Bike prep is one of the most important things you can do prior to a race or any big ride. Most people will do a last minute check over before any race or big ride, but when was the last time you did a post race check over?
Road Wet and Hung Up to Dry
When your done with that big ride, the last thought in the back of your mind was to clean up your bike. Now, this could be the worst thing you are doing for your bike. If you let your bike sit after a hard ride for days, it doesn’t matter if its dry or very wet, your chain, bearings and others are aching for attention.
Steps to Post Ride Bike Check Over
Today, I’ll be walking you through what I did after my cyclocross race on Saturday. Some of these steps may differ depending on what type of riding or conditions your in.
- Gently hose off the muddy bike. Using a soft scrub brush or rag to clean down the frame and rims. As you are wiping off the frame check for any new scratches, dents or damages, especially if you crashed.
- Wipe down chain and drip on your favorite lube, leave it soaking in as you do the rest of the checkover
- Check the brake pads and braking surface
- Spin wheels and make sure wheels are true, while spinning make sure there aren’t any new cuts or missing rubber from your tires
- Check shifting and brake tension
- Wipe off chain lube
The above check over should take 15 minutes after you get used to the process. Depending on the ride, like my race in the mud on Saturday, I may leave my lube to soak into the chain overnight. If you don’t have full sealed bearings you may need to soak lube into those as well.
Many people neglect their bike after a race. I’ve seen chains frozen solid or someone taking a bike for a ride after a race and not having any brake pads! Make this check over a normal part of your routine and you’re bike maintenance bill will go down and your parts will last longer. In additional you’ll be happier on the bike with a well maintained machine!
For 2011 we are excited to get rolling a team of all teams, one to empower, encourage and motivate to move everyone towards bicycles!
We will be USAC licensed but more than anything we will be here for each other. As I renew my USAC Coaching license and take more classes, I’m going to empower you this season. You don’t have to be a racer, but racing is nice, the goal is anyone that reads this becomes interested in giving a hand to empower and motivate everyone on bicycles!
If there is enough interest we’ll speed up the process of ordering jerseys and shorts (kits.) Even though the goal of the team is to empower women, I know that juniors and guys need that happy places as well. Are you interested? Sound off below!
Image Credit: The Junk
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.
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!
My resolutions were simple, and parallel much of my 2011 season list we touched on last week. I want to make a keynote that I want to know your resolutions and how we can make each other accountable for them!
Drum Roll Please
- Start riding on the road
- Start actively riding 3+ times a week
- Fill in the other days with working out and yoga
- Start racing as much as financially possible
- Give up coffee and coke, none/zero/nada!
Breaking It Down
At the end of the day I want to make myself, sponsors and friends proud.
One of the best things I enjoy about ringing in a new year is looking back at 2010 and taking inventory.
A recap of sorts, we’ll touch on popular post, link traffic in, and Bike Shop Girl elsewhere in the world.
Most Popular Post in 2010
The Bicycle Industry is Regressing – In 2011 I plan on picking up the podcast with more steam and bringing many people in (not all women!) to touch on this subject more from behind enemy lines.
Women in the Bike Industry – Who is to Blame? - Another one of those that tickled those women that work in the bike industry, or try to shop within a male dominated industry. We will continue to make forward progress and continue to teach store managers, owners and suppliers how to better server all customers (especially women.)
Thank God for Spandex – I’ve Gotten Fat - This officially change officially starts tomorrow with a bike ride and detox. Water, green tea and salad, but I’m open to more educated suggestions.
I was Hit by a Car on Friday – This was originally posted on Arsbars.com, and has many, many, many loving and thoughtful comments. You, my readers can never understand how much your support through the recovery has helped me.
Safety is Important - Only days before my accident on October 1st 2010, I wrote about how safety is important and cyclist have no chance against automobiles.
SRAM Force Brakes, Breaking? - I pissed off my media contact at SRAM for pulling this old news out of the sewer, but I still feel like people should be reminded to check their NOS (new old stock) brakes as they keep resurfacing.
Women’s Designed 29ers – Gary Fisher has done it and introduced 29ers with a women’s fit and part. Amen, I’m excited and can’t wait to get my hands on one for review!
Another Cyclist Hit in Charlotte, NC - One of many cyclist injured or killed in 2010 within our region. Sad and sickening.
Can I Wear Men’s Cycling Shorts? - YES, but know what to look for.
Top Referrers to Bike Shop Girl in 2010
Commute By Bike - As you know I sold this site in October, but hope to start contributing again in 2011
Kent’s Bike Blog – Dear Kent whom wrote kind words of encouragement to get me back on the bike
Cycling Weapons of Mass Destruction
Arsbars - My own personal site
Bicycling Design - Educate yourself on design an upcoming technology
District Cycling – Mostly a podcast, centered around road cycling and Washington D.C
Bike to Work Barb - I can’t forget Barb, whom started a hashtag for me on Twitter! #youcanride
Found Elsewhere in 2010
Bike Shop Girl NAHBS on YouTube – I was fortunate enough to do quick/dirty interviews for NAHBS 2010. Looking back I had a lot to learn, but glad I was fortunate to help!
Bike Shop Girl on Facebook - I don’t utilize this channel as much as I should, but at the time of writing this there are 880 people liking the page, and I’m honored
Bike Shop Girl on Twitter - @BikeShopGirlcom I enjoy twitter and have been active since 2008 with my personal account @arsbars. With @BikeShopGirlcom I try to dedicate my tweets to cycling oriented, retweeting or promoting the site and others. At the time of writing this I have 3,457 followers and 2,825 tweets. (Compared to @arsbars with 1,157 followers and 5,827 tweets)
As the holidays are winding down and people are getting home for travels, or heading out on their own version I want to see what everyone received for the holidays!
My Presents for the Holiday
Now, I don’t believe I received any bicycle related holiday gifts. Unless the awesome $8 tshirt from Target counts? I did receive many great gifts and most of them can’t hang a price on.
It is easy to say that 2010 for me was one of changes, mental rearranging and finding my footing in the end. I have many hopes going into 2011 for life and more specific cycling. Some of my goals are more basic than others but by mid 2011 I hope to have my feet under me going forward quickly!
A Rough Sketch of 2011 Cycling Season
There are other key notes for the 2011 season
#1 Losing Weight
Putting down the Krispe Kreme donutes, putting down the fork after a serving, drinking less “frappe-latte-caramel-whip” coffee’s. Drinking more water, packing more lunches and potentially tracking calories
#2 Hitting the Gym
Rising at 5am, getting in the car and off to the gym. Atleast 3 days a week, if not more
#3 Riding the Trainer
This will be the hardest, but I plan on riding the trainer during the week atleast 30 minutes to an hour a day
#4 Getting Back on the Road
Finding a couple slower group rides, or dragging out my girlfriend into the cold. I need to get back on the road, I need to for my soul.
Gulp. I need to get back on the horse, and now with a new announcement of being a “sponsored commuter” I’m going to have to get on that horse!!
There are other thoughts and feelings in the back of my mind. Goals that aren’t said. Maybe I’ll race on the road again. Maybe I’ll make that yoga class at lunch during the week. Maybe just maybe, 2011 will be a year of progress and reformation.
In my teens I loved to watch pro cycling. This was the time when Greg Lemond, then Mario Cipollini and then the near decade of Lance Armstrong taking over. It was an exciting time to watch pro cycling from the classics to the tours. With Robbie McEwen and Robbie Hunter moving to the 2011 RadioShack team it creates a pretty intense line up of skills. The new team of Team RadioShack has me looking forward to getting back into spectating.
2011 RadioShack Roster
Lance Armstrong (USA), Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan), Sam Bewley (New Zealand), Jani Brajkovic (Slovenia), Matthew Busche (USA), Manuel Cardoso (Portugal), Philip Deignan (Ireland), Ben Hermans (Belgium), Chris Horner (USA), Robbie Hunter (South Africia), Markel Irizar (Spain), Ben King (USA), Andreas Klöden (Germany), Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland), Levi Leipheimer (USA), Geoffroy Lequatre (France), Tiago Machado (Portugal), Jason McCartney (USA), Robbie McEwen (Australia), Dmitriy Muravyev (Kazakhstan), Nélson Oliveira (Portugal), Sérgio Paulinho (Portugal), Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine), Gregory Rast (Switzerland), Sébastien Rosseler (Belgium), Ivan Rovny (Russia), Jesse Sergent (New Zealand, Bjørn Selander (USA) and Haimar Zubeldia (Spain).
Directors: Johan Bruyneel (Belgium), José Azevedo (Portugal), Dirk Demol (Belgium), Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) and Alain Gallopin (France).
Pro Cycling on Bike Shop Girl
Normally I’ve kept guys pro-cycling banter off this site, but after many questions I believe it needs to be talked about and such. We won’t turn into the next Cycling News but we can give our opinion and advice when you are looking to watch it.
We’ll make sure to have Versus recording, Universal Sports or SteepHill.tv streaming live on my computer.
We can almost count the time to Christmas in hours and unfortunately I missed Hanukkah for all my Jewish friends and followers. I’ve been asked by many what to get their cycling loved ones or friends for those last minute gifts or stocking stuffers.
Top Last Minute Gift Ideas
Gift Cards - that’s an easy one. If you aren’t local to your cycling loved one buy one from REI or Competitive Cyclist. Also, many shops sell gift cards now – make it around service because during the upcoming year we’ll all need a good tune up, or wheel true.
Rear Blinky Light - Even mountain bikers can use these if they ride at night, and for safety reasons you can never have enough rear red blinky lights!
Socks - Wicking, wool, tall or short. They have decorative, fancy or plain fun. Go crazy, even the cyclist in denial of their funny bone will wear these in hiding away from their snobby friends.
Nutrition - Those funny bars, and snacks that we like to eat on our rides or for a late breakfast. Chances are you can find these at your local grocery store, the cheapest I find them is at REI. Take a sampling of different types. Maybe you’ll find your cyclist a new favorite.
Water Bottles - There isn’t a cyclist alive that will turn down a good water bottle. Unless, they are ugly and cheap. My favorite are the insulated Camelbak bottles. Combined with the nutrition gels/bars inside, it makes a great looking stocking stuffer!
Last Minute Shopping
Most everyone has a local bike shop in town. Even if you aren’t a cyclist I recommend you support the locals. Most of the above ideas are available at your local bike shop. Variation may change but the use will not! I also know Real Cyclist and some others are guaranteeing shipping if you order by 5pm MST on December 22nd!
What Do You Want?
After asking on Twitter what was on the cyclist holiday wish list I received many different responses. Some were thoughtful, useful or even a few that money couldnt buy.
@KatyChancey is looking for a new Sweat Pea A-Line, Swrve Knickers and Women’s winter bike shoes
@LorenCaff has a high vis waterproof jacket on her list
@ElRach @thequestess @Tomas_quinones @nicknull All are looking for warmer clothes
It seems like knickers are a very popular want from @doyouwabisabi
@wjcstp @parenthood21 @g_berger @BRAINtechPLEASE @BradGrass Some form of bikes are on their list
My favorite of all the comments :
@BikeShopGirlcom what I really need is a bike maintenance elf. Rei is out of stock & bike shop boys don’t believe they exist.
From : @debiquity
What is on your list?
I wanted to write everyone and say thank you again, and to also note that I’ve been taking a mental break away from blogging and cycling thoughts. My hope of this is to come back refreshed with a cleaner vision of how I’m going to go forward with cycling in my life. I love the sport, the people that are within it and how I have touched everyone of my readers.
Here’s to a couple weeks away from the blog, and forward momentum of Bike Shop Girl!