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Finding the Soul to Ride

34 Finding the Soul to Ride

Finding the Soul to Ride

We all know by now, I was hit by a car two months ago.   To this date I haven’t been able to ride on the road. I haven’t mentally been able to prepare myself, or get over the gut wrench that I think about when I think about riding.

I’ve taken the steps.  I changed out the saddle, stem and handlebar on a Raleigh Clubman that’s in my garage from a review.  Now, swap the pedals and pump up the tires.. it is ready to roll.

Someone please get me on my bike, on the road… block out all the thoughts and feelings that I feel.  Get me there.  Now.

 

Tomorrow is my Birthday, This is What I’m Wishing For

2

November 13th is the day that I annually turn one year older, or my mother reminds me that she was in labor for four painful days with me. Either way, I’m going to be older which means I’ll be wiser.   I plan on getting up before the sun, riding my yet to be unveiled bicycle and then go golfing with my parents.

In an effort to take steps forward with my life, and in hopes that I’ll be the change I want to see in the world I am going to publish my wish list of various things.  Please add your own in the comments! Continue reading →

First Race of 2011 : DFL

5 NC Cyclocross

This morning I attended my first cyclocross race of the year, and notably the first one in over a year and a half. There were two goals going into my women’s CX4 race, first was to finish and the second was not to be lapped.  Going into the race I wasn’t too sure of the latter, I knew I could pedal around slowly for 30 minutes but to keep in front of all the other ladies is another story.

Prep Work and Bicycle Builds

Never build a bicycle days before a race without being able to ride it, never make major changes like gearing or tires with out being able to test ride.  I tell this to every client and I’m telling this to you, are you listening?  Well, I don’t listen to myself.  I built my Raleigh singlespeed on Thursday, test rode on Friday.   The gearing was way too tough, and so I changed the gearing on Friday night (the night before my race.)

Singlespeed Cyclocross am I Crazy?

This will be a follow up article, but you need to know the basics – I love riding single speed and very excited to expand on riding it in cyclocross races.

Go Time at the Races

I warmed up in a thick windstopper jacket and jeans over my bibs and knee warmers.   It was cold, not as cold as Minneapolis but it was cold and I haven’t been riding outside to be broken in.  When the sun was shining and the wind wasn’t blowing, it was bearable but when the wind blew and the sun went behind the clouds – it was HORRID.  One jacket was dropped at the finish line, and my jeans with other jacket were stripped off at the start line.   Then it was go time.

The race was basic, I started at the back, ended at the back and was passed by a great amount of the juniors then lapped by the guys in the single speed class.   I didn’t want to do my last lap, I was within 45 seconds of being lapped at the finish line but thankfully a good friend was there to push me along.

Motivation

Achieving what I set out to, not pulling off before the last lap, pounding on the pedals or walking up the hills.  I’m proud.  After the last three months and what has happened, I’m proud of myself and motivated.   This is the perfect way to kick off the season and I can’t wait until the next race in 8 days!

Velo Orange Leather Bar Tape Review

4 Velo Orange Bar Tape

A few months ago when I was trying to inspire myself to get back on the road bike, I changed out some parts on the Raleigh Clubman I had received for review.   I made it a bit more “women’s fit” and classed it up with Velo Orange Leather Bar Tape.   I’ve always loved the look and feel of the Brooks leather bar tape but it was a crazy price to try out a new type of bar wrap.

Details of the Velo Orange Leather Bar Tape

MSRP : $45-55 from VO (currently they have it on sale for $45!)

Colors : Honey Brown or Black

Initial Preview & Installation of the VO Leather Bar Tape

When I received the leather bar tape I was hesitant to install, to be honest it sat in my parts bin for a couple months after receiving due to be run over by a car and the lack of will to ride.  Slowly I realized the bar tape, among other things, is what I needed.  I needed to find beauty in road cycling again.

Installing the bar tape is much tougher than installing normal cork style bar tape.   There is next to no give and the bar tape in the bend of the bar wants to crease.   I had to try two or three times to get it right and have enough to end properly on my 42cm bar.  This may be due to liking more padding and overlapping half of the wrap as I went around, but I don’t know how it would wrap a 46cm bar and not be super thin.  Or, quite possibly my upper body strength isn’t what it should be to wrap leather bar wrap?

Riding with Leather Bar Wrap

The words I can put in this paragraph won’t sum up how nice the leather feels in your hands.   It reminds me of a well loved baseball glove, or settling into an expensive car with the glamorous baseball glove leather seats.   Grabbing on to the bars, and the soft feel that the bar wrap gives back is like a nice hug back from your bike.   The padding is another story.  I have to wear gloves when riding this bike, and padded gloves are not something I normally wear.

Other Notes

If you look closely at the pictures there are two where the bar wrap was stitched together half way through the roll.

White leather would be hot.

Overall Impression

If I had a carbon fiber 14lb road or cyclocross bike,  I wouldn’t use this bar wrap. For a nice classic steel ride, this will be my staple bar wrap.  No question.  And the $55  is well worth it as it will last 5x more than the cork wrap.  When installing it again, I may find one of my strapping muscle clad friends to help man handle the leather, but its good to know the bar tape will be able to take it!

Find online at Velo Orange

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

Balancing Act of Riding and Family

1 Arleigh Jenkins

Arleigh Jenkins
This Saturday was much of the same if you have an active family with kids, and you’re a cyclist wanting to get in a longer bike ride.   I have a road bike to test out and review, a Raleigh Capri 4.0.  There’s lacrosse games on the other end of the city.  50 miles by car, 48 miles by bike.   The lacrosse game starts at 12pm, which means I need to leave around 8:30 in the morning to get there and changed in time.

Charlotte SkylineI quickly setup two bottles – one with Perpetuam, one insulated with plain water.   In my pockets I shove Gu Chomps and an extra bag of Perpetuam incase I go over the 3 hour mark or its crazy hot.

Out door.
Down 115 for about 19 miles.
Through Davidson and pass the Collier Lily ride.
Next is Cornelius, Huntersville.
Time trialing through the ghetto.
A quick photo of the skyline shot of uptown Charlotte.
Through Charlotte I roll.
Around 4th ward sending mental hello’s to Ben Wilson as I pass his flat.
A short cut down an alley with many memories.

Through Dilworth.
Down East Blvd.
Booty Loop in reverse.
Colony to Rea
Rea to Ballantyne Commons
Right on Tom Short
Fields on right.

The shock and amazement of all the parents that I RODE my BIKE there? 

Just a side note, make sure to pack extra calories if you’re going to be there all day long pack more snacks! I got a bit cranky at the end of the day do to lack of food and a ton of sun.

 

 

Motivational Monday: Cynthia Chin

0 Cynthia Chin Motivational Monday

What’s your name and location?

Cynthia Chin, the tropical climes of Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo).

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Both road and trail.

What is your first cycling memory?

Learning how to cycle on an old red raleigh (over 30 years ago), zipping downslope and crashing into my neighbour’s fence. I swear you can still see the dent today.

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

Riders: Georgena Terry, for having women in mind when it come to bikes. The bunch of people I ride with, for putting me on a bike every time. The women riders of my town, for riding with me, and for riding. Period.

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Learning to go offroad.

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

Commute to work, ride at least 100km a week, minimum. Increase my cadence, lower my heart rate.

My Bikes, are you curious?

My rides: Road: Fuji Roubaix 3.0 Hardtail: Fuji Tahoe Comp.

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!

Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Lisa Cramton

6 Lisa Cramton on a single speed

Light & Motion Motivational Monday

This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!

Lisa Cramton on a single speed

What’s your name and location?

Lisa Cramton, recent transplant to Phoenix via Laguna Beach, CA and Crested Butte, CO all within the last 11 months!

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

All kinds, but if I had to pick one…. My Niner Air 9 Carbon SingleSpeed. What doesn’t kill you makes you faster!

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding my bike around the block singing at the top of my lungs (in the deepest gravely voice I could find) “Jeremiah was a bullfrog… Was a good friend of mine…” I wish I had that on film.

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

SO MANY!! Without a doubt, a man I have known for 20+ yrs, Dave Wiens because of his humility, love of the sport and dedication to getting more people involved. He’s the man!! Doug Bradbury,father of mtn bike suspension, for most of the same reasons! The folks at the back of the pack always inspire me. The peeps out on the Tour Divide, I can’t stop watching!! Check it out here, isn’t it OBVIOUS?? Ned O, will he ever quit racing? I hope not!! Pro rider Jenny Smith, she gives back so much… Any pro that goes to a trail work day… I could go on…

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Either SS Worlds in New Zealand (pic) or my last ride in Crested Butte before we moved to LA, Reno Flag Bear Deadmans, one of the best rides in the universe. I cried most of the way… I miss the riding there SO MUCH!!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011? RIDE MORE… Hmm… There are a few goals I have… Because we have moved 3x in the past year I have gotten out of volunteering for trail work, I spent a summer working on the IMBA Trail Care Crew and LOVE diggin’ in the dirt! Being in the industry and pushing the drug we call cycling, I think it’s pretty important to give back whether it’s by volunteering at an event, course marshaling at a race,, doing trail work, taking kids riding, whatever you can find to give back, DO IT!
I also want to find a way to do customer service clinics at shops, especially for women. Show women that they can be comfortable helping guys in bike shops, that they know how to answer the technical questions, show them how to approach/talk to “dudes”. The ladies don’t have to be there just to clean the bathrooms, sell bike tubes and tidy the clothing section! I found working at crankbrothers that people have a tendency to be super defensive when asking questions or talking about warranty stuff, especially to a woman and it doesn’t have to be that way. I also want to go into shops and show the shop rats that they will get much better results calling the bike vendors not ready to rumble! The bike companies want to help you not bum you out. AND…! JRA is NOT covered under warranty, ’cause there’s always more to the story!!

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I JUST sold a GF SS Superfly as well as a geared one (I never rode it other then La Ruta ’08), I have a Niner SIR frame I want to build up 1×9, a Niner Air 9 Carbon SS (my main squeeze), an older Lemond road bike, a Felt Breed SS CX (makes for an excellent commuter), an Electra 3sp tandem with flames on the fenders for dates, my first road bike (’85?) a Raleigh Racing Comp, a 60′s era Schwinn Typhoon and an old skip tooth Firestone Pilot with a ’54 Gunnison bike plate on it!