Monthly Archives: December 2014

What a year! ending with a visit with the ELFs


2014 has been a year to remember.  It’s been year 5 for PHEW!, when we sold quite a few bikes. Repaired many more.  Converted a number of old favorites to electric, ranging from Trek hybrids, Montague folders, tricycles, a few cargo bikes, and our favorites: the Breezer Uptown and Downtown bikes.

Looking back, we added a few brands to our lineup.  Jamis Bikes for their comfort bikes; Tern Bicycles for their exceptional folding bikes; Cleary’s lightweight children’s bikes; Haibike and then Felt Electric bikes with the mid-drive Bosch system offering some of the lightest electric-assist bikes. Thanks to all of you for supporting our adventures.

From May through October, we hosted Thrifty Thursdays, when we invited the community to use our space, tools and knowhow (for free) to do more with their bike. We even taught a few neighborhood children to ride a bike, one at a time!

In July, we installed solar panels to power ceiling fans in our showroom, reducing the need for air conditioning.  In September, we joined the thousands in NYC for the People’s Climate March.  In December, we rallied against the Dirty Energy Hub being planned for Philadelphia, sure to bring short term jobs and a lot more carbon emissions to our region.  Asthma, anyone?

And all year long, we purchased clean, wind-powered electricity generated from Pennsylvania wind farms, via Philadelphia’s own Energy Co-op.  Look them up, and check out their EcoChoice100 plan.

I personally am looking forward to shuttering the shop until mid-January.  We hope to slow down, hibernate a little, research some, and have plans to visit an ELF factory.

What’s an ELF? It’s been called a half-bike, half-car.  When we followed one down the road last year, we heard children call out…Car-bicycle! and Bicycle-car!  And that’s what it is: an electric velomobile; a human-powered vehicle enclosed for aerodynamic advantage & protection from weather.

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We’re trying to decide whether the ELFs make sense for our region.  Do let us know if you have an interest in these; it’ll definitely swing our decision about selling and servicing them next year!

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Glow in the dark bikes…I likes!


I’ve often wondered why new bikes aren’t designed with reflective paint.  I realize many people like matte black bikes for that stealth factor, but most of us commuters just want to be seen.

There is one company, Mission Bicycle Company in San Francisco, that offers a custom bike with a reflective coating. Check out their Lumen.

For the rest of us with bikes we already own and love,  I learned of Hub Powder Works (another woman-owned company) in Boston via this Grist Magazine article: Night Proof Your Bike by Turning it into a Giant Reflector.8255813207_cd8fcbf6d3_z

You send Hub Powder Works your frame. They powder-coat it with the same reflective coating as Mission Bicycle Company.

As a bike retailer, I’d love to see mass produced commuter bikes; i.e. more affordable bikes, come with such a reflective paint.  Matte black feels so passé. If you’re a bike designer and considering this, it seems Halo Coatings is the supplier of the retro-reflective coating solutions for both Mission & Hub.

the Big Lebowske is here!


Just in time for the snow… the Big Lebowske is here!

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What’s a Big Lebowske?  A 10 speed fat bike with a Bosch mid-drive motor.

Ideal for riding in sand or snow. Being built as I write this… stop in to try it in the snow!