bikes under hanging bikes*, used bikes to be repaired hiding behind.

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Burley trailer up top, overlooking it all.  And good friend D.P. stopped in to show off his Surly Cross Check.

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We hooked him up with the frameset, he supplied the nice parts.

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Our happy little shop sticker amongst Phil Wood hubs and BB?  We have arrived!

* The Trek Bike from our previous post hanging, sadly last night’s aggro test ride indicated that a new cassette is required, and we don’t have such a racy little number as it requires in stock, so it will be ready for some lucky roadie next week.

Cody and I feel as if we are living the dream.  The dream varies, of course, from person to person.  This is ours.  The kind of dream where you can rejoice at finding a big bundle of files at a consignment store for $15.00.  Score!  We got so much stuff we had to use the Bikes at Work Trailer to get it all back to the shop.

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I was going to wait until our 2 months open anniversary to thank you all for your support, but I get so giddy sometimes I just can’t wait.  Thanks for giving us the opportunity to help you with your bike needs, whatever they may be.

Like this gentleman.  Let’s call him Sean, because he is.  He was out for a bike ride on Saturday.

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A 100 mile ride if you can believe it.  By himself.  He had wanted to do TOMRV, but could not, so he set out on SEANROV (Scenic Endurance And Naive Ride Of Victory) to enjoy a long day on the bike but still be home in time for dinner.  Sean stopped by after 92 miles and many red wing blackbird attacks, despite his scary helmet graphic designed to keep the buggers at bay.

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Cody and I did our best to motivate him, while our espresso slingin’ neighbor Ben set him up with a fresh roast Macchiato and he was out the door to finish his ride, which he did.  Yay Sean!

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A less emotional and more mechanical need, I got to face the headtube and tap the derailler hanger threads of this Handsome Devil.  And it got to share hook space for a time next to another devilishly good lookin’ bike, my still suffering and unbuilt (but getting closer some of the time) Ira Ryan.

Other bikes kickin’ it at the shop right now, Cody finished building up this nice flat bar Long Haul Trucker for a man who is more interested in pulling his two young daughters around town than he is in touring, but isn’t it nice to have options?  The LHT provides plenty of them.

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And, blast from the past, one of them purple aluminum lugged, natural carbon main triangle, 8 speed Shimano 600 STI equipped Trek Bikes came in for us to sell!  This bike is clean enough eat off of.  American Classic seatpost, 12-21 cassette, new cables and housing all the way around, new bar tape and a purple and yellow Conti 3000 to match the frame and commemorate the Los Angeles Lakers latest NBA title in one fell swoop!

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And whaddaya know, it’s just my size.  Look for this bike on the Current Used Bikes page soon, but not until I have taken on the group ride for rigorous (and decades late) field testing.

A couple of cool shifting solutions happened upon this week.  The first came into the shop for a tune up.

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XT thumbshifter mounted next to the brake on a drop bar, sweet!  I have a set of XT thumbies and they are not on a bike now, but will be again someday I am sure, maybe even on a road bike.

And, spied on a fine looking KELLY seen parked at the new pi co-op, wowsers!

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The closer look, can anyone tell me more about these please?

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Cool stuff.  If you like talking bikes, shifting, CSA, or anything else come on by the shop and be heard!  Enjoy a cup of espresso while you are at it.  Yep, that is right, the dream is realized, coffee shop next to bike shop right here in little old Iowa City.

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Ben’s espresso is fair trade, locally roasted (by him), and really delicious.  Get it while the getting is good, he will be there 7am to 5pm Tuesday thru Saturday all summer long!

Okay, I dunno how this works or what it means, but Cody has started us up a twitter account.  I don’t know how you subscribe or find out about it, so if you know please leave a comment and share with everyone, including me.  Thanks.  I am sure Cody will get the info out there once she finishes tuning up that Schwinn Collegiate.

There is a new page here at the blog, check it to see photos and descriptions of our in stock used bikes.  We have more, but they are not ready to go so keep checking back or maybe just follow our tweetering or whatever it is called.

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