October 26, 2011 Leave a comment
October 26, 2011 Leave a comment
Can’t get enough of cycling when you’re off the bike? We know the feeling, so every month we can’t wait to check out what’s going on in the world of cycling journalism. This month we thought we’d share a few of the great stories that you might have missed in the latest cycling magazines – including ones that you can only find in print, but are worth the price of admission.
First up is a fascinating story about the Bordeaux-Paris race from 1963, won by Tom Simpson. Culled from the archives of their sister publication Cycling Weekly, the story is full of amazing race day photos that tell the tale of this 500km long former Classic race. Riders started the race at 2am, and stopped partway through to change into their race kits on the side of the road! The strangest part of the race was that for the last 250km, the riders were paced by motorized “dernys” (gas powered scooters) – a bit like a track race out on the open road!
Next up, from the latest Bicycling magazine, is a story of a quest to get an interview with the legendary Eddy Merkcx. Apparently Merckx is still tough to catch up to, just like he was in his racing days, but this profile about the present-day Merckx reveals a man that is supremely comfortable in his role as cycling legend, yet who rarely looks back at his racing career or seeks out acclaim for his accomplishments.
In the November issue of Velo magazine, there’s a great interview with everyone’s favorite hardman cyclist, Jens Voigt, but the article that caught our eye was the ranking of the top 10 hardmen of the post-wart era (I guess you have to rule out those early cyclists who rode unpaved roads with no derailleurs – by default they would probably win any hardman contest). Our favorite tale of adversity overcome is about Fiorenzo Magni, who broke his collarbone in the middle of the 1956 Giro d’Italia (the final race of his career), yet who refused to give up even though he had to have a strip of innertube attached to his stem to stabilize his bike – the other end of which he held with his teeth!
Finally, for our fellow mountain bike riders out there, we dug the short story, “The Picashaw Pedaler”, in issue #159 of Dirt Rag magazine. The winner of their Literature Contest, this spooky tale of a sleep-deprived 24-hour racer who starts seeing a figure in the woods strikes home for anyone who’s ridden all out through the night. Was it just a hallucination.. or was it something else?
October 18, 2011 Leave a comment
For today’s product profile, we’re going to talk about a new line of BMX bikes now available here at Performance. Eastern Bikes is a fellow North Carolina company that was founded in Raleigh in 1996, and is currently headquartered about 40 minutes from our own corporate office. Eastern Bikes is serious about BMX, and they’ve got a team of rad riders to show off their bikes, like Eric Holley catching some air below.
But if you really want to watch their team in action, head over to their video page to see their crew tearing up bike parks, urban environments, and pretty much anything else that looks fun and challenging to ride. In the video below, the Eastern team headed out to the Woodward West camp to ride all the set-ups and meet up with young campers and other visiting pros.
Perfecting the tricks performed by the pros on the Eastern team takes lots of practice. And the Nitrous line of Eastern BMX bikes is the perfect place for the young rider to start. They deliver the look and feel of a pro bike, but in an affordable package. While these may be beginner’s BMX bikes, they are designed and assembled with the same quality and attention to detail that goes into Eastern’s pro-level bikes, with a solid component spec that won’t hold the newbie rider back.
With its steeper head and seat angles, shorter wheelbase and front and rear brakes with detangler, the Shock Freestyle BMX Bike is the ideal entry-level bike for the beginning flatland rider, or it would make a great all-around BMX bike for smaller/younger kids too.
The Battery is the perfect bike for young riders who want to take a stab at perfecting jumps and tricks or who just want to cruise the neighborhood in style.
The Lowdown Freestyle BMX Bike is perfect for the beginner BMXer who wants a well-built bike that’s going to stand up to rough use. It features a rugged steel frame, forged chromoly 1-piece crankset and alloy U-brake for efficient speed control.
An ideal BMX bike for smaller riders and beginners the Piston Freestyle BMX bike is ruggedly built, so it can stand up to the stresses doled out by novice riders.
So if you’ve got a young rider ready to give BMX a try, check out our selection of Eastern Bikes - they’ll get the look & feel of a pro bike, but in an affordable and durable package that will survive whatever they throw at them!
October 14, 2011 Leave a comment
For the 105th year, the famed Il Lombardia (formerly known as the Giro di Lombardia) will once again close out the European cycling season this Saturday. One of cycling’s Classics or Monuments, the “Race of the Falling Leaves” will be moving to an earlier date next year (no word on if the nickname will change), no longer serving as the exclamation point to the UCI WorldTour circuit. Last year, strongman Philippe Gilbert dominated a decimated field on a cold and wet day, winning Il Lombardia for the second year in a row:
This year Gilbert is back for a try at his third straight win, but he’ll face a host of cycling stars looking to close out their season with a prestigious win. He’ll also have to tackle a new race course, featuring tough new climbs and a new finish in the town of Lecco, but still featuring the famous Madonna del Ghisallo climb (spiritual home of the patron saint of cycling):
But, since this is the end of a long racing season, we thought that perhaps the riders might need some inspiration to really liven up Il Lombardia, so we’re sharing this video of no-handed finish line salutes, just in case the victor wants to add some signature flair (although Juan Antonio Flecha already has dibs on the bow and arrow salute):
You can catch Il Lombardia on Universal Sports this Saturday – and if you see a “cup of tea” salute from the victor, now you’ll know why.
October 7, 2011 Leave a comment
The 2011 Ironman World Championships will take place on the big island of Hawai’i for the 33rd year on Saturday. Long heralded as one of the ultimate athletic tests, the instructions handed out to the very first Ironman participants succinctly summed up the challenge:
“Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life!”
After an open water swim from Kailua Pier, racers face an often scorching out-and-back ride up the Kona coast (including the famous lava fields of the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway), before finishing with a marathon run that is routed back on the Queen K Highway, through the feared Energy Lab section, and back to town for the finish. Here’s the preview from the coverage of last year’s race, if you’ve never checked out the Kona Ironman in action:
We’ll be watching the pros riding bikes by our partners at Kestrel, including Andy Potts and the husband and wife duo of Michael Lovato and Amanda Lovato, plus Fuji sponsored rider Matty Reed (seen below training on the Queen K Highway), who is racing the Kona Ironman for the first time. You can check out a gallery of Reed’s Fuji D-6 race bike over at Triathlete. All season long the Fuji & Kestrel sponsored athletes have been engaged in a Tri Wars competition for brand bragging rights – Kestrel has the edge before the racing at Kona.
But the pros are only part of the story at the Ironman World Championships, as the vast majority of the field is made up of amateur age group competitors, from age 18 to over 80, there to challenge themselves and compete against an elite group of their peers. Athletes gain entry into the Ironman World Championship through worldwide qualifying events, or by being selected in the Ironman Lottery Program or even by winning a slot through the Ironman’s charitable eBay Auction. But no matter how they gained entry to the race, all athletes must finish by midnight in order to officially complete the Ironman, which has led to the tradition of raucous crowds (including some of the pros) cheering on the final Ironman finishers of the day.
If you’re planning to give an Ironman a try next year, or maybe just start with a local triathlon, check out our selection of men’s and women’s triathlon clothing, compression wear for apres-ride recovery, plus our array of aero handlebars, time trial helmets and wheels to make your existing bike more aerodynamic. Or you can always pick up a sleek new Kestrel time trial bike or special order a Fuji D-6 or Aloha for delivery to one of our stores.
October 6, 2011 4 Comments
For today’s product profile, we’re going to talk about something completely different (to paraphrase Monty Python). OK, so maybe not completely different, but definitely not your ordinary bike. That’s because the ElliptiGO isn’t a bike, not exactly anyway. Available in 3C and 8C models, named for their respective three-speed and eight-speed internally geared hubs, an ElliptiGO elliptical bicycle combines some of the best elements of cycling with the natural strides of the running motion. We know it’s not for everyone, but if you give it a try, like we did here at our headquarters, you’ll find that the ElliptiGO really is a lot of fun and a great workout.
If you’re looking for a high-performance, low-impact workout to ramp up the intensity factor of your current exercise program, or if a new cross training tool is just the thing needed to boost your total body fitness regimen, the ElliptiGO is a interesting option. The internally geared hub provides a basic range of workout resistance levels and the ability to take on a variety of terrain, and the height of the handlebars and their distance away from the rider can be adjusted, as can the stride length and foot position, so multiple riders can use the same device. Plus it features industry standard bicycle components that can be easily serviced or repaired by a trained bike mechanic.
The ElliptiGO is now available in 11 Performance Bicycle retail locations, including Atlanta, GA; Columbus, OH; Fountain Valley, CA; Laguna Hills, CA; Mountain View, CA.; Naperville, IL; Oceanside, CA; Rockville, MD; San Diego, CA; Santa Monica, CA; and Virginia Beach, VA. We offer test rides at the Performance store locations listed above, but we do recommend calling in advance to schedule a demo and ensure that the ElliptiGO model you’re interested in is available in stock before you arrive.
Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month, you can also special order a limited edition pink Elliptigo 3C or 8C model, where a portion of each sale (up to $120) goes to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Also available via special order, after December 1st (and in limited quantities), is the ElliptiGO 11R, an 11-speed “race” model with carbon-fiber drive arms. If you live in an area where we’re not currently carrying the ElliptiGO, you can still purchase one online at www.performancebike.com and have it delivered to a store near you.