Bike Shop Girl

Sharing the bike love
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Follow the National Women’s Bike Forum Online

I couldn’t make it to Washington this year for the National Bike Summit but there are great things happening today with the Women’s Summit. Follow along on Twitter with hashtag #womenbike


Road Holland the Delft
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Review: Road Holland The Delft Long Sleeve Jersey

MSRP: $130
Details: 100% poly mesh that is wicked breathable, fast drying, and non-conforming. 2 pocket design, 1 with a zipper to hold your smartphone

This jersey looks great and feels even better. The poly mesh was warm enough with a wind vest on a 50′ day. Personally, I would classify this as a long sleeve light weight “spring” jersey. It also wears well with a pair of jeans. Read More

Fartlek Cyclocross
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Go Fartlek

Fartlek, which means “speed play” in Swedish, is a training method that blends continuous training with interval training. The variable intensity and continuous nature of the exercise places stress on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It differs from traditional interval training in that it is unstructured; intensity and/or speed varies, as the athlete wishes. (Source: Wikipedia)

The art of exploring is why I fell in love with biking some 18 years ago. The ability to just go find new places and adventures on my bike without the demands of school, sports practice or home life. It was a great escape and something I think we all forget as we grow up.

This past Monday when Emily and I got back from our weekend in the mountains I hopped on my bike and went for a fartlek, or Fartlick as my iPhone calls it. The goal was to blend in different speeds, try new routes and see how my knee felt on the single speed. The result was great, I enjoyed myself and found new trails near my house. An elevated my heart rate also showed me that my knee isn’t ready for the single speed just yet.

Do you implement fartleks in your training or weekly rides? What do you find?

I find new places to take photos, time to beat up on the pedals and needed bike time without a Garmin or HRM. During big training blocks I often find my best power over time results as I’m just getting in a groove with out focusing on the Garmin.

Now, go fartlek. Take a friend if you can!

Photo Disclaimer: I lost my bar ends on the ride, they will be replaced ASAP!

Cold Weather RIding
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How to Dress for a Cold Bike Ride to a Concert

This guest post is by Lindsay Piper of QBP.

Man, my boyfriend is the coolest.  Me: doot doot doot, working away.  BF: Guess what? I got tickets to Polica tonight.  Me: Whaat?  OMGAWESOMEYAY

Here’s the thing, this conversation took place in early December in Minneapolis.  The concert was to take place at a concert venue called Mill City Nights, which is in downtown Minneapolis.  Well on a weekend, parking is a pain, and there’s the whole problem of not wanting to drink & drive, but well YEAH I’m going to have a cider while I watch Polica.

So what’s a gal to do? Ride her dang bike, that’s what a girl’s to do. 

That’s a bit easier in summer of course, but that night was expected to be in the range of 20-30 degrees, and the roads & paths were covered with a bit of snow/ice slop.  So this brought up the obvious question – what on earth do I wear to stay warm & dry on my bike, but still look concert-worthy?  I set to work a-wardrobing.

It is Crucial to Layer

winter bike clothing

 Layer 1 – The concert layer

Key #1: Toasty legs- I accomplished this by layering Patagonia midweight Capeline pants under my Outlier Women’s Daily Riding Pants. The Outlier pants are super stretchy, so it’s easy to add the layer under them without becoming immobile.  And they look like jeans, so style.

Key #2: Warm & dry tootsies- Nobody likes cold soggy feet while trying to take in awesome music.  To fix myself up here, I layered some DeFeet Wooleator socks (Minneapolis Bike Love Edition) under my Stella McCartney for Adidas high tops.  They’re made entirely of shiny synthetic leather and cover my ankles; both factors keep my feet dry & stylish at the same time, in a slightly Marty McFly kind of way. Where’s my hoverboard?!

Key #3: Warm but not sweaty core- I snagged a delightful tee shirt, complete with printed sassy phrase, and layered it under my numero uno, all-time favorite piece – my Surly long sleeve merino jersey.  It’s comfortable, keeps me warm & sweat wicked, and looks feminine but not girly. Disclaimer: I manage Surly and a few other brands’ clothing offering- this is one of my babies, so I might be biased, but it really and truly is awesome & indispensable.

winter bike clothing

Layer 2 – The outer layer (as watched over by my late dog Baxter, who was not thrilled that I was about to leave him home alone)

Key #1: Dry & Windproof torso – My handy OR Mithrill softshell- another indispensable piece, does the job with panache.

Key #2: Warm, safe extremities – On the paws, my 9,000 year old Swix lobster mitts.  They’re a little sad looking at this point, but they work.  I’ve yet to find a bike-specific pair of gloves that I like as well.  My 45NRTH Greazy merino cap.  It’s warm, fits nicely under a helmet, and has plenty of ear coverage.  Same disclaimer as above, and also in this case the Brand Manager is also the aforementioned boyfriend, so there you go.  Anyhoo popped on top of that is my Lazer 02 helmet.  The high-vis yellow is nice for night riding, and the one-size-fits-all adjustment means it’s easy to fit it over a hat.  The finishing touch is a pair of photosensitive Optic Nerve glasses to keep the crap & wind out of my eyes.

Key #3: ID & money required- The tiniest of Timbuk2 messenger bags, the Catapult, is so handy.  Plenty of room to stuff my gloves & hat once I arrive at the venue, without excess bulk.  And it rides high & tight to the body, which is really nice for riding.

Lindsay Piper

Striking a pose in my concert getup at home

Lindsay Piper

About to roll out.  Note the front & rear lights.  Safety, people!  I’m riding my All-City Macho Man with 45 NRTH Xerxes studded tires to cut through slop & ice.  You can tell this is still early winter, because my neighbors & I had still been taking snow removal much more seriously & thoroughly.  We’ve since given up on the prospect of seeing actual pavement.

Cold Weather Commuting

Success!  Opening act Marijuana Death Squads, and headliner Polica.  Love her pants!

Colorado Bicycle Summit
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2014 Colorado Bicycle Summit Recap

This past Monday I had the opportunity to attend most of the 2014 Colorado Bicycle Summit. Unfortunately, I missed the morning speakers which included CO Governor, John Hickenlooper, and an old friend from DC, Andy Clark of the Bike League. I’m hoping that 303 Cycling will do a recap of these speeches so I can pass them along to you!

Key Highlights at the Colorado Bicycle Summit:

Safe Routes to School Act for Continued Funding

Colorado Safe Routes to School Act

Getting More Women Riding Breakout Session

arleigh and katie

The amount of amazing women doing extraordinary things for cycling in Colorado is overwhelming. The next step is for all of us to come together to make a deeper impact. Look for a survey and more action around this soon!

Networking

Putting many faces with names from email and Twitter was pretty important for me. As a pretty new resident of Colorado I still don’t have my footing in the cycling scene so socializing and getting to know more people was key.

 

Sweet Potatoes
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Eating Paleo: Food Staples in Our House

The biggest change and challenge from moving to the Paleo style of eating is being prepared and having foods ready to eat.

There is some food preparation required and forethought when you go to the grocery store, but it all became much easier for our household once we nailed down the staple foods that make 65% of our diet. Grocery trips are faster (and cheaper) and sticking to the Paleo plan is pretty thoughtless once you find your groove.

Below are the Paleo food staples in our house, these are things that we always have available and make in large batches on the weekends. Find your staples and you will find success in daily healthy eating!

Read More

2013-bicycle-colorado-summit-670x
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Tomorrow is the 2014 Colorado Bicycle Summit

Tomorrow, Monday February 10th, you’ll be able to find me most the day at the 2014 Colorado Bicycle Summit most of tomorrow, including a moderator of the break out session “Getting More Women Riding.” I hope to report back with a recap of what is happening in Colorado Bike Advocacy and ways we can all work together to get more women riding in our wonderful state!

What is the Colorado Bicycle Summit about?

Summit Overview

  • Learn best practices for making change happen at the city, county and state levels
  • Learn about bicycle-related issues for the 2014 Colorado Legislative Session
  • Spend the morning at the State Capitol, with access to state legislators
  • Network with bicyclists of all flavors at the Summit Happy Hour

Who Attends

  • Bicycling advocates and industry leaders
  • On- and off-road recreational cyclists and commuters
  • Elected officials and agency staff
  • Anyone who wants to learn about making bicycling better in our state
healthy habits
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Creating Healthy Habits

The Whole Life Challenge is at it’s half way point. For 28 days I have been eating 99.9% Paleo, stretching, working out and picking up other healthy habits along the way.

As I enter the second half of this challenge, including a week long vacation, it is now time to figure out how to implement those healthy habits into everyday life when I am not being held accountable by a challenge.

This topic was brought up last night by my better half, how do you apply a challenge to the every day?

I’ve learned over the past few weeks a few things about myself and striving for my “healthy.” The first piece of that is creating healthy habits. Below are the steps that have worked for me during this challenge, but also in the past when trying to wake up earlier, pick up a skill for cycling or a new routine at work. They work for me and maybe they’ll work for you too.

Steps to Creating Healthy Habits

1. Submersion

I find that the first major step for me is completely submerging myself in the healthy choice I am looking to make. Whatever healthy choice you are tackling first embrace it, hug it tight and become very educated with it. Maybe you are starting to go to the gym, wake up early, or eat healthier – back your decision up with a lot of sound research on why you are making this HEALTHY choice. This will come in handy when you’re doubting yourself in a few days or when going gets tough.

Sign up for a group, buy a sleep app, save a ton of recipes to try and keep submerging. Task yourself to become an expert on this healthy habit. It will become so much of your every day that it really changes from a healthy choice to a healthy habit.

This is when you know you are fully submerged and ready to move on to the next healthy choice.

2. Limit the Options

In our house the only option for meals are Paleo. For the first 3 weeks in the challenge we hid the foods that we thought we would return to after the challenge, but ended up giving them away when we realized we didn’t want or need them in our diet. For myself, I bring lunch every day to work and the only option if I run out of food is a smoothie 4 blocks away from work. That is my only optional food at work.

If your only choice was between a chicken or a bison burger, you are doing great. If your only choice is to run at lunch or go to the gym, you’re an athlete. If you limit your choices, cut out the fat and give yourself less things to ponder, you will always succeed. Do not allow yourself the option to bail, skip a workout (unless sick or injured) or eat the crap. Those aren’t options, really they aren’t. When you don’t give yourself the option or choice, you don’t have to have will power to overcome it.

Think of one healthy habit that you practice in your life. This could be basic like doing laundry every Saturday morning so that you have clean clothes for the week, or taking your dog for a walk everyday after work. This is a healthy habit that you don’t even think of as an option, I bet.

3. Community

The Whole Life Challenge was a purchased community. With the challenge came forums, comments and a community to push us to be better. Thankfully, cycling and CrossFit both have tight knit communities to push us. As the challenge winds down I plan on submerging myself even more in these communities to feed off others positive and healthy choices.

What community, meetup or group can you join to help this new habit?

4. Prepare for Success

This is honestly my favorite mental switch that I have found during this challenge.

Through out my life I have been prepared for failure. It’s ingrained in my makeup and not something I am proud of. By submerging myself into healthy cooking and a new sport, limiting the options of failure, and leaning on a great community when I’ve needed an upper I have set myself up success. Success in healthy habits that has led to a healthier, happier, and stronger me!

What are you preparing for, success or failure?

[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.

5. Commit

This will be the hardest step of creating healthy habits. If you have built the foundation of healthy choices on all the above steps you will be left with only one thing, committing to these choices so that they can soon become habits.

More than anything, remember you are committing to yourself and your family. A healthier you is the best commitment you could ever make.

Conclusion

Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda

Photo Credit: scribbletaylor

 

 

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