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Motivational Monday with Miranda

0 Motivational Monday Melinda

What’s your name and location?

Miranda from Dallas, y’all

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Relaxed rides on trails and around lakes, commuter biking, road biking.

What is your first cycling memory?

Oh my goodness, this is an intense one. I remember riding around the church parking lot across from my house. My papa was watching my sisters and me and I wanted to show off my sweet moves for him. As I peddled around in dizzying circles, I lost control and fell hands first into the gravel. Since Papa was already old (he was my great grandfather), it took him a bit to come over. By the time he arrived, the blood had already congealed and covered up the piece of rock buried in my hand. Papa had only one choice. As he took out his pocket knife to clean it, my four year old self screamed bloody murder. My sisters held me down while Papa used the knife to cut the rock out of my hand and the hanging skin around it. I made it home where my mom bandaged it up. Definitely not a memory I easily forgot!

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I don’t know exactly who inspires me. I ride because it is a time to be by myself, to think, to experience the world, to spend time with God if you will. Yes, I love to ride with my friends, but biking has usually been about getting rid of stress or finding peace in the crazy days.

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

Probably while I was in a small village called Santinetikan in India. There were no cars, so everyone got around by bike, foot, or motorcycle. We were able to rent out these (terrible) vintage, slightly rusted cruisers to get around. As the sun was setting and the rice workers were coming in, the twilight called all the lightning bugs out to play. I remember looking up at the dusky sky, surrounded by jungle and fireflies and all I could think of (which is cheesy I know) is that I am experiencing something magical. I wish everyone could experience that moment, stopping by the holy river, watching the villagers go about their life without knowing how special (even if poverty stricken) it is. In that moment I easily could have left everything here in the states for that rusty bicycle in that old village in the jungle.

Tell us all about your bikes

I have had many bikes over the years. My favorite, a light purple vintage Schwinn road bike with original gears named Fernando, was stolen a couple of years ago. Right now I am riding a cherry red vintage Takara that makes all the bikers in Dallas jealous for some reason. This bike is named Fabregas (I name my bikes after Barcelona futbol players) and was custom rebuilt for me by an after school program in Dallas called Mercy Street. It is awesome to still be able to go out to west Dallas and ride the levees with the kids that built this bike for me.

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!

Motivational Monday with Jennifer Wheeler

0 Jennifer Wheeler Motivational Monday

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!

What’s your name and location?

Jennifer Wheeler in Seattle

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road Cycling

What is your first cycling memory?

Playing “Cops and Robbers” on our banana seat bikes in Indianapolis. We lived on a long court with a hill and we’d ride up and down and chase each other down.

Jennifer Wheeler Motivational Monday

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

Those who have accomplished greatness. It’s a reminder that you can accomplish the unthinkable with the right focus, talent, and determination.

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

So many as it’s been an incredible first year for me. I would say winning my first NRC race for Team TIBCO during Speedweek. A close second would be placing 2nd to my teammate and world champion, Tara Whitten, at the Tour de Toona prologue. We talked for hours the night before about our goals and struggles in cycling, and it was the perfect cherry on top to place right next to each other.

Tell us all about your bikes

I ride the Specialized S-Works Amira equipped with SRAM red components, Reynolds wheels, Control Tech handlebars and seat post, and Look Keo pedals. With all this bling, it seriously corners and descends like it’s on rails–the handicap in this situation is me! I can’t wait until my skills catch up with the bike’s capabilities :)

#30DaysofBiking Update

2 30 Days of Biking

30 Days of Biking It has been over a week since updating you about my 30 days of biking challenge, so here is a quick update.

Day 1 : A 19 mile road rideCharlotte Commuting

Day 2: A daily commute of 5 miles to Davidson, NC – take the bus from there to Charlotte and then a mile commute.  In the evening I reversed it

Charlotte Commuting
Day 3:
I only did the end of day commute, riding the bus completely stinks and makes me feel that I’m in a 14 ton coffin.  Avoided it for the past week.

em:pwr cycling group ride
Carson Street Station

Day 4: em:pwr cycling lunch time group ride and then the bus/commute home.

em:pwr clothing

Day 5: A early morning mountain bike ride before work.

Day 6: Rode my mountain bike into the weekend by knocking out 12 miles after work on the singlespeed 29er.  I also scurried home to build up the new Airborne Goblin 29er.

Airborne Goblin in the Trunk

Day 7: A shake down mountain bike ride at Lake Norman State Park.  Adjusting my cock pit, getting used to gears and suspension

Road Riding the Airborne Goblin

Day 8: A 28 mile road ride on the 29er mtb for fit and adjustment reason

Girls on Bikes

Day 9: 7 mile afterwork mountain bike ride

Day 10: Built up a friends new Airborne Goblin, tweaked his new Stevens cyclocross bike and test spun around.

Day 11: (Today)  Changing out some bits on my Goblin and beating it up around the block.

#30DaysofBiking Day 1: A Simple Road Ride

1 30 Days of Biking

30 Days of Biking

During April there was a little event called 30 Days of Biking.  The goal was to get your butt on a bike during the 30 days of April.  A wrench was thrown into my gears during April quickly and I didn’t get nearly all the 30 days (or half of it.)  I’m making my own version of 30 Days of Biking in May, everyday a bike ride, everyday a new adventure.

Starting the 30 days of biking off with an easy spin.  19.93 miles, a normal loop from my house that I’ve enjoyed over the past few years.  Given the fact I hadn’t been on the road bike in a couple weeks, I felt great and was excited to feel that good!!!  I mentally was trying to get back in the feel of things as the next day, Monday, my goal was to try commuting by bike again.

Here’s to riding for the next 30 days!

Planning the 2011 Season

4

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.

#5 Commuting

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!!

Things Unspoken

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.

Women in the Bike Industry, Who is to Blame?

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There is a hot debate going on at Bike Hugger.  Two articles are to be mentioned : The first is “Women as Outcast’s in Cycling Industry.”  The author goes on to tell about how it was very difficult for his wife to find a bike that truly fit her, even after trying several different types of bikes and bike shops.  He ends his story with a suggestion that every shop have a key individual for fitting problems. The follow up to the above article is “It’s Women’s Fault.”  After a tweet, that mentioned that women are walking into the bike shop without knowledge.  Changing blame from the bike industry, to the shoppers themselves.

How Original

My original thought to this was, how ironic that both of these articles are wrote by a gentleman.  A well rounded, educated, cycling, gentleman – but a guy. My brain then went in full tilt as these are things I deal with daily running a bike shop, and monthly in the cycling culture surrounding the internet.  Cycling is a double edge sword when it comes to education, training, customer service and what I will call “the boys club.” Many people walk into a bike shop every day, not knowing what they want or why they want it.  Apparently, all customers can be broken down into 2 of 4 personality types.   All the sales training classes, education and personal experience I have had.. its true!  Here’s the catch, it doesn’t matter if they are male or female!! Why do companies such as the Ikea or Apple excel in a hard economy?  They know how to educate their staff, keep a store and help their customers.  Sure, it sounds great and easy but it isn’t.  The bike industry is a hard one to walk into, most employees are paid less than a comparable job in a different industry, the learning curve is steep, products change daily and that damn internet is telling customers all our secrets. (Half joking on that last one.)

Why do women notice?

Women notice how a store is kept, customer service, knowledge and experience because they tend to be shoppers.  They are sensitized to all of the above thanks to shopping with companies that have their act together.  Walk into your local Gap or Brookstone, follow by walking into three of your local bike shops and then tell me your feelings as you left each one.

Women Spend Money

Make two different fitting bikes, create a line of women’s clothing and now multiple it by 2 because you need choices for a woman to pick between.  Create a buzz, a community, a clean store with knowledgable, well kept employees and you’ll see the bikes and clothing. Why? Because women want to buy those things, they want to be better cyclist, outfit their bike and body and feel GOOD about it.  Make them feel good, give them a reason for purchasing and they will buy it.

The Boys Club

I’ve worked in the industry for a long time and have a pretty thick skin.  Still there are things that once in a blue moon will kick me off my rocker.   If you want to become your local area’s “women’s shop” I would recommend to hire 2 women that know something or another about bikes, and can learn.  Pay them $2 more per hour than their male counterpart, believe me they will earn it and will deal with more crap than $2 per hour can make up for.  If you happen to be a bike shop owner or manager, don’t let the boys club get out of hand.  A joke here or there is good thing, but comments about female customers, employees or female products should be stopped quickly.

There is No Easy Answer

Changes need to happen from both ends.  Bike manufactures need to stop painting bikes pink for floor models, and need to give more choices to women.  They also need to encourage training, merchandising and demo’s.   Bike shop managers and owners need to take large jumps forward from human resources to store design.  Create a shop you would be proud to show to your mother for a week at a time, not just for a drive by visit.

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