Monday, December 31, 2007

Pedal in the New Year

Start the new year off right by joining one of two annual cycling traditions on New Year's Day. The Medina Bicycle Club's ABCDEFGHIJ! ride starts at 12 noon at the Public Square on Medina. Show up a little early to be a part of the group photo. Several of us from the CC staff plan to be there.

Or, join the Cleveland Area Mountain Biking Association for the New Year's Day Poker Run ride in downtown Cleveland.

However you ring in the new year, please do it safely! We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve all of our customers over the past year, and look forward to seeing you all again in 2008 and beyond!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A shelf of bike-love at Room Service

If you're near W. 65 and Detroit Avenue in Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, check out Room Service, a wonderfully eclectic home furnishings store recently opened by owner Danielle DeBoe. Like us, Danielle loves to ride her bike and she has devoted a shelf in her store to postcards, note cards, a coloring book, and t-shirts from artist Taliah Lempert, who creates bicycle paintings. Danielle said she always plans to have a few bicycling-related gifts in the store (and also something cuckoo-clock related, but that's a whole 'nother story).

Have you found any nifty bike-related gifts during your holiday shopping rounds? If so, spill the beans and let the rest of us know about them, so we can continue to feed our bicycle passion and support cool local retailers.

P.S. Speaking of "beans," here's a little known fact: Many a Century Cycles advertisement has been brainstormed into being at Gypsy Beans Cafe on the corner of W. 65 and Detroit. Key brainstorming ingredients supplied: Excellent coffee, yummy food, and free Wi-Fi.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bicycling Magazine likes the Giant TCR AW

The road bike reviews in Bicycling Magazine for the new 2008 models had good words to say about the Giant TCR AW. You can read the review here. The "W" in the name stands for "women's-specific." Giant has been designing bikes specifically for women for a few years now, and it's not just pink paint and narrower handlebars. Since most women have longer legs in relation to their torso compared to men, the Giant women's models have a shorter top tube length for better fit. The TCR AW also uses Shimanos R700 brake/shifter lefters, which have a shorter reach for smaller hands.

The "A" in the name is for Giant's Alliance technology, which uses a mixture of carbon fiber and aluminum in the frame, to provide the smooth-riding benefits of carbon fiber, without the usual carbon-fiber price tag. We have a few similar models that are available for an extended demo, the OCR A0 and OCR A1. Call or stop by one of our stores to arrange to take one for a spin for a day or two!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our Latest eNewsletter

The latest edition of the Century Cycles eNewsletter has just been e-mailed out. You can read the online version here. If you'd like to receive your own copy by e-mail from now on, just go to our sign-up page and enter your address.

In other news, we send a shout-out and thanks to George Nemeth of Brewed Fresh Daily, a popular Cleveland-area blog, for mentioning and linking back to our post of last week about shopping locally.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bikes vs. Ice Storm

After looking at this picture from Missouri, I don't think we can complain too much about the Cleveland winter just yet. Thanks to CC staffer Matt for finding the picture. His comment: "That would suck." That it would, Matt, that it would.

Top 10 Holiday Gifts - #10

Last But Not Least: World Peace and More Places To Ride. This is the perennial wish for us all, for a peaceful, healthy environment where we can all share the road. If you know someone who already "has it all," consider giving them a membership in the Adventure Cycling Association (http://www.adventurecycling.org), the League of American Bicyclists (http://www.bikeleague.org), the International Mountain Bicycling Association (http://www.imba.com) or Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (http://www.railtrails.org).

Speaking of cycling organizations, a story aired on Wed. Dec. 12 on WKSU highlighted the efforts of the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) in building and maintaining many of our local mountain bike trails. Included are interviews with CAMBA founder Mike Farley, local parks officials, and other trail-building volunteers. You can listen to the story here, which also includes a helmet-cam video of a rider at the Alum Creek State Park trail near Columbus.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another CC to love

Over 30,000 people subscribe to the Cool Cleveland email newsletter to learn what's happening around the area. For the second holiday season in a row, Cool Cleveland is posting a Holiday Buying Guide, and we're so proud to share that that CC has shown this CC the love, listing Century Cycles under the "Outdoors, Health, and Wellness" category.

Cool Cleveland managing editor Peter Chakerian sums up best why they do a Holiday Buying Guide:
The Holiday Season is HERE, and whether you're prepared for it or not, we here at Cool Cleveland are here to help you think outside the (Big) Box (stores). From Black Friday on, we'll have a list of local shop owners, purveyors and proprietors to help you support NEO's artisans, neighborhood Mom & Pop shops and crafty/creative types across the region. Buying local is a smart, equitable and sustainable business practice that helps of support your local economy.

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Buying local -- from Century Cycles and other local retailers -- really does make a difference in our cities and neighborhoods, plus to the bicycling community in this area as a whole. Buying bikes and accessories from big box stores like Wal-Mart, Performance, or Target does have an impact on our local economy -- not to mention the fact that you don't get the expert service, knowledgeable staff, or high-quality products you need and want.

But this is preaching to the choir. Thank YOU for remembering to buy local and reminding your friends and families to do so, too -- at the holidays and all year long.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

You're not the only one itching for a new bike

When Bicycling magazine asked their readers what they upgraded this year, 45% said "I got a whole new bike." The complete poll results:

What did you upgrade this year?
  • I got a whole new bike: 45%

  • Wheels and tires: 24%

  • Fork: 13%

  • Drivetrain: 11%

  • Bar or shifters: 7%

Source: Bicycling, January/February 2008

Monday, December 10, 2007

Are bicyclists alllowed to ride in bus-only lanes downtown?

In this morning's The Plain Dealer, the transportation column featured a question and answer about where bicyclists are supposed to ride on downtown streets with bus-only lanes. Below is the full Q & A (or click here to read the whole column):

Kathryn Harlow of Cleveland asked:
Where are bicyclists supposed to ride on downtown Cleveland streets that have bus-only lanes? I have asked policemen monitoring Public Square while it was under construction where we are supposed to ride. They said we are supposed to take up a whole lane! Cars and buses don't like to be behind a bicycle. One streets with dedicated bus lanes, if we are in a car lane, then we have cars trying to pass us on the left and buses on the right. That's really scary. If we ride against the sidewalk, we are in a bus lane and buses will honk very loudly righ behind you until you pull over.

Sarah Hollander, The Compass editor, responded:
Bicyclists should ride in the bus-only lanes, except on Euclid Avenue, where there are separate bike lanes.

Ohio Revised Code 4511.55 tells bicyclists to ride "as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable..." There was some confusion about the rule's application to bus lanes, however, because the rest of the sentence requires bicyclists to follow the same rules as other vehicles. And since cars are banned from the bus-only lanes, wouldn't that apply to bikes, too?

Not in this case, according to Lt. Thomas Stacho, the Cleveland police spokesman. the city's traffic engineering department will work with Cleveland's Planning Department and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to decide whether bus-only signs should be clarified.

The only time you should ride in the middle of a lane is when the right edge of the road is unsafe, because of a hazardous surface, for example, or because a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel side by side.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shop at Century Cycles!

Okay, maybe not in person, but we give the same great customer service no matter who or where you are -- even if you're a country superstar (and Good Housekeeping cover model!) living in Nashville. Here's the story: Last weekend, we got a call from our Electra Bicycles rep, saying Faith Hill and Tim McGraw needed two Electra "Hawaii" cruisers for their daughters. The closest store with the bikes in stock? Century Cycles! We boxed and shipped them the next day, along with our best wishes from "up north" to our two new favorite customers "down south." By the way, the Electra "Hawaii" is also popular with the girls here in Cleveland, too. Come check it out -- we promise to treat you like a superstar, too.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Top 10 Holiday Gifts - #9

The Big Gift Under The Tree: A Bike. "Seeing a bicycle under the tree is a memorable gift, and for many of us is a quintessential experience from our own childhoods," says Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles. Haven’t been on a bike in years? Then test-ride a cruiser-style bike, in particular the Electra Townie ($369.99 and up), which a rider can sit on with feet flat on the ground. Want to ride with your older children for longer distances? A Raleigh Family Tandem ($689.99) will take two of you on faraway fun. Already have a road bike with drop bars? Maybe try a fixie (a bike with only one gear) or a bike designed especially for commuting.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Magnets, Coffee, and Beer (oh my?)

We mentioned in a previous post that we'll be adding coffee mugs and pint glasses to our "Define Your Life Ride a Bike"-themed merchandise. They finally arrived on Friday of last week, so I thought I'd post an update with some photos.

We've also got a new magnetic version of our "Define Your Life Ride a Bike" stickers, using the same design as the stickers that have been available in our stores for most of this year!