Recycled Cycles

Keeping Seattle Rolling Since 1994

Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design

cyclepedia2Catch 36 extraordinary (and weird) bicycles that will bedazzle, and even bewilder. In its only US appearance, Cyclepedia brilliantly navigates the evolution of bicycle design. All summer long (June 8 – September 8) at the Portland Art Museum. For more information, visit:


Guest Post: Beer & Bike Tours

Thanks to Bob Williams from Beer & Bike Tours for the guest post! 

Do you like beer? You obviously like bicycles. Do you like to travel? Why not combine all three?

Beer & Bike Tours is a bicycle tour company based in Fort Collins, Colorado. We offer multi day cycling adventures that end each days riding at a craft brewery for a beer tasting. You could say our tours are from pint to pint.

Beer & Bike tours was founded by Bob Williams after moving back to the United States after 6 years abroad in Japan and Germany. While abroad Bob and a group of friends started Beer & Biking as a way to find new pubs and routes to explore. As the group evolved so did the idea to open a bicycle tour company based on the two greatest things in life.

BBT pictures 2

Read more…

Resolutions or Goals?

Photo by sharpneil

Photo by sharpneil

If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.
~ Yogi Berra

The idea of making resolutions at the start of a new year makes me wary. I always feel like I’m setting myself up to fail – and more often than not, I admit, I do. This year, instead, I’m calling it goal-setting. I’ve got one big goal (ride the STP with my 14-year-old son without letting him totally dust me) and mini goals that lead up to it. I find it easier – and more fun – to have something to work toward, rather than stressing out about giving up chocolate or trying to quit biting my nails.

Even if you’re not interested in tackling a big group ride like STP, think about the new year as a chance to set some personal goals. Small, achievable, measurable steps are a great way to move forward without overwhelming yourself. But be sure to choose something meaningful – know why you want to reach that goal, or it will be easy to quit. Perhaps most important, be specific: instead of saying “I will ride more this year,” try “I’ll sign up for 3 organized rides” or “I’ll commute to work by bike twice a week March through September.”

Here are some links to help get you rolling:

  • If you’re looking for dates to put on the calendar, Cascade’s event calendar is a great place to start.
  • For some help honing your skills, try CycleU.
  • Consider working with a coach. Our friends at Corpore Sano can give you a cycling-specific physical therapist’s perspective and knowledge. We’ve known Dan Harm of HARM Coaching forever – he is awesome and can help with everything from technique to endurance.
  • Want to get the family involved? We’ve got great deals on used kids’ bikes, and the selection is always changing! Also, check out Kidical Mass for great family-friendly rides.

In the bag…

Koki Hobo

A soft hard-shell pannier, honest! Made of EVA foam, the Hobo easily attaches/detaches from your rack and will keep everything you travel with safe and dry. You can completely remove the lid if you’re hauling something bulky, and there’s a removable shoulder strap. Great for trips to the market!

Ortlieb Vario

Ortlieb bags are perennial favorites, and for (several) good reasons: they work as a pannier or backpack;  feature a helmet flap, 2 neoprene outer pockets, internal pocket, carry handle, reflectors, and chest strap; and offer comfort and excellent quality of construction.

Tibuk2 Especial Tres

Timbuk2 bags are a great choice too – we especially like the Especial Tres! This durable roll-top has compression and expansion, ventilated back panel, a welded laptop pocket (fits laptops up to 15″) and waterproof zip to keep all your gear in good shape. And like all Timbuk2 products, it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Mission Workshop Vandal

The folks at Mission Workshop also make mighty fine bags, including this expandable roll-top backpack with its weatherproof main compartment (which can double in size) and multiple extra compartments. There’s space for a 15-inch laptop in the front zippered pocket; you can stow a 17-inch laptop in the rear roll-top space. Mission Workshop offers a lifetime warranty on their products, which are made in the USA.

Even more gift ideas…

Did I mention we’re having a sale? Through Christmas Eve? Stop by and pick something up for yourself or for you favorite cyclist! Here are a few more ideas:

Showers Pass Rogue Hoodie

New from the fine foks at Showers Pass, the Rogue Hoodie is the kind of jacket you’ll want to grab every day. Weather-resistant with a 3-layer waterproof softshell Artex material to keep you cozy when it’s 55 degrees and below – and isn’t that really November – June around here?

Showers Pass Double Century EX

Also from Showers Pass, for the ladies, the Double Century EX is a super light, packable shell with a 2.5-layer waterproof material for a drier next-to-skin feel. While this jacket offers serious protection from serious weather, it still packs right down to tuck into a jersey pocket. Also available for men.

Smartwool HyFi Arm, Knee, and Leg Warmers

Arm warmers are practically a cycling essential in these parts. Here’s what’s awesome about Smartwool’s HyFi fabric: it’s a blend of 45% nylon and 39% Merino wool with a bit of Elastane thrown in, so these arm, knee and leg warmers are super warm and comfortable without sacrificing fit.

Big Sale!

Yes, we’ve got markdowns at both Recycled Cycles locations on way too much stuff to list, from Friday 11/23 through Christmas Eve, so stop by to browse around. Plus this weekend ONLY – Friday, November 23 – Sunday, November 25 – we’ll cover the sales tax on whatever you buy.  It might be a good time to get some holiday shopping done, or stock up on cycling gear for yourself. Just putting it out there!

More great gifts!

Here are a few more gift ideas for your favorite cyclist. Who wouldn’t love any one of these? Or all of them!

Feedback Sports Pro Elite Repair Stand
When we’re not working on your bikes at Recycled Cycles, you’ll find us using a Pro Elite at home. This lightweight aluminum stand is super easy to set up and take down (no tools required), you can adjust the height and it’s truly portable, weighing in at just over 12 pounds. Ideal for the DIY-er in your life!

Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders
There are so many things we like about these fenders it’s hard to know where to start: easy to install, look great, work even better.  If you have a road bike and have had a hard time finding just the right fenders, PDW’s anodized aluminum Full Metal Fenders are the ones you need. They’ll fit around caliper brakes and under forks and you can get add-on mounts if your bike lacks eyelets. And that, my friends, is a gift.

Lezyne Classic Floor Drive Pump
Personally, I think a great pump is worth its weight in gold – and this Lezyne Classic is a beaut. It’s a high pressure pump for both Presta and Schrader valves with an included Speed Chuck for disc wheels. Oversize gauge (for those of us with, um, “mature” vision), steel barrel and a classic varnished wood handle.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Lights You’ll Love

It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start thinking about holiday shopping, but it’s mid-November! We thought it would be a good idea to start with lights, as we’ve been commuting home in the dark on these chilly November evenings. For safety, the question isn’t “if” you need a light, it’s “which one?” Here are a few of our favorites:

Blackburn SuperFlea

Don’t let the small size fool you; this affordable little LED puts out 120 lumens, easily hooks up to a USB smart charger, has waterproof charging ports for our rainy weather, and will run from 1-5 hours, depending on mode.

NiteRider Lumina Series

Another lightweight, superbright favorite is the NiteRider Lumina series. We carry the USB rechargeable Luminas in two models – 350 & 650 lumens – to fit any budget.

Light & Motion Commuter Combo Pack

For the dedicated bicycle commuter in your life, pick up the ultimate combo from Light & Motion. Includes the Urban 200 front light and Vis 180 Micro rear light – both of which are USB rechargeable – to keep you safe on the road all year long, at a better price than if you purchased the lights separately. Also available with an Urban 550 front light for those who need a seriously bright light.


While we were in Park City, UT this summer we learned about an organization that Raleigh is sponsoring called Ride2Recovery. I meant to write about it as soon as we got back, but then…and then…and here we are in October. In any case, better late than never!

If you haven’t heard of Ride2Recovery, check them out. The mission is to help U.S. military veterans with mental and physical recovery through cycling. They stage multi-day, long distance cycling events – and your paid participation allows an injured vet to participate for free. The money raised also goes to support equipment needs, like retro-fitted bikes that can accomodate someone who has had a limb amputated. It was amazing to hear about the lengths these folks would go to in order to create a bike that would work for anyone, no matter the extent of their injuries.

We had the honor of meeting a couple of the Ride2Recovery athletes while we in Utah, including Juan Carlos Hernandez, who started with the organization as a means to recover from injuries sustained in battle in Afghanistan and now works for them. You can read about Juan and some of the other athletes and their stories here. When I think about what it must take for these athletes to get on their bikes each day, it makes me realize my minor aches and pains are really just…minor.

It’s too bad they don’t have a Ride2Recovery Challenge here in the PNW, but they did have a group riding in STP last year, so if you’re interested – or especially if you know a veteran who might be interested, look them up!


Photo Credit: Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst


Bikes on Vacation

We just returned from a visit to DC and Virginia, catching up with old friends and showing the kids our old neighborhoods. It was a great trip – but the triple-digit temperatures kept our level of activity to a minimum. By the end of the trip we were all itching to stretch our legs. Luckily, the weather cooperated and a nice cold front came in just in time for our last free day, bringing the temperature down to a very civilized 80-something degrees.

We planned to visit the monuments on the National Mall and maybe hit a Smithsonian museum or two. Since it was our last day, time was of the essence, so we decided to rent bikes and cruise from monument to memorial to museum. We hopped off the Metro at Federal Triangle, just a block and a half from the Mall and walked up to Bike and Roll, literally steps away from the Metro station. So convenient! They hooked us up with Trek comfort hybrids, perfect for our outing, plus helmets, tubes, pumps, and locks. They also rent performance hybrids, cruisers, road bikes, tandems, trail-a-bikes, and trailers – really, something for everyone! Bike and Roll offers tours, too, or you can join a free Ranger-led bike tour that starts at the Jefferson Memorial.

Believe it or not, even though we grew up in the DC ‘burbs, we’d never ridden on the Mall. It turned out to be a perfect way to see the sights! It’s flat, with nice wide walkways to make dodging pedestrians easy even for the kids. Cycling on the street was easy too – I think that DC drivers must be used to tourists on two wheels taking over the city in the summer. We easily saw all of our “must-sees” in just a couple of hours, leaving plenty of time for a leisurely lunch and a visit to the National Museum of American History.

Another option is the Capital Bikeshare, which allows you to rent a bike with just a swipe of your credit card from one of 165 stations around the city and return it at any other station. The problem is that they don’t provide helmets or kid-size bikes, and the pricing can make it more affordable to just rent a bike for the day, depending on how you plan to use the bike.

Cruising from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial along the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial (with stops at the MLK Jr. and FDR memorials along the way) couldn’t have been better.  All in all our day on bikes was a great way to end our vacation – and a good reminder that sometimes the best way to see a city is by bike!

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