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One of the best things I enjoy about ringing in a new year is looking back at 2010 and taking inventory.
A recap of sorts, we’ll touch on popular post, link traffic in, and Bike Shop Girl elsewhere in the world.
Most Popular Post in 2010
The Bicycle Industry is Regressing – In 2011 I plan on picking up the podcast with more steam and bringing many people in (not all women!) to touch on this subject more from behind enemy lines.
Women in the Bike Industry – Who is to Blame? - Another one of those that tickled those women that work in the bike industry, or try to shop within a male dominated industry. We will continue to make forward progress and continue to teach store managers, owners and suppliers how to better server all customers (especially women.)
Thank God for Spandex – I’ve Gotten Fat - This officially change officially starts tomorrow with a bike ride and detox. Water, green tea and salad, but I’m open to more educated suggestions.
I was Hit by a Car on Friday – This was originally posted on Arsbars.com, and has many, many, many loving and thoughtful comments. You, my readers can never understand how much your support through the recovery has helped me.
Safety is Important - Only days before my accident on October 1st 2010, I wrote about how safety is important and cyclist have no chance against automobiles.
SRAM Force Brakes, Breaking? - I pissed off my media contact at SRAM for pulling this old news out of the sewer, but I still feel like people should be reminded to check their NOS (new old stock) brakes as they keep resurfacing.
Women’s Designed 29ers – Gary Fisher has done it and introduced 29ers with a women’s fit and part. Amen, I’m excited and can’t wait to get my hands on one for review!
Another Cyclist Hit in Charlotte, NC - One of many cyclist injured or killed in 2010 within our region. Sad and sickening.
Can I Wear Men’s Cycling Shorts? - YES, but know what to look for.
Top Referrers to Bike Shop Girl in 2010
Commute By Bike - As you know I sold this site in October, but hope to start contributing again in 2011
Kent’s Bike Blog – Dear Kent whom wrote kind words of encouragement to get me back on the bike
Arsbars - My own personal site
Bicycling Design - Educate yourself on design an upcoming technology
District Cycling – Mostly a podcast, centered around road cycling and Washington D.C
Bike to Work Barb - I can’t forget Barb, whom started a hashtag for me on Twitter! #youcanride
Found Elsewhere in 2010
Bike Shop Girl NAHBS on YouTube – I was fortunate enough to do quick/dirty interviews for NAHBS 2010. Looking back I had a lot to learn, but glad I was fortunate to help!
Bike Shop Girl on Facebook - I don’t utilize this channel as much as I should, but at the time of writing this there are 880 people liking the page, and I’m honored
Bike Shop Girl on Twitter - @BikeShopGirlcom I enjoy twitter and have been active since 2008 with my personal account @arsbars. With @BikeShopGirlcom I try to dedicate my tweets to cycling oriented, retweeting or promoting the site and others. At the time of writing this I have 3,457 followers and 2,825 tweets. (Compared to @arsbars with 1,157 followers and 5,827 tweets)
September 22nd is not only one of our children’s birthday, but it is also World Car Free Day. As normally I’ll be riding my bike to the bus stop both ways, but I encourage you all to chose your bike, public transportation or to simply walk to your destination if you can.
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For many years I’ve been riding on the road with music. Originally it was one of those crazy Mini-Disc players that my mom thought would take over the music scene. Little did she know, it fueled my cycling passion. One of those little Mini-Disc players could hold hours of music, and run off AA rechargeable batteries. It had the ability to record on various disc and dub out/delete. I could ride, ride and ride without listening to the same song twice.
For many reasons music was needed for my riding style
- Boredom – normally kicking in around 45 minutes to an hour and a half
- Riding alone – see above
- Motivation – Certain songs would kick me in 6th gear and I would be able to push it, be it for time or watts.. the music moved me.
- That Go to Track – On days I would put a song on repeat for my 3 hour ride, it allowed me to focus and tune out the day of crap
- Wind whistling pisses me off – the noise that the wind makes when it hits your helmet straps, or hair.
- Feeling “PRO” – All the pro’s were wearing radios in their ears back to the team car, I’m sure their managers played some sort of music for them. If they didn’t, they should start now.
At first I rode with one earphone in, leaving the left one that was closest to the road out. Actually, I had a couple headphones that I cut off the left earphone so not to get in the way. Time went by and I had theories, if the music was low enough I felt I could hear just as well as I did with the wind whistling in my ears. I tested my theory for several rides and feeling confident enough, yes my hearing isn’t paired as long as the volume is kept low.
Mirrors are your friends
Often mirrors are even better than your ears. You can SEE, you don’t have to turn your head and you are prepared. By the time I hear a car coming up behind me, it might be too late to react.
iPod is not iDeath
one of the main issues of the headphones is not so much its removal of the individual’s ability to hear
it is more the combination of the inability to hear and the lack of focus
instead of being in tune to the surroundings the individual is focused on the music
letting the focus drift away from the variables around them
the same goes for mountainbiking… snowboarding… rollerbladding… whatever…
Unfortunately, I’m going to have to disagree with my buddy, Gwadzilla. The main issue within congestion or lack of senses, are the bicycle riders and not the iPod. As a cyclist for many years, all my senses are tuned in more than the average rider.
Now, I do find it hard to ride mountain bikes with both ears plugged in. The hearing that Gwadz mentions above is very necessary while mountain biking. Hearing how the bikes handing, the tires gripping and the gears shifting are all very important.
One Last Thing
Out of the few times there has been a run in with a car, my bicycle, and myself.. there was never ANY music playing in my ears.
Photo Credit : Gwadzilla
Personalizing your bike can be one of most rewarding and fun you’ll have with your bike, after riding it of course.
Step One : Bike fitting
One of the most important things after you pick out your new bike is to make sure it fits you well. Find a reputable bike fitter in your area, or make the trip to come see me. A good bike fit takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours, going through many questions, test and movement on the bike. You should be comfortable on the bike as well as steady when you ride.
Once you get over the 5 or 10 mile breaking point, you will quickly learn that a good saddle is going to follow close behind bike fit of importance. Actually, they go pretty hand in hand but without a good bike fit, a good saddle will be useless. Try out many saddles, and do not settle!
The easiest and most inexpensive way to make your bike unique, and yours, is changing out the handlebar tape or grips. It adds more comfort once your padding has worn down, but it also can spice up your ride with different color options.
Continuing with the color importance, pick out a couple bottle cages that match step 3.
Tires can change your performance, bike handling and comfort. A basic $20 can wear out quickly, and roll very slow. While a $60 tire can be too slick or fast wearing. Find a tire that you can trust for whatever type of riding you may be doing.
A benefit of my job is being able to work with many different people and customers on various types of bikes. The shop I manage is a big player in bike fitting and making sure if you purchase a bike, or your body changes, you will be happy, safe and comfortable on that bike.
This leads me to my thought for the day. Regardless of what type of bike you ride, there is a perfect fit for that bike and yourself. This fit can also change with time and be open to that idea. The reason for that is day to day your body changes, you stretch more or less, you sit more or less, you eat more or less (and so on.)
It is Subjective
The perfect bike fit is subjective to yourself and the bike fit technician you are working with, it can also be subjective to the day you walk into the shop to be fit. As I’ve mentioned before I slowly plan on picking a part a bike fit and highlighting the key things you should pay attention to to find that “perfect bike fit.”
A little while ago I was interviewed by a freelance writer for a new startup magazine dedicated to women, Women’s Cycling Magazine. The writer wasn’t sure the article would be snagged but she loved Bike Shop Girl and wanted to try to put it under the editors eyes. Yesterday I noticed a tweet that I was featured on Women’s Cycling Magazine online!
Behind the scenes at BikeShopGirl I have been working hard at a new layout, which you should be seeing by the time this post, and also getting organized from a very busy bike season.
Here are some of the articles I have on the burner, the reason I am leaking some of the information a head of time is in case you have feedback or questions on any of the topics!
- Presta vs Shrader Valves
- Off Season Planning with a special guest
- Types of pumps
- Essentials for night riding
- How to change a flat tire
Banjo Brothers makes some of the greatest, affordable, commuter packs and bags in the industry. When they sent me a message about a new WHITE Commuter Backpack I was thrilled to be one of the first to review this product for them.