Trek Women
March 18, 2009

Changing tires

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I consider myself a pretty handy person, especially when it comes to bikes.  Just the other day, one of our friends brought over his bike because the brakes needed to be tightened and the derailleurs were not shifting very well. I threw the bike up on my stand, and 10 minutes later it was ready to ride. 

This is a frequent thing for me.  I rarely take my own bikes into a shop unless I need parts, or if I don't have the right tools. Flat tires are like candy to me and I can build a bike from scratch. 

So, I was going to continue on with my life thinking that I was this great "handy person" or bike mechanic.

Then I saw this kid changing a car tire after church. His name is Spencer and he is 16 years old. We came out of church and their family van had a flat tire. He just took off his dress shirt and went to work. 

I don't even know how to change a tire on a car. I have a lot to learn!  Maybe I should stop thinking I am so hot shot at fixing bikes.  My admiration goes out to Spencer.  Good work!
April 3, 2008

An Astonishing Night!

Header_car I went to Ladies Night Out at Penn Cycle in Eagan last night.  Tori, the WSD Demo girl, was there and she had asked if I wanted to come. She said I could introduce myself and talk a little bit about Women Who Ride and my blog and stuff.  I showed up a little late, but figured there would only be a few ladies there any way.  I was totally surprised.  There must have been 60-70 ladies or more! When I walked in Tori was right in the middle of talking about saddles, shorts and chamois cream.  She said "Oh and Stephanie is here, just in time!" 

I don't know whether it was the fact that this winter has been so long, or that women in Minnesota are always so excited about biking. There were so many women there. All kinds of riders too.  There were ladies who didn't even own a bike yet, but were thinking of starting to ride.  There were ladies who didn't even pay attention to Tori as she demonstrated how to change a rear flat tire...they must be seasoned riders.

It was fun to hang out and talk to other women who ride.  They also served wine and cheese!  I had never been to a Ladies Night before.  Great fun.  Learn about bikes, gear, races, group rides, and bring tons of questions.  Check out the Trek website to see if there will be one in your area soon. Click here: Ladies Night Out.

August 15, 2007

Girls can do it!

Dsc_0006 I am living proof that girls can do it. I just finished installing a rack on the top of my car. I had to put on towers, bars, and extension kit and two bike racks. It looked complicated at first, but once I got going it was really simple.  It took me a total of two hours, but if I had to do it again it would probably take me half that.

Back in Boise, ID I worked at a bike shop (Idaho Mountain Touring).  We got a lot of women who came in for car racks, but they never took them home in their trunks.  They would pay to have the shop put them on, or have their husbands install them.  I thought that was pretty reasonable. I had never put one one myself, and knew that I shouldn't attempt to install one for a customer since they would be paying for the work. 

Now I have a wonderful set of Yakima racks on my car.  It is so much better than taking off the wheels and shoving two bikes in the trunk. My car, and bikes took a lot of dents and scratches doing it that way.Dsc_0015_3

Girls, don't be afraid to try something that you have never done before.  I am so proud that I have racks on my car finally, but even more proud that I put them on.  If you are putting car racks on yourself, I have 3 tips for you:

1) Read all instructions carefully.

2) Clear enough working space. You'll need a lot of space when you lay everything out. If you don't have enough garage space, just take it all outside.

3) Don't get frustrated or give up.  You have to do a lot of measuring and it can get frustrating when you measure and move one side, only to find that the other side, which was already in place, has also moved.