Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yeah, we're going to have to pass, too


Thanks to a friend of Century Cycles, John Georger, who forwarded us this sign of the times, which was spotted on the wall of a southern California bike shop.

Friday, November 28, 2008

More great gift ideas (and lots under $99!)

When you ask 30 people for bicycling-related gift ideas, you get a LOT of different thoughts. Below are the rest of the great gift suggestions from the Century Cycles staff that didn't make it on to one of our Top 5 lists for cyclists, people who go-by-bike, or families.

  • Topeak Roadmorph Frame Pump

  • Chamois Butt’r

  • Quick Stik tire change lever

  • Repair class

  • Energy bars, Sportlegs nutritional supplement, Clif Shot Bloks

  • Planet Bike Stealth Blinkie (“the brightest and most attention-grabbing”)

  • Pearl Izumi wool socks (“rugged and wears well year-round.”)

  • Tools (“Shop-quality tools from Park; the multi-tools just don’t cut it; when I need to make an adjustment I want something that is easy to use and feels good in the hand.”)

  • Burley Tail Wagon ("Take dogs for a ride in the safety of a wagon.")

  • Thule Double Track Hitch ("A great way to encourage someone to ride outside their zip code. This hitch doesn't require lifiting or a frame adapter, and the bikes don't sway.")

  • White Lightning Clean Streak De-greaser (“'Cuz most people go way too long without cleaning their chain”)

  • Stan's No Tubes Tire Sealant System (“Never get another flat tire on a mountain bike ever again. And if I want, I can even get a kit for my road bike.”)

  • Lezyne Pressure Drives pump (“small and beautiful!”)

  • Pearl Izumi Zephrr jacket (“superior cycling wear”)

  • Gore Ride-On cables

  • Warmfront cycling vest

  • Pearl Izumi Vagabond jacket/vest

  • Brooks Saddle

  • Large Timbuk2 Messenger Bag

  • Celeste Bar Tape

  • Celeste Velocity Cages and Celeste Bianchi Bottles

  • Camelbak (M.U.L.E.)

  • Good set of fenders

  • New cycling shorts

  • Gift cards

  • Xtracycle FreeRadical kit

  • Topeak Shuttle tire levers

  • Niterider Road Rat headlight

  • Lezyne patch kit

(Photo credit: Portland Carfree Day)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In gratitude: Thanksgiving, 2008


MEDINA

Tom:
What am I thankful for? I'm thankful for a job that I love going to going to every day. I'm thankful for a boss that I can talk to about anything on any day. I'm thankful for fellow employees I can count on no matter what the situation. I am thankful for compensation that allows me to support my bike habit. But most of all I'm thankful for a wife that understands I'm a bike guy.......always have been.....always will be....amen.

Keith:
Thankful for...…a family who knows the true meaning of love.…a career family who knows the true meaning of passion.…a set of friends who know the true meaning of trust.…a spirit that knows what’s best regardless.

Don:
I'm thankful for my health, friends, work, home and especially my family. I honestly don't know where I'd be without my wife, April, and my two beautiful kids, Robert and Skylar. They are truly my reason for being.


PENINSULA

Derrick:
Thankful that the bicycling industry remains upbeat when the rest of the economic world seems bent on collapse. Also very grateful that we've got thirty-three thousand acres of national park right outside the door that has provided many great bike rides and hikes over the years.

Brent:
I'm thankful for my healthy, happy son and my studded bicycle tires arriving next week!

Drew:
What am I thankful for? My sobriety, my family, my job, my friends. A roof over my head and food in my belly. My health, and all the little toys I'm allowed to have. Thanks for this. I need to be reminded sometimes that life is actually damn good, sometimes I can forget that in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Kevin:
I'm thankful for the amazing generosity of both friends and complete strangers in the help and support they gave to Ray and me during our Pan-American Ride!


ROCKY RIVER

Ken:
I am truly grateful for my family and friends. Also, think about what a great country we live in. We (as U.S. citizens) should all be thankful for living in the greatest country in the history of civilization.

Josh:
1. Family
2. Friends
3. Basketball

Sean, our Raleigh rep:
I’m thankful that I work in an industry where companies treat each other like family. I’m thankful for great customers like Century Cycles (shameless plug). I’m thankful I get to work in a field that also happens to be a passion of mine. And I’m most thankful for my wonderful family who help put a smile on my face every morning.

Gary, our Electra rep:
I am thankful for:
1. My family, especially my three grandchildren who are probably the smartest in the Midwest.
2. My job, which I never have considered "a job.”
3. The new basement in River.

And finally a few words from Scott:
I am thankful for my life...how lucky and privileged I am to be doing something that I truly believe in...I'm thankful for the lifetime friendships that have developed along the way both in business and in play...I'm thankful for the phenomenal people that I have worked with over the years who have shared my passion for the bicycle and all that it represents....I'm thankful for the health and love of my sister, and my mom and dad...I'm thankful for the tens of thousands of customers who have put their faith in Century Cycles to massage their trusty bicycles and support their favorite pastime...I'm thankful for meeting Jo, my girlfriend who is truly a blessing to me....And that only touches the surface for all that I am thankful for....

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~ W.T. Purkiser

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Holiday Hints: Our Top 5 Gifts for Bicycling Families

1. Cycle-opoloy: A board game that celebrates the joy of bicycling.




2. Balance Buddy: A new way to teach your child to ride a bike.




3. "Define Your Life. Ride a Trike." Baby Bib: For the tiniest cyclist-to-be. (Also a great gift for baby showers and first birthdays!)




4. Trail-a-bike: Make any adult bike a tandem for a little one to ride along. Kids love the ride and parents enjoy being able to ride longer distances.



5. A bike, of course: Because a bike under the tree is still the best gift ever, a Giant tricycle will make a memorable holiday for all!

Holiday Hints: Our Top 5 Gifts for Bicycle Commuters

More great gift recommendations from the Century Cycles staff for people who go-by-bike -- or who want to go-by bike more in 2009!


1. Avenir Grocery Panniers: Going to the grocery store on your bike was never easier.




2. Planet Bike Hardcore Fenders: An essential accessory for travel around town or down the Towpath Trail.





3. Topeak Explorer Rack/Bag: You'll be amazed at how much you can carry.





4. Blackburn Mars 3 Light Combo: To see and be seen.




5. A bike, of course: We now have commuter bikes that come fully equipped with the key accessories -- rack, fenders, even internal hubs -- that make going by bike even better.

Holiday Hints: Our Top 5 Gifts for Cyclists

After logging thousands of miles on their bicycles and trying out the latest and greatest cycling products, the 30-person staff at Century Cycles voted on their favorite gifts for this holiday season. They had so many great ideas that we divided them into three categories - for cyclists, for those who go-by-bike (or want to go-by-bike more in 2009!), and for bicycling families. Here's the list for cyclists, with the other two to come.


Top 5 Holiday Gifts for Cyclists


1. Mi-Newt Mini-USB Lighting System: We think it's the best for the money and easiest to recharge.



2. CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer: It's what we're using to lose the holiday pounds!



3. Bottle Cap Helmet Mirror: Just too cool!




4. Pearl Izumi Woolie Mammoth Jersey: Stay warm and look hot, even when you're not on your bike.




5. A bike, of course: Steel is real, baby! Steel bikes are hot for 2009, a return to the classic styling and supple ride that's better than ever.


As always: Century Cycles Gift Cards (which can also be purchased on our website) and stocking stuffers (Chamois Butt'r, energy bars, wool socks, and more).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Define your life...on the Virginia Creeper Trail

These fine folks were recently spotted "defining your life" and "riding a bike" on the Virginia Creeper Trail. This pic of Garland Osborne (far right) and his riding companions was taken at the trail head.


This might be one of the funnest groups I talked to all summer in the shop. They are from Tennessee and travel all over the country to ride different trails. They spent about four days in the Cuyahoga Valley area riding the Towpath and the Cleveland Metro Parks Emerald Necklace Trails. Stopping in to check out the store and ask about the different trails, they had no idea they would leave with a new motto. What impressed me was how they certainly were defining life (and retirement) by riding bikes. Not many trails I could mention they had not been on.


The first shipment has arrived....

...stay tuned for more details!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maintenance class schedule announced

Century Cycles has some of the best mechanics in the bike business and they are going to spend their winter teaching you what they know! They’re experts, but you don’t have to be to take a class. You just need a desire to learn more – a LOT more – about the way your bike works. Because classes are small for hands-on learning, they fill up fast. Sign up as soon as possible and don’t forget to ask a friend to join you – it’s fun to learn together!

Basic Maintenance Class
This hands-on session will teach you flat tire repair, lubrication, and inspecting and adjusting your bicycle for safe operation. Don’t let minor issues keep you from enjoying your ride!
(1) Two-hour class - $25
Session 1- Tuesday- February 3rd
Session 2- Tuesday- March 3rd

Tune-up Class
Bring your bike for a hands-on tune-up! You will clean and lube the drivetrain; adjust brakes, derailleurs, hubs, headset and bottom bracket; true wheels; and evaluate replacement parts and upgrades. Plan to get dirty and leave with a clean, well-tuned bicycle!
(2) Two-hour classes - $75
Session 1- Tuesdays- January 6th and 13th
Session 2- Thursdays- January 22nd and January 29th

Overhaul Class
In addition to the skills covered in the Tune-up class you will remove, clean, lube and adjust all serviceable bearings on your bicycle. Brake and shifter cables will be removed and replaced (cables needed are included with the class). In-depth derailleur adjustment and advanced wheel truing will be covered thoroughly. Bring your bike back to life!
(3) Two-hour classes - $100
Session 1- Wednesdays- January 14th, 21st and 28th
Session 2- Mondays- February 2nd, 9th, and 16th

The fine print:

All classes are from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Classes are offered at all three stores simultaneously. Call or visit your local Century Cycles to reserve your class space (phone numbers below; payment is due at the time of reservation). Participants receive a 15% discount on regularly-priced parts, tools, lubes, repair stands and accessories purchased between the start and finish dates of your class. The classes are geared towards multi-speed bikes manufactured after 1985 and are not suitable for BMX, recumbents, tandems, or coaster brake bikes. Sorry, but any missed classes cannot be made up or refunded.

Medina: 330-722-7119
Peninsula: 800-201-7433
Rocky River: 440-356-5705

A greener commute

Today's Parade Magazine featured a brief profile with Rep. Earl Blumenauer:

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.) leads the Congressional Bicycle Caucus, a bipartisan group that helped secure $4.5 billion in funding for bike and pedestrian initiatives.

Parade: Why care about cycling now?
Right now, the U.S. consumes about 10% of the world’s oil supply just to get back and forth to work. If we are able to reintroduce the bicycle into our communities, we are going to make it easier for people to break our addiction to oil. I have cycled to work in Washington, D.C., for 12 years. I’ve burned over 300,000 calories and saved $94,000 in car costs, 206 gallons of fuel, and 4800 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Your city—Portland, Ore.—is very bike-friendly. What has worked?
We have expanded the number of bike lanes, established bike routes throughout the city, and turned major streets into “bike boulevards” so there is less through traffic. It’s making a huge difference. People in Portland use their cars much less than the American average. That translates into savings of more than $2500 per year per family. There should be a bicycle master plan for cities large and small.

How do you balance the competing demands of cyclists who want more lanes and drivers who worry about congestion?
It’s not about competition. Cycling actually helps improve traffic flow on roads. If all of those thousands of people who bike every day in Portland were to get back in their cars, we would have more traffic congestion and more frayed nerves. Cycling helps with parking, too—you can fit a dozen bikes in the space one car would take.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A journalism class assignment provoked this short cycling essay from our own Chris Walters

Cycling for the Greater Good

By: Chris Walters

With the rising tide of go green movements, fuel efficient vehicles, vows to exercise more, and alternative ways of transportation, one simple vehicle seems to triumph above the rest.

The bicycle is no longer being used just to exercise. Bikes are commonly being used by individuals, avid cyclists, and corporate companies to commute to work, run errands, and ultimately decrease the need for the automobile and it’s more expensive counterpart-gasoline. Bicycle manufacturers have helped the consumer find an appropriate bicycle by producing endless genres of bikes.

The common 10-speed is dead. Now, a consumer has the ability to choose from hybrids, performance hybrids, road or touring bikes, single speed/fixed gears, mountain bikes, comfort bikes, and the list continues. The choices can be overwhelming so if you don’t know what you want, skip the internet. Visit you local bike shop and ask all the questions you can. And, if test rides are allowed, test ride! There is no better way to find out if you like a bike than riding it.

Accessories also make or break a bike. If you plan on commuting to work, school, or sports practice, pick out a lock, kickstand, and water bottle cage. Locks are inexpensive and come in different thicknesses and lengths. Many locks can be opened by a combination, the user sets, but there are also key locks which eliminate the need to remember a combo.

Lights and a helmet are always nice to have too. Helmets, although not a law, should always be worn when riding. Contrary to much belief, there are tons of cool helmets out there to fit your style. On the other hand, if you are riding at night, lights are necessary. It is a law and failure to comply can in fact result in a ticket. Lights can be purchased in singles or a headlight and taillight pack. Some are even rechargeable, brighter lights, for those who don’t want to continuously buy batteries.

Winter gear is also a must during the cold season. For your head, companies make headbands, skull caps, and balaclavas that are snug enough to comfortably fit under your helmet. Warm cycling jerseys and jackets are also nice to have. Although the common cotton sweatshirt will keep you warm, it will often keep you too warm. This sweat sits up against your body and eventually makes you cold. Nobody likes the cold sweats. Cycling tops eliminate this sweat by a wicking process. The material pulls the sweat off your body to keep you the perfect temperature. Winter gloves and arm warmers are a perfect pair that leaves you nice and cozy on your bike. And, all these cloths paired with some leg warmers will keep your whole body warm when the weather is trying not to.

With the right bike and accessories cycling can be fun, save gas, and beat the traffic all year round. Head over to your local bike shop and check out all the possibilities. See you out on the road.

Chris Walters has worked for Century Cycles in Medina since he was 16 years old. Now 19, he attends Lorain Community College and submitted this article for The Collegian, the campus newspaper. Chris' bikes include a 2007 Raleigh One Way (brakeless and fixed gear), a 2007 Hoffman Bama BMX frame built from scratch, and a 2008 Raleigh Cadent FT1.

Even Wikipedia considers Century Cycles a source for Surly


Check out reference #6 from the Surly entry on Wikipedia! (This is the page on Century Cycles' website that is cited.)

Why are we the source for Surly? Well, it's probably the people on staff who have supreme knowledge coupled with rabid enthusiasm. That said, Century Cycles also has complete Surly bikes at all three locations. And if you go the custom route, we have folks to help you select and order the components for a custom Surly that's just right for you.

A special shout-out has to go to the staff in Peninsula, who really lead the Surly way for us. I guess you could call them evangelists, really, who preach the steel bike gospel. They've built their fair share of Cross Checks, Pugsleys, Long Haul Truckers, and Big Dummys -- a few of which you may also spot in the employee parking.

Instead of showing you pics from the Surly catalog, here's what we saw in the Surly booth at Interbike back in September....





(Photographs by Mike Petcher. Thanks, Drew, for the Wiki tip!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Links in the chain: Turn Signal Biking Jacket and more!


Make your very own Turn Signal Biking Jacket! -- Instructables

Find a 2009 bike tour that's right for you! You won't have to travel far from home if you sign up for the all-new supported ride called "Heart of the Underground Railroad." (It starts in Cincinnati.) -- Adventure Cycling Association

A cyclist goes around the world on a penny farthing. (You know? The high-wheeled bike in the Century Cycles logo??) -- The Telegraph

If you got bike ink, here's a gallery to share your tattoo with the world. -- Dirt Rag

Rock on! Audience pedals stationary bikes to power band's instruments and lights at a concert. -- Marquette Tribune

Finally, NPR has shown bicycling a lot of love lately. "Weekend Edition" aired this story on America's oldest existing bike manufacturer, Worksman Cycles. We've ordered a few Worksman industrial trikes in the past for Ford and others, plus our Century Cycles ice cream trike, which makes a few event appearances a year, is a Worksman.

Then "All Things Considered" aired this story about (and interview with) a naked cyclist from Portland, Oregon, who was cleared of indecent exposure charges when the judge established that naked cycling is a well-established tradition in the city.

(Thanks, Christine, for tips!)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gary Thomas has a secret

Our Electra rep, Gary Thomas, reveals that while he may wear a company shirt on the outside, his true love is beneath. By the way, we still have a few of the "Cleveland" version of those t-shirts for sale at our Rocky River store, on behalf of Walk+Roll.

Monday, November 17, 2008

West Branch MTB trails close for deer hunting

CAMBA reminds everyone that the MTB trails at West Branch State Park will be closed during deer gun hunting season. Those closure dates are this weekend, November 22nd and 23rd, as well as December 1-7, December 20th and 21st, and December 27-30.

(Photo: Kevin Madzia)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Century Cycles featured in Bicycle Retailer on November 1


Seth Rogan rides a cruiser. Should you?

Actor Seth Rogan cruises the streets of California on an Electra Super Deluxe (key features: lightweight aluminum frame with Shimano Nexus Internal 3-Speed and coaster brakes). We don't currently have this bike in stock, but you can test ride other men's cruisers at Century Cycles, and we'd be happy to special-order the Super Deluxe for you.


This picture reminded me of how hot cruisers were at Interbike, the bicycle industry trade show in Las Vegas back in September. Think cruisers are just for "girls?" Think again. It's a hot bike style for everyone. Why the trend? The big picture answer is "bikes as transportation." Many of these bikes are inspired by the European way of life, of traveling by bike even in a suit and tie, down to the design of the bikes themselves. In fact, Electra so openly acknowledges the lineage that they have an entire line named "Amsterdam." It's about outfitting a bike with a coffee cup holder, not a water bottle cage. But what of us Midwesterners? How do bikes like this fit into our way of life?


While at Interbike, I talked with a bike dealer from Indiana who carries Electra and has for a few years. He hadn't added a cruiser to his own bike collection until last summer, when he finally bought one for himself and put it in the garage next to his road, mountain, and fixie bikes. Nobody was more surprised than he was when the Electra became his "go-to" bike. "I was shocked that it became my favorite bike to ride around town, especially with my kids," he said.


This was a sentiment echoed to me by Lawrence Kuh, a Bay Village middle school teacher with a lot of biking cred. (Lawrence is helping us organize the 2009 Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge, he is founder of the Bay Skate & Bike Park Foundation, and he was there at the beginning of Ray's MTB Park). He's another guy with a fleet of bikes in the garage who spent a LOT of time on a tandem cruiser last summer.

I know exactly what they mean. I love my Raleigh Cadent, but my Electra Blanc et Noir is the bike I take to lunch with friends or volunteering at my son's school. It's a blast to ride, a completely different riding experience that I rave about so much, my husband is now considering a cruiser of his own. Should you, too?


Highlights from the Electra booth at Interbike (photos by Mike Petcher):










Friday, November 14, 2008

How do you define your life?

I was getting some groceries last evening, in the hustle and bustle of the checkout line when the bagger gives me a very strange look. I smile, thinking perhaps my hair is a little mussed from my earlier ride and go back to attempting to pay for my groceries while wrestling with my two year old on my shoulder.

“Your shirt confuses me,” the bagger says.

“Pardon me?” I say.

“What does it mean?”

I was wearing my “Define your life” t-shirt, and it got me wondering. Just what does “Define your life. Ride a bike.” really mean?

For me it's a motto, a way of life, of saying "leave the death box out of it for me, I'm going riding." It's the cold wind on your face when the leaves are dropping, the warm wind on your face and the sweat pouring down in the summer after climbing a big steep hill.

The laughter and joy of my 9-year-old's face after we've ridden 13 miles on the night ride. The sweaty and beautiful face of my wife after she's done the longest ride of her life and just vomited her guts out. My two-year-old daughter screaming from the Burley behind me “Go faster!” “Go faster!”, the beaming expression of my mom after she's learned how to stop her Townie without falling off, my Dad getting to bike the Towpath with almost all of his kids and a number of grandkids, the unforgiving commuters yelling at me to “Get off the road!”

It's the looks of surprise from the car next to me when I stop at the light in the middle of a 40 degree rain waiting for the light to change, and the freedom to get on my bike and leave the troubles of the world behind me, at least for a little while. I suppose it means all of those things and more. It means get on your bike and ride, ride like the world can't catch you, or ride to enjoy the world around you.

All of these are my definition. What's yours?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Akron paints sharrows to help cyclists

They've suddenly appeared in Akron, 15 miles of them, one stenciled every 250 feet. They are dubbed "sharrows," a combination of "share" and "arrow," and are there to remind drivers to share the road. Bicyclists are supposed to ride ON them instead of along the edge of the road, to avoid being clipped by a passing car or having a parked car's door open into you. Still to come: "Share the road with bicycles" signs. For more information, read this article from The Beacon Journal.

Photo: Paul Tople/Akron Beacon Journal

(Hat tip to Derrick for the sharrow scoop.)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Vicious Cycle


This past spring I had the privilege of picking up this frame from Vicious Cycles. They are a small frame builder in La Platz, New York. Known for very custom and unique paint jobs, this one of their recent creations. The frame is made of Reynolds 853 custom drawn tubing with Reynolds carbon fiber seat stays. I had my option of forks, from one of their custom steel forks to any carbon fork made. I opted for a custom painted ( black to match the base color) Reynolds Ouzo Pro. Then came the really tough decisions what part to hang on it. Went with a full Shimano Ultegra SL group, Chris King head seat and hubs, Velocity rims, Thompson stem and seat post, and Salsa short and shallow carbon handle bar ( love the flat top, very comfy). I even went for a full set of sealed Gore cables (these things work great). Finally got a chance to get good photo of it, and blog about to tell everyone just how great it is. If you want to talk about it, come on in to Penisula Century Cycles and I might let you ride it. Nah, just kiddn -- but would love to show you if you're interested.

A link to Vicious:
http://www.viciouscycles.com/index.php3

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Century Cycles featured in book about entrepreneurs

Century Cycles and its owner, Scott Cowan, are featured in "My Biggest Mistake...And How I Fixed It: Lessons From the Entrepreneurial Front Lines" by Marcia Pledger, a just-published business book that Office Max co-founder Michael Feuer calls "a must read."

In a section under the chapter on "Growth," Scott told Marcia the story about how Century Cycles lost the family feeling when it opened its fourth location in Solon back in the late 1990s, a 7,000-square foot store that was bigger than any of our other shops. He told her:
For a bicycle store, 7,000 square feet was big. It felt like a big-box retail store. It didn't have that warm, fuzzy feeling. Despite its size, it was never our best-performing store in the five years we had it before closing it. The company started feeling corporate, and I was having trouble getting to all four stores each week.

After much soul-searching, Scott and his partner at the time, Lois Moss, closed the Solon location. Century Cycles is now as you know it -- three hometown bicycle stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River, all with a very personal approach to helping people enjoy bicycling. To read the entire section on Century Cycles, as well as many other stories from successful entrepreneurs like Scott, pick up a copy of "My Biggest Mistake...."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Northeast Ohio Bicyclists Help Feed the Hungry on December 1

Here's a very special message from Hubbub Custom Bicycles and ClevelandBikes:

Mark your calendars for Monday, December 1st and join us as we meet, eat, laugh,and come together to make this holiday season better for the hungry in NE Ohio.

The FOOD BANK EVENT will take place at Lopez on Lee (2196 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights) where you will be treated to a fabulous buffet, a discount cash bar, the amazing music of The Blue Drivers (www.bluedrivers.com), and a chance to bidon a variety of items in our silent auction. Valet parking is available
or you can park in the Cleveland Heights Garage across the street.

Tickets are $60.00 each + 2 non-perishable food items. The six mostrequested items are: Beef Stew, Canned Soup, Canned Vegetables, Cereal, Peanut Butter and Tuna Fish. $15.00 of your ticket is tax deductible in addition to the value of any item you win in the auction. In addition, there is a place on the invitation to give a tax-deductible donation in any denomination to ClevelandBikes to further cycling issues in NEOhio. (www.clevelandbikes.org)

Here is the link to YOUR INVITATION to our event. Please signup ASAP! AND HELP FILL THE FOOD BANK TRUCK! (Please bring your confirmation as your "ticket" to the event.) TICKET SALES WILL END ON NOVEMBER 25TH AT MIDNIGHT. PLEASE PASS THIS INVITATION TO ANYONE YOU THINK MIGHT BE INTERESTED! EVERYONE IS WELCOME! Even if you can't attend, please consider a donation to the Food Bank via the ticket sales web site!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wood Finery and a life defined

Many thanks to Leslie Nyburg, a customer who gave us a shout-out on his blog, Wood Finery. An Oregon native (I guess this is all-Oregon day on the CC blog!), Leslie now lives in Akron and shops at Century Cycles in Peninsula. He contacted us about the 2009 maintenance class schedule, which will be announced in next week's e-mail newsletter. (If you don't get our e-mail newsletter, sign up here. Rest assured it's for monthly newsletters only -- no daily spams!)

As you can read in his November 6 post, Leslie likes the quote Drew includes in his e-mail signature when he replies to customer questions, a nugget of wisdom from Bill Nye, Science Guy and avid bicyclist:

"Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There's something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym."

Lives Defined: Flo Leibowitz

ORbike just did a racer profile on Flo Leibowitz. She definitely embodies our motto, "Define your life. Ride a bike." And we're adopting her "run what ya brung" mentality! Check it out:


Flo Leibowitz got into cyclocross like a lot of other cyclists just testing out the sport: on her commuter bike. But unlike most other riders, once she was hooked, which happened pretty much right away, she didn't swap her Bianchi San Jose out for a more cross-styled bike. "That bike is a singlespeed, and that's the real serendipity in it. It is the only bike I own that can take cross tires. But I realized that I really liked not having to worry about shifting and now I won't race cross any other way. I love it when people yell 'Go single-speed!'"

She's riding a single speed commuter bike, she's 57 and she is blind in one eye. Flo explains it away simply, "I love the 'run what ya brung' mentality." Melissa Boyd, who suggested we profile Flo for this series, considers Flo a mentor, even though it was Melissa who got Flo into Cyclocross. "Flo has enough enthusiasm and courage to take on the entire women's field riding her singlespeed 'townie' bike!" Melissa says.


Flo is an experienced road racer, and has won state masters championships in road and criterium. Flo says she loves crits and thinks of cyclocross as a crit on dirt. She's no stranger to challenges and likes to tear it up on the tough sections of the course, "Runups - love 'em. Props to the Psychocross runup this season, which was steep, full of sand and right after a bunch of barriers. Also hard surfaces....love the grass, packed gravel and dirt."


Being blind in one eye definitely presents some challenges, but nothing that keeps Flo down. "Steep descents weird me out and sometimes I just walk 'em. And it took me a while to get used to riding in a pack the first year I raced on any kind of bike. But now it doesn't seem to matter much anymore. I guess you learn to compensate with other cues."


Flo, who by day loves her job as a philosophy professor at OSU, sounds pretty tough. And she is, for sure, but she also has a dirty little secret that she was brave enough to divulge to ORbike readers, "I don't actually like mud all that much. Maybe they ought to have a 'Princess' cross race for those of us who don't really like getting, um, dirty. Oh, right, they do - they call its road racing."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Indian Summer at West Branch

The weekend weather forecast is not looking so good, so I took advantage of today's beautiful weather and headed out to West Branch State Park. It was dry and buff and in great riding condition. That may not last too long, so if you've been itching to hit the trail, you better strap on your headlight and do it tonight, because it may be your last chance this season!

Mmmmm....Ovaltine


Bicycling magazine's Fit Chick columnist, Selene Yeager, gives the thumbs-up to Ovaltine:

Not only does this rich, vitamin-infused cocoa make an excellent recovery mocha (one cup skim milk, one shot of espresso, four tablespoons of Ovaltine -- try it), but new research has found that regular cocoa consumption may lower blood pressure nearly as well as meds. I'll have a double.
Do you think "regular cocoa consumption" also applies to leftover Halloween candy? Man, I hope so.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Heff!

Some mountain biking videos for your viewing pleasure, of present and past Century Cycles employees, from about five years ago during the first year Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park was open.







Here's Keith "The Heff" Heffernan from our Medina location, taking his life in his hands.





Monday, November 3, 2008

Bike We Like: 2009 Raleigh Detour 6.5


We like the 2009 Raleigh Detour 6.5, a great hybrid bike that is an excellent combination of comfort and performance. Why? Well, it has nicely spec’d components, including Shimano Deore and Alivio, and has disc-brake ready hubs. With its lightweight aluminum fork, it’s no surprise that the Detour 6.5 is not as heavy as other bikes in this category. Priced at $559.99, we currently have one at every store – Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River – ready for you to test ride!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Just Foolin' around ... Featuring Chris Walters






Photographs by Mike Petcher

Cleveland Bikes offers free bicycle parking for tomorrow's Obama rally

Kevin Cronin of Cleveland Bikes sent this e-mail alert today:
The Plain Dealer reports that presidential candidate Barack Obama is hosting a rally with Bruce Springsteen downtown on Mall C at 4:00 pm Sunday, just as the Browns-Ravens game is ending, with the Cleveland Police noting the potential for a car-parking mess. Well, as we've done for countless festivals around the area, cyclists will do our part to help by offering the public free, secure, bicycle parking for the Mall C event. Beginning at 3:30 pm, we will have a secure area, on the east side of the mall, near Cleveland City Hall at Lakeside Avenue and East 6th Street, available for bicycle parking, so ride on down!

BHS shows Channel 3 the Bike To School spirit

The Bike To School Challenge that Century Cycles sponsors got a big shout-out yesterday morning on WKYC-TV 3, when the station was at Bay High School for the School Spirit Spotlight. That lovely punk rock chick is actually Ms. Eryn Whistler, a BHS science teacher who advises the Project Earth Environmental Club.

Eryn and assistant principal Jason Martin are already hard at work with us planning the 2009 Bike To School Challenge, which is scheduled for May 4 - May 22 at both Bay High School and Bay Middle School. Call us biased, but we think they look as good on TV as they do on their bicycles!

Tip of the cycling cap to Jason: He has only 70 miles to go to reach the 2,000-mile mark milestone for the season, which far exceeds how much he planned to ride when he bought his Raleigh Cadent from us in May. Way to go, Jason!