Empowering women in cycling

Archives › September 2013

Cycling with Epilepsy

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Halley was featured earlier this year in the Motivational Monday series. I personally pulled a lot of inspiration from her and asked her to write an article for BSG on cycling with epilepsy. Give the article a read and then visit her blog to follow along her journey.

When you are triaged at the emergency room or picked up by the ambulance after a bicycle crash involving no other vehicle, the intake paramedic or nurse will write “FDGB” on your form. What super official medical term does this acronym mean? “Fall Down Go Boom.” It does get the point across, at the very least.

In 2009, I was going to the emergency room approximately every six to eight weeks for similar reasons. Part of it I was cycling more so naturally I was on my bike versus say in my apartment or walking. It made me a prime candidate for tipping over randomly. A few crashes I just stood up and dusted myself off, but several of them were pretty epic with full facial road rash, splayed out in the middle of road and no memory of how I actually ended up there. That last part was the most unsettling of the entire affair.

That’s when they sent me to a neurologist. It seemed that I had been what are called “absence seizures.” Chances are that I have been experiences them for a long time in my life and have never noticed them. I kind of freak out when I think of this, because I have driven a car a lot in my life and worry that I could have been driving when this had happened. Earlier in life, I would go into random crying fits that had been misdiagnosed as “hypoglycemia.” I very distinctly remember not being able to look at restaurant menus and see the words or formulate thoughts. The neurologist informed me that I was most likely experiencing what was called a “simple partial seizure” and having had them recently, I can attest all the orange juice and glucose tablets in the world won’t help, so while yes they do look like a low blood sugar crash, they are indeed not.

I had my first “grand mal seizure” during a bike ride in downtown Portland and hit a park bench. This was an extremely difficult and stressful time for me. I felt like my brain was trying to kill me. All I wanted to was live a car-free lifestyle, work at the women’s homeless shelter and continue my own business as a professional harpist (with a custom-made bike trailer for my full size folk harp). You know, the typical Portland Oregon lifestyle, right? I couldn’t really live that when I was riddled with migraines, my weight massively fluctuating from trying out new medications – and I already suffered from an overweight awkward childhood so this new struggle was just one more thing to add to my plate.

My neurologist and I struggled to deal with my daily migraines so that I could ride my bike again without the threat of seizure and we couldn’t figure it out until I came across something she didn’t think of. Allergies. I knew I was allergic to a few medications and chemical products, but in addition to them, I added gluten, lactose and egg to my list. Having a very severe latex allergy, I had never realized that banana or avocado were part of the same family, which while I loved and are very beneficial to most diets, unfortunately for me, they cause more harm than good. Cutting them out as well, cleared so many skin issues. It was actually about that time, 2010, I “went vegan.” I had already been eating mostly vegetarian due to the lack of dairy and egg products. My body has never processed red meat well and I don’t eat pork, so it was a pretty natural transition. The most difficult thing for me to break up with was gluten. Total carbitarian.

I want to smack myself in the forehead because it sounds so stupid writing this. You cut out the stuff that you’re allergic to and you stop being sick. I’m not a nutritionist, not giving you nutritional advice and I can only write what worked for me. And, let’s be honest. I still have seizures. It’s not all about food. But I did lose 70 lbs in less than a year, which I am sure was mostly because I was putting crap in my body that couldn’t be processed and broken down.

There are the good days and the bad. I have worked really hard to get to where I am. Charting when I have seizures. I have been on a bunch of different types medications that haven’t worked for me or that I have “grown out of,” meaning that dosage is at such a high mg that any more would be toxic so the doctor either has to supplement a different medication or change medications. There are literally dozens of different kinds of epilepsy that affect the brain. Mine is called progressive myoclonic epilepsy. In short, it means it’s going to get worse in time, but right now it’s really well controlled.

I love cycling and it’s my life. I ride with a primarily road racing team here in Portland, though my passion is cyclocross. I haven’t been able to race the last two years due to health reasons. My knee went out two years ago and I had foot surgery last year. This was related to a back fracture I had six years ago. Ironically related to the dysfunction in my right cerebral hemisphere, which causes discrepancies in motor skills, visuo-spatial, perception and coordination. Basically I FDGB. I am definitely looking forward to this fall and getting muddy.

Driving Retail Success: Transitioning from Summer to Fall

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As Summer winds down you should still have Summer Soft Goods displayed.

Even though it’s still hot outside, your fall apparel is arriving. Now is the time to get the fall apparel on those new wood hangers, get your customers thinking about Fall riding and staying warm doing it. Create a focal point that shows off the new Fall styles. You can use your entrance flat table area to start the process. Dress up a ¾ torso mannequin in Fall styles, display warm gloves, socks, and long sleeve jerseys or jackets. You can do any number of display renderings in multiple areas to send the message it’s time to start thinking Fall apparel. It’s also time to start filling your floor fixtures with warmers, long finger gloves, warm socks, booties, and head wear.

Here are two basic examples of a Fall flat table display, and an accessory cart with warmers, head wear, and booties ready for Fall.

Sign up for these weekly tips by sending Bruce an email at: brsignup at pearlizumi.com for Pearl iZUMi’s DRS Tip of the week and receive merchandising tips to help you improve your retail presentation and sell more.

Motivational Monday with Joy from Colorado

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What is your name and location?

Joy from Colorado

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and Mtn

What is your first cycling memory?

Watching my older sister learn to ride a bike. As soon as she put it down, I picked it up and rode away and have been riding ever since.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

A 62 year old friend of mine is continually challenging me to ride and improve my skills as I go. He inspires because he is one of those ‘freakish OG’s’ that continues to rip it up whatever ride we go on.

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

Finishing the Triple Bypass. It was monumental for me because the day I found out that I got in the ride, I was recovering from emergency surgery the night before. It made it all the sweeter to finish that ride and know how far I had come in six months.

Tell us what you ride

Road- Specialized ruby pro-red!

MTN -Specialized Jett 29er. Just plain ol fun.

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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! 

Sunday Linkage: Rainbow Colored Tires, BikePacking and Getting More Women on Bikes

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My short Recap of Interbike 2013, to be elaborated over many post this week

Safety Concerns for Pro Women Cyclists

CO Cyclocross Calendar, if you have something to add let me know!

303 Cycling Flood Relief List - helping those in need after last weeks devastating floods here in Colorado

Pedaling Nowhere list 4 BikePacking Videos to get you out the door

Velo Mom’s Musings on How to Get More Women on Bikes

Wadjda – The first feature-length movie made by a female Saudi director

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Lots of colors from Continental in their popular Grand Prix 4000 S II found over at Bike Rumor. Photo courtesy of BikeRumor

Buca Boot hits Kickstarter - This rear cargo box adds security and ease to your bike commuting

Denver’s 15th Street Bikeway Explained

Sunday linkage is a weekly roundup of popular articles here on BSG, or that I found of interest. If you find something worth sharing, let me know on twitteror email.

 

Recap of Interbike 2013

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Incase you missed it, last week was Interbike in Las Vegas. While I was there mostly on official business working the booth of Pearl Izumi Custom I did have the opportunity to walk the show room floor early before the masses were let in.

Buzz Words of the Show

27.5

27.5

It seems that every brand has a 27.5 wheeled mountain bike coming out.

Bags

Chrome Bags

Backpacks, frame bags, panniers and all sorts of lifestyle bags.

Fat Bikes

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Carbon, a ton of tires hitting the market and a lot of booths using them for display

Find Me at Interbike

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Shortly, I’ll be headed to the airport for the hop down to Las Vegas for a few days at Interbike 2013. I’ll be there this afternoon through Thursday night, and most of the time found in the Pearl Izumi Custom booth (1525 I think!)

Unique for me this year is that I’ll be there working a booth. For the first time ever I’m not on official media business, though I do have a media pass and will be walking around Thursday afternoon to find goodies to share.

If you are at the show, come say hello. I love seeing smiling faces in a sea of confusion that is Interbike.

 

Safety Concerns for Giro della Toscana Leads to Protest

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This past weekend a moment in women’s cycling history happened, and you probably didn’t hear about it.

In the fourth stage of the Giro della Toscana more than half of the racers did not finish. Why? In protest of the lack of safety for the group. This included lack of security for riders while on roads, and leaving the peloton to ride through traffic.

While this would have been worthy of protest if it happened at a local Cat 3 race, this race had the likes of  world champ Marianne Vos and was to be considered a women’s pro road race.

With women’s cycling growing voice, and attracting more media exposure I’m glad to see that these ladies and their teams took a stance for safety and a clear division of how men and women are treated in this sport.

 

Motivational Monday with Nadya in Upstate NY

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What is your name and location?

Nadya, Upstate NY

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road

What is your first cycling memory?

First learning how to ride without training wheels down my grandparents steep gravel driveway! I was hooked!

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My husband, he just started riding because he wants us both to be active and healthy and we spend that time together on the road. It brings us closer. He recently broke his collarbone and for two weeks now he’s been pushing me to get out and go on rides by myself and I’m getting better and stronger because of it.

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

Going on a short but sweet ride with my husband before he broke his collarbone. Hopefully he’ll heal fast and we can ride again before winter comes.

Tell us what you ride

Currently I have a Specialized vita elite but I will be getting a Specialized Dolce soon

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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! 

Sunday Linkage: High Heels, Bike Shifting and Interbike

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ICEdot Crash Sensor Teardown

Citi Bike, bike share bikes, turned into a BMX machine

A weekly roundup of popular articles here on BSG, or that I found of interest. If you find something worth sharing, let me know on twitter or email.