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The Only Thing Scarier than a Kid on a Bike, An Adult

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A Short Story about Daily Bike Dilemmas

One morning I was sitting in my local little town of Davidson, NC. This is a small college town known for Davidson College and also one of the most friendly bicycle towns in the area of Charlotte, NC. Their welcome signs on all ends of the town state they are a “bicycle and pedestrian friendly town.”

As I’m sitting, drinking my latte and putting together my farmer’s market list, I see a great amount of cyclist stringing through town practicing for the big sprint triathlon that happens the end of August at the local YMCA. The cyclist have just finished a open water group swim and now riding the bike course for the sprint triathlon.

Here is the issue, this post-swim bike ride is not organized and often has 200 or so cyclist. There are elite level triathletes down to the most beginner bicyclist within the group. The ride goes through downtown Davidson with heavy car and pedestrian traffic. The cyclist do not know how to behave within a group of cyclist, let alone with cars and people walking around.

A month ago, during one of these exact times, a group ride after a large open water swim at the local YMCA, an entry level cyclist was cut off by a car pulling into a parking spot. The cyclist grabbed her brakes, flipping over her handlebars and hitting her head very hard on one of the parked cars bumpers. Continue reading →

Cycling Shoes I Can Wear to Meetings

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A couple weeks ago I was chatting with Rob from Mission Workshop about the lack of women’s cycling clothing that I could get off the bike and go into work or a coffee shop. He laughed a little bit and then said to wait a couple weeks.

Rob had up his sleeve the DZR shoes. Stiff, SPD compatible and a gum bottom, use them with clipless or without. Walk into your business casual meeting, or make a statement. Did I mention they have a women’s line?
Continue reading →

The Lost Art of Customer Service

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A new main series we will be focusing on here at Bike Shop Girl will be on customer service, the lost art. My hope is to target the companies that are doing it well, and explain what others could be doing better.

What Are Your Experiences

This website is an open dialog between all of those within the bike industry, as owners, employees, advertisers, media and most importantly, customers.

The bottom line in any industry is the customer, regardless if the customer is a B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to customer.) Even in the example of a B2B, there still is a customer – the end business. Whenever money or goods are transferred, there is a customer and this is a note that needs to be remembered more often.

Utilize the comment field, contact form, or email to the best of your communication comfort zone.

Dude Girl Bike Love Cycling Kit

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I just spotted Bike Love Cycling Kit (jersey & shorts) from Dude Girl that grabbed my attention.  The look of the red chain creating a heart on the jersey, snatch.

Be ready to pony up about $90-100 per jersey and short but if you want to step up from the boring and standard clothing for women.

 

 

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle Review

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Somewhere in the depths of the internet and one of my computers, is the original version of this article.  I hope the second version is only that much better than the first!

Camelbak Podium Chill BottleCamelbak Podium Chill Bottle
MSRP: $12.99
Details: BPA Free, Insulated Bottle

A water bottle is a water bottle, you get them free when you buy a bike, complete a ride or purchase them for $5-9 from your local bike shop.  That is exactly what I thought until I purchased a couple Camelbak Podium Chill Bottles a year ago.

Initial Reaction

When the original Podium Bottle was released I picked one up and wasn’t too impressed.  Yes, the screw on lid with bite valve was cool because it would keep your liquids from leaking all over your bike.  It also allowed you to keep the valve open to easily drink from, instead of opening/closing the lid every time you wanted to drink.  The lid alone wasn’t worth $5 extra dollars.

It’s All in the Insulation

Then Camelbak released the Podium Chill Bottle and I came to my senses.  Never before had I been a fan of insulated bike bottles.  They were clunky, hard to squeeze and came in only very boring colors.  Now insulation made sense to me and on most days in North Carolina between May and September I’m using the Insulated Podium Bottle.

Camelbak Podium Bottle Design

Once I overcame my sticker shock and realized that cold water was worth the money I embraced all of the design features within the bottle.

  • The lid with the ability to lock the valve closed has saved me many times when my bottle is on its side in my messenger bag.
  • The bite valve allows me to leave the bottles lid in the open position when I’m riding, and still doesn’t leak!
  • The textured outer layer of the bottle feels very odd at first, but the first time the bottle or your hands are wet you’ll realize its for grip.

Final Thoughts

Yes, Camelbak sent me some of these bottles as part of a care package so I have to disclose that part, but I owned several bottles previously.  Currently as my standard water bottles need replacing I’ll replace them with the Insulated Podium bottles until it is an even split between the two types of bottles.  The standard bottle will always have its place in the cupboard and on my bike, but for hot days over 80 degrees the Podium Chill Bottle will be in my water bottle cage.

Bottle Line: If you ride in the heat,  or sweat a lot,  try out one of these bottles.

Interested in purchasing a Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle or something like it after reading this review? Help support the site and purchase it from our Affiliate : REI

Customer Service : Bike Shop Failure

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Last week I attempted to purchase a lock at the shop down the street from work. Prior to riding down to the shop and wasting a lunch hour I first tried to message them on twitter, following it up with an email to the owner asking what type of locks they had. Quickly, the owner responded but I can honestly say his email didn’t lead me to wanting to purchase a lock from them. “We have a mixed bag of random locks (eleven81, Surelock, Kryponite, etc.). Nothing all that exciting but hey there are locks. Those Knog locks sure look interesting.”

Continue reading →

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

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As the summer cools off and we are entering the perfect temperatures of late summer/early fall I find my eating and drinking habits have suffered.  During the summer it is very easy to remember to drink water and eat healthier.  You can’t forget with the summer heat beating down on you as you ride, and amazing summer fruit and veggies available.

Camelbak Insulated Bottles

Constant Reminder to Hydrate

For the past couple weeks I haven’t been drinking water, and my hot coffee consumption has increased thanks to the sub 90º weather.  Every morning last week I woke up with this hang over feeling, half of the feeling was due to lack of caffeine, the other half was being dehydrated.

Today I took a Camelbak Better Bottle into work with me, hooking it on to my bag for a constant reminder on the way in. When I arrived at work I took the bottle and sat it down right in front of me.

This is my quick public service announcement to remind everyone to drink a big cup of water before bed.  We just received a small box of goodness from Camelbak of Insulated Better Bottles and Insulated Podium Bottles for review.  Check in tomorrow for a preview!

Commuting : How Not to Wear Spandex

6 Outlier Pants

Originally posted at our sister site : CommuteByBike.com

My tri-modal commute to Charlotte has partially changed my perspective of commuting concerns. One of these concerns is clothing which I’ll be deep diving in the next few articles.

Photo Credit : Outlier

Photo Credit : Outlier

Business Attire and Dress Codes

Since I now work back in the marketing and advertising industry there is more of a dress code than what you find in the bike industry. There are days that one is able to wear khakis or even jeans, but on the days that there is a slight chance of a meeting or client call those clothes won’t cut it.

Dress clothes, especially nice ones, don’t wear well for riding a bike and sweating. They also don’t do well with being shoved into a messenger bag. While I’m looking into a better solution of carrying the business attire, laptop and paperwork I still haven’t found it.

Shopping for Bike Friendly Dress Codes

While my better half cringes when we go shopping, I’ve been shopping for styling clothes that are “bikeable.” If I was a guy, this would be easy but it seems like the idea of technical fabrics and womens dress codes are very rare.

Thankfully the mornings have been cooler so I can pull off the 2.5 mile bike ride from the bus to work by simply rolling up my pants legs and pedaling slowly not to sweat. This won’t always be the answer, especially when it’s raining! (Currently those days I walk.)

Bikeable Work Clothes

What do you use? What brands or fabrics wear well and still can allow you to walk into a board meeting?