July 2012


Friday afternoon I (Steve) decided to go on an overnight bike tour. So, naturally, I had a beer.

Left the shop early, quick stop at home to pack and off! But where to go? Anamosa of course, to say hi to ragbrai. There was a bit of headwind, but the temps were in the 80s so no complaining. Saw the first riders in Mount Vernon, taking their time on the 45 mile day, it was 5:30 and they still had 25 miles to go!

Escape to Ragbralcatraz by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

It was a nice ride, and from Springville there were lots of riders still out enjoying the short day and the cool temps. Set up the camp. Did you know we can get tents, sleeping bags and pads and other camping gear? Well we can, and this 1-person Sierra Designs tent and Nemo sleeping pad are great for bike touring, they pack small and light. Had a good time wandering around taking in the sights and smells, and found some old friends from rides gone by to do some catching up.

Then a quick pack and ride home to get to the shop by 10 Saturday morning. Using a Revelate seat bag and handlebar sling took care of all the gear. I was surprised to think that really you could do the whole week carrying all your gear with just this set up. It rides well, and when you consider the weight of racks and full sized panniers, plus all the extra stuff they invite you to take along, this is a pretty great set up.

Escape from ragbralcatraz by gpickle at Garmin Connect – Details.

The ride back offered tailwind, which was great, but I was not aware that my route was also the vehicle route, so the first 15 miles were hectic being passed by lots of buses and RVs. Another ragbee in the books, in under 16 hours!

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Will Whitmore played at the Trumpet Blossom earlier this week. In addition to fabulous vegan eats, espresso by Wake Up Iowa City and more awesome beers on tap than you can shake your empty PBR tallboy can at, our neighbor has a sturdy stage that is hosting some great music. So check their website, like their facebook, or stop in for food and drink and check the posters to get in the know on who is playing next!

Also on tour this week, a lot of people on bikes! As the annual last full week of July ride across Iowa rolls on more people angle towards it to take in a day or two.

One of Steve’s old college friends came through and spent a night on his way to Marshalltown. Steve rode out of town with him yesterday morning, and then on the way back in ran into these guys just heading out on their versatile Masi cyclocross bikes.

Another bike tour in Japan coming up in August, we are excited to be helping the only representative from the U.S. participate in the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War World Congress. Michelle Gin will be cycling 550 kilometers from Nagasaki to Hiroshima and still has a bit of fundraising to go before the trip, so check it out. As Michelle says, by contributing you are supporting a young woman leader, cycling, our shared environment, nonproliferation, peace, a healthy planet, and collaboration across borders.

40 years ago. So began the annual migration of cyclists from the great western shore of Iowa to the majestic eastern shore. The exact reasons for this migration are still unclear, but some suggest they are simply following their primary food supply of pancakes as it makes ITS way across the state every July for reasons we dare not even question. Or maybe it is beer they follow, as the hordes descend on tiny towns and drink all they have they must press on in search of more?

Whatever the reasoning, we are putting all of our in stock Masi road bikes 10% off!

We have the Partenza marked down from $795 to $716 and the Evoluzione Apex from $1895 to $1706!

The 2013’s are coming into stock so we have to move these along to make room, sizes are limited, but they will remain on sale until they are gone so come see if we have a new bike for you!

Fresh builds that came out of the shop last week, both got a handlebar switch.

The Bianchi Cortina dresses up well. Rack, fenders, a handwoven basket and a handlebar switch to a Nitto Northroad all make that brass Crane bell DING.

We sometimes struggle to find the perfect adjective to describe a bike, for this one we can just go with handsome. Yep, we are now Handsome Cycles dealers and while this complete Devil went out the door after being converted from upright bar to drop, this frameset is here for you ogling pleasure.

Fingerprints will not be included, we will build it up however you like, and clean and polish it for you if you buy it!

Kidical Mass happened over the weekend, if you missed it there will probably be another one next month. Or keep your eyes peeled and you might find others, like this spontaneous gathering at the New Pi Coop bike racks this morning.

Love to see it! That is a dutch bike, Big Dummy with PeaPod, and a bike pulling a Burley kid trailer.

Coming up this week on the bikexcite radar, a new pedestrian/cycling bridge for the Iowa River Trail! The opening of the bridge will be celebrated this Wednesday, July 11th with a ribbon cutting.


For those of you that have ridden the old “gravel” version of this bridge crossing you will understand why we are all pretty excited for this new divider. Plus riding head on with cars going 50mph never made us feel very comfortable…

The details:

WHAT: Ribbon-cutting and grand opening of the Butler Pedestrian Bridge over the Iowa River.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 11th at 5:00p.m.

WHERE: Iowa River Trail, located at Iowa River and N. Dubuque Street (north of Interstate 80).

Look out Portland!

Tomorrow there is another exciting edition of Kidical Mass. This here might be late notice, but remember, the Kidical folks get together the first Saturday of every month. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to haul the youngins by bike, try out some of the amazing rigs at Kidical Mass. Here’s the deets:

Saturday, July 7
North Market Square Park (at Fairchild and Johnson)

8:30am-9:00am: Playground time, admiring of rigs, getting organized.
9:00am: Group “kidical mass” bike ride around town and ending at Chauncey Swan plaza, near the Iowa City Farmers’ Market, where much admiring (and trying out) of bikes may ensue.

Who doesn’t love WALD Quality? We have the new(ish) Ewald 257GB front rack in-shop.

We have yet to try it out for ourselves, but UrbanVelo has a brief but excellent review. All WALD products are still made in Kentucky and are still some of the most practical tools for transport we know. Needless to say we’re confident this rack will match the reputation and well worth the MSRP of $60.