A short tour of
Eugene Oregon
  HOME ::
Bike Friday - May 2005

Well, here it is - November, 2011. And I finally got around to it - posting a short story about the purchase of my latest bike - Bike Friday, New World Tourist! Thank goodness for the information contained in the photograph's "EXIF" info. Otherwise, I would not even remember the date.

Long story, short - I do a fair amount of international travelling via bicycle. Airlines, in their infinite wisdom have started to gouge the customer by charging upwards of $100 per leg to transport his or her bike (even as an employee). I decided to be a bit proactive, and purchased a fold-up bike from Bike Friday, located in Eugene, Oregon. The bike I decided upon is custom made, and made to fit. That is, Bike Friday literally takes your measurements, and builds a perfect bike for you. they even "spec" it out according to your wishes. Want a titanium frame - no problem! Want "Ultegra" componentry - no problem! Want an internal hub transmission - no problem! Well, you get the picture. My bike was designed for loaded, long distance touring. It was also designed to fold up compactly enough to fit inside a suitcase. This suitcase turns into a trailer (via a kit) which can in turn be pulled behind your bike. This eliminates a lot of hassels trying to get the thing packed for your return journey.

After consulting with one of Bike Friday's representatives, my bike was ordered. I made a decision to pick up the bike at the factory in Eugene, making a mini-vacation out of the affair. I would fly from London, Canada to Vancouver, then to Portland, Oregon to rent a car. The drive to Eugene I planned along a scenic drive through the mountains. At the end of my mini-trip, I would fly home with my new bike.

I had never really considered touring Oregon itself. It seemed a long way away. and there were mountain, which meant hills. I hate hills. Except the "down" part. In any event, the mountains make for spectacular scenery, as you can see from the pictures below.

Upon arrival in Eugene, I checked into my hotel and had dinner. I took a "recce" trip to the Bike Friday shop. Of course, it was all closed up. My Friday would wait until the next day. I arrived at the store bright and early and was introduced to my sales representative. After a quick tour of the factory itself, I was introduced to my bike. I hoped on and was very surprised to find the bike with the small tires - the "clown bike" felt and rode as if it was a "big" bike. I took it out for a ride through the countryside close to the city of Eugene, then back to the factory where I folded it up for the first time and stuck it in the trunk of my rented Chevy Malibu.

That evening I took a drive out to the Pacific Coast, which is not far from the city of Eugene. Nothing special to report here, Other than the temperature was unseasonably warm for the month of may: 85 Fahrenheit!

The next day I took the Malibu even further to the south - almost to the California border where Crater Lake can be found. The deepest lake in the United States, at 1943 feet, Crater Lake was formed about 7700 years ago when the volcano, Mt. Mazama. The temperature at the base of Crater Lake was 85 F, up at the top, it was a nippy 64 F, with a slight breeze blowing.

After touring the Crater Lake area, I returned to the hotel in Eugene where I read the directions on how to pack my bike in the suitcase. I had viewed a VHS tape (shows you how old my bike it) on how to do it prior to leaving London. The first time I packed everything up it took almost an hour. I was very meticulous, and wanted to make sure it was done properly.

The next day at the Portland Airport, security was in full force. As it was only 3 1/2 years since the attack on New York City and Washington, D.C., every suitcase was either x-rayed or inspected manually. Unfortunately, TSA decided to inspect my suitcase manually. They did allow me to stand nearby, as I told them I wanted to lock the case to prevent it popping open. Once I handed the case over to them, it was in essence "theirs". They did manage to stuff everything back in, and they locked the case up for me. The rest of this story is history. And almost ten years later (I updated this story on 22 August, 2014), I am still riding my Bike Friday.

If you want any more information about the Bike Friday New World Tourist, please fee free to email me at kevin@rodgerrealm.com.

The flight from Vancouver to Portland

The only photo I took on the drive from Portland to Eugene

Bike Friday Headquarters, the night before I picked up my bike - scoping the place out ...

Out in the Oregon countryside - test driving my bike - funny how I never even took a "self portrait" while on the road!

More Oregon countryside ...

Crater Lake, south of Eugene

This was in May - I can see why the north access road is closed to traffic until June!

Beauty Scenery!

How the Bike Friday travels

Bike Friday on a 2014 tour in Germany - still going strong 9 years later!

Kevin with his Bike Friday - June 2014: Germany