1,000 Posts Brings Me Back to the Bike Shop
My last post on the new Surly Ogre commuter rig was my 1,000 post here in BikeShopGirl.com. 1,000 posts since starting this site in July of 2009 and I find it very fitting as I will be going back in to the bike shop life this coming Monday as the general manager of all things management at Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop here in Denver, Colorado.
As you may remember, I worked for a short bit at Salvagetti helping the owner here and there when we first moved to Denver. Salvagetti wasn’t ready for a GM and so I moved on. A quick stint selling spandex at Pearl Izumi and then a longer stint in the advertising agency world brought me back to center. When the owner of Salvagetti and I started talking a month ago on what he was needing, I knew this was the answer we both needed.
I’m very excited to be at the helm of a couple very amazing shops here in Denver and can’t wait to share the experience with all of you! If you are in Denver, give me a shout and come visit.
2014 Breck Epic: Final Day!
Yesterday was the final stage of racing at the 2014 Breck Epic for Amy Thomas. Catch all of her stage recaps here!
It’s really hard to believe today was the last day. While I am relieved to no longer sleep in compression tights and eat boatloads of sugar throughout the day, I am really sad it’s over. This week of riding I will never forget, in part to not just the amazing amounts of hard riding, but to this great community that has formed over the week. I hope to ride again with so many new friends.
The 2014 Breck Epic – Prologue
Amy Thomas, of Yeti Beti Racing, is tackling the 2014 Breck Epic with full determination. She has the motivation from recovery of a shattered pelvis last year and the inspiration of riding with the memory of a friend who has passed away earlier this year from cancer.
Follow along and cheer for Amy during the 2014 Breck Epic 6 day, high alpine, mountain bike stage race.
After last year’s Breck Epic ended, I got an idea. I was inspired by my teammate Natalie and her husband Sean duking it out all week for the Duo co-ed win. I thought, If I can suffer in a hospital bed for 6 days from a shattered pelvis, I can suffer through a 6 day stage race in the high alpine altitudes of Breckenridge, CO.
Now that the race is only a couple weeks away, I’m thinking I must have still been high on pain meds when I schemed this grand plan.I didn’t show for Day 4, the Queen Stage, in 2010. After 3 hard days and a tactical error on Day 3 when I thought I was going to freeze to death off French Pass, I was mentally exhausted, physically spent, and had had enough. I locked myself in the bedroom so no one could talk me into starting the next day. Something happens when you combine 10,000 feet altitude with at least half that climbing per day. You make stupid (read really stupid) decisions. The stages sound short at 35 miles each day, but anyone who has raced up high knows each day can be good, bad, or ugly. I was in the the UGLY. I now regret my decision of not starting Day 4. For me it took something like a big injury to make me realize how quickly things change. One minute I was fine, the next minute I couldn’t walk.
Perspective is a gift and now I have it, whether I wanted it or not. After last summer’s #SPT, Shattered Pelvis Tour, which was me racing at the end of the season to prove to myself that I wasn’t permanently injured, the real training started. I joined a local Crossfit gym to continue to strengthen my weaker leg. I started adding up the miles in late February after a long mental break from #SPT. The last 11 months have been all for this: a bucket list check and a “finish what you didn’t finish” 4 years ago.Not everything in life is a high point but eventually the lows rebound to even higher. My greatest strength now is knowing that I can do this because I have come back from far greater things. There are people that don’t get that opportunity and for that, I am humbled my what the human body can endure despite its own best efforts to try to knock you down.
2014 Beti Bike Bash Recap
Photo credit: Mark Woolcott
This past weekend I lined up for my first mountain bike race in over a year.
Review: Trek Lexa SLX Women’s Road Bike
3-4 years ago Trek launched a women’s aluminum road bike model line up called “Lexa“. Since, the Lexa has become a widely popular road bike in the US as Trek has offered many different model levels and a variety of colors to appeal to any woman. Additionally, the WSD fit of these bikes is a hit with women of many proportions. I’ve had the opportunity to test ride many Lexas and finally was able to snag an SLX model for a long term review to see how it really will last for women looking to invest in a new road bike.
Colorado Women’s Cycling Events
Photo Credit: Yeti Beti
Colorado is home to fabulous cycling events like the US Pro Challenge and the Triple By Pass. Our lovely state is also home to several amazing women’s only bike events and races.
Here’s a list of ladies-only cycling events in Colorado!
Why Should We Buy Local When It Isn’t Equal?
During the past month of mad scrambles to get presents and my new routine of walking the streets of Boulder, Colorado, past boutique’s and chains I have become jaded.
I believe my feelings changed around the time American Express started pushing “Small Business Saturday” the day after Black Friday several years ago. If you really are a small business owner, there is a chance you don’t even accept American Express because of the raised fee’s the card brings. Small Business Saturday should be sponsored by the US Treasury to promote the exchange of paper bills and metal coins, not plastic that costs the small business more margin (think 3% of the maybe 30% that the merchant may be netting.)
Back to my original thoughts.
I’m a proud gold card carrying Starbucks customer. Daily, I walk past many cute little coffee shops in Boulder, Colorado, on my way to the office in the morning. I have tried three over the past month, a couple of them numerous times, and it has been a 50/50 split of leaving with happiness. Maybe I have high expectations but to me a local business should deliver me an equal, or maybe even better, experience of the chain next store. I’ll happily pay a bit more for this. The coffee should taste equal or better, the atmosphere should be welcoming.
Here have been my experiences at these local coffee shops
- My credit card was accidentally charged twice
- My drink order was forgotten
- The staff treated me like I didn’t belong (no smile, no exchange of pleasantries)
- Twice, I have walked away with an amazing cup of coffee but all other times my Keurig produces equal quality
Get to the point
This venting is not to ridicule the local coffee houses of Boulder but to prove a point that buying local does not mean that you should be settling.
There have been many comments over the years when I link to JensonUSA or any online retailer to buy a product that I’m not showing love for local bike shops. While I have the softest place in my heart saved for local bike shops with out the name “Trek” or “Giant” in their name, I also have a higher level of standards for these shops. Being a local bike shop does not mean you have arrogance about you, your mechanics are too good for hybrids and your bathrooms reek. Being a local shop means you need to be better, work longer hours, and have higher standards. If you can’t deliver that, then I will take my money elsewhere and recommend for others to go somewhere I know they will be treated well like REI or JensonUSA.
As the world of consumerism changes, I don’t believe Amazon is the devil or the end of local businesses. I believe local businesses need to step up the service, the quality and they will be happily rewarded.
Handmade Cycling Gift Ideas
You have less than two weeks until Christmas and you still haven’t gotten that perfect gift for the cycling loving person in your life. Here are some unique ideas that you probably won’t find on Amazon. Tomorrow I will be posting my “must-have” gift list for all of you last minute gift buying friends. You can also checkout my Pinterest Cycling Gift Guide.
A perfect bag for makeup, art supplies or small electronics. Website
If you have a cycling snob in your life, this keyring will be a treasure to them. Website
Unique designs that I hadn’t seen before. Website
Off the Map Art
My girlfriend purchased a couple of these paintings for my office when we moved. They are gorgeous and a lovely touch to any room. Website
27.5 Inches to Rule Them All
A great survey and infographic from Singletracks on how 27.5 are taking over, as they should!
Recap of Interbike 2013
Incase you missed it, last week was Interbike in Las Vegas. While I was there mostly on official business working the booth of Pearl Izumi Custom I did have the opportunity to walk the show room floor early before the masses were let in.
Buzz Words of the Show
It seems that every brand has a 27.5 wheeled mountain bike coming out.
Backpacks, frame bags, panniers and all sorts of lifestyle bags.
Carbon, a ton of tires hitting the market and a lot of booths using them for display