Empowering women in cycling

Archives › Motivation

Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Georgena Terry

3 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.

Cycling Advice for Women

0 cyclingadvice


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.

2011 Raleigh Clubman Bicycle: Full Review

6 2010 Raleigh Clubman 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.

Continue reading →

Princeton Tech Push Light Review

5 pushlightJPG.JPG

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.

 

Motivational Monday: Who is Your Motivation?

0 Motivation Monday

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

2011 Airborne Goblin 29er: On Review

0 airbornegoblin.JPG

 

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.

Continue reading →

Motivational Monday with Marla Streb

1 Marla Streb Interview

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.

Motivational Monday: Barb Chamberlain

2 Barb Chamberlain Motivational Monday

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.

5 Pieces of Advice for the Bike Shop Manager

7 Bike Shop Owner Tips

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

1 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!