womenroll

5 Fundamentals of Riding Everyone Should Take Note Of

When I tell people I run a website with the goal to empower women in cycling they automatically hear “feminist.” This is as far from truth as you can get as I simply want more people on bikes, and realize that a huge opportunity is to empower women on two wheels.

Last week the Bike League released a report wrapping women’s cycling stats and misconceptions together. The report, Women on a Roll, is a great summary of the state of cycling but not just for women – for everyone. Anyone working to get more people on bikes could benefit from reading the stats and assumptions found in this report. Stripping the spandex and politics from getting more bikes on the road this report gives a great baseline for many shops and advocacy groups to build forward momentum off of.

Focus on the 5 C’s

Catchy, but effective. The 5 C’s will help increase ridership in all communities (and across most niches.)

Comfort
Convenience
Consumer Products
Confidence
Community

If brands, product managers, bike shop owners, and advocacy directors focused on the 5 C’s cycling will be headed in a positive direction.

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Sunday Bike Ride with the Greenwalds

For the past few days Emily’s parents have been visiting us in Denver. They are a fairly mellow couple but also very active. It’s a great joy to have them around, watching their mutual loving relationship and the enthusiasm for adventure is contagious. I can only strive to be to Emily what her parents are together!

Yesterday we decided to go on a bike ride down the Sand Creek Greenway. Without a goal in mind we reached the end and decided to head into Denver on the Platte River Trail. A few things to note: Emily’s parents are in their early 70′s, her mom rode a Pugsley and her dad a folding Dahon with 16″ wheels. We went 24 miles for the full round trip.

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In my humble opinion yesterday’s bike ride was amazing and I’m super impressed with both of Emily’s folks. I know where Emily gets many of her traits that I love so much!

What did you do this weekend?!

Motivational Monday with Christy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!