Bike Shop Girl

Hobo Moleskin
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Cinelli and Moleskin Team Up

Take two of my favorite things, bikes and Moleskin, and you have the Hobo Moleskin. A nod to the Hobo biker lifestyle, and a pairing for Cinelli’s Hobo bike model.

hobo codeCinelli_Hobo_Moleskine-01

Unfortunately, only available in Europe currently this little Moleskin will surely be on my wishlist for when I need a new Moleskin next month!

Calling all Bikers:

Now’s your chance to win a custom-made Moleskine Cinelli notebook. Share your bicycle experience with us: photographyour ride, send us a bicycle selfie, or show us some writing or sketches from your last trip. Upload your entry to myMoleskine with the tag #bootleghobo and if yours receives the most votes a notebook could be riding your way soon!
evelyn stevens
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Evelyn Stevens: Why We Play from SoulPancake

SoulPancake presents: Evelyn Stevens: Why We Play

Meet Evelyn Stevens. Olympian, World Champion, and one of the greatest female cyclists competing in the professional world today. What separates her though from those she races against is her extraordinary escape from the confines of her former life in a Wall Street cubicle and meteoric rise to the top of her sport.

dutch kids bikes
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Velorbis Introduces Danish Styled Kids Bikes

I have to admit, I opened this press release early today and was simply giddy. Being state side it has been difficult to find great kids bikes that will last, aren’t 45lbs and don’t cost $1500+. Hopefully Velorbis will deliver in the US and live up to the Velorbis name!

Velorbis believes that cycling is an activity that all family members and friends can partake in to enjoy quality time together or use to simply get from A to B, regardless of age, as an important and enjoyable element of everyday life. Now children can cycle in Velorbis style too.

dutch kids bikes

Function and Style for Your Children

Available in 20″ & 24″ wheel sizes priced 595-650 eur and available in boys and girls styles.
Main features: front drum brake, leather grips and saddle made for kids, lugged steel, powder coated rims and rear rack.

Learn more over at Velorbis.com 

 

Healthy Choices
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What is One Healthy Choice You are Making Today?

We make choices every moment of everyday.

What time are you waking up? Do you hit the snooze? Do you allow yourself to be distracted? Who do you call? Who do you answer? Once you start thinking about what choices you are making in the moment, every moment, you can start seeing how many you are making. Hopefully, you can also see those pile up and can be the sail to your success in life or the weight to your failure.

As I entered this Whole Life Challenge I wanted less choices and making the ones I did make, better. When my alarm goes off, I get up without a choice of hitting the snooze button. The choices of foods to eat for the day are in my kitchen, I do not give myself the choice to eat out and the food we made for the week is tastier and better looking!

As you get your day started today think about what choices you can make to be healthier. What choices can you take out of the picture so that you have no option but to make the better choice?

If you had to make one healthy choice for today, what would it be?

My healthy choice for today:

Going to sleep early, to wake up early

Crossfit Sanitas
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Crossfit: Try #3

Back in October I mentioned very discreetly that I might be giving Crossfit ago and a week later I did just that, I gave it a “go.” My better half fell in love with the sport and I couldn’t walk right for 4 days. This is when friends would chime in saying that it was my first true activity since cracking my patella and that it was probably setting myself up for failure. I didn’t feel like I failed but I did feel deflated and frustrated.

Fast forward 2 months, my gf is hooked and I haven’t really moved forward with any particular hobby. I’ve been giving running a stab but with the Polar Vortex and crazy cold weather we have had since early December it hasn’t been ideal. So, I did what any athletic, overly competitive, endorphin chaser, would do – I pulled on my big girl pants and went back to Crossfit Parkhill to get my butt kicked again. First by front squats, and then by the WOD of my Whole Life Challenge baseline test. When I was done recovering, including trying not to throw up on the car ride home, I knew what needed to be done.

Do It

I’ve always had a strong belief that if you are scared of something, you need to try and conquer it.

Well, I am scared of crossfit.

I’m intimidated of the girls that could toss me over their heads like a pizza, I’m scared of box jumps and double under jump rope contests. How can I fix that? Well, last night I signed up for a Basecamp class at the Crossfit gym near my work in Boulder, Crossfit Sanitas. 3 classes a week for 2 weeks and unlimited access to the other classes. This morning was my first fundamental basic class and I loved it. Starting at the very basics is what I needed (and to work on my push-ups) and I’m already excited to show up to tomorrow’s 6:30am WOD to try it again.

 

 

Whole Life CHALLENGE
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Tackling the Whole Life Challenge

It hasn’t been a secret that I’ve been struggling to find my personal identity when I removed the “bike racer” from 25 hours of my week. Combine that with a new state of residence and a month old job, I have felt pretty disconnected from who I believe I am.

Over the past week I started researching (again) about Paleo eating to address some stomach problems I’ve been having. Naturally when I was training a lot my eating habits were 90% of what is outlined in a strict paleo diet. The 10% was left in greek yogurt for smoothies and thin whole wheat bread with almond butter & jelly.

Without knowing that I was looking at the Paleo diet my girlfriend emailed me Friday morning to see if I would sign up for the “Whole Life Challenge” with her. Initially I was very resistant. You want me to pay $49 to track my eating and body weight? After some reading and taking a “pride check” that my biggest goal for this challenge would be for Emily to meet her goals. I wasn’t too good for this, and by submersion into better eating as a family we will have the best results.

Read More

Colorado Winter Cycling
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Staying Motivated During the Polar Vortex and Colorado Winters

I need to confess, I haven’t been riding my bike as you can probably tell from the lack of updates and Strava achievements. In the cold and dark I’ve been turning to running and exploring the trails near my home. While this isn’t ideal for a content on a cycling specific site it is ideal for my happiness. My 2014 goals include no bike races for the first time in many years but instead to explore more and become a more rounded athlete.

How are you staying motivated and moving during these cold spells that keep hitting? Are you hitting the gym or maybe braver than I and suiting up for a bike ride? Perhaps you are smart and on the trainer in your basement pushing those watts around as your sweat hits the ground.

Tell us, what are you doing?

 

small business colorado
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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.

Sidebar:

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.

photo-1
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Intro: Review of 2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike

This past summer Raleigh Bikes released photos and spec of their 2014 cyclocross line, including the RX 1.0 Women’s bike. The bike didn’t change too much other than paint and some small part upgrades. I was excited about the bike (mainly due to the paint job and price) for women and thought it would be a perfect do-all bike for my better half. So here we are doing a second review of the women’s RX 1.0!

This second review of the Raleigh RX 1.0, in the 2014 model, is to look at it as an all purpose bike. This is how most women are looking to purchase a cross bike in this price range as a do all, fun finder.  There could be road rides, green-ways, Rail to Trails,  commuting, baby hauling and maybe a cyclocross race thrown in there to say you did it.

A refresher of spec and pricing can be found here. The original review over here.

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Family Bike Ride
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4 Tips for a Successful Family Bike Ride

What do you think of when you envision riding with your entire family? The dream is that you will all be in a state of family bliss, riding along together at the same pace, wind at your back, kids smiling, and lots of family bonding.

The reality is that while that can happen, you need to plan and work at it. And don’t be discouraged when the first (or two or three) rides seem overly rough. As you all fall into a routine it will get easier and it will be fun.

Assuming you are already an avid rider I’ll spare you the most basic of bike riding tips. But here are four things to consider before you set out with the entire family.

Do the Prep Work

If you are an avid cyclist you are probably good about maintaining your bike. But don’t forget the kid’s bikes or trailer. Basics include proper tire pressure, functioning brakes, and a lubed chain.

You also need to prepare snacks, possibly toys or books for a trailer ride, baby wipes, drinks, and more snacks. Don’t underestimate the power of snacks on a bike ride. And a bike ride might just be the perfect time to allow a treat if the going gets tough. I swear by energy chews like Honey Stinger or Clif Bloks for both fuel and mental incentive when my son needs extra motivation.

And check their helmet for fit and safety. Don’t be one of those parents with a $200 perfectly fit and adjusted helmet while your child has a cut up foam mess – half hanging off his head.

Alyssa, a mom, and cyclist from Salt Lake City swears by helmets with visors. “I cannot tell how many skinned chins, skinned faces, and skinned noses we have bypassed by that silly visor taking the fall.”

Take the Proper Gear

Trailer and kids bikes can (and will) break down during rides. Be prepared to fix not only your bike and theirs. If you are not 100% comfortable with emergency bike repairs, bring the gear so someone can help you. In addition, bring along some step-by-step instructions so you can walk yourself through a repair if nobody is around. Check out Hero Kits for an affordable all in one tool and instruction kit.

Tip: If you don’t have a small tube for your kid’s bike you can use your full size tube in a pinch. On a recent ride my son forgot his 24 inch tube and got a flat. I used my 29 inch tube. It got us through our ride and back to the car.

Adjust your Attitude

Family Bike RideNancy Sathre-Vogel biked from Alaska to Argentina with her two boys so she knows a lot about family bike rides. Her #1 tip is to never doubt your child. And it’s true that they are often capable of so much more than we think or give them credit for. I have often thought a ride was too long or too hard for my son only to have him breeze through it and want to go farther. Of course the other side is not doubting her when she says she is too tired or not in the mood. Try to leave your goals and plans on the back burner and listen to your kids. (Insert bridge.jpeg in this section)

Think about the Destination

For adults a ride may be about the journey and exercise but for kids it’s often about the destination. Tanya who writes a family blog called Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies says, “riding for the sake of riding may work for some kids but for others, riding to a playground, a duck pond, a big bridge, or even ice-cream shop just might be the incentive they need.”

Personally, our most enjoyable and memorable rides have been to a destination. Pick somewhere they love and the ride will become part of that enjoyment.

Family Bike Ride

Image Credit: Tanya Koob

So what are you waiting for? Okay, maybe for the snow to melt depending on where you live. But why not start to plan your next cycling adventure as a family.

Jen Charrette is a blogger at Velo Mom where she discusses family cycling, wellness, training and racing.

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