Empowering women in cycling

Archives › Motivation

2011 Sea Otter Dual Slalom Photos

3 SeaOtterDualSlalom.JPG

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

1 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!

Motivational Monday: Cynthia Chin

0 Cynthia Chin Motivational Monday

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!

Motivational Monday with Rebecca Rusch

0 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: A Partnership

5 Airborne Bicycles Flight Crew

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 Starts Today!

2 30 days of biking

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

Chrome Mini Messenger Bag: Long Term Review

7 Chrome Mini Messenger Bag Review

In February I did a preview of the Chrome Mini Messenger that I received for review at no charge from Chrome (yes that is my mandatory disclaimer.)    For the past 6 weeks I have been riding, using for work, the gym and even used it as a warm bed for a small baby chihuahua.

Features of the Chrome Mini Messenger

A few key things that really stood out to me, it is about the small details that companies put in their product that stands out the most.

  • Extended flap on sides to keep out rain when the bag is closed
  • Reflective straps on the back buckles
  • Loop for blinky light on tail of bag
  • Bottle opener on the buckle
  • Several pockets to keep the small things from getting lost in my bag

What the Chrome Mini Messenger Bag Is

The Mini Messenger is perfect for those looking for a slimmer and trimmer messenger bag.   It isn’t as bulky or combersome as most messenger bags.   The colors I picked stand out, and often is commented about when I take it to business meetings.   It has personality without being over the top, and it helps that it is my companies branding colors.   The bag comfortable carriers 20-25 lbs with the load spread out over the very padded shoulder strap.

What Fits in the Chrome Mini Messenger Bag

Daily I use the Mini Messenger for transportation back and forth to work.   This includes two or three notebooks, a 17″ MacBook Pro, cables and a small camera shoved in a side pocket, many pens, and sometimes a hat or a rain jacket thrown in for safety.   It doesn’t carry a ton, it is not a bag to carry the kitchen sink.

Other Random Notes and Dimensions

(Pulled from ChromeBagsStore.com)

Weight: 2.3lb
Fabric: 1000 denier Cordura outer shell, 18 oz. truck tarp liner
Made In: Chica, CA, USA
Dimensions: 20″ wide, 12″ high, 7″ deep
Volume: 20.5L

Personal Downfalls of the Mini Messenger Bag

In no specific order, these are the things that I disliked.

  • The cross chest strap sucks for women with boobs.   The bag is so small though, I often didn’t use it even when I had a full load doing urban riding.
  • I wish it had a top mounted handle for carrying purposes.   Yes, I could have asked for the Buran but it didn’t have any pretty stock colors!
  • The liner system was something that took me a few days to figure out.  Essentially the interior bag is suspended over the exterior bag.   It is fully water proof because of this, but I had lost a couple documents in the bottom of the bag not knowing that it wasn’t closed off. No fears, I found them and I’m smarter for the experience.

Final Thoughts and Review of the Chrome Mini Messenger Bag

The bag was pleasantly comfortable to ride in, even with a rigid laptop on the back.   It was very water proof, even in down pour for 45 minutes I never had any wet documents or electronics (thank god.)    The colors are completely me and I’m glad I picked out the bright colors.   As I said above, I don’t use the chest strap that often due to it not fitting well with my chest, but that didn’t cause any problems during riding or transporting a full bag.

I would recommend this bag, but making sure you know it won’t fit the kitchen sink.  It is for a change of clothes OR a laptop and notebooks, not both.   It will be perfect for someone that needs to carry clothes to work and change, or goto the gym (a yoga mat was held very nicely under the flap.)   Beware during the summer heat you will get a sweaty back with this heavy duty material.

Buy your own Chrome Mini Messenger Bag at the Chrome Bag Store. Make sure they know Bike Shop Girl sent you!

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.

Motivational Monday : Pam Sayler

0 Pam Sayler Kinetic Trainers

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

1. What’s your name and location?

Pam Sayler, the cold frigid Minnesota.  (Pam is the North American Sales Manager of our newest sponsor, Kinetic Trainers.)

2. What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Commuting, road and mtb

3. What is your first cycling memory?

On the farm, had a Schwinn Bantam with the convertible bar. We set the bike’s training wheels on cinder blocks, because mom would not let me ride down the dirt road. I was about 3. I rode that thing for hours every day. It was GRAND

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

Riders: Amy Xu, Ironman and RAAM, because she never gives up. Millie Tanner because she is so enthusiastic and humble. Meredith Miller because she does everything and does it amazing. Industry: Linda Jackson, because of all she does for Women’s cycling. Georgena Terry for womanizing bikes – decades ago. Elysa Walk for tackling a man’s job in a man’s world and doing it better than any one could. My husband, because he puts up with me, AND because he serves all cyclists equally with his shop Trailhead Cycling and Fitness; first time comfort riders to World Class Athletes, he treats them all with the same respect and listens. Must be why he is so successful.

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

A Century with my husband and our 8 year old son

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

Commute more often, actually enter one crit and one mtb race. Complete the MN Ironman and Headwaters 100. Increase my cadence – spin circles better.

My Bikes, are you curious?

My rides: Road: Bianchi 928 D/A 10 sp Mavic Ksyrium Wheels, MTB: Bianchi Grizzly (upgrading to Dyna-sys) Commute: Bianchi Camaleonte Ultegra.

Motivational Monday : Mary Reynolds

0 Mary Reynolds Cyclist

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

What’s your name and location:

Mary Reynolds, Tucson, AZ

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mountain, Road, Commute

What is your first cycling memory?

5 years old, riding homemade sky blue bike built by my Grandpa

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

Jeannie Longo, she’s won everything there is to win in women’s cycling worldwide, and she’s still racing at age 52!

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Riding the AZTrail 300 at sunset on the second day and seeing 20 or so deer run across the trail in front of me

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

Win my category at the Whiskey 50 in Prescott, AZ; encourage more women to mountain bike

Why Women’s Specific 29ers Don’t Work

27 Women's 29er Geometry

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to test ride on a local trail a few women’s specific 29er mountain bikes.   As I had mentioned in the past I was very excited about this new idea of women’s sizing  in 29″ technology but that is where my research ended.

The idea of fitting smaller individuals (men or women) on to the larger wheel technology has been something that I’ve had hopes for.  A few years ago when the 650b movement started I was completed behind it for that reason.  The 26″ wheel, to me, is not the solution for everyone based on how they ride and where they ride.  People deserve options, an example of this is why 3″, 5″, 7″ and 9″ suspension systems exists.

Back on topic, riding women’s specific 29ers

I didn’t have the ability to check saddle fore and aft, saddle to handlebars or any specifics other than seat height.  Now that my disclaimers out of the way….

The bike didn’t handle well.  I don’t know how else to say it….   The geometry of it all doesn’t make any sense.   Take a normal size 29er, keep the wheel base the same length and shorten the top tube.  What you get is a very slack, very flip flop, very slow handling bike thanks to changing the head tube angle to something that would mimic a 5″ travel “all mountain bike”.

Women's 29er Geometry

To a point I understand why they did this.  Shorter top tube to fit women with shorter upper bodies.

My Opinion : How to fit women on 29ers

My bike fit is 140% female.  I have a super long inseam and super short upper body, even my arms are short.   This is my take on fitting my own personal 29ers.  Longer top tube than I would ride on a 26″ bike, and an inch shorter stem. My effective length from saddle tip to handlebars hasn’t changed, but how I achieve it has.  My handling is changed to make up for the bigger (heavier and larger) front wheel and often more raked out fork.  Faster steering is achieved with the shorter stem and my front wheel isn’t tucked up under me either.

Your Bike, Your Opinion

Fitting mountain bikes is a very dynamic effort. It’s not as straight forward as fitting someone on a road bike.  You take everything that you know from fitting road bikes, tie in your own mountain bike experience and then tie in the person RIDING the mountain bikes own feedback.   Test ride, try out things, and repeat.

Depending where you ride, how aggressive you ride, and your own body type (size, shape, fitness, strength &  flexibility) every bike will fit you different.  A bike out of a box most likely won’t fit you.  How the mechanic that built the bike probably won’t be how you need it to fit.

The above feelings about how the 29er women’s specific bikes rode is my own experience, I ride aggressively, I push my bike and body every time I’m out riding.   The handling of the bike was too slow and did not excel for technical riding.   Inquire with your local bike shop, talk about bike fitting and your own needs!