11 posts categorized "Bikes & Gear"

April 27, 2010

Time to Get Fit!

"Fit" as in getting your bike fine tuned to your body - core, legs, arms, shoulders, back, hands, behind, soft tissue areas, etc.  Really, a perfect fit makes for a smooth, efficient ride with no soreness at the end of your journey.  I'm lucky to live just a couple miles from my friendly bike "gurus".  Not just any gurus either...I get to hobnob with the store and service managers, Matt and Derek at the #1 Trek Dealer in America, Wheel and Sprocket of Delafield. Nice guys? You bet!  Know how to fit? You bet!  Cater to your needs, answer your questions?  You bet!  It all starts with making sure your bike frame is the right size for your height and weight and matches the kind of biking you intend to do: trails, road, cross country, cruise, race, commute - to name a few of the styles.  If you are lucky - have a bike for each purpose or at least 2 or 3!  You'll really get a kick out of riding a variety of roads and trails for pleasure or racing.  As Wheel and Sprocket says, "Enjoy Your Ride".  And to ENJOY it, get fit!

Your bike shop will guide you to the right bike selection and let you test ride, preferably where you will do most of  your riding.  The seat is a really important component of riding comfortably and the Bontrager inForm will guide you and your bike guru to find the best saddle for your shape, you'll sit on a form, make an impression on it with your bottom and viola! a saddle can be selected that fits your form.  We all vary back there and down there!  So start there and you'll be a happy camper!  Then, the handlebars are another testy little variable - go to the pros at the bike shop for help and proper fit and selection.  Matt, the "master fitter and manager", you'll know him by his fashionable blue glasses, did all of this for me when fitting my Equinox, a superb triathlon bike and yes, it is fast and comfortable.  Well, fast, as in fast-for-me!  From the start of our fit session (plan on an hour and a half or so) to walking out the door a few days later, after Derek in Service put all the pieces together, I have been flying down the road feeling fit, too.

DSCN1161 DSCN1155 



February 1, 2010

Ro[cx]y's X01



Point me to the nearest PoserCross race. I'm in.

Yes, I bought a CX bike - the 2010 Trek X01. Mother Nature was excited for me too so she let me ride it outside this past weekend. I didn't go gravel or anything, but I did get her out for some serious hours. I liked it. I need to get it onto grass or gravel to really be able to give a worthy report. But I can say the matte paint job was a nice surprise. And the fact that the Bonty cages matched was even better!

I bought it because, like, everyone else is doing it and well, I don't think we're going to see dry trails for a while and I get ditched as it is on the group rides and this will help close that gap, at least. Plus, with the recent influx of gravel races and rides popping up, I definitely will be on the X01. 

Louisville 2012 baby. Not.

December 7, 2009

A Revelation!

As I said, it was a trial and error proposition for me to ride my bike in winter!  OK, so it isn't REALLY winter just yet, but compared to my previous 50 degree limit - 20 or 30 is cold!  I will let you know what I think about 0 but I'm just fine with 20 so far.  Today I got the comparison and it was a revelation to me - bike riding is just like downhill or XC skiing for heaven sakes! You have to dress for the weather!  It's even better than downhill because you aren't taking breaks on the gondola or chairlift getting chilled.  I love it!  WHY has it taken me so long to put it together.  All the years I missed by putting my bike away as soon as the temperatures dropped.  But I won't cry over spilled miles.  Thanks to Bontrager gear I can suit up and feel like a pro out there. Well, I won't go that far - will you buy "comfortable"? 

Continue reading "A Revelation!" »

December 2, 2009

Cozy up to your winter commute!

So I know that Mary is trying to warm up to winter cycling-- so this is for you, Mary!

While I lived in Walla Walla, there was rarely a need to bike more than 2 or 3 miles at a time. Now that I live north of Seattle and work east of it, I regularly bike commute an hour just to get to the bus transit station. For my purposes, this requires a bit different mode of dress and more planning ahead! Especially during the wet winter time in the grand Pacific Northwest. Fortunately, I find a longer bike commute to be fun and refreshing! I hate missing it.

Here are a few little things that will brighten your long, wet, cold and wonderful winter bicycle commute!

  •  Visor or cycling cap
    • Visors are traditionally worn on mountain bike helmets and cycling caps may be hip casual wear, but what they're both REALLY good for-- is keeping that rain out of your EYES!
  • Clear lense glasses
    • After your cap or visor, this is your last line of defense! Keeps both the wind and rain out of your eyes. Generally, you can pedal safer when you can SEE!
  • Booties!
    • Feet get cold easily on the bike. Help 'em out and keep them dry!
  • A snack
    • When you hit that snooze button one too many times, but can't bear the thought of missing your morning bike commute and you dash out the door sans breakfast-- you'll be happy you stashed that breakfast bar (or two, or three) in your bike bag. Hey, even if you DID eat breakfast-- you just may work up an appetite by the time you arrive at your destination.
  • A little extra light
    • The mornings and afternoons are dark in the winter. Any bike commuter should be using a powerful front light and crazy-pattern red rear light-- but a great addition is a ankle strap that lights up! Your pedaling legs make this light quite eye-catching as your legs move up-down-up-down-up-down.

Keep on pedalin'!


November 27, 2009

I'm learning, by trial and error!

Ok, I promised, many blogs ago, that I would ride in colder weather and let you know how I was doing.  Well, since then we have had a spectacular fall and I didn't have to deal with temperatures below 50 degrees.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, was my riding temperature limit before Trek and WWR! 

But this week, suddenly but not unexpectedly, we have had a temperature drop and I had to suit up for 40!  So I had to discover and practice how to "dress" for a 10 degree drop..

First lesson: Don't overdress, I found out that I could tolerate 40 with the same layers as 50.  I added a windbreaker to help out, along with a head band to cover my ears.  I like my feet warm so I made sure I wore my Bontrager wool riding socks and covered my shoes with their great booties.  My feet stayed toasty.

Continue reading "I'm learning, by trial and error!" »

November 20, 2009

Bike Shops

Many people, when they are new to biking, don't give a thought to the bike shop they use.  They figure, "I'll get the bike I want at the best price, so what does it matter where I buy it?  At most, I may need some help choosing the right bike, and after that I'll be done."  I think I can understand that.  Some do their own research, and buy bikes on-line or at a big box store, figuring that they'll get the best deal that way.  I can understand that too, especially if they're handy with bikes (or know someone that is).  Some others, like me, have a soft spot for small shops, and like the personal attention you get when you really know a shop (no matter what that shop sells).  I like it when salespeople know me by name (and I know their name), and we can have a friendly conversation.  Those are the people who will be able to get the right product for me, since they know who I am and what I'm about.  So I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about a new bike shop where I would be starting from scratch.

Continue reading "Bike Shops" »

November 17, 2009

Wahoo! A new bike!

A new bike is always a fun post, and I am very excited about the newest addition to my garage!  My brand spanking new mountain bike arrived last week, and I did an inaugural ride this weekend.  Beware, there's some serious bike geekiness going on in this post, but pictures follow as an incentive to read (even just a tiny bit).  

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that my upcoming birthday would be a good excuse to get a mountain bike.  I wanted something that was going to grow with me; while I have recently been doing some mellow (but fun) riding, I had gotten to be a decent rider before I had kids and I've been feeling ready to up the ante a little bit.  So I headed down to my favorite Trek dealer, Trek of San Jose, to do some test rides.  I was trying to decide between the Fuel EX 9.8 and the Top Fuel WSD.  Tough choice, huh?

Continue reading "Wahoo! A new bike!" »

November 11, 2009

Fit Your Bike


You may or may not have noticed that my Madone-- is indeed not a Women's Specific Design (WSD).

That's because Trek-- is really, really cool. Let me explain.

When I showed up to Trek Headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin, we got sized to our carbon beauties-- because fit is OH SO IMPORTANT when buying (or winning!) a new bike. It doesn't matter how fancy your bike is-- if it doesn't fit you. A poor fit can cause discomfort, pain and reduce your efficiency. A good fit will cause comfort, elation and speed! 

So we got fit to our new bicycles and in the process of my fit, we discovered that the reach (how far I had to reach with my back and arms to reach the handlebars) on the WSD was actually too short for me, as were the width of the handlebars.

But Trek wasn't about to put me on a WSD bike JUST BECAUSE I represent their women's program.. instead, Trek said, "you know, WSD may fit a majority of women, but not all women. Let's get you on a regular 5.1 Madone," and I'm glad for it.

There is NO reason that your bike should hurt you. If you are experiencing discomfort on your bike-- be it bum, back, neck, wrists.. seek out a professional bike fit through a local bike shop or physical therapist. A full fit costs around $150, but it is worth so much more.

Keep ridin'!


October 15, 2009

Cold weather? What cold weather?

At least that's what I'm going to say when I do my next ride using the sweet new fall Bontrager gear that found its way to my doorstep. Seriously, I want for nothing. I have everything I need to ride this fall. I've already tried it all on and it all fits (ladies, I'm 5'5" about 120# and a small in everything fits damn near perfect!) Seriously, I'm sitting here in all the layers and I was so excited I came right to the computer to tell ya about it. I still have the beanie on.

Natasha, you are an angel. For real, all of this for us? 

So the L/S jersey, perfect for fall. Not too heavy so then I can layer it under the totally bitchn race hoodie that I can wear under my helmet cuz it has a neato hood. And if it's really a bitter cold ride, I can trade the super rad PADDED knickers for the leggings that I'd wear over a pair of shorts. They have an awesome V shaped waste band so no gut ache after putting on 3 layers. And as girls, we have permanently cold feet, so Natasha equipped us with a week's worth of toasty socks. And what I'm totally stoked on in my very first BEANIE! And with ear covers. You have no idea how sacred that will be when I'm doing my night rides in 15 degree weather. When an ear band just doesn't cut it, this will be my saving grace! No joke, I have had the same arm warmers for about eight years and I just emailed Natasha today asking for some new ones. And look what came in the box! I can't be more excited. Now I have everything I need to fight the cold Nebraska winter. Well, I didn't see any whiskey in the box, so I guess I'm on my own for that. 

Continue reading "Cold weather? What cold weather?" »

September 14, 2009

Bike Transition-- and not in a triathlon!

My life is in transition right now.

Yes, I'm moving from one city to another. From one job to another. From one life to another.

But most noticeably, I am transitioning from one bike to another.

This summer, I rode this:


and now, I zip around on a Madone.



This summer, I took the Trek 520 for a lil' ride. We went 4,250 miles across the country, carrying everything I perceived to be a 'necessity' in panniers. Bike, gear and all, I lugged about 80 or more pounds, up and over the Cascades, the Rockies and the Appalachians. Oregon coast to Virginia coast. 

I loved the 520. It felt stable under a heavy load, yet I could still stand up and go nuts uphill if I wanted to. A perfect balance in performance.

Now that I've returned, my dear 520 (I like to call him "Bennington") still rests in the box and Mr.Madone has been my companion. HOLEY MOLEY, I feel like a beginner all over again! My muscle memory has be re-welded to expect EIGHTY POUNDS of heft, not sub-20! So whenever I try to stand up on the bike, I am just a wobbly mess. It's sort of comical, but actually frustrating. I was pretty happy with my road handling skills, especially after racing a season of cyclocross-- a sport requiring you to jump on and off your bike, run with it and navigate around obstacles and barriers. It's satisfying to know your bike as well as an extremity. 

But alas, I went through the same struggle with the fully loaded 520. In contrast to a carbon fiber racer, the 520 felt like a boat! But soon I was fearlessly whipping it uphill.

Now I've got to reverse my programming!


These women shared their stories and captured our hearts, convincing us that they should represent Trek. Of course they ride for the love of it, but more importantly, they ride for opportunities cycling offers. Read about these opportunities. Their stories will put a smile on your face and inspire you to experience life by bike. They are Trek Women.
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