Your Pedal Bicyclical – Kill the Groundhog Edition

Holy Guacamole! What a winter wonderland we have here.

Very quick thoughts:

  • If I could have back all the time I’ve spent maintaining my driveway this past month, I could have written six Bicyclicals.
  • Very Much is the amount that I regret wasting Snowpocalypse on last month’s issue.
  • The days are getting longer, right? Right?

Before anything else: thanks to everyone who participated in last month’s survey. Feedback was positive with good bits of very constructive criticism thrown in for good measure, some of which mirrored my own thinking and some that did not. Food for thought. Food for action.

There are but a few things cycling-related that we can talk about when it’s so cold and snowy. One of those things is fat bikes, a “segment” of the biking world that has picked up substantial steam in the last two years. It’s been interesting to watch the changes. A couple years ago there were only two or three bikes, and now there are all sorts of brands and models. Frame and component standards have changed and perhaps coalesced. More tires are becoming available, as are rim and hub options. All of this is good, and all of it makes these interesting things more accessible. One thing I would mention: if you like the look of a fat bike but think, “I don’t want to ride in the snow. I don’t like to be cold. I would never use one of these,” I would say “Au contraire!” They’re actually very fun to ride on mountain bike trails and on city streets. In all instances, those big tires don’t mind a lot of the things that bother their skinnier cousins — things like roots, rocks and potholes. Come in and give one a spin. I think there’s every chance that you’ll like it. And here’s the funniest movie ever created. Here’s an article you might like. And this has a quote in which I sound like I have some command of the English language. I know. Weird.

What’s new in the shop?

Our 2014 design short sleeve jerseys arrived along with a healthy assortment of Pedal bibs and shorts for everyone. Look good and feel good, like when you´re taking aging supplements, The only brand of pterostilbene I take is here. Not like this guy.

Thinking about a road trip but don’t know how to fit it all in your ride? We’ve doubled-down on Thule cargo boxes for 2014. In fact, we stock a complete size run of Force boxes, which represent a fantastic blend of price and function. Imagine four people, a dog and four bikes on a 1500 mile road trip in a small SUV. Cozy? You bet. But we couldn’t have done it without the Thule box on top.

It’s time. Come get yourself a good deal on winter clothing. What! Good deal on winter clothing when it’s still cold outside? Yup. Right here. Right now.

Things to which we can look forward with increasing anticipation:

Melting Mann. Will it be a race, an adventure or something else? Who knows, but I all but guarantee that it’ll be memorable. Come on down and win yourself a Kona Rove thanks to our friends at Kona, our other friends at Central District Cyclery in GR and, well, us.

Barry Roubaix, you make me fearful, but I’ve always had a wonderful experience. March 22nd in lovely Hastings, MI. Tough race and one heckuva party immediately after.

I’ve said it before and I might just say it again in 2014, but these gravelly races are for anyone. If you have a bike that’ll traverse a gravel road, you can do these races. Yes, there will be people going really fast. Yes, the conditions might well and truly suck. Yes, you should know and exhibit proper race etiquette. Yes, it’ll be hard. Any time you put a number on your body or your bike it’ll be hard, but that’s kinda the point, right? The experience. Hurt a little bit. Maybe get a little bit outside your comfort zone. C’mon. Pick the right right length route for you and give it a shot. Even in the unlikely event that you have the worst day of your life, you know what? You’ll have done a bike race.

One of the few non-cycling events I’d like to talk about is the EZ 5K on April 19th. This is a foot race or walk to benefit the Eric Zapata Memorial Foundation. As you may recall, Officer Zapata passed away just less than three years ago while in the line of duty. The foundation was created to honor his legacy as a Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer and hopes to perpetuate his memory by maintaining a memorial scholarship and making contributions to the community he served. That’s about as nice a thing as I’ve ever heard, and I encourage you to check it out.

Let’s all hold hands and imagine — imagine that the snow will be gone by May 4th. What’ll we do without the snow? How will we exist? I’d suggest that we race the Fort Custer Stampede! It doesn’t take as long as a marathon and last year there was a frosty BEvERage at the end. Nice.

One of our customers came in and said, “You should say something about Bike the Drive in Chicago. I did it last year and it was really cool.” On May 25th Chicago closes Lake Shore Drive to vehicular traffic for five hours. I have to admit that I knew a whole lot of nothing about this event until Ken told me about it, but it looks like a good time for a good cause. Check it out here.

Let’s think about a warmer month, such as June. Is your June calendar already filled up with stuff? Good stuff? Stuff that benefits a great cause, is done by fun people and is itself a good time? Really? You’re already doing this? Good for you. See you there.

Big Finish

Winter is what makes us grateful for summer.

PEDAL loves its customers.