Monday, April 30, 2012

Photos from Respect The Bike Opening Night

Second from the left is the amazing Travis Peebles, who organized and
curated Respect The Bike. He's with CC's Tracey Bradnan (at far left)
and we do believe that's Dr. Hoople from Heelsplitter at far right!

The greatest Ohio-built bicycles of the past, present and future are on display during the month of May at the Greenhouse Tavern in a unique exhibit called Respect The Bike. The vision of Travis Peebles of Blazing Saddle Cycle, Respect The Bike features bicycles from pre-1900 through current day builders such as Dan Polito, Rustbelt Welding, Carmen Gambino, and more.

The opening reception was this past Friday, April 27. The bicycles will be on display at the popular Cleveland restaurant through May for Cleveland Bike Month.

We are particularly excited that the exhibit features a bicycle from the collection of Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan. He is loaning his 1941 Goodyear Double Eagle Clipper bicycle to Respect The Bike, which you can see him delivering to Travis in one of the photos below, along with more photos from the opening night event.

Click here if the slideshow above is not appearing for you.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pajama Party Night Ride on May 19: Bicycle in your bedtime clothes for Cleveland Bike Month

Century Cycles is once again putting the old-fashioned slumber party on two wheels for its 3rd Annual Pajama Party Night Ride on the Towpath Trail on Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula (1621 Main Street/Route 303).

The nighttime bicycle ride in bedtime clothes is in celebration of Cleveland Bike Month in May, and it will benefit Project Night Night. It is free, open to the public, and suitable for all levels of bicyclists. For more information, visit www.centurycycles.com/for/NightRides or call 330-657-2209.

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, a few rounds of "Spin the Water Bottle for Cycling Truth or Dare,” 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. 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 for Project Night Night, a children's charity that provides nighttime comfort packages to homeless children. Grunt Girl Racing, a local training group, will be collecting, sorting and delivering the donations.

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.

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, and will have to sign a waiver prior to riding.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bay Bike To School Challenge announces Raleigh scholarships

Bay Bike to School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles is back for its fifth year with more incentives than ever for Bay Village students to ride their bikes to school. The award-winning three-week program, which kicks off at Bay Middle School and Bay High School on May 7, announces that sponsor Raleigh Bicycles will be awarding two scholarships of $1,000 to Bay Bike To School Challenge participants – one female and one male in the senior class at Bay High School.

To qualify, seniors must complete an application and submit it to the Bay High School Guidance Office by Monday, May 7, 2012. They must then bicycle from home to Bay High School at least 10 days during the Bay Bike To School Challenge on May 7 - 25.

There is no GPA requirement for the scholarships, which can be used for any sort of post-graduate educaiton. Representatives from Raleigh Bicycles and the Bay Bike To School Challenge will select the winners based on application essays showing a passion for bicycling and a commitment to a healthy life and/or environment, as well as participation in Bay Bike To School Challenge. The two scholarships will be awarded on Friday, May 25, at the school-wide assembly at Bay High School that concludes Bay Bike To School Challenge.

For more scholarship details and to download an application, go to www.centurycycles.com/to/BTS or www.bayvillageschools.com.

“Raleigh Bicycles is honored and excited to be a part of the Bay Bike To School Challenge,” said Chris Speyer, Vice President of Product Development and Marketing for Raleigh Bicycles, a bicycle manufacturer headquartered in Kent, Washington. “We view this as a unique and inspiring program that promotes a healthy lifestyle for students and teachers alike. Bay Schools and Century Cycles are doing very special things here, and I am glad that we can play a part.”

In addition to offering these scholarships to Bay Bike To School Challenge, Raleigh Bicycles is once again providing the program’s grand prizes (two Raleigh bicycles each for Bay Middle School and Bay High School), which students can enter to win after every four bicycle rides to school between May 7 and May 25. Raleigh Bicycles will also give each school $500 if its students exceed the bike-riding milestones set by last year’s Bay Bike To School Challenge.

“The generous addition of the scholarships by Raleigh Bicycles shows Raleigh is not just a partner in the Bay Schools’ effort to make the planet a better place by encouraging students to find healthy and green methods of transportation, but that they also support the value and importance the Bay Schools place upon education,” said Jason Martin, principal of Bay High School.

Bay Bike to School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles encourages Bay Middle and High School students to bicycle to school for three weeks in May to help the environment, improve their health and the community, and have fun. The program has had a big impact: Bay students have biked 102,803 miles since 2008, saving an estimated 113,083 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. For complete program information about how it works, what students can win and safe bicycling tips, go to www.centurycycles.com/for/BTS.

Bay Middle School and Bay High School teams up with Century Cycles bicycle store in Rocky River to organize the program, with the support of other sponsors including Raleigh Bicycles, Subway of Bay Village, Honey Hut, Bay Village Kiwanis, Bay Schools Parent Teacher Student Association, Project Earth Environmental Club and the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation.

This year Century Cycles is also organizing Bike To School Challenges at Rocky River Middle School (back for its second year) and launching an all-new Bike To School in Medina at Claggett Middle School and Root Middle School.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bicycle Touring Season has begun!

Yesterday's sunshine and warm temperatures made it a perfect day for a bike ride. Coincidentally, the day brought our first bicycle touring visitors of the season to the Peninsula store!
Alex and Shaina are from Massachusetts, and are riding "just for fun" to Shaina's home town of Athens, Ohio.

All three Century Cycles stores get a lot of bike-touring visitors throughout the year, since they are on two major cross-country cycling routes established by the Adventure Cycling Association.The Medina and Peninsula stores are on the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, and the Rocky River store is on the Northern Tier Route. For bike-touring folks who would like to stay off the roads, there are now several options for camping along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

You can see more pictures of bike-touring visitors of the past several years in our Bicycling Touring Photo Gallery.

We support touring cyclists not only by being a Bike Shop Member of the Adventure Cycling Association, but by carrying and being knowledgeable about a wide range of bike-touring gear. We've got one of the most popular touring bikes in stock, the Surly Long Haul Trucker (as well as the NEW Trucker Disc!), plus expedition-quality racks, bags, and panniers from Arkel, rain jackets and pants from Showers Pass, and more!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What's your favorite part of our Night Rides on the Towpath Trail?

Our first Night Ride on the Towpath Trail in Peninsula is this Saturday, April 28 at 8:00pm! As we start our 18th season of Night Rides, there are lots of things we look forward to about the rides: the camaraderie with friends, the thrill of riding at night, and the post-ride refreshments at The Winking Lizard.

What's your favorite part of our Night Rides? Take our latest online poll to let us know!

Mark your calendars for this season's special Night Rides:

Never biked a Night Ride before? Check out our 5 Tips for Getting Ready for a Night Ride on the Towpath Trail. For photos and videos from past rides, plus the complete schedule of rides for 2012, see:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tech Talk: Cyclocomputers vs. GPS vs. Smartphones

Cyclocomputers

The venerable cycling computer provides all of the data that most casual cyclists need for their ride. How fast am I going? How far have I ridden? How long did it take? A device for your bike that tells you all of this information and more can be had for as little as $30. Most also give you information such as average speed and a time-of-day clock.

For a few dollars more, you can get more advanced features like a wireless connection between the computer module and the wheel speed sensor, multiple bike calibration, temperature, altitude, and calories burned. The calorie counter uses a calculation based mainly on the rider's weight and the distance traveled, so it is a rough estimate that must be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the newest earth-friendly models also tell you how much CO2 you saved from going into the air by cycling instead of driving.

Some cyclists like to be aware of their cadence, which refers to the rate of rotation of your pedaling, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).

Athletes following a serious training regimen also like to track the power that they generate during a bike ride, which is measured in watts. Some advanced cycling computers can be paired with sensors located in the rear hub, crank arms, or pedals that measure wattage. These specialized components can be a several hundred dollar addition to your bike, but provide the most accurate measurement of power.

Cyclocomputers are powered by one or two coin-type batteries, which typically need to be replaced about once a year. They are reasonably weatherproof--you are not likely to have any issues even if caught in heavy rain during a long ride.

PROS: Small size, lightweight, reliable operation, long battery life.

CONS: No advanced ride-mapping capabilities.

GPS

With the popularity of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in automobiles, it was not long before this technology trickled down to the world of bicycling. The devices use the network of satellites in orbit around the earth to determine your postion. By measuring and tracking changes in your position, the GPS unit is able to calculate the same information as a traditional cyclocomputer--speed, distance, time, average speed, etc.

Some GPS models also provide a calorie counter; like cyclocomputers, it's a rough estimate, but since it can also take changes in speed and elevation into account, it can be somewhat more accurate.

Since the GPS device does not require any sensors mounted on the bike to track you speed and distance, no bike-specific calibration is required for installation. This makes it easy to move your GPS from one bike to another; you can purchase additional mounting brackets to make it a one-step, one-click process. The device is typically enclosed in a sealed waterproof case, so you won't have any issues out in the rain.

The big advantage to GPS computers is that your ride data can be integrated with real map information. After your ride, the data can be uploaded to either your personal computer or an online service, which then shows you your route on a live map, where you can zoom in on specific features, like streets, roads, and hills. The software saves all of your past rides, so you can compare your performance over time on the same route. You can even compare your rides with others, compete against your friends, and share your routes on social media sites.

Once you have saved routes in your GPS software, these routes can be loaded onto your GPS device before you head out on a ride, and the device can give you turn-by-turn directions for following the route. Even the least expensive bike GPS model from Garmin (the Edge 200 for $149.99, pictured at left) has this capability. More advanced models, such as the Garmin Edge 800 ($449.99, below right) have a full-color display just like car GPS models, so you can see a live map right in front of you to help you find your way during a ride.

GPS units require that ability to maintain communications with the satellites. This works well in remote areas, but can be an issue if you're riding off-road in wooded areas with heavy tree cover. The map data is stored within the device itself, so you may have to purchase periodic map updates to have the latest street and road information.

Most GPS units have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery (just like most modern mobile phones) that provides from 12 to 18 hours of use between charges, so you're good to go for a couple of rides before you have to recharge. This may not work well for you, though, if you are doing long-distance touring and don't have access to electricity for several days on end.

The fitness electronics industry has devised a standard that allows GPS and similar devices to communicate with optional hardware. This standard is known as ANT+. You can purchase ANT+ devices to extend the features of your GPS, such as speed/cadence sensors, power sensors, and heart rate monitors.

PROS: Live route tracking and route following, elevation tracking, easy multi-bike setup, good battery life for day riding.

CONS: Battery life not suitable for long-distance touring, map data updates usually must be purchased.

Smartphones

The advanced models of modern cellular telephones, such as iPhones and Android phones, have a GPS device built into them. This is usually used by the phone's map application to help you find local businesses near your location, but it can also be used to track your route while riding just like a dedicated GPS device.

You can download apps for your phone from several different popular services, such as Strava, Endomondo, and MapMyRide. These apps are usually free to use the basic features, and provide a paid option to unlock more advanced features. Which features are free and which are included only in the paid version will vary from one company to another.

These apps and their companion web sites provide the same kind of features that you get with a dedicated GPS unit. You can keep track of your ride, upload it when you done, view it on a map, compare it to past rides, and share and compete with your friends.

When you want to track a ride using your smartphone, you can activate the app at the beginning of the ride, and just keep the phone in a bike bag during the ride. Or, you can purchase a handlebar-mounted phone holder so you can use the phone's display to get a live view of your speed, distance, and current location. If you ride in all weather conditions, you'll want to invest in a high-quality waterproof case to protect your investment.

Bluetooth is a standard used by cell phones to connect to wireless headsets and other devices, and most of the GPS apps for smartphones are Bluetooth-compatible, which means you can purchase a Bluetooth-enable heart rate strap to add heart rate monitoring capability to your smartphone! There are bike cases available from Wahoo Fitness that add ANT+ connectivity to your smartphone as well, so you can take advantage of the full range of ANT+ fitness devices available (speed/cadence sensors, power sensors, and heart rate monitors). There are also smartphone cases available that add power measurement by taking additional factors, such as wind speed, into account.

The smartphone GPS apps get their map data live over the Internet, usually from Google Maps. This means that the road and street information is always up-to-date automatically, without any need to buy or install map updates. However, you must be in a coverage area for your cellular data plan in order for the app to work, and the usage counts against whatever limits you may have in your data plan.

It sounds like if you already own a smartphone, there is no reason to buy any other electronic device to use on your bike. However, the one big drawback to smartphone GPS apps is that they are a large drain on your phone's battery life. If you're doing an epic day-long ride (possibly even shorter), and you bonk or have a mechanical breakdown out in the middle of nowhere, you might be left with no juice in your phone just when you need it the most! A smartphone will likely take up more space on your handlebar compared to a dedicated bike computer or GPS.

PROS: Live and current map data, full-featured phone, GPS, and bike computer in one device.

CONS: Poor battery life, will not work in areas with no cellular data service.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Free bicycle fairs in Medina, Bay Village and Rocky River

Before over 4,000 students in Bay Village, Rocky River and Medina can take part in the Bike To School Challenge on May 7-25, they and their families need to get their bikes ready to roll -- inflate those tires, adjust those seats and check those chains! That's why each program is hosting a bicycle fair that is FREE and open to EVERYONE in their communities who want to bicycle more this spring and summer:
  • Medina Bicycle Fair: Tuesday, May 1, 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Medina High School Senior Commons (park in Lot D)
  • Bay Village Bicycle Fair: Wednesday, May 2, 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Bay Middle School
  • Rocky River Bicycle Fair: Thursday, May 3, 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Rocky River Middle School
Each fair will be giving away free bicycle helmets to the first 20 families who attend, provided by Century Cycles and Raleigh Bicycles! In addition, bring your bike and get:
  • A free bicycle safety inspection by a professional bike mechanic from Century Cycles (who will inflate those tires, adjust those seats, and check those chains!)
  • A free bike license or registration by the local police department
  • Information about bike commuting and the Bike To School Challenge program
  • See displays from Bike Cleveland and other supporters and sponsors of each school's program
For more details about each Bike Fair and all the Bike To School Challenges, go to:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where We Ride: Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in Summit County

Derrick Kortvejesi is the Service Manager at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula, and is one of our longest-tenured team members. Like many local cyclists, he enjoyes riding the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, mainly the portion that runs through Summit County. The trail passes less than a mile from Derrick's house, so it's easy and convenient for him to get to.

The Towpath Trail runs through four counties (Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, and Tuscarawas), but the Summit County section is notable in that as of 2012, it is the first county to have the Towpath Trail completed the entire length of the county, with 22.4 total miles of trail. The Ohio & Erieway Canalway Association celebrates this milestone with events throughout the year.

The northern end of the Towpath Trail in Summit County begins at the county line just south of the Alexander Road underpass. Much of this section of trail passes through the beautiful Cuyhoga Valley National Park (Ohio's only National Park), where you'll see wildlife such as deer, bald eagles, coyote, and turtles basking in the sun on fallen logs in the canal. Most of the trail surface here is hard packed crushed limestone.

There are several trailheads where you can park your car to access the trail. Working north to south, those trailheads are located at:
  • Station Road (near the Brecksville Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks)
  • Red Lock (on Highland Road, near Brandywine Ski Area)
  • Boston Store Visitor Center (on Boston Mills Road)
  • Lock 29 (in Peninsula)
  • Deep Lock Quarry (on Riverview Road)
  • Hunt Farm Visitor Center (on Bolanz Road)
  • Indigo Lake (on Riverview Road)
  • Ira Road (from Riverview Road)
  • Botzum (on Riverview Road)
  • Big Bend (from Merriman Road)
  • Memorial Parkway
  • Mustill Store (on North Street in Akron)
  • Beech Street
  • Lock 3 Park (downtown Akron)
  • Summit Lake
  • Manchester Road
  • Fairview Avenue (in Barberton)
  • Wolf Creek (on Snyder Avenue in Barberton)
  • Vanderhoof Road
  • Franklin (on Center Road)
  • Clinton
Traveling south into downtown Akron, the Towpath follows three city blocks before re-joining dedicated trail. The route is clearly marked with signs; you can ride on the sidewalk, or on the street; whichever you are more comfortable with. Much of the trail near the city is paved.

Just south of the main downtown business district, the newest section of the trail passes through former industrial sites, and then Canal Park, featuring many neighborhood amenities in addition to the trail, such as playgrounds and tennis courts.

Just further south is possibly the most memorable feature of the Towpath Trail, both from an engineering standpoint and for the pleasurable and unique riding experience. Here, the trail passes over several floating wooden bridges that were constructed upon Summit Lake.


The trail continues south through the city of Barberton, through secluded wooded areas and more reclaimed industrial lands.

The Towpath Trail enters Stark County just south of the village of Clinton.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bike Aboard! on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad


The 2012 season for Bike Aboard! on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has begun! For only $2, you can take your bike on the train and ride one-way. You can board and get off at any station between Akron Northside and Rockside Road in Independence.

You can ride ride the Towpath Trail, then catch the train back to your starting point, or vice-versa! If you plan to Bike Aboard! using one of our rental bikes from our Peninsula store, we recommend that you board the train in Peninsula, ride the train to your destination, and then ride your bike back to Peninsula.

The Bike Aboard service is on available on weekends only in April and May. Daily service Wednesdays through Sundays begins in June, and continues through October.

You can find more details on our web site at:


Included in the link above are the daily railroad schedules, train station locations along the Towpath Trail, and a mileage chart that lists the biking distances between each of the train stations!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

BikeRumor.com likes Giro's Privateer Shoes - and we've got 'em in stock!

The folks over at BikeRumor.com got their hands (and feet) on a pair of the Giro Privateer mountain biking shoes, and they had good things to say.

One thing they were most impressed with was the ratcheting buckle strap. "With a feel that has eluded almost all of their competition, Giro’s ratchet is somehow the more satisfying and easier to use than any that I’ve used in ages."

Perhaps more importantly, the fit and performance were winners. "Off-bike comfort and traction are good, and mid-shoe tread keeps a missed pedal from being a painful experience: the Privateers would likely be a good cyclocross shoe."

One of the minor complaints they had about the shoe was the "Imperial Stormtrooper White" color. Fear not, though; we've got them in stock in Basic Black. They felt the fit was a little snug, but rest assured, they come in a Giro Privateer High Volume version (read: wider).

You can read the whole review here, then stop into one of our stores to try them on!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Where We Ride: Reagan Park Mountain Bike Trails in Medina

Ed Meyer works as a salesman and mechanic in the Century Cycles store in Medina, Ohio. As an avid mountain biker, he's been riding the mountain bike trails in the city's Reagan Park for at least the past seven or eight years.

The Reagan Park Mountain Bike Trails are a rare and valuable asset to the region, because they provide a variety of off-road terrain in a setting that feels remote, but located within a populous city. With a total of 10 miles of trail, there's something for everyone, from the beginner to the advanced rider. There are four main loop trails and a connector trail, all of which you can ride individually, or put together into one big loop.

Directions: Take Interstate 71 to the exit for State Route 3/Medina. Go south on Route 3; just past Huffman Road on your right, turn right into the Huffman Soccer Fields. If you get to the traffic light at Foote Rd/Reagan Parkway, you've gone too far. There is ample parking, and a restroom, which you can also use to change into your biking clothes.

If you're new to off-road riding, Ed recommends that you stick to the Huffman Trail, which is one of the easier loops. From the parking lot, proceed on the gravel trail next to the picnic shelter, then look for the sign for where the Huffman Trail branches off to the right. The Huffman Trail ends back on the gravel trail; turn left to go back to the beginning and do it over again!

When you feel like you're ready to move on to tougher trails, turn right at the end of the Huffman Trail, and follow the gravel trail to the Fawn Ridge Trail and Annex Trail, both beginner-to-intermediate-level loops. From the Annex Trail, you can loop back to the parking lot, or branch off to the River Trail, the newest loop and a more advanced-level trail. Or, go across Reagan Parkway to the Reagan Park Trail, the "original" section, and for the most advanced-level riders.

Ed also advises to keep an eye out for wildlife along the trails, especially deer. The deer are used to seeing people nearby, so they won't spook easily and may stand just a few feet away from you off the trail! Look for Ed on his Giant Anthem X 29er 0 mountain bike. If you need any bike repairs or other last-minute supplies, hop on the Reagan Parkway and head on over to our Medina store, less than a mile away! You'll also be near lots of restaurants, for your favorite post-ride refreshments.

The Reagan Park Mountain Bike Trails are maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers with the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA). If you'd like to lend a hand, they meet at the trail most Sunday mornings! Please respect seasonal trail closures, and don't ride immediately after a rainstorm any time of the year; it damages the trails!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Respect The Bike - Ohio Built With Ohio Pride

 The greatest Ohio-built bicycles of the past, present and future will be on display during the month of May at the Greenhouse Tavern in a unique exhibit called Respect The Bike. The vision of Travis Peebles of Blazing Saddle Cycle, Respect The Bike will feature bicycles from pre-1900 through current day builders such as Dan Polito, Rustbelt Welding, Carmen Gambino and more.

The opening reception is on Friday, April 27, at 7pm, and the bicycles will be on display at the popular Cleveland restaurant through May for Cleveland Bike Month. For more info and updates, see the event's Facebook page.

We can't wait to see all of these amazing bicycles in one place, and we are particularly excited that the exhibit will feature a bicycle from the collection of Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan. He is loaning his 1941 Goodyear Double Eagle Clipper bicycle to Respect The Bike, which you can see him delivering to Travis in the photo at left.

The Goodyear Double Eagle Clipper was manufactured by the Colson company in Elyria and was one of the last bicycles the company made before they had to redirect their manufacturing for the war effort.

Scott is only the second owner of the Double Eagle Clipper. It's original owner was Alfred Basinger, who received the bike as a gift from his parents in 1941 or 1942, purchased at the The Cupp & Lemley Hardware Store in Pandora, Ohio, in northwestern Ohio. The Double Eagle Clipper was listed for $39.45 in Goodyear's 1941-1942 catalog. (Using an inflation calculator, that translates to a price of $591.01 in 2011.)

The bike was discovered in the Basinger family farm's barn in 2001 and was professionally restored by Basinger's son-in-law back to its original colors and glory. When Scott purchased the bicycle from the son-in-law last year, it instantly became the star of his already-stellar bicycle collection, and he's happy more people will get to see the Goodyear Double Eagle Clipper at Respect The Bike.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Poll: Your cycling takes a back seat to what else?

A recent poll in Bicycling Magazine asked, "Which would you rather give up for a month, sex or cycling?" A surprising 50% of men and 58% of women answered "sex."

We wondered what other activities take a back-seat to your cycling. Click here to take our latest online poll and let us know.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

WKYC: Etiquette for biking or walking on multi-use trails

Our thanks to WKYC's Carl Bachtel, who came to Century Cycles in Peninsula yesterday to get our tips on etiquette for biking or walking on Northeast Ohio's many multi-use trails, such as the popular Towpath Trail. This was his report on the evening news last night, featuring an interview Century Cycles' Kevin Madzia:



If the above video doesn't play for you, watch it on WKYC's website by clicking here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Letter to the Editor: Share the Roads

Don Barnett, Century Cycles' service manager in Medina, sent the following letter to several local editors. It was published on cleveland.com under the headline "A refresher course on the rules of the road for drivers and cyclists alike" and we wanted to share it here in its entirety:

Dear Editor,

Spring has arrived. Just as April showers bring May flowers, just as the swallows return to Capistrano and the buzzards to Hinckley, the cyclists will soon return to our local roadways. Some can be seen already.

For most of us with jobs, this means riding after work and evenings, just about the same time most people are rushing to get home. With a little care and understanding, we can share the roads safely.

While most drivers are cautious and courteous when dealing with cyclists, many seem unaware of the traffic laws as they pertain to cyclists. Foremost of these is that Ohio law considers bicycles to be vehicles. This means we have as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle. We are not supposed to be on the sidewalks (another law) and are not required to use the MUPs (multi-use paths) found mostly in the Metroparks. Some may not agree with the law, but it is the law.

Ohio law also states that cyclists should ride as far to the right as practicable. This does not mean as far right as possible. This distance will vary depending on road conditions, lane width, traffic conditions and roadside debris. This also does not mean cyclists should ride to the right of the fog line, and most cyclists will ride a foot or two to the left of the line.

When it comes to passing, it is up to the driver, not the cyclist, to do so safely. These guidelines may help:

• Do not attempt to pass in the same lane as the cyclist. Road debris, potholes, animals or even a gust of wind could cause the cyclist to swerve unexpectedly.

• While it is now permissible to pass in a marked no-passing lane, extreme care should be taken. Be sure you have a clear view of the road ahead and be sure there is no immediate oncoming traffic. Do not attempt to pass on the crest of a hill or on a blind curve. Any actions resulting in an accident or seen as unsafe driving will be the driver's responsibility.

• Do not speed up to pass a cyclist only to brake suddenly to make a right turn. Bicycles are often traveling faster than you realize. The extra 10 or 15 seconds in following the cyclist to the intersection or entrance could be the difference between life and death for the cyclist.

• The use of cellphones while driving, especially for texting, can be a dangerous and potentially fatal distraction. In fact, a number of recent studies have shown that texting while driving is more dangerous than drunken driving. A split second of inattention can have disastrous, devastating and possibly long-lasting results, not just for cyclists but for you and other drivers as well.

I realize safety on the roads is not solely the responsibility of the motorist but also of the cyclist as well. Having the right to be on the road also brings with it responsibilities. Cyclists should:

• Ride in a consistent and predictable manner. Try not to swerve, weave or brake suddenly, and signal when changing lanes or turning.

• When riding in a group, be courteous to traffic behind you. You are allowed to ride two abreast, but move over to a single line to allow cars to pass.

• Wait your turn at stop lights, and don't run stop signs. Although this is the most common complaint from motorists, the majority of cyclists obey this law. Please don't judge an entire group by the actions of a few because, quite honestly, many drivers are guilty of this, too.

Although it is sometimes an inconvenience to wait to pass a cyclist, it would be much more so were you to injure someone, possibly even yourself or your loved ones, through careless, reckless or impatient driving.

With a little care and consideration, drivers and cyclists can safely share the roads and enjoy a happy summer season.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bike rentals in Cleveland Mag spotlight

If you're planning a staycation or hosting visitors this summer, Cleveland Magazine recommends Century Cycles' bicycle rentals as one of the top kid-friendly spots for a local getaway.

Bicycle rentals are at our Peninsula location only, which is located in the heart of the Cuyaoga Valley National Park (one of the nation's top 10 most-visited national parks!) and adjacent to the Towpath Trail for riding. Our all-new fleet of bicycles include the Raleigh Venture 4.0 (a great hybrid bike) and the Electra Townie cruiser (a comfy 3-speed with a nice wide seat). They come in various sizes to fit everyone. We also rent trailers and trail-a-bikes for smaller kids, and your rental always includes a bicycle helmet.

Besides entertaining out-of-towners, renting is a great way to "try before you buy," to go on a longer ride than a standard test ride or to see if a child trailer or trail-a-bike is right for your family. We also have several "rental regulars" -- they don't like to store or transport a bicycle, so they just rent every time they feel like riding a bike!

For complete details and prices, go to www.centurycycles.com/for/rent. Then come be a tourist with us!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Learn Intro to Bike Maintenance on April 18

Century Cycles' popular clinic series has come to an end, but you still have another chance to learn basic bicycle maintenance from one of our experienced mechanics.

Don Barnett, Service Manager at Century Cycles in Medina, will be teaching Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance at Polaris Career Center on Wednesday, April 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It's a hands-on class, so students should bring their own bikes to work on! Call 440-891-7600 to register.

Tuition is $19 but there are Available Discounts. Polaris is located at 7285 Old Oak Blvd in Middleburg Heights and their website is http://www.polaris.edu/ .

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New from Shimano: SPD-compatible flip-flops!

Nothing beats the efficiency of Shimano SPD pedals and shoes. And nothing beats the feeling of relaxation from slipping into your favorite pair of flip-flops after a hard bicycle ride. Now, you don't have to miss a beat when going from your ride to the post-ride recovery.

With the new SH-FL05, Shimano has taken the carbon fiber sole plate of their high-performance mountain biking shoes, and integrated it into a light, airy, and comfy flip-flop. Available in men's and women's whole and half sizes, and widths.

The Shimano SH-FL05 -- never has it been easier to go from bike, to bar, to beach!

Now in stock at all three Century Cycles stores.