Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Help Cleveland shoot for #38

Last spring Cleveland was named the #39 bicycling city in the United States. With all the local bicycling initiatives currently underway, with your help we just may climb to the #38 spot. Here's what you can do:

Attend a meeting: ODOT is trying to determine its transportation priorities and is holding public meetings around the state to get input -- with actual votes taking place at the meetings. Local bicycling advocates are asking cyclists to make their voice heard (and vote registered) by attending the Cleveland Project Priority Meeting on Wednesday, November 3, from 6 to 8pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 777 St. Claire Avenue. To learn more and register (as well as see the list of other Ohio cities that will be hosting meetings), click here.

Take a 3-minute online survey: The city of Westlake wants to make the west side more bicycle-friendly and is seeking input from cyclists -- even those who don't live in Westlake. Click here to take their survey.

Read up:

Sharrows point to easier bike-riding in Cleveland Heights. (Fresh Water)

Thoughts on (and video from) last night's Cleveland Critical Mass. (Car Less Ohio)

Yesterday ground was broken for downtown Cleveland's first bike station. (GreenCityBlueLake)

The League of American Bicyclists trumpeted the news of "Complete Streets and bike-partisanship" thanks to Northeast Ohio and Rep. LaTourette's co-sponsorship. (Bike League blog)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Time for Indoor Trainers: Our tips and products


After the weather we've had the past week, what with record-low pressures and crazy-high winds, it's time to consider an indoor trainer -- a great way to maintain a degree of cycling fitness during the cold-weather months. And it's essential: Just two weeks of inactivity will result in a noticeable loss of strength and flexibility. In 8 to 12 weeks, the cardiovascular fitness you developed this past summer will be all but erased if you don't keep up with a cycling regimen.

So where to start? We recommend your local Century Cycles, of course! Come check out the array of trainers we have in stock and discuss the features you need (and the bike you'll be putting on it) with a member of our helpful staff, many of whom also cycle indoors in the winter. And did you know that you can also take a trainer for a test ride, just as you would a bike?

As for what's in stock, we carry: Blackburn TrakStand Mag Trainer ($159.99), Blackburn Tech Mag Trainer ($229.99), CycleOps Magneto ($269.99; pictured above), and the CycleOps Fluid2 Trainer ($329.99) -- along with all the indoor training accessories you may need such as climbing blocks and training mats.

To get the most out of your indoor cycling experience, read our 5 tips on training indoors that address everything from set-up to clothing to listening to the rhythm of your wheel. Other tips:
  • Warm up well -- 5 minutes minimum (or 15 if you're planning a strenuous workout).
  • Devise a workout strategy -- vary your effort to work on speed, endurance or power.
  • Include easy or rest days -- allow your body to recover from hard training and grow stronger.
  • Limit yourself accordingly -- ride outside as long as (or whenever) conditions permit so as not to burn out on indoor cycling. That said, an indoor trainer will keep you sane during a long winter and have you ready to ride when the warm weather comes!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bicycling lessons learned recently by TV characters

...Nelson Muntz learned the bike biz ain't easy. Ha ha! (The Simpsons: "Loan A Lisa")

...Michael Scott learned you need to learn to ride a bike before you, um, ride a bike (while Dwight ever-so-helpfully teaches us a horse is a bike that pedals itself). (The Office: "The Sting")

...Cameron Tucker learned you shouldn't buy bike shorts a size too small. (Modern Family: "Strangers on a Treadmill")



Surly Jethro Tule: Good for bikes, beers, popularity


A day that Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson plays in Cleveland seems the best day to give a shout-out to the Surly Jethro Tule -- part box wrench, part bottle opener! A Century Cycles customer said it best on Facebook: "I own one and I love it! Be the envy of your friends at parties!"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scott Cowan speaks to local chambers of commerce

Today Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan was the featured speaker at the luncheon meeting of the Olmsted Falls/North Olmsted/Fairview Park Chambers of Commerce, sharing his insights on growing and marketing a successful business. This blog even got a shout-out in his presentation, cited as one of the integral components in Century Cycles online marketing efforts.
Thanks to Terri Mrosko of Enhanced Communications (above with Scott), a Board member of the Olmsted Falls Chamber of Commerce who hosted Scott as a guest and coordinated his appearance, as well as all three chambers for their warm welcome, Donauschwaben for the delicious lunch, and the owners of The Olde Wine Cellar and Olmsted Auto Care for their hospitality.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"The Lost Cyclist" author comes to town on Nov. 3

Author David Herlihy will be in Northeast Ohio on Wednesday, November 3, for a book signing and discussion of "The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer" at 7:00PM at the Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst. A slideshow will accompany the discussion.

In "The Lost Cyclist," Herlihy recounts the story of Frank Lenz, a young man who left his home in Pittsburgh in the spring of 1892 to cycle around the world on a new-fangled "safety" bicycle (the modern prototype), only to disappear mysteriously two years later in eastern Turkey. Bringing to light a wealth of information, Herlihy's gripping narrative captures the soaring joys and constant dangers accompanying the bicycle adventurer in the days before paved roads and automobiles.

(Thanks to Richard Delombard, longtime Century Cycles friend and captain of The Ohio Wheelmen, for the event tip!)

In other "books and bikes" news, the New York Times Book Review announced on Sunday with the following note that David Byrne's book is now available in paperback:

BICYCLE DIARIES, by David Byrne (Penguin, $16.) Byrne — singer, composer, former Talking Head — has been a serious bicyclist since the early 1980s, and he takes his full-size folding bike with him all over the world. This account of his travels at home and abroad “is partly about cycling but also about whatever Byrne happens to have on his mind, . . . and fortunately a lot of it is quite interesting,” Geoff Nicholson wrote in the Book Review.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Congratulations to new Bay Skate & Bike Park

Kids on BMX bicycles, skateboards and scooters weren't the only smiling faces at the grand opening of the Bay Skate & Bike Park (BSBP) in Bay Village last Saturday. Century Cycles' Chris Walters (left) and owner Scott Cowan (right) were there to support the event and congratulate BSBP founder Lawrence Kuh (center), who is also one of the organizers of the Bay Bike To School Challenge.

2011 road bikes are hot!

Stop in your local Century Cycles to check out the 2011 line-ups of men's and women's road bikes from Giant, Raleigh and Surly -- in stock and ready for you to test ride!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bay Skate & Bike Park opens tomorrow

Join Century Cycles tomorrow at the grand opening of the Bay Skate & Bike Park from 3 to 7pm at the corner of Cahoon and Wolf Roads in Bay Village. We've supported Lawrence Kuh and BSBP's efforts since the beginning -- a 6-year odyssey that has a very happy ending for BMX and skateboard enthusiasts on the West Shore!

Look for our tent at the grand opening -- Scott Cowan and Chris Walters will be there with a display of BMX bikes, skateboard items from our Medina store, helmets, and a special 25%-off helmet discount exclusive for BSBP.

Come see us, ride, watch, or just enjoy the food and DJ!

Win a bike at Brewzilla & other cycling news

Although the "All Hail the Ale" Night Ride is but a wonderful memory, we still have one final component in our celebration of Cleveland Beer Week: Century Cycles is honored to donate an Electra Sparker bicycle gift package to the silent auction to benefit the Malone Scholarship Fund at Brewzilla, the official closing event of Cleveland Beer Week tomorrow night. This bike is a really cool way to get around town -- especially to your local pub for a fine craft beer -- and bidding on it will support a great local cause. Click here to buy your tickets for Brewzilla (a MONSTER of a beer tasting) and good luck!

In other cycling-related news....

NOACA survey finds more Clevelanders cycling. (WEWS)

Akron has a new bicycling blog. (Back on Two Wheels)

Katie Spotz shares her life lessons... (West Shore Live Well - pg. 38)

...and her bike ride to Canada on her new Giant bicycle... (Row4Water)

...and how she traded her cycling jersey for a dress at the Salute to Women in Sports Gala! (Women's Sports Foundation)

Would you take an 18,000-mile bike ride with your kids? This Idaho family did it. (Parade Magazine)

Not every wedding can end with a Critical Mass bike ride, but this one did. (New York Times)

And not every guy has a 72.4cm road bike, but Bill Walton does. (Bicycling Magazine)

More proof that there is safety in numbers for cyclists. (Treehugger)

Dick Delombard emailed us this clip about an historic film of a San Francisco street in 1906 -- look at the bikes among the traffic! (60 Minutes)

Buffalo Bills safety Bryan Scott pedals to practice. (Washington Examiner)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Century Cyclist to compete at SS World Championships

Good luck to our very own Doug Charnock, who will be competing in the 2010 Singlespeed Mountain Bike World Championships in New Zealand on Saturday! One of his competitors is none other than Mr. Julian Dean, a Tour de France veteran and New Zealand's #1 cyclist. Go Doug!!

So if you haven't seen Doug at the Peninsula store or our final Night Rides, you now know he has a really good excuse: The trip of a lifetime! Doug has been traveling, biking and hiking in New Zealand for the past few weeks -- a trip that culminates in the SSWC. We'll see if we can talk him into sharing his photos and stories upon his return. Perhaps a slideshow night at the Winking Lizard?! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Night Ride for Cleveland Beer Week a huge success

Ale? Hailed! Last Saturday's Century Cycles Night Ride for Cleveland Beer Week was a huge success, proving that "bikes-n-brews" are still a match made in heaven! Nearly 200 cyclists came to the ride, many of whom sported some awesome beer-inspired costumes and all of whom biked on a chilly yet perfect fall evening.

Our hearty congratulations to the 26 lucky folks who won prizes from us and our event partners -- cycling jerseys, gift cards from Winking Lizard and Century Cycles, pint glasses, Cycle-opoly games, and more! And YES, we are already planning to do it again next year!

Our thanks, too, to Cleveland Beer Week (which named us "Pick of the Day" on Saturday -- a gigantic honor considering the number of CBW events!), the Winking Lizard (which did a great job of accomodating our big post-ride crowd and sourced/tapped some terrific beers), Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (mmm...that Porter in cask was delicious!), and Left Hand Brewing Company (for their super-tasty Twin Sisters Double IPA).

Here are over 100 photos from the "All Hail the Ale!" Night Ride - see how many "beers" you can spot!



(Click here if the slide show is not appearing for you. Photos: Mike Petcher)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Westlake wants YOUR input as a bicyclist!

Kudos to the city of Westlake, which is interested in creating a more bicycle-friendly community and expanding its bikeways. Last night, we attended a public meeting to hear more about this effort and to listen to residents and bicyclists discuss their needs and concerns. This is an exciting process that we will continue to update you on in the weeks and months ahead.

In the meantime, the city of Westlake has posted an online survey to gather more input. You do NOT have to be a resident of Westlake to complete the survey (which takes just a few minutes). If you live in one of the adjacent communities, bike through Westlake, or are just concerned about West Shore bicycling, please provide Westlake city planners with your feedback! Go to:

http://www.cityofwestlake.org/surveys/bikesurvey.aspx

Monday, October 18, 2010

Best of Cleveland 2010


Thank you to the readers of Cleveland Magazine for voting Century Cycles as the Best Bicycle Shop in 2010!

This past Friday, Oct. 15, we had a blast at the Best of Cleveland 2010 Party, hosted by Cleveland Magazine at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Check out our pictures from the event below!

(Click here if the slide show is not appearing for you.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Staff Profile: Scott Cowan


In this blog, we have profiled almost the entire Century Cycles staff over the past few years. It was just brought to our attention that there was one person we have yet to profile: The owner. In the words of the legendary Homer Simpson, “D’oh!” So here we go:

Scott Cowan, 50, has the distinction of being Century Cycles’ longest-tenured employee, with a whopping 18 years of service to the company. A resident of rural Medina county, Scott graduated from Miami University with a degree in Geography and a minor in cartography. At those rare times when he’s not at Century Cycles or on his bicycle, Scott enjoys a new interest in old barns, watching “Andy Griffith Show” re-runs, and collecting wine and all kinds of other things.  

Q: So how did you get your start at Century Cycles?

A: (Laughing) Do you mean how did I start the company?! Back in 1991, I was already an avid cyclist and I wanted to do something I believed in. I approached a local bike shop and they hired me at no pay to apprentice to learn the bike store business. We opened the Medina store in March of 1992 with just $14,000 of capital and against all odds. Most people thought we’d be gone in six months, but 18 years later we’re still here and thriving. By the way, I did a geographical business study of Medina and it was phenomenal how accurate it was at predicting our success. A degree in geography does pay off!

Q: How many bikes do you own?

A: (Laughing again) Personally or professionally?? I have five bikes that I ride pretty regularly. My favorite to ride is my Raleigh Team carbon bike, and I love my Santana tandem. I also collect bikes and have well over 100 in my collection, with about 15-20 that are particular favorites. But if you really want to get technical, I own thousands of bicycles a year through the stores, taking care of them as they go from the manufacturer to a loving home through Century Cycles. Over the past 18 years, I estimate Century Cycles has built over 40,000 bicycles and found them happy owners. We’ve started thousands of kids on their first bikes and it’s amazing that they are now starting to come back to us, for their kids’ first bikes.

Q: What was your first bicycle?

A: My first real bike was a Schwinn Typhoon in the rare coppertone color. We sold it at a garage sale for $10 because I wanted a 10-speed. However, I found one exactly like it and it’s now in my bike collection.

Q: What has changed since you started the business in 1992?

A: A lot. We’re still providing fun on two wheels, but what we’re selling has changed a lot. The bikes are a lot better, our mechanics are better-trained, and it’s all better for the consumer.

Q: What’s your favorite local trail or ride?

A: I love riding through the Metroparks and also riding along on Lake Road on the west side, where you see the lake peaking out between the houses. I also really like riding out of my driveway and going south to the country roads of Wayne county.

Q: What is your biggest accomplishment on a bicycle (besides getting 40,000 people on them)?

A: I’m really proud of the Bike To School Challenge we help organize in Bay Village and are planning to expand to more schools this spring. I also did a ride from Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia, back in 1987 -- an 800-mile ride I did in 12 days with a buddy from college. It was an awesome experience with spectacular scenery, although it was also pretty rugged. Some nights we went to bed without dinner and we rode up Cadillac Mountain on our rest day just for fun!

Q: What is your favorite post-ride beverage?

A: Well, during a long ride, I love chocolate malted milkshakes. After a ride, it’s beer. And if it’s a been a long ride, I’m not even all that particular about what kind!

Q: What bicycling advice do you most often give to people?

A: In a lot of conversations I have with people, they tell me that they don’t have enough time to ride. The most common advice I give is to make the time to get out and ride your bicycle. Make it part of your life because it will make it better.

Q: What books are on your nightstand?

A: There are two right now: “The Life and Times of Bob Marley” and “The Wild Turkey.” That last one is not about bourbon (laughing)! It’s a really interesting book about the wild turkey in history, lore, hunting, and so on.

Q: What’s a favorite non-local trail or ride?

A: The eastern coast of Lake Michigan is awesome. The Natchez Trace was also spectacular.

Q: You work primarily out of the Rocky River store yet you live in Medina county. How do you cope with the long commute?

A: Satellite radio helps a lot. I also try to commute by bike as much as possible. I drive halfway to the Metroparks, then ride a bicycle the rest of the way.

Q: What do you like best about working at Century Cycles?

A: I’m still doing something I believe in. I have the fulfillment of seeing projects come to fruition and seeing people become transformed by bicycling. I love to come to work every day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ales are preferred by beer-drinking bicyclists in Northeast Ohio

The post-ride beer is a long and sacred bicycling tradition that has even been acknowledged by the Adventure Cycling Association.

Century Cycles conducted an online survey to ask Northeast Ohio bicyclists which style of beer they prefer after a bike ride. Among the 114 respondents, the overwhelming favorite was Ale/Pale Ale/IPA, which garnered 44% of the votes. That was followed by Wheat/Belgian (21%), Porter/Stout (18%), Light Beer (10%), and Lager (7%).

We conducted the survey in preparation for the “All Hail the Ale” Night Ride to celebrate Cleveland Beer Week tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.

Imagine our relief, then, when the Winking Lizard scored Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA and Sierra Nevada Porter (in cask) for the special post-Night-Ride keg-tapping that is the hallmark of all Cleveland Beer Week events. They are now statistically proven to make a lot of bicyclists very happy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

5 Tips: Bicycle Lights

Although this weekend marks the end of the season for our Night Rides on the Towpath Trail, for many cyclists, this is the time where they need to start thinking more about riding at night. Here are some tips to keep in mind for selecting and using a bicycle lighting system:

1. Do you need a light "to see with," or just "to be seen?" Consider your needs and your riding conditions (and not just your budget) when deciding what lights to purchase. There are many choices for lights ranging in price from $25 to several hundred dollars. All of them work well for their intended uses, but different types of riders and conditions need different lights. Are you riding on streets or dedicated bike paths? Are there ample street lights, or are there some sections of complete darkness? Are you mountain biking? Are you commuting, or trying to squeeze in extra training miles in the morning or evening? Are you doing long distance touring or endurance racing? These are the questions we will ask you before recommending any specific light system.

2. A flashing taillight is essential to ensure being seen by passing motorists, but a headlight is just as important. Many who ride on the streets after dark worry most about the cars coming from behind. However, statistics show that the majority of bike vs. car collisions occur when an oncoming car makes a left turn in front of a bike, or when driver a pulls out from a side street. So, being seen from the front, back, and sides are all equally important.

3. Plan ahead: Check or recharge your batteries the night before, test your lights before leaving home, and carry spare batteries and/or a backup light. Many bike commuters like to get all of their riding clothes and other gear ready the night before a ride to keep their departure smooth and help eliminate excuses to not ride. Make your light set-up part of this pre-ride routine. If you start a ride when it's light out, a non-working light doesn't do you any good when you discover it after it gets dark outside. If you've got a very nice high-end rechargeable light that meets your normal needs, it may be worth it to toss an inexpensive battery-operated light in your pack just in case. If you must ride no matter what, plan for the worst-case scenario.

4. Position your headlight high enough so that it illuminates the road or trail far enough ahead that you have time to react to obstacles, but low enough that it does not cause glare in the eyes of oncoming users. While standing still on your bike, adjust the angle of your headlight so that the main spot is a comfortable distance ahead of your bike. What is comfortable for you will vary depending on where you ride and how fast your typically go. It may take some trial and error to find the right height; take a brief test ride up the street and make adjustments as necessary. If cars are flashing their high beams at you, your light may be aimed too high!

5. Helmet mount or handlebar mount? Or both? The advantage of a handlebar-mounted headlight is that it always points the same way your bike is pointing. A helmet light always points the same way you're looking. One or the other are enough for most people, except that both are recommended for mountain biking. A helmet light is useful is want to be able to read a map or cue sheet while you're riding. It's also handy if you have to stop to take things in and out of your bike bag often at night, if you have to stop to change a flat tire in the dark, or locking your bike to a bike rack on a dark street or parking garage. If you're using a helmet-mounted light and riding with a group of friends, be careful not to look directly at their faces while your light is on--you could temporarily blind them!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Night Ride Update: Beer Tapping, Prizes, Sausage!


Just three days until our last Night Ride of the year -- a two-wheeled celebration of Cleveland Beer Week and an epic finale. Here's the latest and greatest event news (plus you can always head to www.centurycycles.com/for/CleBeerWeek for more details):

The post-ride beer tapping
This wouldn't be An Officially Sanctioned Cleveland Beer Week Event if there wasn't something special being tapped, and the Winking Lizard has scored a couple of somethings special for us: Left Hand Twin Sisters Double IPA and Sierra Nevada Porter in cask. Commence swooning.

Only 72 hours left to decorate yourself or your bike
What does a "beer-inspired" decoration entail? Well, it can be as simple as wearing a beer t-shirt or cycling jersey. Or perhaps stringing a garland of little bud-shaped lights (get it? Bud Light?) around your top tube. Or putting a bunch of rocks in your basket and going as "Rolling Rock." Or wearing a necklace of beer can pull-tabs. We're just looking for festive, not necessarily elaborate. (Although that's good, too!)

The benefits of being costumed/decorated
Only the costumed/decorated can fill out a raffle ticket for the post-ride, post-ale-tapping "Awarding of the Prizes." (This is very different from the "Airing of the Grievances" and much more fun.) If your raffle ticket is drawn at 10pm at the Winking Lizard, you get to "Spin the Water Bottle" for a prize!

The prize patrol
We will be giving away some great prizes donated by our partners, including cycling jerseys from Sierra Nevada Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, the Winking Lizard, and Century Cycles, along with gift cards, pint glasses, board games, and more.

The weather
Looks great -- clear skies, sunny, low 60s.

The ride
It's good for all skill levels -- no big hills, go at your own pace, definitely a ride and not a race. That said, it is DARK and the Towpath is unlit, so bring bike lights and helmets. (The Peninsula store will be open until the ride starts at 7:30 -- plan to come early if you need anything.) We're headed south to Botzum, where an assortment of tasty delicacies will be awaiting your arrival, including some yummy sausage we just picked up today from The Sausage Shoppe. If it's good enough for Anthony Bourdain, it's good enough for you.

And finally for the folks who wonder "I like bikes but I don't like beer..."
No worries! Join us for a great bike ride on a lovely fall evening -- one last hurrah to tide you over until we start them back up again in the spring of 2011.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Luna Sport Fall Collection Now Available!

Just recently arriving in all three Century Cycles stores are items from the Fall 2010 Collection from Luna Sport Gear. Luna Sport Gear is cycling apparel designed by women for women, which we first made available earlier this year with some of their warm-weather items. Century Cycles' female staff have been wearing it and loving it, and are excited to see some new items for cooler weather!

Some of the features that set Luna Sport Gear apart (aside from the excellent women's-specific fit) are comfortable fabrics that feel good to the touch, and little details like functional pockets and really cool zippers.

We have two long-sleeve jerseys in stock, the Eclipse (shown at right) and the Stripe, plus the Baseline 100% Merino wool top that can act as a warm under-layer or a stand-alone jersey as conditions warrant.

To help stay warm in changing autumn conditions, we have Luna Sport's basic Arm Warmers, Leg Warmers, and the lightweight and packable Dellie's Wind Jacket (shown at left).

Finally, the Luna Sport Team Glove is available in a Long Finger version!

The great thing about many of these fall items is that they are good for more places than on the bike -- they look stylish when worn at the gym, to yoga class, to fall cookouts, the kids' soccer games, etc. (just like the items from our new Pearl Izumi Fall Collection!).

Stop in and check out the Luna Sport Fall Collection, or shop online at: www.centurycycles.com/get/luna

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy 70th birthday, John Lennon



“As a kid, I had a dream. I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bicycle, I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe in the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bikes in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed.”

Friday, October 8, 2010

Interbike 2010 - Electra Bicycle Company


In what I thought was my final post about there 2010 Interbike trade show, I mentioned that I didn't have a chance to get as many photos of Electra Bicycles that would have done the bikes justice. Well, no sooner did he read that did Gary Thomas, our intrepid sales representative for Electra, come through with his own collection of photos from the Electra booth, which he agreed to let us share with you in the slide show below. Electra lovers, enjoy!

You'll notice in one picture, the one of Gary with Scott Cowan, that he is wearing a t-shirt with the number "7740262" printed on it. No, that's not his inmate number...it's the number of the US Patent that was just recently awarded to Electra for their Flat Foot Technology design. All of the Electra staff at the trade show wore this shirt to celebrate this important milestone.

The Flat Foot Technology was developed in 2003 and originally introduced in the Townie and kids' 20-inch series of bicycles, but is now used in their Cruiser and Amsterdam series as well. The innovative foot-forward design allows the rider to sit comfortably with the ability to put their feet flat on the ground while keeping the proper leg extension while pedaling.

(Click here if the slide show is not appearing for you.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Photos from the Night Ride on the Towpath to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland

Century Cycles' first Night Ride on the Towpath Trail for charity on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 benefitted the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. At a cost of $20 per rider, all proceeds went directly to the Ronald McDonald House. All riders received a goodie bag and a long-sleeve Night Ride t-shirt.

In addition to the organizers Century Cycles and the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, the event was also made possible thanks to the underwriting support of the Sigma Tau Theta International Honor Society of Nursing (Nu Delta Chapter), and Elyria Plastic Products.

A rainy evening kept many indoors, but about 50 riders still showed up, some first-timers and some experienced Night Riders. That included a generous man who was the last person to register to ride and gave $1,000! He said he knew the turnout would be affected by the weather and he wanted to help make the event a success. He sure did - in all, it raised over $2,700!


The ride began at 7:00pm under a light sprinkle, but the skies cleared up during the ride, making for a cool and pleasant event. At the 13-mile ride's halfway point, volunteers for the Ronald McDonald house served snacks to the riders, which included cookies, warm apple cider, water, and sports drinks.

Congratulations to Rhonda Koch, the raffle winner of a basket of goodies (including t-shirt, coffee mug, tire pump, and more!) from Century Cycles and the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland!

Check out more pictures from the event in this slide show:



(Click here if the slide show is not appearing for you.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Best Bike Shop in Cleveland!

Our grateful thanks to our awesome staff and customers for helping Century Cycles win the vote for Cleveland's Best Bike Shop in Cleveland Magazine's annual "Best of Cleveland" issue!

This is an amazing honor that we are thrilled to celebrate at the the Best of Cleveland Party on Friday, October 15, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. We hope you can join us for what promises to be Cleveland's very best party of the year! Check out our table at the event, sample food from the best restaurants, mingle with Cleveland's most interesting people (including our entire staff!), and place a bid in the silent auction (to which we donated a special tricycle gift package for the special little girl in your life).

Thank you, Cleveland -- we'll keep working to be the best!!

Interbike 2010 Report - Electra, etc.

This new cruiser from Electra Bicycle Co. looks like a cross between the Indy and the Vince:
This Women's Townie 7D in Fuscia is hard to miss:
The fashion line of Electra cruiser bikes blends some of the old (notice the Blanc et Noir) with some of the new:

No detail is overlooked, right down to the matching valve caps:
Electra always has the most photogenic bikes around, and I could have filled up a whole memory card at their booth, but alas, time is always limited. I should have gotten help from this Puppy-Cam:

I made a quick stop at Salsa Cycles to salivate over some of their new titanium frames. They're going to be offering a few of their most popular models with the choice of either stell or titanium--the A La Carte 26-inch mountain bike, the El Mariachi 29er mountain bike, the Fargo off-road touring bike, and the La Cruz cyclocross bike. Here are both versions of the Fargo:

Salsa is also adding its hat to the snow-bike ring with the aluminum-framed Mukluk:

Santana is moving to using the Gates Carbon Belt Drive on some of their tandem bikes. This model also features a titanium/carbon frame, 10-inch disc brake on the rear, and a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic drive train. If you have to ask, you can't afford it:

In 2011, the Interbike trade show moves from Las Vegas to Anaheim, California. Some in the industry have been clamoring for years for the show to be moved away from the very bike-unfriendly Sin City. Be careful what you wish for; you may get it, according to component maker Wheels Manufacturing:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Interbike 2010 Report - Bianchi, Masi, and Velocity

Here's a few peeks that I was able to grab at some of the new 2011 bikes from Bianchi and Masi, our two boutique bike brands!

Here are a couple of models in the flat-bar road-bike/performance hybrid category, with a look and flair that only Bianchi can give:
Bianchi ups the ante in their cyclocross line with this model, the Cavana:
The Bianchi Volpe, our best-selling Bianchi model for all time, returns. They've made it in a cream color, and added cross levers to the handlebar tops. Other than that, they've stuck with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto for this cyclocross/touring bike: Shimano Tiagra shift/brake levers, Tiagra derailleurs, Tiagra hubs, Sugino triple crankset, WTB All-Terrain tires:

Fixed-gear devotees anxiously await the release of the new Bianchi Pista every year, and this time around, Bianchi doesn't disappoint with the retro look of their popular track bike:

And here's the Super Pista version for true track-racing fans:

The Masi Speciale CX cyclocross/touring bike returns in a new color and otherwise pretty much unchanged:

They're making a singlespeed version now, the Special CXSS. I'm diggin' those fat 700x45C tires and the swept-out handlebar:
Those of you who have liked Masi's retro styling will really appreciate the full-on retro-ness of the new Speciale Strada, right down to the downtube-mounted shift levers:

Just a pleasant reminder that Velocity USA makes rims in a wide variety of colors (in addition to the standard old silver or black). We can get these babies for you pretty quickly from Velocity's warehouse located in Michigan, as part of our hand-built custom wheel service:

Monday, October 4, 2010

PLEASE NOTE: Reduced hours of operation October 9 and Towpath Trail Closure

Due to a special event, all three Century Cycles stores will be closing early this Saturday, October 9, 2010. We will be open from 10:00am until 3:00pm on that day. Sorry for any inconvenience!

Please note that the last call for bicycle rentals in Peninsula will be at 1:30pm, and bikes must be returned by 3:00pm.

We will be open for our normal hours, from 12:00pm (noon) until 5:00pm on Sunday, October 10, 2010.

TOWPATH TRAIL CLOSURE

Due to the Towpath Marathon, the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will close at dusk on Saturday, October 9, 2010. The trail will re-open at 2:00pm on Sunday, October 10, 2010.

The area affected by the closure is between the Botzum Trailhead (near Bath Road) and Fitzwater Road (north of Brecksville). All trailhead parking lots within this area will also be closed.

Although our stores will be open from 12:00-5:00pm on this day, note that this creates a narrow window for bicycle rentals at our Peninsula store. We will be letting rental bikes out between 2:00pm and 3:30pm on Sunday.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Interbike 2010 Report - Shoes, Racks, Bags, etc.

Today's report from the Interbike 2010 trade show covers some clothing and accessories that caught my eyes.

First off, Pearl Izumi is expanding on their popular X-Alp series of cycling shoes, with a new waterproof style, plus a new model for men and women called the Fuel that features similar styling to the X-Alps, but with a smoother, lower-profile sole that is perfect for spin classes at the gym and pavement-only riders.
New to the shoe category is an upstart company called DZR Shoes that is making an SPD-compatible version of a shoe with the look of your classic Converse high-tops. They gave me a pair to try out, so look for a product review in the next few months after I have a chance to put them through their paces:
Here's a bird's eye view of all of the newest pedal models from Crank Brothers; they've dropped the Smarty and Egg Beater MXR models from the low end of the line, and re-focused with a new look on the remaining models, all fully-serviceable and rebuildable:

The bling of this stainless steel bicycle touring-oriented rear cargo rack caught my eye. It's lightweight and looks really practical and durable, but I was dissapointed that it won't be offered in black:

Speaking of bicycle touring, Topeak is entering the ever-more-crowded cargo trailer market with this new model:

And speaking of cargo, somebody wheeled this Trek Cargo bike (a Surly Big Dummy look-a-like) into the registration area; I noticed that they swapped out the stock fork for a Surly fork, showing that every bike needs a little Surly in it:
This integrated handlebar/basket is a good idea; I forgot to make a note of who the manufacturer is, but it does also come it black. On the plus side, you don't have to deal with a cheesy bolt-on bracket that slips and rattles, but on the down side, you can't easily take the basket with you when you duck into the grocery store:

I stopped in to say Hi to the folks at Detours to tell them how popular their handlebar bags have been with our customers. They are continuing their tradition of pushing the color limits with these pannier/tote bags:
We are going to be stocking a new line of messenger bags, who shall remain nameless at this point, but look here for an announcement later this year. They showed up ready for action to make custom bags right at the show:

And finally, back on the shoe front, Keen Footwear has listened to their customers' requests and expanded their line of cycling-specific models:
The two on the right are are the women's and men's Coronado Cruiser, which are not SPD-compatible, but have a stiff sole plate for more platform-pedal efficiency. The two on the left are SPD-compatible, the men's Austin Pedal and the women's Presidio Pedal, perfect for the business-casual bike commuter. The two in the center are also SPD-compatible; the Arroyo Pedal offers a cycling sandal with a wider fit more like their traditional non-cycling sandals.