Empowering women in cycling

Pedal Savvy Bike Fashion Show

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Fritz over at Cyclelicio.us posted some great photos from the Pedal Savvy Fashion Show on November 6th, 2010. It’s good to see cycling fashionable elsewhere in the country and the whole “bike fashion show” idea taking off over the past couple years.

The biggest unfortunate of events like the above is the hipster appeal.   It is exciting to see “normal” looking people on bikes but they always seem to be young and have the American Apparel/Anthropologie feel to them.  Where’s the grandmother riding to the library?  Why does stylish in the bike industry currently mean being a hipster in tight pants?

Friday Night Lights

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Another work week has come and gone.

Thankfully last night after the close of the business week I found myself with the time to stop by the local trail on my way home from work.  The weather has been getting colder in Charlotte, NC and it was rather surprising getting out of the car at 6pm at the trail head with the wind and leaves swirling around the parking log.  For the first time in a few years I slid on my favorite Gore Jacket to wear when night riding.

The light was starting to fade as I entered the trail head.  I had decided to start off riding the trail clockwise and to turn around to ride backwards on my second lap.   My goal was to try and push myself and the gear I was running on the Karate Monkey.   Tempting my luck, I left my light off as I pushed myself down the leaf strewn trail.  Speed, low light, wet roots and leaves – yes, I was pushing my luck and hoping my guardian angel was along for the ride.

The trail that is on my way home, North Meck, is not a technical one or even a long one and it is the perfect trail to unwind after a long day at work, not a lot of thoughts are needed on this trail, the hardest thing is the sand, wet roots and leaves.

Roughly half way around the 4 mile loop I turned on the sole light I had strapped to my handlebars, my trusted Light & Motion Seca 700, A light that deserves a review on its own.  My vision was blurring with the wind, speed and darkness.  Coming up was a rooty and rocky area of the trail that I could easily cut a tire or slip out if I was blinded by the lack of light.  After the rooty and rocky length of the trail, I came across a few beautiful Golden Receivers running through the creek with their owners straggling behind.

Surly Karate Monkey

A mile longer on the trail and the lap was finished.  As I slowed to take a drink of water, I felt rain drops on my cheeks and a changing of the wind direction.  Smartly, after clicking a photo of the Karate Monkey I threw the bike in the back of the car and slid in the drivers seat just as the rain started pouring down.

Bicycle Building with Friends

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Before my El Mariachi was even an idea, my friend Shelley was looking for a 29er. We went through all the various options and her needs. As I’m still biased to many of Salsa’s products, and the Mamasita was a big hit, we kept eye out for a size small Mamasita or El Mariachi for her. After a month or so, the 2011 Salsa El Mariachi frames became available through the distributor and she ordered one up. Over several email correspondents we sourced all the parts from various websites and bike shops.

This past Thursday and Saturday I spent time helping her build up her new bike, mainly for the karma and that she wanted my special touch on her bike. Oh yes, and I have all the fancy Park Tools to do so.

Salsa El Mariachi Bike Build
The build was very painless, other than the lack of compressor and attempted tubeless conversion. Don’t worry, a compressor is now on my Birthday/Christmas list! And having to install/bleed the Dicky-tastic Jagwire white hose. The Cane Creek headset and Straitline brake levers, with additional white hose, look super fancy on the Mariachi that has no name. Matchy, but not too matchy to be confused with a racer.

Salsa El Mariachi Bike Build
The owner finished up some minor details on the bike build, forgetting the bar end/gut plugs. Shame, shame on them! Come on people, bar end plugs save lives!! Overall, I believe the she is very happy with her new 29er and hopefully had a positive bike building experience.

Salsa El Mariachi Bike Build

Her bike and all its beautiful bits, made me jealous and that is were the El Mariachi for myself came into play. Now, Industry Nine – where are my wheels?!?!

Where Do You Go Now?

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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.)

Feedback Needed

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Let’s cut to the chase :

  • I was hit by a car
  • My life perspective has changed
  • I sold Commute By Bike
  • Trying to mountain bike more
  • Adding more spin on marketing and social media, what I do for an honest living

In efforts to keep things more stream line in my life I’m looking to my readers for input.  I’ve been posting as an outlet and recovery strictly on Arsbars.com, talking bikes, builds and marketing.   As my life is mostly those three things I’m looking to you all for feedback if you would be okay with marketing, SEO and daily life about 25% on BSG if it meant my content would be 100% of the time on BSG?

Give me feedback so I can turn my energy back to you all.

Recovery…

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First off, thank you all for your warm responses, comments, emails and Tweets.  I greatly appreciate it and it has made the experience a bit easier to handle.

I’m still gathering thoughts, and trying to find closure on the events that have happened in the past few weeks.  Temporarily please visit Arsbars.com (my personal blog) for more thoughts and feelings.

Thanks again to everyone. I’ll be back at it soon!

I was hit by a car on Friday

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I’m not really ready to post too many details, it is easier to tell you to read my Twitter feed for details.

Trying to mentally wrap my head around it.
Full story.. Read my Twitter feed @bikeshopgirlcom

Safety is More Important

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The below quote is pulled from the Ottawa Citizen that by chance found its way to my inbox this morning. It is very fitting as only last night while riding home from work the reminder of personal safety was rudely reminded to my senses. A car, not thinking, took a right hand in front of me only after passing me 3 minutes before. Fortunately I ride my bicycle the same as a motorcycle… as if I was invisible. While the car drove past me and slowed down I was also slowing ready to react.  Would most riders react this way? Unfortunately I don’t believe so.

The driver was in the wrong, and if I had been hit or hit the car the law was on my side. I can’t afford that, nor do I want to put myself at the jeopardy of a 1,000+lb automobile. My helmet can only save so much of my body!  Read on for the article from the Ottawa Citizen.

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Gore-Tex I Love You

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It has been raining non-stop in Charlotte, NC, I’m not complaining as we have been in a drought.

My morning was pleasant thanks to freshly installed fenders and a Gore Paclite (waterproof) jacket.

How about you, are you wimping out of riding because of rain? Suck it up guys.

Excuse my grammar, sent from my mobile phone.

Make sure.to add me on Twitter @bikeshopgirlcom

2011 Raleigh Capri Womens Road Bikes

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In August of 2011 we did a full review of Raleigh Capri 4.0, view it over yonder.

Aluminum hydroframed with carbon fork, change the spec and you have three different levels of Raleigh’s new womens road line.   There are some thoughts I walk away with after looking through the line.  First off, I don’t understand the geometry and will look more into it with Raleigh.  I wish they would bring the smaller 45cm through the whole sizes, especially since it has a 495mm top tube!  Until I have more answers, here’s the 2011 Raleigh Capri womens line up…

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