Empowering women in cycling

Archives › June 2012

Tech Tuesday: Keeping Your Bike Out of the Shop

0 Ridley Orion Chain

This is the time of year that all you want to do is ride your bike, not take it in for maintenance. One of my favorite things I would tell good clients was to ride the bike to the shop for a quick check over. Make it part of a monthly or quarterly event. As long as there isn’t anything rattling or falling off you’ll be able to ride there, tell them exactly what might be acting different since you JUST rode it, example “the rear is shifting slow going to easier gears” or “my crank clicks going up hill.” It also makes it so the shop understands you don’t want to leave your bike there. *Normally calling a head and making sure your favorite mechanic is okay with this would be recommended, along with bringing their favorite 6 pack.*

Fastest wearing items on a bike:

  • Chain
  • Cassette
  • Tires
  • Bar tape/grips
  • Chainrings
  • Seals on suspension (fork and shock)

Using Strava for Bike Maintenace

Strava Bike Details

While I am a data geek, and spend too much time on Strava I have found that it is also an easy way for you to keep track of your equipment. Depending on your riding style you are normally able to start gauging how quickly you wear your equipment. It is also a good reminder of getting check overs. I’m able to look back since the first of the year and figure out what bikes have the most milage, do a mental check of which bikes have gotten love and which haven’t. Even if it is as simple as checking chain lube, tire wear and chain stretch. It will help save you money and headache as the season rolls on.

 

Unplugged for a Week

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Have no fear, I’m still kicking. I took a week off from the blog and riding my bike to spend time with family and work on some other projects.

We all need a break sometimes. Mentally, physically and emotionally. This past week was the physical part. Putting efforts into riding roller coasters, working on excel spreadsheets of bike dealer stats and getting my head on straight for the haul from June to the start of cyclocross season. I believe I’m there as my legs felt great the past two days after the week off. My head is on and while I don’t want to geek out too much yet about ‘cross season – I do have goals that I plan on writing out on my bathroom mirror and on my office desk.

In other news

Hope your weekend was great! Time for rest and recovery for me.

Charlotte Cross City Trail

0 Charlotte Cross City Trail

A new project is in the works within my beloved Charlotte North Carolina.

Charlotte Cross City Trail

A 26 mile trail that would connect the northeast sector to the southeast. Connecting major colleges to major downtown city and allowing many communities to be connected without the need of a motor vehicle.

It is exciting to hear that Charlotte has even thought outside of the box as far to think of this. It is frustrating as it may not be part of the current budget, but it is still lives hope in my alternative transportation heart. While I have my fingers crossed that our council will get this project pushed through on the current budget (I’ll be able to tell you by the end of the month) I am excited that we have the plans in place to see this happen somewhere in the future. Hope for Charlotte, hope for bikes, hope for making my city more friendly so my kids don’t have to always drive to be safe.

Learn about the project here: http://maps.charlottenc.gov/ProposedCIP/

Viva La Bicicleta

1 Viva la Bicicleta Tee

Philosophy of Viva La Bicicleta 

Simple: get everyone out on a bike and riding.


Viva encourages everyone to feel the freedom one gets from riding a bicycle. You see more of your surroundings, feel the wind in your hair (under your helmet!), and get your blood pumping from being active. We then feel good about ourselves.

Tshirts and Posters available. My favorite is this awesome track poster!

My Bikes: Foundry Cycles Auger B1

2 Foundry Cycles Auger B1

As a rep for Quality Bicycle Products I have many bikes that are ridden and driven all around the Southeast. They are *all* considered demo’s, so if you are in the southeast and want to try out one of my bikes let me know in the comments or drop me a line on the contact page.

The newest bike in my fleet is a cyclocross bike from Foundry Cycles. When looking through all the brands I rep for my next cyclocross bike for the upcoming season I was automatically drawn to the Auger. Late last season I had raced a Ridley X-Fire, while I enjoyed it immensely (and will probably end up on a disc version this year) the geometry was more race driven than I wanted to ride this summer and I also wanted to try something different. Continue reading →

Finding the White Line

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When people ask me what time of rider I am normally say a mountain biker. It isn’t true though. I started out fascinated with road biking and racing, and happened to enjoy the adventure of mountain biking a lot over the past 5 years.

Recently I picked up a Foundry Auger B1 as a rep sample. Built as a cyclocross bike I took the knobs off and put on some Michelin Pro4 tires and have been treating it as my road bike.  The miles of bonding with that bike are growing, at the end of the rep sample season it will be hard to let it go. The 25c tire on the front and powertapped wheel on the back have become my main vehicle of training next to my prized Salsa Spearfish.

The Moral of this Rant

It is funny that I live in the bike industry and yet it has taken 5 years and a cyclocross bike to make me fall back in love with road riding. Less than a month on it and I’m already looking forward to my next road ride. When training plans say to go either MTB or Road I am now torn on which to go with. This is an exciting twist in my cycling life and a door that has opened back up with passion and love for a sport I grew up in.

Once you’ve been riding for awhile you often forget the fun you had on your first bike, you also forget how a new bike – the perfect bike – can harness so many emotions and create a great motivation to ride further and faster than before.

Next Race on the Calendar: Tree Shaker 8 Hour

0 Tree Shaker 8 Hour MTB Race

As I look back at this spring and my two “A” races it makes me rather frustrated that both of those races ended in tears. Both gave me motivation after looking through the dark very, very hard!

Warrior Creek 6 Hour ended with me so wrecked from my crank seizing up and having to walk/struggle.

Burn 24 Hour ended with me wrecking myself out 9.5 hours in.

Take What You Learned and Move ON

Another way to say it, Keep Calm and Carry On.

Endurance racing is hard as you put a ton of energy into one race. Not only training, but financials, pit support, setup, take down, etc. To have your race ruined due to a mechanical, physical or emotion break down completely stinks as it isn’t like it was a 2 hour race and you’ll be doing another one next week.

Tree Shaker 8 Hour Mountain Bike Race

Next up is an 8 hour race not too far from my home. Located in Fort Mill, SC this race will be a ton of laps and hopefully a ton of fun. Running from 9am to 5pm it will be a hot one at the end of June!

I’ll be doing this solo, hopefully a couple friends will be racing it duo and keeping me company out there. Kim will be my perfect pit crew boss and keeping things running smoothly.

Goals? Too early to tell. I know I won’t win the thing, but good consistent lap times with short pits is the main focus for me. Simply swap water bottles, eat something and keep moving.