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Colorado Cyclocross Calendar

17 cyclocross

it’s my first year living in Colorado for cyclocross and I’m starting to get excited! The calendar on BRAC (Bicycle Racing Association Colorado) is lacking links and non-sanctioned races/clinics so in my effort of research, here is what I have found for cyclocross racing in Colorado.

Cross of the North 2012 – Men’s Open from Jamie Servaites on Vimeo.

August

20Formula Four Boulder

23 – FasCat & Jeremy Powers Cross Camp Boulder

27 – Relay Sixty Boulder

September

7 - Women’s Cyclocross Camp 2-5pm in Fort Collins. $25 for the camp
crosscamp
7 - Kick It Cross Festival 
Fort Collins

8Cross of the North Fort Collins

14 - Zero Gravel Cross Littleton

15 - Cyclo X Flatirons Mall Boulder

21 - Cyclo X Valmont Boulder

22 - Body Synx CX Golden

27 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

28 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

28 – Cyclo X Rhyolite Park

28 – Queens of Cross Arvada

28 – LTR CX #1 Grand Junction

29 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

29 – Storm the Castle Castle Rock

October

5 – Frisco Cross Frisco

6 – Primalpalooza Arvada

19 – Colorado Cross Classic Boulder

20 – Boulder Cup Boulder

26 – Cyclo X Xilinx 

26 - LTR CX #2 Grand Junction

27 – Frites CX Parker

November

2 – Schoolyard Cross Brighton

3 – Feedback Cup Golden

9 – Cyclo X Interlocken

9 - LTR CX #3 Grand Junction

10 – Blue Sky Cup Longmont

16 – Cyclo X Louisville Louisville

17 – Mile Hi Urban Cross Denver

23 – Cyclo X Westminster Westminster

23 - LTR CX #4 Grand Junction

24 – Green Mtn Sports CX #2

28 – Turkey Cross Morrison

30 – Castle Cross Castle Rock

December

1 – Cowboy Cross Denver

7 – Cyclo X Boulder Boulder

8 – The RLW “in Memoriam” Cx 

14 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville

15 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville

28 – Tune-up Cup Golden

 

Review: Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

2 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

A women’s carbon bike that is happy on the all day century, yet stiff enough for trying your hand at criteriums.

MSRP: $4,000
Details: Performance carbon frameset with a taller headtube and a little more relaxed geometry
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra 6770 Di2 with 6700 bits mixed in. A full Shimano groupset which is rare to find these days
Components: Handlebar, stem, seatpost and seat are all the Raleigh brand of Avenir. Not top level parts but competitive in durability and weight
Wheels: Weinman DP18 laced to Formula hubs
Full Spec on Raleigh USA

Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

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Review: Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

14 Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Bags seem to be an addiction for cyclist. You need something for your commute, your mountain riding, your city dwelling and grocery shopping. Finding a bag that can do a little bit of everything and not weigh 40 pounds at the end of the day is pretty important to me.

A few years ago I reviewed the Banjo Brothers Commuter bag. For everyday life the bag was just a bit too big for me. I loved the white color and functions but it was just too bulky for my back. A few weeks back Banjo Brothers sent a care package of review items, one of the bags inside was their newer Metro Backpack, in white of course. As the box was being unpacked my girlfriend quickly put her claim on the Metro Backpack for her daily commute to the hospital. As she is commuting 10 miles a day, 6 days a week, with an extra set of clothes, iPad, overnight “essentials”, lunch and books, I figured she’s a good candidate for testing out the Metro Backpack.

Metro Backpack Essential Details

  • MSRP: $74.99
  • Available in Black or White
  • 18 oz vinyl tarp material (for easier cleaning) with hanging liner for excellent water resistance
  • Full width wicking back pad
  • 12 interior and exterior pockets
  • Padded laptop pocket fits up to 10″ x 15″ notebooks
  • Cell phone holster included
  • Front and rear reflective tape and webbing tab for safety light
  • 16″H x 11″L x 6.5″W / 1100 cubic inches

Details that Mattered to Emily

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Not too big, not too small. The bag isn’t so big that you can overload and have too much gear on your back. You can stuff it, carry tons of stuff or whatever else you may but it’s right at 1100 cubic inches of space.

It’s white and has a large reflective strips. The added safety of a white bag with a large reflective strip across the back flap, a couple reflective strips on the shoulder straps and light holder is pretty thoughtful for when she is commuting at 5am.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

12 interior and exterior pockets. Each side of the bag has an outside pocket, perfect for a small u-lock, keys or waterbottles. The main flap has a pocket for items you need quickly but want under the protection of a zipper. Inside you have a large compartment with a padded laptop sleeve. Pen pockets, phone pockets and other smaller compartments to keep things organized.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Phone pocket on shoulder strap that fits a Lifeproof iPhone.

Waterproof. The fabric is waterproof, the flap would keep out water in most rain storms and the most water we deal with normally in Denver are sprinklers. I wouldn’t submerge the thing but it will be more than enough for most commuters.

Removable waist belt. She didn’t ever use it, so we simply unclipped it!

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Compression straps on the sides. Keeps things snug, and when the bags not full you can make it a lot smaller.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

What’s In Your Bag?

This is a blow out of what is normally in Emily’s bag for her daily commute.

What's In your Bag

Overall Feedback and Thoughts

The bag does not have the classic Banjo Brothers removable liner, which I am thankful for. This is a trimmer, and realistic bag for the everyday commuter (or smaller frame person.) It does still create a sweaty back on commutes over 15 minutes, but that’s really the only downfall of this bag.

There are a few things I would change if I had my way… The material they use is waterproof but that also makes it not stretch or flex very well. The interior and side pockets could be made out of a material that had a little give in it to allow things to get in and out easier. The material also has a lot of friction so sliding things like phones/pens/etc in and out the tight pockets can require two hands. (Note from Banjo Brothers: Truck tarp is stiffer than the ballistic nylon – white is truck tarp, and black and red are in standard ballistic nylon, which is a little more forgiving.)

For $75 I would be surprised if you found a bag comparable for everyday use and easy to use features with out too many thrills to over complicate the bag.

20% Discount with Banjo Brothers Through July

That’s right, Banjo Brothers wants to know if folks that read my reviews actually purchase stuff. They are offering a 20% off discount off anything if use BIKESHOPGIRL at time of checkout (case sensitive.) http://bit.ly/12SPsAu

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review. 

Laying my Cards on the Table

41 St. Mary's Glacier

I’ve been known to pour my heart out on various blogs. If it’s falling in love, falling out of love, or even the moments after my car/bike accident a few years ago. I dealt by writing and wearing my heart on my sleeve. Here’s to having feelings, grabbing a beer and putting it all out there for my own reference but also for my readers to know where things sit these days.

About a month ago I moved to Denver, Colorado. There was a lot of excitement of this new chapter in my life, with an amazing girl, but also a lot of fear. I’ve always lived on the east coast, I had a strong tribe in the southeast and I was finally finding my way racing again. The move was rather sudden (less than 60 days to prep) so things were a bit shaky as we landed.

When we moved I started working pretty quickly at a bike shop, Salvagetti. Within a couple weeks I knew this wasn’t where I belonged. Working retail hours, retail wages, trying to get in time to ride and time to live life with the girl I moved for…well it simply wasn’t doable. Bowing out gracefully, I still hope to spend time with the shop helping with events and on bike fun things.

A new page in this new chapter

This past week I started in a new job at Pearl Izumi. I’ll be working within the custom department in sales and customer service. This department is growing with leaps and bounds, leaving me very excited to be apart of the growth and excitement!

The new job has shifted many things for me. First off, I have off weekends again which allows for adventures with Emily and friends. Empower Adventure is my blog documenting this (and every day adventures too!) Second, I hope to get base miles back in over the next few weeks by commuting 2x per week (60 miles a day) to hopefully get my legs back in order by mid August to start cyclocross prep! Finally, this change to working for a powerhouse in the biking apparel world, and that Pearl Izumi is owned by Shimano… well things on Bike Shop Girl will be shifted a bit. The content I review won’t be too much around apparel, unless I get something from work that I really like and want to share with you. The stock pile of review apparel I’ve been testing out will be reviewed with the honest opinion I have always given but once the pile is gone, I won’t be accepting anything new.

Where Life Leads

While I still am finding my footing in a new Monday to Friday job, I’m excited to finding myself on the bike more often, meeting new friends and documenting new adventures. Is it cyclocross season yet?

Preview: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Hi-MOD Dura Ace

6 Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women's

While the growth of available product for women in the bicycling industry is evident there are two key area’s lacking, high end mountain and road product. It takes a bold company, with a strong belief in women, to invest in product with a high price tag for women. Cannondale is doing it with their SuperSix Evo Hi-MOD. Available in SRAM Red, Shimano Dura Ace and Ultegra Di2. I recently took delivery of the Shimano Dura Ace model and will be putting it through some abuse to see if the $6600 road bike is for you.

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Hi-MOD Dura Ace

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women's

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Denver Here I Come

4 Denver

Here’s the short story, between now and middle of June my little family is moving to Denver Colorado.

Why Denver, CO? Great question…

My better half is starting pediatric residency as a rockstar doctor at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Orientation starts June 17th, and we are relocating!

Looking for Jobs, Houses and New Friends!

We head out this coming weekend to look at new houses. Somewhere in Denver proper as she needs to be within an easy ride to two different hospitals. I have a couple of job opportunities in mind but I would love to hear of any positions in the area that you think I’ll be interested in!

If you are looking for the mushy stuff, read here. 

Balance Bike Session in Oundle, England

0 Balance Bike Session

Over the weekend a friend/follower on Twitter mentioned that he was headed to a balance bike session. Quickly, I asked him to take some photos to share!

A quick blurb on the day from Mat

Trying to get nippers riding bikes in a rural area of England…lots of issues here with kids in villages not riding/not starting to ride, for no good reason. Loads of mums starting to ride and it’s great seeing mums and kids starting to hit the roads again.

See the complete set over at Mat’s SmugMug gallery

Balance Bike Session
Balance Bike Session
Balance Bike Session

Bike Shop Build: Colnago Master

0 Glory Cycles Colnago Master

The thoughts and details during a bike build are what make a great bike shop a resource and a dream factory for bicycle geeks like myself. These custom bike builds are what keep me inspired and excited to continue to work within the industry. Few more bike profiles over yonder.

Colnago Master from Glory Cycles in Greenville, SC

 

Review: Surly Merino Wool Longsleeve Jersey

2 Surly Womens Jersey

This winter I’ve had the opportunity to add pretty key pieces to my cold weather attire. With a good amount of cold base miles, I’ve shredded some items and some have stayed strong and worthy of a solid review. A few different long sleeve jerseys are my main highlights from this shredding that I’ll be reviewing this week.

There is something comforting about a soft merino wool piece of clothing. It wraps you up in it’s natural warmth, and can be reused for a couple weeks at a time if you don’t sweat it up too badly. Most folks who are purchasing their first piece of merino get sticker shock, but quickly they understand they are replacing 2-3 piece of clothing due to the wicking, warmth and longevity of wool. Ever purchased a pair of Smartwool socks? I bet you wish all of your socks were that amazing.

Features

MSRP: $140
Colors: Black or Gray

There are a handful of features that Surly will want to tell you about, but the best feature for me is the ability to wear this on and off the bike easily. The jersey turns into a sweater when paired with a pair of jeans. The sleeves with thumb holes are long enough and easily flipped up for casual use. The back has a “cigarette pocket” which is one pocket with zippers on either side.

Surly Womens Merino Wool

Fit

Traditionally women’s wool jerseys have fit pretty baggy and boxy on me. I can say that this jersey in size large fits me pretty darn well. With room for a tshirt or jersey underneath it isn’t super snug but it does allow me to feel like a woman when wearing it. As I mentioned I often wear it into shops as a sweater and it does look like a women’s sweater (with a sweet pocket in the back!)

Overall Thoughts

If you can swallow the price tag of $140 this jersey will last you many seasons, keeping you warm and dry. It’s an essential for me when traveling as I can wear it a handful of times and not be overwhelmed by stench or dirt.

See it on SurlyBikes.com

Photo Credit: Benjamin Wilson