The Bicyclical – March 2013

Look at the lovely winter. Hmmmm.

Lots of interesting stuff on the local calendar, such as…

  • Barry Roubaix on March 23rd. This race is now officially a Big Deal. I’m stoked about the Hastings start/finish this year. Should be a hoot. Darn near full. Sign up quickly if you want summathat gravel road race action.
  • Crazy people who like to time trial in questionable weather will be thrilled to know that the Fisk Knob Time Trial is April 14th. Do we have a lot of customers itching to do this? I have no idea, but for those of you into it: have fun!
  • There’s a first time, low-stress ride at the Kal-Haven trail head on April 20th at 10:00. Breaking the Cycle of Addiction is the event, and it starts at 10:00. We’ll be there for tech support at the start.
  • May 5th is the Ft. Custer Stampede mountain bike race. I know there’s a lovely foot race going on in Kalamazoo that very day, but the Stampede is pretty stinking sweet. Elite racer to first-timer, there’s a race for you. Give it a go. Oh. Bonus: all proceeds go toward trail development and maintenance, so your entry fee is totally win/win.
  • Kalamazoo Bike Week is May 13-19. We’ve been thinking (seriously) about something we can do to further cycling that maybe we can’t do all the time. This is the long intro before I deliver the goods. I figure there are approximately one gajillion things that keep folks from commuting to work, some of which I can’t control (like the weather) and some maybe I can. Two commuting obstacles that occur to me are a place to shower and a safe place for your bike. With this in mind, Pedal will rent a shower trailer that week. If you commute to work downtown, we’ll give you a place to shower and, if you wish, we’ll house your bike for you during the day. Cost to the bicycle commuter: $0.00. I think it’ll be fun and hope you can be part of it. I’ll have more details next month. If you have suggestions, comments or concerns, please  let me know.
  • May 19th is the Last Stand XTERRA. Fun on a bun. Off-road triathlon, duathlon and a trail run. Hard to beat.
  • Tour de Taylor is back for 2013 on Saturday June 15th. This is a great 12, 31 and 62-mile event benefitting the Make A Wish Foundation of Michigan. Last year’s ride received rave reviews, and I’d expect nothing less this year. Good people, good cause, good fun.

What’s new at the shop?

Finally, we have dog bike trailers. If you, like me, have been forced to drive to work every day because your dog wants to come with you, we have an answer: the Croozer Dog. Yes. I did buy the first one in the shop. FYI, we also have sweet Croozer and Chariot systems for young humans.
I’ve gone crazy with the Pedal logo. We have socks, seat packs and (gasp!) long-sleeve jerseys in stock and ready to go. If not for you, perhaps for your brother-in-law’s birthday.
Ladies, let’s wrench. Saturday March 16th at 1:00 we’ll have a ladies-only bike fixit thing. We’ll talk about flat repair. We’ll talk about the stuff you should have in your bike bag. We’ll talk about whatever you want to talk about. If you don’t mind, please give us a holler if you’d like to attend. Don’t worry about bringing your bike. We have plenty.
Have you seen the mega-cool PEdALED bicycle caps? We have, BECAUSE THEY’RE HERE. Japanese cotton and printing combined with Italian construction mean that these babies have seen more transit that some ocean liners. Plus: awesome. Still wearing some dull sweat band gizmo under your helmet? Say hello to a cap and get the sweat out of your eyes.
Fizik (with or without a bunch of punctuation marks) has new handlebar tape colors and styles this year, and we have (oh yes) an updated Wheel O’ Tape, which is actually TWO wheels ‘o tape. Check out all your options or go for broke: close your eyes, spin the wheel and grab a tape sample at random. Remember: your handlebar tape reflects your cycling aura.

Cycling in Kalamazoo

I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in much discussion related to cycling in our community, and I’m happy to report that there is definitely good work afoot. Good people and groups are talking about ways to make Kalamazoo a more bicycle-friendly place. I find it very energizing for cycling and for our town. However…
There are a lot of folks in our world who don’t ride a bike. There are lots of folks who don’t know the laws related to cycling, e.g. that riding two abreast is very legal. To enact meaningful change, we will need the help of these non-cycling citizens. To that end I’d like to remind everyone that we are ambassadors for cycling every time we ride. Wether you signal for a turn or run a stop sign or brandish your middle digit or smile and wave or whatever behavior, folks draw conclusions about the type of people who ride bikes and, thus, the relative importance of biking in the community. I would ask that you please be aware of your ambassador status.

Big Finish

Spring is coming. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not next week. But it’s headed our way and I, for one, am incredibly excited. I have visions of roads clear of ice and salt, of the need for sunscreen, of leaves on the trees. These things will be here soon enough, and hopefully I’ll have the presence of mind to appreciate them. Such is one of my favorite things about living here: the opportunity to look forward to and fully recognize the joy of a beautiful spring day.

But I’ll be honest: I’ve about had my fill of anticipation and am ready for some recognition and appreciation.

Until next month,
Tim, Ryan, Jordan, Dave, Brittany and Jim