Learning how to cycle on an old red raleigh (over 30 years ago), zipping downslope and crashing into my neighbour’s fence. I swear you can still see the dent today.
Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?
Riders: Georgena Terry, for having women in mind when it come to bikes. The bunch of people I ride with, for putting me on a bike every time. The women riders of my town, for riding with me, and for riding. Period.
What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?
Learning to go offroad.
In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?
Commute to work, ride at least 100km a week, minimum. Increase my cadence, lower my heart rate.
My Bikes, are you curious?
My rides: Road: Fuji Roubaix 3.0 Hardtail: Fuji Tahoe Comp.
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!
The CamelBak Octane 18X weighs in at just a pound and with 18L of fully expanded cargo capacity, this pack is perfect for 3+ hours of nonstop action. The Octane 18X features an independent suspension, easy to reach stash pockets, a harness pocket and an expandable cargo pocket so you can comfortably carry everything you need which moving fast. Great for extended trail runs or adventure races. The CamelBak Octane 18X also includes the new 100 oz. Antidote reservoir which has a quick-snap cap that tightens in a quarter turn and a quick-disconnect tube system.
Video Preview from Camelbak of the Octane 18x
Initial Thoughts and Feelings
I try to use water bottles as much as possible. Too much weight on my back can kill me on hard and fast rides. When I venture further away from the car or house, I need to carry things. If it is to be more of a boy scout with things to fix trail side or more water and food for longer rides. In the past I have used bags from Camelbak (the Lobo), Deuter, Osprey Packs and more . Several of these will have final reviews posted in the coming months as well! I have always wanted something lighter, and Camelbak seems to have delivered that.
The material of the bag reminds me of a parachute. The zipper in the center helps keep things nice and tight when I don’t have a jacket or extra clothes in the bag. My only concern is the lack of support on the bag. It literally can be rolled up (without the reservoir) and put in a large jersey pocket.
Full review after Sea Otter
I will be taking the Octane 18x with me to Sea Otter and will be able to provide a full review after I abuse it a bit more in the heat and sand!
April 6, 2011 – Now I remember why I don’t race any more – you have to get up too dang early. But I’m up and on my way to N. Wilkesboro, NC for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek to race in the female duo category with my awesome partner, Arleigh Jenkins (brainchild of em:pwr cycling) and my “pit crew” Shelley with me. It’s supposed to be a beautiful Saturday for racing, albeit a little windy, even though it rained earlier in the week things should have dried up nicely.
Little did we know an isolated storm sitting right on top of Warrior Creek dumped rain on the course Friday night. We arrive to a soupy, soggy, greasy 13 mile trail. It was agreed Arleigh would do the first lap since I did the first one last year – that’s only fair, right? After her pre-lap I think Arleigh was trying to come up with any way to get me to do the first lap but she sucked up and went out there with 300 other brave souls to sling some mud around. When the first of the racer boys started hitting the start/finish line we could tell it wasn’t pretty out there – their backs were slathered in mud as were their entire bikes – not good! Several people even stopped and turned in their timing chip after one lap – the mighty mud had worn them out and they couldn’t return for lap two (they really should have stuck it out, more on that later). Riders continue to cross the finish line while I’m trying to warm up and psyche myself up to have a very slow, safe lap – no need to kill myself out there.
Arleigh comes through and collapses on the ground – mind you she is riding a rigid SS over 13 miles of up and down soupy mess – covered in mud. I take off and hit the woods and the ground is dry, not a puddle in sight. I’m thinking – what were they talking about, it’s not nasty out here, the trail is in excellent shape. I hear others on the trail who had already done one lap speak out loud in amazement at the difference in the trail from the first lap – unbelievable they say. I guess 300 riders on the trail will dry it up real quick. I continue my ride – enjoying the fact I don’t have mud hitting me in the face and I’m not sliding down the wet berms. I finish my lap and make it back to the pits to find Arleigh in street clothes – I had said before I went out that she didn’t need to do another lap since we were just out there to have fun – and she obviously didn’t have a problem with that.
That was the end of our day – we sat at the start/finish line, ate BBQ chicken and pork, gelato and watched our friends keep going round and round. We did two laps and came in 3rd – can’t beat that!
As I dive deeper into training and coaching, the question of power always comes up. What have I used, why have I used it, and so on…. As I’m researching more to decide on purchases in the future, or recommendations for friends I have questions for you.
As a human I try not to stress about the small things in life, only when I am highly intoxicated do I start to worry about all the things in life that I am juggling. A few days last week I started to stress out majorly about the upcoming 6 Hours of Warrior Creek.
Worries are for Pussies
And I’m a pussy. Here’s a small list of things I stressed about over the course of the week prior to the race.
Lack of riding in the mountains
Lack of gears
Lack of suspension
Lack of pre-riding the course
Girlfriend would be in the pit with a broken foot, could she make it to the bathroom…up the road..?
The car was packed, we were ready and in the car by 5:45am and at the gate (7th in line) waiting by 6:45am. 10 minutes from the course there was evidence of a rainstorm with puddles of rain on the road and limbs across the shoulders. Not good, not good at all.
Quickly, my trusty pit chief Kimberlee and I setup our spot that was to be shared with my team mate Melissa, her pit chief, Shelley, their dog Darby, a teammate racing solo, Stephanie, and Namrita/Eddie from Team Ergon Racing. Oh, you can’t forget Team Dicky who pit next to us but poached some grass from our pit area.
Stephanie and I pre-rode 2 miles of the course to see how much rain was left, and to contemplate switching tires or single speed gearing. I regrettbly forgot to do many things. 1. Put toe spikes on my shoes, 2. Switch tires, 3. Switch gears.
Actual Race Recap
This could be the hardest and stupidest thing I have done on a mountain bike in a long time. The first lap, which I happened to be doing for our team, was the hardest. The course is super fun and fast when dry. Tons of berms, switch backs and as long as you stay in front of your gear..it is great fun. For the 13 mile course I probably walked 4 miles. Most switch backs were so muddy and rutted by the time I got to them, my front tire would slip through and my gearing would cause rear tire slippage. I was simply left to walk up the short up hills.
My calves screamed.
My brain was frazzled.
It was not fun, at all.
By the time my lap was finished I was so mentally beat down that you couldn’t have paid me to get back on my bike that day. I’m not ready to be racing single speed or single speed fully rigid for multi lap racing. I’m also in better shape than this time last year, but that did not show up at the mud wrestling I dealt with.
I probably wouldn’t of done anything different. You learn from every race, and I can atleast say I didn’t quit. Yeah, I could have done another lap but I didn’t. I’m looking forward to having gears and some suspension in my future thanks to Airborne.
At the end of the day we came in 3rd place for our division at 6WC, not at all thanks to me. I owe that completely to Melissa my awesome partner in crime. A podium place, swag and a cool coffee mug. It could have always been worse… I didn’t crash or break anything!
A Monday morning tradition that we are starting to keep you motivated and to be striving for your goals even during a hard week or long hours at work. Do you know someone that motivates and inspires you? Send us your answers and photo to girly@BikeShopGirl.com
I can’t say enough great things abouthttp://rebeccarusch.com/. In years past I’ve had the honor to be in her pit as a mechanic, get a pat on the back at a race and more than that she’s always that constant voice in the back of my head on hard rides and long races.
Endurance mountain biking, but I also ride ‘cross, road, pump track, super D and townie/commuter.
3. What is your first cycling memory?
Ripping my purple banana seat Huffy down the brick street in front of my house. We lived on a quiet street on a hill and our house was near the top. Rolling down without pedaling was pure freedom, but I also kind of liked turning around and working hard to get back up so I could do it again. I guess that was my first type of “training” and the realization that it was rewarding to “earn your turns” so to speak.
4. Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?
Marla Streb. Hands down. She has handled a very long term racing and cycling career with such passion and grace and has done pretty much EVERYTHING. She started mountain biking at 28 after leaving her job in molecular biology AIDS research. Since then she paved the way for women in downhill by earning multiple national titles, world cup podiums and a SS world champ title. She’s also competitive in endurance races like La Ruta. She’s a Mom of 2, manages trail building projects in South America, she’s written two books, lived on a sailboat and manages the Luna women’s cycling team. She just announced her 2011 return to racing and will also be coaching ride clinics this year and just launched the opening of a bike cafe called Handle Bar in Baltimore. On top of all of that, she’s super friendly, funny and just the kind of person you want to hang out with. I just hope I don’t have to race against her this year!
5. What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?
Winning the 2010 Leadville Trail 100 and breaking the long standing women’s course record. The beauty of that day is that I worked hard all season for that one event and, like magic the training, dedication, equipment all aligned perfectly on that specific day. Peaking perfectly and having a race unfold as you visualize it is an elusive, slippery goal to grasp at. More times than not, things don’t go as planned. This time it did and I was elated with my performance and thankful to the team of people who helped me pull it off. It’s a day I won’t forget.
6. In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?
The #1 race goal is to try to defend my Leadville Trail 100 title for a 3rd time. It has never been done and my training plan is built 100% around this goal.
However, I also have some new projects that I’m super excited about. I have designed the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour for 2011 that will include various mtb events for women and girls. The events are all different, including a women’s only mountain bike race in Colorado (Bike Beti Bash), a high school girls race team in my home town (Wheel Girls), and the first event of the year, SRAM Ladies Lounge at Sea Otter! I will also hopefully be showing the 2010 Race Across the Sky Leadville 100 film in various locations as IMBA fundraisers. I love racing and have no intention of stopping anytime soon, but I also love to share my experience with other riders and help people find out how great riding a bike is! These extra projects are all just a natural progression in my own education and riding experience.
In February Airborne Bicycles put out a call for Flight Crew members. Essentially Flight Crew members are a small group of brand ambassadors. You get to ride a bike, for free, goto Sea Otter (to work the booth), for free, and encourage cycling. When I heard this news I was ecstatic. I already had my eye on on an Airborne Goblin for the 2011 season, and if I could become part of the team? Great!
“A” Stands For : Arleigh Awesome Airborne
That was my tag line for my entry to the Flight crew. Apparently it worked, but I think I won them over with my sweet talking on the phone. How could three bike guys from Airborne turn down a girl on the phone that knows a crap ton about bikes?
Red Tape Around Every Corner
There were concerns along the way. I didn’t want to muddy any water on Bike Shop Girl by having a product sponsor, but on the flip side Bike Shop Girl is a purely passionate investment of my time. It is a personal blog and doesn’t generate enough money to buy me anything but bottom shelf beer. Now that I work in marketing full time, the bike industry is not my job and I am going to continue to give unbiased views of bikes or product.
Other details include more guest posting for product reviews that compete with Airborne Bicycles. Say Specialized wants a mountain bike reviewed, I’m going to ring up one of my em:pwr team members and ask them if they would be interested in reviewing a bike. Basing it completely on their experience, riding style and needs that fit the bike the best. Instead of having one person to review a bike, we have 38 voices and opiniongs!
I’m a Bike Rider and Racer
Cycling is an expensive sport and if someone wants to give me a bike, I’m not going to stop them. If a company structure that I believe in (direct to consumer and brick ‘n mortar) want to sponsor me, why would I turn this down? As long as I am upfront with my goals and what it means for my readers…why would I say no?
Officially, I am a Flight Crew Member
Thank you Airborne Bicycles for wanting me, I’m honored and flattered as I know what type of competition there was! In two weeks I’ll be flying to Monterray California to ride many Airborne Bikes, I’ll take many photos but most importantly it will be the first time I’ll swing my leg over my race rig the 29er Goblin and the new Delta CX bike for my cyclocross season!
For now go visit Airborne Bicycles and check out their line. The new Delta CX will be up on their site sometime this weekend.
April marks many things. April fools, spring showers, flowers, bike racing, major league baseball and many other things. It also marks the month of biking. 30 days of biking to be exact.
30 Days of Biking
The only rule for 30 Days of Biking, April 1–30, 2011, is that you bike every day for 30 days—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online. We believe biking enriches life, builds community, and preserves the Earth.
Registering will shoot your name onto our master participants list, setting your name in virtual stone. Interaction from here is up to you! Bike every day, then tweet (using #30daysofbiking) or blog, or Facebook, or Flickr, or Tumblr, or Daily Mile, or write a snail mail letter about it. Make videos and songs. Be pleased as punch you’re biking and fulfilling an awesome goal.
How We are Getting Involved
This is something I find very exciting and I’m glad to participate. The guys behind 30 days of biking have an amazing idea in place, hopefully we can inspire more butts on bikes!
Some examples of how I’ll be getting on the bike… today I’ll run to the bike shop 3 miles from work on bike bike. Tomorrow I’m racing. Sunday I’ll do a recovery ride. During the week if I can’t do a true ride, I’ll do my errands around work on my bike. Even if its a bike ride down the greenway to take photos. Do it, I promise every time you stretch your legs around those pedals turning, you’re body and soul will thank you.
In February I did a preview of the Chrome Mini Messenger that I received for review at no charge from Chrome (yes that is my mandatory disclaimer.) For the past 6 weeks I have been riding, using for work, the gym and even used it as a warm bed for a small baby chihuahua.
Features of the Chrome Mini Messenger
A few key things that really stood out to me, it is about the small details that companies put in their product that stands out the most.
Extended flap on sides to keep out rain when the bag is closed
Reflective straps on the back buckles
Loop for blinky light on tail of bag
Bottle opener on the buckle
Several pockets to keep the small things from getting lost in my bag
What the Chrome Mini Messenger Bag Is
The Mini Messenger is perfect for those looking for a slimmer and trimmer messenger bag. It isn’t as bulky or combersome as most messenger bags. The colors I picked stand out, and often is commented about when I take it to business meetings. It has personality without being over the top, and it helps that it is my companies branding colors. The bag comfortable carriers 20-25 lbs with the load spread out over the very padded shoulder strap.
What Fits in the Chrome Mini Messenger Bag
Daily I use the Mini Messenger for transportation back and forth to work. This includes two or three notebooks, a 17″ MacBook Pro, cables and a small camera shoved in a side pocket, many pens, and sometimes a hat or a rain jacket thrown in for safety. It doesn’t carry a ton, it is not a bag to carry the kitchen sink.
Other Random Notes and Dimensions
(Pulled from ChromeBagsStore.com)
Weight: 2.3lb Fabric: 1000 denier Cordura outer shell, 18 oz. truck tarp liner Made In: Chica, CA, USA Dimensions: 20″ wide, 12″ high, 7″ deep Volume: 20.5L
Personal Downfalls of the Mini Messenger Bag
In no specific order, these are the things that I disliked.
The cross chest strap sucks for women with boobs. The bag is so small though, I often didn’t use it even when I had a full load doing urban riding.
I wish it had a top mounted handle for carrying purposes. Yes, I could have asked for the Buran but it didn’t have any pretty stock colors!
The liner system was something that took me a few days to figure out. Essentially the interior bag is suspended over the exterior bag. It is fully water proof because of this, but I had lost a couple documents in the bottom of the bag not knowing that it wasn’t closed off. No fears, I found them and I’m smarter for the experience.
Final Thoughts and Review of the Chrome Mini Messenger Bag
The bag was pleasantly comfortable to ride in, even with a rigid laptop on the back. It was very water proof, even in down pour for 45 minutes I never had any wet documents or electronics (thank god.) The colors are completely me and I’m glad I picked out the bright colors. As I said above, I don’t use the chest strap that often due to it not fitting well with my chest, but that didn’t cause any problems during riding or transporting a full bag.
I would recommend this bag, but making sure you know it won’t fit the kitchen sink. It is for a change of clothes OR a laptop and notebooks, not both. It will be perfect for someone that needs to carry clothes to work and change, or goto the gym (a yoga mat was held very nicely under the flap.) Beware during the summer heat you will get a sweaty back with this heavy duty material.
Buy your own Chrome Mini Messenger Bag at the Chrome Bag Store. Make sure they know Bike Shop Girl sent you!
This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing. I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.
I haven’t been on the bike enough during the pre-season to consider myself “in training.” Riding and working out were a priority, but so was getting used to eating differently, lacrosse games and life! The past couple months I am proud the direction my cycling riding and can say that I am starting to feel that cycling is back as part of my life like it was prior to my bike accident in October.
Training and prep work done for Warrior Creek wasn’t as swell as I had hoped. The weekends I hoped to pre-ride the course, or simply ride in the mountains it was either snowing or pouring down rain. There is no pre-ride of the course until the first lap this Saturday, there is no checking tire selection, pressure or single speed gear. Everything I would recommend an individual to do before a race, won’t be happening this time around. With all these negative thoughts I can tell you I am excited and glad to be part of a duo team!
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
Since Saturday it has been raining in the region, today (Tuesday) will be the only sunny and dry day that we see. The radar states that weather will be foul the rest of the week. The day before the race will be light rain, my hopes is it is light rain in the morning with a ton of sunshine! Race day it says to be sunny with a high of 54º but in the hills of the Appalachians this could change within 20º at any given day.
With a duo team the key will be cleaning off the bikes between laps and keeping our spirits high. That is where our fabulous pit crew comes in!
Kimberlee (the girl in green on the left photo) and Shelley (right photo) will be in charge of entertainment, freeing the bike from mud, feeding and other random needs or wants that come down the trail.
Come Friday I’ll be changing my front tire to a Maxxis Ignitor for mud clearance, adding a down tube fender, and finding 4-5 pairs of my long finger gloves for when they get muddy. Nutrition will be next on the things to go over…