Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Best of the West, baby!

Century Cycles is proud to once again win Best of the West "Best Bike Shop," as voted by the readers of West Shore Live Well magazine -- our 5th straight year to win this honor!

Many thanks to our dedicated and talented staff and especially our loyal customers -- we are grateful for your support, patronage, and friendship!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cross-country cyclist visits Peninsula store

This is Connor. He stopped by the Century Cycles store in Peninsula today, looking for help in finding a good route into Pennsylvania. He started in Bellingham, Washington, and is headed to Vermont. No blog, no fund-raising, just having a good time on his own!

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

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday Services - Group road bike ride in Peninsula on August 4

For those of you not riding in the Bike MS Pedal to the Point this weekend, and are looking for a short, casual road bike ride instead, join us for the next Sunday Services Group Road Bike Ride in Peninsula! The ride starts at 10:00am on Sunday, August 4 from the parking lot of our store.

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, July 27, 2013

Now available: RoadID App for iPhone

Road ID has been providing safety and security for cyclists, runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts with their popular medical information bracelets. Now, you and your loved ones can have additional peace of mind when you're out on the road or trail with Road ID's new app for the iPhone.


See www.roadid.com/ecrumb for details and links to download the app.

Once installed, you just enter some basic information (name, address, and email address). Then, you can set up to 5 of your contacts to be notified by email or text message whenever you head out on a ride. The recipient can click on the link in the message to get a live look at wherever you are during the ride.

The app also lets you turn on a "stationary alert." This means that if you don't move for 5 minutes, your contacts get a message warning them that you haven't moved. Don't worry; if you stop for a snack or bathroom break and forget to turn off the alert, it warns you one minute before sending the alert, and gives you a chance to cancel it.

Your contacts don't need the app or any other special program to view your status or alerts; all they need is a web-capable computer or smartphone.

The app also lets you customize the information that shows up on your phone's lock screen, so that emergency personnel can find pertinent information about you without know how to unlock your phone.

The app was designed to be easy on your battery life. In Road ID's tests, battery capacity went from 100% to 50% over the length of a 4-hour workout.

You can check out Road ID's FAQ for more information.

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Surly Bikes and other goodness from SaddleDrive

Quality Bicycle Products is the parent company of Surly Bikes, and also the largest distributor of bicycle parts and accessories. In the past couple of years, they have jumped on the summer tradeshow season bandwagon with an event they call SaddleDrive. This year, they invited me and Century Cycles Owner Scott Cowan to come out to Utah to play in the dirt and drink some fine Utah-brewed ales (no, that is not an oxymoron).

After flying into Salt Lake City, we caught the shuttle bus up to Ogden, the location of QBP's new western distribution center. The bike demos and most of the other festivities took place outside of town at the Snowbasin ski resort.

When I got there first thing Monday morning, I made a beeline for the Surly tent to check out the latest and greatest things that I can't live without. All the of the new bikes in my size were already taken, so I grabbed the new Moonlander, for this upcoming season available in Metallic Sand:

2014 Surly Moonlander in Metallic Sand
As expected, the 4.8-inch Surly Bud and Lou tires stuck to the trail like Velcro. For you not-so-fat Fat Bike fans, this season's Surly Pugsley will come in Blue (or, in Surly parlance, Real Blew):

2014 Surly Pugsley in Real Blew
When I brought the Moonlander back, one of Surly's new bikes was available in my size. The Surly ECR is a unique machine (as if you'd expect anything less from Surly). It can be best described as the Surly Ogre with the frame modified to fit the 29+ wheels from the Surly Krampus. Although, if you ask Surly, they wouldn't describe it that way, because they said the frame geometry is a little different from both the Krampus and the Ogre. It's meant as an all-surface touring bike, and it will come with a custom Jones H-Bar handlebar:

2014 Surly ECR
What does ECR stand for? Well, the legend goes that the Surly engineers had an internal name for it during development with the initials ECR, but one of the words in that name turned out to be a name trademarked by another bike company. They just decided to keep the name ECR without it standing for anything. Some of the suggestions thrown about were "Epic Camping Rig," "Endurance Camp Racer," or for you apocalyptic types, "Exit City Rapidly." Make up your own name; that would be the Surly thing to do.

How does this big boy ride? One word: FUN. I took it partway up the mountain on a combination of singletrack and gravel roads, then bombed back down. The 29x3.0-inch Surly Knard tires gobbled up the trail. The crankset is Surly's new 22/36 OD (Offset Double) to provide chain clearance on the rear tire, which gave me the REALLY low gears I needed to crank up the singletrack. With tires like that, you won't need any higher gears. The backwards sweep of the H-Bar puts your hands in a natural-feeling position; my hands never got numb even rattling over all the rocks and roots with the rigid fork. If you've ever seen the Surly Open Bar, it's pretty much the same shape, but with an extra loop of bar on the front, which gives you plenty of room to mount lights, bags, GPS, etc.

A couple of years ago, when Surly released the disc brake version of the Long Haul Trucker touring bike, you've been saying to yourself, "But Kevin, when will they make a disc brake version of the Cross-Check?" (Which, by the way, is a funny thing to say to yourself, unless your name also happens to be Kevin.) Ask no more, as coming in September is the Surly Straggler! To be available in a sweet sparkly Purple (and, rumor has it, also in Black), the bike sported Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes and Shimano Tiagra integrated brake/shift levers.

2014 Surly Straggler in Purple
Of course, the Surly guys preferred NOT to call it a "disc brake Cross-Check," because the frame geometry is not exactly like the Cross-Check. The bottom bracket height is a couple of millimeters lower than the Cross-Check, but that's mainly to account for the 700Cx40 Surly Knard tires that will come on the bike. Trevor from Surly told me that "It's a cyclocross bike for people who like mountain bikes, rather than for people who like road bikes, the way most cyclocross bikes are." Appropriately, I took it for a spin on one of the nearby singletrack loops. I've seen other ride 'cross bikes on singletrack before, but this was my first foray. I had to stand up and grind on the pedals more than usual to clear the steep climbs, but otherwise the bike handled itself quite well, and of course, the brakes gave me the last-second slowy-downiness that I needed on the twisty trail. The rear dropouts sport a new design that makes it easy to get the rear wheel on and off the bike and around the disc brake, whether you're running geared or singlespeed, quick-release or bolt-on.

Look for the Straggler to show up in all three Century Cycles stores. I think this will be a hot seller, and will meet the needs of anyone looking for a do-it-all rig for spring, summer, fall, and winter cruising on roads, trails, you name it in all weather.

Next up, just because it was the only thing available in my size after I was through with the Straggler, I took out a Surly Troll. This bike is basically unchanged for the coming year, still available in Purple or Black:

Surly Troll in Purple
As the smaller-wheeled little brother of the Ogre, and the purple cousin of the Straggler, the Troll doesn't get the respect it deserves, because it's got no new whiz-bang technology on it. It's a 26-inch wheeled, rigid bike for off-road or any-road touring. But that's exactly the reason why you'd want this bike if you were planning an around-the world bike trip. And on the singletrack, it proved surprisingly capable--zipping up the steeps and swooping its little badass self around the tight, curvy trail. Put some racks and bags on this baby, sell the kids, and hit the road.

Finally, the third new bike in the Surly stable is actually the return of an old bike. The Surly Instigator is meant for the big-hit set, whether it's a pump track, freeride park, or Ray's MTB Indoor Park. It's the first Surly bike to ever come stock with a suspension fork. Does this represent the End of the World as We Know It? Maybe. Of course, like all Surlys, the frame is still 4130 chromoly steel.

2014 Surly Instigator
What else is new about the new Instigator? It sports interchangeable rear dropouts, so you can set it up right for whatever kind of rear hub floats your boat. Geared or singlespeed, quick-release, bolt-on, or quick-release thru-axles. It will come with 50mm wide Rabbit Hole rims, a 26-inch version of the same rims that come on the 29+ Surly Krampus. The tires are a new 26x2.75 Surly Dirt Dragon (rumor has it they'll make a 29+ version of this tire for the Krampus). Will this bike fit 27.5-inch wheels? You didn't hear that from me...

I took this bike for a lap around the same singletrack as all the other bikes, and it was probably my fastest trip around. After riding all of those rigid bikes, I forget how much faster suspension makes me able to go, even with the added weight. No pussy-footing around the rocks and roots, just point and shoot. I'm the kind of rider who likes to keep both wheels firmly on the ground, but if you're the playful type who likes to get up in the air once in a while, this bike is for you.

I caught a glimpse of this Surly Pacer; it appears that the 2014 model will come in a sparkly Red, upgraded to Shimano 105 shifters and derailers. I didn't get a chance to ride it, but wanted to share it with you because I thought it looked cool:

2014 Surly Pacer in Red
Click here to read Surly's own take on their new lineup from their blog.

After a break for some lunch, I headed to the Salsa Cycles tent. Salsa is making a big splash this year with major upgrades throughout their line-up, especially with their full-suspension 29er mountain bikes. When they first introduced these bikes a couple of years ago, they went with a simple single-pivot rear suspension design, in order to provide lower maintenance and better durability for long backcountry rides and off-road touring. However, what the single-pivot design gained in simplicity it sacrificed in suspension performance. Not any more. Salsa teamed up with suspension pioneer Dave Weagle to totally revamp their bike design. The result was Split Pivot Technology, which adds a rotating rear suspension pivot point at the rear wheel axle. This maintains the elegant single-pivot design, while providing the same performance as more complex designs. Suspension, pedaling, and braking actions all operate independently, so you get full suspension performance whether you're going uphill, downhill, or just cruising along. A side benefit of the simple design is that it leaves plenty of space in the main frame triangle for a full-size water bottle.

2014 Salsa Spearfish 2
To be honest, I was skeptical at first, but when I finally had a chance to try the Salsa Spearfish 2 bike, I was hooked. I hadn't felt such a plush ride with pedaling efficiency since I tried the Giant Anthem X 29er 1 last fall at the Interbike trade show. The Spearfish is a medium-travel cross-country mountain bike, but the platform is also available in the longer-travel Salsa Horsethief for any-trail adventures.

Salsa also features a full line of snow bikes, or fat bikes if you prefer. They are much like their cousin the Surly Pugsley, but step it up a notch (or two or three) for those who want a little more performance on the snow. The Salsa Mukluk bikes feature aluminum frames and forks, and the Salsa Beargrease is a full-on race fat bike featuring a carbon fiber frame and fork!

2014 Salsa Mukluk 2 in Orange
I rode a Salsa Mukluk 2, and of course, it provided the same uber-traction as the Surly Moonlander or Pugsley, with a little more kick in the pants in the performance department. I also rode the Salsa Beargrease XX1, and it was so light that it almost made me feel like I could give up my regular "summer" mountain bike and be a full-time fat-biker!

Salsa Beargrease XX1
Other promising bikes from Salsa include the Vaya on-road touring bike, available in steel, titanium, and stainless steel version (the stainless steel one coming stock with S&S couplers for travel-ability); the Salsa Fargo off-road touring bike (also available in steel or titanium); Salsa Warbird gravel-road racing bike (steel or ti), Salsa Colossal disc-brake road bike (steel or ti); and the Salsa El Mariachi 29er hardtail mountain bike. Will you be seeing any of these bikes soon at Century Cycles? Stay tuned...

On Tuesday, it was time to hit the road. The road bike testing ground was not quite as extensive as the off-road; it consisted of a former resort access road that is now closed to car traffic because of several large sinkholes. They let us take the bikes down the road, but told us "Keep your hands on the brakes, as the sinkholes can show up all of a sudden." The road wound down about 3 miles, dropping 900 feet in elevation, and then you had to turn around and head back up.

Caution: rough road ahead
The first bike I tried was the All-City Space Horse. All-City is another one of Surly's and Salsa's "sister brands" at QBP, with a focus on urban-oriented bikes. The Space Horse is their touring/commuting bike, kind of a "Long Haul Trucker Lite." It features a 612 Select Chromoly Steel frame and fork, Tektro cantilever brakes and a full Shimano Tiagra drive train, including brake/shifter levers, derailers, and compact double crankset. The bike was comfortable and felt stable and solid on both the downhill and uphill. The brakes did feel a little anemic, making me hold back a little from "letting it all hang out" on the downhill, and I was wishing for a few less pounds to pull uphill.

All-City Space Horse

Next was the All-City Mr. Pink, their 612 Select Chromoly Steel road bike. It featured a full Shimano 105 group, including dual-pivot brakes, derailers, brake/shifter levers, and compact double crankset. This bike gives you the smooth, svelte feel of a classic steel road bike with modern technology as the icing on the cake. Any trouble I had getting back up that hill was the fault of the engine, not the bike.

All-City Mr. Pink
To top off the day and the trip, I headed back with my friend Brent to Surly, where they had the new ECR ready to go in our sizes again. We decided to do an "epic" ride, as far up the mountain as we could handle. The Surly ECR once again took the trail with ease as we pedaled our way up, up, up the mountain on Needles trail. At one point, this trail headed to the side and not as far up as we hoped, so we split off on the intermediate-level Porcupine Trail. This was a bit rougher and steeper, and we had to walk a few sections, but it took us up, up, and more up, as the air got thinner and breathing even got tougher. We got to an intersection of the trail and a gravel road, and decided to take the gravel up to where it went past the Mid-Mountain ski lift. The grade probably approached 25% or more in a couple of spots, but we cranked on, and finally reached the peak.

At the top of the Porcupine Trail at Snowbasin on the Surly ECR
After a snack and a photo-op, we headed all the way back down on the Porcupine Trail and Needles Trail. Needless to say, the way down was a lot easier, and a heck of a lot quicker than the way up, but once again, the Surly ECR handled both with poise. This, as I learned, was typical mountain biking in the Rockies--90 minutes uphill, 20 minutes downhill.

The perfect way to end a perfect day of riding was with a Fat Tire Ale, provided by Finish Line bicycle care products on the shuttle bus back to Ogden.

Beer on the Bus

Thursday, July 25, 2013

5 Tips: Cycling Shorts

If you're not wearing cycling shorts already, you have the opportunity to enter a whole new world of cycling comfort. But for the first-timer, that world can be a little intimidating. These 5 Tips will help you learn what you need to know and what to look for when shopping for and wearing your first pair.

1. Why cycling shorts?

Standard cycling shortsIf you've been experiencing any discomfort in the seat while riding your bike, your first thought might be to try a new seat. But a better investment might be in a good pair of cycling shorts. Cycling shorts enhance your riding comfort by providing three key benefits.

First, the padding in the shorts provides a little extra cushion between your own, um, "seat" and the seat of the bike. The padded area provides a smooth interface, as opposed to regular pants and even many athletic shorts, which have a seam running right down the middle, which makes for a lumpy and incomfortable interface. The padding is referred to as the "chamois," because it used to be made of chamois material.

Second, cycling shorts reduce friction, by providing a snug-fitting fabric that moves with you as you pedal, rather than rubbing against your skin.

Third, cycling shorts provide moisture management. The Lycra, Spandex, and other technical fabrics used in cycling shorts promote the movement and evaporation of sweat away from your skin. Cotton used in blue jeans and other "regular" pants and shorts tend to trap moisture and hold it next to your skin, which can cause excess heat, rash, and promotes the growth of bacteria.

2. Selecting the type of shorts for you

Cycling Bib ShortsCycling shorts come in many varieties. The most basic type comes up to your waist, and goes down to just above your knees. For a little extra protection from the sun and cooler weather, you can opt for "knickers," or "3/4 shorts," which are a bit longer and come down to below the knees.

Cycling KnickersThe "bib shorts" continue up above your waist, and have overall-like straps that go over your shoulders. Although these look a little odd at first to some people, once they try them, the comfort over regular shorts is amazing, because you don't have worry about the shorts sliding down or the waistband bunching up. They are a little more inconvenient during mid-ride bathroom breaks, however.

The knicker-length shorts with the bib-style uppers are referred to as "bib knickers."

Cycling Skort for WomenCycling shorts come in women's-specific styles to better fit a woman's shape. Basic shorts for women sometimes come in shorter lengths that come to about mid-thigh, for those women who like to show off their toned cycling legs. Bib shorts, knickers, and bib knickers are all available in women's-specific sizes. Some bib shorts for women have buttons that allow the straps to be undone, to make those bathroom breaks a little easier.

Also available for women are cycling "skorts," with a regular tight cycling short attached to an outer, more modest-looking skirt.

Baggy Cycling ShortsBaggy shorts, or just "baggies," are cycling shorts that have the tight liner short on the inside, but also an outer layer that looks like regular casual shorts, often with handy cargo pockets. Baggy shorts can be a little warmer than regular cycling shorts on hot days, but the outer layer is made from a lightweight nylon or similar material that still has good ventilation and moisture management.

Some baggies have the inner liner permanantly sewed in, while others have a removable liner. Baggy shorts are also available in knicker-length versions.

3. Try before you buy

Try on the different styles of shorts to find out which you prefer. Remember that cycling shorts are designed for optimal fit while positioned for cycling, so they will feel a bit awkward while you're standing and walking around, but the feeling will be very different on your bike.

For sanitary reasons, wear your underwear when trying on cycling shorts (men - go with briefs that day instead of boxers).

Cycling shorts usually don't come in numbered sizes like pants, but just come in Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large, and XX-Large. Eye them up at first to take a good guess, then go up or down in size as needed as you try them on.

Try several models at different price points to find the best combination of performance and value. What's the difference between a cheap cycling short and an expensive one? Most of the cheaper shorts use a basic fabric and a one-piece sewn-in chamois. Better shorts have a double-sided fabric that optimizes the moisture-wicking properties. Some shorts have flat-stitched seams on the inside for more comfort, and utilitize strategically-shaped fabric panels for better fit and motion. Some chamois have anti-bacterial treatment and multiple layers of foam in varying densities in specific places for optimal fit and comfort.

4. Proper wearing of cycling shorts

Rule #1 - you do NOT wear your underwear under cycling shorts. Having a pair of cotton underwear inside your cycling shorts negates all of the benefits provided (friction control, moisture management).

If you have bib shorts or bib knickers, your cycling jersey goes OVER the bib straps, not under. Thus, if you're wearing them properly, nobody should ever know you're wearing bibs if they see you during a ride.

Road CyclistMost road bikers prefer regular cycling shorts, while mountain bikers like baggies, because the outer layer provides some extra protection from weeds and thorns. This is mostly a matter of tradition, though, and you can wear whichever you like whether you're a roadie or mountain biker.

Some riders who enjoy bike touring or commuting like to wear baggy shorts, because as they interact with people throughout their travels, they look more like a "normal person" rather than a "bike guy."

Baggy shorts with removable liners are convenient for multi-day cycling tours, because you can wear the same outer layer for a couple days in a row, and just put in a fresh liner each day, saving you space in what you have to pack and carry on your bike.

Mountain BikerAlthough cycling shorts go a long way on their own to enhancing the comfort of your ride, applying a cream (such as Paceline Products' Chamois Butt'R) to the inside of the chamois can further help to reduce friction and chafing during especially long rides.

After your ride, change out of your cycling shorts and shower or bathe as soon as possible. Despite the moisture-wicking ability of even the best shorts, a chamois after a long day's ride becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to saddle sores and other unpleasant issues.

5. Care of your shorts

Check the product label for proper care instructions, but in most cases, you'll be fine if you wash your cycling shorts in cold water on the delicate cycle, and hang or lay them flat to dry. Harsh detergents and bleach will shorten the life of the fabric, and fabric softeners will "clog" the material and hamper its moisture-wicking ability.

Go to Century Cycles' website to see our complete archive of 5 Tips articles.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Define your life. Ride a bike...

...in Alaska! (Thanks, Judy!)

...at RAGBRAI! (Thanks, JasonJo!)

...at the Bike MS Challenge in Columbus! (Thanks, Bonnie, who wrote us: "Trust me, this being our first ever 50 mile ride, lots of bikers saw our shirts as they passed us!  You guys rock!  I buy all my families bikes from your RR location.  Even still after moving to Columbus 7 years ago!"

Keep those photos coming! #RideOn!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pajama Party Night Ride is August 10: Bike in your bedtime clothes!


It's baaaack! Century Cycles is once again putting the old-fashioned slumber party on two wheels for its 4th Annual Pajama Party Night Ride on the Towpath Trail on Saturday, August 10, at 7 p.m. at the Century Cycles store in Peninsula (1621 Main Street/Route 303).

This nighttime bicycle ride in bedtime clothes is free with no pre-registration necessary, but riders are asked to bring a new children's book, stuffed animal or small flannel blanket for Project Night Night  (www.projectnightnight.org), a children's charity that provides nighttime comfort packages to homeless children. 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.)


Pajamas are not required but HIGHLY encouraged. (Seriously. We all wear them. And no jokes about how you wear nothing to bed -- nobody wants to hear that.) No matter what pajamas or bedtime attire you wear, be sure it doesn't hang or get caught in your bicycle’s spokes or chain. That would be a drag. (Yeah, you can't say lame jokes, but we can.)

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. This event is free, open to the public, and suitable for all levels of pajama-clad bicyclists.
 

Never biked a Night Ride, or need additional information? Visit www.centurycycles.com/goto/nightrides for more details, videos from past rides, and tips for first-time Night Riders.

Monday, July 22, 2013

We saw the light on the NiteRider Night Ride (and only a little rain)

Photo by NiteRider.
Last Saturday, for the fifth straight year, NiteRider Lights sent their demo rig and ambassador Tommy Bryant to a Century Cycles Night Ride -- making it one of their many stops at some of the best nighttime bicycling events around the country!

Nearly 200 people attended the Night Ride and many tried a NiteRider light for free -- learning why they are brightest and best lights out there (and why so many CCers have them on our bikes)!


Ron and Holly Pierce (above) caught our eye when they arrived for the Night Ride, trailering their bikes on their Honda Gold Wing motorcycle! Customer of Century Cycles - Medina, the Pierces try to attend as many Night Rides as they can each summer. Their dedication to two wheels must have brought them luck -- Ron went on to win the random drawing for the NiteRider Pro 750 headlight (MSRP: $349.99), provided by NiteRider.

We had two other very special guests at the Night Ride -- Krista Miller and Justin Zuchowski (below), who are pictured on the front of our 2013 Night Ride card!



Once we got on the trail, a brief and unexpected cloudburst at the very start of the ride meant that many folks were sporting a stylish muddy streak up their backs. The rain soon stopped and a beautiful sunset rewarded the riders.

Start planning now for the next Night Ride, which is usually our biggest of the year -- the Pajama Party Night Ride on August 10! (Yes, we all really wear our pajamas.) All the details are at www.centurycycles.com/for/NightRides. See you there!

Friday, July 19, 2013

It's Not Too Late to Take the Challenge!

If you haven't taken the National Bike Challenge this summer, it's not too late! And what are you waiting for?! Go to www.nationalbikechallenge.org to very quickly and easily register, then just-as-quickly-and-easily log your miles (even just 1 or 2!) spent bicycling from now through September 30.

Every mile you bike and log will also help Cleveland beat Pittsburgh. Forget the football field. Cleveland is currently locked in an epic Rust Belt Battle of the Bikes, and so far Pittsburgh is (gasp! gag! eyeroll!) winning. Who knows? YOUR bike miles could turn the tide and bring us victory!

We at Century Cycles are not just talking the talk; we are biking (and logging!) the miles, led by Krista McNamee -- the riding rock star in our Rocky River store is on top of the leaderboard for Northeast Ohio women! And Century Cycles as a team (which anyone can feel free to join when they register!) is #3 in the area! #RideOn

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Super Saturday: 3 Great Bike Rides on July 20!

This Saturday, July 20, Northeast Ohio is home to three classic local cycling events, all sponsored and supported by Century Cycles! We don't think it's possible to do all three rides, but if you're especially dedicated, you can definitely squeeze in two of them!

 
Ice Cream OdysseyIce Cream Odyssey Ride
This is one sweet, scenic, mostly rural and rolling ride of 25, 42, or 62 miles. There's an ice cream stop on the two longer routes, and ice cream and a cookout for everyone at the finish!
Location: Medina
More info and registration: www.centurycycles.com/get/icecream


Dog Days Wine Tour
Dog Days Wine Tour
Five optional routes of 35, 50, 65, 100, or 125, each visiting Lorain County wineries, with a cookout and live music at the finish.
Location: LaGrange
More info and registration: www.silverwheelscycling.com/dog-days-wine-tour/



Night Ride on the Towpath Trail NiteRider Demo Night

The next of our popular Night Rides is our 5th Annual NiteRider Demo Night. Test out a high-end bicycle lighting system for free (first-come, first-served), and everyone who attend the Night Ride can enter to win a free NiteRider MiNewt Pro 750 (MSRP $349.99) from NiteRider!
Location: Peninsula Century Cycles
More info: www.centurycycles.com/for/NightRides



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Another Towpath Trail update from Ohio Canal Corridor

Looking forward to when the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail can be biked all the way to the shore of Lake Erie? It's on the way, and here's the latest update for July from Tim Donovan of the Ohio Canal Corridor.

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

Monday, July 15, 2013

Support Safer Streets in Ohio

Please support safer streets for Ohio bicyclists and Drivers by asking your State Representative to pass Hour Bill 145.

HB 145 includes two provisions to help Ohio bicyclists:

1. Ohio law already requires  that motorists pass bicyclists leaving a safe passing distance. HB 145 sets the safe passing distance as "not less than 3 feet."  Over twenty states already have a 3-foot rule, and the rule is endorsed by both AAA and the League of American Bicyclists. Setting the 3-foot rule helps with education and enforcement of safe driving practices.

2. Ohio law already lists situations in which vehicles may proceed through an intersection when a traffic signal isn't working.  HB 145 adds another situation--it allows "Failure of a vehicle detector to detect the vehicle." This is a common problem for bicyclists when the weight of the bicycle doesn't trigger the light to change, and the bicyclists is stuck waiting until a car triggers the detector.  

HB 145 is scheduled to be taken by the Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee in September. Please contact your State Representative (using this quick and easy online form) and ask them to Support HB 145.

Friday, July 12, 2013

NEW: Chamois Butt'R for HER

For comfort on your bicycle seat, the best first defense is a good pair of cycling shorts. However, even with the best shorts, on those extra-long rides, or multi-day bike tours, you might need a little something extra.

Chamois Butt'R has been one of the most popular chamois creams and skin lubricants around for many years. Now, for the feminine set, there's a Chamois Butt'R made specifically for you.

Her' Chamois Butt’r was developed by a female sports medicine physician in cooperation with professional women cyclists. It's a non-greasy skin lubricant that improves your riding comfort by preventing rubbing and chafing.

Her' is pH-balanced for a woman, and utilizes premium ingredients including aloe vera, green tea leaf extract, tea tree oil, shea butter, and lavender oil for their naturally-occurring beneficial properties.

$15.99 for an 8-ounce tube, in stock now at Century Cycles stores.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Check out the new Sierra Trail Mix flavor from Clif Bar

Clif Bars have been a favorite snack of cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts since the company's founding in 1992. Since that time, in addition to creating innovative products, the company has been dedicated to their responsibility to our planet, and our communities at home and abroad.

Clif's newest flavor, Sierra Trail Mix, continues that dedication as the first bar to use cocoa grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. In addition to chocolate, the bar also has crunchy peanuts, raisins, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds, creating a balanced sweet and salty flavor.

Now in stock in all three Century Cycles stores; $1.39 each.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Product Review: BiKase DriKase Smartphone Holder


Two summers ago, I wrote about my search for the perfect smartphone holder, which included the BiKase Handy Andy. The new DriKase from BiKase is the younger, smarter brother of the Handy Andy. I picked one of these up a few months ago, and have been giving it a good workout on my daily bike commute, as well as on longer rides both on- and off-road.

The design of the DriKase in ingeniously simple. It's got a velcro roll-up closure on one side of the waterproof urethane and nylon case, and a large velcro strap on the back. The clear cover is touch-screen compatible, and there's a clear panel on the back as well, so you can use your camera with the phone in the case.

Wrap the velcro strap around your stem (as shown above) to view your phone in portrait mode, or wrap it around your handlebar to view your phone in landscape mode. If you've got already got a computer, headlight, bell, or other accessories on your handlebar or stem, it might get a little crowded, but that's going to happen with any smartphone case.

The velcro strap is easily removable, so if you don't need to see your phone while you're riding, you can still get the waterproof protection of the case, and stuff it in your jersey pocket, handlebar bag, or pannier.

As a general-purpose case, it won't become obsolete as you upgrade your smartphone. It fits most of the latest models, including iPhones, Droids, and Windows phones, although it won't fit some of the newer, larger models of phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III. There's a separate padded insert inside the case, which helps to take up some of the space when used with an extra-slim phone, and also provides some shock absorption. The insert also has a small pocket, which can serve as a wallet for an ID, credit card, and small stash of cash.

I give the BiKase DriKase two thumbs up, but if you want a second opinion, the gang at UrbanVelo did their own test, which you can read about here. Reviewer "Urban Jeff" said that "the DRiKASE held my phone safely and securely, even on rough city streets" and "I imagine it would take a storm of biblical proportion for rain to get inside."

At $29.99, the BiKase DriKase is a bargain at any price, and now in stock at all three Century Cycles stores.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thanks for another great ride for the Ronald McDonald House!


On behalf of the Ronald McDonald House and Century Cycles, we extend our thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Night Ride on the Towpath Trail to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. The ride was originally scheduled for June 1, but was cancelled due to severe thunderstorms. The re-scheduled ride was held on June 29, 2013.

Here are a few photos from the event:


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

Thanks to the other sponsors who made this event possible:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Towpath Trail - Latest construction update



Progress on construction of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail reaching the shore of Lake Erie is continuing, and Tim Donovan from the Ohio Canal Corridor provides this latest video update from the Scranton Flats!

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Follow Le Tour de France with Century Cycles!

It's Tour de France time, and whether you're new to bike racing fandom, or a Tour-following veteran, you can follow all of the action of the 100th edition of the world's greatest athletic event with Century Cycles!

Just go to the home page of our web site for daily-updated race results, with the winners of today's latest stage, plus the overall leader board.

For insights on this year's race course, stars to watch, glossary of terms, and FAQ, check out our 2013 Tour de France Guide.

Catch up on the latest exciting images from the race with our Tour Photos of the Day.

And, for you data junkies, you can even understand exactly the amount of physical exertion needed to cross the finish line with our Daily Tour Power Analysis.

Giant Bicycles, as a major Tour and team sponsor, has been running their new "Faster" advertisement during the Tour's TV coverage. If you missed it, we've got it right here:

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

All three stores CLOSED on July 4th

PLEASE NOTE: All three Century Cycles stores will be CLOSED on Thursday, July 4, 2013 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Sorry for any inconvenience! We will be open for our regular hours all other days.

Happy Birthday, U.S.A! We wish all of you a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sunday Services - Group road bike ride in Peninsula on July 7

This Sunday, July 7, 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