Eugene, Oregon: Bike Friday lessons at World Headquarters - Grampies on the Go - Again! - CycleBlaze

January 25, 2012

Eugene, Oregon: Bike Friday lessons at World Headquarters

After passing the night in a rest stop strategically just north of town, we cruised in to Eugene and slipped into our "usual" parking spot in front of Bike Friday.

We wanted to say Hi to Walter and Kirk, and of course to barrage them with the questions that have popped up since the last time we barraged them with questions.

First off was the question of rusting bolts and other parts that we have been troubled by and mentioned in the blog earlier. Walter and Kirk did not feel that this is a question of the materials used in the parts we have. Rather they said rust is just a fact of life on the Coast and all you can do is fight it with lubricants and protectants. Asked why, for instance, the collar at the stem riser could not be made of stainless, they replied that for this and in general "stainless" is not really stainless and that no metal can really resist rust or corrosion.

You can make your own judgement on whether this is accurate, and we would like to hear it. Meanwhile they sold us a can of "Boeshield", a product developed for lubricating and protecting aircraft parts, and which they highly recommend. It was recommended to use the water bottle fitting threaded spots and any other access to the interior of the frame and spray the Boeshield inside as well as on all exposed exterior parts. As to the already rusted stand bolt, Kirk suggested disposing of it.

Boeshield. Will this save our bikes?
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Our next question was how on earth to fit the folded bikes into the carry bags, without disassembling the handlebars. Walter easily showed us that there are eight ways to place the bike in the bag, and that half of these ways will work. We must have chosen the other half, because it does fit!

Dodie is paying close attention to Walter's demo
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Walter performs his magic.
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Nothing to it!
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Getting the bike into the hard airline case is also easy, when you know how. This is where Kirk went beyond the call of duty and carefully and at length showed us how it is done. He paused at each step and had me photograph the way the parts are positioned. Interestingly, when you have a good appreciation of the bike parts and of the case you can see all sorts of spare room, whereas to the untrained eye there could seem to be no way. Thanks for that, Kirk!

Dodie takes a lesson from Kirk on packing the suitcase.
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It's best to protect everything from abrasion, jostling, and crushing - all airline favourites.
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Finally, we told Walter our theory of Bike Friday locking - one where you use the locking skewers to secure the wheels and then put your cable or cables through the locked wheels. Walter was not much impressed. He has little faith in cables. Rather, he suggested the Kryptonite "New York" U lock. We have yet to check out the exact name and specs of this, but the immediate question was that of how to attach a U Lock to a Bike Friday. Again it's easy if you know how, but there is pretty much only one way to do it:

Walter demonstrates where to put a U-Lock on a Bike Friday.
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Finally, finally, we hopped on our bikes and headed off for a short spin along Eugene's cycle path. How wonderful it felt to again and at last be silently flying down a lovely bikeway.

The route we took was built to pass through wetlands. Boy, was that fun! Unfortunately, since we had spent most of the day hanging out inside Bike Friday, dark approached. We (now) expertly put our bikes into their bags. (Actually, not quite so expertly. The stem riser on Dodie's bike seemed to stick, I gave it an extra tug and it jumped out, cause me to punch myself in the eye. Just a little blood on the BF floor.) The bags are in the van, and we are off to the coast!

The open path at last!
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Fern ridge
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It's not far along the path from BF to where it ends in the wetlands, but it sure is fun. There is a more extensive path system the other way, along the Willamette River.
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The wetlands
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There is a lot of retail encroachment onto the wetlands. This is one encroachment we can support!
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