Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
See this video about Kaleb from Fox 8 Cleveland.
And what's that Kaleb is wearing while training? It's one of our "Define your life. Ride a bike." t-shirts! Thanks, Kaleb!
You can go to Kaleb's online donation page here.
And thanks to our friend Mike for forwarding this story to us; Mike is a customer in our Medina store, and a dedicated bike commuter.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This means that our computers started out as the state-of-the-art model on some CEO's desk, and were then inherited by some middle-level managers, then eventually passed down to some poor file clerk. When they outlived their usefulness in the corporate world, they were probably donated to charities, community organizations, or passed on to family members. When they finally wore out their usefulness to scout troops, PTA's, and even nuns and monks toiling under the watchful eye of God him/herself, they were sent to a used office equipment dealer where they could be snatched up by the frugal likes of bike shops.
As the company computer guy, I enjoy this job more than any other I've had. But yesterday was one of those days that makes you wanna hop on your bike and head into the sunset for an indefinite period of time. It started with learning what I was going to have to shell out for a new alternator for my car, but that's another story (and another good reason to ride my bike more).
One of the old PC's in the Rocky River store had just died last week, and another was on the verge of dying. I had ordered a couple of brand-new Dell replacements last week, and yesterday was the day to get them up and running in the store. One thing I learned 20 years ago is that in planning any computer upgrade project, use the following rules for estimating the time required:
- Take your best guess, based on everything going relatively smoothly, with the possiblity of a few unexpected glitches.
- Quadruple that estimate.
- Double it again.
That formula has never failed, and yesterday was no exception. It's always the thing you least expect, in this case McAfee's anti-virus software has some issues installing with Microsoft Internet Explorer 7. The kicker is that I set up this exact same configuration last month in our Medina store, and it was a painless 10-minute effort, but this time around, 5 hours of effort left only one computer working right. You would think that in the weekly e-mail report I get from McAfee, reminding me of what I've already purchased from them and how much more wonderful my life would be if I purchased more products from them, they could have been bothered to mention that their product has some incompatibility issues with the latest version of the number one web browser program in the known universe, but no.
The one surprising bright spot was that their technical support line was helpful, and I only had to spend about 30 minutes on hold, which is probably better than average for software support. I've gotten minimal calls today from the gang in Rocky River, so I assume that no news is good news and their keyboards are clicking away happily. If that turns out not to be the case later on, we appreciate your patience...
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Join in this spring for a bike race of epic proportions. Featuring checkpoints all around the city, a "king of the mountains" challenge, prizes for the winners and participants, and an after party at The Matinee, 812 West Market Street, Akron, OH 44303, featuring Birds & Elephants & Social Insecurity. Between the race and after party join Akron Food Not Bombs for a free dinner fit for a rubber burning cyclist.
Entry Fee: $10
When: Saturday, April 5th, 2008
2:00pm Check-In, 3pm Race
Meet at 812 West Market Street, Akron, OH 44303
See www.rubbercityalleycat.com for more information.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
- Kevin Norris, Rocky River
- Brad Elles, Berea
- Hawthorne Family, Medina
- Jeff Corbitt, Bay Village
- Katie Stroh, Cleveland
- Tony Aseff, Solon
- Jill Dexheimer, Medina
- Gene Elbert, Fairview Park
- Daniel Kodosky, Spencer
- Jane Turzillo, Akron
- Laura Creed, Shaker Heights
- Dennis Boudreau, Wellington
- Colette Zidek, Avon Lake
- Christopher Rutter, Canal Winchester
- Patrick Harrington, Medina
GRAND PRIZE $100 WINNER
- Mike Miller, Bay Village
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
GOOD FOR YOUR HEART! A scientist from the University of Wisconsin found that darker brews like Guinness had substantially more anti-clotting properties than light beers, preventing the clots that can cause heart attacks. The beneficial effect comes from hundreds of flavonoids in the beer, the same anti-oxidant compounds that provide the dark color in many fruits and vegetables. And don't stop at just one Guinness. The researcher said that for the optimal anti-clotting effect, you need to reach a blood alcohol level of 0.06, which for the typical person is accomplished with two, 12-ounce glasses.
I came across this blog where one poster claimed that Guinness contains enough of the basic essential nutrients (with the exception of vitamin C and calcium) that an average person could survive by drinking, per week: 1 pint milk, 1 pint orange juice, 42 pints Guinness.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I participated in a triathlon in which drafting, riding close behind another bicycle to gain an aerodynamic advantage, was prohibited. While riding alone, I was overtaken by a large group of cyclists riding together. I had two choices: slow down and let them pass me, obeying the rules but losing significant time, or ride with them and break the rules. I chose the latter, and none of us were disqualified. Was this the right decision? — JOSHUA KULP, MODIIN, ISRAEL
The Ethicist replied: It was not. Other people’s cheating does not justify your own. Nor were you limited to the alternatives you describe. A triathlete I consulted, Tim Donahue, suggests that you should have shouted: “Guys, watch the drafting. You know the rules.” If rule-breaking riders ignore your warning, he says, report them to race officials and “make a special point to waste them on the run.”
He’s right. A sport is not merely governed but defined by rules to which participants voluntarily submit. If you flout the rules, you may as well install a motor on your bike and wield a flame-thrower to discourage other riders from passing you. And by “other riders,” I mean bike-straddling killer robots.
Donahue adds a call for moderation: “If these guys aren’t going for some kind of top position in the race, I’d say lighten up. The rules are a bit more about fun when it comes to 174th place.” This flexibility is apt for sports where a competitor’s behavior only indirectly affects your own. Other people’s drafting does not force you to alter your riding style. In fencing, for example, you would have to change tactics if a foe swapped his foil for a chain saw.
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
In completely unrelated news, "Dancing with the Stars" begins a new season tomorrow. The only reason I mention this is because here were the results of a recent Bicycling magazine poll:
What would you like to see Lance attempt next?
38%: "Dancing with the Stars"
29%: Ironman triathlon
16%: Leadville 100 (for real this time)
15%: Race Across America
2%: A sub-2:40 marathon
Um, yeah. Weird. Hopefully that is the first and last mention of "Dancing with the Stars" on this blog.
Friday, March 14, 2008
As David puts it, "We all travel life’s roads. I stand before you to ask for your cooperation in providing safe space for cyclists. When you see a cyclist on the road, please, yield to life."
Their web site also contains helpful tips for both cyclists and motorists for using the roads safely. Check them out at www.yieldtolife.org.
Thanks to Krista from the Rocky River store for forwarding this information to me!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The biggest news in the latest edition is our 16th Birthday Sale, which begins tomorrow, March 13, and runs through Sunday, March 16. Take 10% off all bikes, including those already on sale! Additional models from '06 and '07 have just been marked down; see our Previous Model Year Bike Clearance page to see!
Also, take 20% off all regularly-priced parts, accessories and clothing, and look for special $16 Deals!
Anyone who is also turning 16 years old this month can get a FREE Gift!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
As we used to say in the computer industry, the great thing about standards is that there are so many to pick from. It may sound surprising to you that there actually used to be many times more varieties of tire than are common today. In the early years from the invention of the bicycle through the early 1900's, many bike manufacturers had their own set of sizing standards that only applied to their own bikes. It is a testament to how far we've come that today you can buy tires, tubes, and wheels from three different manufacturers and be sure that they will all work fine together, as long as you select the proper sizes of each.
There are four groups of tire sizes that are commonly used on standard adult bikes today. Each group is defined (roughly, as we'll get into shortly) by the diameter of the tire, with varying widths available within the same diameter.
The most common tire (and wheel) size group is called 700C. These are found on most road bikes and hybrid bikes. They come in widths ranging from 20-23 millimeters for fast road bikes, to 38-42mm wide for hybrids and touring bikes.
A question we are often asked is "what does 700C mean?" The name comes from years back when there were 700A, 700B, 700C, and 700D tires available; the letters referred to different widths. All of these tires were 700mm in diameter, measured from one outer edge to the other. However, they all had different inner diameters; this measurement is also referred to as the "bead seat diameter," or BSD for short, because it's the diameter of the tire's "bead," i.e. the part that hooks onto the wheel's rim.
For various reasons, 700A, 700B, and 700D eventually fell out of common use, and 700C became the de facto standard. The standard BSD of 700C tires was 622mm, and over time up through the present, the term 700C came to be used for any tire with a BSD of 622mm, no matter what the width. This can be a source of confusion, because some tires will have the size stamped on the tire itself using the BSD measurement. Thus, a tire labeled 25-622 is 25mm wide with a 622mm BSD, or what would more commonly be called a "700x25."
The upside of this is that any modern tire labeled as 700C will work on a modern 700C rim, as long as the widths are close enough. The downside of this is that there is a huge variation of the "true" outer diameter among 700C tires; for example, a 700x20 road bike tire may be as small as about 660mm in diameter. Another downside of the variations in tire diameter (as well as width) is that there is no foolproof way to know whether any given tire will fit in your frame, other than trial and error.
The next common size is 27-inch tires. This size was popular on the "10-speed" bikes that were common from the 1960's through the 1980's, but not many (it would probably be safe to say "none") bikes are being made today based on this wheel size. However, replacement 27-inch wheels are still available for these bikes, and the tires will probably continue to be produced for years to come. 27-inch tires use the same inner tubes as 700C tires, but the tires themselves are NOT the same. So, you should NOT use the terms "27-inch" and "700C" interchangeably.
The prevalent tires on mountain bikes and comfort bikes is 26-inch. This size first became common on beach cruiser bikes beginning in the 1930's. In the 1970's, when the early mountain biking pioneers first cobbled together their bikes, 26-inch tires became the de facto standard, because the 26-inch balloon tires on the beach cruisers were all that were available in a tire wide enough to handle off-road terrain. Today, 26-inch tires are commonly available in widths from 1.25 inches up to 2.5 inches. The standard bead seat diameter on modern 26-inch tires is 559mm. As with 700C tires, the true outer diameter of a 26-inch tire will vary from one brand and model of tire to the next.
Finally, some triathlon/time trial bikes and smaller-framed women's-specific bikes use 650C tires. They are typically one inch in width. Contrary to common belief, 650C tires are NOT the same as 26-inch tires. 650C uses a BSD of 571mm. However, similar to 700C and 27-inch, 650C and 26-inch inner tubes are interchangeable, given a close enough width.
What about the new 29er mountain bike wheels, you may ask? The name "29er" comes from the fact that the fatter tires have an outer diameter that is near 29 inches. However, the rims use the same BSD of 622mm that is standard for 700C tires, so the growing popularity of the 29er market has not complicated things as much as it could have.
One new complication is a resurgence of the 650B tire size (with a 584mm BSD) among some touring and mountain bike enthusiasts. Many claim that this size provides the "best of both worlds" when comparing the pros and cons of 26-inch versus 29er/700C wheels. We'll leave that discussion for another day...
I have to credit the late, great Sheldon Brown for providing reference for much of this article. If you want even more details and history of the tire size issue, read his article on the subject here.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
"What was once frowned down upon as unladylike, trivial, and shocking, is now done openly and with the approval of the beholders. Perhaps nothing illustrates this so much as the riding of the bicycle."
--Dr. Gracie Ritchie, mover and shaker in nineteenth-century Canada
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
The May/June 2008 issue of Road Bike Action magazine tested and reviewed the 2008 Giant TCR-C1 with positive results. The $3000 bike comes equipped with Shimano's slick new Ultegra SL component group, and Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels with Michelen Pro Race tires. Some highlight of the review:
"When you look at the TCR-C1, you can instantly tell that Giant knows what they are doing with their carbon construction process. [They are] heralded by many as the most advanced carbon bike producer in the world..."
"As delivered, the [size XL] TCR-C1 weighed 16.8 pounds without pedals."
"Aspiring racers and aggressive club riders are the stuff of the Giant TCR-C1. It has the stiffness and agility to move a skilled rider a few wheels up in the peloton..."
"Beyond the Giant's superbly constructed frame, we liked its better-than-the-norm treatments, like the Fizik saddle, its Race Face bar and the Jagwire control cables, which help the Giant stand out from competitors at this price point. The TCR-C1 is a true racing machine from one of the world's most experienced carbon bike makers."