INTO THE RIDE #99
Mini with Racks, New Idler, Test Track Improvements
by Randy Schlitter
The Mini, an Inner City Specialist
An Inter city bike is one way to keep biking in your daily routine. A bike that is easy to tag along is great for this mission; this is one of the reasons why we created the Mini. Setting one up to be a hauler is the next step. Our standard rear rack will fit via a couple of changes. These include using rear drop-out plates and bending the seat post to rack “T” adaptor. Any standard panniers will fit the rack, or you can choose our crescent panniers on ShopRANS.
A front rack on the Mini is a great idea; as with most of our CF bikes there is a rear weight bias. Several front racks will adapt. Check with your local bike shop to select a workable rack, and panniers, basket, or topper bag to suit.
Being a 20×20 bike, the ride may end up harsh when fully loaded. We recommend if you are doing a lot of heavy hauling to set up your Mini with some large section tires, like the Big Apples.
The Mini is a favored bike around the plant. Someone always seems to be using it, confirming the fun ride. In the real world we can see this bike being a favorite too; the compact size, comfy seat, over-the-top cool factor, and really big on spunk. 20×20 wheels are easy to accelerate, perfect for quick starts from stop lights in traffic.
Now available is a new crossover idler. The design features a sprocket, lighter bearing, and quieter operation. A reduction in noise is because of the sprocket and a replaceable band on the return side. Find this item on ShopRANS or at your nearest dealer. You will find this idler with a nice price, and just as functional as other similar idlers.
Improvements to our Hike and Bike Trail
Our bike and hike trail on our back 40 continues to develop. We recently added a section of steps. This gives us a chance to give shock forks and frames are real work out. We are also constructing a Sky Way from our surplus of pallets. The Sky Way will feature an aggressive “bump” and pass through an area that sometimes floods. Plans also include some fun climbs and dives. If I could get a hold of a Bobcat for a few weeks, surely terrainal mayhem would ensue!
We hope to continue developing the test track and have an annual race. A race sometime in May or June is possible. The trail is 1.3 miles, so it could be fun both for spectators and participants. The trail is open and you are invited to stop by and give our CF mountain bikes a spin. Check for a race day date on the bike site.
Improved HammerTruck Panniers
The Hammertruck bags have been re-designed for easy on and off. The original design required the bags to be slipped on during the assembly of the rack. The bags can be made in several colors. Color choices will be published in an up-and-coming ITR.
Hammertruck runners are now included as standard equipment. They are essential to loading. The best method is to lean the bike on a runner and load the opposite side, then lean the other way, load and go. The runners also slip off, to convert the HammerTruck into a sleek Crank Forward.
Cycling is more than a Ride
The riding season is coming on strong. To ride a bike is one of the best expressions of personal freedom, simple to access, and good for you and our world. As we see fuel prices increase, cycling will be considered by more and more. We hope as a veteran cyclist you welcome the newcomers and nurture along the spirit of cycling. The bicycle is perhaps one of the greatest inventions in terms of changing not only the way we live, but also changing us. The cyclist becomes part of the world ridden in, and this connection creates community. Progress is often thought of as bigger, better, faster. Creating more cycle friendly communities is the kind of progress that is not blaring; instead it is subtle and changes us on a level that brings about real progress…growth of the human spirit. Here is to a great riding season and keeping up the spirit. Until next time ride safe, and stay into the ride!