2012 September

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2013 Surly Bikes Preview

I’ve been biased to the Surly brand since 2003. This is about when I purchased my first Karate Monkey “29er” and then again in 2004 when I picked up a hidden stock of the pink 1×1. Since then I’ve had many bikes with the Surly logo stickered down the side. Multiple Karate Monkey’s, a Long Haul Trucker, a Big Dummy and Steamroller.

There hasn’t been much change to the 2013 Surly lineup, some colors, a 14″ Pugsley and of course, the Krampus.

Disclaimer: I am now the Southeast rep for Surly. If you buy a new Surly Bike in NC, SC, TN, AL or GA, from an independent bicycle dealer, I will make money from it. I encourage it, and look forward to being able to afford a Krispy Kreme donut in your honor. 

Brooks Leather Bar Tape
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Brooks Leather Bar Tape in Eye Popping Colors

There is something about the classic look of a a Brooks saddle and matching Brooks leather tape. Earlier this season Brooks put a twist to it with a lot of new colors, click to view them all.

What is so special about leather tape? It last forever, it gets tacky when wet and it has a unique feel to it that can’t be matched by a man made version.

MSRP: $75

Race Face Single Ring
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Race Face Single Ring for 9/10 Speed

MSRP: $37.99
Details: 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40T x 104 BCD (4 bolt) 9 and 10 speed Compatible

Running 1×9 or 1×10 is huge these days. With the range you can get on a cassette many folks like the ease of use and less headache of dropping chain, shifting, etc.

I’m sold on the color and plan to be running a blue one on a new cyclocross 1×10 build I’m working on!

Active Angelz
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Interbike ’12: Active Angelz

A Bike Shop Girl exclusive, first look at the new Active Angelz line that will be launched next week at Interbike!

Active Angelez’s Launches New Female Endurance Athlete Line September 19th at the Interbike Expo 2012

Active Angelz announces their athletic line’s launch at the Interbike Expo, September 19th at booth 12138. Be one of the first to feature and review this line before it hits the mass markets of athletic wear.

Active Angelz is designed to appeal to the woman who is fit, stylish and fashionable, appreciates quality and demands athletic wear that incorporates the very best of technology. She is feminine yet strong, athletic and stylish. She balances a busy life but still finds time to work out and whether she is working out or hanging out she still feels and looks great.

Visit their Facebook and check here next week for more info and photos from the show!

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Celebrating ARTCRANK and a Dear Friend

Sunday morning, pounding on a keyboard as it seems to be a common occurrence of the latest Sundays. Catching up, setting plans and downloading for the week. Check gmail, say hello to friend, Charles, as it seems to be the only time in a hectic week we can catch each other. Picturing him in his office in Minneapolis, I’m often found on my patio in PJs.

The chats have become a weekly routine that I look forward to when I can catch him. Having friends that you are connected to online, is a strange and yet glorious thing. Charles knows so much about me, more than most, and I can say we have spent roughly 7 days together, 5 of those are when I crashed in his spare bedroom this past December. We can thank the internet, late night talks, a mutual love of bicycles, art and opinions. Friends like this are a gem so I wanted to quickly take a moment to celebrate Charles and his creation, ARTCRANK.

Bikes are the world’s most fun, accessible way to get around. Posters are the world’s most fun, accessible art form. ARTCRANK™ brings them together.

ARTCRANK is a show of bicycle-inspired poster artwork that introduces people to talented local artists and sends them home with affordable, original works of art. Every ARTCRANK show features posters created by local artists from the host city. Admission is always free, and posters are priced to let everybody take home at least one.

ARTCRANK began in Minneapolis in 2007. Since then, we’ve held shows in DenverSt. LouisPortlandSan FranciscoDes Moines and Bend. In September 2010, we held our first international show in London. And in September 2011, we held our first show at Interbike, the bike industry’s annual convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. For 2012, we’re adding new shows in Austin, Los Angeles and New York. – ARTCRANK.com

 

Going to Interbike?

Join ARTCRANK Interbike

Asheville Cyclocross Bent Creek
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Race Report: Asheville CX at Bent Creek

Goal: Utilize all available pre-season races to visit that pain cave and learn to survive in a new (faster) class.

Thursday

Foundry Cycles Auger

Last minute touches on my race rig. New bar tape, rotated the hoods a hair, and put the racing shoes on (Fulcrum Racing Zero with  Clement PDX front and Michelin Mud2 rear.)

Friday

Asheville and openers

Saturday

Started off with toast, honey and peanut butter. On to Waking Life Espresso off the recommendation of local boy, Drew Hager.

Waking Life Espresso

Course tested, it was going to be fun – feeling much like a short track mountain bike ride, with some stairs and stretches of green grass. It was going to be an all out test of my skillz. Good length of the course is a stretch of green grass, turning and weaving down a hill where you find true single track with roots and a couple bridges. Weaving back around, up and down some dirt hills, a loose gravel short climb, pop out, ride a section of a pump track, down a couple steep hills to give you a turbo boost back into a grassy field to hop off and run up cement stairs. Weaving back through an upper section where the crowd will form, a pavement playground section where hopscotch etched on the ground and basketball hoops overhead. Two sand pits, I believe to be for children to build castles, a bit more grass and then through the finish line, down a hill and sharp left turn to start it all over again.

There would be beer handups and my mentality starting was if I got lapped by the ladies, I could have a beer handed to me, or thrown on me. Whichever would be fine.

Asheville Cyclocross Bent Creek

The 5 other A/B girls and I lined up. We were asked if we wanted to start with the male B’s. “Sure, why not?” Getting started on a strip of lushes grass, it was the fastest my legs would see the whole race. For about 45 seconds, until the 5th turn, I wasn’t last. I held on to a couple girls wheels for most of the first lap. Couldn’t hold on. If I was going to last for 45 minutes I needed to back off a few heart beats.

Asheville Cyclocross Bent Creek Twin Six

Asheville Cyclocross Bent Creek

Finding my rhythm as the sweat poured off me, I left everything possible on the course. My “fast” isn’t as fast as the girls I raced, being lapped with 2 laps to go. I was proud that I didn’t get lapped by everyone, so I have hope to catch on and join half the field by the end of the season!

My cheering squad was spread all over the course. Between the Strout’s and their cowbells, and my Kimberlee taking photos from all different angles. Even had a bunch of the local shop guys cheering when I went by. Hopefully everyone saw how hard I pushed and I can be proud for that for today.

Moving On

The boys of Asheville Cyclocross put a good race on. Doing a great job involving the community and finding the roots of cyclocross. If you can make any of their races this year, DO IT!

There’s a good amount of time between now and the start of the NC Cyclocross series. Here’s to improving greatly between now and then so that I can catch on to some of the B girls!

CX Photo Credit: Kimberlee Welsand

TN Valley Bikes
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Friday Shop Profile – Tennessee Valley Bikes

As an independent rep for Quality Bicycle Products I travel to bike shops all over the Southeast of the USA. Visiting a great amount of killer shops, doing what they love and each one in their very unique way. Next time you’re close, check one of these out! Want to see more shops? Visit the tag.

Shop Name: Tennessee Valley Bikes (TN Valley Bikes)
Location: 214 W Magnolia AveKnoxvilleTN.
Number: 865.540.9979

The boys at TN Valley created a soft spot in my heart very early into my position. This is a shop that reached out to me right when I started to say “hi.” Normally, as a sales rep it is me doing the calling/emailing and introduction to say hi. Maybe it is due to the manager, Neal Knight, being a previous employee of Quality Bicycle Products. Either way, that “hi” went a long way.

TN Valley specializes in going super fast on dirt (mountain and CX) or setting up some pretty cool touring and urban/commuter rigs. They are the spot in Knoxville to test ride Salsa and Surly Bike, or try on some Lazer helmets when you are there. We currently are working out a overnight camping trip for this fall, so keep your eyes peeled and getting your gear ready!

Stop in and say hi to Scott and Neal if you are in the area!

GU Electrolyte Brew Review
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Review: GU Electrolyte Brew Lemon Lime

Reviewing a nutritional item is so different than trying on a pair of shorts. Even restaurants I struggle with reviews. What I like is much different than what you may like, but my job is to tell you about my experience and you come up with a conclusion that fits you to try it or not. Let’s try to make this as useful to you as possible!

This review should start with a disclaimer, and notice to never ride behind me. I sweat a lot. Which means I need to take on a lot of liquids and replacement for the salt leaving my body on a salty stream.

Overall Review of the Gu Electrolyte Brew

Two thumbs up, the Brew is mostly carbs and sodium. Exactly what I need on hot days in the southeast. Replenishes what I’m sweating out without giving me a heavy stomach while riding tempo. If I need something with more weight to it I goto Cytomax. The Lemon Lime flavor reminds me the taste of the original Gatorade flavor. I find it strangely comforting as it brings me back to two a day practices in high school!

These guys come in single serve packets or big jugs. I recommend to try out a different flavors of the single serve and let me know what you think!

Visit Gu Electrolyte Brew Online

FTC Disclaimer: The product was provided at no charge for review. I was not paid or bribed, but wouldn’t mind getting paid once in awhile for this.

 

Arleigh Pain Cave
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Visiting the Pain Cave

Back in May I started conversation with a guy by the name of Steve Weller of Bell Lap Coaching. With my crazy schedule of juggling so many things I needed to find someone that could negotiate my available timing to give me the best quality workouts which would in return give me the best quality results. This is a long term investment, in myself, my riding and my lifestyle. I wouldn’t wake up being 50% faster but over time with dedication (and understanding from the family) I would become better than I was. Being able to hang onto a A/B group ride at one of my hot road shops…that is my ultimate goal.

In late May I started riding with a powertap strapped to the rear of two bikes, my Salsa Spearfish and my Foundry Auger. For the first month I was to just ride in the zones spelled out on my weekly training, these zones were mostly by feel and heart rate. Around mid June I went through my first threshold test in many years. The threshold test is in basic terms when you pin it and hold a level that you think you can hold for 20 minutes. In all of my years of going through these test I always am left feeling like a failure and that I could have pushed 5% more. That’s one of my goals this year, learning and finding that 5% more.

Fast forward to mid August. I had taken most of July off for travel, work and selling. Early August Steve and I got back on the gas. It was time to put quality work outs in to be successful this cyclocross season. Success for me this year is to cat up to CAT3 and not to be lapped by the 3′s.

This past Saturday I was scheduled to take another Threshold test. I did everything I should, ate well, went to sleep early and stayed relax in the morning. Of course I over looked that what date it was and of course mother nature decided to pay me a visit. 1/3 through my workout/warm up for the test I bailed. Could I have pushed through? Yes, but the results would have been worth it. Save the fight for another day.

That day was yesterday. I busted through my test and felt like failure at the end. I pushed hard, had a good 5 minute average, a okay 20 minute average and happy with the progress I’ve achieved from May through August, including taking most of a month off.

Progress is motivation. Finding myself on the road is motivation. Being excited to get into the drops and dig, is motivation.

Have you visited the pain cave lately? What did it feel like and what did you learn from it?

Icebreaker Halo Short Review
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Icebreaker Halo Shorts Review: Take Two

Last summer I reviewed the Icebreaker Halo jersey and shorts. As I rode around today in the Halo shorts I felt pretty compelled to do a follow up on these shorts, as they deserve it.

If you shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods and not REI, or believe in working out at the gym and not hiking, you may not understand the ways of wool. (Please don’t take that offensive, it’s just probably true.)

I’m found often in stupid expensive Capo or Hincapie shorts for stupid long rides. The chamois are overly developed and “wear in” as the miles turn up.

Icebreaker Halo Short Review

The Halo shorts from Icebreaker are not these, they fit like boxer briefs, are super comfortable and feel as sexy as shorts can get. (I’ve also been told they don’t make me look like I’m wearing a wad and make my butt look nice.)  As these are quick drying, non-spandex looking, they are also my go to for around town and over night rides to camp fires.  They also look a ton better with my Keen’s than most other cycling shorts.

If you are looking for a set of shorts for longer rides on the greenway, bike touring or to commute on.. look at these Halo shorts from Icebreaker!

 

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