The thoughts and details during a bike build are what make a great bike shop a resource and a dream factory for bicycle geeks like myself. These custom bike builds are what keep me inspired and excited to continue to work within the industry. Few more bike profiles over yonder.
This is going to totally happen this year. Now the question is, who’s going to drag me around??
A 50 mile road race featuring 10 miles of unpaved roads including the Koppenberg of the High Country will test riders, while the breathtaking scenery and unmatched hospitality will combine to make for one of the most memorable races of the year.
Super decent price ($35) and I would guess the ride will sell out.
Arleigh mentioned in her New Year’s Day post that she wanted to focus on keeping people riding when the weather is crappy. I don’t know what your definition of crappy is but mine involves cold temperatures and darkness. It’s hard to be excited about being on a bicycle when it’s dark and cold outside, but it seems like a winter necessity if you want to ride any time other than the occasional warm weekend.
In an effort to stick to that theme, I was going to write a fabulous post about my first night mountain bike ride in several years, my third night ride ever I think. I had even typed up an introduction and parts of the post already (I’m a planner…). I guess my planning had tempted Karma too much because about half way through the ride I rode over a large stick which stabbed into my derailleur hanger, breaking it completely. The result looked like this :
Luckily, a fellow night mountain biker had come super prepared with a toolkit that included a chain tool, master link, zip ties, and an entertaining story with which to regale us as Chris converted my bike to a single speed in the middle of the Atlanta woods. Thanks C.K. for being super-prepared. I was able to single-speed it home rather than walking several miles across the city with a bike in tow.
So, my original plan was to provide you all with some of my lessons learned or tips for night mountain bike riding. Instead, all I can say is be prepared with tools or be prepared to walk home. I’m going to try the night riding adventure again in the coming weeks, so if you have any questions about it that you’d like me consider as I bumble and stumble through the dark, let me know.
On March 4th, 2013, timing around the National Bike Summit, the League of American Bicyclists are hosting the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum. I asked Carolyn, Director of Communications at the League of American Bicyclists, some follow up questions to learn more about what the League has planned for this Forum!
About the National Women’s Bicycling Forum
Join hundreds of fellow advocates and enthusiasts who are working to engage more women in bicycling at our next Women Bike event! Register now for the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C.!
With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” this all-day event will showcase women leaders and entrepreneurs in the bicycle industry and highlight the economic impact and rising influence of women in the bicycle movement. (The Forum will end before the start of the National Bike Summit.)
With an opening keynote address from Georgena Terry, break-out sessions, lunch plenary, networking and so much more, the Women’s Forum will be an opportunity to learn, connect and network with advocates and leaders from across the country who are working to close the gender gap in American bicycling.
Both women AND men are encouraged to attend!
A Recap of the First National Women’s Bicycling Forum
Carolyn: The first National Women’s Bicycling Forum was really a toe in the water — it was a first attempt to bring the discussion about gender to the forefront and gauge the interest and trajectory of where that conversation could take us at the national level.
First, we tried to pour a number of different perspectives into a two-hour panel. With incredible speakers like Elysa Walk (GM of Giant Bicycle USA), Marla Streb (former world mountain bike champion) and Veronica Davis (founder of Black Women Bike DC) some incredible insight floated to the top — but it was crystal clear that tackling “women in bicycling” is NOT a single conversation. It’s an ocean of content!
Secondly, the response was a tidal wave. We packed the room with more than 300 people, all of whom were just buzzing with excitement and ideas and energy to keep the conversation going. So the take-away was simple: A two-hour forum is just the first drop in a really big bucket. In September, we expanded to a full-day event with more sessions with more specific content, like family biking and marketing to women. In 2013, we’re expanding and sustaining that effort with a full-time program, so we can compile and create new resources, share stories and work on targeted strategies to increase the number of women riding, in between these killer events.
What are the Main Reasons the League is Putting Energy into this Forum?
Carolyn: The Women Bike initiative is really part of a more big-picture effort by the League to change the face of bicycling — or better represent and include the voices of the many diverse communities and people who ride. Clearly, since we’re 50 percent of the population, we need to engage more women if we want to mainstream / normalize bicycling as a means of transportation (like we see in European countries) and recreation, too. And it’s not just about equity in numbers — our voices our powerful. Women are role models for the next generation, decision makers for their households, persuasive political constituencies and ingenious entrepreneurs. Bringing more women into all aspects of the bicycle movement, from lobbying on Capitol Hill to designing product at major bicycle manufactures, is in everyone’s best interests.
What is the Second Annual Forum Focused On?
Carolyn: The second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4 in Washington, D.C. With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” we’re focusing on how the industry and retailers are working to close the gender gap and highlighting efforts that are changing the culture of cycling in new and innovative ways.
The speaker line-up is off the chain: Georgena Terry, Jacquie Phelan, leaders Red Bike & Green, reps from industry leaders like Specialized, Giant and ASI; editors from Bicycle Times and Momentum; the founder of Cyclofemme; the woman behind the nation’s largest bike share systems… and so many more. And we mean business when it comes to making this event accessible to all. Bring your kids: We’ll have free childcare. If the $85 registration fee is a barrier, apply for a scholarship.
I used to sit on the back of my mom’s cruiser, on the gear rack. We went to the neighborhood store like that until I got my foot caught in the back wheel. Foot in the back wheel is what I remember.
After that my parents bought me a kids size Raleigh racing bike. It was red to white fade. Man, I miss the 80s.
WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?
My mom, Janet and my coach, Stacey. These two women ride their bikes through it all. My mom is recovering from cancer and got back on her bike as soon as she could. Stacey is a very busy businesswoman and mom and still rides her bike every day.
I want to love it and be as dedicated as they are!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?
This year? Has to be leading out my teammate, Allie Hurst, for the win at the Vuelta d’Acadiana. Just a local race on our calendar. But I got my 1 min max power and took her to the line to outsprint some out of towners. Take that Texas!
TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES
I have a hand me down mountain bike that I bomb around on and raced for the first time this year
My road bike is my dream bike, a Cannondale Supersix Hi-Mod with dura-ace. Best bike I have ever ridden.
That’s the complete stable. I have to err on the side of too few as my wonderful cyclist man has 4 and its getting cramped in here!
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!
It’s that time of the year that I’m doing slower and longer miles, mostly by myself. Having lots of time to think through intervals and the long road in front of me I seem to reflect the most on the bike from January to March due to the speed and lack of companionship (my choice.)
Yesterday I struggled through my workout for many reasons. #1 As I’m getting towards the end of a couple blocks and haven’t had a threshold test so I’m stronger than where my zones are set. #2 The gearing on a cross bike with slicks is much different than a standard compact. It’s my own doing and I can fix both of these things. Regardless, the workout left me frustrated with finding the right gear and terrain for workouts.
Today I entered my 2.5 hour ride with a bit more optimism. Without any intervals to chase after I stopped looking at the Garmin page that listed watts and went off my Perceived Exertion scale that I have internally built in me from 15 years of cycling. I focused on pedaling strokes, enjoying jumping the potholes and digging deep into the turns.
Then I focused on shifting.
Shifting covers so many pieces of our lives. Often in cycling I find that I allow myself to sit in the gear I’m in. Maybe even falling behind the cadence I need to turn over my gear comfortable. Then there is the fear of the shift to a harder gear as it may be too hard. Maybe I’ll need to shift back? Maybe there will be a miss shift at the wrong moment or maybe it will show that I’m weak?
Shifting gears is as much about the mental feeling as it is the physical. Picking up your cadence and finding that you can push the new, harder, gear just as well as the easier. Your speed increases and often, especially off road, you find that it is easier to ride at this faster pace as momentum and speed is your friend.
Much of life is learning when to shift, when to push yourself, when to be happy with your pace or when to slow down. As I pedal around for the next couple months my thoughts will be focusing on the shift. Shifting the bike, shifting my mind and shifting how I live my life.
It’s an amazing thing, the first day of a new year and everything that it allows a human to feel. You are able to have closure for the year past and take a deep breath to move forward into the next 365 days of progress.
First to Look at Personal Ties
Behind the scenes I took the past week to plot out a lot of restructure, efficiencies and honestly cleaning out clutter (including storage with lots of wheels for sale!)
Pulling back from the things that stretch me thin with small results and honing down on key things for more impact. Turning my personal life more to an in person life, while still utilizing social media aspects in my personal life. I’m focusing more on push channels such as Instagram, Spotify and Twitter which pushes out my content (or consuming music which pushes out the feed of what I am listening to.) An outsiders view of my Facebook wall will look active, populated with photos from Instagram or Flickr, my Spotify tunes in the corner, and morning inspirational quotes that I am timing out through Hootsuite two weeks at a time to deliver around 7am EST to both my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. I won’t be on Facebook though, I won’t be sucked into looking at hundreds of photos, liking post or reading random post that get me riled up and losing time that I didn’t have to lose.
Pushing Bike Shop Girl into 2013
In the past I’ve spoken about finding my words for Bike Shop Girl now that I work as a rep within the industry. Reviews have to be sparse, advertising limited as I’m really trying to promote local bike shops, and I don’t want this outlet to only be a personal blog for rants (those will always be apart of the structure.)
Motivation, Inspiration and Empowerment
Three words to live by in our daily life. To leave this world a better place then we found it, that is how we all should look back at our life!
In 2013 my goal is to motivate, inspire and empower you as a cyclist and maybe even a bit as a human being. We are an interesting group, those that chose two wheels for hobby, transportation or passion. At the end we use the same style of vehicle to move us forward in life. Let’s all pull together and focus on making our community stronger, smarter and safer.
Design and Feel
One of the pieces that kept me up late over the past few weeks was the look and feel of Bike Shop Girl for 2013 to support the above goals. What will the site look like, a personal blog, a magazine and how will that flow? I’m pulling in a couple friends to consult on this and you should see the end result soon.
While I’m still focused on women, I realize that guys will come along for the ride. All of us need motivated, inspired and empowered! Looking at the demographic of my followers on Facebook it is split pretty evenly women to men. The reviews, product and mission of this site is not changing, but you may see more guys writing as guest authors.
Guest and Monthly Columns
Bringing in guest writers and friends to author columns will be part of reaching more computer screens, minds, interest and people.
Focusing on specific topics for a week, month or quarter of time. The first series will be from now through first quarter focused on keeping people riding when the weather is crappy. Articles of motivation, tips to keep your bike running, ideas of staying warm and maybe just great photos of playing in the snow.
If you are interested in helping feel free to drop me a line! arleigh at gmail.com
Let’s Do This!
Keep the words flowing, keep the ideas and questions pushing at me. Let’s make 2013 our best year yet, together we can motivate, inspire and empower each other.