Sunday, August 31, 2008

In the news: 2009 Bianchi Pista, gasless vacations, tracking Ray and Kevin

The blogs are a-blaze with news of a flat-bar Bianchi Pista for 2009. -- Urban Velo

"Some racers wore Boy Scout uniforms. Other wore pajamas, a full-body neon skinsuit, bunny ears or fishnet tights. Men willing to do the entire race in briefs received special prizes....In general riders are encouraged not to take the race too seriously, as evidenced by race numbers made of paper plates and a kiddy pool filled with beer." An excerpt from a story about last week's Single Speed World Championship, won by Giant pro rider Carl Decker. -- New York Times: "Single-Speed Race for Multitude of Pedaling Eccentrics"

"At the headquarters of Giant, the island-based bicycle maker, Antony Lo said that if gasoline prices remain high worldwide, government transportation policies will have to change. Then, he said, everyday cycling will sweep across the United States, and later China and India." -- Washington Post: "For bicyclists, a widening patchwork world: As oil prices rise, U.S. lags behind two-wheeled boom in rest of world"

"Eco-travelers have long embraced low-impact travel, biking from campsite to campsite or taking cross-country jaunts on buses powered by veggie oil to make a point. But the high cost of fuel is inspiring more mainstream travelers to embrace a new kind of road trip this year -- the gasless vacation." The article includes a few brief trip profiles and online resources for planning your own gas-free vacation. -- New York Times: "Vacation Plans That Avoid the Pump"

Speaking of bicycling from campsite to campsite, Kevin and Ray are now in Kentucky. Check out their trip blog for a picture of them by the world's biggest Louisville Slugger, plus now you can track their trip progress via satellite thanks to Spot Satellite Personal Tracker. -- Miles4Melanoma
Photo source: Urban Velo

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Century Cycles is closed on Labor Day

All three Century Cycles stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River will be closed on Monday, September 1, for the Labor Day holiday. But we'll be right back at it on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m., and our website is open 24 hours a day at

Another rainy Night Ride

With a storm rolling through the area last evening, a smaller-than-normal crowd showed up for last night's Century Cycles Night Ride. About thirty hearty souls braved the rain to head out on the Towpath Trail, led by our intrepid CC staffer, Doug. (Above pic shows their departure from the store parking lot. Nice color of those stormy skies, no?) Those of us who got soaked on the rainy Night Ride earlier this month -- and had still-vivid memories of hours spent cleaning muddy bikes -- skipped the ride and headed straight to the Winking Lizard for a pint.

Mark your calendars and pray for sunny skies: The next Century Cycles Night Ride on the Towpath Trail is Saturday, September 20, and the last one of 2008 is Saturday, October 11.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Scott's ride to Put In Bay: Bridge detour in Lorain

Some of you may know that volleyball holds a place in Scott Cowan's heart almost as big as bicycling. (Note that very important almost!) Last Friday, he got to combine both, when he rode his bike to Put In Bay for a volleyball tournament. Here's a quick summary of the ride, which includes some helpful information about a detour around the draw bridge in Lorain, should any of you be riding that way any time soon.
The PIB ride was great...57 miles on Friday from the RR store to Sandusky...1:00 jet express that left at 1:15...and I made it there by 1:51!! AND I got my fried balogna sandwich in Vermilion at the Soda Shoppe! Medium cross/headwind till Huron, then cross tailwind (much needed to make it in time)! I played 11 hard games of vball in the 90 degree sun all day Saturday. I had a nice tailwind on the way home...90 degrees, sun, drizzle, and clouds...very relaxing ride!

The draw bridge is UP in Lorain, and the detour (unmarked) is about 4 miles total...easy to follow the closest road to the river (both east and west sides) south to Route 611. The bitch is the BRIDGE across the river is very tall, deceptively steep, super busy, narrow, and fast traffic...with little or no berm! I did realize on the way back that the North side of the bridge had a narrow sidewalk which I will probably use if I have to do it again. It was the biggest hill by far that I had to climb on the ride.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Intro to Bicycle Maintenance on October 18

Our very own Don Barnett, from Century Cycles in Medina, will be teaching "Introduction to Bicycle Maintenance" for Strongsville's Community Education Classes. The class is on Saturday, October 18, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., and it costs $19 for residents ($23 for non-residents). Click here for class and registration info.

It's a good option for those who need a class "fix" before we begin our maintenance class schedule in January, and Don is a great teacher. If I remember correctly, this is his second or third year doing this for Strongsville. Here's the class summary:

This one-day class will provide you with some basic skills to help keep you rolling smoothly and safely and give you some tips to help you enjoy cycling more. Safety inspection and everyday maintenance are covered, plus emergency repairs including hands-on tire-changing, lubrication, and getting the most comfort and fun from your bike with appopriate position, technique, and accessories. Bring your bicycle questions.

Electra's 09 Lineup Sneak Peak

Ok, so we got these smuggled out of Electra's top-secret research facility. Through dangerous underground tunnels, over mountains and through streams of perilous icy frigidness our agent was able to smuggle these top secret images back to us so we can provide you with this behind the scenes peak at Electra's new lineup.
Ok, so we got these in our email, but the pictures are still hot off the press awesome!

Ivan Basso and his Raleigh One-Way

This is pretty cool. Cycling star Ivan Basso recently requested a Raleigh One-Way to get around on. This is a guy who (despite that pesky doping suspension) can ask for any bike out there, but he likes this classic steel bike that Raleigh is producing. Century Cycles could only get one One-Way all year and, needless to say, it's long gone. We'll see about our luck with the 2009 models....

Quick clicks

Forgot to mention one other thing to do this weekend, should you be Chicago-way: The North American Cycle Courier Championship! -- NACCC
See a video interview with Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan, plus read the article "Ride on: The bicycle business gets rolling as gas prices climb and people adopt fit and healthy lifestyles." -- Crain's Cleveland Business
Wear orange in West Branch State Park: Hunting season starts 9/1. -- CAMBA
1,000 bikes to share at the Democratic National Convention. -- Bikes Belong

Everybody's working for the weekend

Friday 8/29 at 8PM: Century Cycles Night Ride on the Towpath Trail, Peninsula. Look at all those people having fun in that picture! You'll have a big smile, too, when you join us for one of the last three night rides of 2008. This is a 15-20 mile FREE bicycle ride guided and supported by CC staff and open to all experience levels. Helmets and bike lights are required. You won't need the light at the beginning of the ride, but it's an absolute must by the end, when a bunch of bobbing red lights is what you'll follow to the reward of an after-ride drink at the Winking Lizard. Click here for more details on the ride. (Photo: Doug Charnock)

Saturday 8/30 at 7:30AM: STOMP Bicycle Adventure, Cuyahoga Valley National Park/Howe Meadow. CC's very own Gary is doing the ride-start SAG for Summit Tour of the MetroParks, which has 63, 25, and 10-mile options, all of which are scenic and hilly. Registration limited to 1,600. Click here for more details.

Looking ahead to next weekend....

Saturday 9/6: Bike With Bachman, Bath Township Hall. This is your last chance to ride along with Summit County Engineer Greg Bachman as he inspects Summit county roads by bicycle. At a time when everyone is complaining about the government, something like this comes along that's pretty cool and restores a shred of faith. Details here.

Sunday 9/7: Hancock Horizontal Hundred, Findlay OH. Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan will be at the pre-ride expo with a CC display on Saturday night and is planning to ride it, too. Click here for the event website, which states "join us for one of the flattest rides in Ohio. Great ride for a first century attempt." So there you have it!

Sat/Sun 9/6-7: Big Valley Race and Festival. There is something for everyone at this two-day bicycling festival located at the Camp Manatoc Boy Scout Camp in the CVNP in Peninsula. The info says: "Come and appreciate this two-wheeled journed known to a privileged few as the 'Manatoc Experience:' Because you know it's never too late to have a life, and it's never too late to change a life." Life-having-and-changing details here.

On this section of Century Cycles' website, we always maintain a schedule of events, rides, and tours. If you are an event organizer, please e-mail your event details to for consideration.

(Post title: Oh, yeah, it's Loverboy. But perhaps this Loverboy, not that.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Medina Gazette dishes out some bicycling lovin

Head on over to The Medina Gazette for the whole story!

Tall men show Surly the love

Brent at CC/Peninsula gave me a heads-up that the Surly's are a hot ticket down there right now, and that they just sold two Surly Long Haul Truckers in one day. BOTH were 62 cm, which is the biggest size they make, a bike we normally sell two of a year, much less two in one day. Give it up for the tall men and their love for Surly!

That said, it's not just a bike for the height-advantaged. The Long Haul Trucker (pictured above) is a great touring road bike for anyone to consider who likes really long bike rides. It's designed by Surly for all day, everyday comfort, whether that's going to work every day or (as Surly says) "to La Paz, Bolivia, via Homer, Alaska." We have a 56cm Long Haul Trucker in stock, as well as a 54cm Cross Check (cyclo cross season is almost here!) and an 18-inch Big Dummy frame. However, most frames and stock completes can be ordered and in by the end of the week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bike polo at Walk+Roll

Bike polo? Cool, said this 8-year-old. Bike polo with no brakes or gears?? Very cool.

Define your Walk+Roll: Al and Ted

Al (left) and Ted, Century Cycles' intrepid drivers, were also at Walk+Roll for Kevin and Ray's "Miles4Melanoma" send-off. Ever wonder how that bike you want to test ride in Rocky River gets to the Medina store for you to try? You have Al and Ted to thank, who transfer product between the three Century Cycles stores.

Al told me he is planning a trip to Paris -- and planning to take his "Define your life" t-shirt with him. If you wore your "Define your life" t-shirt on vacation, e-mail the pictures to Will Al hold the distance record with his Paris pics? Stay tuned!

Monday, August 25, 2008

In the news

CAMBA shows why it takes so darn long to get a new trail in the CVNP -- CAMBA

What was one of Kevin and Ray's inspirations for the 15,000-mile bike journey they are on? Freddie Hoffman, the "man who rode to the moon (and back) (twice)" Now that's a mileage log. -- Miles4Melanoma

NBC has helpfully compiled a collection of all the BMX crashes at the Olympics. --

Adventure Cycling reminds folks that if they are done with a bike map, there is no need to trash it. Make it into a purse! -- How To Make A Map Purse

Define your Walk+Roll: Janet Sensenbrenner

Janet was riding her Raleigh on Martin Luther King Blvd. yesterday at Walk+Roll, and she was definitely among the best-dressed! Her store? Century Cycles in Rocky River.

Define your Walk+Roll: Richard Kolofer

Richard was spotted in his "Define your life" t-shirt at Walk+Roll yesterday. His hometown bicycle store is Century Cycles in Rocky River, where he has purchased four bikes (including one for his grandson) and taken repair classes.

Good luck, Kevin and Ray!

A crowd turned out at Walk+Roll yesterday to wish Century Cycles employees Kevin Madzia and Ray Query a great trip as they embarked on their 15,000-mile bicycle journey to the southern tip of Argentina. Check out the media coverage: WTAM and WKYC Channel 3 both covered their departure.

We'll be posting updates from Kevin and Ray's trip here, but you can always go to their Miles4Melanoma website for their blog, trip information, and how to donate money to the Melanoma Research Foundation. (Kevin's father died of melanoma [skin cancer].)
Ray is off the clock and STILL helping customers!

Ray with his mom and wife. Love the t-shirts, ladies!

Kevin, Ray, and their rigs.

And they're off!

FAQ: Are Kevin and Ray still with Century Cycles? Yes, Kevin and Ray -- who are valued members of our staffs in Peninsula and Rocky River, respectively, and are as popular with us as they are with all of you -- plan to resume their jobs at Century Cycles upon their return. We just consider this a "see you later, guys!" and not a "good-bye," and we wish them all the best.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Last Electra Pink Sweetheart goes to Idaho

And then there were none. Back on August 10, I wrote a post that Century Cycles was down to one Electra Pajama Party Pink Sweetheart cruiser bike in stock, having sold the other one to Jan in California. Well, now the last one is gone, sold and shipped to Ellen in Boise, Idaho. Beth, Ellen's daughter, e-mailed us the whole story:

My mom is so excited about her bike.....just so you know the story....

We were on vacation this past weekend in Yellowstone and saw a girl with the bike...we asked her where she got it and she said a bike shop in Montana....we then started the hunt...our bike shop in Idaho informed us that it was no longer available and would not be in the 2009 line of Electra' then I went to work and started google-ing....I found the blog about Jan in California and found your bike shop! I am so happy and my mom (Ellen) is just tickled "pink" and waiting for her PJ Party Pink 3 to arrive!

We're tickled pink, too! And just because we're out of Pink Sweethearts doesn't mean we don't have a lot of other great Electras (cool fashion cruisers! Townies! Amsterdams!) to put smiles on the faces of bike-riders from here to, well, Idaho.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Akron Bike Week kicks off today

The first Akron Bike Week kicks off today with Bike To Work Day and goes through Saturday, August 30. At Century Cycles, we're particularly proud to be providing the top prizes for the University Park Bicycle Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, August 24 ($100, $50, and $25 Century Cycles gift certificates) and to have our Century Cycles Night Ride on the Towpath Trail on Friday, August 29, be part of the week's festivities.

Click here for more information and a complete schedule -- and enjoy the celebration of everything bicycle!

In other Akron news from today's The Plain Dealer:
Akron will unveil the newest link on the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath at 11:00 a.m. today next to the Inner Belt at Quaker and Ash streets. Bicyclists and hikers will eventually be able to travel from downtown Akron to the Flats on the Towpath. This section boasts a 270-foot bridge over Ohio 59. Later phases will be completed next year and will connect to Barberton. So far more than 73 miles on the more than 100-mile-long trail are done.

The dedication of that bridge is part of Akron Bike Week, with lots of music, food, and festivities planned for the ribbon-cutting. A good reason to cut out early from work on a summer Friday if there ever was one!

BMX bronze medalist Jill Kintner's shout-out to Cleveland

What connection does BMX racing bronze medalist Jill Kintner have to Cleveland? She gave us a "what's up" via e-mail from Beijing, just a few days before winning the bronze medal last night in the women's BMX racing final.

Here's the scoop. So my husband, Jerry, was happy to see BMX in the Olympics, as he raced BMX back in the day ("day"=early 1980s). He and his buddy Ed were way into it. When the Olympics started, Jerry went online for more information about the BMX event and the racers. Imagine his surprise to be on Jill Kintner's website and suddenly see a picture of his friend Ed flash by. Did I mention Ed is now Brother Ed, of Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival, the Cleveland rockabilly band with the motto "kickin' the devil in the balls since 2001"?

Jerry thinks what the hell and e-mails Jill, telling her Brother Ed still has the GT BMX bike he raced way back when. He is stunned when, a few hours later, Jill replies from Beijing. She was at Ray's MTB Indoor Park a while back, she wrote, and thought Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival was awesome when they played there. She even got in the mix when she went on stage to take some pictures. (The pictures in this post were taken by Jill at Ray's.)

Jill's bronze medal is a testimony to hard work, devotion to cycling, and a tribute to her deceased father. Or, as Brother Ed would say, Lord Almighty! Jill valiantly triumphed over infernal Satan with an evil-baiting righteousness!

Congratulations, Sister Jill!

Chris from Medina in New York

Recently Chris from our Medina store went out to New York for some BMX fun. Watch how it turned out below.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

6 reasons to go to Walk+Roll this Sunday

1. Give Century Cycles' own Ray Query and Kevin Madzia an enthusiastic BUEN VIAJE! Wish them a great trip at noon, when they have a grand departure from Walk+Roll for their 15,000-mile bicycle trip to Tierra de Fuego, Argentina. Click here for their departure day details, which also tells you how you can ride with them for part of the day and gets you on their trip website for more information and to donate to Miles4Melanoma.

2. Be the change you want to see happen. Bummed out the Cleveland area is not more bike-friendly? Would love to have more bicycling events to participate in? Then support the ones we already are blessed to have, like Walk+Roll.

3. Show your "Define your life" pride and spread the good bike word! Wear your Century Cycles "Define your life. Ride a bike." t-shirt or baseball cap to Walk+Roll. If I see you while I'm there, I'll take your picture for the blog and give you a sticker or pin to add to your "Define your life" collection.

4. Enjoy the Cultural Gardens. Too many of us have lived in Cleveland all our lives and never experienced these gems -- and we have Walk+Roll, among other forces, to thank for their renaissance. Click here for a PD article on the gardens.

5. Be like the big guys. NYC just shut down 7 miles of streets in Manhattan for a similar event, Portland did one in June, and San Francisco's is next month. But which city was the FIRST ONE in the U.S.?? Walk+Roll in Cleveland! Kudos to organizer Lois Moss for her vision.

6. Oh, yeah -- it's fun. See you Sunday!

For more event details, go to Walk+Roll's website.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Riding on the Towpath, Family Fun!

I'm Drew and fairly new here on the CC team. I'm also probably the newest to cycling out of the crew here. I've always loved to ride, but for the past 10 yrs or so I never had the time. With fatherhood, family life, work, etc I never could get out for the rides like I've wanted to. Since coming to the Peninsula store, I've been able to convince my wife to come out and ride on the towpath with me. We have two children, an eight year old son, Allan and a two year old daughter, Sadie. Finding things the whole family can do has been difficult.

My wife has never been the athletic type. Anything requiring sweat was usually relegated to doing some other time or not at all. Not to say anything derogatory, but she's just not the outdoorsy type. After convincing her that, yes, we could get both kids to come along with us, we went out to the towpath, got everyone bikes and headed out. My wife hasn't ridden a bike in over ten years, and getting started was a bit of stop and go. However once we finally got going it was a blast. I got to spend time with my family doing something I really enjoy-and they found out that they really enjoyed it too! My wife, after our 7 mile ride, couldn't wait to come back. Having this towpath is a great excuse to get out with the family enjoy the outdoors burn some calories and just have a great time. There's also the town of Boston just north our Peninsula store, where we can get refreshments and ice cream. Szalay's Sweet Corn is only a few miles south of us. Having the Locks along the towpath, where you can show a bit of history to your kids is a great attraction. Explaining how cargo was moved along the canal, how water changed levels to move boats up or downhill was great fun for the kids. Spending some quality time with the family away from the city, the TV, the computer games and noise is well worth the trip. Since our Peninsula store offers rentals of bikes, tag-a-longs and trailers there no reason everyone can't come along for the ride. If you're looking for something the whole family will enjoy, come along on the ride. Hope to see you on the trail!

In memorium, part 2

A bike, a beach, and a soothing tune. Ride on, Miles. Ride on....

In memorium to a fallen cyclist: Miles Coburn

Everyone at Century Cycles offers their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Miles Coburn, a JCU professor and avid bicyclist who was hit by an SUV last Saturday and died while riding his bicycle in Newbury Township. (Click here for his obituary, and click here for more on the accident.) Last we heard, the accident was still under investigation, but charges are not expected to be filed. So sad, and what a loss for us all....

It's a helpless and horrible feeling to lose someone too soon, and that they died do what we all love so much. None of us are experts on what to do in situations like this, but we can let you know you can click here for the League of American Bicyclist's advice on responding to tragedy and on how to make a difference after a cyclist has died.

Unfortunately, tragedies like this also raise questions about bicycle safety, and you may be getting asked them from your friends and families. The media is also asking them: Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan was interviewed on "Live on Five" on Monday afternoon, as WEWS reporter Lorna Barrett asked questions about bicycle safety for a piece to accompany the station's report on Coburn's death.

Channel 5 didn't post the video clip on their website, or I would link to it here. However, there are a few points from it that are worth sharing. In the interview, Lorna Barrett refers to a free booklet from the Ohio Department of Transportation called "Ohio Bicycling Street Smarts: Riding Confidently, Legally, and Safely." This booklet includes all Ohio bicycling laws, but that's only the first few pages -- the remaining 45 pages are tips and techniques. It is available at Century Cycles stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River -- and again, it's FREE.

Much of what Scott emphasized in the interview is included in the following tips from the League of American Bicyclists:

The best way to educate motorists on bicyclists' rights to the road is to ride respectfully and have facts on your side. Here are some resources for cyclists and drivers on sharing the road.

Sharing the Road: Cyclists

On the Road:
> The same laws that apply to motorists apply to cyclists
> Obey all traffic control devices
> Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns other users

Always Wear a Properly Fitting Helmet:
> Wear a helmet, no matter how short the trip

Ride on the Right:
> Always ride in the same direction as traffic
> Use the furthest right lane that heads to your destination
> Slower moving cyclists and motorists stay to the right

Ride Predictably:
> Ride in a straight line
> Don't swerve in the road or between parked cars
> Check for traffic before entering street or intersection
> Anticipate hazards and adjust your position accordingly

Be Visible:
> Wear brightly colored clothing that provides contrast
> Use a white front light in low light conditions
> Use a red rear light in low light conditions
> Use a reflector or reflective tape or clothing anytime
> Announce yourself by making eye contact with motorists

Sharing the Road: Motorists

Drive Cautiously:
> Reduce speed when encountering cyclists
> Don't tailgate, especially in bad weather
> Recognize hazards cyclists may face and give them space

Yield to Cyclists:
> Bicycles are considered vehicles
> Cyclists should be given the appropriate right of way
> Allow extra time for cyclists to traverse intersections

Be Considerate:
> Scan for cyclists in traffic and at intersections
> Do not blast your horn in close proximity to cyclists
> Look for cyclists when opening doors

Pass with Care:
> When passing, leave four feet between you and a cyclist
> Wait for safe road and traffic conditions before you pass
> Check over your shoulder before moving back

Watch for Children:
> Children on bicycles are often unpredictable
> Expect the unexpected and slow down
> Don't expect children to know traffic laws
> Because of their size children can be harder to see

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Walk+Roll Cleveland Events

Now thru August 23: Cleveland Police Department Bicycle Benefit
Support getting CPD officers on bicycles for a safer, cleaner, healthier and better Cleveland. Your tax-deductible donations will be used to purchase bicycles, helmets, shorts, trunk bags and lights. Donate and you will be entered to win great prizes! The Harp has one of the best patios in Cleveland and a gorgeous view of the lake. Click here for more info and to donate.

Sunday August 24: Walk+Roll Cleveland - 11:00am to 6:00pm - FREE!
In Rockefeller Park and The Cultural Gardens. This is our signature event where we open the park to people by closing the street to cars. Bring your talent, your music, your art or your group and join the day. For a map and activity details for Walk+Roll Cleveland, click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Define your life...with mom at the triathlon!

Little Patrick Hughes sports his "Define your life. Ride a bike." t-shirt at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon, where he and his brother Ryan (far left) cheered on their mom, Krista Hughes. They are joined by friends Laney and Kelsey Burns (center), who were excited to see their dad, J.B. Burns, compete. The kids must be good luck charms, because Krista placed third in her age group and J.B. placed 2nd. Congrats to the Hughes and Burns families, for their tri-triumphs and Patrick's good fashion sense!

Thanks, Leslie Burns and Support Your Triathlete!

We love to see the photographic evidence of all the cool places you wear your "Define your life" t-shirts or ride your bikes. Please e-mail your pictures to, along with info on who you are and where the picture was taken. If you're sending it in, we'll assume it's okay to put it on the Century Cycles website, or blog, or store bulletin board, or maybe even make it our Christmas card. Well, maybe not that last one, but you get the point -- you share it with us, we'll share it with everyone!

We're on the road to nowhere

Source: DListed

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our latest eNewsletter

The latest edition of the Century Cycles eNewsletter has just been e-mailed out. If you didn't get a copy, go to our eNewsletter Archive Page to catch up on back issues, and sign up to receive future issues in your own inbox!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to School: Properly Securing your Bike

As the summer winds down, children groan, parents rejoice, and school season is once again upon us. Many children and young adults commute to school on their bikes and more join the ranks nearly every day. Unfortunately more and more bikes are stolen every day as well. What is the best way to secure your bike and which lock is the right lock for the job? We're here to help you out by investigating the different locks and showing you the best way to secure your bike.

Cable Locks
Cable locks are light, easy to use, and offer relatively good safety. Cable locks come in a variety of thicknesses from incredibly lightweight retractable locks from Kryptonite and Master, to 12 millimeter heavy weight cables. The down side of cable locks are that they can be cut with bolt cutters, if you have a determined thief, but for low risk areas these locks offer reasonable security and light weight for easy transportation. Cable locks come in either a keyed lock or a combination lock, if your child is as prone to losing things as mine the combination lock tends to be the best bet, providing it's a complex enough combination to be hard to guess but meaningful to your child.
Securing the Bike
Securing the bike can be done in one of two ways, the right way or the wrong way. The right way is to make sure the frame is secured to some stationary object, otherwise if the cable is simply through the front wheel the wheel can be left and the rest of the bike taken. If just the bike is secured and not to some permanent object, like a bike stand, the entire bike can be taken. Pictures below show the correct and incorrect usage of cable locks.


U-locks are made of hardened steel and act similar to a smaller Master lock. The U-should be used to secure the frame and wheel to a stationary object. U-Locks advantage is that they cannot be cut with bolt cutters, and that without an acetylene torch and a lot of time the lock is not going to be cut. A further strength of U-locks is many U-lock manufacturers offer insurance or value protection for stolen bicycles, reimbursing the owner if the bike is lost or stolen by breaking the lock. This makes U-locks ideal for higher risk areas and for bike messengers and the like. The drawback to a U-Lock is they are very heavy, unwieldy and can be difficult to transport. The photos below show the correct and incorrect ways to secure your bike with a U-Lock.


Combination Cable+U
Finally for the best security the best way to secure your bike is with a combination of U and cable locks. This is ideal for high risk areas where not only is the entire bike at risk but so are the wheels. Using the combination of U and cable allows the frame to be securely attached to a stationary object and the wheels to have further security to keep them attached to the frame. The combination of U and cable is also good for the frame which will not allow the U lock to attach wheel, frame and stationary post as shown below.

Finally one last word about security. No lock is perfect, even with unbreakable materials attached to immovable objects, if the thief can get the key, or get the owner to reveal the combination the bike will be stolen. Likewise no bike is secure from the determined thief with enough time and a truck to wheel the bike rack and bike away. However by choosing the correct lock for your situation, and attaching it correctly your chances of losing your bike to theft are greatly reduced.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bikes in the news: Electra love from California

And then there was one. We were contacted this week by Jan, a Califorinia woman who had her heart set on buying an Electra Pink Sweetheart Pajama Party cruiser bike. When her local bike dealer and the west coast Electra rep told her they were out of stock and it was discontinued, Jan's love for the bike stubbornly persisted, inspiring a search on the Internet that led her to the Century Cycles website. Turns out, we are in possession of possibly the last two Pink Sweethearts in the U.S. Now one is boxed up and on its way to Jan, which leaves just one Pink Sweetheart in Rocky River, awaiting the embrace of an owner as passionate as Jan. She thanked us for our cross-country help and excellent website, but we send our appreciation right back at her -- Jan is another customer who personifies our slogan, "Define your life. Ride a bike."

In other news this week:

Moving Targets: In the shift to pedal power, bikers and drivers fight over their patch of asphalt. ("A little civility would be nice, especially from the person driving the 3,000-pound car.") -- The New York Times

Bike Aboard in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park -- and the effort to make the national parks less auto-dependent in general -- are highlighted in this PD article. FYI: Century Cycles in Peninsula sells the $2 Bike Aboard tickets, and be sure to save your ticket after you ride the train -- there are money-saving Century Cycles coupons on the back of each one! -- The Plain Dealer

Plastic fantastic and re-bicyclable! -- Gizmodo

As you're cheering for Team USA, this 49-year-old cyclist who recently won the French time trials and is competing in her 7th Olympics surely deserves a hurray or two. -- Chicago Tribune

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sharp dressed men

We just came across this photo of CC owner Scott Cowan (left) and Mike "Petch" Petcher (general manager, CC Medina) at the Medina County Bicycle Club's Ice Cream Ride back on July 19, still looking sharp after 44 miles in the saddle. As for the mid-ride ice cream break that is the event's hallmark, rumor has it Petch picked peach.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

CTC is Vlogging

(That's video blogging...)

A member of the Cleveland Touring Club has recently bought a helmet-cam, and posted this video of the descent down Jackson Road on the east side:

The CTC has several groups rides a week in the east side area, and their e-mail list has been abuzz lately with complaints about road rage incidents. So, while the video camera purchase was probably just a fun toy that any of us would enjoy, I suspect there is also an ulterior motive.

Drivers of the east side, beware! You are on camera!

Monday, August 4, 2008

News Update: Helmet laws for kids, Towpath travel, and more

The stack of news clips in the corner can only mean one thing: Post this news now so I can start the week with a clean desk!

First up, someone wrote to The Plain Dealer to ask "Whatever happened to a bill that would make children in Ohio wear helmets while riding their bikes?" The answer, from today's edition:

"The law proposed last year by State Rep. Michael Skindell, a Lakewood Democrat, has not gone to vote. But Skindell is trying to build support for it. If passed, it would require children under 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. Police would first give warnings but would cite repeat offenders, whose parents would have to pay a $25 fine. The measure was introduced by a Dayton-area state senator, but Skindell introduced it in the House. He considers it an important matter of child safety that could prevent head injuries. An avid cyclist, Skindell pushed the bill after having a bad accident himself a little more than a year ago. Skindell said that while riding on Lake Avenue in Cleveland near West 117th Street, he was cut off by a car and his bicycle hit it. He said he struck his head on the car roof and again on the pavement and would have been killed if he had not been wearing a helmet. He said he is still recovering from a fractured collarbone and has just started riding again, on safe trails. Skindell said the bill has the support of pediatric groups and an association of Ohio children's hospitals, including Rainbow Babies & Children's in Cleveland. The bill had a hearing in the spring. Skindell said he hopes the bill will pass next year."
On a related note, when we sent photos of Bike To School Month (like the one above) to sponsor Giant Bicycle in California, the west coast folks were shocked to see all the Bay High School students without helmets, which have long been required by law for anyone under 18 in California.

In other news....

  • Is it ethical to use sponsor money to cover travel expenses to a charity bike tour in Italy? The Ethicist weighs in. (The New York Times)
  • Turn your Towpath Trail bike ride into a two-day adventure with a stay at an inn along the way. (The Plain Dealer)
  • The Sunday Travel section of The New York Times has been regularly featuring bike travel this summer, from renting bikes in Paris to yesterday news of a deal on a five-night biking trip through the Czech Republic. (Bike Holidays)
  • Speaking of helmets, here's a new version that strives to be a little more fashion-forward. I don't know if I agree with this blogger that they are "absolutely stunning," but maybe that's because I really like my Giro and don't feel the need to cover it with a knit beanie. (Baekdal)
  • "Pedal Power": With gas above $4 a gallon, more and more people are trading in four wheels for two. (CBS Sunday Morning)
  • Mountain...unicycling?! Love the headline: "Down the mountain on a wheel and a prayer" (New York Times)
  • Okay, so maybe Portland is not all that: The surge in cycling spurs a new kind of road rage. (Newsweek)

Thanks to Krista and Christine for the tips!