Thursday, June 30, 2011

From the eMailbox: Camping along the Towpath Trail

Every day we receive a variety of questions at info@centurycycles.com. Here's a Q-and-A we wanted to share-- just in case it's helpful to more people!
Dear Century Cycles: Do you have any suggestions for decent camping along the Towpath Trail near your Peninsula store? - Ric from Illinois

Answer: The Stanford House is a former youth hostel, but is now maintained and managed by the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Outside the hostel are a few primitive camping spaces available for pre-registered users on bike or foot. The hostel is located on Stanford Road in the village of Boston, about 2.5 miles north (on the Towpath) from the village of Peninsula. You can contact the Conservancy at 330-657-2909 x119 for booking information.

MetroParks Serving Summit County has created two primitive camping areas that may be used on a walk-up, first-come first-served basis by Towpath Trail users on bike or foot; no reservations necessary. One is located near the Big Bend Trailhead, about 5 miles north of downtown Akron. The other is located just south of the Center Road Trailhead, which is just north of the town of Clinton.

The closest commercial campground is the KOA of Streetsboro, which is about 10 miles directly east of Peninsula, on State Route 303. FYI, should you need any bike supplies, our store is located in the center of Peninsula. Exit the Towpath at the Lock 29 Trailhead and follow the railroad tracks south to the store.

If you're heading to the far southern end of the Towpath, the NTR Canoe Livery is Bolivar will let you camp on their grounds. It's free if you also do one of their canoe or kayak trips, or for a fee otherwise. Look them up at http://www.canoe-ohio.com/.

What We Ride: Andrew's Giant XTC 1

Andrew Copenhaver works during the busy season at the Century Cycles store in Medina. He bought this Giant XTC 1 mountain bike in 2009 because he liked the aluminum frame -- it's stiff, yet compliant, and light, which makes it climb well. It's a good bike to "beat around," as Andrew puts it. The Giant XTC 1 was his first racing-quality bike, and Andrew has beat it around in several local mountain bike races. His favorite trail to ride? Vulture's Knob.

Andrew has upgraded many of the original components on the bike, including the RockShox SID World Cup fork, WTB XC Lite wheels, Easton Monkey Lite SL handlebar, Truvativ Stylo World Cup stem, Race Face Evolve XC seat post, Shiimano Deore XT drive train and disc brakes, Chris King bottom bracket, and WTB Silverado saddle.

For more What We Ride profiles of Century Cycles staffers and their bicycles, click here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pajama Party Night Ride: Photos and Fun!


Our 2nd annual (and rescheduled from a stormy May 14) Pajama Party Night Ride last Saturday was a terrific success on all fronts -- pajama fashions, bicycling, weather, and donations to Project Night Night!

We counted 178 people, most of whom were in some variation of bedtime clothing. It was a fun ride south to the Botzum Trailhead, where we enjoyed some deliciously unhealthy snacks and a few games of "Spin the Water Bottle for Cycling Truth or Dare" -- go to our Facebook Wall to see some dare photos!

The only snafu was a new TV set-up at the Winking Lizard that couldn't link to the restaurant's DVD and prevented the airing of our three-headed monster movie.

Thanks to all who came and to Grunt Girl Racing for spearheading the Project Night Night benefit! Check out the event photos below and we hope to see you all on our next regular Night Ride on July 8.

Check out the slideshow -- photos by Mike Petcher, Doug Charnock and Kevin Madzia:



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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Race Across America: The Follow-Up

As you know, we've been following the progress of Mike McClintock, a solo rider in the Race Across America (RAAM) from Wooster that Century Cycles was proud to sponsor. Mike dropped out of the race last Friday in Bloomington, Indiana -- his experience cut short on Day 9 by an excruciating case of Shermer's Neck that plagued him for most of the race and that got the better of the neck brace built by Tom Wiseman, the CC mechanic on his crew.

Here is Mike's statement on the McClintock Race Team's Facebook wall:

To all of my friends, family and supporters I regretfully announce that I am calling an official end to my race. 2263 miles and nine days after I started I had to concede that it would physically be impossible for me to complete in the remaining allotted time. Too many injuries that consumed precious hours ultimately proved to be my ...undoing. By far the most crippling was a condition known as “Shermers Neck”. This is a condition that afflicts the muscles that support your head and is very prevalent in the ultra-cycling community. There are various neck braces that can be used but none are designed for the rigors of a race such as RAAM. Ultimately, crew chief Bob Haugh and crew member Tom Wiseman devised a system that allowed me to hold my head up for the last 1500 miles of my attempt!

Alaskan adventurer and explorer Norm Vaughn once said “Dream big and dare to fail”. Did I fail? In one respect: yes. My dream was to race the entire 3000 mile course within 12 days and have an official finish. I did not realize that dream. However, the hours spent in preparation for the race, the relationships built with my crew members and the heightened awareness of Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO) have yielded so many positives that to call it a failure would be an injustice.

And yes, on a personal and spiritual level I have grown as well. I re-learned that I am a blessed person with a truly exceptional wife. I also re-learned that no matter what or where there is NEVER a time that you are truly alone. Evidence of God’s presence was manifested many times over as I raced across the country. When I really needed Him, He was there.

To everyone who has been with me through your support and prayers I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And we thank YOU, Mike -- for allowing us to be a part of your dream and to be so deeply inspired by your herculean effort, your iron will, your wonderful crew, and your amazing commitment to bicycling.

We also congratulate Katie Spotz (who competed with a broken pelvis and was featured on the front page of The Plain Dealer on Saturday) and Team Hope for their team successes at RAAM!

Now how to celebrate these cycling heroes? How 'bout with a nice long bike ride....

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pedal in your pajamas tomorrow on the PJ Party Night Ride!

Century Cycles is putting the old-fashioned slumber party on two wheels for its 2nd Annual Pajama Party Night Ride on the Towpath Trail tomorrow night at the Century Cycles bicycle store in Peninsula (1621 Main Street/Route 303). The nighttime bicycle ride is FREE and is rescheduled after it was rained out on May 14. It will benefit Project Night Night and is a belated celebration of National Bike Month in May and Cleveland Bicycle Week.

7 p.m.: The festivities start in the parking lot of Century Cycles’ Peninsula store with cycle-your-own-smoothies on the blender bicycle, glow-in-the-dark goodies and bike accessory giveaways, and the mutual admiration of everyone's excellent sartorial taste in pajamas.

8 p.m.: The rolling slumber party heads to the Towpath Trail for a 14-mile bike ride. At the turnaround point, Night Riders will savor delightfully unhealthy slumber party snacks and play a few rounds of "Spin the Water Bottle for Cycling Truth or Dare." After the ride, the party will continue at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula, where an old-fashioned monster movie will play on the TVs in the south room. (Riders are responsible for their own tab at the restaurant.)

The Pajama Party Night Ride is free and no pre-registration is necessary. However, riders are asked to bring a new children's book, stuffed animal or small flannel blanket to the event to donate to Project Night Night, a children's charity that provides nighttime comfort packages to homeless children.

Pajamas are not required but HIGHLY encouraged. Be sure those pajamas don’t hang, drag or get caught in a bicycle’s spokes or chain. (Check out the photos and video of last year's Pajama Party Night Ride to see how high the pajama fashion bar has been set in the past.)

Also required: A bicycle to carry you, a bike helmet to protect your noggin, a bike headlight to light your way (the Towpath is completely unlit and very dark at night), and – if under 16 years of age – an accompanying adult. Riders should park in the Lock 29 Trailhead lot, just north of the store.

For more information, visit www.centurycycles.com/for/NightRides or call 330-657-2209.

Eastern Ohio Time Trial Series Race #2

This past Sunday, I raced in the Eastern Ohio Time Trial Series, which is held once a month, May through September, down in Deerfield Township, just south of Ravenna, Ohio.

If you've never raced your bicycle before but have been curious as to what it's like, a time trial is a good no-stress way to give it a try. A time trial means that it's just you against the clock; you go a set distance as fast as you possibly can. Each racer starts out by themselves at one-minute intervals, so there's no worrying about jockeying for position and rubbing elbows with fellow riders.

At the EOTT, you can pre-register online, or on-site the morning of the race. It's only $15 either way, with no extra fee for online registration. The first racer starts at 8:01am, and the way they assign race numbers, it's easy to keep track of what time you're supposed to start; e.g. if you're #25, you start at 8:25am.

A race volunteer holds you and your bike up, so you can clip into your pedals and starting cranking right away as he gives you a 5-second countdown to your start. If you're not comfortable with being clipped into both your pedals while somebody holds you up, just let him know, and you can start on your own.


The course just goes straight north on Rt 14, with no stop signs or traffic lights (although you will still be sharing the road with motorists). Around the 6.5-mile mark, you make a u-turn (somebody will be there to let you know and to stop traffic for you) and head back towards the start.

The strategic challenge in any time trial is to pace yourself so that you push as hard as you possibly can without burning yourself out too soon. The longer the distance, the harder this is, but for an event this short, I figured I should just go at 100% or as close to it as I could the whole time. Around 4 miles in, I passed the guy who had started 2 minutes before me; I never passed anybody else or was passed by anyone for the rest of the race.

The first 6.5 miles out has slightly more uphill overall compared to the return, but the return felt a little tougher to me, due to some headwind plus a very gradual, but long, uphill that I failed to make note of on the way out.

After I crossed the finish line, I glanced at my cyclocomputer, and it seemed like I finished in just over 34 minutes, with an average speed of 22.2mph. I met up with a couple of friends in the parking lot, and after doing a quick change out of our cycling shorts, we decided to head over to the Circle Restaurant for some pancakes bigger than your head.

After breakfast, we got back to the event site just as the crew was shutting down and packing things up. We checked our official times on their laptop; mine ended up being 34 minutes and 11 seconds. One of the crew asked, "What's your name?" and when I told them, they said, "Oh, you won a medal!" Turns out, I placed 3rd in my division. They had already had the official medal ceremonies, so I just had to pose alone on the 3rd podium spot for this dorky photo:


If you're interested in trying the East Ohio Time Trial Series out yourself, the next race is on Sunday, July 17. The full season schedule and links for online registration will be found at: www.easternohiotimetrial.com

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hot News: No train service in CVNP, ride deadlines, Hollywood fun

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad shuts down train service in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park until further notice -- Brecksville Patch
RIDES AND EVENTS

TONIGHT: Deagan's Bike Night! -- I (Heart) Cleveland

TOMORROW: Online registration closes tomorrow for Twin Sizzler 27-Mile Bike Race (and other events) on July 4 in Medina -- Active.com

Bicyclists to wed at Cleveland Critical Mass on Friday -- WEWS Channel 5

SATURDAY: Re-scheduled Pajama Party Night Ride! Check out these photos and video to see that, yes, people really DO wear their pajamas -- Century Cycles

AND IN OTHER NEWS

Former CC Medina staffer Adam Rady (brother of Drew) is now an actor in Hollywood and has a new online series coming out called "Walking In Circles" that you can follow on Facebook or check out on YouTube.

Bicycles become trendy marketing tool -- Marketplace

Episode #5, ready for your downloading pleasure -- Radio Century Cycles

Cool trials video featuring Chris Akrigg -- YouTube

Great sandwiches for hungry cyclists -- Bicycling

Beautiful bicycle artwork made of hand-cut paper -- My Modern Met

How bicycle tires are made -- Gizmodo

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 Tips: Preparing for and Riding in a Multi-Day Bicycle Tour

Summer cycling plans are shifting into high gear at this time of year. We've got three Century Cycles mechanics on the road with the riders of the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure this week and, in the stores, we are assisting customers and friends as they prepare for the Pan Ohio Hope Ride in July, the Bike MS Pedal to the Point in August, and lots of summer bike rides for charity or just for fun.

To help you to prepare for, ride and (most importantly) enjoy a multi-day bike ride or event, we put together the following 5 Tips:

1. Train by building up your mileage gradually.

Most supported bike tours have rest stops every 12 to 15 miles, so if you can ride that distance comfortably, you'll do fine. If you're a beginning rider, start your training by doing short loops of 12-15 miles from your home or on your favorite local bike trail. Once you've done that a few times, ride out 12-15 miles, take a break, then ride back. Later, ride out 30 miles, then ride back, taking a couple of short breaks along the way. Keep building up your distance in this manner until you get to the distance of your event. During your breaks, eat a light snack. Drink plenty of water or sports drink during the breaks and while you're riding. To avoid "bonking" or dehydration, you should follow the rule of "drink before you're thirsty; eat before you're hungry." In summer-like weather, you should finish at least one water bottle between each rest stop, if not more. Don't spend too much time dawdling at the rest stops. If you rest too long, you're body thinks it's done for the day, and then you'll have to warm up all over again when you get back on the bike.

2. Make sure your bicycle is tuned up and in good working order.

Don't wait until the week before your event to take your bike into your favorite shop for a tune-up, because during the busy season, the service department may be backed up longer than a week. It's okay to take it in a month or so before the event--once it's tuned up, nothing major should go wrong with it in a couple of weeks, and the shop that tuned it up should be glad to give it a last-minute safety check a couple of days before the event. Don't rely on the event support mechanics for a tune-up or other major work--they are there to help you with unexpected emergencies, but they are not likely to have a lot of hard-to-find parts on hand, especially if you've got exotic wheels or other high-end components.

3. When choosing what gear to pack, find a good balance between comfort and convenience.

Self-supported bike tourers are like backpackers; they are constantly weighing each piece of gear they use and trying to find the lightest possible items to carry. This often means sacrificing comfort, such as sawing the handle off of your toothbrush, using the smallest, thinnest sleeping pad, and a tent that you barely have room in which to change your clothes. On a supported tour, however, you have the luxury of somebody carrying your gear for you, so you can afford to live it up a little. If you're traveling alone, use a spacious 2-person tent. If you're traveling with a partner, use a 3- or 4-person tent so you're not rolling over each other all night. Use a nice, thick model of sleeping pad, or even an inflatable mattress. If you're a light sleeper, bring along ear plugs and an eye shade to minimize disturbances from the campers around you. Bring a small flashlight or headlamp for those late-night excursions to the restroom.

You'll need far less clothing than you think. You'll be wearing your casual off-the-bike clothes for only a few hours each day, so you can probably double up on the days you wear each t-shirt and pair of shorts. You should only need one sweatshirt or light jacket for the evenings when it cools off. And keep in mind the generous volunteers that will be loading and unloading your bags every day! Stay within the tour organizer's stated limits for the number, size, and weight of each of your checked bags. If you're riding with a partner, put your shared camping gear in one bag, and combine your clothing in a second bag. Or, pack your personal items and clothing in separate bags, and split up the shared gear between you.

4. Don't forget to have fun!

You've spent months training, and if your event is a charity ride, you've also spent months raising funds and awareness for your cause. The ride is your reward for all of the hard work you've put in. Enjoy it however you wish! Ride at whatever pace is comfortable for you. Stop at the rest stops and partake in the snacks and socializing. Stop and smell the roses, as the saying goes. If you end up feeling like you're having a bad day, or if the weather turns sour, don't feel guilty if you have to hitch a ride in the SAG wagon. Forcing yourself to suffer through a ride does not do anything to relieve the suffering of the people you're riding for. Stay safe!

5. Be a good ambassador for cycling.

Always be aware that non-cyclists will judge your actions, and then judge every other cyclist based on those actions. This may not be fair, but it's a fact of life. By behaving as an upstanding bicycling citizen at all times, you'll make riding safer and more enjoyable for yourself and the rest of us. Don't assume that because you're riding for a charity that you're above the law. Obey the usual traffic regulations just like drivers are expected to do. Even though Ohio law allows riding two abreast, if a driver is trying to pass you, single up for a moment to make it easier. Don't pass drivers on the right at stop signs or traffic lights; get in back of the line and wait your turn.

When patronizing restaurants and other local businesses along your route, it's reasonable to expect good service, but remember that these establishments probably aren't equipped to handle dozens (or even hundreds) of cyclists during a special event. Be patient, and tip well. Don't assume it's okay to use their restrooms or fill up your water bottles if you're not buying something from them. Make them look forward to your next visit, so that they'll be proponents of future bicycling events in their town.

For more 5 Tips articles by Century Cycles, click here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Product: Yehuda Moon & The Kickstand Cyclery, Volume 1

We've always thought it was super-cool that the popular bicycling comic Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery originates right here in Northeast Ohio, published daily by Rick Smith and Brian Griggs (and also appearing in long-version in Bicycle Times magazine).

Now we're proud that Century Cycles has the very first Yehuda Moon book in stock at all three stores! Just $14.99, "Yehuda Moon & The Kickstand Cyclery, Volume 1" contains 344 full-color comic strips originally published from January 22, 2008, through December 31, 2008, about the avid cyclist, Yehuda Moon, and the fictional bike store he owns with his buddy, Joe.

In this collection, you'll meet a bevy of characters whom Yehuda and Joe encounter: The bike ninja, the bike hypochondriac, their elderly compatriot Fred, the Shakers who build the bicycle frames, neighborhood kids starting riding clubs, roadies, commuters, and many more. Extra features include comic design notes and early character sketches.

Stop by any Century Cycles to check it out and pick one up for yourself, your grad, your Dad (belated is better than nothing!), your riding buddies, and anyone else who will enjoy two-wheeled humor.

Monday, June 20, 2011

RAAM Update: Night Riding, Neck Devices, Ohio ETA

Here are the latest updates about Mike McClintock's solo Race Across America, most from Tom Wiseman, Assistant Service Manager in our Medina store, who is on his Mike's crew.

Tom and crew chief Bob Haugh did some roadside engineering to create the PVC/backpack/seatbelt sling that Mike is wearing in the above photo taken yesterday, needed after Mike experienced excruciating neck pain from riding on hundreds of miles of chip and seal roads. This morning Tom posted these updates to his Facebook page:
Mike rode through the night again (24 more hours after just 4 hours sleep) to rest in Trinidad CO. His spirits lifted with the neck device. Huge winds at the Cuchara Pass summit forced one rider to walk while Mike used his MTB skills to fight the 30+mph wind to get out of there.


Encountered first rain and true cold (47deg) Mike was even forced to stop at one point and warm up in the chase car. Now after less than 3 hours rest he is headed for the Kansas state line. New GPS unit was overnighted and hand delivered.
Now that he has that new GPS unit, you can track Mike's progress live at:
http://www.myathletelive.com/storage/races/201125/index.html. (On the right side of the home page, scroll down the solo riders and click on Michael McClintock.)
For more details about the McClintock Race Team and more links, you can go to our website at www.centurycycles.com/for/raam.
OHIO ETA
On the McClintock Race Team Facebook page, somebody asked if the RAAM route will take Mike near or through Ohio. The team response: "He will be coming through S. Ohio. Oxford, Blanchester, Chillicothe and Athens are his time stations. Right now it looks like he should get into those stations 6/25 - 6/26."
SMALL WORLD DEPARTMENT
Debbie Petcher, wife of CC Medina store manager Mike Petcher, has been updating their friends at church and beyond about Mike's progress. She got a reply from Steve and Carol Hopkins, who are traveling across the country in their 5th wheel trailer and were Century Cycles customers when they lived in Ohio and rode tandems with the Petchers. The Hopkins were in Colorado, saw Debbie' emails, and offered the assist Mike's RAAM effort in any way they could. Then they emailed that they saw the McClintock Race Team. "The car lights and bike lights and music blaring, they passed by. It was very dark and we only caught sight of the lights and music, but we were sure it was Mike because of the music. Good pedaling, Mike, and God speed."
OUR FAVORITE MCCLINTOCK RACE TEAM PHOTO
Speaking of Mike's amazing team, here they are! Seated, left to right: Logan Ragar, Mike McClintock, and Robyn McClintock. Standing, left to right: Tom Wiseman, Bob Haugh, Erik Christensen, and Debora Summers.

Friday, June 17, 2011

More cross-country cyclists visit Peninsula

Kevin and Mike, pictured above, stopped by the Century Cycles store in Peninsula on May 31, 2011. They are from New York, and had taken a train from there to Alabama to start their trip on the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route to Owen Sound, Ontario. They plan to continue their trip through Canada on to Nova Scotia.

We previously reported on another group of young men cycling the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route who stopped by the Medina store on May 28. Their story was picked up by the Medina Gazette, which you can read here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Deagan's Bike Night with Century Cycles begins tonight!

What do you get when Cleveland’s best new restaurant and Cleveland’s best bike shop decide to collaborate? The answer is the best Bike Night in town!

Deagan's Kitchen & Bar and Century Cycles are teaming up to host Deagan's Bike Night every Thursday starting tonight through October 13. Just ride your bicycle to Deagan's Kitchen & Bar in Lakewood on Thursdays anytime from 5pm to close to receive 15% off your food and drink bill, plus enter to win a brand-new Raleigh Detour Deluxe commuter bicycle from Century Cycles.

Bicycle every week for more chances to win a great bike and to save on every item on Deagan’s award-winning gastropub menu. Also mark your calendar to bike to the Deagan's Bike Night Finale Party on Thursday, October 13, to celebrate a fun summer of cycling and to draw winners for the grand prize bike and other great prizes. (Must be present to win.)

“We personally love to ride our bikes anywhere and everywhere possible, so we’re thrilled to be having our own bike night here at Deagan’s,” said Daniel Deagan and Erika Wolfe, owners of Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar.

Deagan's Kitchen & Bar (http://www.deagans.com/) recently won Best New Restaurant, Best Gastropub, and Best Service in Cleveland Magazine's Silver Spoon Awards. It is located in the heart of Lakewood at 14810 Detroit Avenue. Century Cycles (http://www.centurycycles.com/) was named Best Bike Shop by the readers of Cleveland Magazine and West Shore Live Well, and it has stores in Rocky River, Peninsula, and Medina.

“Bicycling to your favorite places to eat and drink makes a summer night out even more fun,” said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles. “We’re elated to partner up with Deagan’s to give people some great incentives to ride their bikes and enjoy a terrific meal.”


The Deagan’s Bike Night grand prize, the Raleigh Detour Deluxe ($819.99), is a perfect bicycle for urban wandering to Deagan’s and all over town. It's a fully-outfitted commuter bike that has a smooth steel frame, easy-rolling 700c wheels, and a simple-to-operate Shimano 8-speed internal drivetrain. The Raleigh Detour Deluxe bicycle comes ready to roll with front and rear lights powered by a generator in the front hub, metal fenders for those rainy-day rides, alloy platform pedals that don’t require fancy shoes, and even a bell to let folks know you’re coming.

See you on Thursday nights at Deagan's!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Over $6000 raised at Ronald McDonald House Night Ride


The Ronald McDonald House Night Ride was a great success on June 4, with nearly 150 bicyclists riding the Towpath Trail to help raise -- along with a great group of local sponsors -- over $6000 for the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.

While we cannot make medicine taste better or take away painful treatments, every Night Rider helped the House offer families a place to call home at little or no cost while their children access the best health care. When families stay together, their presence can help a sick child heal faster and cope better.

In addition to making a difference, we had a LOT of fun! Check out the photo slideshow to see riders of all ages on all types of bikes, not letting the 90-degree temps wilt their enthusiasm for a fun night for a great cause. (Click here if the slideshow above does not appear for you.)

If the background looks a bit different than other Night Rides, remember this was our first-ever non-Peninsula Night Ride -- we started next to the Yours Truly restaurant on Rockside Road, then biked south to the Station Bridge Road Trailhead, where we enjoyed delicious Auntie Anne's Pretzels at the turnaround. It was fun to try something new and we're looking forward to being back there in 2012 for this event!

Special thanks to our fellow event sponsors: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Edward Jones, BrandMuscle, WKNR ESPN 850, Glidden / Akzo Nobel, Cleveland's KNR2 AM 1540, Athersys Inc., Erie Shore Women's Health, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, and Yours Truly at Rockside Road.


Photos by: Mike Petcher, Doug Charnock and Kevin Madzia.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Akron Area Bike User's Map Meeting

Attention all Akron cyclists!

The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) needs your input on their final draft Bike User’s Map. Cyclists are invited to review the road ratings before the map is finalized and offered to the public as a tool for getting around town on bike. The map ‘rates’ all the major roads with a rating of Easy, Moderate, Difficult, or Very Difficult.

Join AMATS on Thursday, June 16th at 6pm in the Highland Square Library to critique the map.

Why should you attend?
  • Cyclists know the streets and paths they ride.
  • Cyclists need good maps to plan routes.
  • Your input is needed!
AMATS is asking cyclists to edit the Bike User’s Map because they believe collaboration is the best way to provide a comprehensive map that's truly useful to cyclists of all experience levels.

When: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 6:00pm
Where: Highland Square Library, 807 W. Market Street, Akron, OH 44303

Questions? If you cannot attend, but would like to rate the map, please contact:
Jennifer Rose, Transportation Planner, AMATS
JRose@AkronOhio.Gov or (330) 375-2436

Welcome, Lynne and other new CC staffers!

We'd like to welcome several new folks to Century Cycles, all ready to help serve you and/or service your bike!

In our Medina store, Lynne Nawalaniec (above) has been a valuable addition to our sales staff since February. Kyle joined us there a short time later -- and it's just a coincidence that Lynne is his mom! Medina also welcomed back Justin Stark and Andrew Copenhaver.

Helping out this summer during busy weekends in the bike rental barn in Peninsula will be Trevor Hahn. Also re-joining our staff in Peninsula are Blanton Unger and Ryan Brinkerhoff.

Finally, the Rocky River staff welcomed Aimee Adams and Bobby Johansen to the their team.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Take our poll: How rainy is too rainy?

Rain fell on 51 of the first 68 days of spring, which inspired our most recent online poll question: How rainy is too rainy for you to ride - clouds, drizzles, monsoon?? Click here to have your voice heard!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What We Ride: Kevin Madzia's Diamondback with Xtracycle

Kevin Madzia is on the full-time staff in the Peninsula store. Back in 2001, before his career at Century Cycles, he purchased a Diamondback Zetec Comp from a local bicycle shop in Pittsburgh to use for mountain bike riding and racing. Later, in 2007, he bought an upgraded mountain bike, and so recycled the Diamondback Zetec Comp by putting the Xtracycle Longtail Cargo attachment on the back of it. He now uses the bike as his full-time commuting bike, plus for grocery runs and other errands, and the occasional bike-camping trip. Kevin describes the ride:
Of course, it's not the lightest bike in the world. But once you've ridden a cargo bike, you see how addictive it is. It's super-stable, even when loaded with a lot of weight. The fat tires can handle rough conditions on any road or trail. It can hold over 200 pounds; I rarely need to carry that much weight, but it's nice to know I can. Plus, when drivers see you on a big bike like this, I think they give you a little more leeway when they pass you. The side cargo pockets let me be very flexible in how I pack the gear I need day-to-day. I keep my change of clothes for work in one bag, and wet-weather gear in another bag, and cold-weather gear in yet another bag. I can leave bags at home as needed, and not have to worry about packing and unpacking panniers every day. And it still leaves plenty of room for if I need to drop something off at the post office on the way, or take home any new parts or gear that I pick up from the shop.
The components on the bike are a mish-mash of spare parts that Kevin salvaged from other bikes over the years. The wheels have Shimano Deore hubs, WTB rims, thorn-resistant tubes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 26x2.3 tires. The drive train features a Truvativ touring crankset, Shimano Alivio front derailleur, SRAM X.4 rear derailleur, Shimano Deore cassette, and two SRAM chains. The original suspension fork was replaced with a rigid Surly 1x1 fork. Avid BB-5 disc brakes provide the stopping power. A WTB saddle, Truvativ seatpost, Dimension stem, Surly 1x1 handlebar, SRAM X.0 twister shifters, Avid FR-5 brake levers, ODI lock-on grips, and Serfas bar ends round out the cockpit.

Click here for more What We Ride bike profiles.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wooster's Mike McClintock to bike solo in Race Across America

Mike McClintock, 52, rode his first mountain bike race at the age of 38 with a baby seat still attached to his bike. The electrical company owner came in second at that race at Vulture's Knob and has been riding hard for 14 years ever since. But no ride will be as hard as the one he starts on Wednesday, June 15.

The Race Across America is billed as "the world's toughest bicycle race" -- an ultra-cycling event that's over 3,000 miles long (from Oceanside CA to Annapolis MD) and that must be finished within the 12 days allotted. What makes it even harder for Mike? The father of three is riding as a solo competitor, biking all those miles by himself and banned from riding in packs or drafting.

There are only 12 racers in Mike's division, Solo Men 50-59. As the RAAM website puts it, the solos are the stars of RAAM. Mike plans to average 260 miles of bicycling (20+ hours) per day to reach his goal and finish RAAM in 11 days. Only about half of all RAAM competitors finish the race; in the 30 years RAAM has been held, less than 200 solo racers have completed it.

Century Cycles is honored to be one of Mike McClintock's RAAM sponsors and is proud that Tom Wiseman, Assistant Service Manager in our Medina store, is on his crew.

"I admit I'm nervous," said Tom, who competed in the Fireweed 400 (a.k.a. The Great Alaskan Double Century) with Mike back in 2007, where they came in first in the men's duo category. "Historically, most of the time penalties in RAAM are for crew mistakes, not rider mistakes. There is no room for error. But Mike is ready. I've known him for 15 years and he's in his best shape ever."

Mike will be riding RAAM on his 2005 Specialized Tarmac that, as Tom puts it, "he has a real good relationship with." He's tapered now in his training, riding just 1.5 hours per day, but at its height was averaging over 550 miles of riding per week and went through 5 chains just in the past few months.

It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes one to support a RAAM rider. McClintock Race Team secured parts and equipment from Century Cycles, Avenir, and Pearl Izumi to aid their quest. They received a PA system from Alstage Sound and Lighting for communication with Mike during the ride. Crew Chief Bob Haugh leaves tomorrow to drive the chase car to California, and the rest of the crew -- including Mike's wife Robyn -- are flying to LA from Ohio and Alaska on June 11. And they've studied the RAAM rules from top to bottom to make sure they don't miss a thing.

Upon Mike's return, we hope to hold an event at our Medina store with Mike, to hear all about his RAAM experience and to learn how we, too, can take our cycling from ordinary to extraordinary -- whether it's adding 10 more miles to our ride or 100 or, well, 3,000! In the meantime, you can click here to hear Mike interviewed on Radio Century Cycles back in April.

For more information about Mike and how you can help the charity he's riding for, Central American Medical Outreach, click here for the McClintock Race Team website.

Want daily updates during RAAM? Follow the McClintock Race Team on Facebook.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lives Defined: Ethan Suplee


Also filed under the "Celebrities Who Bike" category, in this article, "Super Downsize Me" from Rapha Performance Roadwear, actor Ethan Suplee talks about how he started training for a 5K race, and then starting running more, until knee issues forced him to turn to the bicycle instead.

For any readers who find riding up hills to be a challenge, take note in particular the part of his story where he describes riding up the hill from his house for the first time. Something that he didn't think he could ever do at all is now a routine part of every ride.

Ethan Suplee is known for his roles in films such as American History X, Remember the Titans, and Blow, and probably best-known from the TV series My Name Is Earl. However, perhaps the best example of the "before-and-after" comparison of the way cycling has transformed Ethan's life is this shot from his role as "Thumper" in the movie The Butterfly Effect:
Check out the Lives Defined section of our web site for more inspiring stories of people who lives are defined and transformed by their bicycles.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Photos: Bay Bike To School Challenge


Here are photos from all three weeks of the Bay Bike to School Challenge on May 9-27, capturing the joy of bicycling to school for both students and teachers of Bay Middle School and Bay High School.

Now in its fourth year, Bay Bike to School Challenge hit a major milestone in 2011 -- its students have now bicycled a total of 102,803 miles since the program began in 2008! Number of smiles? Countless!

Photos: Rocky River Bike To School Challenge


Check out the photos from Rocky River Middle School's very first Bike to School Challenge! It was a huge success, resulting in a whopping 400% increase in the average number of bicyclists to the school per day during May, 2011, and plans to do it again in 2012.

Six students win grand prize bicycles from Century Cycles and Raleigh

Six lucky West Shore students who took the Bike to School Challenge received more benefits than a fun ride to school, healthier bodies, cleaner air and the wind through their bike helmets. Their names were randomly drawn to win Bike to School Challenge’s grand prizes -- Raleigh Talus 2.0 bicycles donated by Century Cycles and Raleigh Bicycles.

At Bay High School, the bicycles were won by 12th grader Matt Brant and 9th grader Elizabeth Veres, presented to them by Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles (at left), and Chris Speyer, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development at Raleigh Bicycles (in black shirt).

At Bay Middle School, 5th grader Cara Berlan (above, far left) and 6th grader Owen MacMillan at Bay Middle School (both of whom biked every day of BTS Challenge) were given their Raleighs by Scott Cowan, BTS organizer and BMS teacher Lawrence Kuh, and Chris Speyer.

At Rocky River Middle School, Mayor Pamela Bobst (far left) helped Scott Cowan and Chris Speyer present 8th grader Sam Stankivicz and 6th grader Brandon Lewis with their brand-new Raleigh bicycles. They are joined by RRMS physical education teacher and BTS organizer Wendy Crites.

Congratulations, all -- may these bikes provide you with miles and miles of bicycling fun and help you take next year's Bike to School Challenge!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Raleigh Bicycles honors Bay Village school principals

Bicycle manufacturer Raleigh Bicycles honored Jason Martin (above), Assistant Principal of Bay High School, and Sean McAndrews (below, second from right), Principal of Bay Middle School, for their commitment to youth bicycling and their leadership of the Bike to School Challenge program in Bay Village, Ohio.

Both men were presented with new 2011 Raleigh Revenio 3.0 bicycles at the closing ceremonies of Bay Bike to School Challenge last Friday by Chris Speyer, vice president of product development and marketing for Raleigh Bicycles in Seattle, Washington, and president of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association, a leading bicycle industry trade association.

“Raleigh Bicycles wants to honor Jason and Sean for their visionary commitment to youth bicycling. Their Bay Bike to School Challenge is one of the best programs of its kind in the nation, inspiring us and others to support and emulate it as we look to encourage young riders to cycle for fitness, utility and fun” said Speyer. “We hope both men use these bicycles to ride many more miles with their students, friends and families.”

While in Northeast Ohio to honor Martin and McAndrews, Speyer also presented six brand-new Raleigh Talus 2.0 bicycles to Bay and Rocky River students who won the Bike to School Challenge grand prize drawing's at their respective schools.

Speyer announced at the school-wide assemblies that Raleigh Bicycles will once again be sponsoring youth cycling initiative in 2012, along with its local independent bike dealer, Century Cycles. Raleigh also plans to use the Bike to School Challenge as the template to help its bike dealers throughout the United States launch their own bike-to-school initiatives.

Bike to School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles, Raleigh Bicycles and Chipotle is a three-week program in May in which students at Bay Middle School, Bay High School and Rocky River Middle School commit to ride their bicycles to school to help the environment, improve their health and beat high gas prices – plus win great prizes and have fun. In 2011, students bicycled a total of 32,034 miles to school from May 9 through May 27 – enough miles to circle the globe and then some – which saved the environment 35,237 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and saved $5,795.92 in gasoline expenditures.

At Rocky River Middle School, the three-week initiative increased the average number of bicyclists to school per day by almost 400%, from 49 to 193. At Bay Middle School, sixteen percent of the school – 130 students – bicycled every day of the challenge despite rainy, chilly weather on many days. The highest overall ride day was Wednesday, May 11, on which a total of 1,070 students biked to all three schools. Bay schools marked its fourth Bike to School Challenge by hitting a major milestone – its students have now bicycled a total of 102,803 miles since the program began in 2008.

For regular updates about Rocky River Bike to School Challenge and Bay Bike to School Challenge, visit www.centurycycles.com/to/bts.

Weekend News Roundup

For any NE Ohio cyclists who want to get in on the inner workings of Ohio's only state-wide bicycle advocacy organization, the Ohio Bicycle Federation is holding its next Board Meeting at the Twinsburg Fitness Center on Saturday, June 4 at 9am-12pm. The meeting is open to the public, and is being held in conjunction with the Twinsburg Duathlon and Health Expo.

Check out the crazy bike racing action on the Red Bull Mini-Drome in London (UK), the world's smallest velodrome: http://www.pavedmag.com/featured/red-bull-mini-drome/

Congratulations to the Adventure Cycling Association for meeting their May goal of raising over $30,000 to help develop the United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS)! As a Member Bike Shop of Adventure Cycling, we helped spread the word about the campaign in a blog post last month.

The ACA's successfully campaign comes on the heels, also last month, of the announcement from the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) of their approval of six new official US Bicycle Routes.

Here's a final reminder that you have until midnight tonight (Friday) to save $5 on registration for our FIRST EVER Night Ride on the Towpath Trail in Cuyahoga County. This ride benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, and is $20 if you get in online by tonight, or $25 if you register tomorrow night (Saturday) at the event. See www.centurycycles.com/for/RMH for full details and to register.

Finally, more on the video front; not exactly news, but cool anyway. Watch Peter Gabriel ride a bike around the stage during this performance of "Solsbury Hill" from five years ago (thanks to our friend Chuck Koenig for the link).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A very special Night Ride this Saturday

The Century Cycles Night Ride this Saturday is special in all sorts of ways:
  • It's our first and only Night Ride in Cuyahoga county;
  • It's the only Night Ride to benefit the Ronald McDonald House;
  • It's the only Night Ride with tasty Auntie Anne's Pretzels at the turnaround;
  • And iit's the only Night Ride that is the subject of a dry-erase-board masterpiece by Chris Walters in our Medina store!
Most special thing of all? Everyone coming together to help a great cause and have a great bike ride!

Pre-registration is just $20 per Night Rider, but do it quick -- online registration closes tomorrow at midnight. After that, you can register at the event for $25/person.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

By The Numbers: 2011 Bike to School Challenge

Bike to School Challenge racked up some impressive numbers from May 9-27, 2011 -- numerical proof the students embraced bicycling to school and made a significant impact upon their community.

But did the three-week challenge leave a lasting impression? The answer is a resounding YES. Yesterday (May 31), the first Monday AFTER Bike to School had ended, there were 148 bicycles parked at Rocky River Middle School (almost one-fourth of the students biked to school) and 280 at Bay Middle School (35%).

Check out the tally from 2011 Bike to School Challenge:
  • 32,034: Total miles biked to school from May 9 through May 27 by students of Bay Middle School (pictured above on May 9), Bay High School, and Rocky River Middle School – enough miles to circle the globe and then some!
  • 35,237: Estimated pounds of carbon dioxide emissions saved.
  • $5,795.92: Estimated savings by students in gasoline expenditures.
  • 400%: Increase in average number of bicyclists to Rocky River Middle School per day during the three-week initiative, from 49 to 193.
  • 430 students (53%): Bay Middle Schoolers biked to school on average each day.
  • 130 students (16%): Bay Middle Schoolers who bicycled all 15 days of the challenge.
  • 1,070: Number of students who biked to all three schools on the challenge's highest ride day, Wednesday, May 11.
In Bay Village:
  • Students at Bay High and Middle Schools bicycled a combined total of 22,751 miles, saved 25,026 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, and saved $4,116 on gasoline.
  • This is the fourth year for Bike to School Challenge in Bay Village. In all four years, Bay students have bicycled a total of 102,803 miles to school and saved 113,083 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
At Bay Middle School:
  • 430: Average number of students who biked to school per day, or 53% of the BMS student population.
  • 575: Number of students who biked on the highest ride day, on May 11, when 70% of the students biked to school.
  • 18,046: Total miles biked by BMS students during BTS. The average round-trip to BMS is 2.78 miles.
  • 130: Number of BMS students who biked all 15 school days of the challenge, or 16% of the BMS student population.
At Bay High School:
  • 126: Average number of BHS students who biked to school per day, or 15% of the BHS student population.
  • 199: Number of students who biked on the highest ride day, May 11, when 25% of BHS students biked to school.
  • 4,705: Total miles biked by BHS students during BTS. The average round-trip to BMS is 2.48 miles.
At Rocky River Middle School (which launched its first Bike to School Challenge this year):
  • 193: Average number of RRMS students who biked to school per day – or 31% of the school, which is quadruple the RRMS average of 49 bicyclists per day.
  • 311: Number of students who biked on the highest ride day, May 13, or 50% of the school.
  • 9,283: Total miles biked by RRMS students during BTS. The average round-trip to RRMS is 3.2 miles.
  • RRMS students also saved 10,211 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and $1,679.50 on gasoline.
Program statistics are estimates calculated using daily bike counts and the results of student surveys. Gas savings is estimated based upon a vehicle that gets 21.5 miles per gallon and an average gasoline cost of $3.89 per gallon.

Bike to School Challenge averages are in stark contrast to national averages: According to the Safe Routes to School Partnership, only about 15% of U.S. children bike or walk to school today, versus approximately 50% in 1969.

For more information about Bike To School Challenge, visit www.centurycycles.com/for/BTS.