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A Mental Mountain Bike Ride

1 Lake Norman Mountain Biking

Yesterday was a glorious day to get out on your bike.   Sitting around 60º at 2pm I hit one of our local trail systems to Charlotte, NC.  The trails are located in Lake Norman State Park and normally referred to as “Lake Norman.”   There are three different loops that require next to no technical skills in order to ride.  All three loops add up to 17.5 miles so it makes for a decent day on the bike if you do one or two circuits of the trails.    Yesterday, my goal was to hit two of the loops for 11 easy miles.

My Riding is Off

There are some days that things don’t align for you on the bike, sometimes its your health and sometimes its your nerves.   Half way due to having the flu last week, and half way due to not trusting my natural reflects I was fighting myself for the first 5 miles.   My pedals would turn over well, I didn’t trust my tire pressure, I went too slow through rooty areas that require speed.   I walked away with a great ride and glad I went, but wondering how long it will be until I find my legs and head again.

Riding Plan for the Week

Today, recover from the weekend and stretch a good amount.  Oh yes, it is Valentine’s Day!  Tomorrow and Wednesday, most likely mountain bike ride after work.  Thursday and Friday, 1 hour road ride during lunch.

What are your plans for the week?

Be a Girl Today Valentine’s Discount

1 Be A Girl Today

Our friends on Twitter, BeAGirl_Today, mentioned they are having a sale in honor of Valentine’s Day.  Now they don’t make cycling specific gear yet, but supposedly it is in the works.   They have some pretty cool graphic tshirts announcing that you are going to “Play Like A Girl.”

BeAGirl_Today : Pick a shirt any shirt (bag or sticker!!) … enter the code “BeMine” for a 20% discount

Celebrate being a girl today and save 20% off through the Feb 28th, 2011.  Visit BeAGirlBlog.com

Windburned Legs

2 Windburned Cycling Legs

Today was foretasted as a beautiful days, at its peak it was meant to hit 55º and be the gorgeous Carolina Blue skies that I love dearly!  When I left my house this morning at 8am, it wasn’t close to 55º and I would bet it was closer to 20º in the shade.

Why am I telling you all this?

Never Under Dress on Your Bicycle

My upper body was warm, I decided to wear a long sleeve jersey and my team thermal wind-stop jacket.   I didn’t wear long pants, nor warm gloves figuring that knee warmers and tall wool socks plus long fingered gloves would cut it.

It didn’t. 3/4 through the ride my right foot was numb and my legs had the burn of the cold.  I didn’t complain, I did go slower but I didn’t complain to my riding partners.

As I entered the shower, I didn’t realize how cold I really was.  I looked down at my bare naked legs and could see exactly the areas that my knee warmers or socks didn’t cover.   There was a 3″ line between my socks and knee warmers and again around my hip area that looked like a sunburn, and god did it hurt when the warm water hit it.  I quickly shout out for a camera from my girlfriend to take a picture of my legs.    I didn’t need to hurry her as the lines are still there 6 hours later.

Windburned Cycling LegsWindburned Cycling Legs

I’ve never done this one before, and I can promise you I never will again.

Budget Minded Airborne Delta Cyclocross Bike

1 Airborne Delta Cyclocross

When friend and follower Rick Vosper sent along spy photos of a new cyclocross bike he had up his Airborne Bicycles sleeve, I was impressed and excited.  I was sworn to secrecy until they finished testing it.

Here’s the low down.  $1099 for a SRAM Apex equipped, custom carbon fork, disc brake cyclocross bike.  Yes, you read $1099.  Do you know how rare it is to find a cyclocross bike around $1000?   Meet the Airborne Delta CX.

Now Airborne Bicycles is a unique company as it is everything that local bike shops hate.  You can only purchase them online, and because they take out the middle man their bikes are cheaper.   There’s going to be a specific customer for their niche, one that knows what they are looking for, and either knows how to put their unbox their bike, or is okay to take it to the bike shop.   Personally, I’m a fan of this concept.   Buy your bike online, as long as you know what you are doing, bring it to the shop for them to properly build it and then pay them again to fit you.   No low margin bikes for the shop, and only money making profit on the labor of the services.  This is a completely different rant, but for now I’ll save you.


The Airborne Delta CX One Part CX, One Part Commuter

This bike will be ready to rock well before the cyclocross season comes back around.   It is also equipped with bosses for your rack, as a disc brake cyclocross would be a perfect commuter.   That’s the great thing about a good cyclocross bike.  The ample tire clearance gives you room for fenders, rack and all those goodies plus a slightly more upright position than a road bike.  While living in DC, Boston or major cities cyclocross bikes were my go to bikes for 80% of people wanting to “tool around”, commute and go for a fun road ride.

View more photos on Airborne’s Facebook Page.

Charlotte Winter Short Track Finale

0 Winter Short Track

This Sunday is the last day of racing for the 5 race short track series in Charlotte, NC.   This series is a local favorite due to the weather proof trail and great spectator friendly course.   The trail has everything from a good climb, berms, table top and “rock garden.”

If you are in the area come check it out! You can learn more at CharlotteMTNBike.com

2011 Winter Short Track Mountain Bike Series
Renaissance Park Short Track Charlotte, NC
Sunday -  February 13 – FINAL RACE OF THE SEASON

The final race of the series is set for this Sunday.  The weather looks to be awesome for our double points race. This will be a double points race for both the individual and team competition. Ties in the series points is determined by the highest placing at the last race.

The course continues to be in great shape.  Last week, most all race participants were amazed how great the course was for race #4.

Race Day registration opens at 9:00AM
NO pre-reg needed and NO LATE FEES.

POST RACE AWARDS PARTY – 4PM
Post race awards party will be held at East Blvd Bar and Grill.  Please park in the Queen City Bicycles parking lot at the corner of Scott Ave and East Blvd, between BRIX Pizza and the bike shop.   Do not park in the grass parking area directly across from the restaurant…you will be towed. Olde Mecklenburg Brewery has provided has a great deal on beer for the race party.  Come on out.  We will be raffling off the Scott Scale kids bike, compliments of Live it Extreme Sports and the American Classic wheels, compliments of American Classic Racing Team.

Address and directions to East Blvd Bar and Grill…. http://ebbandg.com/

Turn That Light On, Even in the Day

8 Cateye Light

There are reasons that daytime running lights have become standard on many cars, they add safety.   It would be obvious to cyclist to add this extra level of safety to their daily bike rides, even during the daylight.

A Customer’s Story

Two years ago a good customer of the bike shop I was managing was literally run over by a car.  She was on a quiet road during the mid day, with 4 open lanes around her.  The customer is now healthy and able to bike again, but it was a touch and go case.  The owner of the bike shop kept the fork off her run over bike in reminder of the actions we take when riding our bike.  The driver of the car had a pretty standard reply,  “I didn’t even see the person!”  The cyclist was in a very shady part of the road and even though it was sunny out, she was camouflaged by her surroundings.

“I didn’t even see the person!”

As a cyclist and a driver I know this can sometimes be the case.  When lighting is bad, clothing is dark and the cyclist blends into the scenery.  With so many other distractions for drivers to checking in on, phone, radio or the screaming baby in the back, I push everyone to give them better time to see you.

Brighter clothing and not riding in the gutter can help this. My big push to every person I’ve ever sold a bike to that is going to be ridden on the road is a light.  Buying batteries once a month is much cheaper than your life, and with most lights viewable 2,000+ feet behind I’ll take it.Cateye Light

From Facebook and Twitter

Several people chimed in on our Facebook and Twitter accounts to answer the question about riding with their blinky light on during the day.

Tawny Yambrovich I see other cyclists do it in daylight and it is virtually invisible; therefore it is a waste of batteries, and a waste of resources (reducing your use of batteries means fewer in landfills or needing recycling).

Tawny, I agree with you that normally a light isn’t viewable but in that one low light situation I would rather be wasting a bit more than wasting my life.

Josh Lipton Something really bright like the Planet Bike SuperFlash on flash mode is bright enough to easily catch people’s eyes even in broad daylight. I figure the sooner other road users see you, the better.

Amen.   Give motorist a heads up that you are riding, most people aren’t used to riding around cyclist and they need prepared.

Chrome Mini-Messenger : Preview

6 Chrome Mini-Messenger Bag

Over the past few weeks I’ve been able to have some great conversations with the marketing gal over at Chrome about their womens clothing line and their different models of bags.   The clothing line details will be another day but let’s talk about the bag I selected for review.

Chrome Mini- Messenger Bag

There’s no hiding it, I’m a bag whore.  Over the next few weeks we’ll be reviewing a great amount of bags for you guys and you’ll see what I mean about being a bag whore.  As my daily needs for a cycling bag have changed, I decided to scale down on the size of bag I would normally pick.  I wanted something to hold the needs of my daily work, including laptop, book and needed cords.  When commuting, I need the basics of shoes and clothing, sometimes a lock.

This directed me to the Mini-Messenger Bag from Chrome.

Initial Preview of the Chrome Mini-Messenger Bag

The limited edition colors are awesome.   The size is perfect for my 17″ laptop and all my needs.  I haven’t begun to use it on a daily basis but I think it seems to have enough spunk yet, hopefully, be able to pull off a semi-professional look to roll into work.

Check out Chrome online and we’ll be back with a full review in a few weeks!

Go Ride Your Bike Today

2 Raleigh Clubman Fenders

A post over at Kent’s Bike Blog reminded me of a simple thing that all of the readers will probably agree to, bike rides are awesome.   You don’t have to go for an epic ride,  or get geared up in spandex.   Often all we need in life is to get on the bike and pedal for a short while, you’ll come back nice and recharged for the day.

Did You Ride Today?

Tell us about your bike ride, take a photo of your bike, share your story with us!   If you are on Flickr add it to our group, if you are on Facebook add it to our wall, Tweet it or simply leave a comment below.

Personally, I’ll be riding at lunch today.  It will be time to de-stress and move forward into the weekend.

Sponsor em:pwr cycling and Bike Shop Girl

0 kitter

em:pwr cycling
em:pwr yourself
em:pwr others

Below is our sponsorship letter we’ve been sending out.  The response has been overwhelming, and we are excited to get the feedback and interest!  If you think you, or your company would be interested in some sort of sponsorship please let us know.

empwr cycling kit

Sponsorship Rings

We’d like to welcome you to em:pwr cycling, a cycling club uniting both sponsored riders and recreational cyclists with one goal: empowering people through cycling. That’s our motto, in fact: “em:pwr cycling. em:pwr yourself. em:pwr others.”

Our mission is simple: empowering ourselves and others to get on a bicycle to ride – faster, safer, and smarter. We ring the cowbell for any and all when we race or ride. We want to expand the global community of like-minded people, and create a portal so people can find knowledge – and motivation – to go further by bicycle. em:pwr cycling supports beginners, women, men and young people, whether they’re racers, recreational riders, commuters, or fans; and all can find information and a supportive network for their needs. And, we have partnered with Bikes Belong to benefit their People for Bikes program, and our goal by the end of 2011 is to become a not-for-profit organization.

We’re a new club and team, so we’re partnering with companies and organizations that share our goals. If your company or organization is looking for ways to promote itself through passion and purpose, you’ve found a home with em:pwr cycling.

Thanks for your consideration; and be assured that we’ll be promoting the message wherever and whenever we ride! Here are sponsorship package levels from which you can choose:

Big Ring:  $750 per year (may be divided up as $250 cash and $500 in-kind donation for that total amount)
What you get:
1. Logo placement on Jersey or shorts (first come, first served, Big Ring and Middle Ring sponsors combined. Limit 5 total: 3 on jersey and 2 on shorts)
2. Logo placement on homepage of BikeShopGirl.com (average of 80k unique visitors per month, standard ad charge is $75 monthly)
3. Logo placement on the team’s website subcategory, which can also be found at empwrcycling.com

4. A ton of word-of-mouth promotion wherever we roll!

Middle Ring: $500 per year or in-kind donation for that total amount
What you get:
1. Logo placement on jersey or shorts (first come, first served, Big Ring and Middle Ring sponsors combined. Limit 5 total: 3 on jersey and 2 on shorts)
2. Logo Placement on the team’s website subcategory, which can also be found at empwrcycling.com

3. Lots of word-of-mouth promotion wherever we roll!

(Current Sponsors: Lazer Helmets; People For Bikes; Ritz Marketing)

Little Ring: $250 per year or in-kind donation for that amount
What you get:
1. Logo placement on the team’s website subcategory, which can also be found at empwrcycling.com

2. Lots of word-of-mouth promotion wherever we roll!

(Current Sponsors: Flying Pig Racing, Twin SixIndustrial Scientific)