Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Once a CC'er, always a CC'er!

Or, think of this post as a belated "RAGBRAI Report - Day Seven." Jason worked for us in the Peninsula store during the summer of 2007. He's native Iowan (now living in Kansas) who's done RAGBRAI for many years. Here he is (on the right) with his father Dave (on the left) at the Mississippi River at the end of this year's RAGBRAI route on Saturday, July, 26. Nice jerseys, Dave and Jason!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Define Your Life on the front page!

One of our Define Your Life Ride a Bike t-shirts was spotted at the Fairview Park Summerfest last week, and it (and its wearer) made the front page of the West Shore Sun newspaper!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Viva Le Bobke

Some of you may remember a high point in the history of Century Cycles, when Bob Roll visited our Rocky River store in March, 2006 (that's him above, being given the old heave ho by the CC staff). He gave us in the inside (and hilarious) scoop on his experiences riding in the Tour de France and now commentating on it. His legacy lives on, in our memories and on the wall of the Rocky River store's bathroom, where he scrawled a personal message to all who feel the call of nature while visiting the store.

I was happy to see he's got his website up and running for this year's TdF. He's answering those burning questions like "where's Al Trautwig?" (covering the Olympics, abandoning us with the can't-be-his-real-name Craig Hummer) and "does Phil smell?" (Bobke says as only he can, "like virgin roses in Samson's headband.")

So the TdF comes down to today's time trial, with a fight to the finish between Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre, and the other top GC contenders. Bobke says Cadel Evans has been "incredibly fragile emotionally," an opinion seconded by Paul Sherwen, who writes on his Versus blog: "Sastre has looked good and calm since he took the overall lead while Evans has been nervous and twitchy." And how 'bout those Schleck brothers?! They and others have made it a fun TdF to watch this year, especially with a DVR to fast-forward through all those Saab commercials.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Big Dummy is coming!

If you follow this blog or any bike blogs at all, you're probably sick of hearing about the Big Dummy frameset made by Surly Bikes. Announced two years ago, finally available (briefly) in March of this year, and not expected to be available again for another month or two from now.

Well, the Surly folks managed to squeeze a small production run in ahead of schedule, so we've got ONE 18-inch Big Dummy frame ordered and on the way. It should show up in our Peninsula store on Tuesday July 29.

Be the FOURTH known person in Ohio to own a Big Dummy--call and reserve this one today! Take it home to build in your own secret skunk works, or let us know what wheels and components you want and let us build your very own Big Dummy!

Absurdity Toss-Up: $12,000 bike vs. $18,000 bike

In this corner of the Absurdity Toss-Up, we have the $12,000 Chanel-themed bicycle that Jennifer Aniston received as a gift from her best buddy, Courteney Cox-Arquette. In the opposite corner, we have the $18,000 24-carat gold bike a UK insurance company is giving away, complete with a bodyguard option. Meanwhile, I'll be searching for my own corner in which to curl up in the fetal position and mutter about the downfall of society.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

PDX: That great

This image is from an online retrospective that grows a little bit every day called "Portlanders and Their Bicycles". It's the work of Columbus, Ohio-based artist Nate Padavick, who was inspired by his summer in Portland.
How inspiring is Portland, especially for us born-and-bred Midwesterners? Without a doubt, it's one of the best cities in the country, especially if you like to ride a bike. If you haven't been there, you're probably all like "Blah blah blah. I'm tired of hearing about great Portland is. How great can it be?" Trust me: That great. I've been to Mt. Hood, I've bicycled the Bridge Pedal, and I've downed a lot of IPAs there. So again: That great.

But don't take my word for it. Take NPR's. Yesterday's "All Things Considered" had this story from Portland on bicycling to work, which 6% of Portlanders do. (It's only 4 minutes long and worth a quick listen.) The city is committed to increasing travel by bike, with bike boulevards and bike boxes to improve safety for both car-drivers and bicyclists -- and they say they are just beginning to make the city bike-friendly.
See? That great.

Get Your Day Off to A Great Start With ClevelandBikes and Local Coffee Shops on Friday "Bike to Work" Days

ClevelandBikes, the 501C3 not for profit organization dedicated to promoting bicycle riding as healthy sport, recreation and transportation, has partnered on their "Bike to Work" rides with area coffee shops to offer free morning coffee or pastry from our finest area coffee shops on the final Friday of the month. Now through September, ride to work, school, or other activities and bring your bicycle helmet into a participating shop and receive a free small coffee or pastry(benefits vary with locations). The offer is valid on the final Friday of the month, from 7:00-10:00 AM, starting the Friday, July25th.

Your participating local coffee shops:
"Bike to Work" rides are on the final Friday of every month, now through September (July 25, August 29, and September 26). If you are new to riding to work, visit the website of the new Ohio "BikeBuddy/Ride Share" program ( to be paired up with a more experienced rider and the Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op ( for helpful and safe riding tips.

Be your own renewable fuel (just add water, or coffee or a pastry from our Bike to Work partners)! Save your gas money – Who needs it more, you, or Exxon, Chevron, BP, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela? Be active and get fit! Most important, enjoy the ride!!

ClevelandBikes : When ClevelandBikes, Cleveland Benefits!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Surlys Galore

'Tis the season for Surly Bikes! Chock it up to an emerging new trend, or the demand for practical touring and commuting bikes, but this year, we've probably sold more Surly bikes than every other year put together!

We've updated the main Surly page on our web site with the latest frames and colors. You can also check out our Bike Gallery pages for photos of Surlys and other custom-built bikes that we've put together for our customers.

For those of you who know what you want and want it asap, you can even order a complete Surly bike online and pick it up at any of our three stores: the Cross-Check, Long Haul Trucker, or Steamroller. If you're unsure, at the moment we have two complete Surlys in stock, a 54cm Cross-Check in Gloss Black, and a 56cm Long Haul Trucker in Olive Green. Give us a call to verify which store they're currently in, and come test ride!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How To Fix A Flat Tire

Did you know...that our web site is chock full of useful tips for training, maintenance, and links to other cycling resources? Including the most frequently-asked question of them all, "How Do I Fix a Flat Tire?"

Go to our home page and browse through the Links, Tips, & Questions menu on the left.

RAGBRAI Report Day 3 - Jefferson to Ames

After ending up camping at Iowa State University in Ames, Brent reports that it's been fun and challenging. He says his Surly Big Dummy is getting a lot of attention, but that his girlfriend Sarah's Surly Pacer is getting 10 times more attention!

Monday, July 21, 2008

RAGBRAI Report Day 2 - Harlan to Jefferson

I haven't heard the full story yet, but apparently Brent and crew had to take shelter at 2:00am last night. I assume it was some kind of bad storm; maybe even a tornado? But, it did not appear to put a damper on today's festivities. Chili peppers and lite beer...oh, the humanity.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

RAGBRAI Report Day One: Missouri Valley to Harlan

Brent sent this photo, 22 miles into the day's route from Missouri Valley to Harlan, Iowa.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

RAGBRAI Report Day Zero - Fat in a Can

Brent from our Peninsula store is off this week to ride RAGBRAI, the infamous 7-day Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Saturday is usually the travel day, which involves taking a charter bus to the starting point on the western edge of the state.

He sent this picture, which he was quite exicted about. Fat Tire Amber Ale comes from the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, and is difficult to find outside that state. We'd never seen it in cans in any state.

Jason, who worked for us in Peninsula last summer, has a friend in Colorado who passed off a case of the cans to him recently. Jason lives in Kansas now, but is originally from Iowa, and rides RAGBRAI most years with his father and their local bike club.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lightning Lore

Have you ever wondered whether you're safe in a lightning storm if you're on a bicycle, with its rubber tires? You're not, according to Philip Jackman's "Collected Wisdom" column in the July 5 Globe and Mail (Toronto):

(link courtesy of Adventure Cycling Association's Bike Bits eNewsletter)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sometimes you feed the bear, sometimes the bear feeds you

A friend of mine in high school used to use that expression, and it never really made sense to me, but somehow it describes my feelings about the bike ride I took today. I started off early with a typical breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats and some OJ, which would have been good enough had I taken off on my ride immediately afterwards. But, I ran some errands, read some other blogs and stuff, so it was almost noon by the time I set off.

My random destination for the day was Garrettsville, as I had only been there once before, and it was an appropriate distance away. I asked our mechanic Gary for suggestions on the route, since he's familiar with the area, and he suggested taking Pioneer Trail from Aurora all the way to just outside Garrettsville, where a bike lane along Rt 82 takes you the rest of the way into town. This was a great suggestion, as it was a scenic road with some challenging rollers. But my lack of fuel from a small breakfast four hours earlier really seemed to be bogging me down. Wherefore art thou pancakes?

I planned to hit Gary's suggestion of Miller's Family Restaurant in town for pancakes, but it turns out they closed at 2:00pm, and I made it there at across the street I spied Sean's Pub & Irish-sounding place, so it had to at least have good Shepherd's Pie? Once I looked over the menu, though, I decided on the chicken parmigiana. If you can't have pancakes, then pasta is the next best fuel for cycling, right?

A pound of penne and chicken breast later (not to mention a pint of Guinness), I waddled back outside to get back on the bike. I had left a decent tip for Nick the waiter, so he was happy to oblige when I popped back inside and asked him top off my water bottle.

Oh my God...this must be why they always said to wait an hour after eating before getting back into the pool. I slowly chugged my way back using the Headwaters Trail through to Mantua (man-away), and then to Aurora, then ducked down Hudson-Aurora Road. It wasn't until I stopped to take a break under the shade of the Ohio Turnpike did I start to feel back to normal again, like a real human cyclist instead of Jabba the Hut. That last seven miles back to Peninsula, despite dodging the rush hour traffic on Rt 91 and Rt 303, was the liveliest and most enjoyable part of the day.

Bike With Bachman!

Summit County Engineer Greg Bachman invites you to join him as he inspects our County Roads this summer -- by bicycle! Greg is scheduled to ride the County Roads, township by township, Saturday mornings at 8:00 AM during the summer months starting in July.

The schedule of rides and locations is available on our web site.

Take part in an opportunity to discuss issues and share ideas with Greg while exercising and enjoying a close-up view of Summit County's scenic beauty. Greg plans to ride at a fast, recreational pace of 15 to 18 mph. Bicycle helmets are required. Please feel free to join Greg on one or all of the rides.

Visit the Summit County Engineer's web site for more details. No sign-up is needed and there is no cost involved.

Greg looks forward to seeing you on the road!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meet Pista the Python

Or to some, Saki the Snake! Part of our celebration of Peninsula Python Day, this Saturday, July 19 from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Costume Contest!

Art Contest!

Fun & Prizes!

See for details.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Plain Dealer: Sharing the Road

The Plain Dealer ran a report on bicycle commuting this past Saturday, July 12, headlinig their Arts & Life section. They included a guide to essential cycling gear, as well as useful tips for both cyclists and drivers for sharing the road safely. Krista and Scott from our Rocky River store were tapped for their expert knowledge and experience! You can check out the articles here on our web site.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Our Latest eNewsletter

Our latest eNewsletter was e-mailed yesterday. If you didn't get it, you can read it here. To catch up on all of our past eNewsletters, as well as sign up to receive it in your Inbox, go to our eNewsletter Archive page.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mike Petcher, Gazette Superstar!

Mike Petcher, Sales Manager from our Medina store, was quoted in an article about bicycle safety in this article from the June 20, 2008 edition of the Medina County Gazette.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cardboard Frames--the Next Great Thing?

Bamboo bikes, wooden bikes, rocket-powered's latest "I did it just to prove it could be done" project: a cardboard bike.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Bicycle Built for Music

We've shown you bicycle-related music videos before, now here's a bicycle built for making music:

Friday, July 4, 2008

Blog Love

Just giving out thanks to a few fellow bloggers for mentioning CC. The I (heart) Cleveland blog mentioned our Night Rides on the Towpath a couple of weeks ago. They also did a tour of several of the west-side area bike shops, and ended up buying a Giant road bike from our Rocky River store!

Thanks also to CoolCleveland for linking to our post about the Towpath being promoted by MSN City Guides.

Have a happy Independence Day, and I'll leave you now with another quote, courtesy of the Bike Bits e-newsletter from the Adventure Cycling Association:

"All bicycles weigh fifty pounds. A thirty-pound bicycle needs a twenty-pound lock. A forty-pound bicycle needs a ten-pound lock. A fifty-pound bicycle doesn't need a lock."
-- Anonymous

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bike It, You'll Like It

Kathy Tedrick, one of our customers from our Rocky River store, was inspired by the Bike to School Month at Bay High School, where she works. She decided to use her bike instead of her car for errands withing a two-mile radius of her home in North Olmsted. She was profiled in this story from the June 28, 2008 edition of the Plain Dealer.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sizzle at the Twin Sizzler

One of the area's favorite traditional bike events is coming this Friday, the Medina YWCA's July4 Twin Sizzler Race.

You can enter the 5K or 10K running race/walk, bike race, or both.

The bike race has an Expert and "Citizens" (i.e. beginner) division. It's a good, challenging 27-mile ride, and a good opportunity to test your racing chops even if you don't usually race.

You can find the full details online here. The registration link appears to be broken; I sent them an e-mail to let them know, so maybe it will be fixed soon.