Bike Shop Girl

Motivational Monday with Christy
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Motivational Monday with Christy

What is your name?

Christy

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Long group rides and tackling hills

What is your first cycling memory?

Learning on the old red Schwinn all four siblings learned to ride on in the back yard.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

People in my riding group who encourage me to challenge myself.

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

60 mile group ride loop including beautiful scenery I had not seen before.

Tell us what you ride

Trek Domane 5.2 named Velvet.

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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! 

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Weekly Bike Commuting Update

After last week’s post of finding motivation, I’ve put my legs to the grindstone and found happiness in both days of commuting on Thursday and Friday. With threats of rain (flooding to be exact) each day as I pedaled closer to home I found myself chasing rainbows and finding peace with where I am.

Next week I hope to track my food intake better, at least for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Not down to calories, but just to have a better clue have how much food it’s going to take to hit the 1,000 miles this month. For now I’ll leave you with some Strava stats and Flickr photos.

Stats for the first 10 days of August (4 on the bike)

  • 169.0 miles (831 miles to go!)
  • 11hr 28m of ride time
  • 5,856ft elevation
PDW Aether Demon
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Review: Portland Design Works Aether Demon

It’s pretty apparent how I feel about bike lights and the level of safety they add to your bike rides. A blinking front and rear light are found on most of my bikes, including some of my mountain bikes if I’m going to hit the road on the way to find my dirt diet. When Emily started commuting to the hospital every morning we purchased a couple lights for her All City Nature Boy that were bright, but it became apparent that the USB front light was kicking the watch battery powered rear light’s arse. Every couple weeks the batteries needed replacing or the rear light wasn’t shining as bright as new. Make fun of me that something this small stressed me out, but at 4:30am I want her seen as much as possible.

That’s about when a little birdy told me about a new USB powered rear light coming out from PDW.

Meet the Portland Design Works Aether Demon

MSRP: $49.00

Details: 

  • Nichia™ 0.5 watt LED
  • USB charging Li-ion battery
  • Texas Instruments™ integrated circuit (I have no idea what that means)
  • 4 modes (run time): Dance (8 hrs), Breathe (8 hrs), Group Ride (175 hrs at 10% power), Rock Steady (3.5 hrs)
  • Includes seatpost, seatstay mounts

Overall Thoughts of the Aether Demon™

Sometimes, though very rarely, I review a product and all I have to say about it is “it really works.” This light is it. The short USB plug that comes with the light plugs into the bottom and then either into your computer, or I use the USB box that came with my iPhone/iPad. It blinks demon blue until it’s charged, you unplug it and go on your way. With included mounts you can install the light on your seat post or on a seat stay on the bike frame. Both mounts allow you to pivot the light to be pointed properly behind you.

Pro’s and Con’s

For $49 it’s hard to beat a USB charging rear light that last for a good long while. Especially one with a great company standing behind it. The only thing I would change has to do with the light output, I’m a big fan of the Light & Motion Vis 180 rear that has light output on the sides for cars coming towards you perpendicular. That’s really my only feedback of the light.

The mount is solid, the USB plug closes up well and the light strobing options are great. If you are in the market for a new rear light and you want something that won’t blow through batteries, take a look at this beauty from Portland Design Works.

Check them out online, or find your local bike shop that stocks them.

Disclaimer: This light was provided at no charge for review. Saying that, I would buy one full retail.

Rainbow Hunting
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Commuting, Setbacks and Motivation

Last week I committed to commuting 1,000 miles in August. Not less than 12 hours after typing that post I woke up swollen, looking like a chipmunk, in great pain from a tooth that later that day would need to be removed. After a dentist visit, one less tooth and one more hole in my head I spent most of Friday through Sunday being lazy around the house and controlling the swelling of my face. By Sunday night I felt pretty alright but needed the dentist to confirm this.

With a pocketful of other excuses I can say I haven’t been on the bike since last Thursday, and today is Wednesday of a new week. No commuting miles and not any closer to my 1,000 miles. While for a moment this morning I allowed myself to be frustrated with this fact, I swallowed my shame and remembered I made the decisions that put me in this situation. All I can do is get on my bike tomorrow morning and maybe add some longer routes to my commute strategically to hit the 1,000 mile marker.

Setbacks Happen, Moving Forward is the Success

A wise friend once told me that when a setback, injury or change of course happened they welcomed it with open arms. It shaped them, it allowed them to show true strength, intelligence or humility where some might find frustration, embarrassment or anger. It made them mentally and emotionally stronger, but more importantly a better person than if it was all smooth sailing.

Lately I have been finding comfort in these thoughts and words.

We are only as good as how we handled our biggest failure. Your true character is the one that shows up when you are handling stress, struggles and fear. As an athlete I find excitement out of proving myself when the chips are against me and this commuting challenge isn’t any different. The strongest people I know aren’t numb to their emotions or ignorant to fear, but instead they find the rainbow and learn how to dance in the rain.

How do you handle a setback in training or life?

Everyone handles things differently, how do you handle a setback? How do you stay motivated? Is it through music, an idol or an inspirational quote taped to your bathroom mirror?

Motivational Monday with Katie
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Motivational Monday with Katie in Charlotte, NC

What is your name and location?

Katie, Charlotte, NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

mountain biking. More specifically, getting my wheels off the ground as much as possible

What is your first cycling memory?

Learning to ride without training wheels in a school parking lot. It was amazing.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

All the super fast DH girls like Holly Feniak and Micayla Gatto really inspire me. If they can be faster than most of the male-mountain biking population, then why can’t I? :)

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

Every moment on my bike is awesome, but probably the most memorable moment on my bike so far this year was crashing in a loamy, off camber turn. Whenever I picked my bike back up, the fork had worms all over it.

Tell us what you ride

As if I don’t talk enough about my bike lol! My baby is my Banshee Wildcard. I love it to death and I ride it everywhere. I also have a vintage Raleigh road bike that spends most of its time in my garage. I can’t stand road biking.

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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! 

Women Bike Mechanics
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Women Make Great Mechanics, Specialized is Helping the Cause with Training

A great article by Kath Bicknell was posted on Flow Mountain Bike. The article made some key points about how women make great mechanics and how better training could specifically make the void disappear of highly skilled women in the bike industry.

Taking it a step further, I believe that if we take the time to single out women to pave the path a little bit more for more advanced training it will open up and encourage more women to work in the industry. Think about this, if every shop had a couple women on the floor and behind the bench, and every shop bike ride had a women as one of the group leaders… how much more inviting would this be to women and men alike?

As a woman working in a bike store, you’re definitely an anomaly. Last time I worked at a bike shop, every now and then, a customer would ask to speak to one of the ‘guys’. ‘Ask me your question, and if I can’t answer it I’ll go and get some help,’ I’d say.

Things usually went pretty well from there. If help was needed, I’d call on our female mechanic, just to make a point.

In a sport that still attracts a lot more men than women, it follows that female staff in the bike retail sector aren’t as common either. This can sometimes lead to the unfortunate assumption that women aren’t as skilled as their male counterparts, or can’t provide the same level of customer service and advice.

Read the full article here.

Photo credit: Kath Bicknell

cyclocross
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Colorado Cyclocross Calendar

it’s my first year living in Colorado for cyclocross and I’m starting to get excited! The calendar on BRAC (Bicycle Racing Association Colorado) is lacking links and non-sanctioned races/clinics so in my effort of research, here is what I have found for cyclocross racing in Colorado.

Cross of the North 2012 – Men’s Open from Jamie Servaites on Vimeo.

August

20Formula Four Boulder

23 – FasCat & Jeremy Powers Cross Camp Boulder

27 – Relay Sixty Boulder

September

7 - Women’s Cyclocross Camp 2-5pm in Fort Collins. $25 for the camp
crosscamp
7 - Kick It Cross Festival 
Fort Collins

8Cross of the North Fort Collins

14 - Zero Gravel Cross Littleton

15 - Cyclo X Flatirons Mall Boulder

21 - Cyclo X Valmont Boulder

22 - Body Synx CX Golden

27 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

28 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

28 – Cyclo X Rhyolite Park

28 – Queens of Cross Arvada

28 – LTR CX #1 Grand Junction

29 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

29 – Storm the Castle Castle Rock

October

5 – Frisco Cross Frisco

6 – Primalpalooza Arvada

19 – Colorado Cross Classic Boulder

20 – Boulder Cup Boulder

26 – Cyclo X Xilinx 

26 - LTR CX #2 Grand Junction

27 – Frites CX Parker

November

2 – Schoolyard Cross Brighton

3 – Feedback Cup Golden

9 – Cyclo X Interlocken

9 - LTR CX #3 Grand Junction

10 – Blue Sky Cup Longmont

16 – Cyclo X Louisville Louisville

17 – Mile Hi Urban Cross Denver

23 – Cyclo X Westminster Westminster

23 - LTR CX #4 Grand Junction

24 – Green Mtn Sports CX #2

28 – Turkey Cross Morrison

30 – Castle Cross Castle Rock

December

1 – Cowboy Cross Denver

7 – Cyclo X Boulder Boulder

8 – The RLW “in Memoriam” Cx 

14 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville

15 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville

28 – Tune-up Cup Golden

 

lust header
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Intro: 2014 Liv/giant Lust Full Suspension 27.5 Women’s Mountain Bike Line

While I’m only half way through the review of a Liv/Giant Anthem X 29er, Liv/Giant rocks us all back on our heels with the news they will only be doing 27.5″ wheels on their mountain bikes starting in 2014. Over the next week I’ll be featuring all the new models, spec and pricing. Make sure to follow the search term “Liv/giant 2014” over the next week.

What makes for a great mountain bike? I believe it’s a mix of the right fit so you are comfortable, the right balance so you can climb and descend with confidence and has to be down right sexy. The new line from Liv/giant tagged “Lust” may fit all three of those things out of the box. 27.5″ wheels, both carbon and aluminum models and geometry that on paper should fit many women well.

Liv/giant Lust Advanced 0

2014 Liv/giant Lust Advanced 0 MSRP $8,050

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, RockShox SID XX fork, SRAM XX1 drivetrain
Thoughts: This will be a “dream bike” for many women. The best of the best is on every part of this bike and I would be interested to see what a medium weighs out to. Maybe 24 lbs with some hardware swaps?

Liv/giant Lust Advanced 2

2014 Liv/giant Lust Advanced 2 MSRP $3,400

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, Fox 32 Float CTD fork, Shimano SLX & XT drivetrain
Thoughts: A more reasonable price tag, YET with a very well spec’d out parts package. This is the model I would have my eye on in this line up!

Liv/giant Lust 1

2014 Liv/giant Lust 1 MSRP $3,200

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, RockShox SID RL fork, SRAM XO/X9 shifting, with GRIP SHIFT!!
Thoughts: With a more reasonable price tag, YET a very well spec’d out parts package this would be the bike my eye is drawn to.

Lust2

2014 Liv/giant Lust 2 MSRP $2,450

Sizes: XS, S, M, L
Spec: 4″ of suspension, Fox 32 Float fork, Shimano Deore
Thoughts: Does that photo of the Lust 2 have a purple rear triangle? Yes it does. With the parts and spec on this bike I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the top seller of the Liv/giant mountain bike models over $1,500. Personally, this is on the short list for my Emily’s next mountain bike!

IMG_3574
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Review: Clif Bar Sierra Trail Mix

Clif Bar is one of the original energy bars on the market and are a pretty standard energy snack on the trail or in a cyclist pocket. It’s great to see when they add more flavors to their options to keep people interested and not burnt out on their selection

Clif Bar Sierra Trail Mix $15 per box of 12

WCB13_388-Nutritionals_Clif-Bar_STM

Ingredients

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Peanuts, Chocolate Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Unsweetened Chocolate‡, Cocoa Butter‡, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Organic Raisins, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter (Organic Peanuts, Salt), ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Inulin, Organic Psyllium), Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Roasted Sunflower Seeds (Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Oil), Organic Date Paste, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).

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Taste Test

This bar really tast like a great bag of trail mix in a bar but with some additional moisture so you don’t have cotton mouth. It’s a welcoming difference of many bars with it’s chocolate chips, soy rice crisps, raisins and pumpkin seeds. Yummy goodness! I

f you are looking for an easy choice for calories in a wrapper, give this your own taste test and let me know what you think!

raleigh cyclocross
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Intro: 2014 Raleigh Cyclocross Bikes

Hot on the heels of my review of the 2013 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0Raleigh USA has released information on their 2014 line up. Over the next week I’ll be breaking down the line up by category. Keep up to date by checking out the search keyword “Raleigh USA 2014“.

While the cyclocross category is specific to women, Raleigh does have the RX1.0 in women but I can’t help but mention the other bikes in their line up as they are pretty stellar.

Raleigh RXC Pro Disc

2014 Raleigh RXC Pro Disc MSRP: $5,000

Spec: Carbon frameset with Shimano Ultegra Di2 (6770) with FSA SL-K cockpit
Weight: 18.9lbs for 55cm
Sizes: 50, 53, 55, 57, 59cm
Thoughts: Disc brake and electronic shifting will be seen more and more this season on the cyclocross courses. Less to gunk up and less to go wrong (in theory.) I’m surprised with the price tag of $5k that this bike is weighing in at 18.9 pounds, but I can only assume most of that is in the wheels. It looks like a great training wheel set that may be adding some rotational weight to the other wise race spec’d bike.

Raleigh RXC Disc

2014 Raleigh RXC Disc MSRP: $2,700

Spec: Carbon frameset with Shimano 105 10 speed
Weight: 19.5lbs for 55cm
Sizes: 50, 53, 55, 57, 59cm
Thoughts: A more reasonably priced cross racing bike that is coming with mechanical shifting and less racy parts. A great build and price for a carbon bike for the racer in you.

Raleigh RX 2.0 Disc

2014 Raleigh RX 2.0 Disc MSRP: $1,750

Spec: Aluminum frame with carbon fork and Shimano 105 10 speed
Weight: 22.3lbs for 56cm
Sizes: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
Thoughts: I’m a bit biased to this fabulous color, but the bike is a strong competitor for killer disc brake cyclocross race bike. Swap out the wheels and drop off a couple pounds easy.

Raleigh RX 1.0

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 MSRP: $1,500

Spec: Aluminum frame with carbon fork and SRAM Apex 10 speed
Weight: 21.5lbs for 56cm
Sizes: 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, 62cm
Thoughts: The only cantilever option in Raleigh’s “unisex” line up this year.

Raleigh RX 1.0 womens

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 MSRP: $1,500

Spec: Aluminum frame with carbon fork and SRAM Apex 10 speed
Weight: 21.3lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: Previewed right here on Bike Shop Girl back in June – I’m happy to see this women’s geometry cross racing bike updated for 2014.

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