Motivation

Marla Streb Interview
0

Motivational Monday with Marla Streb

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!

What’s your name and location?

Marla Streb, Baltimore, MD

Where in Baltimore are you living?

We are currently in Fells Point- loving it!

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mountain biking of every type, but I can be talked into a road ride now and then

What is your first cycling memory?

at 4 years old, I learned to ride 2 wheels on a little blue Schwinn. Of course one of the most liberating moments of my life!

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

Mountain bike legend and Hall of Famer Jacquie Phelancontinues to inspire me because she is one of a kind. She’s articulate, intelligent, zany, hilarious, outspoken, inventive, and still very fast on a bike!

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Teaching my four year old how to ride a bicycle for her first time. It was an after-dinner, spontaneous moment, and the two of us ending up riding together past dark. She was happy, I was ecstatic

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

I’ve only raced once this year, but I’d like to beat my old downhill record at Downieville Classicin CA, and possibly race the La Ruta in Costa Rica again.

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

At the moment, all Orbeas!

What are the struggles of opening a shop, and the daily worries a shop owner has?

Funny, I haven’t even opened my shop yet and it’s been a major struggle! For the last 4 months, I’ve been trying to buy a 6,000 sq/ft commercial property (with liquor license- woo hoo!) to create Baltimore’s first “Bike Cafe”. We hope to close the deal within a month… The “HandleBar” will be a full cafe with fresh roasted coffee, light fare, beer/wine/liquor, and unlimited, free indoor bike parking. Also, we will retail new and used bikes and accessories.

Barb Chamberlain Motivational Monday
0

Motivational Monday: Barb Chamberlain

Barb Chamberlain Motivational Monday

What’s your name and location?

Barb Chamberlain, Spokane, WA (a Bronze Level Bike-Friendly Community striving for Silver!)

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Commuting, recreational, tooling around with friends for coffee, long rides

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding my banana bike with the streamers on the handles on the patio of our house in the country outside Lewiston, Idaho. We had a gravel driveway full of puncture weeds so it was better to ride on the pavement!

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

These aren’t people who necessarily consider themselves “in the industry”: Women bike bloggers. I’ve been compiling a list for several months now and have over 450 blogs to date. These women do everything from freestyle mountain bike competition to “slow cycling” to riding with kids to road racing and cyclocross. They write about fashion, frustration, and the joys of riding. They are the future of bike riding in the US and in the world.

I’ve set up accounts to let me share feeds from these blogs and am featuring a blog each day for as long as I can go. Every day brings me a new blog discovery and I already know I can keep this going for well over a year.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WomenBikeBlogs
Twitter: @WomenBikeBlogs

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Probably the moment I powered up the hill toward my house after riding with my husband from our home in Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back, a round trip of 84 miles. We chose a beautiful day that wasn’t too hot, went at a pace I could manage, broke for lunch in Coeur d’Alene, and came back late in the afternoon. Having enough steam left to actually push it up the hill felt fantastic.

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

In the winter of 2009-2010 I started training with the idea of racing, but then succumbed to a really terrible case of bronchitis and missed a couple of weeks of work. That completely set me back and I haven’t been able to find that kind of time in my life for training this year, so my goals don’t have to do with that aspect of riding.

Instead I’m focused on getting great leadership lined up to take over what I have done the past three years as the founding chair for Bike to Work Spokane. We need to build robust and sustainable organizations to support all kinds of riding, and Bike to Work has been very successful. We are renaming and rebranding as SpokaneBikes because we are about all kinds of riding, not just going to and from work.

I’m also launching a new blog, BikeStyleSpokane.com, with the goal of inspiring and supporting more women who want to ride but who are put off by the idea that you have to sweat in Spandex.

I’m on a quest for the intersection of style and comfort and want to help others on the same journey. The more we can do to make riding a bike a normal and accepted part of life for people ages 8 to 88, the safer and more enjoyable it will be for all of us. Women represent the growth opportunity for the bike industry but the products have been slow to catch up to the potential demand, so we have to share what we find.

Bike Shop Owner Tips
0

5 Pieces of Advice for the Bike Shop Manager

It is frequent that questions arise towards me for recommendations on how things should be done, or changed within the bike industry, especially bike shop management or culture. Maybe it’s the name Bike Shop Girl that brings it out of the person? I like to think it’s my charm and large brain…
With an outsiders perspective, here are some recommendations I am giving to active or maybe new bike shop managers.

Visit many corporate retail stores near you and take notes

Most shops want to keep that “home grown” feeling. I’m not recommending to lose that, if anything harness it but don’t forget in the end you are fighting to win customers over. Retailers that I recommend to visit include The Gap, REI, Apple, Best Buy, and Starbucks. Did they give you breathing room for when you first walked in? Did they great you warmly? Was the store clean and organized? Did the staff present themselves well and provide help when needed? Were you ever lost in the store? Did you feel rushed? How was the checkout process if you purchased something?

Visit them often and compare notes. These companies pay good money to train their staff, merchandise their store and have great processes to make sure all these things are handled correctly. Save your money and learn from them. Pull from as many great ideas as you can, use the ones that you can relate to.

Clean your bathrooms as if your mom was visiting

I visit a lot of bike shops, and I always ask to use their bathroom. You can really get an idea of how a shop is run behind the scenes by their bathroom. Are there magazines of half naked women? If you have one bathroom for men and women, ask your male staff to put the seat down every time they use it. Better yet, make it mandatory. If your staff has to clean the bathroom daily, they will keep their pee in the toilet and not leave greasy chains soaking in the bathroom sink. I understand some staff’s need to use the bathroom sink for this use, but let the chain soak in a water bottle and wash it off in the sink. Don’t leave it in there. I also don’t think anyone will be offended if the kit you rode into work was in there, I will be offended if it is hanging chamois side out right next to the toilet (where my face has to be!)

Think before you buy

Never write a pre-season order when your rep is still sitting there. Ask feedback from staff, compare numbers from the last 2 years and purchase wisely. Pre-seasons, discounts, and bulk buying is great a great thing that many companies offer, remember that it is ONLY great if you can sell it before the bill is due. Too many shops get sucked into saving 5% on their order and at the end of the season they are left with SKU’s they were required to purchase to make minimums. It doesn’t matter if you save $800 on an order, if you have a pair of $3,000 cost wheels sitting on your shelf for 2 years after you have payed the bill. Those wheels have COST you money by sitting there after you have paid the bill. Depending on margin, there is a change you needed to sell 2x, or had 2 cycle turns on that wheel set to make money when you factor in paying the invoice, losing floor space, and how the cost of the wheels tied up money from being spent on better turning product.

Never buy something that you or your staff wouldn’t use

There is a reason special ordering is around, promote it. If there is something you think is great, bring in one to test out. Let someone try it out, purchase more based on that review. Your staff will sell more of something they believe in, help them do this. Teach your staff how to properly special order a product, require money down, require a time period to pick up and if it isn’t convenient ask the customer if you could drop it off or ship it to them (based on weight, shipping cost and the ability to ship!) If special ordering is treated properly most customers will be happy to wait. You can get me the EXACT bike I want, built and in my hands before the weekend? I’ll be the first person to test ride it? – Direct quote from a customer I had. One season I proved my shop owner wrong, that special ordering is possible and most customers won’t mind a bit! Special ordering over a 1/4 of the bikes sold in the store.

Pick and train your employees as if you could do the same of your children

Teach them manners (customer service), morals (trustworthy and dependable), cleanliness (pick up after themselves and their customers) and a healthy attitude (give them a chance to ride their bike.) You aren’t their parents, and it isn’t your job but to have a stronger company you need to make your employees stronger. They are more valuable than your low margin inventory.

If you have experience running a bike store, or any other retail establishment please add your advice and tips in the comments below!

Motivational Monday - Sara Stearns
0

Motivational Monday: Sara Stearns

Sara Stearns is a reader of Bike Shop Girl and is an inspirational woman through and through.  While at the Sea Otter Classic I was able to meet Sara face to face.  She’s a pilot for an air ambulance that services the Sea Otter Classic every year.  One of the days she was working she landed her helicopter and walked in to the Ladies Lounge in her pilot uniform!  When I asked her to be one of my motivational Monday features she bulked, why would anyone find her motivational?  She is your normal middle age (don’t take that personal Sara) woman, she has a job, she enjoys riding with her friends and rocks an awesome bike stable.  Sara shows you what it is to live life everyday.  Follow her on Facebook and you’ll see!

What’s your name and location?

Sara Stearns, Seaside, California.

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

I’m a rabid roadie, but as of late, a interest in off road has taken seed.  I am not a competitive rider, although I might try a criterium one day to see what it’s like.  Believe me, if I do, I’ll stay towards the back and stay out of everyone’s way!

What is your first cycling memory?

Ha!  My dad taking the training wheels off of my first bicycle and sending me down the sidewalk for my first solo flight!  I could only go straight.  I was afraid to make turns – but, it was such fun, and I could do it!

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

Georgena Terry for her advocacy, her courage, and determination.  She builds bikes, apparel, and she offers advice and inspiration.  I also admire Evie Stevens for her come out of no where talent, and she’s such a sweetheart!  She’s also a voice for safety and reason, and that’s so cool.  I admire Fabian Cancellara, because he’s a huge talent, a nice person, and well – he’s pretty easy on the eyes, too.  LOL!  I also like Jim Felt, because his company built my first road bike and my tri bike.  He also sponsors Sarah Hammer, and well – wow!!  Above all, I am indebted to the local women riders whom I have come to know as I learn my way into and around the sport.  Each and every one of them has offered advice, encouragement and has been a huge part of my enjoyment and bliss on my bicycle.  I owe them HUGE…

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

My first triathlon!  It was me against the clock, and all of the training I had done, plus the courage I mustered to do it, all came to fruition on that 12 mile course.  It was a blast!

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

More triathlons, century rides, solo rides, more fitness, more enjoyment, more socializing, more empowerment.  I love to see other women getting involved in the sport, and it is a delight when they take a loving to it.  I also so enjoy watching gifted athletes, female and male, as they struggle and then excel in this beautiful endeavor.  More inspiration, that!

My bikes:

A 2009 Look 566, a 2004 Felt B2, and a 1996 Cannondale M500 (about to see the dirt for the first time!)

***************************

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!

SeaOtterDualSlalom.JPG
0

2011 Sea Otter Dual Slalom Photos

During my stay at Sea Otter something happened to my mentally and emotionally that I can’t explain.  It’s a bit more deep than I want to get into on this post but one of the after affects was wanting, no yearning, to take more bike racing photos.   Saturday afternoon before we packed up for the day, Neal and I hiked up the dual slalom hill to watch the final heats of the races.  While I had no experience of this type of racing, besides what I have seen in the magazines, it was thrilling.  It took a BMX track and pulled it downhill.   In fact it looked SUPER fun.   Everything I love, downhill, speed, berms and a short sprint!

Here are some of my favorite photos I took during the 20 minutes on the course. Feedback and criticism are encouraged!

Sea Otter Dual Slalom Photo
Sea Otter Dual Slalom Photo

Sea Otter Dual Slalom Photo

Sea Otter Dual Slalom Photo

Sea Otter Dual Slalom Photo

Sea Otter Dual Slalom Katie Holden

Sea Otter Dual Slalom Katie Holden

Sea Otter Dual Slalom Katie Holden

Sea Otter Ladies Lounge
0

Sea Otter Ladies Lounge

One of the things I am very excited about for the 2011 Sea Otter Classic is all the “ladies” focused events!   On Sunday there is a full day of events scheduled to get women more active in the cycling lifestyle.

Sea Otter Ladies Lounge

Sea Otter Ladies Lounge Sponsored by SRAM

Rebecca Rusch, pro athlete, endurance racer, and all around great person, has put together the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour for 2011.  The first stop is the Sea Otter Classic where she is hosting the Sea Otter Ladies Lounge.

April 14-16th, 2011 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) from 2-4pm
Meet and mingle with pro-women cyclist like Rebecca Rusch,   Team TIBCO, and the list goes on.
Mini-tech clinics, that’s where Bike Shop Girl comes in!   I’ll be there everyday to help with maintenance, 2×10 MTB technology, trail side repair and so on.

Have questions or ideas of what we should talk about?  Comment away!

Cynthia Chin Motivational Monday
0

Motivational Monday: Cynthia Chin

What’s your name and location?

Cynthia Chin, the tropical climes of Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo).

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Both road and trail.

What is your first cycling memory?

Learning how to cycle on an old red raleigh (over 30 years ago), zipping downslope and crashing into my neighbour’s fence. I swear you can still see the dent today.

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

Riders: Georgena Terry, for having women in mind when it come to bikes. The bunch of people I ride with, for putting me on a bike every time. The women riders of my town, for riding with me, and for riding. Period.

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Learning to go offroad.

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

Commute to work, ride at least 100km a week, minimum. Increase my cadence, lower my heart rate.

My Bikes, are you curious?

My rides: Road: Fuji Roubaix 3.0 Hardtail: Fuji Tahoe Comp.

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!

Rebecca Rusch
0

Motivational Monday with Rebecca Rusch

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.   Do you know someone that motivates and inspires you?  Send us your answers and photo to girly@BikeShopGirl.com

I can’t say enough great things abouthttp://rebeccarusch.com/.   In years past I’ve had the honor to be in her pit as a mechanic, get a pat on the back at a race and more than that she’s always that constant voice in the back of my head on hard rides and long races.

Rebecca Rusch

1. What’s your name and location?

Rebecca Rusch, Ketchum ID (AKA Sun Valley)

2. What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Endurance mountain biking, but I also ride ‘cross, road, pump track, super D and townie/commuter.

3. What is your first cycling memory?

Ripping my purple banana seat Huffy down the brick street in front of my house. We lived on a quiet street on a hill and our house was near the top. Rolling down without pedaling was pure freedom, but I also kind of liked turning around and working hard to get back up so I could do it again. I guess that was my first type of “training” and the realization that it was rewarding to “earn your turns” so to speak.

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

Marla Streb. Hands down. She has handled a very long term racing and cycling career with such passion and grace and has done pretty much EVERYTHING. She started mountain biking at 28 after leaving her job in molecular biology AIDS research. Since then she paved the way for women in downhill by earning multiple national titles, world cup podiums and a SS world champ title. She’s also competitive in endurance races like La Ruta. She’s a Mom of 2, manages trail building projects in South America, she’s written two books, lived on a sailboat and manages the Luna women’s cycling team. She just announced her 2011 return to racing and will also be coaching ride clinics this year and just launched the opening of a bike cafe called Handle Bar in Baltimore. On top of all of that, she’s super friendly, funny and just the kind of person you want to hang out with. I just hope I don’t have to race against her this year!

5. What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Winning the 2010 Leadville Trail 100 and breaking the long standing women’s course record. The beauty of that day is that I worked hard all season for that one event and, like magic the training, dedication, equipment all aligned perfectly on that specific day. Peaking perfectly and having a race unfold as you visualize it is an elusive, slippery goal to grasp at. More times than not, things don’t go as planned. This time it did and I was elated with my performance and thankful to the team of people who helped me pull it off. It’s a day I won’t forget.

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

The #1 race goal is to try to defend my Leadville Trail 100 title for a 3rd time. It has never been done and my training plan is built 100% around this goal.

However, I also have some new projects that I’m super excited about. I have designed the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour for 2011 that will include various mtb events for women and girls. The events are all different, including a women’s only mountain bike race in Colorado (Bike Beti Bash), a high school girls race team in my home town (Wheel Girls), and the first event of the year, SRAM Ladies Lounge at Sea Otter! I will also hopefully be showing the 2010 Race Across the Sky Leadville 100 film in various locations as IMBA fundraisers. I love racing and have no intention of stopping anytime soon, but I also love to share my experience with other riders and help people find out how great riding a bike is! These extra projects are all just a natural progression in my own education and riding experience.

Airborne Bicycles Flight Crew
0

Airborne Bicycles: A Partnership

In February Airborne Bicycles put out a call for Flight Crew members.   Essentially Flight Crew members are a small group of brand ambassadors.   You get to ride a bike, for free, goto Sea Otter (to work the booth), for free, and encourage cycling.   When I heard this news I was ecstatic.  I already had my eye on on an Airborne Goblin for the 2011 season, and if I could become part of the team? Great!

“A” Stands For :  Arleigh Awesome Airborne

That was my tag line for my entry to the Flight crew.  Apparently it worked, but I think I won them over with my sweet talking on the phone.  How could three bike guys from Airborne turn down a girl on the phone that knows a crap ton about bikes?

Red Tape Around Every Corner

There were concerns along the way.  I didn’t want to muddy any water on Bike Shop Girl by having a product sponsor, but on the flip side Bike Shop Girl is a purely passionate investment of my time.   It is a personal blog and doesn’t generate enough money to buy me anything but bottom shelf beer.   Now that I work in marketing full time, the bike industry is not my job and I am going to continue to give unbiased views of bikes or product.

Other details include more guest posting for product reviews that compete with Airborne Bicycles.   Say Specialized wants a mountain bike reviewed, I’m going to ring up one of my em:pwr team members and ask them if they would be interested in reviewing a bike.   Basing it completely on their experience, riding style and needs that fit the bike the best.   Instead of having one person to review a bike, we have 38 voices and opiniongs!

I’m a Bike Rider and Racer

Airborne Goblin 29er

Cycling is an expensive sport and if someone wants to give me a bike, I’m not going to stop them.   If a company structure that I believe in (direct to consumer and brick ‘n mortar) want to sponsor me, why would I turn this down?    As long as I am upfront with my goals and what it means for my readers…why would I say no?

Officially, I am a Flight Crew Member

Thank you Airborne Bicycles for wanting me, I’m honored and flattered as I know what type of competition there was! In two weeks I’ll be flying to Monterray California to ride many Airborne Bikes,  I’ll take many photos but most importantly it will be the first time I’ll swing my leg over my race rig the 29er Goblin and the new Delta CX bike for my cyclocross season!

For now go visit Airborne Bicycles and check out their line.  The new Delta CX will be up on their site sometime this weekend.

30 days of biking
0

30 Days of Biking Starts Today!

April marks many things.  April fools, spring showers, flowers, bike racing, major league baseball and many other things.   It also marks the month of biking.  30 days of biking to be exact.

30 Days of Biking

The only rule for 30 Days of Biking, April 1–30, 2011, is that you bike every day for 30 days—around the block, 20 miles to work, whatever suits you—then share your adventures online. We believe biking enriches life, builds community, and preserves the Earth.

Registering will shoot your name onto our master participants list, setting your name in virtual stone. Interaction from here is up to you! Bike every day, then tweet (using #30daysofbiking) or blog, or Facebook, or Flickr, or Tumblr, or Daily Mile, or write a snail mail letter about it. Make videos and songs. Be pleased as punch you’re biking and fulfilling an awesome goal.

How We are Getting Involved

This is something I find very exciting and I’m glad to participate.  The guys behind 30 days of biking have an amazing idea in place, hopefully we can inspire more butts on bikes!

Some examples of how I’ll be getting on the bike… today I’ll run to the bike shop 3 miles from work on bike bike.   Tomorrow I’m racing.  Sunday I’ll do a recovery ride.  During the week if I can’t do a true ride, I’ll do my errands around work on my bike.   Even if its a bike ride down the greenway to take photos.   Do it, I promise every time you stretch your legs around those pedals turning, you’re body and soul will thank you.

Go sign up now!  30DaysofBiking.com

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.


    Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c10/h04/mnt/150842/domains/bikeshopgirl.com/html/wp-content/plugins/appthemer-crowdfunding/includes/theme-stuff.php on line 122