Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2.5-mile section of Towpath Trail is closed on weekdays until late January

A 2.5-mile section of the Towpath Trail will be closed during daytime hours until late January. Closed is the area between Station Road Bridge Trailhead going south to the Red Lock Trailhead, which is off West Highland Road, north of Century Cycles in Peninsula. It will be off-limits between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays until late January. It will be open to the public after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturdays and Sundays. Crews are working to build up the eroding bank of the Cuyahoga River, a $172,000 repair needed after repeated flood damage since 2003.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reagan Park Time Trial Photos

Sunday September 21st featured the Reagan Park Time Trial, part of the NEO Power Series. Don, our Service Manager from the Medina location was there helping out with repairs and last minute fixes. Mike Petcher, Medina store manager, photographed the event for us. We had a good turnout and enjoyed seeing everyone at the race!
If you want a copy of any photo pictured below, email Mike at petch@ centurycycles.com. Click on any image below for a pop-up full size image, 56K warning, photos are very large! Click here for our photobucket album featuring all of the photos taken at Reagan.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Editor's Choice" bikes of 2008

Scott, Petch, Krista, and I are leaving today for Interbike, the big bicycle industry trade show in Las Vegas, and we'll be reporting back to blog on the latest and greatest products for 2009. In the meantime, let's look back on the 2008 bikes that Bicycling magazine's editors gave "Editor's Choice" awards -- we're happy to say Century Cycles carries a bike in every category they rated.

BEST CRUISER BIKE: Electra Gigi ($530; above). They said: Testers raved about the "way cute" and "very art deco" Gigi; comments ranged from "even though it's $100 more than the others, I'd pay it" to "I fell in love." Furthermore, "the ride matches the style" -- the bike "shimmied up a short rocky rise when we decided to cross some railroad tracks on a whim," and "the totally relaxed and easy riding position is perfectly dialed." In addition to a lovely sounding bell, you also gete a large basket and a rear rack that "looks like something transplanted from a '50s Chevy Bel Air. Bonus: It's functional!" (In stock at Century Cycles)

BEST TRAIL BIKE: Giant Trance X1 ($2,300; above). They said: This category was a knock-down, drag-out fight to the bitter end, but Giant's new Trance X1 took the crown with the best overall package. It covers a wide spectrum of trail situations; one rider called it "the easiest to go fast on, and that includes climbing as well as descending." The Maestro suspension delivers firm, effective-pedaling feel and suppleness, yet a measure of control over the bumps that balanced nicely wit hthe FOX F120RL fork. The goodness didn't stop at the suspension; handling is: "as beautifully neutral as can be" and "totally bomb-proof." Top that off with a great-performing component package, and the Trnace X1 delivers the knockout punch. (No longer in stock at Century Cycles. Our plan is to bring in some demo bikes along these lines for 2009. Stay tuned.)

BEST PLUSH BIKE (RUNNER-UP): Bianchi C2C 928 Carbon Rival ($3,400; not pictured). They said: The 928 has "stability at any speed, in any corner," comfort and "sexy tube shapes." (We have a few C2C in stock, and can always special order for you.)

BEST COMMUTER BIKE (RUNNER-UP): Giant Tran Send EX ($760; above). They said: Testers raved "best shifting," "fast rolling" 700c wheels, and "sharp-stopping" disc brakes. (Unfortunately, none of the EX or LX are in stock. We'll try hard to get more in 2009.)

BEST RECREATIONAL ROAD BIKE (RUNNER-UP): Raleigh Competition ($1,975; above). They said: The ride "nicely balanced lateral stiffness and comfort." Said another tester, "This is a great bike for long days in the saddle." (Also no longer in stock, but will be on our radar for 2009 inventory.)

BEST ENTHUSIAST ROAD BIKE (RUNNER-UP): Giant TCR C1 ($3,100; not pictured). They said: The responsive frame won approval from testers, and one rider said "the sporty and fast bike made me want to ride hard." (In their August 2008 issue, Bicycling named the Giant TCR Advanced Team their pick for best lightweight climbing bike, because it delivers climbing bliss and yet also "descends impeccably," which they credit to the seatmast, "because every rider steers with his hips as well as his hands.")

92 people rode their bikes....

...on last Saturday's Night Ride on the Towpath. Thanks to all those who came out for it!

Mark your calendars: The very last Night Ride of 2008 is FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10 (RESCHEDULED DATE!). The sun sets that day at 6:52 p.m. and the ride starts at 8:00 p.m. -- a combination that will make for a wonderfully dark ride through the woods! More details....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Plain Dealer: Cyclists, drivers need to share

Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett wrote this article for today's Sunday paper (click here for the link):

Who owns the road?

When it comes down to bikes vs. cars, it all depends on whom you ask.

Motorists want bikes to speed up.

Cyclists want cars to slow down.

Who wins?

That's like asking where a 500-pound gorilla sits.

I hosted "The Sound of Ideas" radio show on bike safety Friday morning on WCPN FM/90.3

Fifteen minutes after leaving Ideastream, I saw a shaken bicyclist standing on the side of Carnegie Avenue, his bike on the ground, blood dripping from his chin and a horrified motorist handing him tissues.

Thank goodness the cyclist wasn't seriously hurt or killed.

Last year, there were 2,066 accidents in Ohio involving bikes. Of those, 18 were fatal. Even the best cyclists can get hit.

Last month, Miles Coburn was struck and killed by an SUV in Geauga County. Coburn was a seasoned cyclist who rode thousands of miles every year. He was an environmentalist and popular biology professor who left behind a wife and two kids. What a loss to his family and the John Carroll University community.

So, who owns the road?

We all do. The road belongs to both bikes and cars. We all have the same rights. It's time we share the same responsibilities. The Ohio Bicycle Federation at www.ohiobike.org offers a bumper sticker that reads: SHARE THE ROADS. Same Roads. Same Rights. Same Rules.

Good motto. Laws govern most of the movement out there, but so do basic courtesy and civility.

Cyclists are not moving targets to throw cups at, to curse at, or to sideswipe for laughs.

Motorists are not members of the Evil Empire just because they're driving a gas guzzling polluting hunk of metal.

Cyclists can't choose to be a car, a bike or a pedestrian depending upon the mood or the situation. Bikes are considered to be vehicles. If you ride on the road, you follow the laws that cover vehicles. They aren't optional.

You ride with the traffic. You stop at red lights and stop signs. You don't weave through stopped cars to get ahead. You don't ride five abreast. You signal your turns.

If you want to be safe, wear a helmet. If you ride at night, we can't see you unless you have reflectors or lights. If you wear headphones, you won't hear us.

Motorists should remember kindergarten. You have to share. It's that simple. Bicyclists have an equal right to the road. Yes, even when they're only going 10 miles an hour.

Take a deep breath and wait until you have room to pass. Keep 3 feet away from bikes when passing.

There shouldn't be a need to say it, but there is: Don't harass cyclists. Marty Cader, the bicycle/pedestrian coordinator for the Cleveland City Planning Commission, told me someone threw a chunk of wood at him while he was biking.

Cyclists are dodging potholes, gravel and parked cars. They shouldn't have to dodge you. Stay off your cell phones and slow down.

With gas climbing past $4, we're going to see more bikes on the road, which is a good thing for all of us.

Let's make it safer for them, and for everyone else, too.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weekend events for getting out, online links for staying in

The weather forecast for this weekend -- sunny, dry, temps in the 70s -- is why fall is a great time to ride. Take advantage of these days by enjoying the events on tap this weekend.

Century Cycles Night Ride on the Towpath Trail: First up is our very own event on Saturday, 9/20, at 8:00 p.m. at the Peninsula store (on Route 303 next to the Winking Lizard). Helmets and bike lights are required, but no money or registration is necessary. More details here.

The Sparx Gallery Hop in Cleveland: This citywide event on Saturday and Sunday has a bike route this year so you can pedal through all the arts districts in town, enjoying everything from the Tremont Art Show to the CMA's Chalk Festival. Look for the "Share the Road" signs and click here for the map and more information.

Also: Don't forget the Ride For Miles on Saturday and the Reagan Park TT on Sunday.

Prefer to spend the weekend by the computer? No worries. Here's a bunch of bike news that happened online this week that should keep you busy:

"Flickr Bikes" (a bike with a camera, solar panel, and GPS) photo-map locales around the globe. -- Lifehacker

Speaking of maps to help bicyclists, here's an update on the effort to get Google Maps to add a "bike there" feature, plus starting a northeast Ohio bike map online. -- GreenCityBlueLake

Calvin B. Kirchik, a bicyclist who helped write the Better Bicycling law in Ohio, died. -- The Plain Dealer

Ohio ranked #32 on a list of bicycle-friendly states. -- League of American Bicyclists

Old news: Lance is riding in the Tour again. Funny news: This "Onion"-like take on reaction from around the bicycling world from FCFNS (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service). -- Fat Cyclist

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Define your life...at 12,000 feet: Mike Petcher

Mike "Petch" Petcher, general manager of Century Cycles Medina and star of our "Petch says" ads in The Gazette, is photographed in Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado, where he and his wife Debbie celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last month. (Who knew they allowed 12-year-olds to marry?!) Happy anniversary, Petch and Debbie!

Got a pic of a loved one wearing his or her "Define your life" t-shirt? E-mail it to info@centurycycles.com.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Century Cycles Bikes for Needy Children

Century Cycles was happy to help out Larry Clouse of Medina Mountain Bike with bikes for their Bikes n' Trikes Event last week. The event provides bikes for needy children in the area and as you can see below the festival went off well and was a great source of fun.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Whatever happened...to the Lake to Lake Trail?

From today's The Plain Dealer....

Whatever happened to the plan to link up existing bike trails in Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights and Cleveland to form the 10-mile Lake to Lake Trail?

A lot of it remains in the planning stages. One portion of the trail, the 1.5 miles from Sulgrave Road to Warrensville Center Road in Shaker Heights, is complete, said Joyce Braverman, the city's planning director.

The trickiest portion, the part that will run through the congested Cedar-Carnegie intersection in the University Circle area, is still in the planning stage.

Hatched last year, the idea is to link up Cleveland's existing Harrison Dillard Bikeway, which runs from the lake along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive into University Circle, to bike trails in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.

Shaker Heights City Council approved $500,000 to complete its trail gap last year, Braverman said. Cyclists can now travel on Warrensville Center Road and South Park Boulevard to reach a Cleveland Heights trail that ends at Coventry Road.

There, the alignment of the Lake to Lake Trail, so named because it would connect the Shaker Lakes with Lake Erie, becomes a little hairy.

"The trickiness of this path is to get through the spaghetti infrastructure on Carnegie," said Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle, Inc. "The biggest challenge is getting through the tunnels at MLK and Stokes safely," he said, adding that the current plan may take cyclists around the area to avoid any costly grade changes.

Still, the project is not shaping up to be cheap. "It's more than a million-dollar project," Ronayne said. "You can suggest that this is a multimillion-dollar bike path."

Alignment planning should be complete this year, Ronayne said. After that, the search for funding begins.

Will Ferrell's ride

A Santa Monica bike store was profiled in a trade publication and they dished that one of their customers is actor Will Ferrell, who rides a Bianchi L'Una (size: 61-cm). The L'Una was named the best road bike of 2006 by Outside magazine's editors, who said it is "blindingly fast, impeccably equipped, and designed to turn heads." Ferrell earned a $20 million paycheck for "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," so he probably didn't blink at the L'Una's $5,000+ pricetag.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CC Newsletter Highlight

Staff Profile: Derrick Kortvejesi

If you're a regular customer at the Peninsula store, you probably think Derrick has been there, like, forever. You'd be right. Hired just after that store opened in 1994, Derrick is Century Cycles' longest-tenured employee and - having wrenched on bikes since he was 15 - a kind of bike-whisperer. Century Cycles is more than a paycheck for Derrick, it's also a dating service - Derrick met his wife, Kathy, on a Night Ride eleven years ago. They've been riding together ever since.

How many bikes do you own?
Between Kathy and I, we have about 25 bikes. I really like pro-level, higher-end bikes from the late 1970s and early 80s. Today's bikes work better and are more efficient, but they don't have as much soul and character as those old ones. My old reliable is a handmade Tommaso road bike, but I try to ride a little bit of everything I own, depending on the season.

What's something that customers say that you're sick of hearing?
We call it "JRA." They are always "Just Riding Along." Just riding along and the frame broke in half. Just riding along and 14 spokes fell off the back wheel. Yeah, right. 'Fess up to the crash, or whatever bonehead move you made to wreck the bike. Crashes happen, and they happen to us all the time, too. If you don't tell us what really happened, it's harder for me or any mechanic to properly fix the bike.

What do you do when you're not wrenching or riding?
For about seven years - all through college - I competed in target shooting. Recently, I've been shooting again with an air pistol.

What's your favorite trail or ride?
Any ride that I get to spend a whole day on a bike with Kathy and our close friends. It's more about the social aspect for me. Hanging out, having fun, ending with a nice meal. I did really like the Overland Victory Trail in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. It's a mountain bike trail with an interesting terrain - challenging, yet I didn't feel like I was going to be killed.

What's your advice for someone looking to buy a new bike?
Buy more bike than you think you need. [Editor's disclaimer: Nobody on our staff works on commission!] Better bikes are more fun to ride, and it's always cheaper to buy it up front than to add the better components later. I tell customers to not sell themselves short. You may be in awe of someone riding 25-30 miles, but if you start riding regularly, that will quickly become a normal ride for you. And be realistic with your price range. If you haven't been in a bike store in 15 years, you may not have a good idea of what an accurate price range is. If you spend $250 on a putter, trust me that you're probably going to spend more than that for a bike.

Head on over to our Peninsula store page for more all about Derrick! Not only can you learn more about Derrick but all of our Peninsula staff as well, just click on the appropriate image. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter while you're there!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Vulture's Knob race tomorrow rescheduled to October 5

This morning, CAMBA regretfully announced it has postponed tomorrow's race, the second in its NEO Power Series, to October 5 due to the steady rain the past few days (and predicted through the weekend). Click here for more details.

While at the CAMBA website, check out this dismaying report on how the Cleveland Metroparks have declined to expand mountain biking.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beautiful Pics from Colorado

Our Medina customer Jim sent us these pics from Colorado. Now that's the place to ride! If you've got pics of your favorite place to ride send em to info@centurycycles.com, we love getting them and we love showing them off!

Talking Head on Parking Bikes; Or, if David Byrne lived in Cleveland, where would we put his racks??

Former Talking Head David Byrne is a huge bicycling advocate in his hometown of New York City. For his latest project, he collaborated with an art gallery and the transportation department to design nine bike racks that are scattered throughout the city. They look pretty cool but are perhaps too un-rack-like -- some have been noticeably devoid of bikes and one theory is people think they're more "art" than "parking." Boo. Hoo. New Yorkers don't know how good they have it. If the hipsters in Brooklyn don't want their Byrne bike racks, we'll take 'em! I'd put one outside the Liquid Planet at Crocker Park, to make getting an oatmeal smoothie fix a little easier. So if you could pick a place in northeast Ohio to put a Byrne bike rack -- a place you ride to that is sorely in need of bike parking -- where would it be??

Reagan Park TT in Medina on September 21

First there was the Big Valley Race last weekend. This weekend the NEO POWER SERIES moves down to Wooster to the legendary Vulture's Knob mountain bike course on September 14.

Then, on September 21, the third and final race of the mini-power series will take place at Ohio's newest single track venue, the 4th Annual Reagan Park Single Track Time Trial in Medina. Racers will not only compete against one another, but also against the clock. When you're there, say hi to Don from Century Cycles Medina, who will be there to lend a mechanical hand.

Click here for more details from CAMBA.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kevin and Ray Spotted!

Kevin and Ray were spotted Madison Mississippi. One of the locals, Will Smith (no not that one) who used to be a staff photographer for the Madison County Herald was kind enough to send us the pics of their visit to the local Sherwin-Williams store. If you want to learn more about this amazing trip you can find out more at miles4melanoma.com. We've been contacted by a local 5th grade class interested in tracking Kevin and Ray for a geography project as well, so if you spot Kevin and Ray please forward us your photos!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Scott's a Giant Winner

Here is our fearless leader, Scott Cowan, pondering the answer to that on-screen question in a game of "Dealer Feud" at the Giant dealer meeting last month (answer to the question: Giant TCR Advanced SL). Scott was the last dealer standing in the contest, besting everyone else in his knowledge of Giant trivia. He won the game and the grand prize -- a 2009 Giant Defy Advanced 1 road bike, a top-of-the-line bike with a composite fiber frame, Shimano Duro Ace and Ultegra components, and a Mavic Ksyrium wheelset. Yeah. We know. He's the luckiest damn guy on the planet.

Patrick Van Horne (at left), Giant's corporate communications director, hosted the game as well as the meeting in Park City, Utah, for about 120 Giant dealers from around the country. While there, Scott got a chance to ride the 2009 Giant TCR Advanced 2, a very cool carbon bike, on a 15 mile road ride in and around Park City. He said, "Awesome place to ride a bike! I also really enjoyed riding the "New Hybrid" electric assist bike they are beta testing...it worked perfectly!"

We're impressed with Giant's mountain bikes, too. Stay tuned for more details -- we'll be reporting from Interbike, the big bike trade show in Las Vegas, in just two weeks, with all the latest and greatest news from all our manufacturers.

Ride For Miles: Saturday, September 20

Celebrate the life and support the work of Miles Coburn, an avid bicyclist and environmentalist who was tragically hit and killed by an SUV while riding his bicycle on August 16. The 15-mile ride starts at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 20. Click on the above flyer to view it larger, or click here for more Ride For Miles details, including registration and how to donate.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kevin and Ray in the News

Cleveland.com posted a great story about Kevin and Ray's trip to the southern tip of South America. We've mirrored it on our website and you can read more about this amazing trip here.

Define Your Life...In Washington DC

Many of you know Al from our Peninsula store. Al is taking a needed vacation and cavorting about the globe and he's kindly sending us pictures of his vacation as he arrives at each location. Where will Al and Century Cycles wind up next?

Hot in Rocky River: The Knog Frog

Customers at the River store are hot for the Knog Frog, a little light that offers blinky goodness to keep you visible. It looks cool yet is also functional and durable, with a super-bright LED that glows either white or red. If lights are to see and be seen, the Knog Frog ($11.99) is more in the "be seen" category -- it won't light up the whole road, but it will catch a driver's eye.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lives Defined....Dick Dillon

With our motto "Define your life. Ride a bike.", we at Century Cycles take special note of people whose lives are defined by bicycling. Today it's Dick Dillon's turn in the spotlight. After he bought an adult tricycle from our Rocky River store, Dick loved the difference it made in his life and his health. Dick thought others could benefit from his experience, so he prepared the above handout. Complete with a picture of Dick on his ride, the handout is an open letter from Dick that area doctors can share with their patients who, like him, have limited lung capacity yet need to exercise. Hopefully he'll inspire those patients to ride. In the meantime, Dick is an inspiration to the rest of us.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pictures from Manatoc

Manatoc was this weekend in Peninsula, we got our illustrious leader Doug to head down and grab us some shots! Manatoc started as it usually does Saturday, with rain. Even so the kids races went off well and the kids had a good time no matter what the weather was doing. We didn't get get to see the the race, however it was spirited and fun as usual and everyone enjoyed themselves especially after the weather cleared up, let us know how Manatoc was for you!