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Motivational Monday with Mary

10 Chasing Mailboxes

What is your name?

Mary Gersemalina

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Bike touring, randonneuring, day rides, commuting, and tooling around town

What is your first cycling memory?

My first memory is being a little kid and learning to ride without training wheels. To master two-wheeled technique, I resorted to a combination of weaving and paddling circles on a little red bike in my parents garage, hidden from any potential onlookers (or, in my case, siblings) until I finally figured out the basics of two-wheeled transport.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My parents initially inspired me to ride, and I carry that with me today. They introduced me to the idea that my bike is a vehicle for exploration and instilled in me the importance of being active. In addition, my husband and my friends also keep me motivated. We use our bikes to meet up after work and go out for dinner. Simple things like that get me out the door. My husband, friends, and I also love spending the day together touring the countryside on bikes, whether it is a randonneuring event or just a fun century ride. When I initially began riding seriously as an adult I did most of my cycling on my own. Over time I’ve found that I like solo rides on occasion, but generally I like that my cycling has a social element to it. I’ve met some really great people through commuting, touring, and randonneuring, and it helps get me out the door when I know that I’m going to see my friends on any given ride.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

My husband and I rode a weeklong tandem bike tour that we planned and routed ourselves, averaging 85 miles per day over seven days. As part of that, we climbed Trail Ridge Road– the highest continuous paved road in the United States– on our first day. Trail Ridge tops out at over 12,000 feet. To me, that tour and that day riding up Trail Ridge, showed me how much I have grown in my confidence as well as my abilities as a cyclist as well as tandem rider. It really was a spectacular adventure. We were two little bike riders climbing big tall mountains and having the time of our lives. I wrote about it a fair amount on my blog, Chasing Mailboxes.

Tell us what you ride

I own primarily steel touring frames. As I mentioned, my husband and I have a custom tandem, a Co-Motion Java 29er that we use for touring and randonneuring as well as a Cannondale mountain tandem– which is aluminum– that we use for off-road riding. I own a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, which is a packable flyer and ideal for something like paved light touring. My Surly Long Haul Trucker and Rivendell Quickbeam are perfect for bike commuting and grocery shopping. I use my Rivendell Romulus and Rawland Nordavinden for century rides and brevets/randonneuring events, if I’m not on the tandem. I also own a Bike Friday TIkit, which is a fast-fold bike designed for commuting and multi-modal transport. I really enjoy trying out different bikes and using them for various purposes.

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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! 

Domestiques for Wolfner

0 Wolfner

In case you haven’t heard, Mike Wolfner of my Cycleton team is recovering from a serious cycling accident. Many of my teammates are putting together a fundraiser for Mike and his family, as he makes his recovery.

Please join us for a party and silent auction (with over $8,000 in merchandise and free swag!) taking place at Lowry Beer Garden on December 5. A few auction items include:
Specialized Tarmac Pro Frame – $2950 Retail Value
Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 or Cosmic CXR60 wheel set – $2750 Retail Value
Full ENVE Carbon Cockpit (bars, stem & seat post) – $890 Retail Value
Thule T2 Hitch Rack – $469 Retail Value
FasCat Coaching for 1 Month – $350 Retail Value
Feedback Sports Spring Workstand – $235 Retail Value

More event and donation information can be found here:

https://www.igivefirst.com/raindroppartners/silent-auction-and-benefit-to-support-injured-cyclist

Week End Roundup

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Philly Bike Expo

This weekend, Nov 9 & 10th

Juliana Bicycles Hiring

Juliana Bicycles, a women’s specific mountain bike brand, is looking for a Brand Manager

Quick Start Cyclocross Training

Have you been bit by the cyclocross bug? This quick start plan will get you in better shape for the late season successes!

Bikenomics

Bicycle infrastructure creates more jobs per million dollars spent than any other kind of transportation

A Winter of Cyclists

The story of a group of Colorado cyclists who challenged each other to commute by bike, at least 52 times, during the cold, dark, and snowy months.

Motivational Monday with Julie in NC

2 Motivational Monday with Julie

What is your name?

Julie in Cary, NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mountain biking and wafting on the greenways

What is your first cycling memory?

Learning to ride my brothers big Schwinn when I was five. It was the only bike we had at the time and it was way too big for me.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My 22 year old son. I love riding with him. It is one of the few times we get one on one. He is fast and loves to ride technical trails. I am a big scaredy cat when it comes to skinnies and jumps but he has patiently encouraged me and coached me.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

It would have to be when I rode through the state park and over the highway to have coffee at a cool downtown coffee shop with my daughter. I guess that’s why I love riding – it keeps me connected with nature, community, but most importantly my kids.

Tell us what you ride

My son gave me my bike several years ago. It is a Specialized Myka.

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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 Ashley in Malaysia

3 Motivational Monday Ashley

What is your name?

Ashley in Penang, Malaysia or at AeroChick.com

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and Cyclocross

What is your first cycling memory?

I’m sure if I go way back I can remember things earlier, but one of the things I do remember is my brother, who’s three years younger than I, picking up my bike and riding it around sans-training wheels. I remember being pissed that he could ride it better than I could.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

A good friend of mine is owner of Beverly Cycles in MA, and just exudes a passion for cycling. He was one of the ones that unknowingly got my head back into cycling after giving up for a time.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

I’ve done a fair amount of races this year, more than the last couple of years, but I think the best moment was the other day. We’ve recently moved to Malaysia from the Boston area, and the other day was my first bike ride here. While it was a whopping 3 miles and was only for getting around to run errands and meet up with folks, it broke the ice of cycling here. I’m much less worried about going out for rides, and I can’t wait to go out again.

Tell us what you ride

I have many bikes. My theory is the usual N + 1 where N is the number of current bikes, and I have enough parts and frames in the basement of our hours in the States to build several bikes.

That said, my road bike is a 2009 Fuji RC frame with Ultegra 6700 parts and Mavic Krysrium wheels.

My CX bike (the only one I have with me until October) is a mix of various parts I’ve bought in shops, online or salvaged from other bikes. It’s a 1×9 with BB7 disc brakes, carbon fork and Mud2 tires. I’m planning on putting road tires on soon until my road bike is shipped over.

I have two bikes that I left in the States for when I visit, one is a 1976 Raleigh Grand Prix with Sora crank, fenders and 700c wheels. The other is the first new bike I’ve ever owned, a 2002 Trek 1000 road bike, which will be my primary bike when I’m back home, in case I want to jump into a race.

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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 Betsy in Rhode Island

1 Motivational monday with Betsy

What is your name?

Betsy in Rhode Island

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding a small blue Schwinn around the driveway when I was probably around 6 years old.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My biking friends are very encouraging. We’ve been riding together for a few years. Before this, I used to ride by myself for years and day dream about riding with a group. It’s such a great way to spend time outdoors. I want to continue riding this winter to maintain my fitness. Next, year I may ride in the time-trials and continue working on my hill climbing.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Riding with women who are thirty years younger than me and keeping up. What a rush, literally.

Tell us what you ride

I have a 2006 Ruby comp. Her name is Ruby (of course). I rode her through the winter last year and plan on riding this winter again. I also have a 2013 Amira SL4 Expert, named Zippy!

Zippy helps me keep up with the faster riders. She is always spurring me on to ride faster!

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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 Rashmi

1 Motivational Monday Rashmi

What is your name?

Rashmi

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Trail Riding

What is your first cycling memory?

For my eighth birthday, my parents got me a gorgeous red bike as a surprise. I remember the moment so clearly, I was standing with my Mom, waiting for my Dad at the Airport when suddenly, he appeared wheeling a gorgeous, shiny red bike alongside. After a minute that it took me to register, I ran towards my Dad…and hugged my bike : )

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

My kids have been very motivating and supportive from the start. From locking up the door behind me at insanely early hours to goading me whenever I am going through a slow phase, they have been solidly behind me all through.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

On the saddle, it’s been a trail ride that I named the Columbus Trail. It started out as a regular ride with five of my rider buddys, then at the turn around point, we decided to look for a new trail. We rode around for hours till we discovered a way across the river and the trail we followed was the most beautiful one that I have ever come across. It’s the reason why I ride. Off the saddle, it was a dream come true to meet meet Gary Fisher.

Tell us what you ride

I started out with a MTB, a Trek 3500 and now, I have got myself a Fuji hybrid.

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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 Molly in Charlotte

1 Motivational Monday Molly

What is your name and location?

Molly in Charlotte, NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road

What is your first cycling memory?

Teaching myself how to ride a bike in my driveway when I was 5 or 6. It was too big for me and there were no training wheels, I stayed out until it was dark, determined to learn to ride it, and I did!

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

I’m part of a women’s triathlon group, Tri It for Life, that mentors and trains women to compete their first sprint triathlon. These women constantly inspire me to work harder and be better in all aspects of my life, not just cycling.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

For the second year in a row, I rode in 24 Hours of Booty, a 24 hour biking event to raise money for cancer research and awareness. My sister and I rode together to honor our Mom.

Tell us what you ride

I have a 2010 Trek Madone 4.5 and a 2009 Gary Fisher Piranha (I dabble in mountain biking)

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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! 

Cycling with Epilepsy

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Halley was featured earlier this year in the Motivational Monday series. I personally pulled a lot of inspiration from her and asked her to write an article for BSG on cycling with epilepsy. Give the article a read and then visit her blog to follow along her journey.

When you are triaged at the emergency room or picked up by the ambulance after a bicycle crash involving no other vehicle, the intake paramedic or nurse will write “FDGB” on your form. What super official medical term does this acronym mean? “Fall Down Go Boom.” It does get the point across, at the very least.

In 2009, I was going to the emergency room approximately every six to eight weeks for similar reasons. Part of it I was cycling more so naturally I was on my bike versus say in my apartment or walking. It made me a prime candidate for tipping over randomly. A few crashes I just stood up and dusted myself off, but several of them were pretty epic with full facial road rash, splayed out in the middle of road and no memory of how I actually ended up there. That last part was the most unsettling of the entire affair.

That’s when they sent me to a neurologist. It seemed that I had been what are called “absence seizures.” Chances are that I have been experiences them for a long time in my life and have never noticed them. I kind of freak out when I think of this, because I have driven a car a lot in my life and worry that I could have been driving when this had happened. Earlier in life, I would go into random crying fits that had been misdiagnosed as “hypoglycemia.” I very distinctly remember not being able to look at restaurant menus and see the words or formulate thoughts. The neurologist informed me that I was most likely experiencing what was called a “simple partial seizure” and having had them recently, I can attest all the orange juice and glucose tablets in the world won’t help, so while yes they do look like a low blood sugar crash, they are indeed not.

I had my first “grand mal seizure” during a bike ride in downtown Portland and hit a park bench. This was an extremely difficult and stressful time for me. I felt like my brain was trying to kill me. All I wanted to was live a car-free lifestyle, work at the women’s homeless shelter and continue my own business as a professional harpist (with a custom-made bike trailer for my full size folk harp). You know, the typical Portland Oregon lifestyle, right? I couldn’t really live that when I was riddled with migraines, my weight massively fluctuating from trying out new medications – and I already suffered from an overweight awkward childhood so this new struggle was just one more thing to add to my plate.

My neurologist and I struggled to deal with my daily migraines so that I could ride my bike again without the threat of seizure and we couldn’t figure it out until I came across something she didn’t think of. Allergies. I knew I was allergic to a few medications and chemical products, but in addition to them, I added gluten, lactose and egg to my list. Having a very severe latex allergy, I had never realized that banana or avocado were part of the same family, which while I loved and are very beneficial to most diets, unfortunately for me, they cause more harm than good. Cutting them out as well, cleared so many skin issues. It was actually about that time, 2010, I “went vegan.” I had already been eating mostly vegetarian due to the lack of dairy and egg products. My body has never processed red meat well and I don’t eat pork, so it was a pretty natural transition. The most difficult thing for me to break up with was gluten. Total carbitarian.

I want to smack myself in the forehead because it sounds so stupid writing this. You cut out the stuff that you’re allergic to and you stop being sick. I’m not a nutritionist, not giving you nutritional advice and I can only write what worked for me. And, let’s be honest. I still have seizures. It’s not all about food. But I did lose 70 lbs in less than a year, which I am sure was mostly because I was putting crap in my body that couldn’t be processed and broken down.

There are the good days and the bad. I have worked really hard to get to where I am. Charting when I have seizures. I have been on a bunch of different types medications that haven’t worked for me or that I have “grown out of,” meaning that dosage is at such a high mg that any more would be toxic so the doctor either has to supplement a different medication or change medications. There are literally dozens of different kinds of epilepsy that affect the brain. Mine is called progressive myoclonic epilepsy. In short, it means it’s going to get worse in time, but right now it’s really well controlled.

I love cycling and it’s my life. I ride with a primarily road racing team here in Portland, though my passion is cyclocross. I haven’t been able to race the last two years due to health reasons. My knee went out two years ago and I had foot surgery last year. This was related to a back fracture I had six years ago. Ironically related to the dysfunction in my right cerebral hemisphere, which causes discrepancies in motor skills, visuo-spatial, perception and coordination. Basically I FDGB. I am definitely looking forward to this fall and getting muddy.

Motivational Monday with Joy from Colorado

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What is your name and location?

Joy from Colorado

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and Mtn

What is your first cycling memory?

Watching my older sister learn to ride a bike. As soon as she put it down, I picked it up and rode away and have been riding ever since.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

A 62 year old friend of mine is continually challenging me to ride and improve my skills as I go. He inspires because he is one of those ‘freakish OG’s’ that continues to rip it up whatever ride we go on.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Finishing the Triple Bypass. It was monumental for me because the day I found out that I got in the ride, I was recovering from emergency surgery the night before. It made it all the sweeter to finish that ride and know how far I had come in six months.

Tell us what you ride

Road- Specialized ruby pro-red!

MTN -Specialized Jett 29er. Just plain ol fun.

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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!