Empowering women in cycling

Searching for “cyclocross”

A Delayed Reaction

13 Crashed Knee

The beginning of October I lined up for my second cyclocross race in Colorado. The Boulder Cup  at Valmont Bike Park was easily one of my top 3 cx courses ever ridden. Unfortunately, going into the last lap I lost traction on a bridge and wiped out. Quickly dusting myself off I hopped on the bike and bridged the gap on the girl that had been on my wheel and now was 15 seconds ahead. Finishing the race, not in last place, I checked over my appendages and realized the road rash would hurt but I seemed to be okay.

24 hours later my left knee wasn’t bending and by the evening (36 hours later) I couldn’t bear weight without pain. A doctor’s appointment booked, and later an MRI. The end result of this minor crash was a miss-tracking patella and a small tear on the cartilage behind my patella. It could have been much worse and 3 weeks later I am feeling back to 80%.

Shift in Priorities

Often in life, it is when your heart breaks, or you crash you bike that we really take a count of priorities and needs in life.

The mission of this site is to empower women in cycling.  I don’t plan on straying away from this but I do plan on empowering myself a bit more. Becoming a more balanced individual, going back to school and maybe even attempting cross fit!

I love riding my bike

Chances are that you are reading my blog (thank you) because you too love to ride your bike. As I shift things around, reorganize and create my content calendar for this site my reminder for all of us is that to slow down and enjoy the ride. Spending the money to have the lightest bike, power meters, or even to put a number on your bike isn’t required. Slowing down with a smile to other cyclists and maybe even giving back to the sport we all love.

My plan is to slim down my herd of bikes, buy less carbon and focus more on the adventure than the destination. I hope you’ll join me.

Spring is Here, Are You Ready?

0 Spring Cycling Tips

It is hard to believe that we are in the last week of April and May is knocking on our door. I don’t know about you, but other than #30daysofbiking I haven’t done much in off-season pedaling to be ready for the long miles this season. In order to stir up some internal motivation, here are some tips to jump start your spring cycling.

Continue reading →

Week-End Round Up for March 15

3 Children's Bikes for Life Training

Grab a delicious cup of coffee as it is time for the week-end round up. Have something to add? Put a link in the comments below.

This past weekend I attended training with Bicycle Colorado & Bike for Life. Look for a recap of the training and more information about what these two great programs are doing.
[sd_action_box bgcolor="#ed228d" textcolor="#ffffff"] Products in for Review [/sd_action_box]Several products are in for review that you’ll be seeing over the following weeks
Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition

2014 Trek Lexa SLX Road Bike

Cedar Cycling Standard Women’s Jersey

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Cyclocross Bike

Banjo Brothers Canvas Commuter Backpack
[sd_action_box bgcolor="#ed228d" textcolor="#ffffff"] Top Articles on BSG This Past Week [/sd_action_box]Bicycle Shopping: The Three Common Types of Bicycles

Review of the Whole Life Challenge

Review: Bern Allston Helmet
[sd_action_box bgcolor="#ed228d" textcolor="#ffffff"] Across the Internet [/sd_action_box]Ride Your Bike Like Everyone is Watching – We are Role Models

2014 Women’s World Cup Preview via Bicycling Mag 

The Best North American Handmade Bicycle Show coverage is on Prolly
[sd_action_box bgcolor="#ed228d" textcolor="#ffffff"] In Colorado [/sd_action_box]Denver Weekend Cycling Events from 303 Cycling 

Green Bike Lanes in Denver

Sunday Linkage: High Heels, Bike Shifting and Interbike

6 crossvegas women's race

ICEdot Crash Sensor Teardown

Citi Bike, bike share bikes, turned into a BMX machine

A weekly roundup of popular articles here on BSG, or that I found of interest. If you find something worth sharing, let me know on twitter or email.

 

August Challenge: 1,000 Commuter Miles

4 Bike Commuting

Last week I wrote about the bike commute into my new job at Pearl Izumi. After nailing down my inbound and outbound routes it takes between 1.5 – 2 hours each way. This is going pretty easy and really only attacking on the way home to get home faster!

Fast forward to this week, I drove in the first couple days this week and became more frustrated as I sat in traffic 45 minutes each way. I also learned about a pretty cool challenge going on by LiveWell Colorado called Colorado Get Moving Challenge. The challenge is to make Colorado the most active state by having folks commit to 30 minutes of exercise every day in August.

Print

All of this got my wheels turning…I need base miles for cyclocross, I need to be on my bike, I hate sitting in traffic and I would love to commit to this challenge. With the encouragement (and reality check from my better half) I checked myself thinking I would commute all 22 work days of August and decided committing to 1,000 commuting miles in August is more reasonable. This allows me to drive one day a week to bring food and clean clothes in/out of the office and 3 days of recovery.

Along this process I’ve also become an ambassador of the Get Moving Challenge. You’ll see my tags #COgetmovin on Twitter and Instagram, and my fitness updates on MapMyFitness. Every few days I may do a mental download here on things I’m learning, food I’m eating and adventures I’m having by putting in roughly 240 commuter miles a week. I may not be very social this month during the week, and if you see me I’ll probably always have food and water in hand!

If you are in Colorado check out the Challenge and give it a go!

LUNA Pro Team Still has a Dominating Team

0 Luna Chix

The 2013 LUNA Pro team is keeping on with their dominating list of killer girls. What has been a long time running “winning” team will continue and I’m excited to see what these girls will do in 2013.

From Marla:

The LUNA Pro Team rolls into this New Year with the same winning world-class roster as in 2012 headlined by Olympic medalist Georgia Gould and World Cup Champion Catharine Pendrel.

ATHLETES

• Catharine Pendrel – 2011 World Champion, 2012 World Cup Champion
• Georgia Gould – Olympic bronze medalist, U.S. National MTB Champion
• Katerina Nash – Four time Olympian
• Teal Stetson Lee – Mountain bike and cyclocross pro
• Shonny Vanlandingham – 2010 XTERRA World Champion
• Danelle Kabush – 2012 XTERRA Mountain Champion
• Suzie Snyder – 2012 U.S. National XTERRA Champion

STAFF

• Dave McLaughlin – GM
• Waldek Stepniowski – Team Manager
• Marla Streb – Media and PR
• Chris Mathis – Equipment Manager
• Dusty LaBarr – Mechanic

Olympic bronze medalist Georgia Gould, current World Cup Champion Catharine Pendrel and
long-time staff members Dave, Waldek and Chris will continue with the LUNA Pro Team for four
more years.

Mountain bike legend and former XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandingham, current
XTERRA Mountain Champ Danelle Kabush, US National XTERRA Champion Suzie Snyder and
Marla Streb have each extended their LUNA Pro Team contracts through 2014.

Four-time Olympian and World Cup winner Katerina Nash and development rider Teal Stetson-
Lee have each signed through 2013.

The team welcomes new mechanic Dusty LaBarr. Dusty is a veteran of the international race
circuit and brings a fresh perspective to the team.

The 2013 LUNA Pro Team is proud to announce committed support from Orbea bicycles, Fox
Racing Shox and Giro for four years. Sponsors through 2014 include Maxxis, Shimano, Squadra,
Prana and Camelbak.

Review: Zevlin Big40 Custom Tape

0 Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

From adjusting parts to fit you better, to switching parts around to make your bike look different and completely yours, both are equally important in the journey of bicycle ownership. Customizing your bike is an important part of making the bike “yours.” Bar tape is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do this.

Zevlin Big40 Custom Handlebar Tape

MSRP: $33.95 (discount for buying in bulk)
Unique Details: Super wide at 40mm, add your own logo to your handlebars!

The boys at Zevlin sent me a care package to test out and review, one of the coolest unique products in this was custom bar tape. While the tape isn’t as padded or grippy as my loved Lizard Skins DSP it has done well on the road under my winter testing.

Feel and Wear of the Zevlin Big40

The tape currently has a handful of long rides and roughly 200 miles of winter glove riding. The 40mm allows a good overlap of tape to get a cushion while showing off the custom logos covering half the width of tape. The logos are in great shape, I’m sure with a tacky summer glove the logos would wear after awhile but it would be a good indication that your bar tape needs replaced. It seems that not enough people replace their tape until their wrist or hands hurt!! I would compare the feel and tackiness of the tape to a Fizik bar without the pain of installing that leather like wrap.

Customize It

Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

While you can buy the Big40 alone, I believe the biggest market advantage Zevlin has is to price bulk custom tape to be attractive to shops, teams and even large charity events to promote brand identity. The Zevlin tape looks amazing on my bike with the white logos and then a few blue logos at the end of the wrap, now imagine that with your company under your bars. Rolling up to a group ride, sitting at a stop light or your bike parked at a coffee shop will put your brand identity right at hand level.

Overall Thoughts

Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

The bar tape is wearing well, I’ll use it for most of the road season but it will not replace the DSP on my cyclocross bike as grip and cushion are super important then. I plan on doing a run of Bike Shop Girl in black  to promote myself and the brand as they are a great grassroots company trying to do different things in the bike industry.

If you are in the market to take your branding a bit further on the bike, I would start with Zevlin. If you are looking for a new black bar tape I would stick to Lizard Skins DSP.

 

 

Bike Commuting in Denver: Part III

5 Denver Bike Commute

An on going series of riding and commuting in my new city of Denver Colorado. See more about my Denver Cycling experience here. 

With my move successful complete (there are still boxes to find and empty if you would like to help,) I started testing out the commute from my house to the bike shop this past Monday. While I’ve only done the round trip commute a couple times it is great to explore a new city and perfect the streets to ride on or avoid completely.

Denver Bike Commute

Below is a Strava map of my ride into the shop. Pretty mellow and down hill until the last 2.5 miles which are constant climb to the front door of Salvagetti. This isn’t a horrible thing, but I’ve been testing out riding a single speed cyclocross bike with flat pedals for commuting and daily errands. I’m interested to see how fast the ride goes with gears so that I can push the pedals a bit more on the downhills.

My goals for the next few days are to get Emily’s new commuter rig built up (photos and bike profile coming soon) and to finish the unpacking of essentials like my 4 tubs of clothes. This will allow me to be less stressed and able to get out of the house next Tuesday/Wednesday when I have off.

3 Women’s Saddle Recommendations

24 Saddle Recommendation Header

The question of “What is your favorite saddle?” is a very popular question in tweets, emails and in shop conversation. It is also probably one of the most user specific question around bike fit. My bits are not built like your bits, my seat bones are not the same width as your seat bones but I can give some generic feedback of my “go-to” saddles for women.

Pro advice: Make sure you check your saddle measurements prior to swapping out any of these seats! This includes height, and the distance of where your sit bones are most comfortable on the seat to the handlebars. Every seat will be different but these are good x/y starting points to measure off!

The Most Popular Women’s Saddles I Recommend

 

Fizik Vesta

Fizik Vesta

 

If you don’t know where to start with a new seat, start with this one.

When swapping out bike seat during a women’s bike fit this is normally the first seat I try. The channel through the middle section allows some relief on your girly parts and the wider sit bone area on the back of the seat keeps you well supported. This saddle was once on 100% of my bikes but as my handlebars went lower I had to switch to something with a flatter front to back profile and not a drop in the middle.

Tip: Make sure the area where your sit bones hit is level!

 

 

Specialized Ruby Pro

 

 

Specialized Ruby Pro

If your handlebar is lower than your saddle height than try out the Specialized Ruby. The relatively flat back area of the saddle and flexy middle section allow for a leaned over position. This saddle doesn’t have a ton of padding some if you are relatively upright it may be a bit too tough for your sit bones.

Tip: This saddle does come in different widths, so make sure to get your butt properly sized!

WTB Deva

WTB Deva

This seat is a bit narrow so if you are on a super upright hybrid or mountain bike the saddle may not support you properly. Saying that, this saddle has been a goto for cyclocross season for many years due gel inserts in the firm and pretty flat surface.

Tip: This saddle is not as tall as many others. You may need to move your seat up significantly.

(Yes, I like white saddles. It always makes a bike look faster in my humble opinion!)

Focusing on the Reasons We Do This

2 Reasons-vs

Why do we do this anyways?

why do we ride bikes
why do I write blogs
why do I take pictures
why do I make coffee

It makes us happy, it fills a need, we are passionate about it, it is an addiction.

I do like to ride my bike fast, I like to keep up with the spandex crowd and shoot the shit.

Here’s the thing though, at the end of the day the thing that brings me the most joy is helping others overcome their fears and getting more butts on bikes. That’s what we need to make cycling a safer hobby, more butts on bikes. Earlier this week I was called out on practicing what I preach. As I’ve gotten more wrapped up in “training” then family or friends. They do overlap to a point but doing well in cyclocross this fall isn’t as important as getting my girlfriend on a mountain bike more this summer.

After some soul searching over the past few weeks, a busy schedule, some driving and not a lot of riding this is what I’ve come up with. As a tech geek I plan on still reviewing new high end product as the time arises but I also plan on moving focus back to motivation and tips. Things you can’t find else where on the inter-web.

Let’s focus on bikes for the joy of riding. For finding your freedom, for finding yourself, for losing weight or losing yourself.