Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blessing of the Pets and Bicycles tomorrow

From West Life newspaper:

St. Raphael Church is adding a new twist to its fifth annual "Blessing of the Pets" that celebrates the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Bicycles will be blessed in addition to household pets of all kinds at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 1, on the front lawn of the church. Individual blessings will be given to each animal and bicycle. Children are encouraged to decorate their bikes. Pets will receive treats, and a garden statue of St. Francis will be given away. All are welcome. If you would like to help a local animal shelter, please bring to donate: hard plastic dish pans, two-compartment food and water dishes, canned cat food, flea products or gift cards from local veterinarians. The church is located at 525 Dover Center Road, between Lake and Detroit. Dogs should be on leashes; cats and other pets in carriers or cages. The event will be cancelled if it rains.

Urban Legends Fashion Show

The Momentum Urban Legends Fashion Show was presented at the Interbike industry trade show last week in Las Vegas to highlight the latest commuter-oriented bicycles and clothing that both looks and works well. Click here for a slide show of some of the highlights.

Among the bicycles featured in the show were the 2010 Giant Simple Single, 2010 Giant Suede GX, and the 2010 Raleigh Alley Way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Public Bicycling Form in Chardon TODAY

The city of Chardon, Ohio has begun the process of conducting a pedestrian and bicycle trail plan. A community-wide meeting is being held to present to the general public the options that are currently being considered, and to hear comments and concerns from the audience.

All those interested in this important planning process are encouraged to attend.

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 6:30pm

St. Mary's Church Banquet Room
401 North St.
Chardon, Ohio
click for map

Raleigh Talus 5.0 in Stock!

Last month, I posted a preview of the 2010 Raleigh Talus 5.0 mountain bike. Click here to go back and re-read why we were so excited about it. I don't take it too personally when the general public does not get as excited about new bikes as I do, because I realize that I am a, um, dork. But it appears that in this case, the reality has lived up to the hype, as we have already sold three of these bikes just in the last couple of weeks since we first received them!

We've got them in stock in all three of our Century Cycles stores now, so come check it out and take it for a test ride. This is usually the point in your blog post reading where I would include a link to our shameless e-commerce division, where you could check out the bikes specs and zoom in on a larger picture. Alas, typing away here on my trusty old TRS-80, even I am ahead of the curve, because our web site service provider does not yet have the product information available yet for the new 2010 Raleigh bikes.

I expect this to be remedied soon. Last week was Interbike, the bicycle industry trade show that takes place every year in Las Vegas. This being only Tuesday, the second work day following the show, the bike industry is probably just now rolling over, wiping the crust from their collective eyelids, and reaching for the bag of ice for their foreheads before getting back to business as usual.

In the meantime, you can either stop into our stores to look over our copy of the 2010 catalog, or stop over to their web site at to check out the whole new line. The industry press has been buzzing about it already; here is a sample of some of the coverage:

Road Bike Action:

Some comments from the above posts:

"This bike is gorgeous [Raleigh Record-Ace]. All the classic lines and the modern conveniences."

"Did I mention how bad I want the 2010 [Raleigh] Clubman?"

"This [Raleigh AlleyWay] could be the perfect mixed-weather commuter bike."

Meanwhile, we DO have all of new the 2010 bikes from Giant available for your perusal on our web site, and a number of them in stock, including the Rapid 2, Rapid 3, Dash 2, Dash 3, Avail 3, Defy 1, Defy 2 Compact, Defy 3, and Rincon. The Rincon, in particular has caught our eyes, and will give the Raleigh Talus 5.0 a run for the money in a value-priced mountain bike ($499.99) with the looks of a bike twice the price:Stayed tuned for more news from the trade show, and more previews of 2010 bicycles from Masi, Electra, Bianchi, and more!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Extra fun planned for last Night Ride on 10/9!

Our last Century Cycles Night Ride on the Towpath Trail of 2009 is Friday, October 9, and we’re planning a fun finale to our best Night Ride season ever!

We'll be handing out FREE glow-in-the-dark goodies, plus join the fun by decorating your bike and/or yourself. (Bike decoration and costumes are encouraged but not required. That said, you’ll be amazed how easily bike shorts can fit under a costume -- or a bike helmet can go over a wig!)

Recently named a great local ride by Bicycling Magazine, Night Rides are FREE group bicycle rides on the Towpath Trail led by Century Cycles that don't require any registration or RSVP. They start at 8pm in the parking lot of the Peninsula store (parking is in the Lock 29 parking lot or its overflow lot). Helmets and bike lights are REQUIRED and VERY NECESSARY. (The sun will have set before we set out). Children 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

So whether come in costume or not, mark your calendar to join us on October 9th and bike the last Night Ride of the year!
(Photo: Josh from the Rocky River store photographed by Doug from the Peninsula store.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

LIVESTRONG Day at Century Cycles - Oct. 2, 2009

October 2, 1996 is the day that Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer, and began the fight of his life that culminated in recovery and a record-setting seven victories in the Tour de France bicycle race.

This year, on Friday October 2, we help to celebrate the spirit of LIVESTRONG with LIVESTRONG Day at Century Cycles. Look for our staff to be wearing yellow on that day, and wear yellow to join us in raising worldwide awareness of the continued need to fight the scourge of cancer.

Look for the LIVESTRONG collection boxes in each of our three stores. All proceeds deposited in the collection boxes will be donated to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and Century Cycles will match one-for-one the cash amount of all donations collected (up to $500)!

Plus, any customer wearing a yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet can take 15% off the original price of any single item purchased on LIVESTRONG Day (excluding bicycles, trailers, labor, and rentals).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Pedaling to Lunch" book available!

"Pedaling to Lunch - Bike Rides and Bites in Northeast Ohio" is a popular book by local author (and cyclist) Stan Purdum. We now have it for sale at all three Century Cycles stores, as well as online, $18.95 each!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New mountain bike trail in Hocking Hills State Park

On Twitter yesterday, the Ohio State Parks announced a new mountain bike trail in Hocking Hills State Park. Today they reminded their followers they boast over 250 miles of mountain biking trails in 30 state parks.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ride the Conference Bike

Only $1 per ride at The Cleveland Bridge Project this weekend.

Fall Clearance Sale!

Today marks the official end of summer. Hopefully, there will be more warm-weather days to come, or the warm weather of summer may be coming to an end soon. Either way, now is a perfect time to save $$$ on selected warm-weather cycling clothing (and some cold-weather items as well!). Check out the full list on our Fall Bicycle Clothing Clearance page. You can also save hundreds on a new bicycle with our Previous Model Year Bike Clearance deals!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sylvia Bingham Memorial Ride is on Tuesday 9/22

A special silent memorial bicycle ride in mourning, memory and honor of Sylvia Bingham is scheduled for Tuesday morning, September 22. Sylvia, a 22-year-old Yale grad who worked for Hard-Hatted Women, died last week as the result of a collision with a truck in downtown Cleveland while riding her bicycle to work. Bicyclists will gather at 7:30 a.m. at Sylvia's Tremont home at the intersection of Fairfield and W. 11th Street. The two-hour ride will begin at 8 a.m. Helmets are required and bicyclists are asked to wear white t-shirts. For more information or to RSVP, click here for the Facebook page for the event or click here for the event website.

Friday, September 18, 2009

US Senate Update

Two days ago, we issued a call to action forwarded from the Rail-toTrails Conservancy to contact your US Senators to vote against amendments to a transportation bill that would have threatened funding for local bicycle and pedestrian projects. We are happy to report that the amendments were defeated by a Senate vote of 59-39, including two NAY votes by our own Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator George Voinovich of Ohio.

You can read more details about the issue at this page on the RTC web site. You can also follow the link on that page to send notes of thanks to our senators for their support.

Join the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition for Oktoberfest!

If you're looking for a fun way to spend the day tomorrow before coming for our Night Ride on the Towpath, check out Oktoberfest!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Come and join the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and Ohio Brewing Company for Oktoberfest Saturday the 19th from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Ohio Brewing Company located at 222 South Main St, Akron! Oktoberfest will be offering delicious German food, fun games, great music, and a full selection of beers including Oktoberfest Beer. Oktoberfest proceeds will go toward the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and their efforts to develop the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Join in at 1:00 p.m. for a pool tournament and corn hole tournament. At 3:00 Canalway trivia begins. Jack Taddy and Taddy Bear will begin playing at 6:00 p.m. Come on down to the Oktoberfest and join the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, Ohio Brewing Company, and Damon’s for fun, German food, and drinks; and help support the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail.

Tickets for German buffet, 1 drink (beer, wine, mixed etc.) & entertainments only $20
Tickets for Brat, 2 drink and entertainment only $10 Additional drink tickets available for $5.

For more information, visit or call 330-434-5657.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Night Ride this Saturday!

According to the U.S. Naval Observatory, the sun will set on Saturday at 7:28 p.m. -- nice and dark for a bike ride at night that starts at 8pm. According to the Weather Channel, there is a 0% chance of precipitation on Saturday -- no pesky raindrops to dampen your spirits or the Towpath. And according to Bicycling Magazine, Century Cycles Night Rides are a great ride -- and this Saturday is your second-to-the-last chance to join us for one in 2009!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Call Your US Senators - NOW

Your voice is urgently needed. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on eliminating walking and biking funds today, September 16.

Late yesterday, The Rails-To-Trails Conservancy received word that Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) just issued amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. Their changes specifically attack funding for rail-trails, bicycling and walking.

Please take a minute right now to call your senators and ask them vote against Amendments 2370 and 2371 to H.R. 3288.

Amendment 2370 would prohibit the use of federal funds for pedestrian or bicycle facilities, efforts to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, or other specified Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects if the Highway Trust Fund cannot cover unfunded highway authorizations.

Amendment 2371 would allow states to eliminate spending on TE, the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling. Congress currently sets aside a portion of federal funds for TE to support these projects in all states.

This is truly an all-hands-on-deck moments. Please act now—call your senators and ask them to vote against the proposed amendments.

Here are the phone numbers for Ohio's US Senators:

  • Sherrod Brown 202-224-2315
  • George Voinovich 202-224-3353
Here is a sample text that you can use when calling:

I am calling from (city, state) to urge that Senator ______ vote against Amendments 2370 and 2371 to H.R. 3288. These amendments would jeopardize essential Transportation Enhancements projects such as trails and other walking and bicycling infrastructure. These projects are highly valued in my community, and we need more safe and convenient opportunities to walk and bike. How does Senator _____ plan to vote on these amendments?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Define your Oregon wine country!

Doug Barge, a Century Cycles customer and longtime FOS (Friend Of Scott), took a biking/drinking trip to Oregon. Above pic: Doug is dressed to the nines for the wine and cheese tasting on a train. Below pic: Doug discovers the cycle-mower -- and that Oregonians will find any excuse to ride a bike, even when mowing a lawn.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Bike trial rider Dan Smith featured in Plain Dealer

Today's Plain Dealer featured an article on the front page of Arts & Life about Dan Smith, one of few bike trial riders in the area. Click here to read the story and see a video of Dan in action.
(Photo: Lonnie Timmons III/The Plain Dealer)

ETA: Just found Dan's website, for those who want to see more videos (or order a cool t-shirt). Head on over to 216 Trials.

Our Latest eNewsletter - September 2009

The latest edition of the Century Cycles eNewsletter was just e-mailed to subscribers yesterday afternoon. You can read it online if you didn't receive it.

You can go to our eNewsletter Archive page to catch up on past issues, and sign up to get it in your own Inbox.

Friday, September 11, 2009

TechTalk: Selecting and Using a Tire Pump

One of the best ways to keep your bike rolling smoothly and reliably is to ensure that your tires are pumped up to the recommended pressure. For the quickest and most efficient performance, you should pump your tires to the maximum pressure indicated on the sidewall of the tire.

There are exceptions to this; when carrying a heavy load, some touring experts recommend dropping the tire pressure a bit for more comfort. The reasons for this and the rules for calculating how much pressure to use can be rather complicated, and are outside the scope of this article.

The other major exception is if you are riding a mountain bike on singletrack mountain bike trails. Most experienced mountain bikers use the minimum recommended pressure in their tires; this provides better traction over rocks, roots, and other common mountain bike trail obstacles.

Other than these two exceptions, using the maximum recommended pressure is a good rule of thumb to live by for the average recreational road and bike path rider.

It's a fact of life that bike tires, even when brand new and/or in good condition, lose air pressure fairly quickly. It's no different than your car tires; they need to have the air topped off occasionally too, just less often, because they hold a much larger volume of air. As a general rule, you should check your bike's tire pressure as part of your normal pre-ride preparation before every ride.

The best way to top off your tire pressure when preparing for a ride is to use a quality bicycle-specific hand-operated floor pump, such as our favorite, the Blackburn Air Tower 2 shown here. This, like most good bike pumps, will work with both types of bicycle inner tube valves (Presta and Schrader). Some pumps have a "dual" head, with two valve holes--a smaller one for Presta valves, and a large one for Schrader valves. Other pumps have a "smart" head, with just a single hole that automatically works with both Presta and Schrader valves. Some older older models may have a "convertible" head, where you have to take it apart and move some pieces around, depending on whether you want to use it with a Presta or Schrader valve.

There is an adapter available that will let you use a Schrader-only pump with a Presta valve. These adapters are inexpensive, but have a number of drawbacks. They are small and easy to lose. They are rather cumbersome and inconvenient to use. Perhaps not least of all, they are considered way too gauche by many experienced cyclists.

Most good floor pumps have a built-in air pressure gauge. This makes it much more convenient when pumping your tires; you can just watch the gauge as you pump, rather than having to alternately switch a separate air pressure gauge on and off of your valve.

Many people have electric air compressors in their garages. These can be useful, but you need to be careful not to over-inflate your tires with them, as some can deliver a large volume of air too quickly for a bike tire. Most compressors will not work with Presta valves, and the time you'll waste fiddling with a Presta adapter is way more than the time it would take to just hook up a good Presta-compatible floor pump. Plus, an electric pump is not very convenient to toss in your back seat if you're heading out in your car to meet friends for a ride.

What makes a good floor pump? Besides having a Presta/Schrader-compatible head and a built-in air pressure gauge, look for one with sturdy construction. Cheaper pumps will be made of more plastic, while the better ones will have more metal. Look for a larger platform on the base, giving you more room to step with your feet, and less chance that the pump will fall over when you set it aside. A pump with a larger barrel will push more air per stroke, meaning you spend a little less time pumping. Some will have the air gauge mounted near the bottom, while others will have the air gauge mounted near the top, making it easier to see, especially for aging eyes like mine. However, if your pump should happen to fall over on the floor, a top-mounted gauge will take a bigger impact compared to a bottom-mounted gauge, and will be more likely to get cracked and damaged.

OK, we've covered every angle of what you need to pump up your tires in the convenience of home; what about when you're stuck with a flat tire out on the road or trail? Every cyclist's mobile tool kit should include some kind of portable tire hand pump that can be carried with you while riding. The shapes and styles of hand pumps are even more varied than floor pumps.

Some hand pumps have a spring-loaded handle that lets you wedge the pump into the inside of your bike frame to carry it while riding. Some purists will say that this type of pump is the only kind that should be referred to as a "frame pump." However, most hand pumps these days come with some kind of bracket that lets you attach it to your bike frame, so the term "frame pump" has come into common use for any type of pump that you can carry on your bike. With the wide variety of frame shapes being made for bikes, especially on full suspension mountain bikes or swoopy-curved carbon road bikes, it's impossible for pump manufacturers to make a "universal" frame pump of the traditional spring-loaded variety that will work on most bikes. So, the spring-loaded type is becoming less and less common.

Like floor pumps, most modern frame pumps will work with both Presta and Schrader valves. The "convertible" type of pump head is still pretty common on many frame pumps, but some are available with a dual head or a smart head. Even if your bike(s) only use one type of valve, it's handy to have a pump compatible with both, in case one of your riding buddies needs to borrow your pump and uses a different valve.

When selecting a frame pump, you have to choose between two competing needs: small size and light weight versus convenience and ease of use. Regardless of where you draw the line in your preferences, any frame pump is meant to just get you going in an emergency. You'll want to check your tire and top it off with a full-size floor pump when you get home, or when you get to the next rest stop if you're on a supported ride.

Some frame pumps have an upper air pressure limit of 120 to 160psi, sufficient for high-performance road racing tires, while others may have a limit of only 80 to 90psi, good enough for hybrid tires, touring tires, and mountain bikes. In any case, you'll find that in actual practice, it tends to be very difficult to get a tire pumped up to the claimed upper limit of the pump. The usual strategy is to get it pumped up enough to get rolling (when your arms get tired), and again, top it off with a full-size floor pump at the next available opportunity.

Some frame pumps have a built-in air pressure gauge, which makes them a little more convenient to use, like the Serfas Power Stick. These gauges tend to be a little less accurate than the gauge on a full-size pump, plus they add to the size and weight of the frame pump.

One note of caution to keep in mind when using a frame pump...while you are pumping the tire, be careful not to move and jar the pump and tire around too much. The movement of the pump on the tire valve might cause you to accidentally rip the valve from the inner tube. Some newer frame pumps (like the Lezyne Pressure Drive) have a small flexible hose to help avoid this problem.

My personal favorite frame pump has always been the Topeak Road Morph G. The "G" is for gauge, meaning it has a built-in air pressure gauge, plus a flexible hose. It also has a fold-out foot peg and handle, so that it becomes what almost looks like a miniature version of a floor pump. Nothing is easier to use when it comes to inflating your tire by hand by the side of the road. The only downside of this particular pump is that it is considerably larger than most other frame pumps.

The last word in quick tire inflation are the devices that use cartridges of compressed carbon dioxide (CO2). These are ideal for racers or any other rider for whom time is of the essence when repairing a flat tire mid-ride. They are easy to use, small and lightweight, and work extremely quickly. The only downside is that you need one whole CO2 cartridge for each full tire inflation. So, if you carry two CO2 cartridges on your ride, and you happen to get a third flat tire, you're stuck. Although, there are dual-duty CO2 pumps available that have a backup hand-pump mechanism. As with regular frame pumps, you'll want to top off your tire with a full-size floor pump as soon as you can. You may even notice that the tire pumped with CO2 loses air even faster than a tire pumped with a normal frame or floor pump. This is because the pure CO2 molecules are smaller, and leak out of the inner tube faster than the mixed molecules of regular air. When you do have access to a floor pump, it's best to open your valve and let out ALL of the CO2, and re-pump your tire completely with normal air.

Our favorite CO2 pump is the Planet Bike Red Zeppelin Inflator Head. Here's a brief how-to video to show you how quick and easy it is to use:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Staff Profile: Ray Query

Ray Query has been working at Century Cycles for a little over 5 years, starting at the Solon store, and then at the Rocky River store for the past several years. But he's a lifelong cyclist, and our resident authority on living a car-free lifestyle. He does not own a car, nor does he have a driver's license. He's been interviewed and quoted in local media many times, whenever somebody's looking for a story on hardcore cyclists. He currently lives in Lakewood with his wife Jen.

Q. What do you like about working at Century Cycles?

A. My favorite thing used to be my 19-mile ride to get to the Solon store--believe it or not, I miss that. I'm only 1-1/2 miles away from work now. But overall, I like getting to work with great people.

Q. What was your first bike?

A. When I was about four years old, my neighbor rescued this old klunker from the garbage and fixed it up for me. I don't know what brand it was, and you probably would not have been able to tell anyway. It was rust-colored (probably not the color of the paint!), but it was good enough, and I've loved bicycling ever since then.

Q. What do you like to do when you're not cycling or working?

A. I like working in my garden. I have peppers, tomatoes, squash, herbs, and beans--lots of beans. I'm a big soccer fan; I was a pretty good player back in the day, but now I just enjoy watching it.

Q. What is your biggest accomplishment on a bike?

A. I guess it would be the trip from Cleveland to Central America that I did with Kevin [from the Peninsula store] last year, to raise money for the Melanoma Research Foundation.

Q. What is your most memorable part of that trip?

A. This one night, I think it was just our second day in Mexico, we were wandering around the small town where we were staying, looking for some dinner. We stopped into this bar, and they did not serve food, but we decided to hang around to have a beer. It just so happened that there were a couple of other guys in there that were salesmen for the Modelo Brewing Company--you know, the largest brewer in Mexico; they make Corona, among others. They started buying us rounds of beer, and kept insisting on buying us one after another. We kept trying to find a way to leave politely, being very hungry, but another customer remarked to us how rude it is considered in their culture to turn down a drink that someone offers to buy you. About 8 or 10 beers apiece later, we managed to make our way out of the bar, but all of the restaurants in town were closed by this time. We finally found a street vendor serving large sandwiches, or "tortas," from a cart, so we got a couple and scarfed them down. Maybe it was the beer, but that felt like one of our best meals of the whole trip! Either that, or getting to see the birthplace of Elvis. I'm kidding, but Tupelo, Mississippi was really a nice city, and a pleasant place to visit.

Q. What was the toughest part of the trip?

A. Texas Hill Country. Those were some of the longest, hottest riding days I've ever put in.

Q. But that's not the longest bike trip you've ever done, though, right?

A. Right; I rode home to Cleveland from Anchorage, Alaska back in 2001.

Q. How many bikes do you own?

A. Hmmm...I think about a dozen, but it's hard to keep track, because a couple of them are out on loan to friends. I still have the Diamondback Transporter that was donated by Raleigh to use on last year's trip; it is waiting to go on loan to a friend.

Q. Which one is your favorite?

A. My 1985 Peugot road bike. We grew up together. And now, we're growing old together, too.

Q. What is your favorite place to ride?

A. Wisconsin, for the gently rolling hills, the friendly small towns, the crisp air that is not too hot or humid, and the steady supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Q. What question do customers ask you most often?

A. "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Steve Martin?"

Q. What piece of cycling advice would you like to give?

A. Ride fast and take chances.

Western Reserve Greenway - Trail Maps Available

The Where To Ride section of our web site is a great source of information about local bike paths, suggested road cycling routes, and mountain biking trails in Northeast Ohio.

Recently updated is our page for the Western Reserve Greenway, the 43-mile rail-trail that runs north-south through Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties. We've added images of their trail maps, although they're not very high-quality, as we have to scale them down to work within the limits of our web hosting company. But, there are links to where you can download the latest versions of the maps from the Ashtabula County Metroparks and Trumbull County MetroParks web sites.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Last Saturday's "Frazz"

Click here to read a VeloNews Q&A with "Frazz" creator Jef Mallet.

Select Previous Model Year Bicycles on Sale

We've got a handful of 2009, 2008, and earlier bikes that we'd like to clear out to make room for the 2010 models! So now's a great time to save a few bucks and get that new bike you've been thinking about. There's lots of great late summer and fall riding weather left!

All of these bikes are new with the full factory warranty. Prices listed are valid on in-stock models only, while supplies last. The bicycles listed here are located throughout our three stores; please call us to verify availability and store location.

  • '09 FCR 3 (Men's XL only) Reg. $549.99 Sale $499.99
  • '09 Bowery (MD and LG only) Reg. $599.99 Sale $549.99
  • '08 Rainier (Women's MD only) Reg. $649.99 Sale $549.99
Used Rental Bikes
  • All of the used rental bikes that we offered for sale have been spoken for, except for the 4 Raleigh Mountain Scout 24-inch wheeled kid's bikes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The bicycle empowers us all

In the U.S. and elsewhere, bicycle programs are being designed to help fight obesity, improve traffic conditions and reduce the cost of transportation. In underdeveloped countries bicycles fight poverty by expanding people's reach and saving time. To learn more about how bicycles change our world, go to SRAM Cycling Advocacy Fund and World Bicycle Relief.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thought of you when I read this....

So I'm one of those crazy old ladies who compulsively clips articles from newspapers and magazines and sends them to people. You, dear Century Cycles blog reader, are not immune from my clipping habit. Here's a big ol' stack just for you and -- since I don't have your home address -- it's packed into an efficient list of links instead of an envelope:
ODOT to fix deadly stretch of Ohio 44, where Miles Coburn died. (The Plain Dealer)
The PD's Zachary Lewis tries track cycling on the Lorain County Speedway. (The Plain Dealer)
Ken Schneider, who was brutally beaten in his West Side Cleveland bike shop in 2006, has retired and his shop has closed. (The Plain Dealer)
David Byrne reviews "Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities." (The New York Times Book Review)
Urban polo catches on. (The Plain Dealer)
The Big Island by bike. (National Geographic Traveler)
Routes of spring: Debbi Snook on her favorite area bike trails. (The Plain Dealer)
Is it OK for bicyclists to take shelter in a stranger's unlocked car during a storm? The Ethicist weighs in. (The New York Times Magazine; second item)
The Travel section of the Sunday New York Times has shown bike-related travel a LOT of love, and the following articles are just a sampling:
Frugal Portland (May 10, 2009)
Finally, last May, Self Magazine had a great section called "Bike For A Better Life" in honor of National Bike Month. Filled with great tips and lists, the section even helped readers pick their ideal wheels, naming the Giant FCR 1W the best bike suited for the Spin-class star.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Breaking news: Mars Girl bought a Surly Cross Check!

And named it Beau! For many more loving photos and words about what she calls "my dream, my obsession, my passion," click here.

Join The Cycle!

Here are Melissa, Casey, and Hannah, three young women who have been riding their bicycles from Los Angeles, California since June 11, and plan to reach Boston, Massachusetts on September 25. They have called their adventure Join The Cycle, and their aim is to promote the concept of traveling by bicycle for all ages and abilities. They are shown here getting ready to leave the home of a friend of Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan, who forwarded us the picture.

The next day, they happened to meet Scott by chance on a side street near our Rocky River store. A few days later, they ran into business media blogger Matt Haze, who posted this video interview with them on his web site.

You can read more information about Melissa, Casey, and Hannah on their web site,, and follow their trip blog at

STOMP Ride Rocked

Yesterday saw beautiful weather for the STOMP ride put on by MetroParks Serving Summit County. Approximately 1,500 riders arrived at Howe Meadow in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to spend their morning on the 10, 25 or 63 mile routes.

Around one thousand participants pre-registered for the event, and almost 500 more registered that morning. The amount of volunteers on hand was staggering. Over 150 area residents volunteered their time to make this one of the smoothest-run bike rides ever attended. The food stops were frequent and well-provisioned, thanks to the donations of many local businesses. The option of a 10 mile ride made the event extremely popular with families.

Century Cycles Peninsula store mechanic, Derrick, was there in the middle of it all. Wheel repair, adjusting gears and brakes, and pumping up mountains of tires to ensure that the bicycles were in tune.

Separated at birth?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

On finding a shop before a bike

Jesson Prohaska of Medina took the time to write to us last week and we want to share his kind words for Adam (above) and the Medina store staff. He also makes some excellent points about what he learned while shopping around for a bike. On August 29 he wrote:

Thanks Century Cycles & Especially Adam! All the respected cycling magazines recommend finding a shop before a bike and I'm glad I found Century Cycles in Medina.

I thought I could get away with spending less and purchased a bike from Dick's Sporting Goods. I knew you get what you pay for but I thought a "big box" retailer selling good brands might afford me a bargain. I was wrong! You definitely only get what you pay for and having an expert and enthusiast (not a person "punching the clock") walk you through all the options and differences between bikes is really helpful. Additionally, knowing what degree of components you need to have an enjoyable riding experience is essential and only experts can really help you with the differences (i.e not Dick's or Wal-Mart for that matter). That is where Adam came in. He approached me instead of me having to hunt down an associate and took all the time I needed to help me in my decision (which was approximately 2 hours). I test rode a bunch of bikes and asked a million questions but Adam was never frustrated. I ended up with a great bike, at a fair price, that does everything I need it to and feels great to ride.

I've returned my other bike to Dick's Sporting Goods after 2 weeks, a set of bad shifters, two bad tune-ups, the chain falling off twice, and a flat tire and now have a bike my 6'1" 210lb frame can rock out everyday with no problems. So thanks again Century Cycles and I look forward to bringing in my bike in the years to come for all its regular maintenance needs.

Thank you, Jesson -- and we look forward to seeing you in the years to come! (Click here to read more letters from Century Cycles customers whose expectations were exceeded in Rocky River and Peninsula, too.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Towpath Trail Section Closed Sept. 8-25, 2009

An announcement from the National Park Service:

The Towpath Trail will be closed from Boston Store Visitor Center south to the railroad tunnel (approximately 1.4 miles), from September 8 through Septeber 25. The tunnel is approximately 1 mile north of Lock 29 Trailhead in Peninsula. The hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The closure is necessary for the safety of staff and visitors as sections of the Stumpy Basin boardwalk will be rebuilt as part of normal maintenance of the Towpath Trail. During the repair, this area will be unsafe for trail use.

We regret any inconvenience to the public. Please plan your trips accordingly.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Closed for Labor Day

PLEASE NOTE: All three of our stores will be CLOSED this Monday, September 7, 2009 for the Labor Day holiday. Sorry for any inconvenience, and enjoy the holiday!

On women and cycling

"Only a few years ago bicycling was looked upon as a pastime quite unsuited to women. The tricycle was used by a few who felt they needed more vigorous exercise than could be obtained by walking or playing a quiet game of croquet....But now there is a reaction in its favor and only a few of the obstinately blind are found in opposition... There is no doubt that the bicycle has brought health to many a nervous, overwrought woman. All depends, of course, on the common sense displayed by the individual.... No woman should ride if she has any serious weakness, except with great caution, and the permission of a doctor who not only understands her constitution, but who has also made a special study of cycling in all its phases." -- Susan, Countess of Malmesbury, 1897 (via Schott's Miscellaney)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bicycling Magazine also covers Bay Bike To School Challenge

Our Night Rides aren't the only Century Cycles event to be in the national spotlight this month. We're thrilled to report that the October 2009 issue of Bicycling Magazine also contained an article called "Commuter School" that described various programs around the country that promote kids' bicycling and walking to school. Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan was quoted in the opening paragraph of the article about the 2008 Bay High Bike to School Month and the 2009 Bay Bike to School Challenge Sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle. Nicole Reznick writes:

When students at Bay High School, in Bay Village, Ohio, organized their Bike to School Challenge in spring 2008, no one anticipated the response. "On the first day, 363 kids signed up and we were scrambling to keep up," says Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles in Ohio and the event's mastermind. "By the end of the three-week period, 550 students had participated." The program expanded this year [2009] to include the middle school; 960 students biked the first day. "We're effecting a cultural change," Cowan says.