Thursday, April 30, 2009
Information about the criteria used to select Bicycle-Friendly Communities and how to apply can be found here on the League's web site.
What fun is there at the fair? Well, Century Cycles is giving away bicycle helmets to the first 40 people who receive a safety check. Krista from the Rocky River store will be there, fitting helmets and showing Bay residents the bicycle she uses for commuting, which was featured in The Plain Dealer last year. Also:
- Bike To School Challenge organizers will register students and answer parents' questions about the program.
- Project Earth Environmental Club will educate attendees on the environmental benefits of riding a bike, while the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation will educate them on the physical benefits. Both groups are Bike To School Challenge sponsors and will sell t-shirts.
- The city of Bay Village's police department and their bike officers will be available to citizens with bike licenses and information.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
If you're like most of us and could not make it out there, you can ride along virtually, courtesy of Pro Men's Mountain Super D Champion Carl "The Decorator" Decker, and Pro Women's Mountain Super D Champion Kelli "The Future Mrs. Doug Charnock" Emmett, both of the Giant Mountain Bike Team.
You can also check out this interview of both Carl and Kelli before the start of their Pro Cross-Country races:
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thanks to Doug for the photos!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Old Man Mountain is a small company in Santa Barbara, California that specializes in cargo racks to fit any bike, especially those that do not have standard rack mounting eyelets. Look for a review of the Ultimate Lowrider when our customer returns from his trip!
In the meantime, I had been in need of a new front cargo rack for my Surly Long Haul Trucker, which DOES have traditional rack mounting eyelets. There are a few good standard racks that would fit the bill, such as the Jandd Extreme or Jandd Lowrider, and of course, the Surly "Nice Rack." But, since we were placing an order with Old Man Mountain anyway, I figured I'd try out their AC Lowrider front rack.
The name of the AC Lowrider is in honor of the Adventure Cycling Association. It's a basic alloy front rack. Installation took a quick 10 minutes using the lower- and mid-fork eyelets on the Long Haul Trucker's fork. The rack has adjustability while retaining its elegant simplicity; you can adjust the tilt so that the rack and your panniers sit perfectly horizontal. After getting the rack installed, I rode the LHT to the shop today, and the rack (so far unloaded only), seems solid as a rock.
When I spoke to the folks at Old Man Mountain when I placed the order, they informed me that they are discontinuing this rack! They have a few left though, so if you've been thinking about getting one, act fast! They said that they sold 250 of them in the year since they released it. When they tried to order more from their factory, their supplier would only make them in lots of 1000, so despite the popularity and quality of the rack, Old Man Mountain decided that they did not want to invest in ordering a four-year supply!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
In the meantime, it's on the floor at the Rocky River store, should you want to bask in its coolness before it takes up residence in our garage.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
That's 11 packets per minute, but you also have to throw in the assistance of one assistant principal, one math teacher, one bike store owner, one founder of a bike and skate park, a few moms, and a couple siblings.
It's those 70-plus-degree temperatures on Saturday that make it the perfect evening for our very first Night Ride on the Towpath Trail of 2009. Scott and Doug are leading the ride, and most likely leading the march next door to the Lizard upon the ride's conclusion.
Plus what else you gonna do? The Cavs ain't playing that night.
More Night Ride details: www.centurycycles.com/for/nightrides
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Work on Chagrin River bridges will add to detours and extra miles already necessary for cyclists to avoid the closure of Old Mill between County Line Road and Mayfield Road. (When taking Old Mill east, the current cyclist detour it to take County Line Road south to Hillcrest Road east to Westchester Trail north.)
Two additional projects to replace or repair deteriorating bridges over the Chagrin River will overlap the work already begun on the Mayfield Road bridge. Mayfield Road is a good road for cyclists to avoid in ideal conditions because of heavy traffic. With the construction, only one lane will be open in each direction through August 31, 2010. Preconstruction work is scheduled from mid-April through mid-July on the River Road bridge near Old Mill Road in Gates Mills, which is scheduled to be replaced. There will be a temporary traffic light, and traffic will be reduced to one lane. A good detour for cyclists is the pedestrian bridge that is a hundred yards north of the bridge off the west side of River Road. You access it from a short sidewalk, and it’s easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it. Once you cross the bridge, you can turn left on Old Mill to return to River Road or turn right on Old Mill, left on Epping, and right on Beverly or Berkshire to bypass a blind turn on River Road.
The biggest challenge for cyclists will be the third bridge project--on River Road where Wilson Mills jogs from south to north. Construction will probably start in May and will take about three months (if we're lucky). The road will be completely closed during that time. Cyclists who take the trail through North Chagrin Reservation to Wilson Mills (or Ox Road to River Road going south) will only be able to turn north on River Road or west on Wilson Mills.
Only one person will get the bike, but everyone can also pick up Century Cycles coupons in The WAVE's booth, good for 15% off bicycle accessories (like those cool racks and panniers for commuting), $20 off ANY bicycle, and a FREE safety check (in case you want one of our expert mechanics to inspect the bike you already own).
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Scott Cowan is passionate about bikes By Kevin Madzia If you wander around Scott Cowan’s house, his passion for bicycling is apparent on the walls and shelves of virtually every room, which are adorned with his extensive collection of more than 100 bicycles and countless components, books, signs and memorabilia. His passion extends to all parts of his life, including his work as the owner of three Century Cycles bicycle shops.
Cowan discovered his passion for bicycling as a kid, and did not give it up once he got old enough to drive. His first bike was a copper-colored Schwinn Typhoon that he rode all over town. When he finally outgrew it, he bought a 10-speed, which he rode throughout high school and college. He wanted to buy himself a college graduation gift, but without an immediate job he could not afford a new car, so he bought a new bike instead.
Cowan started collecting bikes in 1993 when he came across a J.C. Higgins balloon tire bike that he found at an antique store. A few years later, he was delighted to come across a copper-colored Schwinn Typhoon, just like the one he had as a kid.
Most of his bike acquisitions came about serendipitously, often as tips from friends who saw them at garage sales. and, as Scott says, “just thought I might be interested.” A few have been scavenged from tree lawns, but not one of Cowan’s bikes have been purchased on eBay.
With one such serendipitous find, Cowan didn’t realize how lucky he was until after the fact. He was looking at a vintage bike collector’s Web site, which described a Monark Airman Comet with a rare twin suspension that was sold out of the Spiegel catalog in the early 1940s. The Web page said there was only one surviving example of the model known to exist, and as Cowan read it he realized, “Holy crap, I’ve got one of those!”
One of his favorite bikes is an old tandem that is still ride-able. It has a mechanism that allows it to be steered from the rear seat.
“It’s such a blast to ride, and it freaks people out when they see me on it,” he says.
His oldest bike is a mid-1930s tricycle with wooden rims. The newest vintage bike is a blue Miyata racer. His newest modern bike is a track bike with an old-school design, the Giant Bowery ‘72.
An important part of Cowan’s collection is a hard-cover notebook, which contains handwritten records of bike acquisitions. The location, price and other details of each transaction are described in detail.
One entry reads, “A bottle of single-barrel Jack Daniels and $370 for an old Raleigh Chopper.” About another bike, Cowan wrote it took one week to finalize the deal.
The collection is not limited to complete bikes. There are piles of old wheels, crank sets, shifters, brakes, handlebars, you name it, Cowan has it.
Sitting next to a like-new Roadmaster cruiser is a 6-inch die-cast model of it, identical in detail down to the red and black paint job. Look closer and you notice a 3-inch Christmas tree ornament version of the same bike. A couple of small boxes sitting on a workbench contain several lifetimes’ supply of old 1-inch pitch chain links. “Someday, I will own them all, and then they will all have to come to me,” he says with a grin, while rubbing his hands together mock-villain style.
Scott's passion for collecting, like his passion for bikes, started during childhood. When asked what he collected as a kid, Cowan says, "What didn't I collect?" He runs down a short list: stamps, seashells, Matchbox and Hot Wheels, coins...
In the basement, your eyes will catch other collections and odds and ends. A giant plastic bin of marbles. An antique rotary-style telephone. Bottles of wine. Cigar boxes. Neon signs. Model trains and airplanes. Several boxes of card files "for when card files come back in style," Cowan says.
Cowan's pack-rat tendencies stem from his love and appreciation of the art in everything, especially in the design of practical things. He has always been a fan of Viktor Schreckengost, an industrial designer and sculptor from Cleveland how lived to the ripe age of 102. Cowan says Schreckengost was "very creative, forward-thinking and ahead of his time."
Schreckengost designed pottery, dinnerware, engines and of course, bicycles. In Schreckengost, Cowan sees the embodiment of his philosophy of life, a philosophy that he also recently found expressed in a quote by Howard Thurman, a noted philosopher and civil rights leader.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who come alive."
And it's bicycles of all shapes, sizes and eras that make Cowan come alive.
Kevin Madzia has a passion for cycling himself, with several long bike trips under his belt, including one from Seattle to Boston, and another from Cleveland to Guatemala. He is the Web master for Century Cycles and the editor of the bike commuter blog carlessohio.org.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
- Two Sun EZ-1 SX recumbent bicycles ($899.99 each)
- Two Sun canopies ($69.99 each)
- One Sun quad bike kit ($909.99)
Here are Adam and Don testing it out in the parking lot around the store:
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Many of us fondly remember an event Century Cycles held about three years ago with legendary cyclist and author Bob Roll. For mechanic Joshua Ronschke, 24, it was a life-altering experience when his brother invited him to attend it. At the time, Josh was working as a baker at Heinen’s. Shortly after he got a glimpse of the world of bicycling at Century Cycles that night, he quit Heinen’s, was hired by Century Cycles in Rocky River, and whole new livelihood was born.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about working at Century Cycles?
Every morning when I wake up, I look forward to going to work. Everyone is happy – the employees, the customers, everyone. Cycling is something we all want and love to do, and it makes everyone happy. Plus I don’t have to wear a tie.
Q. Road or dirt?
That’s really hard to choose. It depends on my mood. I do a lot of road riding, but if I had to choose only one to do, it’d be mountain biking. In fact, I just ordered a new mountain bike, a Surly Karate Monkey.
Q. How many bikes do you own?
About five complete bikes, but there are probably 11 in our apartment altogether [Josh shares an apartment with Brad, another mechanic at the Rocky River store]. We have about six in the living room, two in the dining room. They’re all over.
Q. What’s your biggest accomplishment on a bike?
After college graduation last year, I took a few months off. During that time, I rode my Surly Long Haul Trucker from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, then took the train to Colorado and rode from Denver to Boulder. Before working here, I never would have considered riding 100 miles, much less 1,000. But it was great and I loved it.
Q. What is your favorite trail or ride?
I just rode the new trail at East 49th and Grant, the Erie Canalway [in the Cleveland Metroparks], and that was nice to go mountain biking in Cleveland.
Q. What’s your college degree in?
Last May I graduated from Cleveland State University with a degree in Communications.
Q. What was your first bike?
You guys pictured it on the blog. That was it.
Q. What are three words that describe how you feel on a bike?
Free, independent, carefree.
Q. What do you do when you’re not on a bike or at Century Cycles?
Basketball is it. It’s my first love.
Q. What’s your favorite beer?
Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Summer Solstice. I’ve only had it once – in Mendocino, CA – but I remember it as the best beer I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it was just because it was after a long bike ride or what, but it was the best beer ever.
Q. What’s your favorite bike?
My Surly Long Haul Trucker I took out west.
Q. You recently were the driving force behind getting an Electra bike from Century Cycles displayed at the VANITYLAB hair salon in Westlake. How did that come about?
My girlfriend, Rachael, works at VANITYLAB and obviously I work for Century Cycles. We work at locally-owned businesses and we like to shop at them, too, instead of going to the big chains. We got to talking about how we can help other small shops and that’s when we came up with this idea.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about cycling?
That it’s something you can do from the time you’re 3 years old to 83 or 93. Never stop riding. My dad had a bunch of really bad health problems a few years back, but now he rides a bike we got him and his health has improved. He feels better than he has in a long time.
Q. What does your dad ride?
He and my mom live out in the country and they both ride Raleigh Ventures.
The League of American Bicyclists Announces Century Cycles as a 2008 Shop of the Year
Washington, DC - April 13, 2009 – The League of American Bicyclists is proud to announce Century Cycles as a 2008 Shop of the Year, as determined by the League’s members.
The League’s Shops of the Year award recognizes only eight outstanding shops in the U.S. for their commitment to customer service and dedication to encouraging cycling. Andy Clarke, President of the League, said, “The League is delighted to recognize Century Cycles as a 2008 Shop of the Year for their efforts to promote cycling in their community. In addition to their outstanding customer service, Century Cycles is involved in advocacy, education and encouragement activities that have an impact well beyond their shop’s walls.”
In 2008, Century Cycles was also named a Top 100 Bicycle Retailer in the U.S., its seventh straight year being honored by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, the trade publication for the bicycle industry. The local bike chain, which just celebrated its 17th anniversary, was also recently ranked in the top 10 among 1,200 Raleigh dealers in the United States.
“All of us at Century Cycles are honored to be recognized by such an esteemed group of cyclists,” said Scott Cowan, owner and founder of Century Cycles. “We’ll keep striving to provide world-class customer service and will continue to bring bicycling to as many people as possible.”
The 2008 Shops of the Year:
The League determined the 2008 Shops of the Year winners in a recent membership survey. The League’s members were asked what their favorite bike shops were and why. The shops with the most mentions in each region won. Typically, six awards are given – one per region. However, 2008 proved to be a great year for bicycling. Two additional shops were recognized in Region 4 where there was a three-way tie.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Take up cycling: A report by the British Medical Association concluded that folks who cycled regularly live an average of two years longer than noncyclists.
Lots of other things you might also like (wine, sex, chocolate, pets) were on the list, as well as a few things that are never high on any list (um, castration, anyone?).
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Read the full story in this article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Located at 238 North Main Street in historic downtown Hudson, Ohio, they offer a daily selection of cupcakes from their menu of over 160 flavors! Just like Century Cycles, they are locally-owned, so stop by to try their tempting tasteful treats and support businesses of Northeast Ohio! (From our Peninsula store, just take Route 303 east to Hudson, then turn left on Route 91.)
While you're enjoying your cupcakes, look for our Electra Townie Holiday 3 cruiser bike in Apple Green! It's perfect for cruising around town for errands, such as picking up some coffee, and of course, some cupcakes! It has 3 speeds and coaster brakes for simple operation, and it comes with the matching front basket!
Matching some cupcake flavors to the Townie's Apple Green color was no problem for Main Street's Cupcake's creative baker. We can't match their variety of colors and flavors, although the Townie Holiday 3 also comes in Sky Blue and Khaki!
Check back for a special offer for our rental bike customers to redeem this summer at Main Street Cupcakes!
For those of you who just can't get enough of definitions, we have a whole brand-new glossary of cycling terms for your education and entertainment. You can find it by going to: www.centurycycles.com/goto/glossary
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The last two Pink Sweethearts we had in stock were sold to avid Electra fans in California and Idaho, who found us through this little ol' blog. Here's hoping this one stays in the area, if only so we get to see it's heart-covered loveliness brightening our Ohio streets.
BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (April 7, 2009) -- Back for its second year, Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle helps students in Bay Village kick the car habit by challenging them to ride their bikes to school during three weeks each spring, to improve their health, get more exercise and help the environment. It is expanded in 2009 to include Bay Middle School as well as Bay High School - a combined population of over 1,600 students. With a lot of fun and a little friendly competition between the schools, Bike To School Challenge shows students (and the community as a whole) that "going by bike" is a great way to go.
Students who register for Bay Schools Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle carry a redemption card that is stamped each day they ride a bike to school. The more days they ride, the more they get - including free t-shirts and bicycle accessories from Century Cycles bicycle store in Rocky River and free burritos from Chipotle. They also qualify for Bike To School Challenge's grand prizes - two Raleigh and two Giant bicycles (one each per school, courtesy of Century Cycles, Raleigh Bicycles and Giant Bicycles) and free Chipotle burritos for a year.
Bay Schools Bike To Challenge starts on May 4, dubbed "Free Burrito Day" -- each student who registers for Bike To School Challenge and rides the first day receives a free burrito from Chipotle. It concludes on May 22 with a pancake breakfast prepared for participating students by teachers and staff, plus assemblies at each school to show the students the impact of their efforts and draw the grand prize winners' names.
NEW IN 2009: The Golden Sprocket Award: The Golden Sprocket Award is the brainchild of BHS Assistant Principal Jason Martin and BMS Principal Sean McAndrews (and the trophy itself is the creation of the mechanics at Century Cycles). Bay Middle School and Bay High School will be competing during Bike To School Challenge to see which school has the greatest percentage of bike-riders on the three Wednesdays of the program, with the winner receiving the Golden Sprocket Award. It will be awarded weekly during Bike To School Challenge, on May 6, May 13 and May 20. The award will be displayed in the main office of the winning school building for as long as the school holds the title. On Friday, May 22, the Golden Sprocket will be awarded to the school with the greatest average percentage from the three dates, which will then be the permanent home of the award until the 2010 Bike To School Challenge. In order to be eligible for the Golden Sprocket Award, a building principal or assistant principal at each school must have ridden a bicycle to school on the date of the challenge.
Support from around the community: In addition to the Golden Sprocket Award and the prizes provided by Century Cycles and Chipotle, the program is receiving support from the community to encourage students to ride their bikes to school. The Parent Teacher Student Association at Bay Middle School and the Parent Teacher Association at Bay High School will provide free water bottles to the students as a prize. Friday, May 15, is Free Caribou Drink Day. Every student who rides that day receives a free drink voucher from Caribou Coffee. On Tuesday, May 19, Mitchell's Ice Cream will give free ice cream cones to 20 lucky students, randomly drawn from those who ride that day. On Friday, May 8, Studio VANITYLAB will give free haircuts to 25 Bay High School students, randomly drawn from those who ride that day.
Why a short bicycle ride can make a big difference: In 1969, approximately half of all students in the U.S. walked or bicycled to school. By 2001, only about 15 percent of U.S. students make the trip to school by walking or bicycling. Today, the habit of driving kids to school is so pervasive that, in some communities, parents driving their children to school represents between 20 and 30 percent of peak-hour morning traffic. (Source: Safe Routes to School: 2007 State of the States Report)
Success in 2008: Launched in 2008 as "Bay High School Bike To School Month sponsored by Century Cycles," the program was inspired by a student car boycott in 2007, when Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan approached his alma mater about encouraging more bike-riding to school. It was enthusiastically embraced by the students and faculty. Participation exceeded organizers' expectations - 543 students (66 percent of the school) registered for the program and on average 224 students per day biked to school during an unusually cold and rainy May. At its conclusion, Bay High School students rode an estimated 15,566 miles, saved $2,883 in fuel costs, and reduced carbon emissions by 14,350 pounds. Students said they rode their bikes more even after the program ended and the BHS faculty organized their own team for the MS 150, an annual 150-mile bicycle ride.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
MedinaMultimedia.com is a new local company whose mission is to take their experience, enthusiasm, and personal knowledge of all that Medina County offers, and commit to the craft of creating high-quality multimedia stories to inform and entertain you.
Their first project just happens to be cycling-related; a story about the Medina County Bicycle Club's annual ABCDEFGHIJ! New Year's Day Ride! Click on the image below to see the slide show.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Sunday April 5 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Downtown Cleveland, from Public Square to Playhouse Square. This is the day after the Rock Hall inductions. Let's show them that downtown has some life to it and have some fun, too!
Open to all creative, eco-minded, fun loving fun living folks - free. Go play in the street. Discover downtown. Try transportation methods like walking, biking, skateboarding, car-sharing, car-pooling, trains, busses, scooters and maybe even ponies. Show the Rock Hall inductees that Cleveland's Cool.
- Designarosa: the future location of the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Center will be the site for DESIGNEROSA, a book release party for the CUDC's latest release, Pop Up City.
- Mr Mustache's Magic Mountain
- Bike polo from The Pedal Republik of Cleveland
- Tall bikes
- Ice cream bike from Century Cycles
- Cleveland Institute of Music performances
- Heelsplitter bicycle-traveling bluegrass band
- Bike station by ClevelandBikes
- Bike decorating for adults and kids
- Video/photo contest using RTA bike racks with prizes from Ohio City Bicycle Co-op
- Announcement of 2009 Walk+Roll schedule
- Bike maps from NOACA
- House of Blues is planning something
- Erie Island coffee is planning something
- Phat Car Autorama
- City Wheels
- University Circle Living is planning something
- Progressive Urban may have residential units open
- Downtown Playground with hula hoops, double dutch, 4-square, kickball, hopscotch
- Poets on the RTA Healthline
- Costumed bears on the Healthline
- Glenda the Goodwitch
- Free pedometers from COSE
- UltraMission is planning something
- Less Talk More Monkey apparel for sale
- Big Fun is planning something
- Erie Street Cemetary tours
We are trying to make it participatory and spontaneous, encouraging everyone to be part of creating the fun rather than providing scheduled entertainment that you just watch. Join in as much or as little as you like!
It is open to anyone and can be spontaneous or structured. Want to be an underwriter, sponsor, advertiser, donate prizes or create an activity? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
This is being pulled together on two shoestrings and some loose change. Walk+Roll is a non-profit entity; if you support making greater Cleveland more bicycle and pedestiran friendly, please make a tax-deductible donation. No amount is too small and any amount will help.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Celebrate 20 years of Dirt Rag Magazine at Ray’s MTB Park. Anytime is a good time to ride at Ray’s, but the weekend of April 4-5 will be extra special. Want to join in on the fun? Here is the low down.
The Dirt Rag crew will be riding Ray’s both Saturday and Sunday, perhaps a bit of Friday for good measure. Paid entry to Ray’s on Saturday will net you a 20th Anniversary spoke card. This spoke card will also get you in the door at the party Saturday evening at the Holiday Inn. Food will be provided, along with beer from Troeg’s and Pabst. Space is limited at the party, so get to Ray’s early to ensure your entry into the after party.
Dirt Rag will have a booth set up also, where you can stop by to renew your subscription, pick up some new Dirt Rag or Bicycle Times merchandise, or score some killer deals on closeout items from the Dirt Rag archives.
Always looking out for you, post party accommodations are available at the Holiday Inn at a very reasonable rate. More info at Ray’s website. There will be shuttle buses running between the hotel and Ray’s.
Dirt Rag says, "Come on out and celebrate with us. We couldn’t have made it this long without you."
- At least 10% OFF all bicycles; some models marked down even more!
- 20% OFF all accessories
- Even bigger discounts on our Beach Blanket Bargains! In addition to the items listed in our post from a few days ago, look for these bargains, too (all while supplies last):
- 40% OFF all in-stock Sidi Cycling Shoes!
- Big discounts on some in-stock Pearl Izumi Cycling Shoes, such as the Vagabond (mountain and road) and Tri R3, and Shimano Cycling Shoes, such as the MT20D and M038!
- Avenir Dual Child Trailer with Stroller Conversion - $239.99 (regularly $319.99)
- Serfas Guppy Amber Taillight - $4.99 (regularly $9.99)