Empowering women in cycling

Searching for “road holland”

Finding the White Line

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When people ask me what time of rider I am normally say a mountain biker. It isn’t true though. I started out fascinated with road biking and racing, and happened to enjoy the adventure of mountain biking a lot over the past 5 years.

Recently I picked up a Foundry Auger B1 as a rep sample. Built as a cyclocross bike I took the knobs off and put on some Michelin Pro4 tires and have been treating it as my road bike.  The miles of bonding with that bike are growing, at the end of the rep sample season it will be hard to let it go. The 25c tire on the front and powertapped wheel on the back have become my main vehicle of training next to my prized Salsa Spearfish.

The Moral of this Rant

It is funny that I live in the bike industry and yet it has taken 5 years and a cyclocross bike to make me fall back in love with road riding. Less than a month on it and I’m already looking forward to my next road ride. When training plans say to go either MTB or Road I am now torn on which to go with. This is an exciting twist in my cycling life and a door that has opened back up with passion and love for a sport I grew up in.

Once you’ve been riding for awhile you often forget the fun you had on your first bike, you also forget how a new bike – the perfect bike – can harness so many emotions and create a great motivation to ride further and faster than before.

Holiday Wish List for Bicyclist: Stocking Stuffers

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Ideas for what to put in that stocking of the cyclist you love, or me!

Lizard Skins Bar Tape or Ergon Grips

Fresh new bar tape from Lizard Skins or Ergon GP2 grips are the easiest way to freshen up a bike. I’m also a big fan of both of these for long training miles in the winter. Happy hands = Happy Arleigh

DeFeet Honey Badger Xmas Socks

Honey Badger + Socks made in North Carolina, how much more awesome could you get?

Gels, Bars and All Things Nutrition

My personal favorites for this category: Gu Chomps, Hammer Gel in large jugs, Kit Organic Bars (live on these things while traveling)

Kinetic Koffee

Ritz and his crew love bikes, support many causes and have the best hug to be found at tiring trade shows. Your local bike shop can order, or you can order direct. My personal favorite is Breakfast Buzz, Bike Shop Girl will probably have a private label of this after the holidays!

Lights and more Lights

It’s that time of the year that either it’s dreary on your road ride or you aren’t mountain biking after work because you can’t see. Help out your cyclist, keep them riding and safe!

On the road option 1: To be seen, this is for the front and back on the road when it’s getting dark. I’m a fan of the new Knog Blinder lights as they charge with a built in USB and add some personality to your bike.

On the road option 2: I’m biased, I LOVE the folks at Light & Motion. The  gift set will add some much needed visibility and you can see with the 200 lumen headlight, unless you’re rolling at 25mph. Both are charged by a USB cable, saving the planet one battery at a time.

 On the trail: Light & Motion is what I run almost exclusively. They are water proof, bomb proof, and the company (as mentioned) rocks. If your loved one doesn’t have anything to trail ride with I would recommend the Taz 800 or the Seca 800. The biggest advantage of the Seca is being able to run on your helmet (my preference) and a separate battery so you can charge others or have backups for long rides.

Strava and Garmin Geeks Rejoice

Does your loved one ride non-stop with a Garmin strapped to their bike? Class it up a bit with this K-Edge mount.

For the Single Speeder in your Life

Endless (another NC based company) is now anodizing their cogs to order!

Road ID

EVERY bicycle rider needs one of these. Or two. Or four. It won’t prevent an accident, but it could save their life and notify you faster!

Gift Card

If all else fails, a gift card to your local bike shop towards merchandise or service would make any bicyclist happy!

Masi Bicycles Women’s Road Line

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There’s a take on women’s designed product the basics are shorter top tube because women (most women) have longer legs and a shorter upper body.   The shorter top tube and over all length of the bike allows for easier reach to handlebars, better fitting for someone with those long legs.

Masi has a take that those shorter tubes and steeper angles change the feel of the bike.   Instead they have simply made a couple of their key models smaller, changed colors and most importantly the touch points of the bike.  Touch points are narrower handlebars, seatpost that aren’t leaned so far back, shorter stem and an over all reach on the bike that allows you to use your brakes or shifters correctly.

Welcome the Bellissima line.  Tim Jackson of Masi isn’t sold on the pink, but I am.   Now to sell him on the idea of one model that runs smaller than 48cm.  Allowing our youth to get into the sport at a decent price would be very rewarding.

Basics of Riding with a Road Group

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Family Fun Group Ride

You’ve been riding for a while and are getting bored or anxious to get out riding with some people.  Riding with a group or with a couple friends is a very unique feeling and once you get the hang of it can make you a stronger rider.  Below I have put together some key things to remember when group riding and then some helpful hints.  I can’t harp enough to remember safety and to ask a lot of questions. Continue reading →

Motivational Monday with Robin Farina

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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. Do you know someone that motivates and inspires you? Send us your answers and photo to Girly@BikeShopGirl.com

Robin Farina National ChampionRobin Farina is a local bike shop owner, cycling coach and a women’s professional road cyclist. I’ve had the honor to know her for many years, and even to be coached by her a few years ago. Her personality and drive is exactly what the professional circuit needs, to add to this last weekend she won the USA National Road Race in Augusta, GA!

What’s your name and location?

Robin Farina Charlotte, NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

All kinds of cycling. Mainly race on the road but I love a good mtn bike ride and cyclocross ride

What is your first cycling memory?

Crashing on wet pavement on my bright shiny Schwinn when I was about 10 years old. It ripped off my fingernail.

Robin Farina National Champion

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

Right now I am pretty inspired by women racers that have balance going on in their lives. Obviously you can not get rich making it as a racer so it’s vital to continue on a career path or an education. Specifically right NOW, I am inspired by Louise Keoghan. She and her husband Phil Keoghan started the new professional Women’s Cycling Team, Now and Novartis for MS. Louise is passionate about cycling and a driven professional. She is an example of what women in our sport should aspire to be. It’s fantastic that racers have a competitive edge that needs to be fulfilled but it’s more important that we take the steps to keep the sport growing and support other women in cycling. She is leading by example with their Now and Novartis for MS team project.

What was your best moment on a bike in 2011?

Winning the USA National Road Race Championships last Sunday. It’s the biggest honor you can win for your country. I am still in shock about it.

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

Before I can look to next year, I am pretty focused on the rest of my season and now I get to go to the World Championships in Denmark in Sept so that will be a big focus for the latter part of the season for me.

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I have one of every kind. Road bike – Specialized Amira, TT bike – Specialized Transition and a Cannondale Slice, Cross bike – Blue, Mountain bike – Giant 29′er, Cruiser – Electra Tocina: Each have a purpose and ridden often!

My Bikes: Foundry Cycles Auger B1

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As a rep for Quality Bicycle Products I have many bikes that are ridden and driven all around the Southeast. They are *all* considered demo’s, so if you are in the southeast and want to try out one of my bikes let me know in the comments or drop me a line on the contact page.

The newest bike in my fleet is a cyclocross bike from Foundry Cycles. When looking through all the brands I rep for my next cyclocross bike for the upcoming season I was automatically drawn to the Auger. Late last season I had raced a Ridley X-Fire, while I enjoyed it immensely (and will probably end up on a disc version this year) the geometry was more race driven than I wanted to ride this summer and I also wanted to try something different. Continue reading →

Motivational Monday with Julia

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WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Julia, Gainesville, FL

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

All: Road, MTB, multi-use trails with the family

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

Crashing on my banana seat bike in the second grade and getting stitches from splitting my lip on that big Y frame handle bar!! Good times!

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

Myself, my friends and family. I enjoy being healthy and riding outside. I love riding in Gainesville, we have so many trees and wonderful places to ride. San Feslasco is a mountain bike paradise with beautiful deer and challenging elevations.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

Sharing events with my son. I am really excited about the youth development races that I am starting to see pop up more and more. I think it is important to spark more interest with outreach programs like youth races and youth mountain bike series or occasional lessons in the community. I have seen a few LBS sponsor not only a Summer MTB race series, but also a meet and greet with a few lessons. I love this. I think it fosters a long term love not only for cycling but for the places where they get to cycle.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

We have nine bikes in our garage at this moment: My old MTB, my road bike, my boyfriend’s road bike, his rain bike, his commuter bike, his MTB, My son’s road bike, his commuter (MTB) bike and my other son’s commuter bike. We will be adding a Cx bike and another MTB bike this year. SO excited!!!

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!