Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

When I Bike, I Always Carry…

May 1, 2009

I was always a bit of a girl scout; always prepared (to fend for myself). So of course like any good cyclist worth her salt I always carry a descent bike repair kit, consisting of:

  • 2 tubes
  • Air pump or CO2 canisters
  • tire levers
  • a good multi-tool
  • a 15mm wrench, if I’m riding with bolts, instead of quick-release skewers
  • ID + money
  • water bottle (with either water or supplement drink in it.)
  • cell phone

But practically speaking, this is not quite enough to get me through a ride over 2 hours. After that, I need food, I need more sunscreen, and I probably need to find a restroom. So for most of my rides, I carry my “consumables case”. This is essential for me to stay on the bike and ready for action. I highly recommend this for any girl on a bike, but particularly for those gals who put in the long hours, you’ll probably need this, or something like it:

1. Action Wipes – I used to hate carrying around baby wipes because of the smell, but when I need to re-apply sunscreen or chamois butter, I need to clean my skin with something; it is absolutely essential in order to prevent saddle sores, pimples, and general skins problems due to bacteria. Enter Action Wipes. Action Wipes allow you to clean up and reapply, but smell and feel much nicer than baby wipes. In addition, they can be washed (I put them in a lingerie bag, hang dry), and reused a few times; just a couple a spritzes of the AW Sports Spray on a clean wipe, and you’re ready to go again. I’m very pleased to say that Martha of Action Wipes is Sponsoring Team Osprey for the RAAM. Right now, Action Wipes is having a contest, in which you can win a ONE YEAR Supply of Action Wipes: details here!

2. Sunscreen – Time to re-apply. I found out the hard way that applying sunscreen every two hours is absolutely essential in Southern California. All it takes is one time without it, to damage skin and risk skin cancer. My latest sunscreen is a Los Angeles based company which uses all organic ingredients: Coola (SPF 45) . The other sunscreen I like is a dusting powder called ColoreScience (SPF 30) which works nicely when I just can’t deal with any more goopy stuff on my skin.

3. Chamois Cream– I like Assos, but I’m searching for something without parabens. My guess is that the next Chamois cream I will try will be Beljium Budder, IF I can find it. I carry it in a small cream pot.

4. P-Mate – Why? Because I like to wear bibs. Because I don’t like port-a-potties, but I have to use them. Because I like getting rest stops done fast. P-mates have changed my life in this way. ’nuff said.

5. Energy drink powder – If you’re on the road it’s easy to find water, so why carry extra weight? I carry extra powder, and mix it as I need it. As I’ve said, Endurox seems to work well for me.

6. Food- Sure, I could probably find food along the way, but while riding I prefer to eat things I’ve tested and know will not upset my stomach: most energy bars do. But one Luna Bar in Lemon Zest, works for me, so I always have one around for “emergency rations”.

These are my consumable essentials; I can’t imagine going out for a 3-6 hours ride without all of the above.

Better polling software

September 29, 2008

Ladies, just a quick note. I’ve replaced the polling software to make it easy to answer. If you haven’t answered the poll below about Saddles/ chamois, won’t you please take a minute to do so? Thanks so much.

How Cycling is Different for Women: Reaching Out.

September 27, 2008

Warning: What follows is an attempt to gain information heuristically, by survey, discussion and further research and analysis. Women, the more honest you are with me, the better I can understand the issues, so that we can all help to solve them. It will also contain both normal vernacular and medical terms, with reference to the female anatomy.

If you are a gentleman visitor here, I respectfully hand you your plate of “no boys ALOUD” right now. Go to the back of the room, sit down, and start listening, but please say nothing, and do not answer the polls if you do not have the equipment. I really only want to hear first hand experience. Thank you.

Ladies, I may have the opportunity to translate the information I gather here to help the industry gain better understanding of women’s saddle / chamois design. There are only, two questions here, but your answer is very important. You don’t have to register for anything, so you can remain anonymous and answer should take less than a minute. Thank you so much in advance, as I would really like to help as many women as I can, to cycle pain-free.
I’ve switched polling software to make it a little easier to answer.

(Here’s a link, if you are not sure of the symptoms)
If you experience pain either in the clitoris or urethra, would you please answer one more question?

If you would prefer to tell me your experiences directly, please email me at

Fun with Panic

September 23, 2008

As we were turning into the airport… White screen,then nothing. OMFG, I’m lost.doomed,royally screwed without my iPhone.
Ok, on the plane I decide to go straight to a genius bar as soon as I touch down in Vegas.
I made an appointment with a genius for 9:40, the last one. I’m worried as I hold my brick and describe how it just died. But the Apple store at Ceasar’s has “the two Eriks” and they smiled,calmed me down and gave me a new phone, all within 45 minutes. Sweet! Now this morning I’m a bit bleary eyed but I made the stuttle bus out to bootleg and I’m ready to ride the new Cannondale six13.eeeee.I just squealed like a girl.

The Stitch Bitch of Cycling

September 18, 2008

Stitch Bitch.
That’s what what one gal called me. We laughed.
Hmmm, umm, yeah, I own that.
It refers to my insistence that every garment made for women in cycling be comfortable against the skin. My venders should pay attention, here: this makes the simple overlock stitch a Clothing Technology Crime or CTC. Why?
Designers, of cycling clothing, gather ’round (in my best Tim Gunn voice). Women, in general, have softer skin; we also have less natural protection (hair) covering our bodies. That makes us more vulnerable to chaffing and skin irritation from a rubbing seam. The Flatlock stitch, along with good design solves these irritation problems.
Honestly, I can’t take rotten quality in stitching, and I simply don’t tolerate in my store. I must admit that I was not entirely pleased with quality control from some of the cycling brands I chose for my store. The more time I spend in the saddle, the more I realize that my sacred inner mantra was ignored, as I chose some items last year by emotion first, instead of quality. There’s only one brand that never wavered on quality, and that was Etxe Ondo. Everything was flawless, and all customers were happy. I delight in wearing it, myself (as you’ve probably guessed).
I’ll be switching up some of my brands, because the ONE thing I learned about women’s cycling retail, is that “Women Want Quality” (OOOMMM), Marc Jacobs is an easy sell, payless, not so much…

I’m going to add a private section to the “girl on bike” website, called The Stitch Bitch. This section will require a password to get in, but it will reveal why I’m dropping some brands, and picking up others, and what I REALLY thought about being behind the scenes in the Bike Industry. Yes I’ll say what companies shined this year, but I’m going to start talking (a bit) more publicly, where, exactly, some of the bike industry is truly fucking up in getting women on bikes, and how others are being more progressive and finally getting it; women “hold the balls” of the cycling business in three ways:
1. For MOST American households, women make the financial decisions.
2. Women make up a large part of “commuter cyclists”; it’s where we shine, because for many of us, we just like the freedom of being a girl on a bike, and see cycling as a way to multi-task travel, fun and exercise.
3. Now that women’s bikes, clothing, parts and tools have been totally dialed by some companies, women are flocking to the companies who got it right. Big frickin’ hint, guys, it’s not always pink. Conversely, women generally did not tolerate things that did not fit, or were not of the premium quality. They returned that which was sub-par.
So, this year I may seem like a harmless kitty at Interbike, but look out (grrr) here comes The Stitch Bitch!
Next week, I use my Super Powers for good, or evil…
Ya got dat?!!!

QUICK UPDATE: Just got back from Interbike; girls, let’s just say that we have LOTS to look forward to, if the buyers do their job right. Solid colors are more on trend, and can be matched to the Spring Haute Couture colors, and the prints are reminiscent of Pucci, Versace, and Miu Miu. Fabric technology, and garment construction is DEFINITELY improving. Will post pics as soon as I can.

Clinic Postponed – Start date will be AUG 2

July 21, 2008

By request, and for personal reasons I’ve postponed the start date for the clinic to

Master the Mountains for MS Series!

July 10, 2008

Many women who live around here in the Los Angeles area find the Santa Monica Mountains quite intimidating; unfriendly traffic does not always help the matter. Instead of going it alone, sign up for the “Master the Mountains for MS Series”, from Cycle Maven!
We’ll work in two groups of five women at a time, over 8 sessions, gradually learning to conquer any of those fears and frustrations you’ve had with mountains.
You can:
Join the Series, AND the CYCLE MAVEN TEAM (Jerseys will be available for the Tour)
Join the Series (just to learn)
OR Just Donate to me and the Team (just because you care!)

I’ve selected progressive routes that aim in preparing you for the Bike MS Tour (which I will be doing), the California Coast Classic, and other September events. It is also a great way to just “learn the hills” for the first time.

The GROUP A will be the first five women who sign up for the Intermediate to Advanced group. This group is for women who have done hills before, but have specific troubles such as feeling nervous about steep descent, or for those who have trouble getting over steep or long hills. I’ll talk about things that are very specific to the charity rides as well, so that your multi-day events are as prepared and pleasant as possible. This group starts on July 26th, with “How to Climb and Descend Properly”.
GROUP A ride Sessions are on Saturday Mornings, sometimes into the afternoon, depending upon your specific charity ride distance. If you join the mid-morning session as well (A’s and B’s Together), you’ll have a chance to take a break at Cycle Maven’s. You can pick out either of the **A** afternoon sessions, or take both if you are training for the long distances.

The GROUP B is for beginners. This group starts out one week earlier than GROUP A, just to get used to riding in a group, doing turns, and learning the basics of hill climbing and descent. We gradually work our way up to a few long rides with all sorts of hills.
GROUP B will usually meet on Saturdays at mid-morning and will usually go to early afternoon (see schedule below).

The last few sessions will have both groups together, conquering the climbs and descents. September 6th will be dedicated to a practice “supported ride” (Cycle Maven will provide lunch), and ending on Sept 13th with a Taper ride by the beach, and a stop for breakfast!

Weeks 3-8 start and end in Topanga, at Cycle Maven’s. Access to a shower, and wind down time (tea n talk in the gazebo).
We will be doing progressively more challenging routes, hills and mountains. Each session will consist of a lecture, then hill format. The keen eye of Cycle Maven will be upon you to discover how you can improve your form, climbing descending, and on turns.
Each session 2-3 hours, (tea ‘n talk is afterwards, as well as shopping in the boutique).

The cost for each session is $20.00, for 8 sessions, so $160.00. Half of that goes to My Number as a rider in the Bike MS Tour. BUT, if you sign up to ride on the Cycle Maven Team, that $80.00 goes to YOUR number instead!
If this sounds appealing to you, or if you know of a gal who like to learn the mountains with a certified coach and other supportive women by her side, sign up for the
“Master the Mountains for MS Series”.

How do you sign up? If you want to do the 8 week clinic AND become a member of TEAM Cycle Maven, reserve your spot by visiting HERE, and click on “Join the Team”. If you are doing the series AND joining TEAM CYCLE MAVEN, donate $80.00 to yourself in the “self-pledge” space, then email to reserve for A Group or B Group. If you just want to do the series, donate $80.00 HERE, and contact , to reserve your spot in Group A or B.
You don’t have to join the team to do the series, but I’d LOVE to have you on board!
Or just support the team HERE!

Each team member is responsible for raising a minimum of $350.00, regardless of whether they ride the 30 miler, or the full 175 miles. I think it would be fun to have a TEAM CYCLE MAVEN Fundraiser, but I’ve no clue how to do it, (nor do I have much time) so if you’ve done that kind of thing before, and you’d like to help me “throw a paarty” then let’s talk!

(either an extra session on Saturday afternoon, or a Saturday in October).

Saturday, AUGUST 2nd
Session 1
Learn to Climb and Descend Properly
A group – Morning – 8:00AM-10:00AM
B group Mid-Morning 11:00AM-1:00PM

No Sessions on August 9th and August 16th

Saturday, August 23rd
Session 2
Climbing the Steeps / Descending the Steeps
A group – Morning – 8:00AM-10:00AM
B group Mid-Morning – 11:00AM-1:00PM
Saturday, August 23rd

Session 3
Full on ride – Long Hot Hills and Mountains
A group – Morning – 8:00AM-10:00AM
B group Mid-Morning 11:00AM-1:00PM **A** tags along

Saturday, August 30th
Session 4
Less Steep / More Miles
Same loop for both groups
A group – Morning – 8:00AM- 2:00PM **A** should do morning and afternoon session with one hour break
B Mid-Morning 11:00AM-2:00PM

Saturday, Sept 6th – 8:00AM – 2:00PM
Sessions 5 & 6
Morning Session then supported break at lunchtime, then late morning into afternoon session – A and B groups together
(SAG back for B group gals who are doing the shorter distance charity rides, or races).
Supported Ride – Practice

Saturday, Sept 13 – 8:00AM -???
Session 7 A and B groups together
Taper Ride by the beach, with stop for breakfast!

(Reserve soon as space is very limited).
C’mon gals, let’s Master the Mountains AND RAISE Money for the National MS Society!

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