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Interbike Booth Babes
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Booth Babes at Interbike are a Turnoff

This past Interbike I saved my vacation time and dollars for other things, leaving my coverage to be from industry friends and stalking the internet for worthwhile product to talk about. On return from Interbike a few female friends that work within the bicycle industry emailed or texted about the outrage from an article running in the daily version of Bicycle Retailer.

Booth Babes have a Hard Life

The attached scanned in version of the article talks about how difficult the job is. The women are paid between $100-500 a day, and are paid to “attempt to charm strangers and lure them into trade show booths by talking about products you know little about.”

As a woman in the industry that does know what she is talking about this insults me. Pretty faces and large breast may attract guys to the booths, I get that. The ways of marketing to guys isn’t something that bothers me, hell I even second the notion if it means you see more women in the industry supported.

There are Beautiful Women in the Industry

I could give you a list of a 100 women that either work or race within the bicycle industry that could compete in the “looks” category of the booth babes. Here’s a thought :

Hey Mr. Bike Industry Guy, if beautiful women attract people to your booth, why not support more women (that actually ride bikes) year around to attract more people in general to bicycles.

Think of that cute shop girl that sold you a tire a few weeks ago, or the mechanic with full sleeves that could kick your butt in the alley cat. These are the woman we need to turn into poster girls. I bet most women in the industry would be happy talking shop in a booth, to be paid for it would make it that much better.

That $2,000 you spent on the booth girl at Interbike could be spent sponsoring a well deserving female athlete to get to the next level.

Is it the Boobs or That They are Women?

Women are needed in the industry. I wish I could throw you a fancy fact about how women in the bike shop or at shows give off more participation but I can’t. Somewhere there must be one if companies are spending such large amounts of marketing cash for the booth babes at Interbike or Sea Otter.

A friendly, KNOWLEDGABLE,  woman with a contagious personality is going to attract all types of people to your booth, shop or company. Women tend not to be as intimidating to strangers, easier to approach and less cliche.  This isn’t always true but if you are a bicycle shop employee or consumer you have probably felt the “boys club” feeling when walking into a random bike shop.

This goes for booths as well. A bunch of guys in sweatshirts, tshirts and baggy cargo shorts, guys that could be super nice but not over the top welcoming, I would say this is 7 out of 10 booths at any show I’ve been at. If it isn’t sweatshirts and cargo shorts it is crisp polo’s and khakis that you feel they are above you, if you aren’t going to talk to the about Campy Super Record that they are waiting to put their nose up at you.

Look are Everything

Boobs sell, so do colors, smiles and warm welcomes. An early morning at Sea Otter, a booth with free coffee will have more traffic than any booth with tank top clad boobs. The Luna Chix team trailer at Sea Otter is always slammed. These women are friendly, gave away free food and took the time to talk to everyone interested. They are real women that come back from warm up laps muddy, that are well versed on the bikes they are riding and to me, are the best sales representatives for Orbea that you could ever have.

Find the Women

You want to attract people to your booth with boobs? Put out a call, place and ad for bicycle industry models or racers. Ship in some shop employees that already SELL your PRODUCT.

You want more people riding bikes? Put more women behind your product, on the front of your booth selling it, in the design meetings, on the sales calls, and so on.

 

Women's 29er MTB
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First Impressions: 2011 Specialized Myka Expert Women’s 29er

For the past month the women behind Bike Shop Girl have been test riding the 2011 Specialized Myka Expert 29er. Getting our own first hand impressions of how Specialized does women’s 29ers. Along the way this has also allowed us to try out the Specialized 29er tires, Specialized Riva saddle and Rock Shox “Specialized Womens Tuned” fork.

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Road Holland: Good People in Cycling Episode 1

The two guys behind Road Holland are good peeps. You don’t hear me saying that too often, so believe me it is a compliment. While we have talked about them in the past, I have limited it mainly due to the fact they are two guys in the bike industry.

Yesterday Road Holland rolled out the first Episode of Good People in Cycling films.

While so much of the world may see cyclists as neon spandex clad ants that take up too much of the road, the reality is that there are so many wonderful people involved in our sport.

To highlight them, Road Holland is kicking off a film series entitled “Good People In Cycling.” In each episode we’ll take a look at people who are doing extraordinary but often unsung work to help others.

Episode I features Craig Dodson of the Richmond Cycling Corp from Richmond, VA. Craig founded RCC as a way to give back all that he got out of cycling to kids who might otherwise never get on two wheels. In the process, he’s changing lives.

For more information about Craig and Richmond Cycling Corp visit richmondcyclingcorps.org.

2012 Trek Lush Womens MTB
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First Look: 2012 Trek Lush Women’s Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Back in July I revealed a new women’s designed full suspension 26″ mountain bike from Trek. The Trek Lush has been one of the top searched items to Bike Shop Girl since that day in July. Fast forward a few months, while hitting up Facebook last night an angel came knocking in the fork of my regional Trek Women’s Demo rep. Ross Rushin dropped a 2012 Trek Lush Carbon in 17.5 into my grubby and greasy hands today. I’ll have her to crush the dirt for a couple weeks. Give you all a good review of riding, tech features and my overall feel.

Rain pushed aside I hope to swap the stem and get pushing dirt tomorrow

Race for the Cure
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The Day that Changed my Life, I’m Looking for Donations

October 1st, 2010 was a beautiful Friday in Charlotte. The morning had started with a 5 mile commute down the road to catch my bus into Charlotte. The work day went by quickly, I had been blessed with tickets to the Sugarland concert and it was FRIDAY! As I left my office, pedaling the .75 miles to the bus stop I never thought the next 12 hours would be so different and so altered.

If you are a loyal reader, you know I was left hooked by a car in an intersection. Not but two blocks from my bus stop and commute home for a solid weekend with family. The next several hours was spent on a backboard for MRI’s and X-rays. While my brain felt fine, I had always done well in panic situations. Calming everyone around me as my hip and legs were in intensive pain. I knew my life was changed, the preacher of “commuting by bike”, the family that owned one car, the care-free feeling I had felt in Charlotte for the past 5 years was shattered.

Everyone of my readers, Twitter friends and loved ones pulled me through. For many months I felt I had lost my soul in that accident. The soul that was commuting by bike in middle school, I felt that I had lost her. Over the past year I have found new pieces, have changed and have started to push myself. Finding my limits that I am working on breaking.

This October 1st I am Running a 5k

If you know me, you know that I am a cyclist. While I enjoyed running in middle and high school, it hasn’t been something of any interest for the past year. Over the winter, and more specifically this summer I started to jog. We call it “wogging” in my family as I feel I am super slow. When my company decided to walk or run the Race for the Cure in Charlotte there was a light that clicked on in my head. Yes, this would be a great way to celebrate one year of being alive.

Why not ride a bike? I ride a bike daily. Thanks to everyone that supported me I feel confident (though sometimes freaked out) to ride on the road or commute. That hurdle was overcome this past spring. Instead I am partaking in something, a run, that I know will hurt, I will struggle and at the end I will feel more proud of myself for completing than riding a 100 miles.

A sub 30 minute 5k with rolling hills. That is my goal. It is a stretch, but I know somewhere in it I can do it.

A car accident is scary. The whole day was a blur but cancer – now that is the one of the most frightening things a person can handle in a life time. Putting one step in front of another. Putting a few dollars down for the cure.

9 Days to Raise $425 Please Help

As much as I am stretching for 30 minutes in my first 5k, I am stretching for fundraising. But, I believe in all of you. I believe we can push over this hurdle and everyone of you will be with me as I celebrate 1 year of being alive. Every year I hope to find a cause such as this one to celebrate with.

Donate Now

I am 15% of the way there as I type this. Please keep pushing for me. Donate!

Interbike Logo
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Favorite Photo’s from Interbike: Speedgoat Bicycles

This past week was Interbike, a week that all people in the bike industry gather in the sands of Las Vegas. You see new product, are wowed, swooned and left wanting to spend more money in the industry. Originally Interbike started when people really did see all new lines, book next years products, had job interviews, etc. These days, you do all those things but to a different level thanks to the internet. I’ve been to Interbike several many, many, times. It is fun, it is a good time but as a journalist and in the media you are working 24/7 and this year with too many things on my plate for my real job I couldn’t swing all of that time away.

For that I am going to live for a few days through people that were there and documented in great photos their travels. First up is Speedgoat Bicycles. A wonderful shop with a wonderful online presence. I believe they started out originally in PA, I remember they were one of the first shops utilizing the web to show off custom bikes and really do custom builds online. Now you can find them in IL and online.

My favorite Interbike photos from Speedgoat Bicycles

Start off with a great shot of the finish line for the CrossVegas Women’s cyclocross race.

Next up of course is coffee

Coffee from our wonderful friends at Kinetic Koffee

Sexy Kestrel Paint

Shimano XTR teamed with Shimano Pro components

Hope Brakes Disc Brake Cyclocross modulator thingy

Speaking of sexy cyclocross bikes..meet Ritte

Giro is making things match across their lines

Surly Long Haul Trucker for Sale
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For Sale: 54cm Surly Long Haul Trucker w/ Wheels, Cranks, Tires

Updated: SOLD (Very quickly to a nice man on eBay)

 

You are looking at a very lightly demo’d touring frameset from the fine folks at Surly. I purchased the 54cm x 26″ framesize when I was having back issues, needless to say I needed the next size up!

Make my loss your gain and get this a new home as it deserves. The bike is craving to be commuted, toured and loved on long rides with a new owner. Sitting in my garage with less than 50 miles on it, does not make a Surly Bike very happy.

Visit the eBay listing, pass it along to your friends and help me clean out my garage to make room for new things!

IMG_3025
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Flow at Lake Norman State Park

Yesterday, after attempting to play a few rounds of paintball games for the first time, I quickly loaded up my Green Goblin to hit up Lake Norman State Park before the daylight faded.

As I drove to the park I realized I was going to miss probably 30 minutes of the 2:30 ride time that I had planned due to the sun starting to go low beyond the trees. Quickly I came up with a new game plan. The goal was to ride the Itusi and Mambo loops (12 miles) for warm up and then to crank out another lap on Itusi but at a faster pace.

1/4 of the way through the 6 mile Itusi trail I realized that something was happening between the connection of the bike and rider. The last time I felt this type of connection was fall of 2006 when I was living in Brevard North Carolina while working at Cane Creek building wheels. The connection where you flick, the bike goes, flicking and jumping and flowing up and down the curves of the trail. It felt amazing.

Right ear plugged into Black Keys, left ear listening to the cicadas and the creaking of my bottom bracket.

Staying on track with time, keeping my heart rate in check, keeping RPM’s high when going flat or straight and slowing it down while climbing,  using basic muscle strength.

Hit last loop, Itusi part II. Rolling into the 2nd inner loop, I see a head a small dog. Slowing, I realized it has stripes. A raccoon, in day light? This isn’t good. It scureys off the trail and I jam it in hopes of not being bit by a rabid striped “dog.” Senses heightened I hear rustling, crap is the thing following me? Look to the left and see three doe deer running right at me.

Wildlife attacking…!!! I jet, pull the headphone out of my ear but keep singing very loudly in hopes that it keeps the deer away!

Cut the route short, sparing my legs 2.5 miles but glad that I didn’t have any more close encounters.

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