Monday, November 22, 2010

Awesome wife

Sunday:

Me: "We should probably go to the grocery store."

Wife: "Do you want to ride bikes there?"

Me: "Of course!"

Wife: "I get to ride Jo!"

Awesome. That's all for today. Yes, we named our JoeBike "Jo."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Great Product Support from PlanetBike

Thought I'd share a recent and great experience I had with PlanetBike.

For about a year I've used a 1/2 Watt Blaze as my helmet mounted be-seen light. I've been pretty happy with it (in spite of a dedicated helmet mount) and I think it's the right brightness for a backup light. I don't like the idea of having a super-bright helmet light as I don't want to blind other folks on the road or trail.

Monday I got to the office and "parked" my bike in its usual spot. Took off my helmet and sat it on the hoods of my LHT like I do every day. I must have bumped my bike, because before I knew it my helmet fell off my hood and fell right on the Blaze.

The light popped open and the it was pretty clear that it was done. The brackets the hold the lamp to the body (located just inside the body) all snapped off. Needless to say I was pretty disappointed. In a last-ditch hope I shot an email to the generic info@planetbike.com address, telling them what happened.

The next day, I got this response:

Hey James,

Thanks for your email. Sorry to hear that the mounting guides broke on your Blaze head light. Let me know an address you’d like a replacement case sent to and I’ll get one in the mail for you.

Please feel free to contact me with any further questions.

Thank you for your business and have a great day!

Kristin Wentworth

Warranty/Sales

I was thrilled! And, by this Friday (3 days from Kristin's e-mail) I had a brand new replacement body for my 1/2 watt Blaze! Just like that. No cost, no question, just some awesome customer service.

There's some internet chatter about Planet Bike being sold, which always makes us consumers a little nervous. I have a bunch of Superflash taillights and they are my favorite. I hope that the buyers of PlanetBike are at least bike people!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Featured on CarFreeAmerican!

I was just featured on CarFreeAmerican - check it out!


Thanks to Bill @ CarFreeAmerican for making me a part of his site!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

JoeBike Box Bike!


Well, the cat is basically out of the bag on this one, but the garage has a brand new addition! Anyone who found my blog from http://carfreeamerican.blogspot.com/ has already seen the beauty that is my 2010 Joebike! Here she is again a few times:



And here's how she got home:

Sunday the 14th Jon and I rode down to pick her up from Colorado's Joebike dealer in Castle Rock. We totally underestimated the vertical gain of the 14 mile ride and it took us quite a bit longer to get there than we had anticipated. But we prevailed, climbing some rather unfriendly hills, and arrived around 11:00 to pick her up. For anyone following along, that's right, we rode bikes to pick up a new bike. Here's how we got three bikes home:




Once packed up, we turned around to head back home. Riding the boxbike was a breeze even with an ungainly (albeit fairly light) load and it seemed very natural to have weight up front. Internal hub gearing meant getting started from a stop was no problem and I found the gear ratio was plenty hill-friendly. We stopped a few times to layer back up (it was about 35-40 in Denver on Sunday) and Jon commented several times "man that thing really stops" and he was right. The 203mm Avid BB7 up front and the roller brake in the Nexus Red Band meant she stopped quicker than my LHT, in spite of weighing in about 3 times as much.

About half of the ride home was on unpaved MUPs and she navigated pretty well, and the gravel was a non-issue.

A few upgrades are already on order. I don't care too much for how much sweep the stock bars have, so I went with something a bit wider and with a less dramatic sweep: The Velo Orange Milan bars (hope VO doesn't mind I stole their stock picture!):
These have about 35 degrees of sweep vs the 60 or so that came stock, and I think they'll provide a more comfortable cockpit for me.

The only other upgrade I'm making right away is lights. I got the upgraded box bike with the Alfine dynamo hub up front, so this bike deserves some quality lighting. The Alfine hub ships stock with a piece of junk Shimano front light and no wired tail light. I've been talking to Peter White about a new head and tail light, because, who else do you talk to about dynamo lighting? Also, he has some great deals on last year's models of B&M LED headlights so it's time to take advantage of that. More on that when I make a decision and get the lights wired up.

Thursday night I took her to the grocery store to get supplies for a work potluck and she did her job famously. I think this is the beginning of a lifelong relationship!