Empowering women in cycling

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Preview: Jaybird Bluebuds X Headphones

0 Jaybird Bluebud X Headphones

Yes, I wear headphones when I ride. Don’t worry, I can hear the cars beside me and if we ride together I promise I won’t ride with them in.

Meet the Jaybird Bluebuds X

Micro-sized bluetooth buds

  • MSRP: $169.99
  • Wireless music and phone calls
  • In-ear white noise reduction that eliminates listener fatigue
  • 8 hour playtime on one battery charge
  • Sweat-proof (I’ll be testing this to be true or not!)
  • A ton of crazy good reviews

I’ve been trying these out for a couple weeks now, need to have a few more good long rides or workouts to test out the battery before I give a sound review. For now I can say I am impressed, other than the install and trying to figure out what size my ears were, they have been easy to use and an amazing music experience (comparable to my Motorola or Bose in-ear headphones) when I need that get away.

Look for a full review in coming weeks, for now check out their website or watch the video below!

Motivational Monday with Suzanne E.

0 Motivational Monday with Suzanne E.

What is your name and location?

Suzanne E. San Diego California

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road, Track and baby trailer park hopping

What is your first cycling memory?

I was four and the much bigger neighbor kid got a banana seat bike with ape hangers. I asked to try it. I could barely reach the pedals and I could not touch the floor so they held on while I got started. It felt like flying! Until I went to turn around and realized I also was too small to steer… Of course I crashed at that point but oh the feeling of flying with the wind in my hair and sun on my face was so worth the bloody knees and elbows!

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My friend Matt and my angel friend Melissa. Matt has been an incredible support to me through training and weight loss helping me to make the changes I needed in my head and heart to make the changes in my body. He has coached and encouraged me, ridden with me and even physically pushed me home one day when my body quit at the tail end of a 48 miler. Melissa was my best friend. She coached me through a couple of triathlons she would ride with me when nobody else wanted to and when I was wanting to quit she’d say “suck it up princess” I have that message written on the top tubes of my bike and some days I can almost hear her yelling it at me with a laugh. I continue because she can’t.

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

My first day back on two wheels after being sidelined for 8 weeks for with illness. The air was cold and it prickled every part of my body and burned my lungs, my legs felt like alternating lead and rubber but the sun was shining and when I turned my face towards it I could forget all the pain an uncertanty- I was four again and I was Flying!

Tell us what you ride

My trusty steed is my 2010 Cannondale six-triple-six. We have been to hell and back together a few times and even over to Paradise (Kona, Hi) twice and Washington D.C for Olympic Distance Triathlons! I hated it when I first got it -my instrument of torture but Matt did a proper fit for me and it was like the angels came out and sang!

A 2010 Gary Fisher Mountain bike which I have converted to commute and is the draft horse of my fleet it now pulls the newest addition the Trek baby trailer that pulls the kids and even the dog on park hopping adventures!

In November right before my illness and in the very last week of track season I purchased a 2012 Dolan track bike(fixed gear). I have ridden it only once and it has done hundreds of miles in my trunk- in pieces but track season starts next week and I am ready to make it fly too… I may ride slowly but it still makes my heart fly!

 

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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!

Bike Build: Surly Pugsley Banana Cracker Commuter

4 Surly Pugsley Yellow

If you have been keeping tabs on me lately you know that I am moving to Denver, CO where my lady is going into her intern year as a doctor in pediatrics. When we recently went to Denver to look at houses one of our top priorities was that she could ride easily to her main hospital of Children’s Hospital Colorado. We found a home in the Stapleton area, about 3.5 miles by neighborhood streets to the hospital. Her other hospital, Denver Health, is about 7 miles by bike paths and dedicated bike lanes.

As a graduation present for her from medical school I scooped up a 16″ Surly Pugsley for my lady to commute on. I went with the complete Surly build as it has a solid parts spec and I was only going to need to switch out a few things to make it “Doctor Approved.”

Meet the Surly Pugsley Banana Cracker

Surly Pugsley Yellow

You know you are dating a pediatrician when they call their bike “Banana Cracker”

 

Key/Small Changes:

Added white rim strips to the Marge Lite rims
Switched out front brake cable to purple
Purple seat collar
Batcage waterbottle cage
Purple cow horn (not pictured, but awesome)

Bigger Additions and Reasoning:

Purple Thermalite BMX pedals- These are pretty thin with a solid base for pedaling in snow boots if needed. They have replaceable pins to keep a grasp of the bottom of her sneakers/clogs or whatever she wears

Abus Bordo XL Lock – this lock is extra long to get around that fat front wheel and frame for locking. White of course.

Women’s seat- in white (going to find a purple Fizik when possible)

Surly Nice Rack- Not pictured, but a rear rack with Ortlieb panniers (in white of course)

Knog Blinder USB light- front/rear. Will be upgraded to brighter lights in the fall

Surly Black Floyd Tires- Not pictured as we won’t switch these out until she actually starts the commute. Smooth, balloon like tires for easy rolling.

Preview: Specialized Rumor 29er Full Suspension

3 Specialized Rumor Review

It is a rewarding time as a woman that loves bikes. More styles of bikes are being released, especially in the full suspension trail category. Specialized came out swinging with the Rumor, a 110mm travel 29er bike. This bike will be for the girl that loves to climb but wants to rip down whatever their trail has to offer.

Reasons why I’m excited for this new bike to hit market

• Shorter front end, which should provide better balance and front end handling
• Pretty low stand over for Small model (706mm)
• Well spec’d
• More options for women growing in the sport
• Carbon in the future? (maybe?!)

Continue reading →

Liv/giant Avail Inspire for Breast Cancer

0 Giant Avail Inspire 2013

Liv/Giant teamed up with Young Survival Coalition for a 2nd contest to design a new Giant bike for 2013. Barbara’s winning design of cherry blossoms has very personal meanings to me (I have a large tattoo of cherry blossom’s on my left arm/shoulder.)

Check out the bike and continue to read Barbara’s story below!

Giant Avail Inspire 2013Before her battle with breast cancer, Barbara Greenlee of Bothell, WA would not have considered herself an athlete and she certainly would not have called herself a cyclist. But that all changed when, like many young women around the country faced with breast cancer, Barbara sought out a support community to help her push through trying times.

“Young Survival Coalition really helped me get through treatment,” Barbara says, as she recounts the eight rounds of chemo and 33 radiation treatments that would eventually save her life. “I received the diagnosis at age 40. My doctor said the cancer had likely been growing for about 10 years. YSC had the resources and connections to help me through each obstacle I faced along the way.”

Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues young women confront in dealing with breast cancer – issues like higher mortality rates and fertility concerns. After chemo and radiation, Barbara suffered numerous challenges – among them, a total of eight surgeries, not including her final reconstructive procedure last fall.

Read More

 

Race Report: 2013 6 Hours of Warrior Creek

0 6 hours warrior creek 2013

This was the fourth year of testing my metal against the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek. Each year as half of a women’s duo, my partner Melissa has always been the ringer for us and I wanted to be able to pull my half of the race as strong as she could.

Originally, this race was supposed to be a tuning race for the Burn 24 in late May. As plans have changed, boxes are being packed and I realized this would be my last race in the southeast it became clear that this race mattered more to me than I originally thought.

Prep Work

I pre-rode the course a week before race day. The course was excellent. The rock gardens were much easier and the climbs seemed to pass with less time. All good signs.

Aligning with my coach on all workouts, making sure my legs were rested and “loaded.” Bike was safety checked and then as it rained a few days before race day, I installed my more aggressive Maxxis Ardent tires (which saved my ass first lap.)

Brap, BRAP, BRAAAP

It was my year to run first lap, which is a full lap plus some road section and singletrack in the beginning to break up the field. I did my best not to blow myself up on the road, and keep a steady pace for 3/4 of the lap. Putting in some effort on the last sections of climbing and downhill gnar rock gardens.

My partner, Melissa, was rocking a single speed and turned over a pretty fast first lap. I headed back on the trail hoping to maintain our 2nd  place position. Quickly 3rd place overtook me and I never saw her until my lap was over (damn it, she was only 2 minutes a head!) Melissa held our 3rd position and we ended on the podium. I coulda/shoulda/woulda gone for a 3rd lap (5th for the team) but 2nd,4th and 5th place girls (and I) all agreed not to go out for a 5th lap. Thank god for negotiations.

6 Hours of Warrior Creek

Fun Facts

• Melissa rocked a 1:16 lap on her single speed

• We were in the “money” in 3rd place and somehow I walked away with cash in hand

• My high visibility yellow shoes, and Lazer Magneto pink/yellow glasses were a big hit.

• The Foundry Broadaxe with SRAM XX1 performed flawlessly, compared to last year this was an AMAZING feeling as most of the day I was fearing some mechanical that I couldn’t fix with my multi

• First place women were 16 and 17 years old! Hopefully I’ll be able to rope one of the girls, Sophie, into a race report!

• Warrior Creek is one of my favorite trails on the east coast. The Garmin has a hard time tracking milage but Strava thinks that I rode 26.7 miles with 2,752 ft of elevation.

6 Hours of Warrior Creek

Thank You to the Pit Crew

The day wouldn’t have been possible without a group of amazing friends. My girlfriend flew literally around the world from Turkey to get to the race. Shelley, Syd and Allen all were great support as Melissa and I came in and out of the pits. The guys from Bicycle Sport were there for mechanic assistance (though I didn’t need it) and the guys/girls from Total Cyclist had amazing encouraging words as they kicked our asses. Finally, thank you to Taryn and Jacob who watched the dogs for us so they didn’t have to be at the races all day!

Photo Credit: Lynn Willis (I purchased a full print version too!)

Preview: Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights

1 Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights

I’m always looking for creative and fun ways to stay safe on the bike. A new LED light string looks to be creative and fun, without a crazy price tag.

Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights

$30 a set, coming in Green - Blue -  Red - White - Pink - Purple - Turquoise - Yellow

Soul Glow LED Neon Wheel Lights

These lights claim to be weather resistant and easy to install, hopefully I’ll get a set to try in the near future for fun night rides!

Learn more on SoulCruzers.com

NoDa Grand Prix April 14th 2013

1 NoDa Gran Prix

There are a lot of great road races happening in the Charlotte, NC area this weekend. The Dilworth Crit, the pro “big time” Presby Crit, and my favorite…. the NoDa Grand Prix.

Why is this Race so Awesome?

First, I’m biased as it is put on my team 36th Street Racing. Second, the community of NoDa comes out and supports this event. Third, there is ample amount of fun turns to cheer on, beer to drink and photos to take. Plus, the kids race is well worth the watching!

Details

The races start at 830am, running all day long.

The race course runs along N. Davidson, 34th, Yadkin, 32nd, Alexander and 36th. Course Map here

NoDa Grand Prix 2012 from La Storia on Vimeo.

Denver Here I Come

4 Denver

Here’s the short story, between now and middle of June my little family is moving to Denver Colorado.

Why Denver, CO? Great question…

My better half is starting pediatric residency as a rockstar doctor at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Orientation starts June 17th, and we are relocating!

Looking for Jobs, Houses and New Friends!

We head out this coming weekend to look at new houses. Somewhere in Denver proper as she needs to be within an easy ride to two different hospitals. I have a couple of job opportunities in mind but I would love to hear of any positions in the area that you think I’ll be interested in!

If you are looking for the mushy stuff, read here.