Motivation

The Best of 2010 at Bike Shop Girl

One of the best things I enjoy about ringing in a new year is looking back at 2010 and taking inventory.

A recap of sorts, we’ll touch on popular post, link traffic in, and Bike Shop Girl elsewhere in the world.

Most Popular Post in 2010

The Bicycle Industry is Regressing – In 2011 I plan on picking up the podcast with more steam and bringing many people in (not all women!) to touch on this subject more from behind enemy lines.

Women in the Bike Industry – Who is to Blame? - Another one of those that tickled those women that work in the bike industry, or try to shop within a male dominated industry.  We will continue to make forward progress and continue to teach store managers, owners and suppliers how to better server all customers (especially women.)

Thank God for Spandex – I’ve Gotten Fat - This officially change officially starts tomorrow with a bike ride and detox.  Water, green tea and salad, but I’m open to more educated suggestions.

I was Hit by a Car on Friday – This was originally posted on Arsbars.com, and has many, many, many loving and thoughtful comments.  You, my readers can never understand how much your support through the recovery has helped me.

Safety is Important - Only days before my accident on October 1st 2010, I wrote about how safety is important and cyclist have no chance against automobiles.

SRAM Force Brakes, Breaking? - I pissed off my media contact at SRAM for pulling this old news out of the sewer, but I still feel like people should be reminded to check their NOS (new old stock) brakes as they keep resurfacing.

Women’s Designed 29ers – Gary Fisher has done it and introduced 29ers with a women’s fit and part.  Amen, I’m excited and can’t wait to get my hands on one for review!

Another Cyclist Hit in Charlotte, NC - One of many cyclist injured or killed in 2010 within our region.  Sad and sickening.

Can I Wear Men’s Cycling Shorts? - YES, but know what to look for.

Top Referrers to Bike Shop Girl in 2010

Commute By Bike - As you know I sold this site in October, but hope to start contributing again in 2011

Kent’s Bike Blog – Dear Kent whom wrote kind words of encouragement to get me back on the bike

Cycling Weapons of Mass Destruction

Arsbars - My own personal site

Bicycling Design - Educate yourself on design an upcoming technology

District Cycling – Mostly a podcast, centered around road cycling and Washington D.C

Bike to Work Barb - I can’t forget Barb, whom started a hashtag for me on Twitter! #youcanride

Found Elsewhere in 2010

Bike Shop Girl NAHBS on YouTube – I was fortunate enough to do quick/dirty interviews for NAHBS 2010.  Looking back I had a lot to learn, but glad I was fortunate to help!

Bike Shop Girl on Facebook -  I don’t utilize this channel as much as I should, but at the time of writing this there are 880 people liking the page, and I’m honored

Bike Shop Girl on Twitter - @BikeShopGirlcom I enjoy twitter and have been active since 2008 with my personal account @arsbars.  With @BikeShopGirlcom I try to dedicate my tweets to cycling oriented, retweeting or promoting the site and others.  At the time of writing this I have 3,457 followers and 2,825 tweets.   (Compared to @arsbars with 1,157 followers and 5,827 tweets)

Continental Mountain King 29×2.4 Tire Initial Review

Last week I finally received my new Industry Nine wheels that have been on order for about a month.   The same time as the wheels I had ordered a couple Continental tires that I’ve had my eye on for awhile that no one has used locally that I have been able to find. The Continental Mountain King 29×2.4 for the front and the Race King 2.2 tires for the rear were what I ordered.

Width of Continental Tires

There’s always been an issue, especially with mountain bike tires, with the wrong advertised spec compared to truth width. Continental seems to be worst of all companies with this. When I ordered the tires I was aware of this but hoped by going with a 2.4 for the front that it would end up around 2.25.

Continental Mountain King 2.4 Measurement from Twenty Nine Inches was originally at 52.6mm or 2.07 inches for the casing. The guys over there went on saying the tire “stretched” and of course a tire will measure out or fill out differently depending on which rim and rim width you install it on.

Personally I need to measure mine.  They’ve been installed since last Thursday night, and maybe they have “stretched” out a bit too.  Regardless, 2 inch tires aren’t what I was looking for. Especially the front which is supposed to be a 2.4, so now I have a 2″ tire for roughly 800 grams. Not very happy where the weight/width/volume for ride is.

Continental Mountain King 29x2.4 Tire

Installing Continental Mountain Bike Tires

Installation of the Mountain King 2.4 tire was a bear on the Stans Arch rim. Currently, I’m running tubed and pinched a tube when there was 3 inches of tire left to roll on and no where to go. I’m not going to be very happy if I get a flat on the side of a trail somewhere, I’ll never be able to get the tire back on unless the tire truly did stretch.

Ride Quality of the Mountain King 2.4

The tire rides well. It’s a true trail tire with well positioned deep knobs that ride over various trail conditions from roots, rocks and floats over sand. If I was riding a full suspension, riding deep in the mountains or had front suspension this tire would lay better with me.  Currently it’s on the list to be taken off after a few more rides. I can’t ride a heavy tire with no volume on a fully rigid bike. There are too may other good tires out there to waste my time on riding this. I may try it on the rear once I find a replacement for this as a front tire.
Continental Mountain King 29x2.4 Tire

Overall Opinion of the Continental Mountain King 29×2.4 Tire

I’m not impressed.  Tires, wheels, grips and saddles make or break a bike for me.  There isn’t much else left on a fully rigid 29er but still…these things matter to me. I like stiff wheels, squishy tires with strong yet subtle sidewalls and a comfortable fit. The tires will be measured, I’ll try them tubeless and we will be back for a full review.

Bicycle Recovery
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Steps to Recovery After My Bicycle Accident

Bicycle Recovery

Physically, the recovery from my accident has been pretty straight forward. My mom and lady friend (wife in lesbian terms) took care of me in every way possible for the 48 hours immediately following the accident.

My legs, left hip and lower back all didn’t want to work well for me. The drugs helped curb the pain but not being able to walk or even go to the bathroom on my own was the most difficult part for those few days after.

To date, the bruises are starting to fade and granted three weeks after I still have an amazing lump on my left leg from the top tube of my bike. My lower back and hip gets sore after a long day at work or driving. But, those are my only physical complaints.

Mentally I have Been a Wreck

It would be easy to say, great I got hit by a car.. now get back on the horse and ride off in the sunset. That’s what I would have done 6 years ago (that is what I did 6 years ago) but things are different in my life, as well as internally.

  • I have a family that needs me
  • Life isn’t as easy to pass by
  • The “unbreakable” feeling I had most of my youth is gone
  • This accident has made me painfully naked
  • I have moved on from CommuteByBike.com

Leaves are Turning Over

It is fall after all, and its my favorite time of year. The leaves on the trees are beautiful colors, there is cyclocross bike races, beautiful chill mornings and my birthday is right around the corner. Keeping all those things in mind I’ve been trying to take steps forward.

  • Purchased a car. As dirty as it originally felt, I’m very excited about the daily driver (this car will have its own post) and being able to get to the MTB trail on my own time
  • The gym is my friend. I’ve been starting to go to the gym in the morning before work. It sets a great tone for work and hopefully we give me the strength and weight loss I need for further motivation. Hell, I may go again after work.
  • Forcing communication and interaction. The accident made me realize, as did the reminder from friends, I have become a lock box as of lately. A hermit within my own mind. Something inside of me, even before the the accident, has been keeping my emotions safe inside without sharing any feelings or thoughts.
  • More mountain biking. Simple as that, and as happy as it makes me.

Trying to Put the Pieces Together

I’m weeding out Facebook for all the non-friends I have added. I’m calling or writing all the friends I haven’t contacted. I’m trying to connect with my distant family again.

I’m slowly riding, but riding. All of it is off road and I am grateful for being able to return to my MTB roots. I hope to get my lady on the bike more. I hope to take more photos, and write more words. I hope to get this all out so I can start feeling again.

The Lost Art of Customer Service

A new main series we will be focusing on here at Bike Shop Girl will be on customer service, the lost art. My hope is to target the companies that are doing it well, and explain what others could be doing better.

What Are Your Experiences

This website is an open dialog between all of those within the bike industry, as owners, employees, advertisers, media and most importantly, customers.

The bottom line in any industry is the customer, regardless if the customer is a B2B (business to business) or B2C (business to customer.) Even in the example of a B2B, there still is a customer – the end business. Whenever money or goods are transferred, there is a customer and this is a note that needs to be remembered more often.

Utilize the comment field, contact form, or email to the best of your communication comfort zone.

Customer Service : Bike Shop Failure

Last week I attempted to purchase a lock at the shop down the street from work. Prior to riding down to the shop and wasting a lunch hour I first tried to message them on twitter, following it up with an email to the owner asking what type of locks they had. Quickly, the owner responded but I can honestly say his email didn’t lead me to wanting to purchase a lock from them. “We have a mixed bag of random locks (eleven81, Surelock, Kryponite, etc.). Nothing all that exciting but hey there are locks. Those Knog locks sure look interesting.”

Read More

Outlier Pants
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Commuting : How Not to Wear Spandex

Originally posted at our sister site : CommuteByBike.com

My tri-modal commute to Charlotte has partially changed my perspective of commuting concerns. One of these concerns is clothing which I’ll be deep diving in the next few articles.

Photo Credit : Outlier

Photo Credit : Outlier

Business Attire and Dress Codes

Since I now work back in the marketing and advertising industry there is more of a dress code than what you find in the bike industry. There are days that one is able to wear khakis or even jeans, but on the days that there is a slight chance of a meeting or client call those clothes won’t cut it.

Dress clothes, especially nice ones, don’t wear well for riding a bike and sweating. They also don’t do well with being shoved into a messenger bag. While I’m looking into a better solution of carrying the business attire, laptop and paperwork I still haven’t found it.

Shopping for Bike Friendly Dress Codes

While my better half cringes when we go shopping, I’ve been shopping for styling clothes that are “bikeable.” If I was a guy, this would be easy but it seems like the idea of technical fabrics and womens dress codes are very rare.

Thankfully the mornings have been cooler so I can pull off the 2.5 mile bike ride from the bus to work by simply rolling up my pants legs and pedaling slowly not to sweat. This won’t always be the answer, especially when it’s raining! (Currently those days I walk.)

Bikeable Work Clothes

What do you use? What brands or fabrics wear well and still can allow you to walk into a board meeting?

Essentials Purchases for Your First Triathlon

This week on Bike Shop Girl we are covering triathlons and the basics of getting started in this quickly growing sport.  We began the series with “Talk of Triathlons” and then moved on to “Basic Things to Know About Triathlons.”

Today we are covering the essential equipment or gear I feel with get you across the finish more comfortable and confident.  At the end I will also list things that aren’t essential but a good long term investment.

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Basic Things to Know about Triathlons

Triathlons are an amazing sport to set a goal for, keep your training varied and there are several short tri’s that anyone with basic athletic or active body can complete.  Across the country women’s only triathlon events are picking up full steam.  Locally, we have the Rambling Rose Series.  This series quickly sells out and is a great attraction to those women simply trying to finish their first tri or testing out this new sport.  The distances are short : 250 yard swim, 9 mile bike and 2 mile run.

Read More

Talk of Triathlons

If you live in United States and bicycle, there is a high chance you know about triathlons.  Maybe you’ve participated in one, have a friend who has or have been asked to do the bike portion of the triathlon.

This week we will talk about the basics to know of triathlons, motivation to continue your training and finally what to be prepared for in your first triathlon.

Before we start our series, let us know what you would like to know and what questions you may have!

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