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Knog Blinder Light Review
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Knog Blinder Arrow Light Review

We all know my obsession for lights and bags. I have so many of both as I’m always trying to find the perfect one. Rechargeable lights are something I really love. Especially the latest push for USB rechargeable. You see, before lights and bags I am a tech freak. iPad, iMac, MacBook Air, GoPro’s, Canon cameras, iPhones, you get the idea. I always have a computer with me, so charging a light through USB is really easy for me. Much easier than finding batteries at CVS.

Meet the Knog Blinder Arrow Light $44.99

Knog Blinder Light Review

I received a front light in the mail, and it has been on the front of my bikes since February. I’ve traveled with it to Frostbike, and utilize it anytime I’m on the road. I’ve had to charge it twice, it’s bright and easy to use. The mount works on all types of handlebar styles, widths and bends. The USB is easy to use, but you have to have the right room for it. It doesn’t fit in well right between two other USB’s due to the light size.

Knog Blinder Light Review

In Knog fashion they come in many colors & styles

Long term I plan to order a rear, as making a white front light bright seems to be easier than making a red rear light bright and eye catching.

Visit Knog’s website to view all styles!

This product was provided for free for review. I was not bribed or paid for this review. 

Bike After Dark Fireball Mark II
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Review: Bike After Dark Fireball Mark II Wheel Light

This review was put in play by Luna Cycles in Lenior, NC. I am very grateful for their time and assistance, and commuter knowledge!

Visibility is the bane of cyclists everywhere. As a daily commuter, I find myself riding in the worst visibility conditions: early morning light, evening dusk, rain, fog, and nighttime darkness. I wear high-visibility yellow, I strap a riot of blinking lights to the front and back of my bike – I’d get a head-to-toe glow in the dark tattoo if I thought it would help – all in a quest to be noticed by drivers. It was with this quest in mind that I jumped at the opportunity to try out the Fireball Mark II light from Bike After Dark.

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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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Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Shoe Covers
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Preview: Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Shoe Covers

Pearl Izumi Pro Barrier Shoe CoversShoe covers are a funny thing. For me, it is the make or break temperature. If I have to put shoe covers on it normally means that most of my friends won’t ride with me because it is too cold. Recently I realized my hobbled together shoe covers that I have been putting more and more duct tape on every year have had it. They are neoprene ones that I had bought probably 8 years ago now. They’ve worked wonderfully and the duct tape I believe added more windproofing to them!

After hunting around, looking at price, material and of course colors I decided on some Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier WxB Shoe Covers. Why? #1 price at $50 MSRP. #2 wind AND water protection #3 bright ass yellow.

Details from Pearl Izumi

  • MSRP $50.00
  • P.R.O. Barrier WxB fabric provides optimal wind and water protection
  • Fleece lined
  • Waterproof, fully taped internal seams
  • Two stage hook and loop closure provides both sleek fit and easy on and off
  • Kevlar® road bottom spreads open for easy on and off while providing superior durability
  • Recommended for road shoes with external cleats
  • Reflective elements for low-light visibility
Full review coming, for now learn more or buy some at Pearl’s site.
I purchased this product on my own dime. It was not given to me for review and I was not bribed to say nice things. This is my disclaimer.
Pam Sayler
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Coach or No Coach, a Guest Post

Pam Sayler wrote this guest post earlier this year. Somehow it was categorized incorrectly in my email and I found it during holiday break. I believe this is a great post to start thinking about plans for 2012. Coaches, and if you need one is a common questions as people start pushing themselves in the sport.

While pushing the Kirby this weekend my mind drifted to the subject of coaching. Why would the average rider hire a cycling coach? What advantage would a coach have to one whose cycling ambition is less than the current world champion?

I paused vacuuming long enough to check in on my son who was practicing piano.

Jacob is in his second year of lessons and progressing nicely. But like many 9 year olds he looses focus and spends about ½ of his time just playing. While I try to take a back seat and not micro manage him I do find it necessary to step in and make sure he is completing the work of understating music theory, structure and technique. By ensuring he spends time on developmental drills I am assured that my investment has a positive
return and Jacob has a broad awareness of music, stronger hand to eye coordination and simply plays better. Even if he does not have the desire to become a concert pianist Jacob’s father and I see music as a door to many future opportunities and will give him a well rounded view of life.

It took me vacuuming the remainder of the family room and down the hallway to connect those dots. Just as I stand behind Jacob seeing he stays on task a cycling coach will help me ride more efficiently – prevent injury and cycle longer. Not just that one day, but cycle longer in life.

In turning to a coach you are entrusting someone to look over your shoulder. Not to compete against, but to draw along side of you and guide you. Coaching is that special mix of relationship and expertise. One needs to trust their coach. A technical and certifiable background is necessary but equally important is the human factor; how well you interface. Before signing on with a coach, ask yourself the following:
Why do you want a coach? – specifically, what are you looking for?
What is your budget?
What is that person’s experience and education?
How much interaction do you want? Individual, group, online?
During the interview process look for someone who asks these questions and has good answers for your questions. Determine how long it will take to reach your goals and make sure your to contract for a brief period first – a longer contract can be drawn up after you are confident this coach is the right one for you.

And finally, remember that no matter how good a coach you hire, and how lofty your ambition nothing will happen if you don’t set aside time and stick to the plan. The investment in yourself will only pay off if you apply time and effort. Otherwise you are just throwing away money. And if you have money to throw away, please let me know. I’ve got a few years of piano left to fund.

Pam Sayler is the North American Sales Manager for Kinetic
She lives in Minneapolis with her Bike-Shop owning husband and their children. Last year Pam commuted 2,000 miles to work on her bike
Montana
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Things I am Thankful For

Currently I am on vacation with my family in Bozeman, Montana (if you live around here let me know and we can get coffee.) The post are limited, and the thinking of bicycles is rare. I’m doing my best to spend time with my family, meet new family and freeze my rear off in the snow.

Christmas is a great time to look back and be thankful for what you have and what you were able to achieve in the past year. I’m not a very religious person but the Christmas holiday always leaves me feeling very humbled and thankful for my life and loved ones.

My List of Thanks for Cycling

EM:PWR Cycling - a great group of cyclist coming together to get more people one bikes

The Memory of Jeff Papenfus – Jeff was an amazing figure in cycling in the Southeast, he is missed.

A Patient Partner at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek - Thank you Melissa for not making me do another lap.

Airborne Flight Crew – A great opportunity to ride a good bike, a free trip to Sea Otter and meeting new people.

Motivational Monday – It inspires me weekly when strangers will answer my questions about their cycling lives.

My Support Team at 24 Hours of Burn – Patient, funny, great cooks, horrible mechanics and amazing people.

 

 

 

Motivational Monday Kathy
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Motivational Monday with Kathy

Motivational Monday Kathy

What’s your name and location?

Kathy in Philadelphia, PA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

road, mountain bike, would like to try cyclocross

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding around and around and around the driveway with my sister on our first big wheels (or so the photos recall, I must have been about 2 or 3). I do concretely remember my first 10 speed, it was grey and pink of course. There may have been tassles but I choose to block that part out, definitely had those fluorescent spoke blings that would make all kinds of noise when I rode.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

My husband who’s gently but steadily encouraged me to ride with a healthy bit of tough love, but mostly me for riding through some challenging life events, and the mental release I feel when I’m riding. Also, watching bad ass cyclocross ladies compete, because they like hilly courses and dirt.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

Riding my first 2 day total 160 or so mile ride after a summer of health issues that kept interrupting my training plans. It didn’t hurt that it was a ride for MS with total strangers cheering me on at the finish as if I wasn’t already getting a little emotional.

Tell us all about your bikes

Cannondale Caad 4 S1000 with a sweet limited edition red, orange and black fade paint job (a tad too big for me but has served me quite well)

2011 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er (my new and first mtb bought as a bike shop demo sell off on which you will find me smiling and laughing on the Wissahickon trail loving this new ride) and also pennies being saved for a Specialized Ruby (or other ultimate road bike I will find to lust after)

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!

Surly Troll Preview
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Preview: Surly Troll. One Part MTB, One Part Utility

While at the Surly Intergalactic Headquarters of QBP I was able to demo a few bikes for commuting purposes from my abode to the headquarters. While there was also a Civia I haven’t put up yet, there is a Surly Troll that also busted a friends hip on the black ice across the Minneapolis pavement.

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Motivational Monday
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Motivational Monday with Robin

Motivational Monday

What’s your name and location?

Robin – New Jersey

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Most passionate about mtb – but love road riding and now cyclocross

What is your first cycling memory?

My banana seat coaster bike…going airborne and breaking my leg (both shin bones)…spent 11 weeks in casts…and I still went back for more!

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

my friends support me and inspire me…my coach…I want to improve for myself. I keep reaching for new goals.

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

so far?!? the year isn’t over…

Finishing 3rd in the local mountain bike series as a Cat 2 racer…finishing my First endurance race…first podium in cyclocross.

Tell us all about your bikes

I have five bikes…yes five. Each one has a purpose…lol.
1) Gary Fisher Hi-Fi Deluxe FS 29er (this is the “beast”)
2) Motobecane 29er HT (this is my race bike)
3) Misfit 29er fully-rigid (this is my fun bike)
4) Cannondale Caad X Cyclocross bike
5) Specialized Dolce Elite road bike

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!

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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