Friday, September 23, 2016

Press Release: Bike To School Challenge Receives Next Generation Advocacy Award at Bicycle Industry Trade Show

CONTACT: Scott Cowan, Owner, Century Cycles, 440-356-5705 (office), 330-730-9928 (mobile) or


Bike To School Challenge Receives Next Generation Advocacy Award
at Bicycle Industry Trade Show

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio –The Century Cycles Bike To School Challenge was presented the Next Generation Advocacy Award last night at the Interbike Awards Gala ceremony.

Interbike is the annual trade show for the North American bicycle industry, held this year on September 21-23, 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Interbike Awards honor athletes, bicycle brands, distributors, retailers, public officials, and other organizations and individuals for product innovation, competitive performance, and their efforts to advance the bicycle industry.

The Next Generation Advocacy Award honors the efforts of organizations, schools, corporations, and individuals that have gone above and beyond to get more kids on bikes. The bicycle industry’s future will be shaped by the work being done now to create more and innovative ways to get our kids riding bikes more often. All nominees and winners were selected by the staff of People for Bikes, the bicycle industry's non-profit advocacy organization.

Other finalists for the Next Generation Advocacy Award were the Washington, DC Public Schools Cornerstone: Biking in the Park Program; The Bureau of Good Roads Youth Education Program; and the Youth Bike Summit.

Century Cycles, the locally-owned bicycle stores with shops in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River, Ohio, is the primary sponsor of the Bike To School Challenge. Century Cycles Owner Scott Cowan was unable to attend the Interbike Awards Gala in person, but accepted the award via a pre-recorded video on behalf of the many other organizers and sponsors of the program.

Scott Cowan noted the impact of the Bike To School Challenge in changing attitudes about transportation in the local communities involved. This was evident in the parking racks full of bicycles in mid-September at Rocky River Middle School, where Scott's video remarks were filmed, even though the Bike To School Challenge program takes place in May.

Scott remarked, "I challenge bicycle dealers across the country to start their own Bike To School programs to see the numerous benefits in their own communities."

Scott also acknowledged the contributions made by the numerous other people involved in organizing and sponsoring the Bike To School Challenge. "Raleigh Bicycles has been the exclusive bicycle sponsor of the Bike To School Challenge since its beginning in 2008. Also, the program would not be possible without the efforts of students, faculty, and administration at all seven of the schools involved. We have also had tremendous support from city officials and local police departments."

About the Century Cycles Bike To School Challenge

Inspired by a student car boycott to protest high gas prices in 2007, Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan approached his alma mater Bay High School about what he could do to encourage more bicycling to school. Bike To School Challenge was born and was enthusiastically embraced by the students and faculty. Participation in 2008 exceeded organizers’ expectations. In 2009, the program was expanded to include Bay Middle School. It expanded to Rocky River Middle School in 2011 and to the Medina middle schools the following year. In 2010, Bike To School Challenge won the city’s Project of the Year Award from the Bay Village Community Council.

Over 5,000 middle school and elementary school students in the Cleveland, Ohio suburbs of Bay Village, Rocky River, and Medina will participate in the 2017 Bike to School Challenge, committing to ride their bikes to school to help the environment, get more physical activity to improve their health, have fun, and win prizes. The award-winning program is now the biggest bike-to-school program in the United States. It will return for its 10th year at Bay Village schools, its 7th year at Rocky River schools, and its 6th year at Medina schools.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Help Cleveland's Shelli Snyder Recover!

Shelli Snyder is a friend of the Cleveland cycling community, as a founding member of Bike Cleveland, and a fixture riding or volunteering at many local bike events.

While cycling from Cleveland to Seattle, on September 18, Shelli was struck from behind by a vehicle in Montana. As of this writing, she remains in a hospital in critical condition.

Friends have organized several events and fund-raising campaigns to help with Shelli's medical expenses and recovery:

  • Thursday, September 22 - Platform Beer Company (4125 Lorain Ave, Cleveland) - $1 from every beer sold will be donated to Shelli's fund.
  • Saturday, September 24 - Mahall's (13200 Madison Ave, Lakewood) - CLE 4 Shelli, a benefit concert with live local bands, featuring Smack Daddy & The Woodies, Exploding Lies, and Orchard Groove. Doors open at 7:00pm; $10 cover.
  • Sunday, September 25Yoga Love for Shelli Snyder at Jefferson Park (3551 W. 133rd St., Cleveland). 45-minute all-skill-levels yoga practice. Donations accepted, prizes, snacks.
We'll also be accepting donations at our Costume Party Night Ride on the Towpath Trail at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula on Saturday, September 24.

If you can't attend any of these events, you can make a donation at the GoFundMe site set up by Shelli's friends.

Monday, September 19, 2016

ALERT: Peninsula store returns to regular Sunday hours of operation

PLEASE NOTE: As of this coming weekend, the Century Cycles store in Peninsula will be returning to regular Sunday hours: 12:00 noon - 5:00pm.

Until further notice, our hours for all three stores are:

  • Monday thru Thursday: 10:00am - 8:00pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
  • Sunday: 12:00 noon - 5:00pm
Towpath Trail Bicycle Rentals in Peninsula will close at 3:30pm on Sundays (bikes must be returned before the 5:00pm store closing time).

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sept. 24: Rent One, Get One Free for Bike Your Park Day, plus Costume Party Night Ride!

As part of the continuing celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Adventure Cycling Association, they have designated Saturday, September 24, 2016 as National Bike Your Park Day.

To join in the celebration, discover new parks or experience your favorite parks in a new way. You can make it your own experience: ride your preferred distance; go with friends, family or join a group; bike on trails or roads. Take photos of your ride and share your experiences on social media using the hashtag: #BikeYourPark

If you don't have a bike, we're going to make it easier for you to enjoy riding the popular Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. National Bike Your Park Day will be RENT ONE, GET ONE FREE DAY for our Towpath Trail Bike Rentals in Peninsula! Just bring this coupon!

Night Ride on the Towpath Trail Costume Party

National Bike Your Park Day festivities continue into the evening on Sept. 24 with our FINAL Night Ride on the Towpath Trail of the 2016 season! We're making it another SPECIAL ride -- a Night Ride Costume Party! The ride is FREE as usual!

Your costume can be any theme you like -- bicycling, an early Halloween costume, or even beer-themed like our past costume rides. The person with the BEST costume (as voted by the crowd in attendance) will win a NiteRider Lumina 550 rechargeable bicycle headlight, a $109 value!
We recommend that you arrive in Peninsula between 6:30 and 7:00pm so that you have plenty of time to find parking, get yourself and your bicycle ready, sign in, and get in on the costume contest. The voting will take place at 7:50pm. We start riding at 8:00pm sharp. The costume contest and the start of the ride takes place in the parking lot of our store at 1621 Main Street in Peninsula.

The ride is about 14 miles long. You must have your own bicycle, helmet, and headlight. For more information, including directions, parking information, preparation and safety tips, and photos from past rides, go to:

Friday, September 16, 2016

On the Edge Film Festival - Oct. 14-15, 2016

Photo: Joey Schusler from the film "The Trail to Kazbegi"
The On the Edge Film Festival is back! Don't miss this exclusive Cleveland showing of fascinating films on adventure, world culture, nature, the environment, and extreme sports such as paragliding, base jumping, kayaking, mountain biking, and rock climbing!

Friday, October 14 & Saturday, October 15, 2016 at The Breen Center for the Performing Arts, 1911 West 30th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.

The Friday night opening reception begins at 6:00pm, and the films begin at 7:30pm. The Saturday night reception begins at 7:00pm; films begin at 8:00pm. Advance tickets $20 per night. Ticket prices go up $5 each on October 1. General seating.

Different films each night! Both nights feature Erie Island Coffee Company serving up complimentary brews by Caruso's Coffee Roasters, plus prizes and exhibits for outdoor enthusiasts.

Find film info and purchase tickets at:

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hampton Hills Mountain Bike Area Open House - Sept. 17, 2016

Join Summit Metro Parks to enjoy the new Hampton Hills Mountain Bike Area! Whether you're an experienced mountain biker or a beginner, there's something for everyone, with trails for all skill levels.

Century Cycles will be there with our Fat Bike Demo/Rental Fleet, so even if you don't have a mountain bike, you can try out the trails!

Food trucks will be available to keep you fueled up to ride!

Date: Saturday, September 17, 2016
Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Location: Hampton Hills Metro Park Mountain Bike Area, 2092 Theiss Road, Akron, Ohio
Cost: FREE

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

ALERT: Towpath Trail closed between Frazee House and Fitzwater Road

PLEASE NOTE: The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has announced that a short section of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail is CLOSED from now through September 23, 2016.

The closed section is about 1/2 mile between Frazee House and Fitzwater Road. No detour is provided, but if you are comfortable riding on the road, you can take Canal Road, which runs parallel to the Towpath Trail in that area.

The closure is to make repairs to the canal near the Wilson Feed Mill.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Labor Day Weekend Hours

PLEASE NOTE: The Century Cycles stores in Medina and Rocky River will be CLOSED on Monday, September 5, 2016 for the Labor Day holiday. Sorry for any inconvenience!

The Peninsula store will be OPEN on Labor Day from 10:00am until 5:00pm. Bike rentals for the Towpath Trail will close at 3:30pm - bikes must be returned before the 5:00pm store closing.

All three stores will be open for our regular hours on all other days.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer Clearance Sale Starts NOW!

Sadly, our Northeast Ohio summer will be coming to an end soon, but that means we have merchandise that we'd like to clear out before we start getting new stuff for next season!

Stop by any of the three Century Cycles stores to find great deals, including the following:

2016 Giant AnyRoad 1, originally $1,299.99 NOW $1,169.99! All sizes in stock!

2016 Liv Women's Avail Advanced 2, originally $2,099.99 NOW $1,889.99!

2016 Raleigh Venture 4.0, originally $549.99 NOW $494.99!

2016 Salsa Beargrease Carbon X7, originally $2,699.99 NOW $2,429.99!

2016 Surly Big Dummy, originally $2,099.99 NOW $1,889.99!

CLICK HERE for all sale bicycles!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Event Photos: Night Ride on the Towpath Trail to benefit the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park

For this special Night Ride on August 27, 2016, we partnered with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Through their TRAILS FOREVER Fund, they help ensure that generations to come can enjoy the trails of the CVNP, including the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and the East Rim Mountain Bike Trail.

We raised over $200 for the Conservancy selling raffle tickets for chances to win a NiteRider Lumina 550 rechargeable bike headlight. The Conservancy also raffled off some of their clothing items. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone for attending!

Unfortunately, due to thunder and lightning, the ride itself had to be cancelled. Our next Night Ride on the Towpath Trail in Peninsula is Saturday, September 10, 2016.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

NEOCycle 2016 - The Nation's Biggest Urban Cycling Festival - September 9,10,&11, 2016

Be a part of the nation's largest urban cycling festival! NEOCycle combines competitive races, unique rides, and a live music and outdoor lifestyle festival to make one incredible event.

Experience the high-speed action of the Cleveland Velodrome, get dirty at the Edgewater Cyclocross race, race through the streets in the Wade Oval Criterium, be one of the first to experience the NEOCycle Mountain Bike Race, tour the city of Cleveland in the MCPc Fundo, and join thousands on a glowing and scenic Night Ride - all in one weekend created to celebrate all things cycling in Northeast Ohio!

NEOCycle is organized by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, in cooperation with Bike Cleveland, Cleveland Metroparks, and numerous other organizers and sponsors.

For complete event details and registration, go to:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bicycle Touring visitors from The Netherlands in Peninsula

Our latest bicycle touring visitors at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula were this couple from The Netherlands. Their names are Kees-Jan and Angela.

They flew into Boston and purchased their bicycles, then rented a car and drove to Buffalo. They started their ride there, and were on their fifth day of riding when they stopped into Peninsula for some new bike shorts, a taillight, and that snazzy vest that Angela is modeling.

They plan to continue south on the Adventure Cycling Association's Underground Railroad Bicycle Route until it crosses the Great Rivers South Route, then proceed to New Orleans.

Good luck, and safe travels!

You can see more photos of long-distance cyclists that have visited all three Century Cycles stores in our Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery.

Monday, August 22, 2016

RE-SCHEDULED: Night Ride on the Towpath Trail to Benefit the Conservancy for CVNP - Aug. 27, 2016

Our next Night Ride on the Towpath Trail at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula is Saturday, August 27, 2016. This will be a very special Night Ride, as we will be partnering with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

As usual, the 14-mile bicycle ride is FREE and open to the public, and all ages and skill levels are welcome. Attendees must have their own bicycle, helmet, and headlight, and must sign a waiver before the ride starts. Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

The ride begins at 8:00pm from the parking lot of the store, located at 1621 Main Street (State Route 303) in Peninsula. Guests are encouraged to arrive earlier to have plenty of time to find parking, get themselves and their bicycles ready, and sign in.

Staff from the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park will be at the event to accept donations, sign up new memberships, and answer questions about the organization and its mission.

Any person who attends the event and makes a donation to the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's TRAILS FOREVER Fund (minimum of $1) will be eligible to win a NiteRider Lumina 550 rechargeable bicycle headlight (valued at $110). The drawing for the headlight will be held at 7:50pm; winner must be present.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park has over 100 miles of trails for hiking, running, bicycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. Funding from the National Park Service alone isn't enough to maintain these trails. The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's TRAILS FOREVER Fund helps preserve our precious legacy of trails for future generations.

For more information about the Night Ride on the Towpath Trail, call Century Cycles in Peninsula at 330-657-2209. Online, please visit, an informational page that includes videos and photos from past Night Rides and tips for first-time Night Riders.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Get your new Bike Cleveland yard sign!

Bike Cleveland came out with their first yard signs a couple years ago, and they were hugely popular. Now, they've come out with a new version to highlight their #AllDrivers campaign.

We've got a supply of the new signs in all three Century Cycles stores. Stop in to get yours!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Plus-Sized Tires: Just Because You Can

Surly Krampus, the ORIGINAL plus-sized bike
There are those who say that "Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean that you SHOULD." To them I say, "But sometimes it DOES mean you should."

Case in point, "plus-sized" tires on your mountain bike.

First, a bit of background. What are "plus-sized" tires? The term "Plus" when it comes to bike tires is generally used to refer to tires that range in width from 2.8 inches to 3.25 inches. Sometimes called "mid-fat," they are wider than your typical mountain bike tires, but not as wide as your true "fat" bike or "snow bike" tires.

The idea with plus tires is that you get some of the benefits of uber-traction like with fat bikes, but less of the disadvantages, like all that extra weight, plus the "self-steering" feeling you can get with some fat bike tires.

Surly Bikes, being the under-appreciated vanguard of things new and cool in the bike world, first came up with the idea of plus-sized tires. Their Krampus came out in late 2012, featuring the first plus tire, the Surly Knard 29x3.0. I had the opportunity to first test-ride the Krampus at Interbike 2012, and was sold on the idea from the start.

We ordered a few of the Krampus for stock in our stores, and they hung around for quite a while before we finally sold out. I think that Northeast Ohio wasn't yet ready for the "plus" concept yet. Or, maybe people were intrigued, but figured, "If this is version 1.0 of this idea, maybe I should wait and see what version 2.0 looks like?" What do you think?

Surly followed up on the Krampus in 2013 with the ECR, what they referred to as "the love child of a Krampus and a Long Haul Trucker." Designed for off-road touring, the ECR combined the 29+ wheels of the Kramps with upright touring geometry.
Surly ECR 29+ touring bike
I test-rode the ECR at SaddleDrive 2013, and again, was hooked.

I bought my '14 Salsa Mukluk 2 fat bike at the beginning of 2014, and enjoyed it through that snowy season. Come springtime, I was looking for a way to liven it up for the summer, so I bought a pair of the Surly Knard 29x3.0 tires and Surly Rabbit Hole 29er rims (the same ones that come on the Krampus and ECR), plus a pair of Salsa hubs, and had our ace Service Manager Rich lace them up with DT Swiss double-butted spokes.
Salsa Mukluk 2 with 29+ wheels
I took the first test-ride with this setup on the Cleveland Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation Mountain Bike Trail. The ride was as fun as I had hoped. The rigid fork does beat me up a bit, but I was used to riding a rigid off-road bike already. I continued to  ride this as my primary mountain bike throughout the rest of the season, including at the Royalview Trail, Bedford Singletrack, Mohican State Park, and topping off the season with the Iceman Cometh Challenge race in Michigan. My full-suspension mountain bike sat in the basement collecting dust.

2015 rolled around, and I, being one who likes to tinker, experiment, and be on the bleeding edge, was looking for a way to build a new biking experience without building a new bike. I had a 2013 Raleigh Talus 29er that I had acquired from my friend Sean at Main Street Cupcakes. I had been doing some reading that many 29er mountain bikes could fit 27.5+ wheels. The outer diameter of a 27.5+ wheel is almost the same as a regular 29er wheel, and most 29er frames have enough clearance to fit the width of a 27.5x2.8 tire.

So, I bought a pair of Velocity Dually 27.5 rims and WTB Trail Blazer 27.5x2.8 tires. We had a nice pair of old Real Mountain Hubs in the store, so once again, I had Rich lace them all up.
Raleigh Talus 29er with 27.5+ wheels
The Raleigh, with a suspension fork and the 27.5+ wheels, was everything you want in a hardtail mountain bike and more. The fork took the edge off the bumps and roots, while the plus tires grabbed the dirt, allowing me to rail corners and maintain speed.

Most forks, both rigid and suspension, have plenty of tire clearance to spare, and that was the case with this one and the 27.5+ tires. In the back on the Raleigh Talus 29er frame, it was a little tight between the chainstays and seatstays. Manufacturers recommend at least 6mm of clearance on either side of the tire for safety, since frames flex when ridden. I had less than that, and I did get a little tire rub when pushing the bike hard.

Looking for other ways to push the envelope, I tried these same wheels on my Salsa Fargo:
Salsa Fargo with 27.5+ wheels at Bedford Singletrack
The plus wheels on the Fargo make this bike a little more playful compared to its standard 29er wheels. It's perfect for smooth, flowy singletrack like you'd find at the Bedford Reservation, and perfect for the warm and dry conditions we had late into the season last fall. I took it to the East Rim Trail on opening day last October, just because it was the bike I happened to have with me that day. The tires worked well on that trail, although the weight-forward position of the drop-bar Fargo was a bit tough to handle on that trail. This setup would be perfect for an extended back-road/off-road multi-day tour.

Tire clearance in the Fargo frame was better compared to the Raleigh. While still less than the recommended 6mm, I've never had any problems with tire rub.

For the 2016 model year, Salsa Cycles, following in the footsteps of their sister brand Surly, released the first full-suspension 27.5+ bike, the Pony Rustler, which I had the opportunity to test-ride at SaddleDrive 2015.
2016 Salsa Pony Rustler Carbon X01
In the meantime, last year I had to downsize my bike collection due to moving, so the Raleigh Talus 29er had to go (I kept the 27.5+ wheels and sold it with a pair of regular 29er wheels).

My latest bike acquisition in January was a Surly Ogre. This was one of those bikes that I didn't really have a need for, but I've always loved the "Tannish Gray" color, and at that time, I noticed that Surly was down to one left in stock in my size, so I grabbed it and built it up with some parts I had around, and put my 27.5+ wheels on it.
Surly Ogre with 27.5+ wheels
The Ogre is designed to handle up to 29x2.5-inch tires. Clearance with the 27.5x2.8 tires was better than on the Fargo, and I have not had any tire rub issues. Both the Ogre and the Mukluk with have been my go-to mountain bikes this season; I've probably ridden them both about 50/50 when I hit the trails. Think of this Ogre like a "poor man's ECR" -- 27.5+ instead of 29+ wheels, although the Ogre shares frame geometry with the Karate Monkey, so it's a little more singletrack-friendly compared to the ECR. At over 33 pounds, it's a bit of a pig going uphill, but my SRAM 2x10 drivetrain with 11-36 cassette gives me plenty of gearing to crank it up, however slowly that may be. This bike would be perfect for a multi-day off-road tour.

Here we are in 2016, and you will see in the coming season that just about every major bike company has some version of plus bike, either 27.5+ or 29+, or both. (Surly, in their infinite surliness, have updated their Troll frame to accommodate 26x3.0 tires, to prove that 26-inch is not yet dead.)

Having ridden various incarnations of plus-tired mountain bike during the past two years, I've decided that this is the perfect platform for my style of riding and for the typical Ohio mountain bike trails. What I really need is another bike with front suspension that handles 27.5+ tires out of the box. I've been mulling over two options:

  1. Get a RockShox Bluto fat bike suspension fork for my Salsa Mukluk, and rebuild my wheels using the Velocity Dually 27.5 rims, WTB Trail Blazer Tires, and Salsa fat bike hubs.
  2. Decide which of my current bikes I can live without, and buy a new dedicated 27.5+ hardtail, such as the Salsa Timberjack GX1 27.5+, which we will soon have IN STOCK!
Which will it be? Stay tuned to find out...
Salsa Timberjack 27.5+ GX1