Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Outtakes from the staff photo shoots

Those terrific Century Cycles staff photos on the front of our holiday mailer were made possible only due to the hard work of our in-house photography gurus, Doug Charnock and Mike Petcher, as well as art director Christine Hahn. They spent a full day traveling from store to store to capture on film the friendly, service-oriented spirit of an amazing group of people. And never once did they liken the experience to "corralling cats," despite the photographic evidence otherwise:

Peninsula was photographed early on a chilly morning. Perhaps the cold caused some confusion....

...and maybe these supermodel moves were to keep warm....

....and finally the sun -- and smiles -- came out.

Medina was photographed next. Um, guys? Camera this way?

However, it got a lot better once they included The One High-Wheeler To Unite Them All in the picture.

In Rocky River, the passing traffic on Detroit Road was definitely a distraction. Obviously so was hunger, as Josh picks an interesting time to finish lunch.

But things looked up after a while, and all's well that ends well!

Monday, December 29, 2008

ABC Ride on New Year's Day

A Bi-Cycling Dandy Excuse For Getting Hibernated In January!

That's right -- it's time for the Medina Bicycle Club's 33rd Annual ABC Ride on New Year's Day. Meet in Medina's Square for the group photo at 11:55 a.m. on January 1 (the one above is from 2007), then ride either 24, 12, or 3 miles starting at noon. This is no-frills riding at its best -- no registration fees, no services, no nothing but a good time! (Donations of up to 50 cents cheerfully accepted, however.) Expect to see Scott Cowan and perhaps a few other Century Cyclers there, joining in on the fun to start 2009 right.

For more event info and cold-riding tips, click here.

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Speaking of cold riding tips, that reminds me that Dirt Rag just posted a pretty good article on their website that some of you may find useful this winter: "Cold Weather Riding #6: Snot."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Christmakwanzakah, mon!

On Wednesday, the Rocky River crew decided nothing says "Merry Christmas Eve!" like dressing for a tropical getaway. (Scott says he forgot to dress up, but I think that's what he does wear on the beach.)

And nothing says "Happy December 26!" like reminding you that Century Cycles holiday discounts are good until the end of the year. That's right -- if you got our holiday mailer, but didn't get a chance to stop in earlier, those coupons are good until 3:00 p.m. on 12/31. If you didn't receive your postcard (or can't seem to find it among the Christmas cards), ask for one when you stop in -- you know, when you come to buy yourself the bike stuff you REALLY wanted to receive for Christmakwanzakah instead of the (insert awful gift here) you got.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Frozen Ride for your Christmas Enjoyment

Check out Lucas Brunelle, "Boston's Most Dangerous Messenger," bicycling on the frozen Charles River. With a few more days like we've had this week, this could be us on the Cuyahoga!

Thanks to Krista in the Rocky River store for forwarding this link!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, and What Not to Buy

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Century Cycles! Don't forget that we'll be open from 10am-3pm on Dec 24 and Dec 31, CLOSED on Christmas Day and New Years Day, and open our regular hours all other days.

After being bombarded this season with our recommended gift ideas, and probably many other stores' ideas as well, you may appreciate this "anti-buying" guide. The Austin Bike Blog has started a regular feature called "Dumbest Product of the Week." Most are bike-related products, but there are some non-cycling products that, as the author notes, are just "too dumb to pass up," like this electric ice cream cone.

You can check out the entire "Dumbest Product of the Week" series using this link:

And be sure to call us out if we end up hawking any of the aforementioned products...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CVNP Trailblazer Volunteer Patrol Group

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Trailblazer Volunteer Patrol Group is looking for new volunteers, and is holding a public meeting for anyone interested in becoming a Trailblazer Volunteer. The meeting will discuss the history of the program, training requirements, and commitment. This will also be the time to sign up for interviews that will be held on the 17th and the 22nd of January.

Meeting Date: Thursday, January 8, 2009
Meeting Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Happy Days Lodge, 608 W. Streetsboro Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264
(about 1 mile west of State Route 8 on State Route 303)

If you would like an application, or are unable to attend the meeting but are still interested in becoming a Trailblazer, please contact Wayne Whitmore at 440-546-5956 or Jared Brewer at 440-546-5955.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More rides on the bike equals less junk in the trunk

New research illustrates the health benefits of regular biking, walking or taking public transportation to work, school or shopping. Researchers found a link between "active transportation" and less obesity in 17 industrialized countries across Europe, North America and Australia. "Countries with the highest levels of active transportation generally had the lowest obesity rates," authors David Bassett of the University of Tennessee and John Pucher of Rutgers University conclude. Read the entire article at The Washington Post.

(Photo: Doug Charnock)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

UPS Deploys Delivery Bicycles

To handle the overload from higher-than-usual residential deliveries during this time of year, United Parcel Service is trying out doing some deliveries by bicycle. The men and women in the brown uniforms first tried bike deliveries last year in New Hampshire and Maine. This year, the company expanded its bike delivery services to Washington, California, Tennessee and Oregon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Deck the halls with cycling style

Here is one of Santa's elves finishing a world-famous "Wheeth"- half bicycle wheel, half wreath. Just in time for Christmas....

"I was rescued by...."

"I was rescued by a woman out tracking desert-tortoise migration patterns. Her name was Rachel. To me, she was an angel." -- Dennis Lane, Giant global product development director, on how he survived after collapsing of dehydration during a moto ride in the desert.

Just built: 2009 Raleigh Rush Hour

Yesterday we received our very first 2009 Raleigh Rush Hour. Lots of other bikes to build, but they got put aside to build this one. Once it was assembled, everyone paused for a moment to take a look. It's a 59 cm, one of only 12 Rush Hours currently in the United States in that size, and now it's at the Medina store, awaiting the tall guy who wants to test ride it. We've got 6-8 more Rush Hours on order in varying sizes -- and fingers crossed they come in.

(Photos taken by Mike Petcher on September 24, 2008, at the Raleigh booth at Interbike.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cycling shoes essential for spinning class success

Spinning classes are hot in Northeast Ohio right now, and with a wide range of cycling shoes in stock at three stores, Century Cycles is your best source for spinning shoes in the Cleveland and Akron areas. Whether you’re a cyclist who takes spinning classes to escape the frigid outside temperatures or someone just looking for a great workout, you quickly learn that running or aerobics shoes just won’t cut it in class.

The benefits of cycling-specific shoes apply to pedaling a spinning bike the same as they do when riding a regular bike:
  • Stiff soles provide more efficient energy transfer from your legs to the pedals.
  • Clip-in mechanism allows you to apply force throughout the entire pedal stroke, rather than an alternating up-and-down force.
  • More safe and secure -- your feet won't slip off of the pedals, which is a common problem when using regular sneakers, especially when pedaling the spinning bike while standing up.
  • Helps promote good pedaling form by encouraging a smooth, circular pedal stroke.
The spinning bikes at most gyms come equipped with pedals that have the "Shimano SPD" clip-in mechanism. This means that you can use any brand and style of cycling shoes that are SPD-compatible.

Many cyclists prefer to use the more casual sneaker-like style of cycling shoes for spinning classes. The benefits of this type of shoe are:
  • Athletic-shoe styling looks at home throughout the gym.
  • Rubber soles provide cross-training functionality for comfortable use on weight machines and other gym equipment.
  • Recessed cleat mounting means that you won't slip on the cleat or damage floors as you walk.
Here are a few of our favorite spinning shoes, in stock at all three of our stores:

Pearl Izumi Women's X-Alp Seek ($84.99)

Pearl Izumi Men's X-Alp Seek ($84.99)

Shimano SH-MT21 Unisex ($59.99)

Shimano SH-MT41G Unisex ($79.99)

The cleats are usually provided when you buy a pair of pedals for a bike, so don't forget that you'll also need to purchase the cleats to attach to any of these shoes to let you use them on the bikes in the gym. We've got these in stock as well, and we'll mount them to your shoes for you at no extra charge!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Marriage is...."

"Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again so is a bicycle repair kit." -- Billy Connolly

Don't knock knickers, part 3

When longtime Century Cycles customer Dick DeLombard of Huron saw our love of knickers in the Ted Crow Challenge, he e-mailed us to remember these kinds of knickers, too! Thanks, Dick, for a very-necessary nod to the original knicker AND the great photos of you in Battle Creek, Michigan!

Now fully in a knicker mood? Add a pair to your wish list or stop in and try some on -- just be sure to ask for your holiday coupons when you do, for great discounts off clothing and accessories until 12/31!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Party 2008: Sweater-rific!

If you went to Unique Thrift and couldn't find the ugly Christmas sweater you were shopping for, blame the Rocky River crew. (Yes, Ray's sweater really does have simply delightful puffy puffs of "fur" on it.)

Christmas Party 2008: Joy

All Christmas party photos by Mike Petcher

Christmas Party 2008: Merriment

Pole Dancing on a bike?

OK, so bicycle-powered amplifiers are the latest rage on the indie music scene, and bicycle drink blenders have been around for a while, but we'd have to put this latest innovation in the "inventions we could have lived without" category.

An industrious biker in Manhattan outfitted a bike with a large platform containing a pole of the variety typically employed by, ahem, "exotic dancers." He's dubbed it the PoleRider, and is available for hire for parties, in case you were interested. Read the whole story at the New York Post.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Inside Scoop on Indoor Trainers

We're always looking for ideas for things to post here that are helpful to our average customers. So, when we got this question by e-mail from one of our actual customers, this post practically wrote itself!


I bought my bike at your Medina store a couple years ago. I don't ride at all once it gets cold. I'm wondering about the racks to put a bike on to ride it indoors. Do you have these racks? If you do or if you don't, do you recommend for or against any of them? Do you know a good place to get one if you don't carry them? Most importantly, if I put my bike on it, will it be bad for my bike in any way? I have a women's Giant; I don't know the model; I think it's a touring-type bike. Thanks very much!



Thanks for your inquiry. The devices that you are inquiring about are referred to as "trainers." Yes, we do carry them, and by all means, yes, we do recommend them! We mainly carry four models:

Blackburn Trakstand Mag ($159.99)

Blackburn Trakstand Ultra ($299.99)

CycleOps Magneto ($269.99)

CycleOps Fluid2 ($329.99)

You are welcome to stop into any of our stores, and we'd be glad to set one of them up on a bike for you to try out. There are really only two minor issues to consider as far as the effect they have on your bike. First, they hold your bike in place by clamping onto the rear axle's quick release skewer, and if you leave your original skewer on the bike, it may not fit properly. But, the trainers come with their own quick release skewer, which is easy to swap onto your bike.

Second, the resistance roller part of the trainer rolls against your rear tire, which can cause the tire to wear down prematurely. What many people do is replace their rear tire with a cheap "trainer-only" tire to use for the winter. We can recommend a suitable tire for you, and can do the tire swap for you as well for a nominal charge.

I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply.

Kevin Madzia
Century Cycles


Thank you very much, you have been very helpful! Thanks for sending the links so I could compare the products. I've seen cheap trainers that are just like a single piece of wood or plastic with a groove, that you set the wheel in. Are these not good for the bike or for training?

I'm not sure that I understand what you are talking about, unless you're referring to the block that you put under your front wheel. This is helpful to make your bike sit level while on the trainer, since the trainer raises the back wheel a couple of inches up off of the floor. We sell one of these, too; it's called a Riser Block, and it's another product by CycleOps.

Actually, a telephone book or encyclopedia work almost as well, but in the digital age, who keeps those around anymore? ;) But the advantage of the riser block over a book is that the groove helps keep your front wheel and handlebar stable, so it won't move side-to-side as you're pedaling on the trainer.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bicycles in books: "Traffic" and "The Last Lecture"

Today's Plain Dealer named the book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt to its "Best of 2008" list. This is a book I've been wanting to check out since reading the New York Times review of it a few months ago. Here's what Bicycling magazine editor Loren Mooney wrote about it in the November issue:
You're a cyclist, and most likely a driver, so do yourself a favor and pick up Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us). Between pondering why traffic jams form and why such delays cause more stress than other facets of life, author Tom Vanderbilt presents a sobering concept: that drivers often register cyclists as merely one more bit of road clutter to avoid, if they see us at all. To top it off, the speed at which we travel -- faster than a pedestrian, slower than a car -- can distort the driver's sense of perception. There's no simple way to make the streets safer for cyclists, except for everyone on the road to pay more attention. But for now, read the book. It will make you a more aware driver, and a better cyclist.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow is a national bestseller you may have heard about, having been featured on "Oprah" and in many newspaper and magazines. Pausch, a computer science professor and the father of three small children, gave a "last lecture" after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, then expanded that lecture into this book, which is truly moving and ultimately very hopeful. Having heard a lot about it before I read it, I was surprised to read this in the book's introduction:

This book is a way for me to continue what I began on stage. Because time is precious, and I want to spend all that I can with my kids, I asked Jeffrey Zaslow for help. Each day, I ride my bike around my neighborhood, getting exercise crucial for my health. On fifty-three long bike rides, I spoke to Jeff on my cell-phone headset. He then spent countless hours helping to turn my stories -- I suppose we could call them fifty-three "lectures" -- into the book that follows.

(A fellow bicyclist and true inspiration, Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Giant Defy 1 featured in ROAD magazine

The January/February 2009 issue of ROAD turns over page 60 to the Giant Defy 1 ($1299), a stock item for Century Cycles, although it's a bit hard to get and we currently only have one (in Rocky River). In ROAD, editor Neil Browne spends some time on the technology and construction of the bike in addition to its performance.
“The Giant Defy 1 is constructed from Giant’s proprietary aluminum called Aluxx. Giant doesn’t just go out and outsource their aluminum, they smelt their own aluminum from Taiwan in order to maintain quality control. They have been working in aluminum for 30 years so they know a thing or two about working with this material.”
Nice, huh? I mean, when the editor takes the time to help tell your technology story, well that just helps reinforce what we tell folks everyday. Here’s Neil’s take on the ride of the Defy 1: “The Defy 1 was very comfortable and encourages the rider to enjoy the ride. Just because the frame geometry is designed for comfort doesn’t mean that it isn’t responsive. The Aluxx aluminum is still enough for the rider that is looking to log in a miles at a relaxed speed.”
The magazine is on newsstands now.

Santa gives chain scrubbers to all the good girls and boys

Christmas gifts sent to a fixie-riding(-and-wrecking-and-wrenching) brother-in-law in Orlando, Florida: Park Tool Cyclone Chain Scrubber ($29.99) and a Kryptonite Evolution Mini U-Lock ($49.99)