Empowering women in cycling

Archives › December 2011

Coach or No Coach, a Guest Post

0 Pam Sayler

Pam Sayler wrote this guest post earlier this year. Somehow it was categorized incorrectly in my email and I found it during holiday break. I believe this is a great post to start thinking about plans for 2012. Coaches, and if you need one is a common questions as people start pushing themselves in the sport.

While pushing the Kirby this weekend my mind drifted to the subject of coaching. Why would the average rider hire a cycling coach? What advantage would a coach have to one whose cycling ambition is less than the current world champion?

I paused vacuuming long enough to check in on my son who was practicing piano.

Jacob is in his second year of lessons and progressing nicely. But like many 9 year olds he looses focus and spends about ½ of his time just playing. While I try to take a back seat and not micro manage him I do find it necessary to step in and make sure he is completing the work of understating music theory, structure and technique. By ensuring he spends time on developmental drills I am assured that my investment has a positive
return and Jacob has a broad awareness of music, stronger hand to eye coordination and simply plays better. Even if he does not have the desire to become a concert pianist Jacob’s father and I see music as a door to many future opportunities and will give him a well rounded view of life.

It took me vacuuming the remainder of the family room and down the hallway to connect those dots. Just as I stand behind Jacob seeing he stays on task a cycling coach will help me ride more efficiently – prevent injury and cycle longer. Not just that one day, but cycle longer in life.

In turning to a coach you are entrusting someone to look over your shoulder. Not to compete against, but to draw along side of you and guide you. Coaching is that special mix of relationship and expertise. One needs to trust their coach. A technical and certifiable background is necessary but equally important is the human factor; how well you interface. Before signing on with a coach, ask yourself the following:
Why do you want a coach? – specifically, what are you looking for?
What is your budget?
What is that person’s experience and education?
How much interaction do you want? Individual, group, online?
During the interview process look for someone who asks these questions and has good answers for your questions. Determine how long it will take to reach your goals and make sure your to contract for a brief period first – a longer contract can be drawn up after you are confident this coach is the right one for you.

And finally, remember that no matter how good a coach you hire, and how lofty your ambition nothing will happen if you don’t set aside time and stick to the plan. The investment in yourself will only pay off if you apply time and effort. Otherwise you are just throwing away money. And if you have money to throw away, please let me know. I’ve got a few years of piano left to fund.

Pam Sayler is the North American Sales Manager for Kinetic
She lives in Minneapolis with her Bike-Shop owning husband and their children. Last year Pam commuted 2,000 miles to work on her bike

Motivational Monday with Nicola Cranmer

0 Motivational Monday Nicola Cranmer

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

If you haven’t heard of Nicola and her Team Twenty12 of women’s pro road cyclist, go google them. Better yet, click this link after you are done reading the interview below with team owner, Nicola Cranmer. Nicola and her team are single handedly changing the face of women’s pro cycling in the US. Their outreach, marketing sense, and team effort is hard to match in today’s cycling scene.

What’s your name and location?

Nicola Cranmer, California today!

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

My passion is mountain biking but I appreciate and enjoy all disciplines.

What is your first cycling memory?

It was in England I dont remember my age, my dad was running along side of me holding the bike and he let go, I will never forget that moment of riding without stabilizers. At the time of course i did not know where that bike would really take me, the bike is my life and I LOVE it.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

Many people inspire me to ride, Kristin Armstrong inspires me to be better, my friend Pete has brain cancer, the bike represents freedom to him, he loves it, it makes him feel good, he inspires me to appreciate my health and that i can jump on my bike anytime. I’m inspired by anyone that is enthusiastic and passionate about riding bikes.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Being a team owner and general manager, riding the bike is not always my priority. Two recent rides that stand out for me were Mount Wilson it was a mental decompression ride which includes an 18 mile climb and we all know what that means..18 mile descent! Beautiful day, excellent company. The second was the Dempsey Challenge in Maine which raised over $1 million for the Patrick Dempsey Center for cancer hope & healing. Very inspiring to ride with cancer survivors. Also any time I throw my leg over my mountain bike is a great moment!

Tell us all about your bikes

Felt ZW road bike, its super sexy and very quick, descends really well too! Im actually going to get a new mountain bike, Felt makes some really sweet bikes and its a toss up between a dual suspension and a 29″ hardtail, i’m more inclined to go hardtail. I also have a Felt CX bike. I have an old cruiser with a kick back brake.

Things I am Thankful For

0 Montana

Currently I am on vacation with my family in Bozeman, Montana (if you live around here let me know and we can get coffee.) The post are limited, and the thinking of bicycles is rare. I’m doing my best to spend time with my family, meet new family and freeze my rear off in the snow.

Christmas is a great time to look back and be thankful for what you have and what you were able to achieve in the past year. I’m not a very religious person but the Christmas holiday always leaves me feeling very humbled and thankful for my life and loved ones.

My List of Thanks for Cycling

EM:PWR Cycling - a great group of cyclist coming together to get more people one bikes

The Memory of Jeff Papenfus – Jeff was an amazing figure in cycling in the Southeast, he is missed.

A Patient Partner at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek - Thank you Melissa for not making me do another lap.

Airborne Flight Crew – A great opportunity to ride a good bike, a free trip to Sea Otter and meeting new people.

Motivational Monday – It inspires me weekly when strangers will answer my questions about their cycling lives.

My Support Team at 24 Hours of Burn – Patient, funny, great cooks, horrible mechanics and amazing people.




Motivational Monday with Kathy

1 Motivational Monday Kathy

Motivational Monday Kathy

What’s your name and location?

Kathy in Philadelphia, PA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

road, mountain bike, would like to try cyclocross

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding around and around and around the driveway with my sister on our first big wheels (or so the photos recall, I must have been about 2 or 3). I do concretely remember my first 10 speed, it was grey and pink of course. There may have been tassles but I choose to block that part out, definitely had those fluorescent spoke blings that would make all kinds of noise when I rode.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

My husband who’s gently but steadily encouraged me to ride with a healthy bit of tough love, but mostly me for riding through some challenging life events, and the mental release I feel when I’m riding. Also, watching bad ass cyclocross ladies compete, because they like hilly courses and dirt.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Riding my first 2 day total 160 or so mile ride after a summer of health issues that kept interrupting my training plans. It didn’t hurt that it was a ride for MS with total strangers cheering me on at the finish as if I wasn’t already getting a little emotional.

Tell us all about your bikes

Cannondale Caad 4 S1000 with a sweet limited edition red, orange and black fade paint job (a tad too big for me but has served me quite well)

2011 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er (my new and first mtb bought as a bike shop demo sell off on which you will find me smiling and laughing on the Wissahickon trail loving this new ride) and also pennies being saved for a Specialized Ruby (or other ultimate road bike I will find to lust after)

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Preview: Surly Troll. One Part MTB, One Part Utility

5 Surly Troll Preview

While at the Surly Intergalactic Headquarters of QBP I was able to demo a few bikes for commuting purposes from my abode to the headquarters. While there was also a Civia I haven’t put up yet, there is a Surly Troll that also busted a friends hip on the black ice across the Minneapolis pavement.

Continue reading →

Pugsley Fat Bike Demo Hitting NC

0 Surly Pugsley

A long time ago there was a purple Surly Pugsley floating around in my life. It was fun to ride, a hoot to get others on and a solid build. As I’m trying to learn my Southeast region territory I figured a perfect bike to bring in to have at events like cyclocross, endurance mountain bike rides and such is a fat bike!

So, an 18″ Surly Pugsley will be landing in the area later this week. A local shop will be building it up, putting some personal Bike Shop Girl touches on for me and taking it to some cyclocross races while I am traveling out of the area. If you are interested in a fat bike it is a complete post on it’s self but it is simply putting the fun back in biking.

Cyclocross on a Sunday

0 NC Cyclocross

This past sunday I spent most of the day out on the side of a grassy hill with camera in hand in Wilkesboro, NC. Most of the photos are sitting on my desktop computer in Charlotte as I fly off to Minneapolis. Last night, before I went to sleep very early to wake at 3am, I grabbed two of the shots that seemed to fit the day the best.

NC Cyclocross

Kudo’s to all of the racers that attached the large climb at the end of the course. Kudo’s to the growing juniors class. Kudo’s to Stackhouse with Highcountry CX for putting on a great event with free beer!


Motivational Monday with Robin

1 Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday

What’s your name and location?

Robin – New Jersey

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Most passionate about mtb – but love road riding and now cyclocross

What is your first cycling memory?

My banana seat coaster bike…going airborne and breaking my leg (both shin bones)…spent 11 weeks in casts…and I still went back for more!

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

my friends support me and inspire me…my coach…I want to improve for myself. I keep reaching for new goals.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

so far?!? the year isn’t over…

Finishing 3rd in the local mountain bike series as a Cat 2 racer…finishing my First endurance race…first podium in cyclocross.

Tell us all about your bikes

I have five bikes…yes five. Each one has a purpose…lol.
1) Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe FS 29er (this is the “beast”)
2) Motobecane 29er HT (this is my race bike)
3) Misfit 29er fully-rigid (this is my fun bike)
4) Cannondale Caad X Cyclocross bike
5) Specialized Dolce Elite road bike

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Wilkesboro NC Cyclocross Race this Sunday

0 Wilkes County

As I am bouncing all over the region, and US this week I hope you can understand the late timing on this but it’s worthy of your read. Stackhouse of Highcountry CX is at it again with a great (painful) course on a great venue in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

Wilkesboro historically known for moonshine and beautiful mountain biking will be hosting a days worth of cyclocross starting at 10am running until roughly 4pm.

Here’s what I challenge you. If you are a roadie reading this, come heckle with me. If you are a mountain biker some of the best riding of the Dark Mountain, Warrior Creek and Kerr Scott Dam is right there. If you want to try it, comment below and I’ll find a bike for you to ride.

Seriously. It will be one of the more entertaining races in the North Carolina series. Read the flyer, come hang out and there’s two kegs of beer to finish off! For now let’s watch a video of Stackhouse bumping along in his ragged old car.


Sewerfest Campground, Snyder Street, Wilkesboro, NC