Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ray's MTB on WKSU

Ray's MTB Indoor Park was featured in a story this morning on WKSU. Interviews are featured with Ray himself, as well as visitors from such far-flung locales as Pittsburgh, PA and Louisville, KY. You can listen online here on WKSU's site; photos and videos can also be found there.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Brent's magazine cover debut

Brent from our Peninsula store is featured as the "mountain biker" on the cover of the latest issue of Ohio Sports & Fitness Magazine for February 2008. Pick up your free copy to keep and cherish forever at any of our stores and other northeast Ohio locations.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bicycle Maintenance Class in Strongsville this Saturday!

The Strongsville Schools have organized a Basic Bicycle Maintenance Class, which will be taught by our own Don Barnett from the Medina store! The class is open to anyone of all ages; you do not have to be a resident of Strongsville nor a student in the Strongsville Schools.

Strongsville High School
20025 Lunn Rd.
Strongsville, OH 44136
Date: Saturday, February 2, 2008
Time: 9:00-11:00am
Cost: $19.00 per person

To register for the class, call 440-572-7025.

The class will cover the same material as the Basic Bicycle Maintenance Class that we teach in our stores!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Meet and Greet at the 3rd Annual CAMBA Interclub Social

The Cleveland Area Mountain Biking Association, in cooperation with the Cleveland Triathlon Club, Cleveland West Road Runners Club, Cleveland Touring Club, Ohio Nordic Ski Club, and more, present the 3rd Annual Cleveland Interclub Social.

Date: Friday, March 14, 2008
Time: 7:00-10:00pm
Location: Rock Bottom Brewery in the Flats (Cleveland)

You don't have to be a member of any of the above organizations to attend!

$10.00 entry fee includes appetizers, a chance to mingle with other athletes in our area, and an opportunity to learn about other exciting Cleveland-area athletic groups.

Please RSVP to

Friday, January 25, 2008

Wear your knee/shin guards

I made another visit to Ray's MTB Indoor Park last Saturday. After riding around the xc loop and the beginner section for only about 20 minutes, I had a run-in with one of the rock gardens. Even though I did and "involutary dismount" from my bike, I didn't hit my head at all, but did take a good hit from one of my pedals to my left knee. Mind you, this would not have been a problem had I been smart enough to wear my knee/shin guards. So, for the past week, and I'm not sure how much longer, I'm shuffling around in a knee brace and crutches.

It's a bummer, but better in January than July. And, it could have been a lot worse, like the folks in these 15 Greatest Mountain Bike Crash videos...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Be a Part of the Solution

Interested in the future of Bicycle Transportation in Northeastern Ohio? Plan on attending the "Public Citizens Involvement Committee of Akron Methropolitan Area Transportation Study" (AMATS) meeting tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 at 7:00pm.

The Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) is the federally designated agency responsible for directing the cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive (or "3-C") transportation planning process in Summit and Portage counties and the Chippewa Township area in Wayne County. This responsibility entails the development of regional transportation policies, plans, and programs, including the development of a long-term Regional Transportation Plan and a short-term Transportation Improvement Program. Their web site is:

The meeting will be held in the Silver Lake Village Hall at 7:00pm. Call 330-275-2436 for additional information. This meeting will focus on transportation requirements and includes bicycling.

Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study
Citizens Involvement Committee
7:00pm January 24, 2008
Silver Lake Village Hall
2961 Kent Road
Silver Lake, Ohio

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Teaching English from a Bicycle in China

I'm passing on this information on an annual event of the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op, the Marmots' Meander (which turns out to also be a "Groundhog Day" ride this year)...

Happy New Year!

Please join us, and invite your friends, to enjoy the winter weather, look for signs of Spring, and learn about bike culture in Cleveland, Ohio and Chengde, China:

Saturday February 2nd 2008

6th Annual Marmots' Meander
Groundhog Day Ride

followed by a one-hour slide presentation by member Joni Lewanski:
"Teaching English from a Bicycle in China," her account of 7 months spent teaching in, and riding around Chengde – join us for this even if you don't ride!

Meet (at the bike co-op) after 10am, ride leaves around 11am. Supper* served (back at the bike co-op) beginning at 1pm, slide presentation from 3 – 4pm.

Ride (6 to 40 miles, flat terrain) to Clark Field sledding hill (3 miles); stay for sledding, or continue to the new Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation Mountain Bike Trail (7 miles); ride the trail (if it's not wet) and/or continue south on the Towpath Trail into the CuyahogaValley National Park. Return on the same route**.

Helmets are required (loaners available), and mountain bikes are recommended (a limited number are available for rent, or for loan to members who clean and tune them up afterwards). Bring any sleds, skis or snowboards you can carry (some loaners will be provided, and transported). We'll break out the ski-bikes, and perhaps a sleigh-bike if we get it built. Our new, gas-powered (!?) bike-washing equipment will be available (and the shop for drying and re-lubing) after the ride.

If you plan to ride and sled and then stay for the slide show, feel free to bring dry clothes to change into. Bring a lock if your bike will be unattended.

* Hot Cider and Cocoa will be provided at the sledding hill; supper is vegan Chili with meat and dairy on the side. Potluck side dishes and beverages are welcome.

** Some members will be carrying tools along, but this is an unsupported ride.

This event is free and open to all, but of course donations are always appreciated to pay for food and heat, and to help fund our year-round bicycle education work.

This event will also be our first members' meeting for 2008, so we'll spend a few minutes before the slide show to talk about plans for the year, new member benefits, and your suggestions for improving Co-op operations.

I hope to see many of you there -- Think Snow!

Warmest regards,

--Jim Sheehan
Director, Ohio City Bicycle Co-op
1823 Columbus Rd
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
216 830 2667

Monday, January 21, 2008

Keep Warm Indoors? Nah...

Thanks to the Akron Beacon Journal for mentioning us in their article in yesterday's edition, highlighting a few activities that area residents enjoy in spite of the cold weather. You can read the article here on their web site while it's still available, or here on our web site.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Day in the Life at Century Cycles

Although people may be slowing down their bike mileage this time of year, we don't have much time to slow down in our stores, especially in the back room. This is the time that we start to get much of the products that we'll be selling in the coming year. Here's what our tiny stock room in Peninsula looks like on a typical day:

Sometimes, it's even worse, with even less elbow room, especially when a coupon dozen cartons of helmets arrive. This week, among other things, we got a stock of accessories from Raleigh, a supply of trainers from Blackburn, the first of the new shoe models from Pearl Izumi, and the first 16 of the new rental bikes for the coming season (10 Raleighs and 6 Electra Townies). What comes next is verifying each shipment for accuracy, receiving them into our inventory system, applying price tags, and splitting them up for shipment to our other two stores.

More of the new '08 bike models from Raleigh have also arrived recently, including the highly-anticipated touring/commuting bike, the Raleigh Sojourn. In stock and ready for test riding now!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Join the National Mountain Bike Patrol

Training for anyone who would like to become a member of the National Mountain Bike Patrol will take place on Saturday, February 2, 2008 from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the Canalway Center in the Cleveland Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation. The training will consist of First Aid/CPR and learning about the Bike Patrol. Lunch will be provided.

The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association is covering the cost of the training and first aid kits. Each patroller will be responsible for joining IMBA as a Bike Patroller ($50) and the patrol Jersey ($40). There is a financial contribution required, but there are many discounts available o­nly for Bike Patrollers. Best of all, you're helping fellow riders and showing the community that mountain bikers are a responsible and valuable user group. That's how we'll get more trails!

More information can be found here.

Please contact CAMBA by e-mail if you plan o­n coming or have questions:

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Portage Hike & Bike Trail

Even with temps in the low 30's yesterday morning, it was fairly dry, so I figured it would be a good time to bundle up and get some winter miles on the bike. I headed up to Hudson first and met Brent and his girlfiend Sarah for coffee, then decided to head towards Ravenna to check out the Portage Hike & Bike Trail, to scout it for possible use on future sub 24-hour overnights.

I took Ravenna Street from Hudson. I discovered this road last summer; it's a great road for getting around in that area and avoiding the more heavily-travelled roads. It crosses Stow Rd, which can take you into Stow. It crosses Seasons Rd, which is a back way to get you into Streetsboro, and it crosses Rt 43, which you can take into Kent.

I crossed Rt 43, where Ravenna St becomes Ravenna Rd. I turned onto the Portage Hike & Bike Trail at Towner's Woods Park, and headed west on the trail towards Ravenna. I followed the trail for its four-and-a-half miles until it ends at Chestnut Hills Park, then turned around and rode back to Towner's Woods. A light sleet started to fall on my way back. I then took the additional section of trail that goes for a little over half a mile west to Lake Rockwell Rd, which is not really convenient to anywhere. This trail is in good condition, and is a worthy destination for families and other casual riders in the area. But, it will be more useful for commuting and touring once its full length is completed and the connections to other existing trails are made.

I took Lake Rockwell Rd a short distance back up to Ravenna Rd and started to head towards home. I remembered a diner in Kent that I've passed a few times and have been wanting to check out, so I decided to make my way there. As I made the left on Rt 43, the sleet got a little more substantial. I passed a group of golfers teeing off at the Oak Knolls Golf Course, and I wondered which of us qualified for the day's craziest outdoorsmen award.

The diner is called Wild Goats Coffee & Cafe, and it's right on Main St near downtown Kent. The pancakes were decent, the coffee was dark and rich, and the service was friendly. The sleet had passed by the time I finished eating, so it was a dry and pleasant ride on the Summit Bike & Hike Trail back to Peninsula.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Keg Bike Trailer

Here's another in the long list of examples of people combining their two favorite hobbies:

Read the full post from the Drunk Cyclist blog to see a close-up shot of the trailer, as well as various comments debating whether the whole thing is a fake or not (e.g. there's no hand pump or CO2 intake on the keg). Either way, a great idea, and a great use of spare suspension forks!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Winter bicycle commuting tips from snowy Minneapolis

It sure hasn't felt like a Cleveland winter for the past few days, what with the 60-plus-degree temperatures, and a lot of you got out your bikes for a rare January ride. However, you might not just want to put them away when the temps drop later this week.

Stephen Regenold over at The Gear Junkie has a terrific blog post on top 10 tips for winter bicycle commuting. He has all sorts of ways to keep riding (and stay safe/warm) all winter long. Even better, he doesn't look to bicyclists from Portland or Seattle for his information either -- he checked in with people in Minneapolis, the #2 cycling city in the U.S. behind Portland, according to the U.S. Census. I gotta believe they know how to ride in snow, no?

We've been seeing more year-round bicycle riders (and commuters) in our stores lately, looking for winter clothing, studded tires, and the like, so we know you're out there. If you have any tips The Gear Junkie may have forgotten -- or, better yet, tips for riding locally during winter -- we'd like to hear them.

Photo credit: The Gear Junkie

Monday, January 7, 2008

I want my Big Dummy

What is a Big Dummy, you may ask? The Big Dummy is the newest bike frame produced by our pals at Surly Bikes. It was first announced at the Interbike trade show in September of 2006, and has since gone through several prototypes and design revisions, ending up as one of the most eagerly-anticipated new products in the bike industry in several years.

The Big Dummy is a complete bike frame based on the Xtracycle design. The Xtracycle is a product made by a company of the same name, and is a frame extension that attaches to a regular 26"-wheeled mountain bike frame. The Xtracycle frame bolts onto the dropouts where the rear wheel normally goes, and then you put the rear wheel onto the Xtracycle itself. The result is a "longbike," or to use their preferred terminology, a Sport Utility Bicycle. Use it to haul just about anything, from camping gear, groceries, books, to surfboards, lumber, and with the right accessories, even another bike.

Surly announced a few days ago that production of the first run of Big Dummy framesets is now complete, and they should have them available in their warehouse soon (their current estimate is next Tuesday, January 15).

We getting ready to put one on hold for one of the CC staff already. If you'd like to get on board, we can do our best to get you on the waiting list as well. Here's what you'll need to do:

1. Give me a call at 330-657-2209.
2. Let me know what size Big Dummy frameset you'd like (16, 18, 20, or 22-inch).
3. Give me a credit card number (Visa, MC, or Discover). We'll charge you for the full price of $899.99 plus tax.
4. When the Big Dummy framesets are available, we'll get them ordered immediately.

If, for whatever reason during the rush, we are unable to obtain your Big Dummy, we will fully refund your deposit, of course. After we receive your frame, if you'd like us to build it up as a complete bike for you, we'll work out what components you want later.

Local pickup in one of our stores (Peninsula, Medina, or Rocky River) only; we won't ship any Big Dummy out of our area.

If you get a Big Dummy, you've gotta check out the t-shirt, too!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Tara Llanes' Road to Recovery

Pro mountain bike racer Tara Llanes suffered a crash while competing in the Jeep King of the Mountain this past September in Beaver Creek, Colorado. She and her process of recovery from a severe spinal injury were featured on a recent episode of Access Hollywood. You can view a video of the segment on their site.

You can also read her firsthand account of her experience on her MySpace blog, and donate to a recovery fund set up by her friends at the Tara Llanes - Heart of a Champion site.

Bike Joke

A super highway walks in to a bar and kicks everybody's butt. In comes a two-lane county road. The super highway kicks his butt, too.

Then, in comes a little eight-foot-wide strip of asphalt. The super highway hops behind the bar, shivering and hiding. The bartender says, "What are you hiding from? You kick butt."

"Shh!," the super highway says. "That guy's a cyclepath!"

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dragon Bike!

We came across these pictures of a custom-built Dragon Bike. Their comment was that it would be perfect for Chinese food delivery, but our first thoughts were that it would be a great bike for our Night Rides on the Towpath!