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Flow at Lake Norman State Park

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Yesterday, after attempting to play a few rounds of paintball games for the first time, I quickly loaded up my Green Goblin to hit up Lake Norman State Park before the daylight faded.

As I drove to the park I realized I was going to miss probably 30 minutes of the 2:30 ride time that I had planned due to the sun starting to go low beyond the trees. Quickly I came up with a new game plan. The goal was to ride the Itusi and Mambo loops (12 miles) for warm up and then to crank out another lap on Itusi but at a faster pace.

1/4 of the way through the 6 mile Itusi trail I realized that something was happening between the connection of the bike and rider. The last time I felt this type of connection was fall of 2006 when I was living in Brevard North Carolina while working at Cane Creek building wheels. The connection where you flick, the bike goes, flicking and jumping and flowing up and down the curves of the trail. It felt amazing.

Right ear plugged into Black Keys, left ear listening to the cicadas and the creaking of my bottom bracket.

Staying on track with time, keeping my heart rate in check, keeping RPM’s high when going flat or straight and slowing it down while climbing,  using basic muscle strength.

Hit last loop, Itusi part II. Rolling into the 2nd inner loop, I see a head a small dog. Slowing, I realized it has stripes. A raccoon, in day light? This isn’t good. It scureys off the trail and I jam it in hopes of not being bit by a rabid striped “dog.” Senses heightened I hear rustling, crap is the thing following me? Look to the left and see three doe deer running right at me.

Wildlife attacking…!!! I jet, pull the headphone out of my ear but keep singing very loudly in hopes that it keeps the deer away!

Cut the route short, sparing my legs 2.5 miles but glad that I didn’t have any more close encounters.

Preview: Garmin Edge 200 Cycling Computer for Budgets

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A Garmin for those on a shoe string budget but wanting the GPS functions and advantages, meet the Garmin Edge 200. MSRP of $149.99 and the function list reminds me that of the old Edge 205 but with a cleaner and smaller look. Add to it 14 hours of run time with a rechargeable battery, I’ll be putting this on my Christmas list instead of the 800!

“The Edge 200 was designed for those budget conscious cyclists looking for the basics — speed, distance, time and calories,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “With no set-up or sensors required, simply switch on, press start and go. The Edge 200 adds so much to your ride that no ride will ever be the same again.”

Photos: 2012 Bontrager Vella Bags

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A few more photos of the new bagline, Vella, from Bontrager in 2012.

North Carolina Womens Cyclocross Clinic

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Bicycling skills clinics are an interesting thought. Adults, having skills clinics in the way you would for your favorite sport as a kid. For myself I need to become confident again going into barriers, and $40 for 6 hours of someones time is a great deal. Stackhouse is limiting the field for good instructor to class size so please sign up so I have friends at the event!

North Carolina Women’s Cyclocross Clinic in Boone

Sunday September 11, 10AM to 4PM

Boone Fairgrounds, 738 Roby Green Rd, Boone, NC 28607

NC CX

Two clinics at one location: our second annual Women’s’ Only CX Clinic featuring National Champion Ashley James and MSG champ Kim Bishop, and a cyclocross skills clinic for the boys led by Jacob Florence.

The Boone Fairgrounds, home of the High Country Cyclocross Series, is a great venue with agood mix of easy and challenging terrain where you can hone your skills, covered pavilions for lunch and lecture sessions, as well as ample parking. Clinics will be held at separate parts of the Fairgrounds so each group can separately practice skills including starts, cornering, barriers, run ups, and more, as well as pointers on training, nutrition, bike setup, pre-race rituals and more from National Champion Ashley James and some of the best cyclocross racers in the Southeast

Early Bird Registration is only $40 until the end of August, Pre-Registration is $50 until September 10 at Noon. Day-of registration is $65. Lunch is included.

Online Registration now open – clinics are capped at 30 participants each

USAC license (Road or MTB) is required. One day license is $5.

For Directions Click Here

Register at BikeReg.com or email us to learn more

Preview: 2012 Bontrager Vella Bag Line

0 Bontrager Vella Bag Line

Bontrager has released a new line of bags called the Vella. Modeling after what many European companies have known for the past few years, women don’t want bags that look like bike bags when they get off the bike. Functional bags with style. My main concerns on these bags are #1 for the panniers it utilizes the Bontrager Interchange specific hardware, rumor is you can switch this out for standard rack hardware but most shops don’t stop that type of things and I can hope the shop doesn’t stock oversized tubed racks. #2 I hope the handlebar bag holds up better than their last attempt 3-4 years ago.

Bontrager Vella Kava

· Handlebar bag
· Interchange hardware with flap to cover when not on bike
· Internal Velcro strap holds shoulder strap in place while on bike
· 450 cu.in.
· MSRP $100

Bontrager Vella Bag Line

Bontrager Vella Camu

· Shopper pannier
· Interchange transit hardware with zip-over flap to hide hardware when not on bike
· Expandable main body
· Padded straps can be stowed while on bike
· 1755 cu.in.
· MSRP: $110

Bontrager Vella Vana

· vertical shopper pannier
· Interchange transit hardware with zipper pouch to cover when not on bike
· Padded strap can be stowed when on the bike
· 1300 cu.in.
· MSRP: $110

The bags haven’t hit Bontrager.com, but I’ll have more photos uploaded soon!

2012 Raleigh Bicycles Women’s 29er Mountain Bikes

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This is part of a series of short posts releasing the new 2012 Raleigh Bicycles women’s line. Everything from 29er mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, more carbon and women’s cyclocross bikes. I’ve got the scope, but we can thank Raleigh’s Sally on this one.

2012 Raleigh Eva 29er Women’s Mountain Bikes

You are hearing it here first, two models of 29ers for women from Raleigh for 2012. Yes, another large bike manufacturer seeing that women like 29ers too.  Each model of the Raleigh Eva 29 will be available in three sizes, Sm, MD, LG, with women’s geometry (waiting for geometry chart.) Both bikes are mid to entry level but a great place to start for Raleigh. Once I see the geometry I’ll give more feedback! Raleigh did get the brake rotor size right. 180mm front rotors and 165mm rear rotors on both bikes.

2012 Raleigh Eva 29 Comp $1,050

2012 Raleigh Eva 29 Comp

SR Suntour 80mm fork with lockout. A mix of Shimano Deore and Alivio in 9-speed and Tektro Draco Hydralulic brakes.

2012 Raleigh Eva 29 Sport $770

Suntour XCR 80mm fork with lockout. Shimano Alivio 9-speed and Hayes Mechanical disc brakes.