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List of Love: Twin Six

0 Fat Cyclist Twin Six

I use a lot of bike gear, I ride about 5-7 days a week depending on work and I use a lot of bike gear. As I abuse and use things I want to start talking about brands or products that I fully support. Don’t think of these as reviews but as manifestos of LOVE.

Let’s take a moment, flip back to Interbike of 2005. Meet Twin Six and fall in love with the styles of Brent Gale and Ryan Carlson. For the next year Brent was a great support role and simply a good person to talk to as I traveled the roads of North Carolina finding my place in life. The Bike Shop Girl “chick” you see is Brent’s vision. We talked for many hours as I drove from building wheels at Cane Creek to home in Charlotte NC as he sat in his basement slaving away creating the company that is Twin Six. (I should mention Ryan was slaving away as well.)

Through the years Twin Six has always been there. If I put on a race, start a team, need new chamois, travel, crash, interview and so on. The guys of Twin Six have always been there. Recently Mark has allowed me to spread Twin Six goodness in shops in the southeast in hopes that my fellow spandex lovers would look better!

Before I talk about product, I want to say this. This company is owned by two very caring guys, that design nice cycling goods. They help out the cycling industry, they understand grassroots, they ride their bikes and to me they are what the industry needs.

See what gets me excited below the break..

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Southern Spokes Recap

0 photo-6

I’m working on a long recap for SouthernSpokes.com to fill everyone in, thank a whole boatload of folks and get started planning for next year! Here’s some key highlights that I feel sum up things for my readers here.

  • A ton of women’s raffle prizes, and everyone that bought a raffle ticket won something
  • Kids rides, women’s rides, fat bike rides
  • Waffles and Nutella
  • Really good BBQ
  • No hail
  • Campfire stories
  • A guy that rode 140 miles from Columbia, SC just for the festival

 

Review: 2011 Airborne Delta CX

0 Airborne Cyclocross Bike

I won’t lie, the Airborne Delta CX was the most exciting part of becoming a member of the Airborne Flight Crew this past spring. I was going to have the inside scoop, test ride and ride for a season a wonderful cyclocross bike that hopefully would crack open a huge “hidden nut” in the bicycle industry. A budget priced, disc brake, cyclocross bike. As a lover of cyclocross bikes for the utility and functionality, this bike fit right into my arsenal to refer friends and followers to.

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2011 Sea Otter Update

0 Sea Otter Classic Twitter

Sea Otter Classic TwitterA quick status and “what the hell are you doing?” update!

It’s 7am in Monterey and I’m slowing getting my crap together to go grab some food and head out to the venue.   Today’s my last day at Sea Otter as I fly out tomorrow morning.   I plan on getting a ride in (if possible) and take a crap load of photos and pictures.   I figure I have 12 hours of travel tomorrow to actual put together all the post.

Today is also the last day of the SRAM Ladies Lounge. Yesterday the tent was packed and we had a ton of great questions and feedback from women and athletes.  If you are at Sea Otter, this is a must.  And you don’t even have to be a guy!

Trying to stay on East coast time but have been failing.   Instead we go out to dinner at 8pm most nights and  I get back to the hotel exhausted to pass out in bed!

Thank you to everyone that has introduced themselves in person, visited the Airborne or Ladies Lounge and reached out about Bike Shop Girl!

Dear Bike Shops, Own Your Brand

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It is a funny thing, this time of life that we are living in. That marketing and the “hype” can change someones thoughts and feelings so deeply. A great commercial can change your views of a product more than 10 reviews. The lure of a new bike, new brand, or different culture can be simply pulled from the color of a jersey.

One large goal I have right now is to empower and connect that of bike shops and bike minds across the Southeast. In my travels I hope to pull, piece and play match makers to make the area I love so much to be more bike friendly.

There is one very blatant thing I am seeing as I travel across my land.

We are Eating Each Other’s Dinner

Competition is healthy. I promote it, thrive on it and it drives me. Attempting to be competitive by playing in a ball game I don’t understand due to lack of confidence and self awareness is another thing completely.

How many people do you know that poke fun of someone simply because that person has what they want?

Too many shops are looking at their competition for direction on where they should be going with their own store.

Why? Why are you selling road bikes when you are never on a road and have no one in your shop that road bikes?

Why? Why did you start selling tri bikes when you secretly make fun of them, you’ve never gone from T2 to a run. You don’t know what it means to need to change your bike fit to make this better.

Why? Why are you still ordering 26″ full suspension bikes when you only recently sold the one you’ve been sitting on for the past 8 months?

WHY? Because they are.

You brought in road bikes because you saw Joe’s bike shop doing well with road bikes. You wanted a part of the 1% pie that is road cycling. You took valuable floor space from your thriving mountain sales and put road bikes among the showroom. You brought in more shoes, and higher end spandex. Maybe you started stocking aero bars because you thought that’s what would sell. You have to send someone to fit school because no one in your shop rides road, or has ever had a road fitten done.

You did all this because Joe’s bike shop is doing it.

What are you good at?

Do you only commute and tour? I can guarantee you can sell the crap out of it if you own it. Be proud that you are a commuter. Show off your bike, feature it, OWN IT.

Build Together

Let Joe’s bike shop be a good road shop. If you aren’t a road shop, that’s okay. Be what you are good at. Send the roadies to Joe’s and work with Joe’s to send you the commuter and mountain bikers.

There is a Bigger Fight

Instead of competing with Joe’s bike shop for those 100 roadies you have in your town (and say you hate roadies), how about we figure out with Joe’s bike shop how to convert more people to bikes from golf, hiking, camping, kayaking, tennis & eating nacho’s at the local bar.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to OWN that 1% of the market if together we are all making the market bigger instead of splintering the market and making it weaker.

Hold on, wait a minute

Please don’t confuse this rant with saying every shop should specialize in one segment. I know many shops that cover the wide range of niche’s very well. They empower staff members, the buyers are educated, the owners are hands on. All very good…no GREAT things.

What I am saying is that looking at what the guy is doing across town to help you figure out what you should be doing, or allowing it to dictate what you sell or stock is wrong. Believing in what you do, marketing yourself, owning your brand and believing in bikes will get us all much further.

The bike shops in the same town should be fighting for the same rights and message.

We are all doing this because we love bikes and we want to make money. Now let’s get more people on a bike.

Preview of Louisville 2013–Cyclocross World Championships

0 Female cyclocross rider in Georgia.  Photo by Nathan Bolster.

A guest post from Laura Colbert of Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, GA

Normally, I’ve just started making my weekend plans by this time in the week, but I’ve had this weekend planned for months…maybe longer.  This weekend I’ll be traveling to Louisville, KY for the UCI Cyclocross World Championships!  So stoked right now!

This weekend in Louisville is sure to be amazing for several reasons:

1. It’s the first time that the CX World Championships has been held outside of Europe.  Last year, UCI gave Louisville a practice run with the Master’s World Championships.  The masters returned to Louisville again this year and brought the rest of the World Championship events with them.  The first time for anything is fun and challenging and special.  This weekend will set the bar for US-hosted world CX events.  If it goes well, maybe the World Championships will come back to the US.  If it doesn’t, you can bet that Europe will be hosting all the major CX races for years to come.

2.  It’s taking place in Louisville’s Eva Bandman Park.  Bandman Park is the only park in the U.S. that is specifically dedicated to the sport of cyclocross, which means that the course should be great.  If you want to preview the course, check out this guy’s blog.  If you want to know what cyclists and officials think about the course, Velo News has a great article with thoughts from a lot of the top cyclists that have ridden it.  If this weekend goes well, maybe other cities will consider building their own cyclocross specific venues.

3.  European-style excitement about cyclocross!  The event organizers say that they’re expecting 5000-6000 people to attend each day of the event.  In addition to massive crowds, I fully expect that we’ll see some amazingly ridiculous cheering and fanaticism.  Cyclocross is not exactly America’s national pass time, so American cyclocross events don’t often elicit the same enthusiasm that they do in Europe.  That will not be case this weekend.  The U.S.’s biggest cyclocross fans will be out in full force, with some back up from European visitors and guests from around the world.  Expect awesome crowds, creative fans (I bet we’ll see some face/body paint despite the cold temperatures), and lots of noise.

4.  The possibility of home court victories for the American cyclists!  If you’re not familiar with the US’s world champion roster, check out USA Cycling’s report and 22-person roster here.  I do not usually shine with national pride, but I inexplicably swell with patriotism during sporting events.  I can’t help it.  The world championships are here, at home, and may never return to US soil.  Our American cyclists have to make the most of this moment and capture some podium spots.  Win on their home court.  Prove to the Europeans that America can produce cyclocross champions.  Velo News has a good analysis the American chances of winning this weekend.

If you have a weekend with few plans and live in any state that borders Kentucky (or are otherwise reasonably close), you should cancel your plans and make your way to Louisville.  If you aren’t able to make it this weekend, no worries.  CX Magazine is live streaming the event right here.  Also, check the Louisville 2013 Facebook page for updates.

I’m going to be taking lots of pictures, checking out the course, pits, and venue, and talking to as many cyclists and spectators as I can.  Next week, I’ll be reporting back about the weekend and the races.  Leave a comment if you want me to try to chat with a specific cyclist, or get a picture of a particular part of the course, or whatever.  I’ll do my best.

Photo credit to Nathan Bolster of Bolster Photography.

Visiting the Pain Cave

2 Arleigh Pain Cave

Back in May I started conversation with a guy by the name of Steve Weller of Bell Lap Coaching. With my crazy schedule of juggling so many things I needed to find someone that could negotiate my available timing to give me the best quality workouts which would in return give me the best quality results. This is a long term investment, in myself, my riding and my lifestyle. I wouldn’t wake up being 50% faster but over time with dedication (and understanding from the family) I would become better than I was. Being able to hang onto a A/B group ride at one of my hot road shops…that is my ultimate goal.

In late May I started riding with a powertap strapped to the rear of two bikes, my Salsa Spearfish and my Foundry Auger. For the first month I was to just ride in the zones spelled out on my weekly training, these zones were mostly by feel and heart rate. Around mid June I went through my first threshold test in many years. The threshold test is in basic terms when you pin it and hold a level that you think you can hold for 20 minutes. In all of my years of going through these test I always am left feeling like a failure and that I could have pushed 5% more. That’s one of my goals this year, learning and finding that 5% more.

Fast forward to mid August. I had taken most of July off for travel, work and selling. Early August Steve and I got back on the gas. It was time to put quality work outs in to be successful this cyclocross season. Success for me this year is to cat up to CAT3 and not to be lapped by the 3′s.

This past Saturday I was scheduled to take another Threshold test. I did everything I should, ate well, went to sleep early and stayed relax in the morning. Of course I over looked that what date it was and of course mother nature decided to pay me a visit. 1/3 through my workout/warm up for the test I bailed. Could I have pushed through? Yes, but the results would have been worth it. Save the fight for another day.

That day was yesterday. I busted through my test and felt like failure at the end. I pushed hard, had a good 5 minute average, a okay 20 minute average and happy with the progress I’ve achieved from May through August, including taking most of a month off.

Progress is motivation. Finding myself on the road is motivation. Being excited to get into the drops and dig, is motivation.

Have you visited the pain cave lately? What did it feel like and what did you learn from it?

Exclusive Preview: Road Holland The Aalsmeer Jersey

2 Road Holland The Aalmsmeer

A sneak peak exclusive for Bike Shop Girl from our friends at Road Holland. The folks at Road Holland are pulling their subtle styles and beautiful reasoning into a lighter weight merino wool (and polyester) full zip jersey, The Aalsmeer.  It helps the jersey comes in two of my favorite colors, light blue and ORANGE! Did I mention they are being made in Miami?? Most of the photos displayed are the women’s jerseys but we are sneaking in a few of the guys for all you male lurkers out there! Road Holland The Aalmsmeer

Welcome The Aalsmeer Jersey from Road Holland

When we launched Road Holland, we were flooded with emails from women who applauded our no girly-girl flower print design aesthetic.  However, we underestimated a couple of things.  One – that women like full zip jerseys just as much as men (even moreso if they wear bibs and we’ll leave it at that…).  And two – that they really like Royal Orange.
We listened and The Aalsmeer, our newest poly-blend merino wool cycling jersey, is our response.
Cut from a lighter than air fabric, The Aalmsmeer is the perfect combination of sophisticated styling and serious performance.  We’ve included a subtle Road Holland crown embroidery on the collar which is then lined with a smart tulip print (the only flowers you’ll see on our jerseys!).
On the back, there are 3 ample cargo pockets and an exterior stash pocket that is perfect for holding credit cards and cash – things you don’t want flying out when you reach for that energy bar.
The Aalsmeer is available in Royal Orange (Go Cavs!), Carolina Blue (Go Heels!), and Milky White.
KEY FEATURES
79% Polyester / 21% Merino Wool
Road Holland embroidered accents
Striped print inside the collar
Three rear cargo pockets
Angled exterior stash pocket
Waist gripper
Earbud/headphone cord pass-through in middle pocket MSRP of $120
With an MSRP of $120 it makes these jerseys very competitive, as long as the fit goes along with all the wonderful things I have heard about Road Holland I’m sure these will be a knock out of the park.

What is the word Aalsmeer mean?

First, Road Holland names all their jerseys after a town in Holland (get it, Road Holland?) and Aalsmeer is where 90% of the world’s flowers pass through…. goes with our saying “women want real flowers, not flower prints on their Jerseys”

About Road Holland

We make serious and stylish cycling wear. Serious because cycling demands clothes that fit well, perform well, and last. Stylish because we believe riders shouldn’t look like ad-emblazoned corporate team clowns just because they are on two wheels. Do you wear a full Redskins kit for that casual weekend match of flag football? What about an authentic Yankees uniform for the afterwork softballl game? We didn’t think so. So if you’re looking for skin-tight, dye-sublimated cheap polyester with lightning bolts, cereal box characters, and team sponsor logos, you won’t find them here. You also won’t find any pretentious attitude here about what and who constitutes cycling. What you will find are friendly down-to-earth people with a love for top-notch materials, always in style designs with fun accents, and flattering cuts that make you look good on and off the bike, whether you are a male, a female, a whip thin racer, or a Clydesdale.

Road Holland is essentially two guys, the founder is Jonathan Schneider the designer and guy behind all the designs and reasoning. Richard Grossman seems to be the man keeping all the wheels turning in the background! Both having essential jobs to making Road Holland a quick success over their first year.

Commuting : How Not to Wear Spandex

6 Outlier Pants

Originally posted at our sister site : CommuteByBike.com

My tri-modal commute to Charlotte has partially changed my perspective of commuting concerns. One of these concerns is clothing which I’ll be deep diving in the next few articles.

Photo Credit : Outlier

Photo Credit : Outlier

Business Attire and Dress Codes

Since I now work back in the marketing and advertising industry there is more of a dress code than what you find in the bike industry. There are days that one is able to wear khakis or even jeans, but on the days that there is a slight chance of a meeting or client call those clothes won’t cut it.

Dress clothes, especially nice ones, don’t wear well for riding a bike and sweating. They also don’t do well with being shoved into a messenger bag. While I’m looking into a better solution of carrying the business attire, laptop and paperwork I still haven’t found it.

Shopping for Bike Friendly Dress Codes

While my better half cringes when we go shopping, I’ve been shopping for styling clothes that are “bikeable.” If I was a guy, this would be easy but it seems like the idea of technical fabrics and womens dress codes are very rare.

Thankfully the mornings have been cooler so I can pull off the 2.5 mile bike ride from the bus to work by simply rolling up my pants legs and pedaling slowly not to sweat. This won’t always be the answer, especially when it’s raining! (Currently those days I walk.)

Bikeable Work Clothes

What do you use? What brands or fabrics wear well and still can allow you to walk into a board meeting?