Bike Friday – a Review after Ten Years

I previously had an S&S coupled bike which I used for travel. Although the detachable frame couplers are a solid design, the downside is that the assembly/disassembly time for the bike was quite excessive for short trips. This post on the impracticality of S&S couplers for most people pretty much echoes my views.

Sometime around 2003 (?), I bought a used Bike Friday Pocket Rocket folding road bike as a replacement for the S&S coupled bike. There are a number of other bikes that fold smaller and/or quicker, but my goal was to have something that folded relatively quickly into a standard-sized airline luggage, yet with a ride quality as close as possible to that of my fast road bike.

I envisioned a couple of main uses for the bike: Continue reading

Mounting a Ham Radio Antenna on a Bicycle

My initial interest for mounting an antenna on the bike was to do on-bike radio support (I am a licensed ham radio operator) for charity bicycle rides.

First Generation Setup – October 2012

I started with a Comet SBB5 antenna. It does not require a ground plane, giving me more flexibility with mounting options. I used a Minoura saddle mount bottle cage holder, but flipped it upside down. That gave a flat surface for mounted an aluminum plate. Then I drilled a 5/8″ hole and mounted a Diamond C101 cable assembly. Continue reading

Day 7: Crater Lake Rim Road, 33 miles

Today’s route: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1479689

I’ll pick up the story from where I left off late Saturday afternoon.

My flight home from Crescent City is Monday afternoon, with no chance of getting an earlier flight. Rather than stay in Crescent City for two nights, I rented a car and drove to Grants Pass, Oregon. Then on Sunday I drove to Crater Lake and rode the rim road around the lake.

I followed the recommended approach of entering from the south (Highway 62) and doing the ride clockwise from the visitor center about four miles from where you pay the entrance fee. As mentioned at the second link below, this puts the hardest climb at the beginning and makes for an easier finish. Continue reading

Day 5: North Bend to Gold Beach, 90 miles

Today’s route: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1479686

Last night Clint and I had looked at the maps closely and were unpleasantly surprised that we would have a 93 mile day today! Somehow we thought it was more like 70-80 miles. Well, we would have to make the best of it by leaving early and having a shorter bailout option in mind just in case.

The route stayed off US101 through North Bend and Coos Bay. After a few mile warmup on the flats, we turned onto the hills of Seven Devils Road. Grades were usually in the high single digits, with the occasional 12-14%. We were wondering how the three guys from Illinois were going to do today. Continue reading

Day 4: Florence to North Bend, 49 miles

Today’s route: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1479685

Today began with sunny skies and a tailwind from the north, though not as strong as yesterday’s. Clint and I felt bad for the northbound cyclists yesterday who were riding uphill into the wind.

While taking a break on the climb out of Florence, we saw a couple of other cyclists going over the hill.

Continue reading