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Did Santa Bring You Something for Cycling?

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As the holidays are winding down and people are getting home for travels, or heading out on their own version I want to see what everyone received for the holidays!

My Presents for the Holiday

Now, I don’t believe I received any bicycle related holiday gifts. Unless the awesome $8 tshirt from Target counts?   I did receive many great gifts and most of them can’t hang a price on.

Your Turn!

Planning the 2011 Season

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It is easy to say that 2010 for me was one of changes, mental rearranging and finding my footing in the end.  I have many hopes going into 2011 for life and more specific cycling.  Some of my goals are more basic than others but by mid 2011 I hope to have my feet under me going forward quickly!

A Rough Sketch of 2011 Cycling Season

There are other key notes for the 2011 season

#1 Losing Weight

Putting down the Krispe Kreme donutes, putting down the fork after a serving, drinking less “frappe-latte-caramel-whip” coffee’s. Drinking more water, packing more lunches and potentially tracking calories

#2 Hitting the Gym

Rising at 5am, getting in the car and off to the gym.  Atleast 3 days a week, if not more

#3 Riding the Trainer

This will be the hardest, but I plan on riding the trainer during the week atleast 30 minutes to an hour a day

#4 Getting Back on the Road

Finding a couple slower group rides, or dragging out my girlfriend into the cold.  I need to get back on the road, I need to for my soul.

#5 Commuting

Gulp.   I need to get back on the horse, and now with a new announcement of being a “sponsored commuter” I’m going to have to get on that horse!!

Things Unspoken

There are other thoughts and feelings in the back of my mind.   Goals that aren’t said. Maybe I’ll race on the road again. Maybe I’ll make that yoga class at lunch during the week. Maybe just maybe, 2011 will be a year of progress and reformation.

Robbie and Robbie on Team RadioShack

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In my teens I loved to watch pro cycling.  This was the time when Greg Lemond, then Mario Cipollini and then the near decade of Lance Armstrong taking over.   It was an exciting time to watch pro cycling from the classics to the tours.  With Robbie McEwen and Robbie Hunter moving to the 2011 RadioShack team it creates a pretty intense line up of skills. The new team of Team RadioShack has me looking forward to getting back into spectating.

2011 RadioShack Roster

Lance Armstrong (USA), Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan), Sam Bewley (New Zealand), Jani Brajkovic (Slovenia), Matthew Busche (USA), Manuel Cardoso (Portugal), Philip Deignan (Ireland), Ben Hermans (Belgium), Chris Horner (USA), Robbie Hunter (South Africia), Markel Irizar (Spain), Ben King (USA), Andreas Klöden (Germany), Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland), Levi Leipheimer (USA), Geoffroy Lequatre (France), Tiago Machado (Portugal), Jason McCartney (USA), Robbie McEwen (Australia), Dmitriy Muravyev (Kazakhstan), Nélson Oliveira (Portugal), Sérgio Paulinho (Portugal), Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine), Gregory Rast (Switzerland), Sébastien Rosseler (Belgium), Ivan Rovny (Russia), Jesse Sergent (New Zealand, Bjørn Selander (USA) and Haimar Zubeldia (Spain).

Directors: Johan Bruyneel (Belgium), José Azevedo (Portugal), Dirk Demol (Belgium), Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) and Alain Gallopin (France).

Pro Cycling on Bike Shop Girl

Normally I’ve kept guys pro-cycling banter off this site, but after many questions I believe it needs to be talked about and such.  We won’t turn into the next Cycling News but we can give our opinion and advice when you are looking to watch it.

We’ll make sure to have Versus recording, Universal Sports or SteepHill.tv streaming live on my computer.

Essentials For the Cyclist on Your Holiday List

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We can almost count the time to Christmas in hours and unfortunately I missed Hanukkah for all my Jewish friends and followers.  I’ve been asked by many what to get their cycling loved ones or friends for those last minute gifts or stocking stuffers.

Top Last Minute Gift Ideas

Gift Cards - that’s an easy one.  If you aren’t local to your cycling loved one buy one from REI or Competitive Cyclist.  Also, many shops sell gift cards now – make it around service because during the upcoming year we’ll all need a good tune up, or wheel true.

Planet Bike Rear Blinky Light

Rear Blinky Light - Even mountain bikers can use these if they ride at night, and for safety reasons you can never have enough rear red blinky lights!

Old Chub Cycling Socks

Socks - Wicking, wool, tall or short.  They have decorative, fancy or plain fun.  Go crazy, even the cyclist in denial of their funny bone will wear these in hiding away from their snobby friends.

Cliff Bar

Nutrition - Those funny bars, and snacks that we like to eat on our rides or for a late breakfast.   Chances are you can find these at your local grocery store, the cheapest I find them is at REI.  Take a sampling of different types.  Maybe you’ll find your cyclist a new favorite.

Twin Six Water Bottle

Water Bottles -  There isn’t a cyclist alive that will turn down a good water bottle.  Unless,  they are ugly and cheap.  My favorite are the insulated Camelbak bottles.  Combined with the nutrition gels/bars inside, it makes a great looking stocking stuffer!

Last Minute Shopping

Most everyone has a local bike shop in town.  Even if you aren’t a cyclist I recommend you support the locals.   Most of the above ideas are available at your local bike shop.  Variation may change but the use will not!  I also know Real Cyclist and some others are guaranteeing shipping if you order by 5pm MST on December 22nd!

What Do You Want?

After asking on Twitter what was on the cyclist holiday wish list I received many different responses. Some were thoughtful, useful or even a few that money couldnt buy.

@KatyChancey is looking for a new Sweat Pea A-Line, Swrve Knickers and Women’s winter bike shoes

@LorenCaff has a high vis waterproof jacket on her list

@ElRach @thequestess @Tomas_quinones @nicknull All are looking for warmer clothes

It seems like knickers are a very popular want from @doyouwabisabi

@wjcstp @parenthood21 @g_berger @BRAINtechPLEASE @BradGrass Some form of bikes are on their list

My favorite of all the comments :

@BikeShopGirlcom what I really need is a bike maintenance elf. Rei is out of stock & bike shop boys don’t believe they exist. :(
From : @debiquity

What is on your list?

Virtually “Checking In”

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I wanted to write everyone and say thank you again, and to also note that I’ve been taking a mental break away from blogging and cycling thoughts. My hope of this is to come back refreshed with a cleaner vision of how I’m going to go forward with cycling in my life. I love the sport, the people that are within it and how I have touched everyone of my readers.

Here’s to a couple weeks away from the blog, and forward momentum of Bike Shop Girl!

Finding the Soul to Ride

34 Finding the Soul to Ride

Finding the Soul to Ride

We all know by now, I was hit by a car two months ago.   To this date I haven’t been able to ride on the road. I haven’t mentally been able to prepare myself, or get over the gut wrench that I think about when I think about riding.

I’ve taken the steps.  I changed out the saddle, stem and handlebar on a Raleigh Clubman that’s in my garage from a review.  Now, swap the pedals and pump up the tires.. it is ready to roll.

Someone please get me on my bike, on the road… block out all the thoughts and feelings that I feel.  Get me there.  Now.

 

Crashing Your Bicycle into Golden Leaves

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It was a stupid idea, I knew that within 30 feet of entering the trail head.   Night riding on the most root strewn trail, the night after a huge wind storm blew threw the area which left roughly 2 inches of wet leaves to hide those evil roots.

It was a Stupid Idea Night Riding Last Night

I could feel it, my lights weren’t picking up depth with the colorful leaves thrown across the trail.  They weren’t picking up the roots I knew that were around that corner.  I had to ride.  I had to.  I needed it, my soul needed it and I needed to feel again in away that riding at night can only give.

Cautiously I rode on.  The trail is around 3 miles long and I felt confident in my navigating skills.  I had ridden in the pouring rain without site before, this would be fine.  I would be fine. I would feel again.

Pushing myself carefully around the turns.  Testing my brain and memory skills from riding the trail a few nights earlier.

Oh shit moments.  Back tire spinning in place stuck on a root that I hadn’t seen under the golden leaves.

Smile with happiness as I glide through the creek bed.  I’ve almost completely one lap on the trail, I knew I could do another.  This wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Dabbing.  Why did I second guess myself there?  I know this trail. I know how it feels, I know where the roots that grab your tires are, I know what to avoid.

With one last section left to clear, I eased up and slowed down a tick.   The night was beautiful.  It felt great to be out, in the middle of November in spandex.  Feeling at peace from a crazy day.

The rooty berm was ahead.  I picked my way threw.

My Rear Jammed and I Crashed

Laying there, I looked to see what my wheel had stopped on.  I saw nothing, I didn’t see a reason for the sudden stop of momentum.  What just happened?   Thankfully the golden pile of leaves (that probably had a golden shower from a dog or two) caught my fall.  I was fine, but I was baffled as I didn’t see anything that would have stopped my 29er wheels.

I laid, and thought, and breathed.  Silence. My helmet light shined off the trees over head.  In that moment I believed something stopped me.  Something grabbed my tire at that moment, right when I would fall on a pile of leaves.  I was meant to be laying here in this golden pile of leaves to reflect and find peace.

These are the Moments I Ride For

Going fast is fun.  Being faster than your friends is nice.  The moments when you stop and look at where you have come from, or maybe that large hill you still have to climb.  I’m happy to be on the bike, and happier to share these moments with people that care.

Continental Mountain King 29×2.4 Tire Initial Review

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Last week I finally received my new Industry Nine wheels that have been on order for about a month.   The same time as the wheels I had ordered a couple Continental tires that I’ve had my eye on for awhile that no one has used locally that I have been able to find. The Continental Mountain King 29×2.4 for the front and the Race King 2.2 tires for the rear were what I ordered.

Width of Continental Tires

There’s always been an issue, especially with mountain bike tires, with the wrong advertised spec compared to truth width. Continental seems to be worst of all companies with this. When I ordered the tires I was aware of this but hoped by going with a 2.4 for the front that it would end up around 2.25.

Continental Mountain King 2.4 Measurement from Twenty Nine Inches was originally at 52.6mm or 2.07 inches for the casing. The guys over there went on saying the tire “stretched” and of course a tire will measure out or fill out differently depending on which rim and rim width you install it on.

Personally I need to measure mine.  They’ve been installed since last Thursday night, and maybe they have “stretched” out a bit too.  Regardless, 2 inch tires aren’t what I was looking for. Especially the front which is supposed to be a 2.4, so now I have a 2″ tire for roughly 800 grams. Not very happy where the weight/width/volume for ride is.

Continental Mountain King 29x2.4 Tire

Installing Continental Mountain Bike Tires

Installation of the Mountain King 2.4 tire was a bear on the Stans Arch rim. Currently, I’m running tubed and pinched a tube when there was 3 inches of tire left to roll on and no where to go. I’m not going to be very happy if I get a flat on the side of a trail somewhere, I’ll never be able to get the tire back on unless the tire truly did stretch.

Ride Quality of the Mountain King 2.4

The tire rides well. It’s a true trail tire with well positioned deep knobs that ride over various trail conditions from roots, rocks and floats over sand. If I was riding a full suspension, riding deep in the mountains or had front suspension this tire would lay better with me.  Currently it’s on the list to be taken off after a few more rides. I can’t ride a heavy tire with no volume on a fully rigid bike. There are too may other good tires out there to waste my time on riding this. I may try it on the rear once I find a replacement for this as a front tire.
Continental Mountain King 29x2.4 Tire

Overall Opinion of the Continental Mountain King 29×2.4 Tire

I’m not impressed.  Tires, wheels, grips and saddles make or break a bike for me.  There isn’t much else left on a fully rigid 29er but still…these things matter to me. I like stiff wheels, squishy tires with strong yet subtle sidewalls and a comfortable fit. The tires will be measured, I’ll try them tubeless and we will be back for a full review.