Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Training: The Older You Get, The Harder It Is To Come Back…Pfft

May 8, 2014

That’s what I’d always heard.
“It’s gonna take you  longer, and it’s going to hurt more and more each time.”
So now that I’m older here’s what I’ve got to say:
Screw you, buddy.
The older I get, the smarter I train, and recover.
Science and technology are making that easier and easier for me. So there.

Here are some basics that I KNOW will always help me.

  1. Start small and build up.
    Nope, it doesn’t matter what it is, but the general rule is that 21 days makes a habit. So I build my programs 3 weeks at a time, and the build is usually gradual and comfortable.
  2. If anything hurts, STOP NOW.
    Tomorrow is another day, and long-term injuries that do not go away come from not stopping. Good things come from controlled failures.
  3. Nutrition and Eating Schedule.
    I generally have a good diet, but I try to have more protein and fat in the beginning of my season, and as I need more calories, I put in more carbs. I also go from eating 3 larger meals a day, to 6 smaller meals. The difference in calories on season and off season is incredible (from 1600 kcal/day to 3000 kcal), so I have to fit them in somewhere. But I have discovered that when I eat is just as important as what I eat.
  4. Myofacial Release and Stretching.
    I know. I hate it too. But rollering and stretching are the best things for keeping me balanced. I have problems with Hyper-mobilty so I have to be careful about building muscles evenly, and keeping my tendons in balance. Most of my injuries have come from a muscle or tendon being too loose while the opposing tendon/muscle is too tight.
  5. Compression.
    This is a precious gift from the materials science gods and goddesses, and GAWD does it work. #ifuckinglovescience.   It cuts down on soreness immensely.
  6. A Weight Training Program.
    No, not just going to the gym a grabbing a couple of kettle balls for a 10 minute pump. I am talking about a serious program like powerlifting. Powerlifting is excellent for cyclists in particular, because it helps stave off bone loss. In fact, it increases bone density pretty much exactly where we need it. Oh the other thing? Crashing with a good deal of natural armor (aka muscle), is better. I really KNOW this to be true for me, because when I have a good deal of muscle, I bounce and yes, even skid better. Sorry about the imagery.
  7. A Coach
    “Any racer who’s only had themselves as a coach, is eventually coaching a fool.” – Girl Meets Bike.
    Yes, I said that, and I mean it as much for myself as anyone else. Want to get better? You have to have a qualified objective observer. Nuff said.

    “Thinking getting older sucks? Consider the alternative.”

              Steven Wright

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AIDS/LifeCycle 10: CR Lisa makes a Podcast “For the Newbies”

February 21, 2011

This is the first podcast for AIDS/LifeCycle 10, coming to you directly from the AIDS/LifeCycle offices in Los Angeles, from Cyclist Representative Lisa Hachadoorian. It is a mix of stories from past AIDS/LifeCycle participants, and information for the upcoming ALC 10 ride.

This is not an official AIDS/LifeCycle podcast.

PODCAST 1:

For the Newbies

1. Urban Legend.

  • Hearing is believing. Brendan Patrick helps us remember this one.

2. What is a Training Ride Leader (or TRL)?

  • Mark Botello explains the role of these vital volunteers

3. Where do your donation dollars go?

  • The Prevention On Wheels Mobile Unit (or the POW Van) is just one of the life saving programs that is, in part, supported by your donation dollars. Jimmy Ramos, who is program manager for the POW van, explains the process of the FREE HIV testing service, which the POW Van provides.
  1. What’s so special about a bike ride?
  • Matthew Campos sends us on a trip down memory lane, back to California AIDS Ride 3.

Music:

found on fma.org, all this wonderful is available under Creative Commons Licencing. Thanks SO MUCH to the musical artists, Lee Rosevere, and Northbound for sharing!

Forward by Northbound

Do What You Can by Lee Rosevere

Up All Night by Lee Rosevere

Nightlight by Lee Rosevere

 

ALC 10 Podcast 1- ForTheNewbies

Interbike: A First Look at Specialized Women’s Bikes

September 29, 2010

The Specialized Women’s 2011 bicycle line is very impressive indeed.

Specialized has rethought bike design for women in a three dimensional way; this makes their mountain bikes particularly easy to handle in all types of terrain.  The Specialized MTB bikes I tested are light enough to Manipulate and maneuver,  but  have a weight distribution that made it easy to keep  “tires to the ground”.

For Women’s road bikes, the Amira will be the bike to look out for. This is their premium bike for women. There are a lot of details that make the Amira stand out (it has all the earmarks of a really fast bike). One look at the geometry and you can see how nothing compares. It’s also sexy as anything.

If you are a fan of Specialized already, you need to try one of their 2011 bikes.  But if you’ve had questionable results with their Women’s geometry bikes from previous years (hey, I wasn’t always a big fan), then you really need to try the 2011 series. Specialized really went back, did their homework, and found what really works for Women’s geometry; and in this 2011 line up, it  shows.

In the coming weeks I will have separate reviews of 2011 Women’s Specialized bikes, including:

Myka – A 29er Women’s Hardtail Mountain Bike, with entry level pricing (warning, this bike could make mountain biking addictive).

Safire – Women’s All Mountain Bike (a dream to ride in 2010, with some interesting changes for 2011)

Era – Women’s Cross Country Performance Mountain Bike (2011 line adds a budget conscious carbon fiber level).

Amira – Women’s Premium Road Bike, redesigned again ( the delight is in the details).

Mountain Bike Review: Specialized Safire Comp Women’s Full Suspension MTB

August 30, 2010

I tested the 2010 Susan Komen Limited Edition Version from Bear Valley Bikes

I tested the Susan Komen Limited Edition Version from Bear Valley Bikes

Small Safire from Bear Valley Bikes

The Demo Bike

TESTED: Specialized Safire Comp, Susan Komen Edition from Bear Valley Bikes

Price: $2400 for the Comp (tested),  to $7400 for the Carbon Fiber Top o’ the Line Pro Version

Bike Size: Small, with an Effective Top Tube of 540mm,  Weight: 27lbs

Rider Size: 5’4″  Back Length: 545mm (find out why that’s important HERE). Weight: 120lbs (135lbs with gear).

Terrain: Big Bear, California

(The Exact Specs can be found on Product Wiki HERE, or BikPedia HERE


Spec Highlights:

  • FRAME: Safire FSR M5 manipulated alloy frame w/ women’s ORE TT/DT, sealed cartridge bearing pivots, DMD front, replaceable derailleur hanger, disc only, 120mm travel
  • REAR SHOCK: Fox Triad, custom on-the-fly 3-position switch 1) lock out 2) Open 3) ProPedal pedal assisting damping, rebound adj., 7.25×1.75″
  • FORK: Fox F130 RL, 130mm travel, compression and rebound adj. w/ LO, alloy steerer
  • FRONT BRAKE: Custom Avid Elixir SL, alloy backed semi-met organic pads, 160mm rotor
  • REAR BRAKE: Custom Avid Elixir SL, alloy backed semi-met organic pads,S/M: 140mm, L: 160mm rotor
  • BRAKE LEVERS: Custom Avid Elixir SL Hydraulic, tool-less adj. reach
  • FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano M660 SLX, DMD, top swing, dual pull
  • REAR DERAILLEUR: SRAM X-9, 9-speed, mid cage
  • SHIFT LEVERS: SRAM X-7, aluminum trigger

SPECIALIZED OFF-ROAD: A REAL WOMAN’S BIKE

Specialized really does want us girls to ride mountain; why else would they make, not just one, but a series of REAL women’s mountain bikes? These bikes are not candy; they are hardcore mountain bikes that a woman can tailor for the way she rides. And on budget . From the sizing, weight and geometry, to budget and componentry, Specialized seems to be one of the “Big Boy” Companies to actual listen to what we women mountain bikers have asked for; then they stepped it up a notched and gave us some dream bikes, like the Safire, which is available in Carbon. (Oh, how I would love to test that bike!) But what I tested while I was in Big Bear CA, was the more budget conscious “Comp” level of the Safire. It seems that Specialized Comp level is a perfect Beginner/Intermediate bike, due to the “bang for your buck” quality of the components.

But what draws me in to this bike, is the unbelievably correct geometry. It is absolutely spot on. Somehow they managed to figure out how to make the head tube angle slack enough to handle any downhill (at 68.5°), yet not sluggish on tight corners and uphill.

Descending

At first I was a little unsure of it, so I picked my way down some trails. Well, that’s not what this bike wants to do. It wants to go fast, and it told me so. Steep downhill with roots and rocks means nothing to this bike, and given a chance, and some well guided direction, the Safire will glide down the trail pretty effortlessly, without “tugging me down the trail” the way some bikes do when they’re longer in the cockpit. Cornering was so easy, even at speed off-camber. The tight geometry made even tight corners smooth and fun. After a few trail runs, this baby felt as secure as a sofa, on the downhill.

Climbing

But how does it perform, going uphill? I really thought that the slack head tube angle combined with the 130mm fork meant a lousy ride uphill. SO wrong, was I. Specialized figured out how to make the head tube just a little shorter, which allows a woman to move her weight further forward for the climb, without losing traction in the rear.

Out of the saddle on climbs, I was able to get over the front end without leaning on it, and the front end never felt like it was was trying to force me to sit down (which also happens when a head tube is too tall). The kicker for me? When I stood up and tried to give it pedal bob, it responded by smoothing out the ride. I felt none of that “walking in molasses” feeling that you can get with a lesser suspension system.

Of course for longer climbs it’s very easy to lock out the suspension which completely eliminates all bob. Sorry Bob.

I would heartily recommend the Specialized Safire for women who would like a light all-mountain to cross country bike. This is a fun bike to ride.

In the last few years, I’ve demo’ed MANY mountain bikes directed towards women, but this is the first one that’s good enough for a “Girl Meets Bike” recommendation.  No, I don’t work for Specialized or anything like that; I’m just a girl who really appreciates good design.  I’m looking forward to testing other frames before I decide on which full -suspension bike is “The One” for me, but this is DEFINITELY in the running.  I’m hope to try the Myka FSR, which is Specialized’s first Women’s Full Suspension 29er.

Proper suspension set up is vital to truly experience what a bike has to offer. Without it, even the most amazing bike can feel like a dud.  Many thanks to Clay and Derek of Bear Valley Bikes for setting up the suspension beautifully for me. A review of their Bike Shop is coming very soon…

Girl Meets Safire, the Bike:


For those of you that want the quick and dirty version, here are some thoughts from the day.

  • Women’s geometry, 130 mil suspension, fairly light. Has my dream come true?
  • Why does the chairlift have to be so friggin’ cold!
  • Take your hand off the brakes..the brakes.
  • OH SH* , oh, no, I’m OK.
  • Trust the steep…Wow, do I love this bike.
  • the bike wants to go fast.
  • OH SH* no, I’m… Actually, that was fun. Should do that again!
  • Wheeeee!!!!
  • Stomping it! It can handle uphills!
  • Love these trails.
  • Love this bike!
  • Comes in carbon, there’s a 29er, comes in carbon, there’s a 29er.

Video: Sully Canyon, feel it

January 2, 2010

Video of Sullivan Canyon, going down.
This is what it feels like to be a girl on a bike. Even though they’ve plowed Sullivan Canyon, It is still a gorgeous ride, and still has plenty of places to jump. As you’ll see, and hopefully feel, I took full advantage.
My inspiration is quite obvious for those who know the work of Michel Gondry. I’m a big fan of his work, and “Star Guitar” is, I think, a video masterpiece. I apologize for the occasional “Blair Witch Project” effect; I’m on a single speed so sometimes I really had to pump to keep things moving.
Music: Star Guitar by the Chemical Brothers

Save 15% Off All Orders Over $100.00 Now Until Dec 26th, 2009

December 9, 2009

BLACK FRIDAY COUPON

November 24, 2009

This Friday is your chance to save an EXTRA 20% off of already discounted prices. For 24 hours Girl Meets Bike Shop will take 20% off all items, INCLUDING those on sale. Details for discounts here http://girlmeetsbikeshop.com/pages/security.

Coupon Code: GMBS8HLFRJV4

Sale is BLACK FRIDAY SALE is on Friday, November 27th,valid until Sunday November 29th at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Girl Meets (Electric?) Bike: Sanyo Dreams Big with Eneloop Bike

October 7, 2009

It’s a good idea; sometimes big companies have them. Sanyo has entered the North American electric bike market, with one sweet little bike:
the Eneloop:

Guess which one they had me ride?

Guess which one I got to ride?

They call it a Synergetic Hybrid Bike. The idea is that the feel of the electric motor shouldn’t be jerky at all; on the contrary it should feel completely seamless and unnoticeable. Yup, it’s true, the feeling is seamless and fluid, and easy. Plus it’s lots of fun. Did you know that one in seven bikes, is battery operated (worldwide)? Surprising, isn’t it? I could see these bikes being a big hit, if Sanyo works it properly.

The Eneloop has the lightest e-bike battery, weighing a little over 3 pounds. For reference, most electric bike batteries are about 6-10 pounds. But the bike overall, is still a bit heavy for most women to lift (upstairs, into a car, etc.), at fifty pounds. It’s not something I’d like to lug around if the battery runs dry. However, that seems unlikely, as the battery can go up to 40 miles per charge (on auto-mode, or 17-20 miiles on standard mode). The battery charges whenever you coast downhill, and whenever you brake. I really wish this technology was hooked up to something a bit lighter, as I could easily imagine loading the Eneloop with bags, and using it like the sherpa of shopping.

The look of the bike itself is pleasing. It is a step through bike, so you don’t have to swing your leg over the bike to get on. Sanyo presented models complete with fenders, racks, and wicker baskets up front. I loved the one I tried, which was an white color, with pink flowers a bow. Sweet, but what was really sweet, was the ride itself. It was fluid, fast and felt light on the pedals. It was easy to make it go fast, easy to control in general. With a three speed internal hub, I can imagine that this would get you up and down most anything.

Love the Bow

Love the Bow

But Sanyo isn’t just thinking about the normal bike buyer. No, their plan is much bigger, and far better. They plan to have fleets of rental bikes (with all the bells and whistles like these), at convenient stations around cites and towns. Sanyo’s bike recharging station is revolutionary, in that it is fully Solar. That means the electricity to run these bikes will be off the grid. Can I get a Wow!

An extra tip’o’the’hat goes to both Sanyo and Panasonic, for working in cooperation to bring you the best of both worlds for the motor.  You guys had me at “Double Torque Start-up motor.” The “double torque start up” is for when you have a heavy load, or you’re starting out on an uphill. It will allow an easier start, with less strain on the motor.

I’ve often said that if we get the women of a community on their bikes, then the rest will follow. So how will women react to the idea of a “bike sharing program?” I don’t know, yet.  I can only tell you the things that would get me involved in a “bike sharing”program:

  • I’d need to make sure that the routes from station to station were safe, both from traffic, and nefarious characters.
  • I would want to know that the bike I was borrowing was in good shape, i.e. no flats, saddle is in good shape, lights work everything safe and on tight.
  • I would want an inspection sheet at the station, in case I forgot how to inspect a bike to make sure it’s safe.
  • I would want at least one of the fleet with a “baby carrier” option.
  • I would want a bike that was ALREADY adjusted down to my size. Did you know that over 53% of American women are under 5’4″? Personally, if I’m in city clothes, then I don’t want to spend my time, and break a nail, adjusting the stem, the seat height, etc. This would be solved by a simple, two-size option; sm/med and lg/xl.

So, make it safe and easy and fun for me to get from point A to point B, while looking fabulous, and I will ride it.  And share it.

Girls, would you participate in bike sharing? What would your perfect bike sharing program look like?

Engadget wished for an Eneloop bike, back in 2008.

All the Specs for the Eneloop bike are HERE.

Article from Scientific American:  How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road: To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want

Fashion Show at CORBA’s Fat Tire Festival, hosted by Girl Meets Bike

October 1, 2009

OCT 25th at Castaic Lake, CA Be there!!!!

Corba_fashionflyer2

Attending the show?

Why not sign up on Facebook HERE

Girl Meets E Bike, & Interbike’s must-do party!

September 19, 2009

Exciting things are happening at Intebike this year!

Biggest Bike TweetUp Ever…

The wonderful thing about Social Media is that it only takes a few good people to create a great social  phenomenon. This is what happened to the Interbike  “Bike TweetUp”. What began as a few Twitter folk meeting up (known as a TweetUp) has quickly become THE Interbike Social Main Event. As far as I can tell, EVERYONE that is ANYONE from the cycling industry is taking note of this party.

Beyond just the normal TweetUp, this event is now a charity benefit for two superb charities: both Aids LifeCycle and BIKE MS will benefit from the raffle that will occur throughout the evening. Bike Biz has the latest on the absolute plethora of companies ready to support these two worthy charities. Girl Meets Bike has joined that list, by donating some fine women’s cycling apparel by Etxe Ondo, and Castelli. I’m so happy to be able to contribute!

As with all great memes, Interbike’s Bike TweetUp is taking on a life of its own. It now has a Twitter account, a Blog, and (this is sofa king cool) a live broadcast of the party. So if you can’t actually be in Vegas at the party, you’ll still be able to experience it LIVE on Ustream.Starts on Tuesday Sept 22nd at 7:00pm.

Bike TweetUp is the brainchild of:

(via Bike Biz)

Martha VanInwegen – Action Wipes

David Bernstein – The Fredcast

Jeff Helfand – Veloreviews.com

Brian Hodes – VeloImages

Carlton Reid – BikeBiz.Com

Markus Neuert – Cyclefilm

More on Bike TweetUp to come…

Girl Meets E Bike

You know Sanyo; it’s a name we all know well, and associate with electronic products. So who better then Sanyo to become a part of the “Electric bicycle” revolution. They will be unveiling their first iteration of an electric bike, along with a Solar Charging Station, and I’ll be there for my first, Girl Meets Electric Bike encounter. It ‘s called the Eneloop. More about Sanyo’s Eneloop Bike, and Solar Charging Station from Design Boom. Press event  will be on Wednesday. Are these public E-Bike Stations practical from a woman’s POV?  We’ll seee…


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