This is the first festival of its type in the Southeast. The goal is to create a weekend around southern cycling. One of the last weekends before school hits, and a great weekend to spend the weekend in a gorgeous park with some of your best cycling buddies. Location: Lake Norman State Park, Troutman, NC Demo’s from Salsa Cycles and Surly Bikes Exclusive first look for consumers and most bike dealers for the 2013 Salsa Cycles, we will also have some Surly Bikes on hand. Group Camping at LKN State Park – Friday & Saturday Nights Friday Night: Open house and food at Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology (MOMBAT) in Statesville. Roughly 10 minutes north of the park. Saturday & Sunday : Salsa & Surly demos, southeast cycling vendors on hand to show off their goods there is no SALES of any sort allowed on the state park property. Saturday events: Specific ride times leaving out of the parking lot, including mountain bike beginner, intermediate, advanced and kids, and a couple road rides. Suspension Experts on hand to help people properly setup their own bikes and the demo bikes Saturday evening a movie showing at either the group campsite on a big projector screen or at the community building. • food wherever the movie is • raffle wherever the movie & food is Sunday: Scavenger hunt around the LKN area, a kid friendly version in the park and a longer version that will take cyclist outside the park. Other notes: Weekend passes are limited to 110 people. All proceeds will be going to our local SORBA chapter who has built the trails, Tarheel Trailblazers and the local Trips for Kids Charlotte. Website: SouthernSpokes.com Registration: SouthernSpokes.Eventbrite.com $35 for full weekend of camping and awesomeness $15 for Saturday
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
For the past few years I have heard the spectrum of reviews on Chrome’s shoes. Chrome, known first for their made in the US bags that started in Colorado. Now the company is based out of San Francisco and has probably 3/4 of their line made over seas. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just putting some back story out there.
Back to Chrome’s shoes
Chrome has been making “bike specific” sneakers for a few years now. Gum bottom or SPD ready, these shoes were made for those that live on their bike and want to look the part. Available in three different series, the PRO Series has the SPD compatible clip-in, the Pedal Series has a fiberglass sole for better pedaling, and the All City Series with stronger uppers and not so stiff sole.
Earlier this month Chrome released a new shoe into their All City Series it is also their first WOMENS shoe, the Dolores. Read the preview by clicking read more..!
The Santa Claus of shipping brought many goodies last week, the timing is in order to get things sorted and tested for the upcoming Burn 24 Hour race. New parts getting installed, new rear wheel, new Camelbak, new chamois, and now new bright ass lights.
1400 lumens on a light is completely amazing craziness. I remember when my previous Seca 800 was the brightest thing out there. Cars thought I had high beams on as I commuted on the road and on the trail even my sleep deprived eyes could see well with the high beam on.
I plan on doing a few test rides this weekend to get the helmet and handlebar light figured out. In my arsenal I have the Seca 1400 or 800 and Seca 600 or 300. Write out battery charging and burn time for my pit crew, probably even put the helmet light on my other Lazer helmet so that I can secure it and it ready to rock when the sun goes down Memorial Day weekend during race time.
Do You Ride at Night?
Night riding is one of my favorite things to do in mountain biking. Commuting at night I feel like people can see me better, especially with 1400 lumens shining at them!!
Tell us about your night riding, what lights do you use? Do you have questions for Light & Motion or myself about what lights you need or batteries?
My background in marketing and sales management have been specifically highlighted with my love of analytics, report running and data mining. I love theories, graphs and making decisions by gut and knowledge. (More gut than knowledge.)
Now, I don’t go as extreme with numbers around training as I do with marketing and sales..but it’s close. Normally I’m NOT tracking every movement, gear usage and PSI of tires or suspension pressure on EVERY ride. (I have my moments when I go through that cycle, mostly when I have a new bike to dial in.) For the past few years I’ve used Training Peaks for my HRM or in years past my power device, a Power Tap about 10 years ago. In roughly 2006 the invention of the Garmin GPS training unit for bicycling opened my eyes to what you can learn from data. From the ascents, decents, temperature and such, over laid with your speed, cadence and possibly power. You really turn yourself into a machine!
Welcome Strava, social media for bike rides
Two years ago I first heard of Strava. I didn’t really get it, another site to track your GPS files. They had put a bunch of pro’s on the site, and I feel like there was only a paid version when it first started. In the beginning of the year when I purchased my new Garmin Edge 800 I started uploading some files to Strava when I remembered. It was cool as it tracked my data, and also compared it to my friends.
Strava Segments are Virtual Group Rides
I ride my bike alone most of the time. My job makes my ride hours vary, and I don’t like the extra stress of having set rides too often with groups. Two months ago Strava started the coolest things called segments. Basically it overlays your GPS file with set parts of trails, roads, or whatever to show how you compare to other Strava users on that section. Some examples are from the base of a climb to the top, or a full loop of a specific trail system.
It really excites me to try different places, or when I visit new places to do rides around these segments I can find on Strava.com. Comparing myself to others that have done that ride, climb, descent or loop. You can also make your own segments to see how you are improving. If you have a loop that you use for recovery, or maybe for testing purposes – this is a great function.
Ease of Use and Design
Strava has done a few things very cool and user friendly with their design.
Uploading is super simple. The first time you click Upload Activity it asks to download this sync thing. You don’t ever have to open it again, everytime you go to upload it finds your Garmin and all activity you haven’t uploaded this far.
No software needed. As noted above it downloads (what I think is a cookie) the first time you try to upload. I am able to upload from my laptop and desktop, not needing to open any software other than the internet browser I already use.
Stats and Activities are clean. Rides, performance, averages and such are easy to find on your profile. It also will compare you to someone else when you click on their profile.
Strava on your iPhone or Android
Strava functions mostly off Garmin but they have really great phone apps that will track and upload straight from it! This is an easy way to get into the social group ride without plunking down on a Garmin.
This is super handy also as every once in a blue moon I’ll forget my Garmin or forget to charge it. I don’t miss tracking a ride when this happens!
Other notes of Strava
I recently upgraded to Premium mainly as I’ll be adding a Powertap to my arsenal soon, the site has a great Powertap analysis and keeper of data for later use.
You can also do all of the above for running as well! Pretty handy for triathletes or runners that want to get social with their runs!
I wasn’t paid or even asked to write this by Strava. Simply really digging the design and use of the site!
One concern that so many women (and guys) have with owning a bike is the basics of fixing it, or how to do basic road side repairs. I do recommend that as an avid cyclist even with some mechanical skills that you should become best buds with your local mechanic (beer or ice cream works well.) I also want women to feel empowered and to have a better idea of what they are talking about. Tech Tuesday is the remedy for common tech questions!
Question of the week from Facebook: Why would my rear hydraulic brake be locked up after sitting for a month?
In my many years of riding I’ve never had a hydraulic brake lock up on a personal bike, but have seen it happen on a few customers bikes that they drag in with the wheel stuck and not rolling!
The above can happen for many reasons, all of them are prevented with proper cleaning and servicing your brakes just like you would your car!
- A blown seal can cause your fluid to not stay in the chamber it belongs in, and pushing the pistons to the “on position”
- Dirt or surface rust can make your pistons also get stuck. This happens the least, but cleaning your bike every once in a while can prevent this
- Dramatic change in temperature. If you have any air in your hose lines it can expand in heat, this can cause your pistons to also get stuck to the “on position.” This can be prevented with proper bleeding of the brakes.
I met Katie last year at Sea Otter. A kick ass, down to earth, downhill chick. She talked about mountain technique, safety and was a smiling face that many women need to see when relating to “GNAR-CORE” riders. Super approachable and always wanting to help other women get stronger!
What’s your name and location?
My name is Katie Holden and I live in Scotts Valley, CA (near Santa Cruz)
What type of cycling do you enjoy?
I was born and bred on Downhill but I like just about everything. I spend the majority of my time trail riding on my Specialized Safire…it can take you a lot of places a downhill bike can’t (ie. up) and it shreds on the downhills. Love pump tracks. You can also find me out on the road bike now and again.
What is your first cycling memory?
My first bike memory is actually teaching my sister to ride a bike on our back patio in Ithaca, NY. I remember that experience quite vividly, it’s a little sad I cannot remember my own!
Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?
There has been an influx of quick girls the past few years which is quite inspiring. These girls are quick, driven, confident…it’s refreshing. When I first started racing, there would be 30+ girls at a national round and now you are lucky to get that at a World Cup round…it is so great that the numbers are going back up. When the depth of talent increases, everyone has to step it up a notch, that inspires me. You have train harder, go faster, push yourself out of your comfort zone…it’s a good thing! Progression is good. I think that now more than ever it is important for girls/women to work together and encourage each other. Often people don’t work together out of competitiveness (or fear) but what they are failing to realize is the quicker (and bigger) we go collectively, the more we will be taken seriously, the more we will get paid, the more we will be looked at as equals. That was kind of a roundabout way of answering the question but basically progression inspires me!
As far as actual people go, I have always been inspired by Jill Kintner for her drive and determination, Tracey Hannah for her pure talent on a bike (I have never seen raw talent like Tracey) and Rebecca Rusch because she is an incredible athlete and I have learned so much from her in one short year, I will always look up to those three but I am inspired by people on a daily basis!
What was your best moment on a bike in 2012?
Well the year is still young, but I just got back from a riding trip in Jamaica and it was so, so great.
In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2012?
I want to be on the top of the podium…that is always the goal. Aside from that having fun and enjoying everything along the way is very important to me. i have never been the type to go to a race and hang out in the hotel room…I want to get out there, see cool stuff, eat good food, meet new people! Travel have been a huge partof my life since I was a kid, I absolutely love it…following that passion, I am working on doing some more bike/photo/guiding trips to mix it up!
Wanna Know About my Bikes?
I ride a Specialized Demo 8, Safire, SX Slalom, P.3 and Ruby!
I just want to give a huge shout out to my sponsors Specialized, SRAM, Camelbak, Scotts Valley Cycle Sport, Smith, DT Swiss, Gamut, Vans, Leatt, Navitas Naturals, Joby & Pro-Tec! Thank you all so much.
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!
A friend of mine, Jason Grantz, has been focusing on the definition of words for the past couple weeks. I’m going to utilize this idea and sum up how I feel the day after 6 Hours of Warrior Creek.
broken |ˈbrōkən| past participle of break
1 having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order : a broken arm.
• rejected, defeated, or despairing : he went to his grave a broken man | a broken heart.
• sick or weakened : broken health.
• (of a relationship) ended, typically by betrayal or faithlessness : a broken marriage.
• disrupted or divided : broken families.
• (of an agreement or promise) not observed by one of the parties involved.
2 having gaps or intervals that break a continuity : a broken white line across the road.
• spoken haltingly, as if overcome by emotion : he whispered in a broken voice.
The trail was amazing, the berms were buff, the climbs had traction and even the first lap wasn’t too muddy.The temperature ended up being around 70º in Wilkesboro, NC.
The pit crew, as always, was extraordinary. Kimberlee and Shelley were always there for food, smiles and a good kick in the butt.
Our pit mates, the guys from Luna Cycles, Dale and Robbie, and of course Darby.
The weather was perfect, a bit chilly in the morning ending up around 75 in the afternoon.
The other racers, encouraging, helpful, inspiring.
My teammate, Melissa. Always smiling and optimistic. Even when my last lap took twice as long as it should and we ended in last place.
The sweet lady next to our pits that recognized me as Bike Shop Girl and even stopped as I was suffering after the race to say she enjoyed my writing.
A flat tire at mile 5 on my second lap.
Losing tons of electrolytes and only having water on my back.
Walking a ton on that second lap.
The feeling of competitors passing you and not being able to do a damn thing about it.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, wtf happened?
Somewhere between the start of lap one, and the middle of lap two my bottom bracket started to seize up. Hills that I was able to spin up in a middle gear on my cassette I was grinding up in my easiest cog. My multi-tool didn’t have a 2.5mm allen wrench on it to back out the adjustable ring on the SRAM X-9 cranks.
The feeling when you realize why you are sucking is between happiness and a stupid sick gut wrenching. Especially when you realize you can’t fix the thing. I knew I had 5 miles more to go, and most of it was up hill. It got to a point that I was simply hoping that I would get through before 5pm for my lap to count.
For the rest of the lap I pushed, grinded, walked, tried to smile and hoped the miles would tick by. My knees ached from trying to climb the hills with my cranks not spinning freely, my stomach hurt and at times I hit hyperventilation in frustration and pain.
A couple days later I feel better. My knees still hurt, and my brain is rather screwed up from the event. Who knows if I could have done something differently. Maybe check over my bike better between laps. Maybe tell PF30 bottom brackets to kiss my ass.
I feel badly for letting down my team. I feel badly about many things. At the end of the day it is only a race, but to look forward to something for a complete year and it to end this way is a horrible feeling.
I’m a big fan of Starbucks and Apple. If you were to ask me two brands that I relate to in the most upwards of ways, it would be these two. I’m sure someone will hop on the comments and blast me about child labor or over priced coffee, but I like what I like.
Why does all this matter to bikes? Service matters.
I visit and pay full retail to the above places for the experience, customer service and reliability. I can walk into any Starbucks across the country and receive the same tasting green tea. I can walk into any Apple store and receive the same great shopping experience. I have used Apple products pretty strictly since 2002, they work, they last and they come loaded with many things I need. They are more expensive but the experience and product is worth it for me.
As I travel through my territory of the Southeast the question of online price wars comes up and I always bring up the examples of Apple and Starbucks. These two hold true to their core mission, and have well trained staff. When was the last time you went into look at Apple products and you saw a huge SALE sign? They actually go out of their way on their website to put discounted or refurbished product out of the main view of the consumer. (It is all the way on the bottom of the navigation bar on the left.)
When was the last time you asked the person making your coffee if you can give them less than their asking price?
Discounting product does not win customers for life.
Experienced staff, a pleasant shopping experience, reliability and amazing service is what wins customers for life. There is a reason that the Gap owns Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic. Different shopping experiences, different quality of product and different prices. All of them have well trained staff, thoughtfully laid out merchandise and HAPPY staff.
I shop at all three depending what I need, and each location I walk away with a good experience.
Consumers, I encourage you to give feedback to your local shops.
Did you stop shopping there because they kept messing up your bike when you brought it in for a tuneup? Did they sell you the wrong tube size 3 times? Did someone rub you wrong because they were grouchy and lacked customer service? Was your experience one that left you shaking your head and heading straight to google to find what you needed online?
I still try local coffee shops when I’m traveling, I buy clothes from other places as well, but when in a pinch I know who I can rely on and in todays times when we are all running around like crazy, this matters more to me than saving 5%.
Rebecca Rusch is back at it again. Events across the country to encourage women to get on their bikes and ride!
2012 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour
The Sea Otter Ladies Lounge at the Sea Otter Classic: April 19-22
Drop by the SRAM booth and meet your favorite female pros. Ask questions, check out new gear and listen in on our mini tech clinics. Rebecca and the other pros will also host short ride clinics and pump track sessions. For more
information on tour specifics and updates, please visit www.goldruschtour.com.
Dirt Rage Dirtfest Dirty Girls Clinics in Raystown, PA: May 17-20
Join Rebecca and SRAM/Specialized female athlete, Katie Holden for Specialized demos and free ride clinics during the three-day mountain bike festival.
Sun Valley Media Camp in Sun Valley, ID: July 4-9
By invite-only, eight lucky female representatives will meet Rebecca, Katie Holden, Meredith Miller and Lea Davison for a personal tour of the world class riding in Sun Valley. The camp coincides with USAC XC National Championships in Sun Valley (July 5th-8th) to allow the attending media to cover the event and experience Idaho riding at its best.
“Wheel Girls” Mountain Bike Club in Sun Valley, ID: June through July
Rebecca and her local female mountain bike posse will coach a 6-week teen riding camp for the second year. The classes will meet in June and July for weekly riding sessions on different trails in the Sun Valley area. The camp will focus on riding skills, trail etiquette and volunteer trail work.
Kokanee Crankworx Dirty Girls Clinics in Whistler, BC: August 13-19
The biggest freeride festival in the world, Crankworx is a magnet for the world’s best riders. With a collection of some of the best trails and parks on the planet, Rebecca and SRAM/ Specialized female pros will guest instruct and lead rides for all ability levels throughout the week.
Levi’s Granfondo Ladies Lounge and Media Camp in Santa Rosa, CA: September 29
Activities will include a pre-event social hour with complimentary bike fit and equipment check at NorCal Bike and ride tips from the pros. Rebecca and other female pros will offer a pre-ride preview of some of the toughest parts of the course. Post-event activities will include a SRAM/Specialized VIP reception for women and their guests with refreshments and GU recovery drinks.
Roc D’Azur Ladies Lounge and Dirty Girls Ride Clinics in France: October
This French mountain bike festival is open to riders of all levels and hosts races, fun rides, a huge bike expo and parties. Each day at the SRAM booth, female pros will be available to answer questions and lead mini-tech clinics. The pros will also be hosting short ride clinics and pump track sessions.