Farmington Canal Trail high wheel bicycle ride.

4 05 2010

Spent May 1st riding on the Farmington Canal Trail with The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop and their high wheel bicycles. We covered 33 miles, very impressive for a high wheeler! There was a stop at the halfway point to consume the incredibly delicious Sweet Claude’s ice cream. A great day!


Pennies from heaven.

13 04 2010

The Devil's Gear Bike Shop's six high wheel penny bikes parked outside the shop.

Six penny bikes ready for action.

Spring Snow of Cherry Blossoms

9 04 2010

The Devil's Gear Bike Shop Penny bikes near Wooster Park in New Haven.

The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop – Commuter of the Month

10 03 2010

Each month The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop names a lucky individual (or family) as their ‘Commuter of the Month.’ It’s a great idea to honor those who are making an effort to commute to work without the use of an automobile. And, I am very honored to be named the Commuter of the Month for March! Thank You Devil’s Gear!

If you or someone you know wants to be considered for The Commuter of the Month send the following information to The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop through their Contact Us page here.

Do you commute to work or school by bike?
Do you know some one who does ?
Send us contact info for how to get in touch with them.
And you or they will be commuter of the month !!

1. Name?
2. What is our nickname?
3. What do you ride? Make? Model?
4. What is your rides nick name?
5. What is your commute?
6. Funny Anecdote
7. Favorite bike tip

Click here to view The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop’s Commuter of the Month page.

XtraCycle pickup and delivery.

22 02 2010

Devil's Gear Xtracycle loaded with a bicycle picked up for repair.

The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop offers both bicycle pickup and delivery via their Civia Hyland XtraCycle with a set of Trey Biens. What’s that? An Xtracycle is a bicycle with a cargo loading system called a FreeRadical that attaches to the back of the bike. It extends the wheelbase of the bike by adding a cargo frame into the rear wheel droupouts and the rear wheel into the cargo frame. It can support 200 lbs of cargo in front of the ‘new’ rear wheel location and 55lbs behind this location for a total cargo capacity of 255 lbs. Cool. There are a number of attachments to do anything from hauling groceries, panniers, your kids or even hauling bicycles like The Devil’s Gear XtraCycle does. If you like within New Haven and you have a bicycle that you are having difficulty getting into the shop give The Devil’s Gear a call. You can arrange for pickup of your bicycle. Get a repair estimate when the bicycle is picked up. Have it serviced at the shop. And, even have it delivered back to your doorstep. The cost of the service is $15.00 each way. The XtraCycle can hold two bicycles at once.

I think The Devil’s Gear pickup and delivery service is a great idea. If your bike is your main transportation around New Haven and it is broken, so you can’t get it to the shop, having it picked up is a great idea. When it is fixed you can ride it home again. Or, if you have a tune-up scheduled but, can’t get away from the office. It can be picked up from you at work. Serviced. Then either delivered back or picked up at the shop after work.

The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop – 433 Chapel Street – 203-773-9288

The Devil's Gear XtraCycle can carry two bicycles at once.

New skills for new thrills.

13 02 2010

Left foot up on peg.

So, on Friday it was decided that ‘today was THE day’. I confidently donned my helmet and pushed one of Matthew Feiner’s high wheelers out to the back parking lot of The Devil’s Gear. How hard could this be? I had seen Matt do it countless times with ease. I had faith in the powers of gyroscopic balance. The bigger the wheel the better the balance, right? Right?

Getting started.

I put my arms out at shoulders length and grasped the ends of the handlebars. Then, I took a couple strides and placed my left foot onto the rear peg while kicking along with my right. I immediately realized that it was necessary to time the speed of the right pedal as it came around. Ideally, I thought, mounting the saddle should coordinate with the right pedal passing the apex of the pedal stroke. I stopped and started over again. Hands on bars. Strides. Left foot up. Right pedal coming around. Here we go! I place weight on my left foot. Step up with my right to the pedal. As my weight transfers to the right pedal the high wheeler quickly gains speed and balance. I get my left foot onto the pedal and start off across the parking lot. Whoo hoo! This IS fun! I really feel like the very first time I rode a bicycle. I quickly realize I need to turn. I move the bars. Not much. Quick. I remember Matt saying something about using your hips. I steer left and move my hips right. There we go. Not too bad. I manage a couple of loops around the parking lot before I decide to try to get down. How to get down? The opposite of getting up? Jump? I opt for trying to climb back down. Without thinking I take my left foot off and reach back to feel for the peg. Shoot. Timing! I forget that the right foot is still on a pedal that is connected directly to a large wheel in motion. My right foot rounds the top and the high wheeler lurches forward. I missed the peg and try to remount but, the high wheeler is pitching heavily to the left. I jump off and try to keep the bike from going to the ground. But, unfortunately, I failed miserably. I landed on my knees and left hand and the high wheeler fell onto both myself and the parking lot. I was so disappointed with myself for missing the timing and hitting the pavement. I jumped right back up. I got right back up on that bull. And I rode it around the parking lot for the next 20 minutes. I practiced getting off again and again. Matt gave me some pointers on slowing down and riding it slowly from the back peg. It was awesome. What? Awesome! Next step is practicing out on real streets. After that? Downtown New Haven.

Next stop, downtown New Haven!

High Wheeling with Matthew Feiner

6 02 2010
Matthew Feiner High Wheel Chapel Street

Matthew Feiner high wheeling it down Chapel Street.

I had the opportunity to run some errands downtown yesterday with Matthew Feiner, owner of The Devil’s Gear. Matt was on his new Rideable Bicycle Replicas Superior model high wheeler. Matt is amazingly adept at handling the rigors of downtown New Haven traffic. Of course, most of it comes to a crawl as curious drivers rubberneck. Pedestrians often shout’ “Cool bike man!”, or “How do you ride that.” and Matt eagerly returns their salutations in kind with a smile and a wave. At our stop at the Union Station train depot, a station worker ran inside to gather some co-workers, “Hurry, hurry you don’t want to miss this. Hurry.” By the time I had returned outside a small group had gathered around Matt waiting to see how it was he managed to mount such a tall bicycle. The woman who had gathered the co-workers said, “I was inside and I saw you glide by above the cars and I had to come out to see.” Seeing a high wheel bicycle cruising the lunchtime streets of downtown New Haven is quite a site to see. Especially when the rider is as entertaining as the bicycle he is riding. I hear there are plans afoot for a throng of three or possibly a floatilla of four high wheelers roaming the greater downtown area soon . . .

Matthew Feiner High Wheel near Wooster Park

Mathew Feiner high wheeling past a commuter near Wooster Park.

Humu and High Wheel Locked

The Humu and the high wheeler, locked.