Friday, April 30, 2010

CAMBA receives Ohio State Parks Trail Partnership of the Year Award

The Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) has been honored with the first "Trail Partnership of the Year" award for their work to build and maintain the mountain bike trails at West Branch State Park.

You can read the nomination letter from Park Manager John Wilder, and news release from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which recognized CAMBA members for their almost 6000 hours of volunteer work in building and maintaining the trails, working with park staff and other trail user groups, and concern for the local environment.

You can meet CAMBA during their monthly meeting on Monday, May 3, 2010, 6:30pm at the Settlers Bluff picnic area in the Cleveland Metroparks Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation. A group ride on the mountain bike trail will follow, conditions permitting.

CAMBA's weekly group rides will start for the season on Wed May 19 at Medina's Reagan Park, and Thu May 20 at West Branch.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now in stock: Giant Talon 29er 2!

If you've been following any trends at all in the mountain bike world in the past couple of years, the biggest news has been about the biggest wheels. 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes tackle rough terrain easier than their 26-inch cousins, but until recently, the prices of these less-common bikes have been bigger to match, as well.

That is changing as 29ers move more into the mainstream, and as manufacturers like Giant offer 29-inch models in the entry-level and intermediate-price range, such as this Giant Talon 29er 2.

For $699.99, you get Giant's ALUXX aluminum frame, an SR Suntour fork with 100mm of suspension travel, a 24-speed SRAM SX-4 drive train, and Hayes mechanical disc brakes. All this is a package designed to catch your eyes like a bike costing three times as much (check out those color-matched hubs)!

If you're looking for a bike that lets you dabble in singletrack riding half your time, and crushing your buddies on the Towpath and other unpaved trails the other half of your time, then the Giant Talon 29er 2 has your name written all over it. Now in stock in all three Century Cycles stores!

(Photos by Doug Charnock)

Giant offers this video highlighting the features and benefits of their Talon and Rainier 29er lines:

If you're looking for more serious race-worth 29er technology, we've got a Giant XTC 29er 1 available as a demo model in a Medium frame size that you can take out on the trail for a real test workout!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

City-wide Bay Bicycle Safety Fair is tomorrow

Century Cycles mechanics and staff will be hard at work at the Bay Bicycle Safety Fair tomorrow night, making sure hundreds of bicycles are safe and ready to ride!

The special city-wide event, which is free and open to the public, is Thursday, April 29, at Bay Middle School at 27725 Wolf Road from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is organized to help everyone in Bay Village get their bicycles ready to do more riding this spring and summer --- for Bay Bike to School Challenge on May 3-21, or to work and errands, or just for fun! At the fair:

• Century Cycles expert mechanics will provide free bicycle safety inspections and a display of bicycle commuting accessories.

• Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park is giving away 20 bicycle helmets to the first 20 families who attend (limit: one helmet per family).

• Bay Bike to School Challenge organizers will register students and answer questions about the program.

• The Bay Village Police Department is raffling off four bicycles at 8pm and providing free bike licenses.

• Other information booths include Project Earth Environmental Club, Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation, Bay Village Green Team and Earth Day Coalition.

Office Depot goes by bike in London!

According to this recent article, Office Depot uses electric-assisted cargo bicycles to deliver supplies to customers within certain areas of London (England). Not only do the bike deliveries save the company money on fuel costs, they also save on parking and congestion surcharges that the city imposes within certain high-traffic zones.
The fleet of eight bikes makes about 900 deliveries a day, assisted by a van that acts as a mobile distribution hub. This system is able to about 75 percent of the company's daily delivery needs within the city limits.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Join us at the "Best of the West" and "Best of the East" Parties!

Century Cycles is a finalist for a "Best of the West" Award as voted by readers of West Shore Magazine, and for a "Best of the East" Award as voted by readers of Circle East Magazine. We'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all of you who voted for us!!!

This week, there're parties to celebrate all of the finalists, and give you the chance to vote for the final winners!

Best of the West Party
When: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 6:00-9:00pm
Where: LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility, 25777 Detroit Rd, Westlake, Ohio 44145
Tickets: $15 (buy online) Includes two complimentary drink tickets, light appetizers, entertainment, a ballot to cast a vote for the businesses you love most, and a 1-year subscription to both Cleveland Magazine and West Shore live well.

Best of the East Party
When: Thursday, April 29, 2010 6:00-9:00pm
Where: Andrews Osborne Academy, 38588 Mentor Ave, Willoughby, Ohio 44094
Tickets: $20 (buy online) Includes a sampling of food and products from Best of the East finalists, plus catered appetizers, a cocktail beverage of your choice, entertainment, raffles and activities, valet parking, and a complimentary 1-year subscription to Cleveland Magazine.

Look for the Century Cycles tables at both events!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Photos from Apr. 24 Night Ride on the Towpath Trail

Our 15th season of Night Rides on the Towpath Trail started off successfully this past Saturday, April 24, 2010. Despite gloomy and wet conditions most of the day, the skies cleared up long enough in the evening for a dry and pleasant ride, with about 40 riders in attendance.

Our next Night Ride on the Towpath will be Saturday, May 15, 2010. In honor of Cleveland Bicycle Week, this ride is being transformed into a Pajama Party Night Ride! Come dressed to ride in your favorite sleepwear! Pajama party snacks and other special surprises will be available at the ride turn-around point.

Support the Towpath 12!

This weekend, May 1-2, 2010, a group calling themselves the Towpath 12 will be cycling the entire 101-mile length of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, from Cleveland to New Philadelphia. They are collecting pledges to support the ride, with all proceeds going toward helping to complete the Towpath Trail!

You can sponsor one of the riders by making a per-mile donation, or flat donation in any amount. To see a list of the 12 riders and make a donation, go to:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ohio Turnpike fixes vehicle height scanners

Back in January of this year, we reported on the problem with scanners at Ohio Turnpike toll booths, where vehicles with bicycles and other non-permanent structures on their roofs were autmatically being scanned and incorrectly classified as Class 2 vehicles, which resulted in higher fares.

Later, the turnpike rescinded the new fare scheme, but you had to complain to the toll booth operator to get them adjust the fare.

According to this article on the Plain Dealer's web site, the Ohio Turnpike Commission has now fixed the toll booth scanning equipment so that cars with bicycles on roofs will be correctly classified and charge the correct fares.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bicycle Commuting Program at Rocky River Nature Center, Apr. 28, 2010

"Everything you never suspected about bicycle commuting," by Certified Bicycling Safety Instructor Fred Oswald and the Sierra Club Program.

When: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 7:30pm
Where: Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Nature Center, 24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted, Ohio

The safest and most effective way to operate a bicycle in traffic is to drive it as the vehicle that it is. The only difficult part is that this is counterintuitive and contrary to traditional "bike safety" that teaches people to stay out of the way of "more important" traffic. Learn how staying out of the way makes cyclists much harder to be seen and thus less safe.

Learn instead how to ride assertively -- cooperatively, effectively, and safely by driving your bike. The program includes an illustrated lecture followed by an optional instructional ride on Sunday afternoon, May 2 in Middleburg Heights. Details and a signup sheet for the follow-up ride will be at the Apr 28 program or email

Friday, April 23, 2010

Raleigh Misceo 2.0 has arrived!

Earlier this year, we posted a preview of a new model from Raleigh Bicycles, the Misceo 1.0, including a comparison to its big brother the Raleigh Misceo 2.0. A month ago, we were excited to announce that we brought some of the Misceo 1.0 into our stores.

Well, the Misceo 1.0 has been selling so well that we decided to bring in the Misceo 2.0 as well! Both models are "performance hybrid" bicycles, perfect for commuting in the urban jungle, off-road touring, and mixed pavement/dirt/gravel road riding. Both also feature a front suspension fork with SpeedLock lockout lever.

The Misceo 2.0 features an upgraded 27-speed Shimano Deore drive train and Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes for reliable stopping power in all weather conditions. Check out the position of the rear brake caliper in the photo below--the chainstay mounting means that the brake does not get in the way of accessory installation, so any standard rear cargo rack, as well as full-coverage fenders, can be used without any hassles!

Stop by your nearest Century Cycles store to test-ride the Raleigh Misceo 1.0 or Raleigh Misceo 2.0 soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day is every day

As we commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we sure are proud that we sell a product that is one of the greenest ways to travel.

But you may not know what we do besides selling bicycles and encouraging people to bicycle to help good ol' Mother Earth.
Most importantly, we offer incentives to our employees to bicycle to work. Many days we see 100% participation and we're happy to hear stories from the staff that those incentives contributed to their transformation into regular bike commuters. Every Century Cycles store also recycles thousands of tires and bike chains each year, as well as all aluminum and corrugated cardboard.

Want to know how you can be an Earth Day family every day? Click here for 8 fundamental tips.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Night Rides on the Towpath Trail season begins this Saturday!

The 15th season of Century Cycles' popular Night Rides on the Towpath Trail begins this Saturday, April 24, 2010!

The ride starts at 8:00pm at our Peninsula, Ohio store. The ride is FREE! No pre-registration is necessary, although you must sign a waiver before the ride. Your own bicycle, helmet, and headlight are required. All ages and skill levels are welcome for this fun, casual ride!

For full details, including directions to the store, and the full schedule of Night Rides on the Towpath Trail for this year, see:

Mark your calendar for two SPECIAL Night Rides this year:
  • Saturday, May 15, 2010 - In honor of Cleveland Bicycle Week, this evening features a Pajama Party Night Ride! Wear your favorite pj's and enjoy pajama-party themed snacks at the ride turn-around!
  • Saturday, August 7, 2010 - Try free demos of high-end bicycle lights, courtesy of NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Two Giant models win Bicycling Magazine's Editors' Choice

Two bikes models from Giant Bicycles received the top Editors' Choice awards by Bicycling Magazine.
In the "Entry Level Road Bike" category, the Giant Defy 2 gets the nod. The testers said:
"The Giant [Defy 2] just cruises along, steady under pedal input, never penalizing you through a broad power range."
"As smooth as it is, it's still a sporty bike with good responsiveness and a lively feel."
"Smart move by Giant outfitting the Defy the 25c tires because it probably played a part in the velvety smooth ride."
Another feature that we especially like is the compact double (50/34) crankset, which gives you the low gears you need for climbing Northeast Ohio hills, with the simplicity and weight savings of a two-chainring system. We've got the Giant Defy 2 in stock in all three Century Cycles stores, so stop in for a test ride, add take one home for only $999.99!
In the "Women's Road Bike" category, the Giant TCR Advanced 1 Women's was the top pick. It features a carbon fiber frame and fork, Shimano Ultegra drive train and brakes, and a "versatile mix of speed and comfort." Other comments from the Bicycling testers:
"Has a sprightly demeaner and aggressive positioning, but was still comfortable and stable."
"Has a light and lively feel...and the sharpest wheels [Mavic Ksyrium Elites] of the bunch. And the position is quite comfortable."
"Jams along well on flat, feels responsive on hard rides and turns nicely."
The Giant Women's TCR Advanced 1 W is available by special-order for $3,399.99.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Our Latest eNewsletter (April 2010)

The latest edition of the Century Cycles eNewsletter has just hit the virtual newstand! You can read it online here. If you're not receiving it in your Inbox, you can sign up to receive it (as well as catch up on past issues) on our eNewsletter Signup Page. Here's a glimpse at what's in this issue:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Surly Bikes FAQ

Check out the latest issue (April 2010) of Ohio Sports & Fitness Magazine for the Century Cycles advertisement on page 11. The ad (image below) touts our expertise with Surly Bikes.

To further the cause of sharing our love and knowledge of Surly Bikes with you, we've created two more web pages chock-full of Surly info. We get a lot of the same Surly questions on a regular basis, so we've compiled them all into a Surly Bikes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. The highlight of this page is probably the #1 most-asked question, "What's the difference between the Cross-Check and the Long Haul Trucker?"

Also, with the 10 different models of Surly available, we've put together a chart to help you decide which Surly is right for you, the Surly Bikes Recommended Usage Charttm.

If you've got any other bits of Surly knowledge you'd like to know or think we should share, let us know by commenting on this post!

Friday, April 16, 2010

News Release: 2010 Bay Bike to School Challenge begins May 3


2010 Bay Bike to School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle begins on May 3

Award-winning program inspires students to bike to school on May 3 – May 21; includes city-wide Bay Village Bicycle Safety Fair on April 29

BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (April 15, 2010) – Back for its third year and recently awarded the city’s “Project of the Year,” Bay Bike To School Challenge sponsored by Century Cycles and Chipotle on May 3 – 21 strives to inspire 1,600 middle and high school students in the Cleveland suburb of Bay Village to ride their bikes to school as much as possible, to help the environment and improve their health. It includes the city-wide Bay Village Bicycle Safety Fair on April 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bay Middle School (27725 Wolf Road in Bay Village OH 44140), which is free and open to the public.

The three-week bicycling event shows students, their parents and the community as a whole that going by bike is a great way to go, especially for short trips around town. Its influence is spreading beyond the school system: In March, Bay Bike to School Challenge was awarded “Project of the Year” by the Bay Village Community Council, in recognition of its outstanding example of environmental awareness and healthy behavior for all the citizens of Bay Village.

“Everyone looks forward to Bay Bike to School Challenge in May. As educators, we know physical activity positively impacts academic performance,” said Sean McAndrews, principal of Bay Middle School and one of the program’s organizers. “The kids have fun biking to school with their friends, but they are also learning the benefits of lifelong fitness and the effect their choice of transportation has on the environment.”

The sponsors who team up with Bay Middle School (BMS) and Bay High School (BHS) on the program are Century Cycles bicycle store in Rocky River, Chipotle, Bay Village Kiwanis, Bay Schools Parent Teacher Student Association, Project Earth Environmental Club and the Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation.

For regular updates about Bay Bike to School Challenge, go to the event’s Facebook page at or visit

In 2009, 1,215 students signed up for the Bay Bike to School Challenge (over 75% of both schools, out of a combined student population of 1,600). Bay Middle School saw 71% of its student population bike to school each day of the challenge and 36% of Bay High School students biked each day. Over 90 teachers and administrators made it a “bike to work” challenge. In all, the students biked a total of 37,042 miles, saved 34,149 pounds of CO2 emissions, and burned countless calories.

That’s in stark contrast to national averages. Only about 15% of U.S. students bike or walk to school (versus approximately 50% back in 1969). As much as 30% of morning traffic is generated by parents driving their children to school, one-third of schools are in “air pollution danger zones” and more than 33% of U.S. children are now overweight and obese or at risk of becoming so. Returning to 1969 levels of walking and bicycling to school would save 3.2 billion vehicle miles, 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide and 89,000 tons of other pollutants – equal to keeping more than 250,000 cars off the road for a year.

How Bay Bike to School Challenge works

Students who register for Bay Bike to School Challenge carry a “Ride Card” that is stamped each day they ride a bike to school by BTSC volunteers. Students receive a free burrito from Chipotle for biking on Day One (May 3) and a free event t-shirt from Century Cycles for biking at least four days. The more they bike, the more they can win – every Ride Card they fill up gets them more entries into the grand prize raffle.

The program concludes on May 21 with assemblies at each school, to show the students the impact of their efforts, award the permanent home of the Golden Sprocket Award and draw the grand prize winners’ names. The grand prizes include:

• Four bicycles per school from Century Cycles, Raleigh Bicycles and Giant Bicycles;
• Free Chipotle burritos for a year;
• Bicycling accessories (locks, bags, lights and more) from Century Cycles;
• Bicycle helmet gift basket from Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland;
• “Sweet Kick-off to Summer” cupcake gift certificate from Main Street Cupcakes in Rocky River;
• Sunglasses from Tifosi Optics;
• His and hers gift baskets for BHS from Vanitylab Salon in Westlake;
• Pool season pass for BMS from Bay Community Pool; and
• Gift packs from Project Earth Environmental Club, Bay Skate and Bike Park, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, the Earth Day Coalition and more.

There is also a special grand prize drawing for a Cedar Point season pass for the students at each school who biked every day of Bay Bike to School Challenge.

Important Dates and Times

April 29: Bay Village Bicycle Safety Fair at Bay Middle School, 6:30 – 8:30pm

May 3: First day of Bay Bike to School Challenge and “Free Burrito Day” – each student who registers for Bike to School Challenge and rides the first day receives a free burrito from Chipotle. Over 1,000 students are anticipated to bike to BMS and BHS between 7:00 and 7:45 a.m.

May 5, 12, and 19: Golden Sprocket Days. BMS and BHS compete for the greatest percentage of bike-riders to win the coveted Golden Sprocket Award. (A school principal or assistant principal is REQUIRED to bike to school on these days, too, for their school’s numbers to count.)

May 21: Last day of Bike to School Challenge. Activities include school-wide assemblies attended by the mayor and other community supporters. The BHS assembly is at 8:00 a.m. and the BMS assembly is at 2:00 p.m.

Bay Village Bicycle Safety Fair
April 29, 2009, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., at Bay Middle School Gymnasium

Bay Bike to School Challenge invites students, their families and all citizens of Bay Village to a special event to help get them and their bicycles ready to do more riding, whether to school or work or just for fun. The free event is open to all Bay Village residents. At the fair:
• Century Cycles mechanics will provide free bicycle safety inspections and a display of bicycle commuting accessories.
• Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park is giving away 20 bicycle helmets to the first 20 families who attend (limit: one helmet per family).
• Bay Bike to School Challenge organizers will register students and answer questions about the program.
• The Bay Village Police Department is raffling off four bicycles at 8pm and providing free bike licenses.
• Other information booths include Project Earth Environmental Club, Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation, Bay Village Green Team and Earth Day Coalition.

Bay Bike To School Challenge began in 2008

Inspired by a student car boycott in 2007, Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan approached Bay High School, his alma mater, about encouraging more bike-riding to school. It was enthusiastically embraced by the students and faculty. Participation in 2008 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. In 2009, the program was expanded to include Bay Middle School.

Quick facts and statistics

• 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)

• Returning to 1969 levels of walking and bicycling to school would save 3.2 billion vehicle miles, 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide and 89,000 tons of other pollutants – equal to keeping more than 250,000 cars off the road for a year.

• Two recent studies have found that biking or walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day. There are many potential benefits of physical activity for youth, including weight control, reduction in the risk of diabetes, and better academic performance.

• A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. (Source: League of American Bicyclists)

• In metropolitan areas, more than 40% of car trips made for social or recreational purposes (like shopping) are two miles or less – a very manageable bike ride – and more than 25% are just one mile or less. (Source: 2001 U.S. National Household Travel Survey)

• A report concludes that changing the habits of just 20 percent of the children living within two miles of school to get them to walk or bicycle to and from school instead of being driven would be the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road each year, preventing the emission of over 350,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 21,500 tons of other pollutants. (Safe Routes to School: Steps to a Greener Future, prepared for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by Safe Routes to School National Partnership)

• Studies show that on average, regular cyclists add over two years to their life expectancy, have the general fitness and health of someone 10 years younger, and are 50% less likely to experience depression. Biking at a moderate pace of about 10 miles per hour burns on average 400 calories per hour for women and 450 per hour for men – about the same as an aerobic session. (Source: “Bike To Work” by Rory McMullan, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008)

Event Organizers

ABOUT BAY SCHOOLS: The schools in Bay Village, Ohio, are award-winning and consistently earn the state’s highest ratings for student achievement. Bay High School was recently named one of the Top 500 high schools in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. Newsweek ranked it in the top 5% of high schools in the nation.

Bay Middle School: 27725 Wolf Road, Bay Village, Ohio 44140

Bay High School: 29230 Wolf Road, Bay Village, Ohio 44140

ABOUT PROJECT EARTH ENVIRONMENTAL CLUB: Project Earth is committed to learning about their environment and how they can improve it at school, at home, and in the community. They hope that by educating themselves, they can educate others on how to preserve earth’s resources for a better future. Project Earth volunteers helps organize and coordinate the day-to-day administration of Bay Bike To School Challenge at BHS with their faculty adviser, Ms. Eryn Whistler.

Eryn Whistler
Teacher, Bay High School/Adviser, Project Earth Environmental Club
Phone: 440-617-7518

At Bay Middle School, volunteers from Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation help organize and coordinate day-to-day administration of Bay Bike to School Challenge with their adviser, Lawrence Kuh, and assistance from BMS PTSA.

Lawrence Kuh
Teacher, Bay Middle School/Executive Director, Bay Skate and Bike Park Foundation
Phone: 440-617-7668

ABOUT CENTURY CYCLES: Founded in 1992, Century Cycles is an award-winning, locally-owned chain of independent bicycle stores in Medina, Peninsula, and Rocky River, providing high-quality bicycles and friendly, expert service to northeast Ohio bicyclists and their families. Century Cycles is an authorized dealer of Raleigh, Giant, Diamondback, Electra, Surly, Masi, Bianchi, and Haro bicycles, as well as Santana tandems. The Peninsula store also rents bicycles year-round for use on the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

For eight consecutive years, Century Cycles has been voted one of the top 100 bicycle retailers in the United States by Bicycle Retailer & Industry News magazine. In 2009, Century Cycles was awarded Bike Shop of the Year by the League of American Bicyclists, one of only eight bicycle shops honored in the United States.

Scott Cowan, Owner
Phone: 440-356-5705

ABOUT CHIPOTLE: Chipotle Mexican Grill offers a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food with Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food not only from using fresh ingredients, but ingredients that are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 800 restaurants.

Staff Profile: Bob Soroky

Bob Soroky, 44, is unlike other Century Cycles staffers for two reasons. The first is that he is our newest full time employee, having just joined the Medina store sales team on March 1. The second reason is that the Parma Heights resident is also the only Century Cycles employee with his own radio show. You can listen to Bob’s weekly broadcasts of “Table Talk” online at Prefer your cycling advice to be written? Then you can read Bob’s blog at

Q: When did you take up bicycling?

A: I’ve ridden a bike all my life, but I got serious about it back in 1986-1987. I had been hit by a car when I was away at college and the doctors recommended cycling as a way to recover from the injuries to my leg. After I recovered, I took up bicycling as a sport and started doing tours.

Q: How many bikes do you own?

A: I have two. Since the late 1980s, I’ve been riding an old Raleigh Peak. It’s a hybrid mountain bike-type bike that I’ve ridden all these years, even on long tours. I finally decided to get a “grown up” bike last year and I bought a 2009 Giant Defy Alliance from Century Cycles. I’m a familiar story – one of those really happy Century Cycles customers who became an employee! I was going to de-commission the Peak, but then I had the amazing mechanics here give it an overhaul and now I’m going to keep it, partly for sentimental reasons and also to do more casual riding with my girlfriend.

Q: I was going to ask you “road or dirt?” but I think I know the answer…

A: Yep, it’s road. I never really go off-road. The Towpath Trail is as off-road as I get.

Q: What’s your favorite bike ride around northeast Ohio?

A: Among organized rides, my favorite is the MS 150 Pedal to the Point. This summer will be my 15th year doing it. For 13 of those years, I did it on that old Raleigh Peak, so doing it last year on the Giant Defy was such a change. If I’m just tooling around near home, I always head to the Metroparks. I grew up in Parma and for as long as I can remember I’ve biked the Metroparks. I never rode the Towpath until I did a Century Cycles Night Ride last year. Of course it was one that poured rain, but now I really like the Towpath Trail, too.

Q: What’s the best bicycling advice you’ve been given?

A: I got it when I started working here and now it’s the advice I give most often – how to lean a bike up against something if it doesn’t have a kickstand. You don’t want to lean it against the frame, because it might scratch the frame. If you lean it against the front wheel, the bike might move and fall over, so the best solution is to lean it up against the back tire. Also, make sure not to lay the bike down on the derailleur side. It’s basic stuff, but a lot of people don’t know that.

Q: What was your first bike?

A: One of those old ones with the banana seat and the big handle bars. I remember being 6 or 7 years old and riding with a neighbor girl on the handlebars. We had a big crash – she cracked a tooth. I remember that bike because of that crash!

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

A: I like it as an employee for the same reason I liked it as a customer – you get to spend a lot of time with people listening to what they need and finding the right bicycle for them. Recently a couple was shopping here and they had been back five times, comparing our bikes with a competitor’s bikes. They finally decided that the bikes were virtually identical, so they had to compare based on the store experience. They bought their bikes here because of all the time we spent with them.

Q: What non-bicycling activities do you enjoy?

A: I have a lot of hobbies, like reading, Xbox, and even getting paid to make "Captain Jack Sparrow" appearances for corporate events, but my passion has always been aviation. As a kid I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but my eyesight kept me from doing it. I’ve taken flying lessons and now go to as many air shows and air races that I can.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earth Day / Trail Day with CAMBA at West Branch this Saturday

This Saturday, April 17, 2010, the Cleveland Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) celebrates Earth Day with a Trail Day at West Branch State Park near Ravenna, Ohio. The crew will clean up debris and garbage around the mountain bike trails, break for lunch, and then work on some new trail projects. Lunch is provided FREE of charge by CAMBA! Click here for full details.

If you're a mountain biker who enjoys our local trails, show up and do your part to maintain them and help ensure continued access!

Also, remember that the mountain bikes trails at West Branch are currently CLOSED to riding, to allow time for them to dry out for the season and avoid damage.

New Bicycle Event near Erie, PA in July

For those of you looking for a new option for organized bike rides this summer, head on over to our neighbors just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania. The Tour de West County is sponsored by the Presque Isle Cycling Club, and it's a ride with 25-mile and 50-mile options, plus a 5-mile family fun ride.

The ride is a fundraiser for The Lance Armstrong Foundation, but you don't have to collect pledges to ride, just donate any amount to register--donations of at least $25 are guaranteed a t-shirt, and at least $50 guarantees you a t-shirt and hat. Food, beverages, and entertainment will also be available.

It happens on Saturday, July 24, 2010 (you'll still have time to get back for our Night Ride on the Towpath Trail that evening!).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Which Top 5 Cycling City would you pick to spend a weekend?

Cleveland was just named the 39th best bike city in America by Bicycling Magazine.
Which of the Top 5 cities would you pick to spend a bicycling weekend?
Tell us by taking our latest online poll. Leave a comment on this blog post to tell us why, or what's YOUR #1 bicycling city!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rumble strips proposed in Medina and Lorain Counties

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is planning to install rumble strips along certain roads in Medina and Lorain County.

While the proposed changes are touted as improving safety for motorists, they can increase danger for bicyclists.

The affected roads would be parts of State Routes 3, 18, 58, 83, 301, 303, and 511.

You can read the details of the plan at:

If you would like to provide feedback on this plan, send e-mail to:

John Hart, ODOT District 3 Director

Ken Wright, ODOT District 3 Planning and Programs Administrator

Michelle May, ODOT Central Safety Division

5 Tips: Climbing Hills

Whenever cyclists from outside our area visit our stores, one of the first things that they talk about is their amazement that Ohio could have so many hills! Whether it's the rolling open roads of Medina County, the winding Emerald Necklace of the Cleveland Metroparks, or of course, the steep ups and downs of the Cuyahoga Valley, Northeast Ohio provides no shortage of challenges to your pedaling power.

Seeing hills doesn't have to leave you shaking in your cycling shoes every time, though. Try these tips to attack those climbs with confidence and enjoy your rides more no matter where the terrain brings you.
  1. Don't downshift too soon. During the flatter approach to the hill, keep pedaling in your big gear to keep your speed going. If you shift into your small chainring (easier gear) too soon, you'll start to slow down and lose the momentum you've already worked hard to build, and your feet will be spinning and going nowhere fast. You'll tire yourself out before you even get to the worst part of the hill!
  2. Ride with your hands on the brake hoods. While going uphill, you won't be going fast enough for aerodynamics to play a big factor, so sit upright so that your chest and your gut can be more relaxed, allowing you to breathe more efficiently. If you've got a flat bar instead of a drop handlebar, use your bar-end extensions if you have them. Either way, it's not likely that you'll need to use your brakes while going uphill, so just try to relax. Don't squeeze a death-grip with your fingers, don't lock your elbows, and don't hunch your shoulders up.
  3. Soft-pedal as you shift into easier gears. You need to keep pedaling in order for your shifters to operate, but you don't want to have the full force of your weight on the pedals as you shift, because this increases the chance of a miss-shift, or even worse, a jammed chain or broken derailleur. Keep pedaling in a smooth circle, but ease up ever-so-slightly for a moment as you click the shift lever. Once the chain shifts successfully, continue pedaling with normal force.
  4. Keep one gear in reserve. As the hill gets steeper and you continue to shift into your easier gears, try to keep from using that very last, easiest gear. This will accomplish two things. First, if you try to fool yourself into thinking that the second-easier gear is your last remaining option, you'll try to keep pedaling in that gear. Later, if you reach a point where you think you absolutely can't go on any further, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that you have one easier gear left to get you up through that final push of the climb. Before you know it, you'll realize that you are getting stronger than you think, and you may end up not needing that last gear at all in the future.
  5. Stay seated as long as you can. Your heart and lungs work more efficiently when you're seated, but eventually you may reach a point where you have to get out of the saddle to apply that extra power in your legs. Try to put off this moment as long as you can. When you do stand up, you may need to up-shift one or two gears harder to maintain a smooth cadence. Note to mountain bikers: when climbing on off-road dirt trails, you might need to stay in the saddle through the whole climb. Standing on the pedals takes some weight off of your rear wheel, which may cause your tire to spin out in the dirt, which then mean's you're walking for sure.
One more bonus tip for when you finally reach the top of that hill...don't wait too long before you up-shift back into your normal cruising gears. If you stay in your low climbing gears at the top, you experience that "going nowhere fast" phenomenon again, and you'll tire yourself out even more just from pedaling so much, in addition to the effort you just put in on the climb.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bike Aboard! on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Bike Aboard! lets you ride the rails, then bike the trail!

Now in its fourth year, the popular program created by the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad lets you take a one-way ride on the train with your bike for only $2 per person!

The 2010 Bike Aboard! season has begun, with the train running on Saturdays and Sundays in April and May, and Wednesdays through Sundays starting in June.

See more details, including the full schedule and map of the trail with distances between stops, at:
You can find out more information about the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, including a schedule of their special-event rides, see

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Giant Dash 3: A great bike for beginning women cyclists!

The April issue of Fitness magazine features Pam Lowenstein, a 31-year-old woman who is an avid participant in spinning clasess--but was hesitant to get on a real bicycle. She consulted a number of folks, including Giant for Women ambassador Liz Reap, who recommended that Pam get on a Giant Women's Dash 3. What did the petite New York City newbie to two-wheeling think?
"The Giant Dash 3 bike seemed scaredy-cat-friendly at the bike shop, but the small frame in stock was too tall to pass the test. The shop's pro ordered the extra-small version for me, and it was a perfect match."
Century Cycles has the Giant Dash 3 in stock (including the extra-small frame size), so if you're looking for a new ride (newbie or not), stop in for a test ride!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bicycling Magazine: Cleveland in Top 50 U.S. Cycling Cities

The latest issue of Bicycling magazine features their annual list of the Top 50 Cycling Cities in the U.S. Making the cut for the first time in our memory is (drumroll, please)...Cleveland! The magazine cites several reasons for the honor, such as the bike lane along historic Euclid Avenue, the Towpath Trail, and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance's bike-rental program. Another big win is Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park (the first of its kind in the world!) and Pedal Republik, organizers of bike-polo events. Cleveland was categorized as one of the "up and coming" bike cities, meaning we were recognized as much for our future potential as well as existing amenities. Projects in the works include expanding the bike trail network east and west of the city, a commuter bike station downtown, an indoor velodrome being planned, advocates pushing for bike/pedestrian access to the new I-90 Innerbelt bridge, and CAMBA lobbying for mountain bike trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The list has gotten a lot of coverage in other media, from the Treehugger site to The Plain Dealer, who quoted Century Cycles Owner Scott Cowan. You can read the brief online version of the Bicycling Magazine story here, but below is the text of the full version from the printed magazine: #39 Cleveland It's no joke; the city on Lake Erie has cycling dialed Apparently there have been a few Cleveland jokes told over the years: mostly lame jabs about inept sports teams or Rust Belt dreariness. We don't know about any of that. But we do know the city is dead serious about bikes, from Cannondale devotee LeBron James to the devout commuters at the Cleveland Clinic. What's to love? For starters, the stretch of bike lane that now runs the length of historic Euclid Avenue, linking the city's two employment hubs. A new towpath just beyond Cleveland's southern border reaches Akron--80 miles away. Plans call for webs of bike paths to unspool east and west as well. To lure tourists in, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance launched a bike-rental program last summer--it will expand this year into a parking garage with showers and lockers. And then there's the diversity. In January, a nonprofit unveiled plans to build an indoor velodrome--the third of its kind in the country and and the only one east of the Rockies. The city is home to the vast Ray's Indoor Mountain Bike Park and Pedal Republic, which organizes bike-polo tourneys, tall-bike rides and alley cat races. Not that it's all for fun. Cleveland is one of the nation's poorest cities; a quarter of residents don't own cars. "This is not a yuppie thing," says Martin Cader, the city's bike and pedestrian coordinator. "This is a this-is-how-I-get-around thing." To that end, the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op awards bikes in exchange for sweat equity. At press time, cyclists were pushing a car-centric state agency for a biking and walking lane on the new I-90 bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River. And mountain bike advocates are lobbying for access to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, just south of town. "It would be a huge, huge step for mountain biking nationally," says Lois Moss, founder of Walk+Roll Cleveland. Still, Cleveland's progress speaks volumes. --David Howard

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Cleveland this weekend!

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour celebrates its 13th year of making a stop in Cleveland this weekend, April 9&10, 2010! The film screenings begin at 7:30pm, with a different set of films each night, so get tickets for both nights for the full experience!

The Banff Mountain Film Festival usually includes one or two films related to cycling, and this year is no exception. The Friday evening screening includes "Take A Seat," a film about one man's 19,000-mile journey from Alaska to Argentina on a tandem bicycle.

The festival also features an exhibit area of local outdoor-oriented businesses and organizations, and nightly prize drawings, courtesy of the event's national and local sponsors. All of the festivities take place in the Allen Theater at Playhouse Square downtown.

There are still tickets available, which you can buy online at, the festival's local presenter!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Century Cycles supports WRUW telethon

We're always grateful that you shop at local retailers like us. Now here your chance to support local radio, too.

Pledge to support Case Western Reserve University's radio station WRUW 91.1 FM at the $75 level or higher during their annual telethon now through April 11 and you'll receive a free 4-hour bicycle rental from Century Cycles in Peninsula, a $32 value! That's in addition to some other pretty cool premiums, like music CDs and the t-shirt above, but it's only on call-in pledges (not web pledges).

Call 216-368-2208 to make your pledge, then tune in at 91.1FM or online at to hear some of northeast Ohio's best local radio programming -- including a special shout-out to our friend and customer Christine, whose show stonecoldbikini is on Saturday mornings from 9am to 11am.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scott Cowan on WKYC last night!

WKYC-TV3 of Cleveland stopped into our Rocky River store yesterday to talk to Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan about how the recent record-high temperatures have created good business for bicycles and bicycle repairs:

Monday, April 5, 2010

A bike is a smart use of tax refund

A March 13 article in The Plain Dealer gave some very helpful advice on smart ways to spend a tax refund. The tips (in bold below) make the case for using that money to buy a bicycle:
Spend it on smart resources or tools that will save you money. Hmmm... that sounds like a bike that you can use for errands around town to conserve gas money or to exercise outside instead of in a gym with a costly membership.
Use it to improve yourself. Did you know a bicycle ride at a moderate 10 mph pace for an hour burns 400 calories? Or that regular cyclists are 50% less likely to experience depression?
Go green on products that pay for themselves in the long run. You know that bike that saves on gas usage and car maintenance? A 4-mile ride on it also keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air.
Spend your tax refund on experiences. Think how much fun you'll have cycling on bike paths all over Northeast Ohio with your family and friends. Or maybe try a Century Cycles Night Ride on the Towpath Trail this summer!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Win a free bike from Dr. LaSalvia!

It's not often a trip to the dentist will be a chance to see (and win!) a Raleigh Talus 2.0, but it is if you visit Dr. David LaSalvia DDS in Westlake. Each spring, Dr. LaSalvia gives away a bicycle from Century Cycles in a free drawing for his patients. In fact, the bike prize is so popular that it is one of the few drawings each year that is extended over two months (March and April) instead of just one month like Dr. LaSalvia's other drawings.

(If your business would like to make a special bicycle purchase for a similar giveaway, please contact Century Cycles owner Scott Cowan at our Rocky River store.)

Define your life...and take your coffee with you!

The past couple of years, we've given you plenty of ways to Define your life (t-shirts, baseball caps, stickers, magnets, buttons, beer glasses, coffee cups). Now, you can "Define your life. Ride a bike." and take your coffee with you!
Now available in all three of our stores, this stainless steel travel coffee mug has our logo and slogan imprinted on front and back, a handle for easy sipping, screw-top lid, and flip-up stopper. $9.99 each, or free with any new bicycle!
And of course, to make taking it with you even easier, it works great with the Joe-2-Go bike coffee cup holder!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Introducing...the Bike Snuggie!

Just in time for commuting during those chilly spring mornings!

Feel the Snuggie™ Warmth & Snuggle up with your significant bicycle! Blankets are OK, but they can slip and slide, plus your hands are trapped inside. The Bike Snuggie™ Blanket keeps you totally warm and gives you the freedom to use your hands!