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Arleigh Jenkins 2012 Burn 24
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2012 Burn 24 Hour Race Recap

The secret of discipline is motivation. When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself. -Alexander Paterson

Every race you do, you must take away something from it. Learn, develop and strive to be that much better the next time. Often the fight you are picking is with yourself. To be a better rider, a better person.

Pre-Ride

Last Friday I went up and setup our camp with the help of pit boss, Kimberlee. She graciously drove an extra hour each direction so that I had an extra set of hands to setup three tents and carry everything I would need over the next 2.5 days.

Once everything large was in place and I helped a bit with registration I pre-rode the course very slowly. I have learned the course pretty well over the past year but making notes of sections to take slow at night, pull off’s incase I needed to stop for food, etc etc.

The biggest thing I was debating was if I wanted to wear a Camelbak or not. The temperatures would be hot which means I should drink more water, but it also means the Camelbak would be adding a ton of heat to my bag during the day. I finally decided I would start with the Camelbak and see where it took me.

Last Minute Prep

After pre-riding and seeing how slick the roots were going to be at night I swapped my front Michelin Wild Race’r for the Maxxis Ardent. My new Powertap rear wheel had the Wild Race’r on it, which I would run during the day, swapping to the Fulcrum Red Metal XL wheel with Ardent as I entered my night laps.

I putzed around camp the morning of, moving things around, preparing some bottles, and keeping my brain occupied.

Arleigh Jenkins Burn 24

Lap 1-4

My goal was to look at the 24 hours in 4 blocks of 6 hours. My lap times stayed consistent but my pit times were getting longer. My wrist were killing me as I was taking the downhills pretty darn fast (it really is the only thing I’m good at) and I kept forgetting to take out some PSI everytime I came through the pit.  In the first lap I also quickly realized my normal staple drink of Perpetuam wasn’t sitting well in the heat. Even though I have used it for hundreds of miles this year in training, my stomach wasn’t liking it. Around lap 3 I left my Camelbak at the bit and switched to only carrying one bottle of water, a packet of gu chomps and a gel flask. At the halfway point I would stop and down some gel, drink half my bottle and fill it back up.

Arleigh Jenkins Burn 24 Hour

Lap 5-7

I needed to switch shorts, my wrist were causing my hands to lose grip on the bars, I probably wasn’t getting enough food, I needed to find my groove.

Lap 7 is when I put lights on. The Seca 1400 was absolutely freaking awesome. I should have had it on my head, not my handlebars. I always use my main light on my helmet, almost never running it on the handlebar. For the first lap I figured I had enough day light to get through and could just run it on my handlebar.

Bad choice. 

3/4 through the lap, just as you start pointing downhill for the last section, I caught something on a tree. Feet before the rock garden. As I was thrown hard to the ground, my head hit hard, followed by my shoulder and hip. I knew I had to get out of the way, I was in a blind turn and it was dark. If I didn’t move I would get run over. I pulled myself and the bike off the trail to take an assesment of damages. My arm was killing me, my left ankle was killing me from being stuck in the bike as it turned around, my shoulder and collar bone didn’t seem broken which was my initial thought. I started talking to my bike, willing it to simply get me down the mountain and back to my pit. It did just that. I don’t remember much about getting down the mountain. I pulled into my pit and never would leave it again.

My race was over.

The medics checked me over. My shorts and possibly jersey were ruined. I still haven’t checked over my bike. I remember sitting, shivering, in shock. Trying to make light of it all. Faces of my pit crew, the race director and my family all staring at me in the candlelight. Everything hurt. Looking back now I’m glad I didn’t get it in my head to get back on the bike. As it is now 3 days after the race, it still hurts to walk and my body is super banged up. My biggest fear would have been in the slippery night I would have gone down again, or jerked something the wrong way and been left sitting out on the side of the trail waiting for the 4 wheeler to come get me.

Arleigh Jenkins Burn 24 Hour

Hindsight

One of the guys on the crew, Ben, was keeping my moving lap times. He didn’t show them to me when I was riding but I looked at them the next morning. I was consistently turning hour lap riding times. This isn’t pit times, as those got longer and longer, but the moving time. That made me happy to see. That motivates me to strive onas on Saturday night as I sat there, I never wanted to ride that trail again.

Last year I did 8 laps over 24 hours, sleeping about 7 of those 24. This year I did 7 laps in the first 9 hours. That’s improvement in my eyes.

I need to continue to work on climbing, dial in exactly what I need as the hours go by from food, to chamois selection and motivation.

Thank You Notes..

Ben Wilson

Though I was only on the bike for 9 hours I owe a great amount of thank you’s.

Kimberlee – Next year she will have a shirt that says pit boss. The only person I trusted as my brain went mush. From food, to entertaining and grounding as the hours went by.

Ben – pure entertainment, time keeper and comedian. He is also really good at putting away a tent!

George – drove up to help and ride with me in the middle of the night. Unfortunately I wrecked out just as that was supposed to happen. He also checked on our dogs and fed them.

Family – It was great to see my parents, they had never to been to an event like this so it was stellar that they could drive down and see what I do for fun.

Wes – The mechanic of the hour came at the exact moment I needed my rear wheel changed and cranks checked over. Next year I need him there the whole time!

Hampton Inn Wilkesboro - The clean sheets and shower were much needed after the abuse I put myself through.

Jason Bum – Race director and stand up guy. He puts on a great event and does it with a smile.

Chris Strout & Family – Chris was a stellar motivator as he hit lap after lap with his solo efforts. His wife Kim and kids were motivating just for being there, smiling and encouraging.

Rickshaw VELO Backpack
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Review: Rickshaw Velo Backpack

“Made right here in San Francisco, The medium Velo edition backpack is an exercise in minimalist design — sleek, simple, lightweight, black. My goal was to address the essential functionality of the everyday, all-purpose carry-all — nothing less, nothing more. I wanted a casual, yet stylish, alternative to the old-school book bag and the over-built wilderness pack — while still working with technical fabrics rather than canvas and leather.”

-Mark Dwight Founder and designer

Meet the Rickshaw Velo Backpack

• MSRP: $139
• Fully customizable
• Ultra light weight at 1.5 lbs
• Waterproof X-Pac™ sailcloth, YKK water-proof zippers
• Top-loading main compartment for quick access
• Seatbelt shoulder straps
• Reflective strip and light loops
• Removable padded 13″ laptop sleeve or document pouch
• Organizational front pocket
• Padded base and lumbar support.
• Made to order in our own San Francisco workshop.
• Dimensions: 15.5” H x 11” W x 5” D (16” top zipper)
Rickshaw Velo Backpack

Initial Thoughts of the Velo Backpack

Pulling the bag out of the box I could tell right away that this is a top quality bag. The seams, fabric choices and the attention to detail is superb!

As the designer stated in the quote above, this is a minimalistic, functional bag for everyday use.  You aren’t going to over load it, or use it for epic trips but for the everyday girl bag that needs to work as a backpack but not weigh you down – this is going to work well

Customization

When talking to Rickshaw about reviewing this bag it was offered to make a customized version. I jumped at the chance picking a bright color that is easy to spot but won’t show dirt horribly. The process is super simple with the Rickshaw online customizer and the back arrived about a week later.

Using the Velo Backpack

The bag is super light weight and easy to move from backpack to tote with the comfortable straps. The backpack straps are of seat belt material, making them wide and comfortable but not too heavy duty. This bag was meant to get you through the day but not to carry tons of weight.

When using it at a farmer’s market it easily was carried as a tote filled with corn and then swung around on to my back for walking or biking.

It’s a verily slender bag, fitting my bag well and leaving room for visibility when looking behind me on a bike.

Rickshaw VELO Backpack

Conclusion of the Rickshaw Velo Backpack Review

These days cycling inspired bag companies are popping up in all areas of the United States.  The quality of Rickshaw and the “handmade in the USA” all have meaning, add in that you customize your bag to your liking and I can’t think of another bag with these features at this price point.

The need to carry my iPad or MacBook Air with wallet and essentials leads me to using this bag more. Walking or riding down to the local coffee shop or office is what this bag was made for. You aren’t going to use this bag to carry you’re whole life but if you are looking for something trim and durable for the every day needs, check out the Rickshaw Velo Backpack.

Disclaimer: This bag was provided at no charge for review

Salsa Casseroll
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Full Review: 2012 Salsa Cycles Casseroll

For the past couple months I have been riding the 2011 Salsa Casseroll on the road, on side streets, commuting, off the beaten path and really it has been the bike strapped to the roof of my car while traveling all over NC, SC and TN. I will be sad when I have to send this bike back as it truly is the Cadillac of road bikes (minus the drivetrain.) You can read the preview over yonder before you dive into my full review.

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What’s in Your Bag?

Seat Bag

A common question seems to be : What’s in your bicycle bag?

The bag they are referring to could be my seat bag found under most of my saddles, one of my messenger type bags slung over my back on the way to work or the store, or maybe my Camelbak on the way to the local mountain bike trail.

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

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! Read More

Colorful Knog Lights

Safety is a big thing for me.  Helmets, lights and brakes on those fixed gear bikes are all important things.  Any customer that comes through the shop getting into cycling or buying a new bike the two must accessories are a well fit helmet and a rear blinky light.  So that I don’t sounds like I’m pushing things at them I explain the basics, you have one head (duh) and a good light will give drivers a good warning that you are up the road.

Today I’ll be talking about Knog’s colorful line of blinky lights.

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Where Do You Go Now?

A follow up from a few Friday’s ago..October 1st.  The first day of October Two Thousand Ten.  10,01,10.

TGIFThank God It’s Friday

That’s what I kept saying to myself a few Friday’s ago.     It was the first day of October, which at work meant that all the month end reports, analytics and answers for clients were needed to be finalized.

As I ended my business day, still very proud of myself for working out at lunch, I exchanged my work pants and shoes for cycling mountain bike shoes and cycling knickers.  I hopped on my bicycle to ride .5 miles to the bus station.

The weather was phenomenal – the fall in Charlotte, NC is my favorite time of the year.  70º, sunny and blue skies.

Took a left out of the parking lot. Stop at the 4 way intersection.  Straight, and then a right hand turn onto South Blvd.  Double check the rear Cateye blinky before I go under the Morehead bridge. Under the bridge there is a dark overcast shadow, and an exit ramp of an Interstate.  Double checking all angles, cruising through with ease.  I smile – it is a great day and a great way to begin the weekend.

Stop at the traffic light

At the intersection of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, I stop at a red light.  Time the next light well to roll through easily with the green.

Slowing

At the intersection of South Caldwell and 3rd Street.  This intersection always has cars pulling illegally from the parking lot on the right.  Tap the brakes once more as an oncoming car comes to a stop in the left hand lane.

Continue forward

Spot movement at my 11 o’clock.  The car that was stopped is now moving, pedal to the metal actually.

Where Do I Go?

I angle my path 45º right in hopes the cars screeching tires will stop the vehicle, in hopes I’m giving the car more room to stop.  My path was too far right.  There’s a steep curb, there is a car & a curb & I am between them.

Screeching Tires and Yells from Pedestrians

The car didn’t stop in time.  The car hit my legs and the rear of my bike.  Folding the rear end of my cyclocross bike and back wheel.  I quickly bounced from the car to the ground.

Panic and Yells from Pedestrains

Shock.
Shaking.  Multiple people kept me on the ground. Making me lay flat on my back.  “Are you okay?”…”What’s your name?”….”Call 911!!”

Shock.
Fear. I refuse to look at my body.  Extreme pain in my left back & hip from hitting the car & asphalt.  I see my bike in tangles at my feet.

Shock.
Shaking.  I’m a statistic.  I’m yet another person to be hit on a bicycle in the area just this year.  I can’t be a statistic.  How can I tell people that commuting by bike is safe?  I’m not safe. I’m hurt. I’m a statistic.

Shock.
Alone.  I repeatedly make a complete stranger call friends & family.  Please, someone answer!

Shock.
Sirens. More fear.

Shock.
Confusion. Am I broken?  Please call my mom. Where’s my bike going?  I’m on the ambulance.  Needles and poking.  Questions.

Shock.
More shaking.  The ambulance ride is hard, and rough.   The ER is responsive, there was a cyclist among the doctors.  They made me feel safe for a moment.  X-rays.  They need Cat Scans they say.  Finally, I get through to my girlfriend on the cellphone.

Shock.
Neck brace, back board and I’m waiting for a Cat Scan. All I can see is the ceiling tiles above my head.  There’s screaming.  A major car wreck and multiple people needed to get through cat scans.  Hearing screaming wasn’t helping my nerves.  I tell my nurse to let them go through first.  I could wait.  One bed pain later, and one hour later.. I’m still waiting.

Catscan. Finally two guys there that have personality that help give me the catscan.  They talk to me like I’m human.

Family and friends.  My girlfriend and boss find me soon.  The morphine drip is wearing off. Drugs, wheel chairs and finding my bicycle in the utility closet of the hospital parking lot.

Shock.
They give me more drugs.  I’m trying not to think.  The car drive makes me panicked. I no longer feel safe outside of my four walls.

Mom.
My mom arrives at what I think was 3am.

I’m a statistic yet again.  My freedom is not mine.  My legs are not my own.

Where do I go from here?

(No spell check or grammar check here.)

2012 Trek Lush Carbon
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Review: 2012 Trek Lush Women’s Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Since posting the first photos back in July the 2012 Trek Lush has been a buzz around Bike Shop Girl. The Twitter stream gets many comments, Facebook gets many questions and my email has its own little folder of women waiting to hear more on first test rides and availability. As I mentioned a few weeks back I was fortunate enough to be loaned a 2012 Trek Lush Carbon for review and demo purposes from the East Coast Women’s Trek Demo rep.

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Clif Bar Seasonal
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Holiday Stocking Stuffer Wish List

I’m a cyclist, I ride year round and there are key things that I use year round, or around this time of year lust after. For all of you looking to buy something for a cyclist in your life this is my stocking stuffer list. I’ll also be writing up a larger item Holiday Wish List for the bigger ticket items.

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle

Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle

Insulated, easy to use mouth piece and a close off valve to keep the bottle from leaking in your bag or on a shaky mountain ride.

Rear Blinky Light

Walk in to any bike shop and for $10 – 40 you can get a good rear light. Depending what type of traffic and weather your cyclist rides in you may want to spend more.

Cycling SocksDeFeet Socks

I’m a sucker for wool but maybe your cyclist is into pastel colors, crazy designs or an easy “STFU” on their cuff. Another easy to find stocking stuffer.

Tubes

Tubes for your bike is a much needed evil for when you get a flat on the side of the road. Take a look on the side of the tires of your cyclist bike, right down the sizes and note if the valve of the tire looks like a car or a skinny presta valve. (If you explain it at all to a shop they’ll understand.) Often during the holidays shops will have buy 5 for the price of 4 or something.

Clif Bar SeasonalHoliday Clif Bars

During the holidays Clif puts out limited runs of their bars in Gingerbread, Pumpkin and Peppermint. Local grocery stores and bike shops should have these in stock.

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