Empowering women in cycling

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Front Rack Top Bag Roundup

6 Zimbale Rack Top Bag

Recently, a 2011 Salsa Casseroll showed up for review. With this comes a cute little blue front rack that needs a rack top bag. I don’t know much about this style of bags so this will be post to keep things sorted as I learn more about availability, features and pricing. Most likely will keep updating it as I find more, please comment if you have something!

Non-Custom Front Rack Top Bags

Zimbale Rack Top Bag

 Zimbale Rack Top Bag
Made to fit on a Nitto front rack…the angle of the rear of the bag matches the angle of the upright tab on the rack. Same, consistently high level of construction as all Zimbale bags. Leather used for trim, zipper pulls and attachment straps is very soft and supple. Nice size for the commuter or randonneur.

Racktime Trunkit

Racktime Trunkit Front RackTop Bag

I believe this requires a specific Ractime front rack, but very nifty clip on/off design. It comes in several colors!

Detours Black Transit Box Classic

This is designed to be a rear rack but believe it could fit some larger of the front racks.

Berthoud Frontbag Luxe

Berthoud makes this elegant frontbag of fine heavy cotton and top grade leathers. The outside pockets have leather strap-and-buckle closure. The catch? $327

Let the Planning Begin

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“When we accept tough jobs as a challenge and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen.” -Arland Gilbert

 

I have been blatantly ignoring Bike Shop Girl for the past week. The week has been a whirlwind, stressful, rewarding and I hope soon I can tell everyone about it.

 

For now please be patient with me through the next couple weeks, post will be lower than normal but at the tail end it will benefit all of us!

 

 

6 Hours of Warrior Creek Secret Discount Code

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For some reason Jason over at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek likes me…  Regardless he has allowed me to slip you folks a secret discount code.

6 Hours of Warrior Creek

April 7, 2012 in Wilkesboro, NC

Registration opens October 31, 2011 at 12:01am here…Click me (but look at the code below)

The first 100 spots that use the below coupon code… get 20% off applicable registration fees!

Secret Code for Registration: HEADWATERS1

 

 

Motivational Monday with Jennifer Wheeler

0 Jennifer Wheeler Motivational Monday

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!

What’s your name and location?

Jennifer Wheeler in Seattle

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road Cycling

What is your first cycling memory?

Playing “Cops and Robbers” on our banana seat bikes in Indianapolis. We lived on a long court with a hill and we’d ride up and down and chase each other down.

Jennifer Wheeler Motivational Monday

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

Those who have accomplished greatness. It’s a reminder that you can accomplish the unthinkable with the right focus, talent, and determination.

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

So many as it’s been an incredible first year for me. I would say winning my first NRC race for Team TIBCO during Speedweek. A close second would be placing 2nd to my teammate and world champion, Tara Whitten, at the Tour de Toona prologue. We talked for hours the night before about our goals and struggles in cycling, and it was the perfect cherry on top to place right next to each other.

Tell us all about your bikes

I ride the Specialized S-Works Amira equipped with SRAM red components, Reynolds wheels, Control Tech handlebars and seat post, and Look Keo pedals. With all this bling, it seriously corners and descends like it’s on rails–the handicap in this situation is me! I can’t wait until my skills catch up with the bike’s capabilities :)

Review: 2012 Trek Lush Women’s Full Suspension Mountain Bike

16 2012 Trek Lush Carbon

Since posting the first photos back in July the 2012 Trek Lush has been a buzz around Bike Shop Girl. The Twitter stream gets many comments, Facebook gets many questions and my email has its own little folder of women waiting to hear more on first test rides and availability. As I mentioned a few weeks back I was fortunate enough to be loaned a 2012 Trek Lush Carbon for review and demo purposes from the East Coast Women’s Trek Demo rep.

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The Ultimate Century Nutrition Plan

2 Fuel Factor

Our guest article today is from, Kimberly Mueller, MS, RD, CSSD, the founder and owner of Fuel Factor Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and competitive athlete who provides custom meal planning, nutrition coaching, and event-nutrition guidance to athletes worldwide.  More information on Fuel Factor services can be found at www.Fuel-Factor.com.  Kim can be reached at kim@Fuel-Factor.com

 

Kimberly Mueller

Whether you are professional cyclist pushing some serious wattage to win a race or a cycle-newbie excited to explore the countryside, implementation of a sound nutrition plan will be a huge determining factor in how your body will respond to the century challenge. Fueling peak cycling performance involves a trio of steps including: 1) tapered training and carbohydrate loading the 2 weeks leading up to the ride, 2) eating a meal the morning of the ride, and 3) consuming foods and fluids during the ride itself. Here’s a nutritional countdown to help your century preparation:

Two weeks and counting….

Many athletes actually dread the taper leading up to a big event, such as a century ride, but from a nutritional standpoint, when you complete your peak training volume about 2 weeks out from race day, muscle glycogen (carbohydrate) stores are about 30% lower than capacity, not an ideal place to be at for peak performance. Therefore, a two-week taper is appropriate before a century ride as means to allow your muscles to nutritionally reload.

In the first week of your taper, training volume should be reduced by 40% with the cutback being reflected on all your normal weekly rides. On race week, not only will training volume be reduced by another 40% but carbohydrate concentration in your diet should increase approximately 25% representing about 80% of your total caloric intake. However, while increases in carbohydrate are necessary, this is not an invite to blindly pile on the pasta till your pant button explodes. Calorie intake needs to match output so if you find yourself gaining more than 2% of your pre-load weight, you are consuming too much. Most athletes require ~15 calories per pound of body mass to support basic metabolic needs and tapered daily activities.

One day and counting…

While you may be eager to explore the pre-race scene, it is important that you maintain a ‘taper focus’, keeping your activity and time on foot to a minimal the day prior to a century. Make sure to stay hydrated, sipping on fluids until your urine maintains a pale yellow appearance. Continue your carbohydrate-focus but keep your diet low residue, meaning fiber content should be reduced a bit in favor of ‘easier-to-digest’ options (e.g., banana instead of an apple; white pasta over whole wheat pasta). In addition, fat and protein at your evening meal should be kept minimal as these nutrients take longer to clear the gut and can cause nausea on race morning, especially if the meal is eaten after 6pm. Make sure to stick with familiar foods, saving the more exotic local cuisine for post-ride.

Ride morning….

While a training taper and coordinated increase in carbohydrate intake is proven to prime your muscles for peak cycling performance, a carbohydrate-focused meal on ride morning will help restock your depleted liver glycogen stores, ultimately giving you that mental boost to perform at peak during the initial stages of the century ride. Our liver has the capacity to store approximately 100 grams (400 calories) of carbohydrate making this the target for consumption in the 2 hours leading up to race start. Much like your carbo-loading regimen, limit dietary fiber intake and instead use up to 25 grams of protein (e.g., egg, yogurt, soy milk) to help stabilize energy levels. Small amounts of fat (up to 20 grams), like that found in a couple tablespoons of peanut butter, can provide additional satiation value. Finally, aim at drinking ½-1 liter of fluid or enough that your urine runs pale yellow in the hours leading up to event start. For those vulnerable to cramping or premature muscle fatigue, consuming up to a gram of salt as part of your pre-ride fuel, whether found naturally in your food or added like that in a sports drink, has been shown to help mute the onset by a good 20% during endurance events such as a century ride.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on WheelsAll the nutritional work during your taper and carbo-loading regimen and pre-ride meal is not enough to carry you through a century ride making ‘meals on wheels’ essential for protection against the mental ‘bonk’ and muscle wrenching ‘wall’. Because both pedaling and digestion of food require oxygen nourishment, it is impossible to replace 100% of cycling output, which falls at 500-1000 calories/hour for most endurance cyclists, but, while a 30-40% replacement rate is optimal for most, the goal is to test that limit as means to mute the fatigue seen with depleted glycogen stores.

Note that with increases wattage, effort, and/or heart rate, there will be increases in calorie output yet the ability to absorb nutrients will decrease making the onset of muscle fatigue more probable. Therefore, cyclists who are racing a century should focus primarily on easier-to-absorb liquid carbohydrates (e.g, sport drink, gels with water), utilizing multiple carbohydrate sources (e.g., maltodextrin + 1-2 simple sugars) to help improve rate of uptake and accommodate their higher calorie outputs. All cyclists should avoid piling on the calories at sag stations as this will only divert blood/oxygen/water to the belly increasing the likelihood of cramping and/or nausea post-feeding. Ultimately, experimentation with different products during training is key to help create a plan that will work best for you on event day.

Want help creating an ultimate cycling nutrition plan? Kimberly Mueller, MS, RD, CSSD founder and owner of Fuel Factor Nutrition, is a Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and competitive athlete who provides custom meal planning, nutrition coaching, and event-nutrition guidance to athletes worldwide. More information on Fuel Factor services can be found at www.Fuel-Factor.com. Kim can be reached at kim@Fuel-Factor.com .

Race Report: 10 year old Takes on Beginner Women

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A race report from a fellow Twin Six racer. Madison is a 10 year old chica killing it in the beginner class down in Florida. Learn more about her adventures at mtbracergirl.blogspot.com 

OK..here I was,  Little 66 lb/10 year old me about ready to race these women.  And I’m thinking…what the heck did I get myself into??  Then, the nerves started to settle in, my stomach was a mess, and I just wanted the whole thing to be over with already.

There was a total of 8 beginner women.  I was 6th going into the woods (not good, but better than last).  During the first 7 mile lap, racers #1 and #2 crashed, so I was able to past them and move up to the 4th position.  Feeling awesome and moving along at a good pace, I came across a difficult a climb.  I got off the bike and ran up the hill and ended up passing #3 racer. Then, I came across #2 racer and was able to pass her as she was pushing her bike up a hill. This was too good to be true. I was in second place and kept my position for the rest of the lap and throughout the entire 2nd lap.

mtbracergirl

2012 Trek Lexa Women’s Road Bikes

11 2012 Trek Bikes Lexa S

Looking for a review of the Trek Lexa? Check it out here.

The 2011 Trek Lexa bikes were an amazing hit for Trek Bikes corporation.

It’s one of the top selling women’s road bikes. Many women asked for Lexa by name at demos, and dealers also told us they had many women coming in asking about them. Women love the comfortable fit, race-inspired performance, and the fact that we have so many color and graphics options. It was fantastic to see so many of them at the many triathlons that we sponsored this year. - Trek Women Brand Manager

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Tech Tuesday: How to Adjust a Threadless Headset

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Tech Tuesday

Make sure to visit the sponsors of this posts.. Problem Solvers!

One concern that so many women (and guys) have with owning a bike is the basics of fixing it, or how to do basic road side repairs. I do recommend that as an avid cyclist even with some mechanical skills that you should become best buds with your local mechanic (beer or ice cream works well.) I also want women to feel empowered and to have a better idea of what they are talking about. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!

Today’s Tech Tuesday is based around adjusting your threadless headset. Threadless headsets are what 99% of new bikes come with these days, thanks to Cane Creek, and works with the bearings are pulled together by a nut placed inside of your fork steerer, then the stem is tightened down to hold everything in place.

Steps to Adjust your Threadless Headset

Step 1: Make sure that it is your headset that is loose. Often a loose headset is misdiagnosed by a loose quick release, brake caliper or front hub. We check the headset by grabbing the front brake only, rocking the bike front to back, if you feel movement you then turn the handlebars to the side and again rock the bike front to back.

Step 2: Once you are sure that it is your headset that is loose, or perhaps you have installed a new stem, loosen your stem steerer bolts so the stem can be moved side to side. You do not need to take the bolts out. Now tighten the top (stem) cap, you do not need to wrench down on it, but it should be snug. Rock the bike front to back to make sure the movement is gone.

Step 3: Tighten your stem down, making sure it is lined up with your wheel properly.

Step 4: Loosen the top cap a hair so not to cause the bearings to bind

Step 5: Move your handlebars side to side to make sure the headset is not too tight. If you feel binding repeat steps 2-4 but don’t tighten the top (stem) cap as much.

Step 6: Check over all the bolts and go enjoy and properly steering bike.