In December 2010, I took delivery of the first 16-inch-wheeled bicycle I’ve owned since 1965: a Bike Friday tikit. This is the third bicycle of mine built in Eugene, Oregon. (The first was a Burley Duet tandem and the second was a custom Co-Motion tandem.) This website will discuss the tikit, life awheel and related matters.
Note: Peoria, Illinois, is one of those places most easily described by its distance from things that are not Peoria, including Chicago (128 miles), St. Louis (146 miles), Eugene, Oregon (1,712 miles) and me (16 inches). The city and county are named after a group of people whose descendants own an 18-hole championship golf course in Miami, Oklahoma (390 miles).
Let’s talk bicycles. You can reach me at bikewritercat (at) gmail (dot) com.
– Sam J.
Hi Sam! Nice web site. Lots of interesting bikes, and plenty of names and places from the past. Hope you and Karen are doing well. Debbie and I are still attempting to ride when we can, squeezed in between track meets and band concerts. The 3Rensho is still in the garage awaiting a restoration that will come someday. Over the last 15 years the cycling has had lots of ups and downs, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about it lately. Debbie and I just had a discussion at supper tonight and were trying to dig up names from Peoria cycling. Thus the web search and stumbling across your web site.
Good to hear from you. What are you riding if not the 3Rensho? And, anything you think I should add to this site? Perhaps an engineer’s perspective on something?
Hello again Sam. Sorry to take so long to to get back to you. I started out expecting to see a reply from you in my e-mail, and after a couple months of nothing kind of forgot about it. I finally took a look at this section of your website again, and there was your reply. My current road bike is a steel Scapin frame that I bought in 1995 and put a mix of 80’s and 90’s components on it. The roads around Ripon and Green Lake are excellent for cycling, but riding groups are hard to come by unless you drive to Oshkosh. If you are ever passing through our area and want to stop for a ride or boat trip around Green Lake, let me know.
Good to hear from you again, Daryl. Some of my bikes that are currently together: a 20-inch-wheeled Dahon Bullhead, a Bianchi Pista, with nary an Italian part in sight, though that may change, a custom Co-motion tandem, a 16-inch-wheeled Bike Friday tikit and the World’s Heaviest Fisher Mountain Bike(r), built up from a straight-gauge frame with an 1-1/4 headset. Soon to be reassembled: Les Siegrist’s 1972 Schwinn Sports Tourer, my first fillet-brazed bike, if you don’t count the recumbent trike I built while at Vitesse, and the Paisley trike, for which I finally have axles with enough thread to actually retain the rear wheels when I go through a corner.
I haven’t promoted other forms of contact much, but anyone, including former co-workers, can use bike writer cat at gmail (this is where the dot should go) com.
Interesting to see a cycle blog based in Peoria. I live in London but visit the area once or twice a year visiting family. I brought my lemon yellow Brompton on the plane once and I guess caused a few raised eyebrows on the back roads around Washburn. Never actually managed to cycle in the city though, a pity because driving around all you see is the malls. I hear there are bike paths etc. and I’d guess the back streets are fine for cycling. I do wonder if it’s possible to cross the McClugage Bridge without a car though.
Most of the good riding in the area is on back country roads, well away from the city of Peoria. There are exceptions of course: downtown to War Memorial is fine on back streets. The new trail linking the Rock Island Trail to East Peoria runs close to Peoria Heights. The best bridge to cross the Illinois River is well south of the McCluggage: the Michael bridge was actually designed with bicycles in mind. I’ve crossed the McCluggage a long time ago. About the only reasonable time to ride it is early Sunday morning, though the newer westbound span is wider than the older, two-lane eastbound.
The next time you’re headed back, drop me a note. I’d love to learn a bit about London and your Brompton. How’d you find my site, anyway?
Pingback: Les Schwinn is More: Strip and Give Me 34 | 16incheswestofpeoria
Sorry, I couldn’t figure out how to email you, so I’ll comment here. Just replied to your comment at: http://bronzegears.blogspot.com/2010/08/650b-schwinn-world-sport.html?showComment=1336496018996#c6768175932270778844
I’ve stopped or suspended blogging, though my projects continue apace, and sometimes I feel the urge to share.
Thanks. Happy to answer any follow on questions in email, and I will not at all be insulted by your deleting this — just wanted to give you an answer!
Thanks, John. Always interested in projects…
By the way, If anyone wants to reach me, send your missive to (written so as to foil the robot trollers): bikewriter cat at geemail dot com. Be sure to close up the spaces, take the ee out of geemail, replace at with a circle a, and dot with a period.
Thank you for following my blog! Happy that you like it:) what an interesting blog you have ! for sure will be back here 🙂