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Full Review: 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike

23 2012 Raleigh RX1 Cyclocross Bike

For the past month I have been cruising around on the 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s cyclocross bike. A good amount of people emailed and tweeted about the bike, so there must be an interest in women’s cyclocross! You can read the preview over yonder.

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Find Me at Interbike

5 interbike_logo2-1

Shortly, I’ll be headed to the airport for the hop down to Las Vegas for a few days at Interbike 2013. I’ll be there this afternoon through Thursday night, and most of the time found in the Pearl Izumi Custom booth (1525 I think!)

Unique for me this year is that I’ll be there working a booth. For the first time ever I’m not on official media business, though I do have a media pass and will be walking around Thursday afternoon to find goodies to share.

If you are at the show, come say hello. I love seeing smiling faces in a sea of confusion that is Interbike.

 

Review: Clif Bar Sierra Trail Mix

2 IMG_3574

Clif Bar is one of the original energy bars on the market and are a pretty standard energy snack on the trail or in a cyclist pocket. It’s great to see when they add more flavors to their options to keep people interested and not burnt out on their selection

Clif Bar Sierra Trail Mix $15 per box of 12

WCB13_388-Nutritionals_Clif-Bar_STM

Ingredients

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Roasted Soybeans, Organic Soy Flour), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Peanuts, Chocolate Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Unsweetened Chocolate‡, Cocoa Butter‡, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Organic Raisins, Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter (Organic Peanuts, Salt), ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Inulin, Organic Psyllium), Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Roasted Sunflower Seeds (Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Oil), Organic Date Paste, Sea Salt, Natural Flavors, Natural Vitamin E (Antioxidant).

IMG_3576

Taste Test

This bar really tast like a great bag of trail mix in a bar but with some additional moisture so you don’t have cotton mouth. It’s a welcoming difference of many bars with it’s chocolate chips, soy rice crisps, raisins and pumpkin seeds. Yummy goodness! I

f you are looking for an easy choice for calories in a wrapper, give this your own taste test and let me know what you think!

Race Report: Bouldergeist at San Lee Park

1 Stay Humble

My main goal for the 2013 season was to move from Sport to the Expert class. That was THE goal.

Thanks to a killer performance at the Winter Short Track Series I was moved up to Expert or CAT1. If you aren’t familiar with the difference of the two categories, it often is double the distance and sometimes on a different/harder course. Racing 22 miles on a rough, rocky, course was a bit humbling.

My first true race as an expert was at this past Sunday’s Bouldergeist at San Lee Park as part of Southern Classic Series.

The Race

Starting at the line there was 6 of us split between the two age groups, all I need to do was finish and I would be third. The start was on pavement, up a driveway climb and then left over gravel into the woods. The climb felt great on my legs, and entering the woods I slowed down to let some of the faster girls in front of me. It was a great feeling to have the hole shot, but I knew I would be in peoples way.

The course was pretty fast with nice twists, switch back climbs and some “rock” sections that with a proper pre-ride I would be able to clear easier. There was one section that only the Pros and Experts had to ride called Free Fall. I believe I walked 1.5 miles through this rock invested “trail.” Again, maybe with proper pre-ride and guidance I could have ridden more of this section, but it made me feel like a beginner all over again.

After the long walk through woods and over the rocks I was pretty mentally fried. It seemed like I was getting dehydrated and pretty disappointed. After that first lap I was done. There was an 8 hour drive infront of me and the idea of another 1.5 hours on the bike was not exciting.

The Aftermath

Thankfully I have a very supportive group around me. Constantly over the past 2 days I have been reminded that I made a big jump with my categories. It will take time to be able to hang, and then to be competitive. As an athlete this sounds bogus to me, but then I slow down and think of what I would tell someone else. They are right, I need a reality check and time towing the line. It will take time, I need to be patient and put more time on the saddle.

I don’t have another race until 6 Hours of Warrior Creek, here’s to as many long rides as I can fit in!

Motivational Monday with May

0 Motivational Monday with May

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

May Lauzon, Myrtle Beach, SC

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Triathlon/Shop & club group rides

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

You will be horrified to know that I did not ride a bike without training wheels until I was I believe EIGHT years old. I have some foggy recollections of my dad trying to teach me at a park, but it was a childhood friend that literally gave me the push I needed in the third grade.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

I’ve come a very long way since the days of third grade, and now I regularly help lead rides out of our local bike shop… Two groups of people highly motivate me. The first is the Cat 2/3/4 roadie guys that drive the pace really hard every Saturday morning, one being the owner of our bike shop whom I work for. The group of local triathletes that am lucky enough to call my “Iron-brothers” whom helped me prepare for my first 140.6 also keep the dream alive, they got me started on this journey.

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

I think one of the most exciting moments on the bike this past year was back in April at the USAT Collegiate National Championships. The atmosphere at that race is incredible, with over 1,200 college students bringing the spirit of over 100 schools all together for one race… Coming into the turn-around point for the second lap of the bike during the women’s race, the hundreds of men that were waiting for their start lined up three-deep to cheer on the girls. I was so proud to be wearing Coastal Carolina’s black and teal out on that course.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

I lovingly call my bikes my “babies,” and I have been known to kiss my race bike goodnight. I own a Trek Speed Concept tri bike named “Dr. Pink” that I love to bring in great splits on, then there’s my Trek Madone road bike named “Spangle” that I do fun group rides on, and last but not least I have a classic steel Trek cruiser called “Rosie” which I use during the summer months, especially back when I used to ride to work as a lifeguard at the beach.

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!

Review: Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

14 Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Bags seem to be an addiction for cyclist. You need something for your commute, your mountain riding, your city dwelling and grocery shopping. Finding a bag that can do a little bit of everything and not weigh 40 pounds at the end of the day is pretty important to me.

A few years ago I reviewed the Banjo Brothers Commuter bag. For everyday life the bag was just a bit too big for me. I loved the white color and functions but it was just too bulky for my back. A few weeks back Banjo Brothers sent a care package of review items, one of the bags inside was their newer Metro Backpack, in white of course. As the box was being unpacked my girlfriend quickly put her claim on the Metro Backpack for her daily commute to the hospital. As she is commuting 10 miles a day, 6 days a week, with an extra set of clothes, iPad, overnight “essentials”, lunch and books, I figured she’s a good candidate for testing out the Metro Backpack.

Metro Backpack Essential Details

  • MSRP: $74.99
  • Available in Black or White
  • 18 oz vinyl tarp material (for easier cleaning) with hanging liner for excellent water resistance
  • Full width wicking back pad
  • 12 interior and exterior pockets
  • Padded laptop pocket fits up to 10″ x 15″ notebooks
  • Cell phone holster included
  • Front and rear reflective tape and webbing tab for safety light
  • 16″H x 11″L x 6.5″W / 1100 cubic inches

Details that Mattered to Emily

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Not too big, not too small. The bag isn’t so big that you can overload and have too much gear on your back. You can stuff it, carry tons of stuff or whatever else you may but it’s right at 1100 cubic inches of space.

It’s white and has a large reflective strips. The added safety of a white bag with a large reflective strip across the back flap, a couple reflective strips on the shoulder straps and light holder is pretty thoughtful for when she is commuting at 5am.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

12 interior and exterior pockets. Each side of the bag has an outside pocket, perfect for a small u-lock, keys or waterbottles. The main flap has a pocket for items you need quickly but want under the protection of a zipper. Inside you have a large compartment with a padded laptop sleeve. Pen pockets, phone pockets and other smaller compartments to keep things organized.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Phone pocket on shoulder strap that fits a Lifeproof iPhone.

Waterproof. The fabric is waterproof, the flap would keep out water in most rain storms and the most water we deal with normally in Denver are sprinklers. I wouldn’t submerge the thing but it will be more than enough for most commuters.

Removable waist belt. She didn’t ever use it, so we simply unclipped it!

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

Compression straps on the sides. Keeps things snug, and when the bags not full you can make it a lot smaller.

Banjo Brothers Metro Backpack

What’s In Your Bag?

This is a blow out of what is normally in Emily’s bag for her daily commute.

What's In your Bag

Overall Feedback and Thoughts

The bag does not have the classic Banjo Brothers removable liner, which I am thankful for. This is a trimmer, and realistic bag for the everyday commuter (or smaller frame person.) It does still create a sweaty back on commutes over 15 minutes, but that’s really the only downfall of this bag.

There are a few things I would change if I had my way… The material they use is waterproof but that also makes it not stretch or flex very well. The interior and side pockets could be made out of a material that had a little give in it to allow things to get in and out easier. The material also has a lot of friction so sliding things like phones/pens/etc in and out the tight pockets can require two hands. (Note from Banjo Brothers: Truck tarp is stiffer than the ballistic nylon – white is truck tarp, and black and red are in standard ballistic nylon, which is a little more forgiving.)

For $75 I would be surprised if you found a bag comparable for everyday use and easy to use features with out too many thrills to over complicate the bag.

20% Discount with Banjo Brothers Through July

That’s right, Banjo Brothers wants to know if folks that read my reviews actually purchase stuff. They are offering a 20% off discount off anything if use BIKESHOPGIRL at time of checkout (case sensitive.) http://bit.ly/12SPsAu

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review. 

Colorado Cyclocross Calendar

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it’s my first year living in Colorado for cyclocross and I’m starting to get excited! The calendar on BRAC (Bicycle Racing Association Colorado) is lacking links and non-sanctioned races/clinics so in my effort of research, here is what I have found for cyclocross racing in Colorado.

Cross of the North 2012 – Men’s Open from Jamie Servaites on Vimeo.

August

20Formula Four Boulder

23 – FasCat & Jeremy Powers Cross Camp Boulder

27 – Relay Sixty Boulder

September

7 - Women’s Cyclocross Camp 2-5pm in Fort Collins. $25 for the camp
crosscamp
7 - Kick It Cross Festival 
Fort Collins

8Cross of the North Fort Collins

14 - Zero Gravel Cross Littleton

15 - Cyclo X Flatirons Mall Boulder

21 - Cyclo X Valmont Boulder

22 - Body Synx CX Golden

27 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

28 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

28 – Cyclo X Rhyolite Park

28 – Queens of Cross Arvada

28 – LTR CX #1 Grand Junction

29 – BRAC Junior Cyclocross Camp

29 – Storm the Castle Castle Rock

October

5 – Frisco Cross Frisco

6 – Primalpalooza Arvada

19 – Colorado Cross Classic Boulder

20 – Boulder Cup Boulder

26 – Cyclo X Xilinx 

26 - LTR CX #2 Grand Junction

27 – Frites CX Parker

November

2 – Schoolyard Cross Brighton

3 – Feedback Cup Golden

9 – Cyclo X Interlocken

9 - LTR CX #3 Grand Junction

10 – Blue Sky Cup Longmont

16 – Cyclo X Louisville Louisville

17 – Mile Hi Urban Cross Denver

23 – Cyclo X Westminster Westminster

23 - LTR CX #4 Grand Junction

24 – Green Mtn Sports CX #2

28 – Turkey Cross Morrison

30 – Castle Cross Castle Rock

December

1 – Cowboy Cross Denver

7 – Cyclo X Boulder Boulder

8 – The RLW “in Memoriam” Cx 

14 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville

15 – Colorado CX Championships Louisville

28 – Tune-up Cup Golden

 

Review: Bern Allston Helmet

10 Bern Allston Helmet Review

Back in July I introduced Bern Helmets’ new ventilated model, the Allston. With a couple months of testing, three different reviewers and some matchy handlebar tape, I’m ready to give you my opinion.

The Bern Allston

The Allston has 16 vents, weighs in at a claimed 13 ounces and comes in 4 colors. With the classic Bern visor style, lighter weight and a decent amount of ventilation this is going to turn some fixie riding heads!

Key Details

MSRP: $89.99
Colors: Matte Black, Matte Grey, Matte Neon Green, Satin White
Features: 16 vents, 13 ounces, Available in 3 sizes (M, L, XL), Snap in liners to make this an all season helmet

Wear Test

The size Medium that showed up in Neon Green fit many heads. The nicest feature of this helmet in my mind is the liner that comes pre-installed. With a baseball cap flap, the adjustment comes from a soft fabric being tightened by velcro at the back. There isn’t a plastic cage tightening against your scull, it also acts as a sweat catcher!

Bern Allston Helmet Review

Ride Test

Bern Allston Test Riding

For bike commuting and low milage city riding this is a great go-to helmet. The vents allow some air flow but the skateboard style shell wraps around your head, a bit lower than most bike helmets these days.

I wouldn’t ride this helmet for 20+ miles unless it’s <60 degrees. While it has good airflow, it isn’t a match for ventilation like Lazer, Giro or Specialized.

Overall Opinion

If you want a great looking helmet, look here. If you want a helmet that can add some warmth in the winter, look here. If you are looking for a solid mountain bike or road helmet and you are often sweating or in warmer temps, do not look here.

I’m a huge fan of the helmet for the right purpose. In city bike shops Bern is selling like hotcakes. The style of the helmet is undeniable and a huge step up from their standard low vent styles.

Support Bike Shop Girl

Looking for a Bern helmet? If you can’t find something at your local bike shop, click through to JensonUSA as I make a commission off all sales you purchase after clicking through from Bike Shop Girl.

Disclaimer: This helmet was provided at no charge for review purposes.