Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Buy local. Listen local.
Separated at Birth - Volume 1
|Bob - part-time bike rental guy in Peninsula?||Sir Ian KcKellen as King Lear?|
Monday, March 30, 2009
Biggest Sale of the Year Starts this Thursday!
Join us this Thursday, April 2 through Sunday, April 5, 2009 for our Spring Break Sale!
- Bikes Gone Wild! At least 10% OFF all bicycles - select models marked down even more!
- At least 20% OFF all parts and accessories!
- Take Home A Souvenir - FREE Century Cycles t-shirt, pub glass, or coffee mug with any bicycle or purchase over $200!
- Beach Blanket Bargains - most at 50% off the original price!
Blackburn Trakstand Mag Trainer - $79.99 (regularly $159.99)
Giant Prerunner LX Jog Stroller - $187.49 (regularly $374.99)
Bellwether O2 Cycling Shorts (Men's & Women's) - $19.49 (regularly $38.99)
Serfas Dual Density Saddle (Men's & Women's) - $19.99 (regularly $39.99)
Serfas Combo Kit 3 - $22.49 (regularly $44.99)
CatEye Enduro 8 Computer - $17.49 (regularly $34.99)
Blackburn Air Tower 2 Floor Pump - $17.49 (regularly $34.99)
Giro Indicator Helmet (black or white only) - $19.99 (regularly $39.99)
Giant C.I.D. Cycling Jersey - $39.99 (regularly $64.99)
Shebeest S-Cut Women's Cycling Jersey - $32.49 (regularly $64.99)
Pearl Izumi Zephrr Cycling Vest (Screaming Yellow only) - $39.99 (regularly $59.99)
Electra Front Wicker Basket with Quick Release - $29.99 (regularly $39.99)
New "Define your life. Ride a bike." T-Shirts are in!
Friday, March 27, 2009
Get your Keen Cycling Sandals at Century Cycles!
Keen Commuter Sandals have the same open, airy construction as their popular casual sandals, with the durable protective rubber full toe box.
The Keen Springwater Cycling Shoes give you the full coverage and stiff sole of standard cycling shoes, with legenary Keen fit and support.
Both the Keen Commuter Sandals and the Keen Springwater Cycling Shoes come in Men's and Women's sizes. They both have a two-bolt cleat mounting system, which means they are compatible with Shimano SPD pedals, or any other two-bolt cleat pedal system, such as Crank Brothers, Speedplay Frogs, and more!
Both shoes are great for warm weather cycling, but until the spring weather finally comes to the Cleveland area, they'd also make great shoes for spin classes!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane....
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Giant Demo Weekend at Ray's MTB
Giant Co-founder To Ride From Beijing To Shanghai
"King Liu, the 75-year-old co-founder of Giant Bicycles, will set off on May 9 to ride from Beijing to Shanghai. He aims to complete the 1,688-km trip in 20 days, though he admits it may be tough to keep up with the necessary 80km/day pace required. King Liu is no slouch, though. In 2007 he completed a 927-km ride around Taiwan in 17 days.
Read more at www.etaiwannews.com."
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Women's Health Loves Giant
The accompanying article also contains tips on cycling as a great fat-burning activity, and features a photo of Giant for Women Ride Society Leader Mari Holden riding the Giant TCR Advanced T-Mobile bike. You can download a PDF of the whole article here.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Celebrity Bike Carnage Update
Today Show co-host and avid bicycist Matt Lauer had surgery on Monday to repair a separated shoulder, after colliding with a deer while riding on Long Island, NY:
And finally, actor/comedian and bike collector Robin Williams is currently recovering from heart surgery at our own Cleveland Clinic; no bicycles were harmed in the process:
Lance Armstrong to ride in Ohio this summer
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Enter to win a Masi SoulVille!
Now through April 5, stop in to enter to win this Masi SoulVille bicycle, a unique steel bike that Bicycling magazine said "only gets cooler with time."
On the drawing board: The Contrail
- Interesting idea -- get that thing into production pronto!
- Kinda useless -- let's just begin with two words: "rainy day"
- Love it -- The Contrail is a marvel of chalk engineering!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Hat tip: Bike Bits
"Cars are all right on occasion, but they are not moments of grace, as bicycles are."
-- Colman McCarthy, journalist and cyclist
Friday, March 20, 2009
From WKYC-TV: Parma man invents the "bricycle"
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Another Tale of Two Cities
Bike League at Congressional hearing this morning
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Be Captain of a Tandem for the Blind
The rides for this season are scheduled for the following dates:
- April 18, 2009
- May 16, 2009
- June 20, 2009
- July 18, 2009
- August 15, 2009
- September 19, 2009
Bicycles are provided, and a National Park Service representative will advise you about safe riding techniques. No prior tandem riding experience is necessary. Practice and orientation takes place from 8:00-9:00am at Hunt Farm on Bolanz Road. The rides take place from 9:00-11:30am. Volunteers are welcome to join the group for lunch afterwards.
To volunteer and join a team, contact Jeri Rask at the Cleveland Sight Center at 216-658-4594, or Margaret Adams at the CVNP at 216-524-1497 x225 or e-mail email@example.com.
Monday, March 16, 2009
10 MINUTES WITH. . . Ed Begley Jr.
If you're hosting a big-time environmental event, Ed Begley Jr. is THE celebrity to invite. The actor/activist will be the keynote speaker as EarthWatch Ohio (a sustainability nonprofit organization) holds its first anniversary gala Friday, April 3, at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights. Begley spoke with The Plain Dealer's Evelyn Theiss by phone from his office in Los Angeles, where he works and lives with his family.
So I've got to ask, how will you get here?
Sadly, I'm flying. I'd prefer to drive my wife's Prius, but I don't have enough time, so I will have to take the plane like a normal person.
Will you do something to offset the carbon footprint? Or is that, as my friend says, like paying someone to eat broccoli so you can eat ice cream?
It is and it isn't. I do buy a Terrapass (an online social enterprise that allows people and businesses to buy carbon-offsetting products or credits at terrapass.com). Right now, there's only about 80,000 people participating, but if enough people did that, there'd be a net gain.
What was it that set you on the path to ardent environmentalism?
It was growing up in smoggy L.A. -- living through 20 years of that. So in 1970, I said: "Enough already. I'll start doing something different." So that year I bought an electric car, a Taylor-Dunn, though I'm being grand by calling it a car. It's more like a golf cart with a windshield and a horn.
What did that do for you?
It wasn't only good for the environment, but good for my pocketbook. I just plugged it in. No oil changes, none of that car maintenance stuff. People today use them to get around in places like Palm Springs, Calif., and Arizona.
That must have gone over well in 1970.
Sure, people thought it was wacky, but back then, people even thought me riding a bike was nutty. It's hard to be cool on a bike -- especially with the wind resistance I got from my Afro. But that was the first year I really started saving money.
I remember an episode of "Dharma & Greg" in which you played yourself. They had a protest, so Ed Begley Jr. had to be there.
Yes, as I remember the script, they had to kidnap me. But that was a good show, good people.
So, you're still quite busy as an actor, doing films, television. How do you fit your national activism in?
I've always found time to do both. I've gotten so much more demand for speaking engagements. I used to drive my hybrid or electric cars to them, but I obviously couldn't do as many speeches.
For a while I thought, "My contribution to the environment will be for me not to come." But then David Suzuki, a Canadian genetic scientist, told me, "I'm glad you're trying to save fuel, but it's more important to get out there and talk to these people, get the information out." I used to make two or three speeches a year, now I do that in a week. Hence the flying.
You've been in Cleveland quite a bit, right?
Many times. I even stopped there when I drove a natural-gas car across the country. Cleveland was one of the few places I could refuel.
Your daughter once said you were ahead of your time, but it seems like the times are catching up with you, don't you think?
I hope so. I'm almost 60.
So I hear you have this eco-competition going with Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," who is one of your neighbors?
Yes, it's a good-natured competition, but it is competitive. He has a better-looking rain barrel than we do, though.
So your wife, Rachelle, always has been supportive of your intense eco-lifestyle?
Absolutely, she's cool and on board, but she does care more about aesthetics than I do.
What do you suggest people do first as they start greening their lifestyle?
Pick the low-hanging fruit -- that's how I started when I was a struggling actor. Do stuff that's cheap and easy. Get energy-efficient light bulbs, get weatherstripping, ride a bike or walk -- you don't need a 2,500-pound vehicle to pick up a few things at the store. I've ridden my bike in Cleveland even in November. Doing these things, I guarantee, you'll save money.
What's your ultimate message?
I want people to do things that are good for the environment and good for their pocketbooks. The reason we're in the situation we're in, in this country, is that we haven't been behaving in a fiscally responsible manner -- individually or as a country. Now, someone shut the oven door and the souffle fell.
But if you work on creating a healthy environment and keep doing things in your own life in a fiscally responsible manner, and keep doing them even when things get better, you will be fine.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
this bike is a pipe bomb
A bicycle with a sticker advertising a Florida punk-folk band recently forced the evacuation of an airport terminal in Memphis, Tennessee. A pilot alerted airport police when he saw a bike with a sticker that read "this bike is a pipe bomb" parked near the passenger ramps of Terminal C at Memphis International Airport, according to the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Turns out "this bike is a pipe bomb" is the name of a band from Pensacola, Florida, and this is not the first time its moniker has caused a ruckus -- bikes sporting similar stickers at college campuses in Ohio and Philadelphia led to building closures, arrests and the bikes' destruction by bomb squads. In Memphis, airport police took the owner of the bike into custody but later released him; a spokesman said federal authorities were discussing possible charges, but a federal source said it was "a non-event." A dud, in other words.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
More photos from the Breaking Away Party!
Breaking Away Party Photo Album #2 on Facebook
Thanks for joining us at the Breaking Away Party with Masi and Century Cycles!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Memories of the Little 500
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The Rise of the Longtail Bicycle
A recent post on the Streetsblog site interviews Evan Ross, the founder of the Xtracycle company. It's a great background on the origin of the longtail bicycle concept and product, plus on the future direction of the company.
In a somewhat serendipitous cross-promotion kind of way, I got the following comment from a guy in New Mexico in response to my posting of this photo of my Xtracycle on the Xtracycle fan page on Facebook:
"How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?... Yeah... Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would've been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind."
That, in case you don't recognize, is a quote from Dennis Quaid as Mike in the movie "Breaking Away."
Our latest eNewsletter
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
TechTalk: The Zen of Singlespeeds
Some people use a singlespeed as their "around the neighborhood" bike, when you don't need to get all dressed up in your spandex and cycling shoes, but just want to grab-and-go for quick errands, a casual spin with the kids, or on easy, flat terrain like the Towpath or other bike trails.
Many people use a singlespeed as their "foul weather" bike, for commuting or other situations where they want to get out and ride no matter what the conditions, but don't want to muck up their "good" bike. The singlespeed drive train is simpler and quieter, with less moving parts, and less potential for something to break or become out of adjustment.
This simplicity also speaks to something more primal in some rider's minds. Without having to think about shifting, they connect with the road or trail in a deeper way, conserving their momentum, feeling the terrain, appreciating the freedom of movement that they had when they first learned to ride as a child. "Free your mind, and your feet will follow," some say. From my own personal experience riding a singlespeed mountain bike, I've found that I end up riding a little more aggressively and faster overall, because as I am cruising along on descents or flats, I tend to ride my brakes a little less, knowing that I need to conserve that momentum to help me up the next climb.
Most singlespeed bikes still give you the ability to coast. A singlespeed that does not allow you to coast is called a fixed-gear bike. With a fixed-gear bike, if the bike is moving, your feet have to be moving, too.
The most obvious difference in the design of singlespeed bikes compared to geared bikes is, of course, the absence of shifters and derailleurs. With a geared bike, the chain has lots of "slack" to allow it to wrap around all of the smallest and largest gear combinations. The rear derailleur's spring mechanism moves to take up the slack when less chain is needed.
With a singlespeed, there is no derailleur to take up slack in the chain. It's impossible to cut a chain to the exact length needed for the gears, so the frame must be designed to allow for adjustment to the chain tension.
Surly Steamroller track frame with rear-facing dropouts
Another solution to the singlespeed chain tensioning issue is called sliding dropouts. Sliding dropouts are separate pieces that are bolted onto the main frame of the bike. The actual dropouts are vertical (like on a geared bike), so you can still use quick release hubs. Then, to adjust the chain tension, you slide the whole wheel and dropout assembly forward or back as needed, and tighten the dropouts in place to the frame. With disc brakes, the brake caliper is attached to the dropout, so the brake moves along with the wheel, solving the disc brake issue.
Singlespeed mountain bike with disc brakes and sliding dropouts
Mountain bike with an eccentric bottom bracket
A typical "push-style" chain tensioner
Another option for converting a bike to a singlespeed is an eccentric rear hub. This operates on a similar principle as the eccentric bottom bracket, but the adjustment is done at the rear wheel rather than the bottom bracket. The axle on the rear hub is positioned offset in relation to the points where it inserts into the frame dropouts, and the amount of offset can be re-adjusted, thus providing a way to tension the chain. This is a much more elegant and durable solution than a chain tensioning device, and is suitable for off-road riding. The downside of this option is the expense; eccentric rear hubs start around $160, and you'll probably need to have your bike mechanic custom-build a wheel around it, so figure on about $25 and up for a rim, $1 for each spoke, and about $50 for labor. Pictured below is the White Industries "Eno" Eccentric Rear Hub:Finally, the big question when it comes to singlespeed riding is, "What gear do I want?" That depends on where you'll be riding. For off-road riding, a typical singlespeed gear combination is a 32-tooth chainring up front, with an 18-tooth cog on your wheel. This gives you a low enough gear to be able to crank up most of the steeper climbs you find on a mountain bike trail. If you tried riding this bike on pavement, though, you'd find that you'd be spinning your feet out, and "going nowhere fast." For road riding, most people find that a 42-tooth chainring and a 15- or 16-tooth cog make a good combination, enabling you to maintain a good, steady pace on flat terrain, with a gear low enough to climb up typical road grades. Single cogs are not very expensive, so once you get the bike set up, it's easy to experiment with different-sized cogs to find the gearing that works best for your needs.
Staff Profile: Keith Heffernan
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friend us on Facebook
Speaking of sharing the Breaking Away Party news far and wide, we (heart) the blog, I (heart) Cleveland, for giving the party a shout-out today. Grazie mille!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Male model, with lycra
"Women are always slighted. There's not enough naked guys in our marketing... Just think what it could do for bike sales... Maybe you guys need to get some male models to pose in front of the bikes. No lycra required! You have an opportunity to break into the female market. You should run this idea by Scott. ;)"
Since we aim to please our customers, here's our own ace mechanic from Medina, Tom. Sorry, Mars Girl, not naked, but sporting the latest in full-length skin-tight lycra:
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Not-so-trivial trivia about "Breaking Away"
- "Breaking Away" was released on July 13, 1979, in the United States. It was released on December 22, 1979, in Italy.
- In Italy, the movie was called "All American Boys." In Spain, it was called "El Relevo" ("the relay" according to Google Translation).
- Dave's bike in the movie is a 1978 Masi Gran Criterium.
- It was filmed on location in Bloomington, Indiana, on the Indiana University campus.
- "Breaking Away" is ranked #8 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.
- It's ranked #8 on their list of the 10 Greatest Films in the "Sports" genre.
- It is also #8 on Sports Illustrated's list of the top 50 sports movies of all time (Aug. 2003 issue).
- The production team decided to call the Bloomington townies "cutters" because they felt the actual local nickname ("stoners" or "stonies") would draw a parallel to drug references for viewers who were not raised in the area.
- The "Dave Stoller" character is based on David K. Blase, who had once led a team to victory in the Little 500 and had an Italian fixation. Blase had a cameo as a race announcer in the film.
- The Little 500 began in 1951 as a fundraiser for scholarship money for working students. The race was created by the late Howard S. "Howdy" Wilcox, who patterned it after the Indianapolis 500, which his father had won in 1919.
- The Little 500 is now the biggest amateur bike race in the United States, attracting 25,000 spectators on race day. This year, the women's Little 500 is on April 24 and the men's is on April 25. Race guidelines dictate that there are 33 teams of 4 racers each and all racers must attend IU.
- Dennis Christopher was actually 23 years old when he played "Dave Stoller," for which he won a Best Juvenile Actor in a Motion Picture Award. He and Paul Dooley played father and son in another movie besides "Breaking Away" and also in an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
- They tried making "Breaking Away" a TV show, with Shawn Cassidy as "Dave."
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Men's Fitness select Giant Defy 3 as one of six "Hottest New Bikes"
Friday, March 6, 2009
More trail work with CAMBA
Vulture's Knob was one of the very first mountain bike trails in the state. It's not an official CAMBA-maintained trail, but CAMBA members want to help bring this trail system back to its former glory. As always, the more hands, the merrier, and no experience is necessary!
The Knob is located at 4300 Mechanicsburg Road in Wooster, Ohio 44691.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Stimulate economy by getting out your car
King County residents who drive to work alone waste nearly 48 hours a year stuck in traffic. The typical American household spends 18 percent of its income on driving costs — more than it spends on food. The average downtown Seattle commuter spends $3,900 a year in parking and fuel costs alone. If the number of vehicles coming into downtown Seattle continues to increase at its current rate, we could need to build 20 additional 10-story parking garages in the next decade.
We could make a huge difference in downtown congestion and help our economy by changing our commute habits just one day a week. By sharing a ride, riding a bike, walking or hopping on a bus just one day a week we could relieve traffic congestion, avoid sacrificing our precious open space to new highways and parking garages, and reduce emissions that impact our environment. We could retain the qualities that make Seattle a wonderful place to live and a great place to do business. We could improve our health and save time and money.
Mountain Bike Action praises the Giant Trance X0
You can take a free test-ride on the Trance X0's little brothers, the Trance X3 and Trance X4, as well as others from our fleet of new Demo Bikes. Just call or stop by any of our stores and ask about the bike demo program!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Cycles Gladiator - the PD's Wine Buy of the Week
By Donald Rosenberg:
The bottle: Cycles Gladiator 2006 Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon.
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Where it's from: California's Monterey County, where Hahn Estates Winery makes moderately priced Cycles Gladiator, named after the Parisian bicycle company, and more expensive bottligns of chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and merlot.
Where we found it: The wine is available in many stores, including World Market in Mayfield Heights.
Tasting notes: Dark red with scents of warm, ripe berries and hints of green olives and chocolate. The wine has a fine balance of generous, easy red fruit, pepper and wood. It's a cab with personality - and an exceptional value.
Pairings: Beef, chicken, pasta dishes, savory appetizers and tangy cheeses.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Raleigh/Diamondback's gift to Keith makes front page news!
You can also check out the generous company's own reports on the Raleigh Blog and Diamondback Blog!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Define your life...in Vegas!
The ride, starting at a bike shop in the city, was a total of 51 miles, with 17 of that in the park, with 2700 feet of elevation change.
Fritz wanted us to be sure to mention what a great help Tom and Adam in Medina were by packing his bike for shipment!
North American Handmade Bicycle Show Recap
Let me just start by showing some pictures, then see below for my thoughts on the exhibitors and trends.
Our experiment with using Twitter to give you photo updates didn't quite work out as well as I had hoped. It seemed like only about half of the photos I sent got posted, and those all seemed to get posted around the same time (about 3pm), rather than as I sent them, and were in random order. Oh, well, I guess this technology is not quite ready for prime time. To be fair, this was using a service called TwitPic to post the pictures, which is a separate web site not affiliated with the main Twitter site. Here are all of the pictures that I had intended for you to see, in order:
This was the best-attended NAHBS in its 5-year history, so that bodes well for the show returning to the Midwest. In fact, I even heard a rumor that they may come back to Indianapolis next year!
Racing-oriented bikes, both road and mountain, are still big, but there were lots of commuter-oriented bikes and cruisers. I had hoped to see a lot of cargo bikes, such as Surly Big Dummy-style bikes or other Xtracycle-compatible bikes, and while there was not anything like that specifically, there was a lot of emphasis on delivery bikes and commuter bikes with integrated custom racks and baskets, usually lushly painted to match the bike frame.
A lot of the builders are also featuring more cyclocross bikes. Track bikes, of course, are still very big.
The 650B wheel size on mountain bikes is getting more attention from the custom builders compared to the large manufacturers. I spoke to Rody Walter, who builds the bikes for Groovy Cycleworks out of our backyard down in Wooster, Ohio. He said that of the last 10 bikes he's made, 5 were 650B's and 5 were 29ers. (See this previous TechTalk post for an explanation of these wheel sizes.)
Another trend starting to take hold in the bike industry is the carbon belt drive. These had a couple of incarnations in the past, but never took off, allegedly because the technology didn't yet work quite right. From what I've heard and read, they got it right this time, and a lot of the custom builders are trying it out. Basically, you replace the chain with a fan-belt type thing, which provides an extremely smooth, quiet, and grease-free drive train. The downside is that frames have to be redesigned or retrofitted, because you can't take the belt apart like a chain, so the frame has to have an opening to install the belt. Rody Walter solved this problem innovatively by putting a small S&S coupler on the drive side chainstay, which he says is much stronger than any of the other solutions. You have to either run the bike as a singlespeed, or use an internally-geared rear hub, to use the carbon belt drive.
There were a lot of bikes using small, 20-inch wheels. I get how this makes sense for folding commuter bikes, but these were all non-folding bikes. I asked one of the representatives from Sillgey Cycles about this. She said that a lot of commuters are liking them, because it makes for a more compact bike that is easier to take on buses and trains, and carry through office hallways, stairwells, and dorm rooms. Also, they are popular with many bike polo players for the quick handling and maneuverability.
The big news for Cleveland is that another custom frame builder right in our own backyard took home the Best of Show award! Congratulations to Dan Politi of Ciclo Politi of Cleveland!
The one major technology-oriented exhibitor at the show was probably also the busiest. Everyone wanted to stop by the Shimano booth the try out the new Di2 Dura-Ace electronic shifting system. They had the Giant TCR Advanced SL bike set up with the new group on a trainer. For those of you who have not read the announcements closely enough, remember that this is NOT an automatic shifting system. You still decide when you want to shift, and when you do, you press the appropriate button, located on the brake levers just like standard integrated shifters. Then, a battery-powered motor handles moving the front or rear derailleur to the correct position. Say what you want about how this concept violates the very notion of non-motorized bicycle technology, but take it from me, this thing works, and it works exceptionally fast and good. I was able to stand up on the pedals out of the saddle, and really torque the cranks, while the shifting the system from the small to big chainring without skipping a beat.
After the show, we enjoyed the hospitality of downtown Indianapolis. Getting around in the winter is made easier by the fact that many buildings are connected by a series of elevated walkways, or skywalks. We went from our hotel, to the show at the Convention Center, to two microbreweries, and a shopping mall, all without ever stepping outside!
A few other familiar faces were present: some of our colleagues from other Northeast Ohio bike shops, and a few folks from CAMBA. I met Doriano DeRosa, the latest generation of the De Rosa family of bike builders. I chatted with Maurice Tierney from Dirt Rag Magazine, Jeff Guerrero from Urban Velo magazine, and THE Paul from Paul Components Engineering.
While waiting for a table to get dinner at the RAM Brewing Company, I noticed a woman wearing a distinctive cycling jacket that I recognized from the Sheila Moon Athletic Apparel booth at the show. I asked her, "Do you work for Sheila Moon?" and she replied "I AM Sheila Moon!"
See the show's own photo gallery, as well as information about the winners and all exhibitors, at www.handmadebicycleshow.com. Also check out UrbanVelo.org for great photo galleries; their pics are all real perfessional lookin' n'at compared to mine.