Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sunday Services - Group road bike ride in Peninsula on June 2

This Sunday, June 2, join us for the next of our monthly Group Road Bike Rides! We'll be starting at 10:00am from the Peninsula store. All skill levels are welcome!

Once again, we'll ride the Valley Loop, an 18-mile gently rolling route along the Cuyahoga River. The pace will be "medium" - not too slow, not too fast, and we'll wait at each turn for people to catch up.

You'll have help in case you get a flat tire or anything, but you should have what you need to be self-sufficient: water/sports drink, spare tube, tire levers, pump, mobile phone (all of the Things You Should Bring on Every Bike Ride).

We'll start riding at 10:00am SHARP! Extra cue sheets will be left behind for anyone that arrives late.

No RSVP is necessary, although you can sign up and post questions to the event on Facebook.

Find a map, download the route to your GPS, or print a cue sheet at:
www.centurycycles.com/for/ValleyLoop

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Serfas Bicycle Saddles: Comfort for every rider

Serfas manufactures a wide range of bicycle accessories, from tools and pumps to headlights and taillights, but they first made their name as the first name in comfort when it comes to your seat. Our best-sellers are the Dual Density (available for both Men and Women) and the Rx (also available for both Men and Women).

The video below from Serfas shows you the technology and testing that goes into every model of seat from Serfas, and their dedication to developing saddles to fit every rider:

(Click here if the video above is not appearing for you.)

New for this season is the Performance Rx model. Featuring the same Dual Density and Reactive Gel padding as in all of their saddles for comfort, but in a slim, lightweight profile for high-mileage endurance riders. Now in stock in all three Century Cycles stores.

Serfas Performance Rx saddle

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Century Cycles CLOSED for Memorial Day

PLEASE NOTE: All three Century Cycles stores will be CLOSED this Monday, May 27, 2013 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

Sorry for any inconvenience!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5 Tips: Mountain Biking

The Royalview Mountain Bike Trail in the Cleveland Metroparks opened ahead of schedule a couple of weeks ago, and all reports indicate that it's in great condition for riding! The trails at West Branch State Park and Quail Hollow State Park are open, and work is progressing on the new singletrack in the Bedford Reservation as well.

New to mountain biking? Even if you're an experienced street or bike path rider, mountain biking requires a special set of skills unique to the terrain and off-road riding experience. Even if you've ridden through the woods many times before, these tips can help hone your talent and enjoy yourself even more!

1. Lower your tire pressure

The general rule for cycling on pavement is that you want to have the maximum recommended air pressure in your tires. This provides the smoothest, most efficient rolling, and the best protection against flat tires and wheel damage if you run into a pothole.

When riding singletrack mountain bike trails, however, you want to do the opposite--your tire pressure should be at or just above the minimum recommended pressure. For typical mountain bike tires, this is around 35 to 40psi. This gives you the most possible traction when pedaling over slick roots, rocks, and loose dirt. Even if your mountain bike has suspension, your tires are really the first line of defense against bumps on the trail. If your tires are inflated to too high pressure, you'll feel like you're being bounced around like a pogo stick. Lower tire pressure helps to smooth out the ride, allowing you to maintain more control, not to mention you'll feel less beat up in your hands, arms, and the rest of your body.

Keep in mind that this is a trade-off situation--the lower tire pressure you use, the more likely it is that you will get a pinch flat if you run hard against the edge of a rock or other sharp obstacle. But most experienced riders feel that the risk is worth it for the increased traction and control you get.

2. Apply front and rear brakes evenly

This is a good rule of thumb for any type of cycling, but it's especially important for several reasons when mountain biking. Applying balanced pressure on both your front and rear brakes allows you to control your speed with less chance of locking up either wheel. If your front wheel locks up, it's an almost assured recipe for an "involuntary dismount" over your handlebars. If your rear wheel locks up, your rear tire will skid, causing you to lose control, as well as damage the trail surface.

Some situations call for rapid pumping of your brakes, to alternate between quick stopping power and releasing to avoid skids, simulating the "anti-lock braking system" found on many modern cars.

3. Uphill: weight forward; downhill: weight back

When you're pedaling on a steep uphill, your front wheel will have a tendency to lift off the ground, doing an unintentional wheelie. To counteract this, lean way forward, with your nose hovering just above your handlebar. Keep your butt on the seat, but scoot way up on the nose of the seat. This moves your center of gravity forward, while still keeping weight on the rear wheel to keep it from losing traction and spinning out.

When riding downhill, you have the opposite problem--your bike bike will want to flip back-end over front. To help prevent this, stand up on the pedals (keeping your knees slightly bent and flexible) and move your body back beyond the back edge of the seat. In extremely technical downhill conditions, some riders will even lean so far back that the seat pokes them in the gut, and their butt hovers precariously just above the rear wheel. This moves your center of gravity towards the back of the bike, putting more weight on the back wheel and helping to keep you and the bike upright.

4. Speed is your friend when trying to ride over obstacles

When you approach a tough-looking section of trail or an obstacle, your first impulse might be to grab your brakes and slow down, the idea being that if you think you can't cleanly ride through, it's best to scrub speed to minimize the impact of a crash. As you get more experience, you'll find that maintaining a steady speed can help you more easily clear the tough stuff, whether it's a log jump, a large rock, or a patch of small rocks or roots. Your forward momentum helps carry the bike over the tops of the obstacles, with less chance that you'll be bounced around from side to side.

To choose a good line through obstacles, it can be helpful to think of this principle in reverse. In other words, ask yourself "What path do I need to take to get through this section as fast as possible?" This leads to the old saying, "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line." Sometimes, you have to maneuver your way around in the spaces between obstacles, but keeping speed and efficiency in mind, you'll eventually find that's it's usually easier to go straight over, rather than around, trail obstacles.

Don't get discouraged if you're just starting out and aren't always able to pick the best line to get through a hard part of the trail. As you ride your favorite trails over and over, you'll start to remember what works and what doesn't work in each section. Plus, you'll develop the experience and skill to "read" the trail to pick the best line, even on unfamiliar trails, just like a pro golfer can read the subtle undulations on a green or an expert kayaker can read the currents while paddling a stretch of whitewater.

5. Look where you want to go, not where you don't want to go

Imagine you're cruising along on the trail, and you see a big tree very close up ahead. If you stare at it and start saying to yourself "Don't hit that tree, don't hit that tree," chances are, you're going to hit that tree. At times, our bodies can be smarter than our brains. The body will tend to guide itself where the eyes tell it to. So, the trick is to get your brain to point your eyes in the right direction, and your body has a better chance of following.

Pretend that you are The Terminator, with laser beams coming out of your eyes. Make those laser beams track along the trail, following the best line that you believe provides you the quickest, smoothest, and safest path based on your experience. In sharp turns, look to the inside edge of the trail. If you keep your eyes on that line, your bike has a pretty good chance of staying on that line, too.

This principle applies to other active sports, such as skiing, rock climbing, and even ball/target sports like tennis, baseball, and hockey. It's an application of what sports psychologists call "positive imagery." That is, if you can build a mental picture of yourself executing a difficult maneuver, you actually increase your chances of successfully achieving it.

Speaking of the Royalview Trail, check out this video from Chris, a customer who bought his Giant Yukon FX mountain bike from our Peninsula store a couple of summers ago:


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

Monday, May 20, 2013

Poll: Have you ever biked to work?

Left-to-right: Brad, Dan, Krista, Adam, Neal, Ray, Scott, Tracey, Matthew
In honor of National Bike to Work Day this past Friday, 100% of the staff of the Century Cycles store in Rocky River rode to work!

Have you ever ridden your bike to work? Take our latest online poll to let us know!


Last month's online poll asked "How do you prefer to carry things by bike?" The overwhelming majority of responses (62%) were "Bag or panniers on rear rack." A distant second-place was "Backpack or messenger bag." You can see the full results of the last poll here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Get Chance to Win Shimano Pedals at June MS 150 Clinic

Look what just arrived from Shimano!

One lucky attendee of our free clinic on June 4, "Preparing For And Riding the Bike MS 150," will WIN this pair of Click'R Pedals (a $69.99 value)! Click'Rs are easy-in, easy-out, and make for an ideal clipless pedal for MS 150 riders.

For more clinic details and to RSVP, go to www.centurycycles.com/for/EventRideHQ.

See you June 4th, and THANKS SHIMANO!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

National spotlight shines on Bike to School Challenge

Huge thanks to Bicycling Magazine executive editor, David Howard, who spent National Bike to School Day at Bay Middle School to witness Century Cycles Bike to School Challenge and wrote the story, "The Land Where Kids Ride: In suburban Cleveland, an astonishing number of children ride to school. Here’s what we can learn from them” at http://bit.ly/ZUztVW.
 
 
Bike to School Challenge was also featured in a report by the Atlantic Cities (www.theatlanticcities.com, a division of The Atlantic Monthly magazine) in a story titled, “How to Make Your Town into a Bike-To-School Mecca” (link: http://bit.ly/12m9qFD).


Happy Mother's Day!

Everyone at Century Cycles wishes all the moms and kids out there a wonderful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Bike to School Challenge: Record-Setting Week One!

Century Cycles Bike to School Challenge (BTS) in Bay Village, Medina and Rocky River concluded a hugely succesful Week One on May 6-10 with the students breaking more biking records, all but one school in the program showed double-digit growth over last year’s ridership, and three of the five schools logging record days! Special prize days sponsored by Subway and Raleigh Bicycles kept the students excited and motivated, and middle school students are already submitting entries in the BTS Prose and Photography Contest.
 
Overall, the program averaged 1,275 bicyclists to school per day this week at the five schools, for a total of 6,375 bike-rides to school. The highest overall ride day of the week was Thursday, May 9, on which 1,394 students biked, a new BTSC record.

6th annual BAY BIKE TO SCHOOL CHALLENGE
Bay Middle School averaged 576 bicyclists to school this week – averaging an astonishing 70% of the school and up 22% over their 2012 per-day average of 474. The highest ride day at BMS this week was 634 bicyclists to school on Wednesday, May 8 (National Bike to School Day), a whopping 77% of the school – a new Bay Middle School and BTS record! Bay High School averaged 123 bicyclists to school this week, down 9% from their 135-per-day average in 2012.

Student check-in at Claggett.
2nd annual MEDINA BIKE TO SCHOOL CHALLENGE
Bike-riding is up significantly at both Claggett and Root Middle Schools this year. This week, Claggett Middle School averaged 83 bicyclists to school per day (9% of the school), up 28% over their 2012 per-day average of 65. They handily beat their high-ride day of 78 in 2012 on May 9, when 94 Claggett students arrived at school by bicycle. At A.I. Root Middle School, an average of 156 students biked each day this week (or 18% of the school), up 22% over their 2012 per-day average of 128.

Rocky River Middle School.
3rd annual ROCKY RIVER BIKE TO SCHOOL CHALLENGE
It was a record first week of the challenge at Rocky River Middle School, which logged a record high-ride day on Thursday, May 9, when 377 students biked (61% of the school). On average this week, 338 students biked each day – 55% of the school and up 24% over their per-day average of 273 in 2012.

Century Cycles’ Bike to School Challenge on May 6-24, 2013 is the largest and most successful student bicycling program in the United States, motivating more than 4,000 middle school and high school students in Bay Village, Rocky River, and Medina to ride their bikes to school as much as possible for three weeks each May -- to help the environment, improve their health, win prizes and have fun.  For more details, go to www.centurycycles.com/for/BTS

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Contest for Bike to School Challenge Offers Two More Prize Bikes


Great Lakes Courier, Raleigh Bicycles and Century Cycles are teaming up to offer middle school students taking the Bike to School Challenge a special contest that encourages them to creatively express their love of bicycling to school for a chance to win being published and a new Raleigh bicycle.
 
"Great Lakes Courier is pleased to help amplify the voice of the cycling community in Northeast Ohio, and never more so than when we have the opportunity to recognize the accomplishment and creativity of kids who bike to school," said Michael Gill, editor of Great Lakes Courier (www.greatlakescourier.com) and a contest judge.
 
Here's how the contest works:

WHO: Middle school students in Bay Village, Rocky River, and Medina can write or photograph something inspired by the theme “Bike To School” – capturing what bicycling to school means to them, their friends, and/or their community – then enter their creation in this contest by May 21.

PRIZES: One prose winner AND one photography winner will be chosen for each Bike To School Challenge program. The winners will receive a new Raleigh grand prize bicycle, plus their winning entry, name and photo will be published in the July issue of the local biking newspaper, Great Lakes Courier. Contest winners will be announced at each school's closing ceremony assemblies.

WHAT: Written submissions can be a short essay, poem, song or any other written expression (250 word limit). Photographs can be taken by camera or smartphone. Students can submit as many entries as they create.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email each submission to BikeToSchool@centurycycles.com by Tuesday, May 21, at noon. In the subject line, put “Contest entry from _____________” and the name of the student's school. In the body of the email, please put student's name, grade, school, and age. Photos should JPG attachments and can come from a phone or computer. Written submissions can be in the body of the email OR attached as a Word document.
 
For more details about Bike to School Challenge, go to www.centurycycles.com/for/BTS

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Introducing: Bicycle Fitting Services at Century Cycles


Do you want to be comfortable on your bicycle? Do you want to ride stronger for longer distances? Then a personalized bicycle fitting is just what you need.

Bicycle Fitting can benefit ANY type of rider, whether you're riding for recreation, fitness, commuting, or racing; any kind of bike you have, any brand purchased from any store. Our Fitting Service, developed in conjunction with Raleigh Bicycles, uses flexibility, range of motion, and biomechanics to determine the best position your body can achieve on your bike, taking your personal goals and preferences into account.

Rates:
  • Standard Fitting: $150.00
  • Standard Fitting with a new bicycle purchase: $100.00
  • Applying our fitting to an additional bicycle: $75.00 - Must meet the following conditions:
    • Within one year of the original fitting session.
    • No injuries, surgeries, or other conditions that affect fit have occurred.
Call us to schedule an appointment!


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Raleigh Fitting Services?

A. Raleigh Fitting Services is a professional bicycle fitting service offered by Raleigh Bicycles dealers. Although new for 2013, the program was designed by Michael Sylvester, the foremost expert on personalized bicycle fitting. Based in Portland, Oregon, Michael practically invented the modern bicycle fitting industry, and has been fitting people on bicycles for over 30 years. He has designed and implemented fitting services for other major bicycle manufactures. Our staff received hands-on training in bicycle fitting from Michael himself.

Q. What Fit System do you use?

A. Raleigh Fitting Services is not based solely on numeric measurements, nor is it based on whiz-bang technology like video or laser scanners. We start with an extensive personal interview process to evaluate your overall fitness, flexibility, history, and future goals. We take all of this into consideration to give you a personalized fit. We fit your bicycle to YOUR body, not the other way around, using adjustments to your seat height, seat fore and aft position, handlebar size, stem length and angle, and shoe/cleat placement. Where applicable, we will also provide guidance on adjustments to your form and technique.

Q. Why do I need a bike fitting?

A. Are you experiencing any physical issues while riding your bike? Do have have pain or numbness in any part of your body, such as in your hands, neck, shoulders, wrists, knees, feet, or even your seat? All of these issues can be addressed and minimized, possibly even eliminated, with a properly-fitting bike.

Q. I know my bike is the right size for me; what would I gain from a bike fitting?

A. Bicycles come in only a handful of sizes. When you purchase a new bicycle, we select the correct size for you, and make some basic adjustments, such as the seat height and handlebar height, if possible. This process is referred as a bicycle sizing, but is only the first step. There are myriad other adjustments possible, but a full professional bicycle fitting is the only way to learn your needs to make these adjustments optimal for your physical attributes and riding style.

Q. I'm not having any issues on my bike; why should I get a bike fitting?

A. If you're not experiencing any pain or numbness on your bike, that's great! However, after a professional bike fitting, there may be some adjustments that will get you even more confortable, and help you be more efficient and generate more power. Those normal aches and pains that occur on any long ride can be minimized, or even eliminated.

Q. What should I bring to a fitting session?

A. You should bring your bicycle, cycling shorts, and cycling shoes. Plan to spend about 2 hours in the fitting session, plus about 30 minutes in a follow-up session about a month later.

Q. How do I sign up?

A. Call us to schedule an appointment with one our bicycle fitting experts! Medina: 330-722-7119; Peninsula: 330-657-2209; Rocky River: 440-356-5705.

Meet Our Fit Specialists

Tom Wiseman (Medina) - Tom has been riding, racing, and working on bicycles for over 20 years. He won the Alaska Fireweed Double Century race in 2007, served as a team mechanic for the Race Across America (RAAM) in 2011, and has been working at Century Cycles since 2007.





Kevin Madzia (Peninsula) - Kevin has been riding bicycles both on the road and off for many years. He has two cross-country tours under his belt, races a few times a year, and has been working at Century Cycles since 2004.







Brad Sweet (Rocky River) - Brad is an accomplished mountain bike racer. He's been working at Century Cycles since 2007.







This information is also available on our web site at: www.centurycycles.com/get/fit

Monday, May 6, 2013

1,183 Biked To School Today; Record-Setting Start of BTS Challenge

The newly-expanded bike racks at Claggett Middle School in Medina were overflowing with bikes today. Photo: Mike Petcher
On a sunshine-filled morning ideal for bicycling, a record 1,183 students biked to five Northeast Ohio schools for the kick-off of Century Cycles' Bike to School Challenge (www.centurycycles.com/for/BTS), our award-winning program in Bay Village, Medina and Rocky River that encourages students to bike to school for three weeks each May to help the environment, improve their health and be more physically active, win prizes and have fun.

Bike to School Challenge is the largest youth bicycling event of its kind in the nation, and it keeps growing – this Day 1 is up 33% over the first day last year and is the highest Day 1 bicycle count in the program’s six-year history.
 
Student rider check-in at Bay High School.
Bay Middle School officials counted 544 bikes at their racks (66% of the school’s students, and up 28% over 2012’s Day 1), Bay High School counted 124 bikes (15% of the school, and down 8% from 2012) and Rocky River Middle School counted 291 bikes (47% of the school, and up 43% over 2012).

In Medina, Root Middle School counted 148 bicycles (17% of the school’s students, and up 52% over 2012’s Day 1) and Claggett Middle School counted 76 bicycles (8% of the school, and up 68% from 2012). This is the second year for Bike to School Challenge at the Medina schools, both of which recorded fewer than 2% of their students bicycling before the program’s inception in 2012.

“It is an awe-inspiring sight to see hundreds of bicycles parked in front of these schools. It sends a powerful message about the huge impact youth can have on the community with the simple act of riding a bike,” said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles bicycle stores in Rocky River and Medina, which organizes and sponsors the challenge for the schools. “Everyone involved with the program is just thrilled with the response on the first day and is excited for the coming weeks.”

For regular updates and more information about Bike To School Challenge on May 6-24, 2013, visit www.centurycycles.com/to/BTS or follow it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BikeToSchoolChallenge or on Twitter @BTSChallenge.
 
WEWS-TV 5 was at Bay Middle School for the kick-off this morning, and the ABC affiliate aired this story about the program on their morning news:


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

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Let's All Roll Together


Let's all  roll together! It's easy. Just:

Check out People For Bikes website to take the #RollTogether promise, and to check out their cool new "share the road" spot with Volkswagen: http://bit.ly/10Tb5GS

Then be sure to sign up for the National Bike Challenge -- free, easy, even just 1 or 2 miles count, plus Pittsburgh has challenged Cleveland to a bicycle-off (a friendly competition to see which Rust Belt city can log the most bicyclists and miles)! Go to: www.nationalbikechallenge.org

If you don't want to form your own National Bike Challenge team, feel free to join the "Century Cycles" team. Staff at our stores are also competing in a NBC workplace showdown -- we'll let you know which CC store logs the most miles this summer! So far Kevin in our Peninsula store is on top of the leaderboard with 99 miles logged in just three days.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring Into Summer with Home Depot and Century Cycles this Saturday

Come visit some of the crew from the Century Cycles store in Medina as we lend a hand at the Medina Home Depot "Spring Into Summer" Bike Rodeo and Summer Safety Day this Saturday!

We'll be doing bicycle safety inspections and will be joined by Medina county safety forces, Tuffy's BBQ, and there is a kids workshop to build a herb planter from 9am to noon.

When: Saturday, May 4, 2013, 9:00am - 2:00pm

Where:
Home Depot
4914 Grande Blvd. in Medina OH 44256
(330) 721-7886

Cost: FREE!

Bicycle Touring season has officially begun!


The Peninsula store was greeted by our first bicycle-touring visitors of the season today. Linda (left) and Jose (right) are from Bunbury in Western Australia. Jose started his ride in Los Angeles on March 1, and rode the Southern Tier Route to New Orleans, where he met his wife Linda. The couple rode the Great Rivers South Route and the Underground Railroad Route to Ohio, and are continuing to Niagara Falls. From there, they'll ride down to Pittsburgh, and follow the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath Trail to Washington, DC. Linda will fly back home to Australia from there, but Jose is flying to France, where he'll meet a friend in Nice and pedal through Europe, up to and including Norway. He expects to be back home by Christmas of this year!

Jose was especially proud of his bicycle, a 28-year-old chromoly framed-touring bike handmade in Australia:

Back in 2012, Jose and Linda were riding across the US on the TransAmerica Trail Route, and met an Ohioan in Wyoming, a local rider named Michael from Northfield. The group crossed paths today, and planned to ride for together for a while as Jose and Linda made their way up to Burton for the evening.


You can see more photos of long-distance cyclists who have visited all three of our stores in our Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Now in stock: Surly Krampus


What exactly is a Krampus? One part fat bike, one part 29er, and two parts awesome, the Surly Krampus rolls fast, holds speed, and devours corners. It's playful, smooth, versatile and durable.

The 29x3-inch Surly Knard tires on 50mm Surly Rabbit Hole rims are what make this bike truly special. These big tires offer increased traction, incredible float, and reduce the need for suspension, because the large volume is plenty to smooth the trail.

For the sake of simplicity, you get a 1x10 drive train. That means there's a single 34-tooth chainring up front, and a 10-speed cassette on the back, with a whopping 36-tooth low gear. All fine quality parts from Shimano.

The wide Salsa Whammy handlebars barely fit through the front door. Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes provide the stopping power, but once you hop on the Krampus, you won't want to stop.

Review highlights:

  • "Comfort is superb and control is better than on a short travel [full-suspension bike] because the long wheelbase (43.75in on our medium bike) is inherently stable, and the geometry isn't shifting slightly on every bump." -- BikeRadar.com
  • "Krampus has taught us that the bike is not different for difference´s sake, but actually rides really well." -- TwentyNineInches.com
  • "This bike wants to go fast, and has the stability to do it." -- Dirt Rag Magazine
  • "This bike does exactly as it was designed to do--hit the sweet spot between the traction and flotation of a snow bike, with the speed and agility of a traditional 29er mountain bike." -- Century Cycles

Stop by your local Century Cycles bicycle store for a test-ride NOW. We've got a size Large in Medina, a Medium in Peninsula, and a Small in Rocky River. Of course, we'll send the size you want to the store that's most convenient for you, if you ask real nice like.