Motivation

Airborne Goblin 29er
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2011 Airborne Goblin 29er Full Review

Airborne Goblin 29er
With over 300 miles on the Airborne Goblin that I’m riding for the season the bike has been tested.  I’ve ridden the bike to the limits and pushed it, then pushed it a bit more.  Now it is time for a good and fair review for all of you holding your breath wondering if you should purchase one!  During the 300 miles the Goblin has seen a little bit of everything, from commuting, local single track and a 24 hour race on its shoulders.  I haven beaten and abused the bike to the best of my ability thus far and this is my review based on those elements.

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Interview with Sonya Looney
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Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Sonya Looney

Light & Motion Motivational Monday

 

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!

This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!

What’s your name and location?

Howdy! My name is Sonya Looney and I live in beautiful Boulder, CO

Interview with Sonya Looney

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Think of a foot wide trail with rocks, the smell of pine, wildflowers, and views of mountains. I love mountain biking at its core, especially when it involves alpine singletrack in the summer!

What is your first cycling memory?

My first memory on a bike was riding without training wheels. I used to have this little purple bike with a white banana seat with a handle. My dad would hold on to the handle behind the saddle and run behind me. One day I looked back and saw that he wasn’t holding on and I was riding all on my own without training wheels. I shortly crashed. :) My dad told me he would let go and watch me ride all the time!

My first memory mountain biking is getting dropped by some guy I was dating when I was 19(it was my first time mountain biking, and it was on my brother’s middle school mountain bike) because we were riding with this other girl that was a racer and he left me alone on the trail to go ride with her… and shortly dumped me thereafter. haha

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

There are so many people that I find inspiring for different reasons. From people who have a laundry list of amazing accomplishments to the guy who comes in last place at a 100 mile race(to stay out there and finish takes a great deal of will and that is inspiring to me.) At the moment, my teammate Jeff Kerkove has been inspiring me the most. He isn’t afraid of adventures that sound scary on a bike, and the adventures are life changing experiences. They are things that sound so hard that I say, “There is noooo way I’d want to do that” and sure enough, within a year I find myself doing it. This year’s Jeff Kerkove inspired “there’s no way I would do that” adventure is the Colorado Trail Race that starts August 1.

Sure, people with titles like “world champ” or “national champ” inspire me to some degree. However, I am more inspired by people who do so much more than just ride a bike blazing fast. People who want to help other people, people like my friend Nina Baum who spends a lot of time mentoring junior racers, people who work full time with families and still find a way to race their bike and have a total blast, people who do it for the love of pedaling. To me, that is a lot more inspiring than a white jersey with rainbow stripes although I greatly understand and appreciate the sacrifices and talent that go into earning on of those (something I’ll never have)

Interview with Sonya Looney

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

That’s so tough to pinpoint. 2010 has been the best year I’ve had on my bike and it’ll be hard to top it. There are many moments that meant a lot to me. I got to race world championships (although I was very disappointed with the almost all dirt road course), I got to race my bike in Brasil, I won a stage race in one of my favorite towns with one of my favorite people (Breck Epic). There were so many other moments that were special as well for various reasons, so I can’t really pick one best moment.

I can say that in 2010, I felt like I achieved all my goals in cycling and then some. I felt like all my hard work culminated into something I never imagined and even today I pinch myself almost daily saying, “How did this happen?!” The tricky part is making new goals, and figuring out what’s reasonable!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

My main goal for 2011 is the finish the Colorado Trail Race. It’ll be by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life, and I’ve done some tough things both on and off the bike! It’s a 500 mile SOLO race, self supported, self navigated… on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango. I’ll be in the woods by myself carrying everything I need to survive. Luck is a factor, but preparation is HUGE. Getting to Durango will be the biggest accomplishment in my cycling career apart of making the Worlds team twice! This race is very different because it’s not about racing really… it’s about adventure, an iron will, self reliance, and I know I’m going to learn so much more about myself that I never knew was there. Struggles are when we grow and this will surely be a struggle.

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I ride a Cannondale Supersix road bike with a flat bar and Ergon GX2 grips(yessss), a Canyon Lux MR full suspension bike, and a Canyon Grand Canyon CF hardtail. All fantastic bikes. I raced some cross last year, but I had to give the bike back to the team. I really want to add a cross bike and a 29er to my quiver!

2011 Burn 24 Hour Challenge
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Looking Back at my First Solo 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race

2011 Burn 24 Hour Challenge

Several months ago I had a plan going into the 2011 season. It included a duo race at the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, a solo at the 6 Hour Grind on the Greenway, a ton of riding and then my first solo at Burn 24 Hour.    As any good plan there was a few snags within this.  My geared race bike, the Airborne Goblin, showed up a few weeks late which kept me on my fully rigid single speed for the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, and kept me from racing the 6 Hour Grind.    I quickly started commuting on the Goblin and riding it everywhere possible to get used to the fit and gearing.

I’ve never done a 24 hour mountain bike ride on my own, I’ve never come close to that.  Even with tons of great inspiration and information from sources like Rebecca Rusch and Team Ergon I still didn’t know exactly what my body would think or my mind would do.   Doing my best to prepare myself I lined myself up with some of the best support and gear a person could ask for.   Amazing lights from Light & Motion (Seca 700 and Stella 300.) A great pit setup and location, and a great prepared pit crew.

Preparing for a 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race

Friday I pulled a half day of work, finished packing up the little Jetta and headed up to Wilkesboro from Mooresville NC.   Quickly setting up my tent in fear of the rain storms headed towards the race course, I can say the purchase of the REI tent and garage was one of my smartest moves this year so far.

REI Hobitat Tent Review

REI Hobitat 6 Tent

Somehow I set up the tent all by myself, losing about 2 lbs of water weight in the process.  Looking over my shoulder the whole time at the large RV that was simply sitting there with generator and air conditioning running.  Jealousy ran through my head for a moment.

After helping Jason B. with race sign up for 30 or so minutes, I ran out of things to do.  I finally sat there in my chair, sucking down water and contemplating my next move.  Would it be to nap, eat more beef jerky or go find friends.   I sat, and thought about my life until friend, em:pwr teammate and pit neighbor, Stephanie Cole, showed up.   We quickly pitched her ez-up, sleeping tent and staked them all to the ground so we could head off to dinner.

What did I eat for dinner the night before my solo race?  Really good ribs of course.

Morning of my Race

Sleeping in the tent the night before my race was fine.  The weather was perfect and I was sprawled out across two sleeping bags and my Thermarest! The week leading into my race I did my best to be over hydrated.  Counting bottles of water as I drank them at work, and having a water bottle near by at all times.   I think this was a smart choice but at 11pm, 2am and 4am my bladder thought other wise.  The idea of walking around in the dark to the line of port-a-jons, through a large mud puddle and having to wake up enough to do all these things…well it didn’t fly for me.   Fortunately for me, I have been taught by my better half to pee in bottles.  If you look at the tent photo above we had added a “garage” to the tent.  Both sides zip down to provide shelter for the bikes, dogs or whatnot and additional room at night.   It also provided a perfect place to “pee in my bottles” in the middle of the night.   Between all my wake up calls, I think I filled two bottles and was thankful when 7am came to use a real toilet.

Burn 24 Hour Pit

I did my best to setup all my gear, label my batteries, swap my tires from Small Block Eight to the most “mud tire” I owned which is the Bontrager XDX.  Checked over my bike and laid out all my gear for the first couple laps.  At around 10:30 my pit crew showed up, set up more stuff and prepared themselves for the next 28 hours of their lives.

Introducing my Pit Crew

Somehow I had recruited a few friends to come take care of me, entertain each other and really “hang out” for over 24 hours of their Memorial Day weekend.

Kimberlee Welsand

Kimberlee - Chef, nutritionist, first aid and medical provider (all of these things came in handy.)

George Berger
George - Engineer, official time keeper, and master scientist.

Ben Wilson
Benjamin
– Comedian and pit jester.

The Race

The race, broken down into bite size pieces will be up for tomorrow.   I’m still trying to process everything that happened in that short time span of 24 hours. What I did wrong, right and what I need to do better in life to get me further in racing.

Interview with Jill Homer
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Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Jill Homer

Light & Motion Motivational MondayThis month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!


What’s your name and location?

Jill Homer. I currently live in Los Altos, California.

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

If I had to sum my riding up in one phrase, I would say I love “bicycle touring.” I love seeing small parts of the world from the seat of a bicycle, from the winding
singletrack in my backyard mountains to the vast frozen tundra of the Iditarod Trail. Sometimes I travel for a couple hours and sometimes for days, but always, in my mind, the emphasis is more on fun and discovery than pure training. Because of this desire to really get out there, I enjoy all types of riding — mountain biking, snow biking, and road cycling.

What is your first cycling memory?

When I was six years old I received my first “big girl” bike as a Christmas present — a yellow Huffy with a brown banana seat. It was a hand-me-down from one of my mother’s friends. I was always secretly ashamed of my yellow-and-brown bike and was jealous when, a few years later, my sister received a much prettier pink and purple Huffy. I’m not sure if not wanting to be seen on an ugly bike is solely to blame, but I didn’t ride that avidly as a child. I used my bike when I needed transportation to my friends’ houses, but didn’t often just go out for simple bike rides.

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

In the cycling industry, I would say the guys at Salsa Cycles inspire me — Jason Boucher, Joe Meiser, etc. Not only is their company continuously developing innovative bicycles for all types of riding, but they’re out there riding them all the time. Jason rides through the winter in Minnesota. Joe has finished the Tour Divide and Trans-Iowa. I’ve met them both — Jason is on the board at Adventure Cycling Association — and they’re just cool guys.

Interview with Jill Homer

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

My best bike moment came in the midst of a 140-mile gravel grinder on the Denali Highway in Alaska, called the Denali Classic. At the time I was contemplating
taking a job in Missoula, Montana (where I lived for 8 months before moving to California.) I was very apprehensive about leaving Alaska, and that long ponderous ride gave me time to really process it. Toward the end I was suffering quite a bit — it was a warm day, I was sunburnt and the rougher-than-expected gravel road had rattled my hands and back — but I crested a hill with a great view of the Susitna Valley bathed in golden evening light. A feeling of peace washed over
me and I knew moving to Montana was the right decision for me. It’s been a wild year of change ever since, but this single moment stands out as a definitive point of perspective.

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

In 2011, I’ve directed more of my endurance training focus to running. Right now I’m training for the Tahoe Rim Trail 100, which will be my first 100-mile trail ultramarathon (I’ve completed one 100-mile foot race, the Susitna 100 in Alaska in February.) This requires a lot of running focus, so my main goals
right now with bicycles are to commute regularly and have fun. I work from home right now and often use my bicycles to run errands and access trails, and try to drive as little as possible. I also recently moved to California and have a couple of big goals, including a day road tour of the Santa Cruz Mountains that will likely amount to a double century with a ton of climbing, and also linking up a mostly dirt mountain bike route from my home on the east side of the mountains to the Pacific coastline.

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I am the current owner-user of five bicycles, more than I ever expected. I have a 2010 Rocky Mountain Element, a high-end racing mountain bike; a 2008 Surly Karate Monkey, my steel-framed hardtail 29er that I rode in the Tour Divide and that is currently set up as a single-speed; a 2004 Calfee carbon road bike,
which is actually my boyfriend’s bike but I’ve largely inherited it; a 2007 Surly Pugsley, my beloved snow bike; and a fixed-gear commuting bicycle.

Georgena Terry
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Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Georgena Terry

Light & Motion Motivational Monday

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!

This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!


One of the best known women within the cycling industry, Georgena Terry has created an amazing company with one goal : Get more women on bikes!  I’ve been over the years that she has taken the time to reply to every email, question and thought as I’ve tried to learn and become a better leader within women of the bike life.

Georgena Terry

What is your first memory of cycling?

Wobbling around the backyard on my red Schwinn girl’s bike.

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you?

Two women: Jacquie Phelan, the queen of mountain biking and Natalie Ramsland, of Sweet Pea Bicycles.

What are the biggest marketing motives in 2011? Or.. what are some motivating factors for Terry Bicycles in 2011?

1. Get more women riding.
We aim to do this through innovative new social media efforts, expansion of our product line and increasing our involvement in event sponsorship like the Wild Goose Chase, Little Red Riding Hood, MS150 and other benefit rides.

2. Revitalize the Terry brand.
We’re introducing a new identity complete with tagline: the original women’s bicycling company; a new approach to catalog merchandising that focuses on cycling themes; full custom apparel prints that are modern and fashion forward; new saddle graphics across the entire saddle line; expanded line of bicycles in steel and aluminum at the widest variety of price points we’ve had in years.

3. Expand our customer communications.
We’ve historically used our catalog as the primary means of reaching our customers. For 2011, we will be shifting our marketing dollars from catalog to web, introducing a new online effort designed to attract a broad range of females who are currently unfamiliar with the Terry brand.

With how large the cycling market is these days, at the end of the day what are the three main points that make Terry stand apart?

1. We’re still the only brand dedicated 100% to designing solutions to every aspect of a female cyclist’s life.

2. We design for all female riders and consequently have products that are suitable from 18 to 80, in sizes 2 to 22.

3. We have me, the woman who pioneered this industry, leading it all.

Terry Bicycles have a great podcast series going on, how long has it been around and what were the motives when you started it?

For about 4 years. I started it because I thought it would be a cool thing to do.

cyclingadvice
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Cycling Advice for Women


My Best Advice for Women Cyclist

In no particular order these are things I have said over the years to friends, customers and myself.  If you have more advice to add please join the conversation in the comments at the bottom of this page.

Research, learn and learn some more

You may find a great local shop, but unless there is an experience girl there, they won’t be able to tell you from their own experience.  Boys are made differently, even their thinking is different, which makes for some things not to be comparable. (Saddles, shorts, clothing, etc.)   Try to learn from as many people as possible, test ride, and ask a ton of questions.  Don’t stop learning or asking!

fi:zik Vesta Saddle

fi:zik Vesta Saddle

Invest in a a good bike seat and bike fitting

You should not have any numbness or pain when you ride your bike normally.  If you start training for Ride Across America or something like that, it may be different.  A two hour ride should be fun and enjoyable, make it so.

Also, make sure your favorite bike shorts aren’t causing problems.  With a seam or stitching in the wrong place, it can cause a ton of problems.

The wonderful woman behind Lovely Bicycles posted a great article that I could never do justice.  Go read over there about bike saddles and the female anatomy.

Be careful shaving down there, especially the first few times before you ride

When you first start riding, purchase a new saddle or change your bike fit, it is very important to take note of these changes when you are shaving or trimming your crotch area. This goes for any area that is touching the bike saddle.  In grown hairs, shaving burns and all those things can be heightened by cycling shorts and saddles rubbing up and down for many revolutions of your pedals.

Try some sort of butt and “cooter” lube

You may not realize you are chaffing or rubbing areas.  Also, many have an anti-bacteria add in.  My favorite is DZ Nuts “Bliss”.

Women’s Cycling Shorts, saddles and handle bar tape/grip wear out

The same as you look at your drive train and tires, keep a good look on these things before they cause you problems.

Encouraging Women's Cycling

Photo Credit: Dirt Divas UK

Find other women to ride with

Even if it is once a month and you have to drive, do it. This spring I made a vow to do my best to ride with a local women’s ladies mountain bike group the Dirt Divas or atlas ride with some of them when time allows.  The social aspect, the motivating factor, the “belonging” feeling and finally to motivate OTHERS, are all reasons to do it.

Women cyclist should ride with the boys

It will make you stronger and faster.

Become self reliant

Learn how to change your tire, clean your chain and the basic lingo so you can maintain your bike with your local bike shops help.  You don’t need anyone else for those basic things, plus you’ll be safer when riding if you know these things.

Encourage

“There’s a place in Hell reserved for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine Albright

Try to remember the first time you went bike riding with a group, tried clipless pedals or entered your first race.  Make sure to smile at the start line and encourage.  Competition is healthy but women will be the back bone of making this sport a success, I can promise you that one.

Be proud

You are a woman, you are an athlete and you should be proud of all these things together.

2010 Raleigh Clubman Review
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2011 Raleigh Clubman Bicycle: Full Review

Raleigh Clubman Steel Bicycle

MSRP: $1150

Main Features: Tiagra 9speed, full fenders, Brooks Swift leather saddle, Lezyne pump

Other Notes: I reviewed a 2010 model, the only changes to the 2011 are the paint (now green) and the wheels from my understanding are now 32h instead of 28

Over the past year I have been able to review a ton of great product.  A product that I started to review for Commute By Bike and was put on hold during my fear of riding on the road is the Raleigh Clubman.  As this bike is one of my reliable and one of the most eye catching frames in my fleet I want to make sure to give it a full review for all those interested or looking at purchasing one.

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pushlightJPG.JPG
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Princeton Tech Push Light Review

Princeton Tech Push Light Review

Princeton Tech Push Front Light

MSRP: $49.99
Power:
100 Lumens powered by an LED
Burn Time:
63 Hours Blinking
14 Hours Low
4 Hours High

Initial Thoughts of the Push Light

I received the Princeton Tech Push light in for review last fall.  After my accident in October I wasn’t able to really test it as it should be tested in a true commuter/road aspect.  A few weeks ago I started using it as part of my daily front light for my commuter.  My first feelings of the light out of the box was superb.  Princeton Tech has great retail product package experience, and they also do a great job with the user interface of the light.  It simply works.

The light mounts to the handlebar using a rubber coated round clamp that tightens up with a plastic knob on the end of a screw/bolt style.  The light head pivots on the mount incase your bar isn’t perfectly straight.   The light easily is removed, yet is very sturdy on the handlebar thanks to the combination of the rubber and knob you can tighten down on.

Push Light Review

I chose to mount my light upside down on my bar mainly as I felt the red blinking lights that are on the side (cool feature) weren’t able to be seen if the light was mounted on the top of the bar.   Normally I also like this way as the light has less “top heavy” feel, flopping less on the bar.

Main Features of the Light

We’ve already gone over the mounting system of the light.  This works well as I have mounted the light on my mountain bike and did some easy off roading and the light did not move.  Here’s some more features that I love.

Easy to use large button function. One button, with gloves it is easy to find.

Red blinking lights on the side. This is a pretty cool feature and even able to be seen to a point during the day.  On drop bar bikes the drops hide the blinking, and if you mount the light on the top of the bar the red blinking light is towards the bottom of the light… which it was more centered on the sides.

Several light functions. The below video will give a good run through of the settings.

Overall Review of the Light

This light for $49.99 is a great deal. Aesthetically I love it, even over my normal go to Planet Bike Blaze 1W. This is mainly due to the mount feature and the clean metal/black look. The Blaze does have a better run time, but I don’t know what the Blazer provides in lumens (I haven’t been able to find on the internet..) I should also mention that more local bike shops carry Planet Bike products over Princeton Tech.  I haven’t run my Push light through a full set of new batteries, that is a set of batteries I have installed fresh instead of the ones that came in the box.  For the most part I run this light in blinking mode during my commute thanks to day light savings.

I highly recommend this light for someone that needs a reliable light source, has funny handlebars or possibly will take their rig off the beaten path.

Buy it Now

This product was given to me at no charge for review.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out. Several of the above links are affiliate links.  I believe in this product and feel you’ll be happy if you purchase.

 

Motivation Monday
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Motivational Monday: Who is Your Motivation?

Motivation Monday

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.  It is time to hear from you all, what women in cycling motivate you and inspire? Tell us so that we can interview them!

Are you a female cyclist?  Answer the below questions to be included with our Motivation Mondays!

What’s your name and location?

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

What is your first cycling memory?

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

Email to: Girly@BikeShopGirl.com

airbornegoblin.JPG
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2011 Airborne Goblin 29er: On Review

 

MSRP: $1,199.95 A well built bike for  5 cents under $1,200.   For the person looking to upgrade their entry level bike, getting into 29ers or simply a deal finder that will upgrade the parts as they need. (I fit in the latter.) Weight: 18 inch is 28 lbs Key Parts: Aluminum hydroformed (shaped) frame, SRAM X7 2×10 drivetrain, Avid Elixir R brakes, RockShox Reba RL fork, WTB Trail 29 wheels.

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