Empowering women in cycling

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Eye Protection : A Friendly Reminder

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This morning I was reminded quickly into my ride why I wear eyeglasses at all time, either sunglasses or normal, to see, glasses.  A large bee hit right smack in the middle of my glass lense.  If I didn’t have them on, the bee would of been in my eye. Can you say ouch?!

Several years ago I started wearing glasses all the time, especially in the bike shop.  Flying bits, tubeless tire setups and various other reasons have lead me to believe it is always better to be safe than with a large piece of metal in your eyeball.

With many affordable eyewear options, Tifosi and Ryder are two that come to mind.  Maybe not as high end of a lenses as Oakley but are affordable and easily found at your local bike shop.

Pick up an option that fits your face well, doesn’t fog and either has various lens color options or purchase a couple different ones that have different tints. $30 is a lot cheaper than the lose of your eyes.

Losing Those Last Extra Pounds? Try commuting

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It is a known fact that as we age it is harder to keep the weight off.  Not only are our own bodies changing and making it more difficult, but as well as limited time and more responsibilities.   It was much easier in school, or a younger age to go for a run, make a healthy dinner or join a sports team.

Lee said women should not let the findings discourage them from exercising at all, but they may want to make small changes now to prevent later weight gain.

“I think the easiest thing is actually commuting,” she said, suggesting people walk or bike to work, and if they drive, to park farther away from the office.

If seven hours a week are just too hard to fit in, Lee said people might want to consider vigorous exercise such as jogging, which can cut the weekly time requirement in half.

Originally found at Reuters

Several years ago, I learned that choosing my bike for errands would help keep the extra pounds off.  This habit also keeps me happier at work and my brain fresh.  I’m not a member of the gym and save a decent amount of money in gas and auto expenses.  Normally, this money is fed back to the cycling habit but its a healthy habit I plan on keeping for another 10 years.

Make sure to check out my other site, CommuteByBike.com or follow on Twitter @BikeShopGirlcom

Video : Unboxing the Raleigh Clubman

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We recently took delivery of a 2010 Raleigh Clubman. In this 6 minute clip we go through the basics of unboxing a bicycle. A full review will be available on http://www.CommuteByBike.com soon.

A walk through building a bicycle up from the boxed form.  This is how most bikes show up to a bike shop, except for those boutique, build from scratch variety.   We skim through some sections in order to get you through the whole unboxing, which normally takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Unboxing

Tools

The basic tools are used were :

Park Tool Allen Wrench Set

Feedback Sports – Sport Repair Stand

Park Tool Cable Cutter

Photos of the Build Day

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @BikeShopGirlcom

Lab-Gear 99 : Full Review

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Lab-Gear 99 Mid & T

The end of October I was approached by Lab-Gear to review a few of their new woman’s line, 99.  Today we are going to go over the pro’s and con’s, as well as share some photos of the different shirts we reviewed.  First, make sure to read our preview from December.

The Process

One thing very unique about Lab-Gear was the process of ordering these garments.  You go through a whole build out picking sizing, color weighs, and options.  The options include a GT Stripe (racing stripe,) thumb holes, and various stitching for the cuff and collars.

After submitting your order the customer service is top notch.  At anytime it is telling you where your order is along in their system.  Finally, you take delivery.  They are wrapped up nicely like a brilliant gift for you.  Made exclusively for you!  It happened also, to be delivered on my birthday.

99 T


This is a lighter weight long sleeve top.  Easily worn with jeans or on your favorite long ride.    We chose to build out our 99 tops to match well together as you can see in the photos.  Due to this being very close to your skin, if you are sensitive to wool, you may get itchy while wearing this top.

Merino wool does its job, even though a very thin (tshirt like) top.  This guy will keep you warm by itself on slightly chilly days, or team it up with the 99 Mid to have a very warm outfit.

With the fitting we decided to order the top to be a fashion fit.  Not too tight, but a normal size you would by from a clothing store.  The shirt fits well, but is on the shorter side for the size it is fitting.

99 Mid


As an outerwear top it is not quite a jersey, not quite a full on jacket.  It reminded me a lot of a track style jacket.  The Mid has a higher collar, thicker weave of merino and a zipper collar.

We ordered this top a size bigger than the T as it was going to be worn over other tops.  Teaming the Mid and T up together is going to be the perfect spring morning ride apparel.   The colors we decided on go well together for the pieces separate or together.

Final Thoughts

The cost are high for these tops, but merino wool comes at a price, as does customizing to your own liking.  At the time of typing this the convert of currency from AUS to USD is:

$130 for the Mid
$78.35 for the T

After a couple months of weekly use, washing, wearing and riding in - these tops look brand new.  This isn’t normally the case with wool, you often get pulling or threads snagged.

The Mid will be a great purchase for multi use, and the T is a dream if you are a fan of wool.

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.

The Best of the Best : Bike Trainers

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This morning I was, brutally, reminded that some areas of the country are still in the freezing cold and in the need of bike trainers.  There are other reasons to ride a trainer outside of weather.  Including dedicated training intervals, warming up at races and even darkness can force us inside on the dreaded trainer.

The New York Times recently published an article on various bike trainers that a woman tested for 90 minutes at a time.  The article got me thinking about all the hours I spent on the trainer in Maryland and Massachusetts.  I hated every minute of it and even the famed “rollers” that were supposed to be 100% better, stunk.

Technology of Highend Trainers

As anything, technology is increasing and trainers are becoming an experience instead of a chore.  Computrainers and the Rock and Roll trainer are really pushing the envelope.

Computrainer

The best indoor trainers on the market, in my opinon.  These trainers hook up to you computer, using a profile or set thresholds the trainer changes resistance on your tire to make it feel very real life.   They also can be set up to 8 trainers connected to each other, then to the computer.  This allows you to ride with others, race, draft and really interact with others. 

I’m a bit spoiled as we have a fitness center inside of the shop I manage. We have 8 of these Computrainers and host multiple classes or rides per day.  You can really use this as a training tool and optimize your time during the off-season or daylight savings.

The catch on the Computrainer is the cost.  Starting at $1649, these trainers are for the diehard users.

Rock & Roll from Kurt by Kinetic

If you want to see a different way of thinking, check out the Rock & Roll.  The movie below can say more than I, so I’ll stop now.

The Rock & Roll will create a core strength as well as aid in the hard resistance on your body that you normally may feel on a trainer. 

Now, if you want the best of both world – take a Computrainer resistance unit and mount it to a Rock & Roll base unit.

Webinar on March 31: Writing Women Back into Bicycling

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A great webinar is happening at the end of this month thanks to Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. I have emailed an inquiry for some sort of content list of what will be covered, if feedback is welcome and the exact goals of the webinar.  Regardless, this is a great step forward and I’m excited to hear what all is going to be touched upon during this webinar.

Some say that transportation culture will change when more women are cycling. What’s the key to making that change happen? Hear all about it during APBP’s free webinar, Writing Women Back into Bicycling: Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle. This presentation is linked to the encouragement recommendations of the International Scan. Consider hosting a site and inviting your colleagues to attend.
This webinar is made possible by a generous contribution from the Family of Mrs. Neil L. Miller (1938-2005) Barry University HPLS Faculty.

Video : Cervelo BrainBike

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In Florida, it seems to be raining none stop today which means that today’s group ride was rained out. One advantage of this was the free time to give you a recap of a few key things we have learned during our sessions here at Cervelo Brainbike.


Make sure to subscribe to the Bike Shop Girl podcast on iTunes.

During the video I mentioned a few things :

Project California - Cervelo’s test lab where they have created new and better things from Cervelo, as well as $6k framesets (100 made.)

A new seat clamp for the P4.  You can see this above, and they did say they are making retrofits for the ones on the old P4′s that keep slipping/cracking.

I’m working on getting the slideshow from the presentation in-order to show you photos of the new carbon S-bikes internally routed cables.

Video : Vanilla Workshop

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Thanks to covering the North American Handmade Bicycle Show for Versus.com I was able to get a few really good one on one interviews with builders that may never of happened. Here is the first with Sacha White of Vanilla Workshop.

Make sure to subscribe to the Bike Shop Girl podcast on iTunes.

Thanks to Brad from UrbanVelo.org for the use of his photo for official business.

Cycling Gives Women Feelings of Freedom

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As a young child I always going out on my bike or out on a run to get out. I wasn’t one to play video games or watch tv, I always needed to get out.

Because of this the bicycle gave me a freedom further than my two feet. I didn’t need my parents, boyfriend or anyone to aid me in getting where I wanted to go. Exploration and adventure were a pedal stroke away.

“I think (bicycling) has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.”

Susan B. Anthony’s words, spoken in 1896, ring true today. Courtney Ramey, a dedicated bicycle commuter, agrees with Anthony: “It’s easy. It feels great. It’s freedom.” Pam Polizzi loves that “biking gives you a great deal of freedom in getting around the city easily.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/10/NSPP1CAFIB.DTL#ixzz0hsrYwouB

Today this is going one more step as women seem to be hesitant to get out on the road or bike trails to try this new skill. The second they do try it, they feel empowered and free of all the ties they left at home. The children, errands, work week or BlackBerry can go on hold for a couple hours as they ride.

What about riding a bike makes you feel free?