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30 Days of Biking and Banjo Brothers

We love our friends at Banjo Brothers. So when they sent us a press release of some good things they were doing, were happy to share that info with our readers.

Proceeds From Merchandise Sales Will Help 30 Days of Biking Support Their Free Bikes 4 Kidz Initiative. One Free Bike to a Child in Need for Every 30 Pledges.

Minneapolis, MN, March 19, 2014–The bicycle advocacy organization 30 Days of Biking has chosen Banjo Brothers, a cycling bag company from Minneapolis to globally distribute its official 30 Days of Biking merchandise. The merchandise will include t-shirts, cycling jerseys, backpacks, phone wallets and messenger bags. Proceeds from the sales will be used by 30 Days of Biking to fund a bike giveaway program for needy children.

For those not familiar with 30 Days of Biking, their mission is simple, but effective. In its fifth year, 30 Days of Biking encourages people to pledge to bike somewhere every day during April, whether it’s around the block or to work, and then to share their adventures online on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social media. 30 days of Biking was founded in Minneapolis by Patrick Stephenson and Zachariah Schaap. Schaap has since stepped aside, but Stephenson continues to shepherd and grow the organization.

Strong social media participation have propelled the participation from 500 to and expected 5000 pledges in 2014. Though the event started in Minneapolis, participants from Somalia, Greece, England, Wales, New Zealand, and the Netherlands made the pledge.

“We couldn’t be happier to work with the 30 Days group again, “said Mike Vanderscheuren, founding Partner of Banjo Brothers. “ For the past four years this simple challenge, ride your bike 30 days in a row in April, has united cyclists across the globe. Banjo Brothers’ role is to provide critical infrastructure for the 30 Days group. Rather than monetize demand for 30 Days merchandise, they’ve decided to leverage the demand to a worthy cause – kids who might not otherwise get the chance to own their own bike.”
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The free bike initiative was spearheaded by 30 Days’ co-founder Patrick Stephenson and business development expert Pete Basgen and is a partnership with the Minneapolis non-profit Free Bikes 4 Kidz (http://fb4k.com). Since 2008 Free Bikes 4 Kidz has donated over 20,000 free bicycles to children in need.

The simple arrangement the 30 Days group has worked out is to provide the money to fund one free bike for every 30 pledges. Cyclists can make the pledge to ride on the 30 days of Biking Website (http://30daysofbiking.com/pledge). 30

Day of Biking management expects to help fund 160 or more free bikes in 2014. “There are many worthy causes, but allowing a needy child to experience the joy of biking we feel is a worthwhile extension of our core mission to create a large community of joyful cyclists,” said Patrick Stephenson, founder and
Managing Director of 30 days of Biking. The funds for the free bike donations will come from a variety of sources including rider donations, sponsorships and sales of 30 Days Branded merchandise. 2014 is the first year merchandise has been offered. Merchandise will be available for ordering on the Banjo Brothers website. (banjobrothers.com)

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Mike Vanderscheuren at 612-310-7795 or email at mvander@banjobrothers.com.

Interbike 2013: Banjo Brothers

We met up with our pals Mike and Eric from Banjo Brothers in Las Vegas. They were gracious enough to spend a good chunk of their time shooting the breeze with us and telling us about some of their new products.

But first, the costumes. As you may remember in years past, Mike and Eric often had the very best costumes on the show floor…from tracksuits to loungewear. This year, they went with what I am referring to as “hayseed chic”:

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Their most exciting new product is this convertible backpack-to-pannier:

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The top flap swings both ways, serving to cover the pannier hooks on one side, and the backpack straps on the other. Presto changeo!

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This bag will retail for around $89, if my memory serves.

Banjo Brothers also had a couple of very chic dry-waxed-canvas bags…urban style and lots of functionality in a sleek package:

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Let’s not forget their Minnehaha Bags line, too — classic styling in waxed canvas and leather:

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It was great to talk to Mike and Eric — they’re good guys who are passionate about what they do, and they are always SO nice to us! Check out their full lineup by visiting their website.


Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
Black Tiger Jerky

Interbike 2013: “Booth Dudes”

One thing we noticed at this year’s Interbike was the reappearance of the “booth babe” — you know, “our product’s not interesting enough on its own, so let’s hire some sex appeal!” Yeah, it’s a pretty tired-out technique, and it is unfortunate that companies still resort to sex-sells tactics. We’re sure you’ve noticed photos of pretty women shilling bike parts if you’ve been following Interbike coverage on other sites. There was quite a bit of that in Las Vegas this year…most of the worst offenders were in the Chinese (!) and Italian zones.

Well, we want to flip the script here and showcase some “Booth Dudes” — RL and I noticed that a lot of the men in bike businesses are rather handsome! The difference here is that not only are these a bunch of manly pretty faces, but they also know their product lines in depth. These are the hardest working guys in the bike biz — folks who are passionate about what they do and have the know-how to back it up. Try getting detailed specs from a booth babe!

So, our 2013 “Booth Dudes“:

Mike and Eric, costumed crusaders par excellence from Banjo Brothers
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The debonair Adam Z. from O2 Rainwear
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These dashing and futuristic cats from Ryders Eyewear
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Our buddy, the supercool JT from Serfas
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The incomparable Mark L. from Planet Bike
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Marcus, our friend and a handsome face at WTB/Freedom
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And, last but not least, the ever-so-dreamy Corey P (in the black shirt) of Dainese. Corey used to be one of our sponsored racers over at Mtnbikeriders.com, and this young man is a hoot to hang out with.
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There you have it — our roundup of handsome, friendly faces at this year’s Interbike. Give these guys a hand for all they do for the bicycle community…both in providing great products, but also in prettying up the place for the rest of us!


Interbike 2013 Coverage Proudly Sponsored by Black Tiger Jerky
Black Tiger Jerky

Banjo Brothers’ “Tiny Bikeshop Concert Series” hits Philly

From our buddies at Banjo Brothers:

Cycling Bag Maker Banjo Brothers Teams Up with Philadelphia’s Trophy Bikes and MPLS based Singer/Songwriter Brianna Lane For A FREE “Tiny Bikeshop Concert” on July 30th

Co-Sponsors Twin Six and Bianchi Bicycles USA sweeten the mix with some sweet swag and marketing muscle

Minneapolis, MN, July 11, 2013 –Banjo Brothers, the Minneapolis-based bike bag maker is putting on their 7th “Tiny Bikeshop Concert™ ” Free Live Music Shows Held in the World’s Best Bike Shops, this time in Philadelphia, PA at Trophy Bikes, 712 N 2nd St Philadelphia, PA 19123 On July 30th. Minneapolis recording artist Brianna Lane will once again headline the show. There will be a shop ride departing from Trophy Bikes at 6pm with FREE Live Music starting at 7:30pm.

Since 2011 the Banjo Brothers have been treating cyclists to the free music shows and helping local bike shops deliver a nice perk to existing and would-be customers. For each event, the Banjo Brothers (not brothers), have brought in key partners to help promote the show and add to the evening’s fun. In this case Bianchi Bicycles and cycling apparel juggernaut Twin Six are part of the mix. Trophy Bikes created some special deals for show attendees. Coupons for service and accessories will be available as well as door prizes from Abus, Banjo Brothers, Twin Six and Bianchi.

On a tip from Banjo friend and Bianchi sales rep Will Mahler, the Brothers Banjo reached out to Trophy Bikes’ Mike McGettigan, Trophy’s owner, about doing one of the popular concerts in his shop. “Mcgettigan’s enthusiasm, his friendly staff and the reputation the shop has for great customer service made it an easy choice,” said Banjo Brothers Co-Founder Mike Vanderscheuren. “I know this is a place where, even if people have never been in the shop before, will have a great time,” Vanderscheuren continued.

One of the secrets to the success of the shows has been the quality of the music.

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Banjo Brothers’ relationship with Brianna Lane goes back almost a decade. Lane is a seasoned performer who has toured extensively on her own and opened for some notable headliners such as Gillian Welch, Billy Bragg and Colin Hay. In addition to being a talented musician, Lane brings a little something extra to these bike-centric shows. She is a die-hard cyclist who the Banjo Brothers got to know when she started a music tour by bicycle instead of by car. This was no cakewalk, but a 1,100 mile trek from Milwaukee, WI to Boston, MA. The need for a specialized pannier for her Banjo sealed the deal.

Lane’s influence and savvy quickly added another dimension to the “Tiny Shows” when she made some key suggestions to the Banjo Brothers, who know little about putting on a music show. Among her input was to treat the musical portion of the event with the same respect as a full-blown concert and not “some music” that’s happening as people mill around the shop. It’s no coincidence that Trophy’s charming space in the Northern Liberties Neighborhood will provide the most intimate of venues. Those in attendance will be treated to a unique and highly personal concert experience.

For more details about the Tiny Bikeshop Concert in Philadelphia, visit banjobrothers.com

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About Banjo Brothers

Founded in 2003 by Mike Vanderscheuren and Eric Leugers in Minneapolis (not brothers), Banjo Brothers make a line of high quality, well-built and affordable panniers, waterproof backpacks, grocery bag panniers, handlebar bags, seat bags, messenger bags, and more for bike commuters, recreational and urban cyclists.
www.banjobrothers.com

About Twin Six
Twin Six is a fashion-forward cycling apparel company located in Minneapolis who offers finely designed cycling lifestyle apparel and a whole mess of other good stuff.
www.twinsix.com

About Bianchi Bicycles
Bianchi Bicycles USA is the exclusive distributor of the world famous, Italian-made Bianchi bicycles. Bianchi’s history in cycling goes back over 120 years. The Bianchi brand has been the bike of choice of numerous Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and world champions. Bianchi offers a full line of bicycles for all types of cycling. For more information, visit Bianchi’s web site
www.bianchiusa.com

About Brianna Lane
Brianna Lane is a gifted singer/songwriter in true Americana form. She writes and performs on an acoustic guitar as well as a banjo, crafting songs that are clear-eyed and pure with an integrity derived from her gritty, unflinching emotional honesty. Long time music-writer/author/rock-journalist Jim Walsh recently wrote that, “Brianna Lane is a star in the making. She’s poised, ambitious, a great writer, a soul singer of the first order and an accomplished guitarist. Lane grew up in Minnesota and still calls Minneapolis home. In her nine years of touring Lane has shared the stage with Billy Bragg, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Colin Hay, Dar Williams, Patty Larkin, The Weepies, Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland), and numerous other well-seasoned musicians. Lane has released three full length solo records and one duo EP with Cahalen Morrison as “Harbor Collective” and has a new album which will launch later this summer.
www.BriannaLaneMusic.com

About Trophy Bikes
Trophy Bikes was founded many years ago by Mr. Paul Hazlett. It operated first in a little storefront near 8th and Catharine. It then moved to Old City Philadelphia. Now, the Garage is in Northern Liberties at 712 North 2nd Street. The shop is owned by Michael McGettigan and operated by a cast of many. Trophy Bikes is trying hard to be one of Philadelphia’s best shops for bicycle commuting and bike touring. Trophy sells bikes that are fast yet sturdy, affordable, yet interesting and above all, fit for purpose. (Ditto for all sorts of accessories for carrying things on your bicycle, across town or across the country.) Finally, (we almost forgot) Trophy sells folding bikes–especially the amazing Brompton Folder from England.
www.trophybikes.com

Interbike 2012: Banjo Brothers

One of my favorite people to visit at Interbike would be our friends Eric and Mike also known as the Banjo Brothers. I’ve known these guys for at least 6 years and did you know that Banjo Brothers is celebrating their 10 year anniversary! A big congrats goes out to these guys who make high quality products at affordable prices.

Mike and Eric, The Banjo Brothers.
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For 2013 the Brothers are offering new frame bags.
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Another product they are offering is a cell phone bag/keeper. The clear plastic cover allows you full control of your screen while protecting it from the elements. This bag is perfect for storing your stuff all together so you can fit it in the back of your jersey pocket.
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You can keep your ID, CC and cash in there.
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This right here has to be my favorite, same concept as above, but you can mount it on your bike!
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Velcro to keep things secure on the bike.
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Another new product is this guy. It’s the same as their backpack but made with a different material. From what I recall, Eric said it was waxed canvas. So that should make some of you retro-grouches happy.
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Here’s a great example of Banjo Brother products mounted on a commuter/touring bike.
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Look hunny, the drapes match the carpet!
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I love me some Banjo Brothers. My own commuter back pack is 6 years old and it’s still going strong! I use for bike commuting and even for luggage when I travel.