Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

links I Like -- 30 December, 2011

I find I do most of my reading online these days. You too, right? I have certain blogs I subscribe to and certain sites that I visit regularly. And then I find little tidbits here and there from my friends on Facebook + Twitter. Today's links include one bicycle industry site and two non-bike sites. -- I'll admit, working in the bike industry, that this topic really hits a nerve with me and I'm thankful that Specialized Bicycle's Mike Sinyard spoke out about it publicly. We're all about "the deal" but that often hurts your locally-owned bike shop. Buy local, folks! Support the communities you live in. Zen Habits is one of my favorite blogs and I always pick up a practical tip or two to help improve my life. This post focuses on how to start a healthy habit and grow it into a healthy lifestyle. It's okay to start small. Be patient. Invest in yourself! -- Grist takes a humorous look at serious environmental stories. They often write about the impact of bicycles on the environment. This one's as silly as most, but contains some "real" reasons why bicycling is an awesome way to improve your life. And thanks to Grist for the infographic (below) that went viral earlier this month.

Biking And Health

Created by: Healthcare Management Degree

Thursday, December 29, 2011

beauty + balance + intimacy

As a small business owner, I find myself (like other small business owners) sometimes doing more "business" than actual coaching. Year-end is always super-busy for me in this respect -- finalizing all the details for Velo Girls (the club + the team), membership renewal, securing sponsors, publishing my Savvy Bike coaching calendar, and (this year) trying to launch two new websites. I've spent an inordinate amount of time riding my desk instead of riding my bike.

Today I spent the day in my mobile office (aka Honda Element) with meetings that took me from San Jose to Carmel Valley to Santa Cruz. Along the way, I snapped a few images, the best of which I want to share with you.

While I would have rather been riding my bike today, the miles in the car reminded me of the many things I LOVE about riding. I love the people I've met, the places I've been, and the things I've seen. Today I was awestruck with the amazing beauty that is California. I saw winter hills, redwoods, Spanish moss, mistletoe, California live oak, eucalyptus, and madrones. I saw farmers' fields, a sandy beach, and country roads. I crossed the path of cows, horses, deer, peacocks, hawks, skunks, and a wild boar (still roaming Carmel Valley Road where I last saw him 3 or 4 years ago).

We're blessed to live here and experience this beautiful state in such an intimate way -- on the saddle of a bicycle.

do you know the way to Monterey?

If you've been around the bike world long enough, then you know all about Sea Otter Classic, the fabulously fun festival of all things bike, with racing, demos, a HUGE vendor expo, and lots of fun events, held annually each spring in Monterey, CA. Some folks plan their spring calendar around Sea Otter and attend year after year. It's definitely an event to add to your calendar if you've never been.

Last year I was contracted by Sea Otter to coordinate their first-ever Ladies Day. We filled the day with free rides, clinics, a panel discussion, and a yummy wine + chocolate reception. Industry companies large and small stepped up to support the event and the cast of presenters was pretty incredible, including women from throughout the bike industry -- athletes, product managers, coaches, and designers.

This year, we'll be back with an expanded program of women's outreach activities, including group rides, brown bag lunches, hosted happy hours, and another amazing panel discussion (and, of course, a wine + chocolate reception). The schedule is set and I'm working on presenters, ride leaders, and other professionals to put together awesome events just for women!

In addition, I'll also be directing a really special women's camp in Monterey in March -- the Sea Otter Classic Women's Escape Weekend! We just broke the news about this program and registrations are already coming in. These lucky women, both mountain bikers and road cyclists, will have a weekend away in magical Monterey filled with rides, clinics, seminars and lots of "girl time."

You'll find more about the Sea Otter Classic Women's Escape Weekend here:

Won't you join us in March in Monterey?

Monday, December 26, 2011

munday funday -- 26 December, 2011

A holiday favorite from our friends at Specialized Bicycles. Team Velo Girls is thrilled to begin a new partnership with Specialized for 2012 Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

links I Like -- 23 December, 2011

This week's links focus on calls to action. Get involved in the women's cycling movement, support a woman-owned business in the cycling industry, or support Team Velo Girls on our AIDS/Lifecycle campaign. Pick one and you might change a life -- maybe even your own.

Women in Cycling: Why we Matter -- A thoughtful + insightful piece by Sarai of girlbikelove. If you haven't read it, you should. If you haven't shared it, you should. If you don't believe it, just look around you at all the women change-makers in your life. YOU can be a change-maker, too. You ARE a change-maker!

My Alibi Clothing Kickstarter Campaign -- For those of you who've dared to follow your dream, you know the investment it takes in emotional and sweat equity. It also takes an investment in more tangible equity, and this is where you can help! For as little as $8 you can invest in Abbie Durkee's dream.

Team Velo Girls AIDS/Lifecycle Campaign -- Join Team Velo Girls as part of our AIDS/Lifecycle team as a rider or roadie, or make a donation on behalf of the team to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Monday, December 19, 2011

munday funday -- 19 December, 2011

There are a gazillion and one videos of men + boys riding bmx + fixie.  Here's Juliet Elliott, a London bike-world icon with some brilliant images and mesmerizing music.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Links I Like -- 16 December, 2011

Here are some more holiday gift ideas -- this time focusing on your favorite mountain biker.  What could be better than a gift membership to your local trail advocacy group?  They work hard to maintain trails, educate trail users, and fight to keep trails accessible to bikes.

Bicycle Trails Council of Marin

Bicycle Trails Council of the Easy Bay

Monterey Off-Road Cycling Association

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz

Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers

Sonoma County Trails Council

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Ideas from Velo Girls

We LOVE to support the companies who support us and we think YOU should, too.  Check out some of the great products from our fabulous sponsors.

Savvy Bike -- check out the jam-packed calendar of clinics and camps in 2012!  now there's a gift that will just keep giving every time you get on the bike.  also available are gift certificates for professional bike fit + coaching.

Tri-Flow Superior Lubricants -- their new soy line of products is THE BOMB!

eShutter Creative -- graphics, photography, and AWESOME web design.

Erik Butler Photography -- nothing tells a story as well as a photo and Erik tells some EPIC stories.

Gary Brustin -- let's hope you don't need him, but if you do, the Bicycle Lawyer will help you navigate the ins + outs of bicycle personal injury law.

Jan Medina Real Estate -- who wouldn't want to tie a ribbon on a new house in San Francisco?  Jan will help you!

Image Arts -- Teresa Callen and her lovely + talented stylists will make you look and feel beautiful.  Teresa also has a fabulous new line of products.

Silicon Valley Finance Group -- if you're still keeping your receipts in a shoe box, call Jan Reed.  she'll help your business maximize profits!

Mike's Bikes -- hands-down the BEST bike shop in Northern California.  check out their 12 Days of Deals for your holiday gift list.

KENDA -- the best tires for road or mountain.

GU Energy -- the best sports nutrition products on the market.  indulge in some of their holiday flavors (much better than giving a fruitcake).

Pactimo -- stock up on the BEST clothing in the bike industry.

Defeet -- these aren't your daddy's socks -- fun + functional socks, warmers, and base layers for the cyclist you love.

Rack + Road -- bike racks, ski racks, cargo boxes.  you've got the gear and Rack + Road will help you haul it.

Action Wipes -- there's nothing better to freshen up after a ride than Action Wipes!

Betwixt -- nothing comes between us and our chamois except Betwixt!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Favorite Day of the Year

For the past seven years, I've put together a Velo Girls team for the Turning Wheels for Kids Big Bike Build in San Jose.  I never had a new bike as a child.  I had hand-me-downs from my sisters and rummage sale bikes purchased by my grandmother.  My first brand new bike was a Specialized Hard Rock I purchased when I was 25 years old.  So, the thought of providing new bikes to underserved children resonates with me.

This year we had an awesome, co-ed team of 25 volunteer bike builders.  Some of them have participated in the build in previous years.  Some of them had never built a bike before.  But together, we helped build 2,400 bikes in about three and a half hours.

Turning Wheels for Kids is a GREAT organization and they've been expanding their reach each year since their inception in 2004.  In addition to an increasing number of bikes/children served, they're now offering bikes at other times of the year as well as bike maintenance and riding clinics.  Check out their site, click around, make a donation, get involved, get your company involved, be inspired to start a similar program!

Susan Runsvold, the founder of TWFK

Before:  2,400 bikes to be built by 800 volunteers

Team Velo Girls with some of our pretty blue cruisers

some of the 2,400 finished bikes

this pretty much sums up the experience

Do you remember your first bike?  What was your first brand new bike?  How did you receive it?

Monday, December 12, 2011

if life had a dimmer switch

I don't typically write about personal stuff on my public blog, but I want to share this for a number of reasons.  First, if you've been wondering what makes me tick, this might help you understand me a bit better.  Second, I've shared this advice many times with my clients, yet I never considered it relevant for me until now.  I'm hoping these thoughts might speak to some of you as well.  Who knows, this could save you thousands of dollars in therapy!  And lastly, I'm sharing this because I'm owning it (which is HUGE for me).


I experienced an epiphany yesterday.  To those who know me well, this is probably not a surprise.  To those who know only my "public" persona, you may or may not be surprised.  To me, the realization was life-changing.

My fatal flaw is that I've lived my life in a very ALL or NOTHING way.  I trace this back to my childhood.  It's a flaw of many over-achievers.  When we swing THAT HIGH, there's a complementary LOW swing to balance it out.  Some folks experience this daily, some less frequently.

I saw this trait in my mother.  She was very ALL or NOTHING.  And when she couldn't live her life at the ALL end of the spectrum, she checked out completely.  I don't want to let that happen to me.

So this begs the question, "why can't we be moderate, balanced, mediocre?"

I've been driven throughout my life to be first, best, only.  I didn't see the point in participating if you couldn't win.  I never understood how someone was happy with a B when there was an A possible.  I was the Girl Scout who wanted every single merit badge.  I was never drawn to a career where I would be just another body, just another number in the rank + file.  I've lived my life trying to be unique and special and outstanding.

So I struggle with this -- in my personal life, my athletic life, my business-owner life, in my ENTIRE life.  I've had no consistency.  I go great guns until something, some hurdle, presents itself, and then I swing to the opposite end of the spectrum and surrender.  This hurdle might be an injury or illness, it might be a change in relationship or friendship, it might be a particularly challenging business situation.  I let it get to me -- to stop me.

I'm sure some of you can empathize.  When there are 500 emails in my inbox, it's overwhelming and I don't know where to begin.  When I'm at a low with fitness (or a high with weight) what difference does it make if I have some ice cream or don't work out for one more day?  Unless I can throw myself at a project 100% (or more) why should I even participate?  So instead of living a moderate life, I operate on hyper-drive or I participate in destructive thoughts and actions.

So as I analyze this, I always thought that what I needed was a way to manage the hurdles -- to create a support system to help me through the challenging times.  But now, I'm starting to believe what I really need is the ability to manage my energy so that I can MODERATE myself.  I don't need to swing to both ends of the spectrum -- it's tiring and counter-productive.

Because as we age, as we continue to live life, the hurdles seem to increase in frequency, intensity, and duration.  And the resultant lows are lower.

For someone who was raised to over-achieve, to "shoot for the stars," this is a HUGE paradigm shift.  I've always wondered how some people can be so content in life with mediocrity - in job, family, sport, education.  But upon further examination, I realize that what they have is not mediocrity, but consistency and balance.  I'm starting to think that's not such a bad thing.  It's freeing.  I can't express the sense of relief I feel giving myself permission to JUST BE ME.

The good news is that I think I've been turning in this direction for the past few years.  I've experienced some significant change in my life and have been heading in this direction without quite knowing the destination.  And now, it's all become quite clear.

Life isn't simply BLACK or WHITE.  GRAY is okay.

It's not ALL or NOthing.  SOMEthing is just fine, too.

Maybe I'll print that eloquent quote on magnets and share it with my friends, clients, and teammates who suffer from the same over-achieving, self-destructive tendencies.

munday funday -- 12 December, 2011

Check this out!  The mobile music machine brings musicians out onto the streets (on a bicycle-operated stage).  Various local musicians perform in major cities around the United States.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Riding Through a Winter Wonderland

Some of my favorite holiday memories of late are night rides through festive neighborhoods.  Here's one in Palo Alto.

Have you ever done a holiday night ride?  Where are your favorite areas to ride?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Links I Like -- 9 December, 2011

looking for a great holiday gift this season for the cyclist you love?  how about a gift membership to one of the organizations working to make cycling better for all of us:

East Bay Bicycle Coalition

Marin County Bicycle Coalition

Napa County Bicycle Coalition

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

when two worlds collide

Little-known fact:  I spent a good portion of the first half of my life studying music. 

Better-know fact:  I've spent the past decade of my life in the cycling world.


elizabeth! is a vocalist, trombonist, and songwriter newly based in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Vermont, she studied neuroscience at Harvard before moving to NYC to play, tour, and record with jazz musicians, indie rockers, pop stars and more. Her new album of original jazzy pop tunes was just released on Canopy Jazz!  You can join her at a CD release party at the Red Poppy Art House on December 11th.  

Monday, December 5, 2011

munday funday -- 5 December, 2011

great images of San Francisco bike culture and bike personalities -- honoring the single speed (and SSCXWC).  WARNING:  adult content.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Links I Like -- 2 December, 2011

AIDS/Lifecycle -- Join Team Velo Girls as a rider or roadie on ALC11 in June or make a donation on behalf of the team!

Paralympian Joins Pro Cycling Team After Recovery -- the inspirational story of Dutch cyclist Monique van der Vorst.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Winterfest -- this Sunday -- the biggest bike party of the year!  go, eat, drink, mix, mingle, bid on the auctions, and help improve biking in our fair city.

6th Annual Supermarket Street Sweep -- this Saturday -- an alleycat style race (fun) supporting the San Francisco Food Bank.

What Drivers Can Do To Be More Cyclist Aware -- from Carbuzz.UK (really, a car blog!)