Essentials For the Cyclist on Your Holiday List
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?
Crashing Your Bicycle into Golden Leaves
It was a stupid idea, I knew that within 30 feet of entering the trail head. Night riding on the most root strewn trail, the night after a huge wind storm blew threw the area which left roughly 2 inches of wet leaves to hide those evil roots.
It was a Stupid Idea Night Riding Last Night
I could feel it, my lights weren’t picking up depth with the colorful leaves thrown across the trail. They weren’t picking up the roots I knew that were around that corner. I had to ride. I had to. I needed it, my soul needed it and I needed to feel again in away that riding at night can only give.
Cautiously I rode on. The trail is around 3 miles long and I felt confident in my navigating skills. I had ridden in the pouring rain without site before, this would be fine. I would be fine. I would feel again.
Pushing myself carefully around the turns. Testing my brain and memory skills from riding the trail a few nights earlier.
Oh shit moments. Back tire spinning in place stuck on a root that I hadn’t seen under the golden leaves.
Smile with happiness as I glide through the creek bed. I’ve almost completely one lap on the trail, I knew I could do another. This wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Dabbing. Why did I second guess myself there? I know this trail. I know how it feels, I know where the roots that grab your tires are, I know what to avoid.
With one last section left to clear, I eased up and slowed down a tick. The night was beautiful. It felt great to be out, in the middle of November in spandex. Feeling at peace from a crazy day.
The rooty berm was ahead. I picked my way threw.
My Rear Jammed and I Crashed
Laying there, I looked to see what my wheel had stopped on. I saw nothing, I didn’t see a reason for the sudden stop of momentum. What just happened? Thankfully the golden pile of leaves (that probably had a golden shower from a dog or two) caught my fall. I was fine, but I was baffled as I didn’t see anything that would have stopped my 29er wheels.
I laid, and thought, and breathed. Silence. My helmet light shined off the trees over head. In that moment I believed something stopped me. Something grabbed my tire at that moment, right when I would fall on a pile of leaves. I was meant to be laying here in this golden pile of leaves to reflect and find peace.
These are the Moments I Ride For
Going fast is fun. Being faster than your friends is nice. The moments when you stop and look at where you have come from, or maybe that large hill you still have to climb. I’m happy to be on the bike, and happier to share these moments with people that care.
Child Bike Rental Program
Over at Velorution they talked about a program that rents the small push/glide bikes by the week.
This triggered many thoughts in my head as I love the push bikes instead of training wheels. It allows a child to learn relying on themselves only, and not training wheels. The learning curve is gentle and quickly conquered. My shop sells the Strider running bike, light weight and under $100.
The biggest concern I’ve had with these Striders are once the child learns to ride it, they are ready for the next bike with pedals. The purchase is very short lived if the child progresses quickly. Unless the parent has another smaller child, or perhaps a friend they could pass it on to. Yes, these little things hold their value and could sell on Craigslist quickly, but why bother?
Now, what about a rental program to allow the child to try it? A week for $20 seems fair to me.
Parents : What are your thoughts?
Merchandise on Bike Shop Girl
I’m tentatively going to expand into merchandise and small product sales on Commute By Bike and Bike Shop Girl. But I would like your feedback. What type of things would you purchase through us vs Amazon? Would it be enough to know you are supporting a great resource to purchase that light or bag through us?
Let me know what you think and what you would be interested in!
2010 Bontrager Cycling Shoes
In 2009 Bontrager released their first ever cycling shoe line. After teaming up with Esoles in order to get thousands of foot scans. The result was a well fit shoe, with replaceable arch support and a bargain compared to other shoes. The line was very in depth with women, men and triathlon shoes. (Personally, I have two pairs and I love them!)
For 2010 they are going even deeper with the line and adding more color. The women are staying pretty subtle but the mens line have a lot of orange through out.
#SeaOtter 2011 Twitter List
As I’m traveling to the 2011 Sea Otter Classic I wanted a quick reference for everyone in attendance over the four days. Please share and add in comments any other twitter names I left off.
If you are talking about the event, please use #SeaOtter
@BikeShopGirlcom – Bike Shop Girl owner
@Arsbars – Personal handle of Bike Shop Girl
@Airborne_Bikes – Airborne Bicycles (a partner of Bike Shop Girl)
@KineticKoffee – 10% of net profits go to non-profits, certified bike geek. (partner of em:pwr cycling)
@al_loutit – Cyclist from Canberra, Australia. Riding for JellyBelly p/b Kenda this year in the US.
@andrewhersam – The Competitor Group (VeloNews)
@BeyondCoastal – A healthy alternative to regular sunscreen.
@bikemonterey – Tips for bicycling in Monterey County from local resident since 1981.
@BicycleFashion – Part of Cyclelogical
@BicycleRetailer – The leading trade magazine for the global bicycle industry.
@CarbonDrive – Gates Carbon Drive
@CarltonHawkins – FRS Director of Brand Mkt, Social Media and eCommerce.
@ClifWine – Making great wines and food with a focus on sustainability in the Napa Valley.
@contour_cam – Cameras that inspire people to share epic stories of adventure, travel, and sports from around the world.
@craigrandall – Verde PR
@CrowdTogether – CrowdTogether helps close-knit groups engage and activate their members
@cyclelicious – My friend Fritz from CA
@DBStudiosMedia – Video, web design and all printed materials.
@eva_lu_ – Employee of Felt Bikes
@FeltBicycles – Felt Bikes
@GirlBikeLove – Empower, inspire, encourage more women to ride bikes.
@GoChuyGo – Ride to work. Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to ride!
@GStech - Tech guy from SRAM
@HayesComponents – Hayes Disc Brakes, SUNRinglé, Manitou, Answer, & Wheelsmith.
@HERHelmetThurs – Discounts for male & female cyclists on Thursdays
@Interbike – Interbike’s Rich Kelly
@JeremyHK – Olympic MTB racer, ten-time National Champion. JHK races for the Subaru / Trek professional mountain bike team.
@Jvalen – Motorcycle racer turned runner turned bicycle racer.
@liam_obrien – Think of me when you think of Assos, BMC and Suunto. Wandering sales rep and court jester.
@lmlightlife – Light and Motion Lights.
@MarthaVan – Action Wipes owner. Get clean with Action Wipes
@MasiBicycles – A legendary brand with a bright future!
@matt_simpson1 – New Hampshire
@MikeSted – 9x US National Champion Stunt Rider
@MissRidingKay – Student, Folsom, CA
@MootsCycles – Handcrafted Titanium Bicycles
@MTBR – Mountain Bike Review
@OspreyPacks – Backpacking, hiking and hydration back packs.
@TeamTWENTY12 – Turning Olympic Dreams into Olympic Reality. Sponsored by Peanut Butter & Co.
@thequeenofpain -6x World Champion 2x Leadville 100 Winner and course record holder.
@RadicalLights – Australian Lights for MTB
@rick_vosper – 30-yr Bike Biz veteran. Amazing mind, crusty outer layer
@Ryan_MeyerMTB – MTB Rider from Vancover
@SIDIAmerica – Celebrating 50 years of making the best cyling shoes in the world
@talltylersmith – nuun bike sales chap, avid cyclist, husband to wonderful woman.
@tjwoodruff – Pro mtb’er riding for Trek – Boulder. Owner of and coaching full-time via Momentum Endurance.
@veloimages – father, friend and photographer
@velorambling – Bicycle pedaler & peddler, Velorambler.
Basics : Cycling Computers
There is a great accessory for your bike called a bike computer or cyclometer. Like a cars dashboard it can tell you many things about your speed, average, time and even get into more detailed things like cadence*, heart rate or incline. The computer works on your bike by either a cable running from the computer head unit on your handlebar/stem area down your bike to a sensor that zip ties on. Then a magnet is placed on your wheel, every time the magnet spins past the sensor it sends a transmission to the computer head. It computes how many times per minute or second the magnet goes around, does some math and tells you your speed/distance. The wheel diameter is very important as that is part of the calculation to get the right speed/time so make sure to set your computer head unit for your wheel and tire size. If you change tire sizes, reset the settings.
There are many ways to separate computers, especially if you start getting in to a lot of data capturing. For this article we will start basic, wired or wireless.
Wired Versions :
Entry Level :
Basic featured include speed, time and average speed. Utilizing a cable that runs from your handlebars down to your front fork on the bike. They range from $24-35 and many type or colors are available. The Trek 6i and Cateye Mity 8 are my picks in this category. For this category, go down to your local bike shop and buy what they recommend. This way they are familiar with set up if you need any help at all.
Introducing : Specialized Amira
As the trend is showing, for 2010, bike companies have taken note and are adding more women’s bikes to their line up. Specialized has added two high end road bikes to their line and wow they are beauties!
Batavus BUB on the Way
A very well talked about bike at Interbike in the upright, euro style, bikes was the Batavus BUB, or Batavus Utility Bike. The bike has a “paper clip” look to it but holds all the function and design that we know of Batavus.
From Bespoke :
The Batavus BUB is the classic omafiets-meets-Rem Koolhaus. Expressively modern, the Batavus BUB (Batavus Utility Bike) deconstructs the classic Batavus omafiets while constructing a more cosmopolitan – yet equally iconic – iteration of the classic Batavus bike. True to the essence of the original, classic Batavus bike, the BUB keeps clothing clean, the rider comfortable, and maintenance to an absolute minimum while eschewing nostalgia. The Batavus BUB design presupposes the currents present in Dutch architecture, urbanism, and contemporary design and establishes itself as a new icon.
At a mere $550 the BUB is pure Dutch quality. Everything is present. The chain is completely covered. The gears and brakes are completely internal. The riding position is straight-up, allowing for clear safety sightlines and less visits to the chiropractor. The frame is light enough to take indoors, but durable enough to be stored outside all year in a tough Northeast winter. Like an Eames chair, the design is thoroughly urbane, recalling the clever tricks of Dutch architects and a measure of frivolity admist stern Calvinist practicality. A smashing success in previews throughout Europe, the BUB challenges North American designers to innovate function into form while pushing the native Dutch bike industry to challenge its inbred insularity.
Shortly, Bike Shop Girl will have a BUB for our reviewing pleasure. Be bopping downtown, the daily commute and the daily life is what the review will be about. If you have request, questions or any thing else you would like out of the review please let us know!
Links for your reading/research pleasure:
Let’s Talk Saddles : Types of Saddles
Here at Bike Shop Girl we realized long ago that finding the right saddle is a very personal, unique and often the hardest part of bike riding. This is Part I of our on going Saddle Talk, I welcome all comments, questions and feedback on this subject. Our Intro was a short and sweet piece from about two weeks back, now let’s get talking!