Friday, February 29, 2008

A REALLY tall Tall Bike

Most "tall bikes" are made by stacking two bike frames on top of each other, but this one is a four-decker:

To learn more about Tall Bikes, their history, and construction, a good place to start is the Wikipedia entry. It contains links to photos and other Tall Bike resources.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Author Discusses New Bicycle Book in Hudson on March 8, 2008

Jim Joyce is the editor of -- and contributor to -- The Bicycle Book: Wit, Wisdom & Wanderings, a collection of stories, essays and cartoons from a talented corps of 25 writers and cartoonists, including a Pulitzer Prize winner and cartoonists whose work has appeared in Reader's Digest, Discover, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Dirt Rag, and other leading publications. It's a tribute to the bicycle by those who love to ride.

Jim Joyce will be a guest of The Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main Street, Hudson, OH 44236, phone 330-653-2252) on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 1:00pm. There will be a book discussion, followed by book signing, and refreshments will be on hand, too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cleveland's Velodrome

Those in the NE Ohio cycling commumity are probably already familiar with this project, but I thought I'd mention it here just because we haven't before, and provide some links for more information to those who may not have been keeping up with the project.

A group calling themselves Fast Track Cycling has been working for over a year on this project, which will include an indoor traditional banked wooden track, and outdoor asphalt track, and a BMX track. It will be located near the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea.

Project Web Site:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bicycle Commuting: Lance's new focus, death's old enemy

Lance Armstrong is getting in the bike store business:
One would think it'd be a bicyle racer's mecca, but Armstrong has a completely different idea. His 18,000-square-foot bike shop now being built in downtown Austin, Texas, will cater to . . . bicycle commuters. In a story in the Austin American Statesman, Armstrong and his partners said the shop, slated to open in May, will be called Mellow Johnny's (the name a takeoff on the nickname Armstrong was given for wearing the Tour de France leader's "maillot jaune," or yellow jersey). In addition to selling and servicing bicycles, the store will have showers and a locker room that commuters who work in the nearby office buildings can use. It will also house a Carmichael Training Systems facility. The overall goal is to encourage the bicycling culture in Austin one beginning rider at a time -- and to make the city more bike friendly along the way.

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Commuting your way to a longer life:
Riding your bike to work or the library can help you live longer. A recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology tracked the mortality rates of 67,143 women over a span of more than five years. In addition to regular exercise, those who performed more non-exercise physical activity -- such as riding a bike for transportation -- reduced their risk of early death by anywhere from 20 to 50 percent. (source: Bicycling, 10/2007)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Videos from Raleigh and Giant

This video gives an inside look at the production process for Raleigh's A.C.E. carbon-fiber frame technology. You'll have to forgive their spelling in a few cases...

This is the Team frame used in all of their carbon road bikes, such as the '07 Supercourse and the '08 Prestige, both of which we have in stock!

This next video is an abbreviated version of the one we saw during our Staff Retreat the other day, about Giant's Maestro full-suspension technology, and why it's superior to other full-suspension designs. You'll have to use this link to see it; they turned off the ability to embed it directly into blogs.

On a totally unrelated note, today happens to be National Margarita Day. So, see the two links below for more information, and celebrate!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let Levi Ride!

On February 13, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO) barred Team Astana from competing in any race or event organized by the ASO in 2008, which includes Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours and the Tour de France. The ASO cited the doping scandals of last year’s Tour de France as justification.
Yet, there's no comparison between the 2007 Astana team and the new Astana. The entire organizational structure has been rebuilt under the direction of the new general manager, Johan Bruyneel, who has thoroughly cleaned house. What’s more, Astana has adopted the rigorous doping controls developed by anti-doping expert Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, and Astana now spends more money on anti-doping controls than any other pro team.
“That the happenings of last year… prompted the Tour organizers to leave Astana out of the season’s most important races sounds understandable,” notes Bruyneel. “However, the 2008 Astana has nothing to do with the team of last year. We've done everything to change the dynamics of the team, new management, new riders, new philosophy, only the name of the sponsor remains.”
But, the ASO has turned a blind eye to Johan’s efforts. By barring the entire team outstanding athletes like Levi Leipheimer, who was not a member of last year’s Astana team and who has never been implicated in any doping affair, are forced to sit on the sidelines while their life’s work passes them by.
“When I saw the Tour de France on TV when I was young,” laments Leipheimer, “I knew that someday I wanted to do that race. I sacrificed my life to participate. After finishing on the podium last year I want to do even better. Now I’m a victim of an illogical decision and have been excluded from the race."

Show your support for Levi and Team Astana and join the Campaign to Let Levi Ride!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Staff Retreat Day 2

The second day of our annual Staff Retreat featured "all sales reps, all day." First up was Larry Lewallen from Giant Bicycles, who brought his Trance X2 to show off. He also showed us a video about their exclusive Maestro technology that is used in their full-suspension mountain bikes.

Next, Neil Lewellyn gave us an update on products from Speedplay pedals, Serfas, and Endura clothing.

Our Raleigh sales representative, Sean Burkey, told us about their newest models, including the Detour 6.5 that he brought, which is a heavy-duty commuting-oriented hybrid.

To wrap things up, Kevin Lockwood of Bianchi USA gave us the run-down on their 2008 models.

All of the photos from this year's retreat can be found here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Staff Retreat Day 1

The first day of our annual Staff Retreat began with discussions about our preparations for the upcoming season. We were visited by Bill Rehor, who is our sales representative for Haro Bicycles, Shimano, and Bell Sports (which includes Giro helmets and Blackburn accessories).

Next up was Chip Ellison from Pearl Izumi, showing us their latest cycling shoe line, and also providing us with a detailed overview of the materials and construction of their different models of cycling shorts. Both Chip and Bill allowed us to be among the first to hear the announcement of the sale of the Pearl Izumi company. Shimano will be buying Pearl Izumi from its former parent company, Nautilus. Shimano plans to continue to let Pearl Izumi operate as an independent company, so that means there will be no immediate changes regarding the shoes and apparel that we carry from both companies.

Gary Thomas, our sales representative for Electra Bicycles and Tifoso sunglasses, gave us an overview of their new products for 2008.
Adam, Michael R, and Krista worked on cooking our dinner for the evening, while Debbie and Brandy of Nature's Touch Wellness Center provided all of us with massages!
Later in evening, we enjoyed playing pool, jamming on guitar and bass, and a couple of us even camped out!
To see all of our pictures from the event, go here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Local pro cyclist featured in the PD

We have an accomplished pro cyclist here in our midst in Northeast Ohio, Brooke Miller, and she was recently featured in an interview in the Plain Dealer. Read it here...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Does anyone still care about pro cycling?

An article in today's New York Times -- "Trying to Dissipate Cloud Over Cycling" -- gives a good overview of the sorry state of pro cycling, just as the season is poised to begin today with the start of the Tour of California.

The sport is in disarray and I know I should probably give up the ghost, but I'm still jealous of my friends from Oregon, who are traveling south this week to watch the race (and also plan to go to Belgium later this year to see some European racing). Being on Alpe d'Huez one day, cheering on the riders who are zipping past, still has a place on the list of things I want to do before I die. I guess that means I still care.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Women's Weekend at Ray's MTB

Join Dirt Rag Magazine at Ray's MTB Indoor Park for a Women's Weekend! It all starts on Friday, February 22, with a FREE Ladies-Only Day from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Then, on Saturday February 23 and Sunday February 24, women ride free, and enjoy bike demos and clinics with pros, including biking legend Toby Henderson.

Go to for full details and to RSVP!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our Latest eNewsletter

Our latest monthly eNewsletter was sent out this morning. If you're not already on our mailing list, you can read it online here. There's a link to join our mailing list if you'd like to receive them in your Inbox in the future.

You can see all of our past eNewsletters here.

Friday, February 8, 2008

North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Today, through Sunday, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) is taking place in the bike capital of the USA, Portland, Oregon. Forty years ago, the center of the hand-crafted bicycle world was South London, England. Today, that focus has shifted to the United States. The NAHBS is both a result of the trend, and a catalyst for the further expansion of the industry.
No matter what our current brand or riding preferences are, most of us can appreciate the beauty of a fine handcrafted cycling machine. The show's web site at has pictures, as well as profiles of all the builders in attendance. A quick web search shows lots of other coverage, such as from the Pittsburgh-based 'zine UrbanVelo.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New Rental Bikes

Another winter project in the Peninsula store is assembling the rental bikes for the season, which we replace about every 2-3 years. We've already finished setting up about 20 new Raleigh Venture 4.0's, 6 Electra Townie 3-speeds, and 4 Raleigh Mountain Scouts for the kids. We just received the final batch of another 18 Venture 4.0's today.

(I know these are horrible pictures; I only had my cell phone camera with me today...)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The PD's It List

Thanks to the Plain Dealer for including our Pink Sweetheart Pajama Party cruiser bike on their It List of Jan. 30. You can read the article on their web site here, or we've archived it on our web site here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sheldon Brown 1944-2008

As reported by

"Sheldon Brown, the human encyclopedia of bicycling knowledge and a famous employee of Harris Cyclery in Massachusetts, died of a massive heart attack Sunday evening, February 3, according to his wife Harriet.

The 63-year-old bicycle expert was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in August 2007, limiting his prior upright bicycling and workload. His many trademarks include a longish gray leprechaun beard and shaved head. He was also well-known for patiently and thoroughly answering his 500 - 1000 daily emails.

Our thoughts are with Brown's family during their time of loss. His contributions to the bicycle industry were great, and his enduring legacy shall be greater."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Wooden Bicycle

Check out this story about a teenager who built a bicycle completely out of wood as a school project.

Particularly interesting is his account of the complications he ran into in making the chain. A bicycle chain has more moving parts than the rest of the bike combined, so he had his work cut out for him!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Carbon Fiber for the rest of us

Are you looking for a new bike, something that's faster and lighter to help you tackle Pedal to the Point or other high-mileage events, but you don't want to give up the comfortable, upright riding position of your trusty old hybrid? One of the popular flat-bar road bikes may be just the ticket, and nothing combines the best of both worlds like the Raleigh Cadent FC, brand new and in stock in all three of our stores now!

Raleigh's ACE Evolution Carbon in the frame and fork gives you racer technology, while the Re2P geometry gives you comfort for the long haul. The Shimano Sora drivetrain may have an entry-level reputation, but because of trickle-down technology, today's Sora gives you the same performance and bling factor as the Dura-Ace of a half-dozen years ago.

The drivetrain includes a crankset with compact chainrings. The 50-tooth and 34-tooth chainrings give you low enough gears to tackle steep climbs almost like a triple crankset, but with the low weight and reliability of a double.

The whole package weighs in at a svelte 21 pounds (based on the 54cm model, with Shimano pedals). The price is $1,549.99; remember that through the end of February, you can take advantage of our Bonus Bucks, which means that with the purchase of this bike, you'll get a Century Cycles Gift Card worth $154.99 that you can use towards a new helmet, shorts, or any other clothing, parts, or accessories!