You could be our Stage Winner!

The 2012 Tour de France features 22 teams and 198 riders in cycling’s biggest race. The pros will battle it out over 2,173 miles of steep mountain passes, quaint country villages and hectic sprint finishes. Only a lucky few will get the chance to win a coveted stage of this year’s race. It’s a life-changing experience for the pros – from that point on, they can say that they won a stage of cycling’s most famous race.

So we thought it’s time to share the acclaim. You probably won’t be lining up to contest the prologue in Liege, Belgium or the next 20 stages across France – but you could be selected as a Performance Bike Stage Winner! We’re going to randomly select one lucky participant as our Stage Winner after every stage of the Tour. Each winner will be highlighted with his or her photo on the Performance Bike Facebook page after the Grand Depart in Liege on Saturday, June 30 all the way to the triumphant finish on the Champs-Elysees on July 22. Our Stage Winner will receive the never ending fame that comes with being a Performance Bike Stage Winner – plus a $30 Performance Gift Card to commemorate our 30th Anniversary!

How do you become our next Stage Winner? Just head out for a ride and have someone take a picture of you riding your bike. Show us your climbing prowess, your suffer face, your victory salute or your sprint finish. Or just a shot of you cruising down the bike path with your kids or hitting the local mountain bike trails – we’re not as demanding as the pros and we don’t have to comply with UCI rules!

Tweet your photo to @performance_inc with the #stagewinner hashtag or post it to our Stage Winner page on Facebook to enter. We’ll pick a new winner every day of the Tour (even on rest days, just because it sounds like fun to “win” the rest day). You can only win one stage in our contest, but share as many photos as you like. We’ll be posting our pics too – we hope you’ll join us in our race to become a #stagewinner at the same time as the pros race in France!

Wordless Wednesday

Zach’s Training Diary: The Plan

We’ve decided to follow along this year as Zach, a web merchant here at our home office, works hard to get in shape for Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Gran Fondo this fall. Like many of you out there, Zach has been juggling work and family as he tries to make time to  meet his fitness and training goals. Read on below to see how his plan has been coming along, and let us know if you’ve got any tips in the comments below.

Wow, the last month has been so busy!  I’ll start with a quick update on everything. In the last month I turned 31, my wife and I had our one year anniversary, I’ve been setting personal records on my Strava hill climb segments just about every time I go out, I placed 7th in one of the local races I usually do terrible at, I dropped a pant size, and I’ve started the search for the perfect bicycle to ride for the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo!

Unfortunately though, I’ve only lost one freaking pound! One pound over an entire month!  Totally frustrating when the goal is to lose another 20 lbs by September.  Fortunately my Strava segments have been keeping me motivated, so I’m feeling happy with my results so far. But I’ve got to find a way to drop that weight!

As I mentioned in my first post, riding bikes has helped me out quite a bit in the weight loss department over the last few years (76ish pounds dropped so far), but now I can’t seem to lose weight from riding bikes alone. I’m not very good at planning out training routines to provide structure on a daily and weekly basis, but my buddy Ken is a cyclist, crossfit coach, personal trainer, and an all around good guy.  He’s really good at working with people as a trainer, and a few months ago he decided to help me train for the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo.  He‘s created a weekly plan for me that’s structured, but is still a bit flexible, and leaves some space for conflicts that arise throughout the week.

My training plan for the Gran Fondo is pretty straight forward – here’s a little insight into what I’ve been working on (this is just my plan – always consult a training pro for advice for you):

INTERVALS:

Intervals ramp up the metabolism like crazy, rapidly increase VO2 Max, help your heart rate drop faster after hard efforts, and increase lactic acid threshold. They also will help you develop endurance, a huge kick and do not have the muscle wasting effect of long slow distance riding. I do 2 hard intervals per week, mixing in Tabata sprints, hill repeats, ¼ mile x 10, 1 mile x 4, or other variations.

TIME TRIAL AND TEMPO RIDES:

I try to get in 2 tempo or time trial rides per week, more if time permits. Group rides serve well for this, as tempo rides should be your easiest pace rides.

WEIGHT LIFTING:

I’ve been doing 1 heavy weight training session per week, switching up weight and rep schemes. Some days I do high weight/low rep and other days I do low weight/high rep. Some folks stay away from weights, but I’ve found that it works for me.

TRY NEW SPORTS AND EXERCISES:

Again, some coaches will tell you to just ride, but I like to keep it fun and new. An occasional run, game of tennis, swimming, soccer or flag football helps shake things up for me.

DIET:

This is a tricky one for me, as I like to eat. Basically I’ve been trying to keep things fresh and simple, not drink any calories (just lots of water), and throw in a cheat meal once a week. If my weight’s not coming down, I change it up and try something new.

On top of my day-to-day plan, I’ve also scheduled some trips to the mountains of Western North Carolina this summer.  There are many routes out there that are similar to the Alpine Loop (well, at least I hope so), which will be great warm ups for my big ride.

I’ve been on my plan for several weeks now, and it’s been going pretty good for the most part.  I’m definitely getting faster on the hills and starting to hang with some of the faster group rides.  The riding part is easy – the hard part has been eating really well, and sticking to the intervals, hill repeats, and other hard workouts!  I’ve been doing exercises called “Bulgarian split squats,” and “Romanian dead lifts.”  Oh yeah running too! I hate running. 202 lbs is a lot to throw on your knees and ankles while trudging down the road in a half-hearted gallop/trot/jog excuse of a run!

The weight loss is the biggest issue and is directly related to my love of good food and drink. I’ve been doing a lot better with my caloric intake, but I’ll be honest, it’s hard to pass up delicious tasty chips dipped in ranch dressing and complimented with a chilly cold brew! My brother had the best quote ever. We went on a long hot mountain bike ride and after he bonked pretty hard, cramped up, walked it out, and got back to the house, he said “It’s just a man’s instinct to want to eat a delicious juicy burger after a long hard ride!” Agreed!

But at the end of the day, these structured workouts and diet restrictions are seriously paying off.  I am getting faster, I am dropping inches, and I am building muscle.  Of course the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo is going to be harder than anything I’ve ever done so far, and I’ve got to keep up the training plan, as this is just the beginning.

I was listening to an interview with Jeremiah Bishop the other day and he was talking about the Gran Fondo in his own words. From what he said, he got the idea for the ride in the middle of one of his training rides. At the top of one of the climbs in a remote area of the West Virginia wilderness, he was looking out and felt like he was in the Alps, hidden away from cell phone towers, power lines, and civilization as a whole.  But then he mentioned that the fastest he had ever done that climb was 45 minutes at full-on diesel race pace –  45 minutes for JB will probably be more like two hours for me! But what goes up also gets to bomb down, and the views from the top of the long climbs will be worth every burning pedal stroke!

So there are three months to go. Time to get serious and get this training dialed in. I’m excited to share my experiences about the bicycles I’ve been testing while in search of the perfect Grand Fondo bike, as well as the rest of journey along the way!

2013 Santos Tour Down Under Giveaway

Have you entered our 2013 Santos Tour Down Under Giveaway yet? Sunday, 6/24 is the last day you can enter to win the trip of a lifetime to see the world’s best cyclists in the first UCI WorldTour race of the year, thanks to our friends at South Australia. So what will you get if you win the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under Giveaway? Read on or watch a preview from last year’s race, below, to find out what will be in store in the Land Down Under for one lucky winner and their guest:

One lucky winner and their guest will be flown from Los Angeles and arrive in Australia on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 where they will check into a hotel in the heart of the city of Adelaide. Stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under will be going on, and the winners will be able to enjoy the afternoon exploring sites like the Tour Village, Gouger Street, Rundle Mall or the Adelaide Central Market.

Adelaide Central Market

On day 2 of the trip, the lucky winners will be right in the heart of the racing action, as they’ll be shuttled to see Stage 2 of the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under. After the second stage, they will head to the Club Tour Dinner to enjoy the atmosphere of being behind the scenes in the Adelaide City Council Tour Village. By nightfall they will be enjoying a great meal, meeting cycling stars, and listening to some exciting stories.

Moseley Square, Glenelg

On the third day, our winners will catch a ride to to watch the pros in action during Stage 3. In the evening, they’ll have a chance to explore the fine dining on offer in Adelaide, or at the seaside resort town of Glenelg, only 20 minutes by tram from downtown Adelaide.

Friday brings an extra special experience, as our winners will have the option to participate in the BUPA Challenge Tour (with a bike reserved for them). In 2012, 7052 recreational cyclists rode the same route as the professionals and cycling legend Eddy Merckx. In 2013, our lucky winners will have the opportunity to test their endurance and commitment as they ride through some of South Australia’s beautiful scenery to achieve the ultimate satisfaction of riding under the Santos Tour Down Under finish arch. They’ll receive an exclusive Bupa Challenge Tour 2013 jersey, an Official Bupa Challenge Tour Ride Guide with course information to help them prepare for the ride, access to refreshments at checkpoints along the route and a delicious lunch when they’re finished with their ride (they’ll have the option to watch Stage 4 if they don’t want to ride).

On day 5 of the trip, our winners will get VIP treatment at the finish line of Stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under (the video above shows the action from last year’s race). They’ll spend the day at the fully catered premium marquee as they watch the cycling elite race. They won’t miss any of the race action with a big screen positioned directly opposite their viewing spot!

Once the race is over, our winners still have a full evening ahead of them, with tickets to the Legends’ Night Dinner at the Adelaide Convention Center. The Santos Tour Down Under rolls out the red carpet and gives cycling fans the chance to glam up, celebrate and see cycling champions honored. The Legends’ Night Dinner has become a cycling social institution, honoring the world’s cycling greats. In 2012, cycling living legend Eddy Merckx dined amongst guests and shared some of his experiences with a captivated room of cycling stars and the like.

On Sunday, January 27, 2013, our winners will start their day with a scrumptious breakfast at the multi-award winning Adelaide Convention Centre overlooking the picturesque River Torrens. Then it’s off to Stage 6, the final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. They’ll enjoy the last day of the Santos Tour Down Under in style on the Club Tour viewing platform. Fully catered and located on the start/finish straight, our winners will get to watch the crowds gather and cheer on their cycling heroes before attending the Presentations to top off an amazing week of cycling and sight-seeing!

View from the River Torrens in Adelaide

When our lucky winners fly home on Monday, January 28, 2013, they’ll go back with memories of the trip of a lifetime in beautiful South Australia, thanks to our friends at the South Australia Tourism Commission. Remember, entries for the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under Giveaway close at the end of the day on Sunday, June 24, 2012 – check back on July 23, 2012 to find out if you won!

30th Anniversary – Performance Team USA Jerseys

Looking through old catalogs as part of our 30th Anniversary celebration, we were reminded of the fact that Performance Bicycle was the official technical clothing supplier for USA Cycling for many years. In fact, our kits were worn at both the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Take a stroll through our archives to see the Performance designs worn by Team USA through the years.

This first image, from our 1997 Summer catalog, shows the first kit created by Performance for the U.S. National Team – as you can see, it’s being modeled by a young Christian Vande Velde!

By the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the kit for the National Team had changed to the eye-catching design you see above in our Spring 2000 catalog. This jersey was worn in medal-winning performances by several American athletes.

marty_nothstein_2000_olympicsMarty Nothstein won a gold medal in the Men’s Sprint event on the track, and recently wrote a book about the experience called “The Price of Gold”.

Lance Armstrong earned a bronze medal in the Men’s Individual Time Trial (although you know how that worked out).

And Mari Holden rode to a silver medal in the Women’s Individual Time Trial.

By the time of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, our design for Team USA Cycling had changed to the classic design seen above in our Summer 2004 catalog (and as you can read, what we sold was not a replica, but the exact same jersey worn by the team). This jersey was also seen on Olympic podiums, as you can see below.

The Men’s Individual Time Trial originally featured 2 U.S. cyclists on the podium, as Tyler Hamilton won gold while Bobby Julich took the bronze medal. However, years later, Hamilton was stripped of his medal for doping violations and Julich’s ride was revised to a silver (although he has stated that he’s keeping the bronze regardless of what the record book officially says).

Dede Barry also won a silver medal in the Women’s Individual Time Trial (with no controversies after the competition, like the men).

Here at Performance Bicycle we’re proud of our time supporting the athletes of Team USA. If you’re looking for a way to show your American pride on the bike today, check out our USA Flag Jerseys online.

Community Events: May Recap

May is National Bike Month, and that definitely showed at our over 100 stores all across the country. Our amazing store teams were hard at work all month putting on clinics, supporting rides and generally helping out in their local cycling communities. If you want more info about your local Performance Bicycle, check your local store page for regularly scheduled Spin Doctor clinics & group rides. So let’s get started with highlights from events our stores were involved with last month.

Our Santa Rosa, CA store was able to jump into two major events in one busy weekend. First off, we were able to kick off a great relationship with the Life Time Fitness Gran Fondo Series (look for more of these events across the nation coming soon). One of our aid stations had the good fortune to be placed in the tasting room parking lot of Chalk Hill Winery. Not a bad view for a rest stop, but while we gazed out on the vineyards, the riders were suffering up the first of the major climbs!

We kept the riders fueled up with GU Energy Gel and plenty of water for the ride, then packed up to head to the finish line party. Couldn’t help but notice a good number of pro teams out on the roads as we drove through the winding roads of Santa Rosa.

What were they doing there? Why, preparing for the Amgen Tour of California of course! The next day was the first stage and the place to be was downtown Santa Rosa.

We were lucky enough to be able to set up right in the Lifestyle Festival and it was crowded! Our booth was busy all day long, and excited cycling fans stopped by non-stop from when we set up in the morning until later that evening.

Why were the crowds so thick? Because we were giving away a Fuji Absolute 3.0 of course (surely it didn’t have anything to do with the ProTour race happening a few feet away). It was a great opportunity to get out of the shop and chat with people on the sunny streets of Santa Rosa.

Also, who could pass up the opportunity to see the crowd go nuts for hometown hero Levi Leipheimer! Levi was awarded a special jersey in honor of his achievements in cycling and his charitable efforts in his community – Levi’s GranFondo raised over $250,000 for charity last year!

2 members of our Newark, DE store were honored to participate in the Police Unity Tour Chapter 9 (PUT C9) ride last month. Becky and Todd Keyser served as bicycle mechanics for the ride, which was a fundraiser for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.  Becky and Todd were a jack-of-all-trades for the 85 Law Enforcement Officer riders that participated in the tour, making sure that the riders and their bikes were properly cared for on their journey from Valley Forge, PA to Washington, DC.

Our mechanics put in almost 40 hours over the 4 days, and kept all of the riders on the road. It was a privilege to support this ride, which helped bring public awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices.

Moving on to Bike to Work Week, our Downtown Portland, OR store had a very successful Bike to Work Day breakfast/safety check station. Their tent was set up early with a work stand and tools, plus doughnuts, coffee, and cycling nutrition for the commuter crowd.  The doughnuts and coffee were a big hit, and our team installed brake pads, sold a lock, and performed adjustments on a number of bikes.

Bike to Work Day at our Tukwila, WA store was done in conjunction with the Boeing Customer Service group. At the request of the Cascade Cycling Club, they set up directly on the Green River Bike Path entrance near the Boeing Customer Service Building parking lot. Our team provided mechanical support, water bottles and snacks starting at 6 AM, while Boeing ran some fun giveaways. It was a busy morning with lots of bar and seat adjustments, chain lubing, gear adjustments, tire pressure adjustments and flat repairs.

Our Redmond, WA store teamed up with the Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association for Bike to Work Day. With their help we were able to set up a stop along the 520 bicycle trail – the GRTMA provided food and small giveaways, while our store supplied two mechanics. We did safety inspections, basic fixes, and spoke with many of the 700 riders that passed our station.

At our Kearney Mesa, CA store, we celebrated Bike to Work Day directly in front of the store. We provided nutrition, adjustments, inflation, water bottles, hydration, commuting tips, commuter maps and a friendly hello! We had 90 commuters stop by our pit stop, an all time high for this event. Bike to Work Day has grown each year that we have participated, thanks this year to store associates Jerrin Kelley and Mac McCarthy.

Our Seattle, WA store participated in Bike to Work Day at a popular bike route in the Seattle area (right in front of the KEXP radio station building). We provided basic adjustments to commuters and gave out nutrition samples and promotional items. Our store team consisted of our two Head Mechanics, David Hays and Paul Richards, our Store Manager, Mike Brady, and our District Manager, Brian Onutz.  Our team had great company at their rest stop, as they were joined by the Cascade Cycling Club, KEXP, and Jamba Juice.  Over 100 people come through our station, including the Mayor of Seattle, Mike McGinn.

Also from our Seattle store on Bike to Work Week, our team was set up for a morning on a major commuter route for Seattleites, the Burke Gillman trail. The weather was chilly but turnout was still surprisingly good – aided by the fact that our booth had support from a local bakery supplying coffee and cookies.

Sticking with our Seattle store, they also participated in the UW Bike Party, put on by the always active Cascade Cycling Club. We were there with several other organizations, from the Seattle Police Department to a DJ playing music. Our Store Manager, Mike Brady, and our Lead Mechanic, David Hayes, helped out with many brake and gear adjustments for the UW students and community members in attendance.

Staying in Washington state, our Tukwila, WA store helped out at the Earthworks Bike Tour, again organized by the Cascade Cycling Club. The ride was to celebrate the improvements to the Herbert Bayer Earthworks City Park, including short bike paths and city artwork installations. We performed mechanical support and discussed some component and bike fit solutions with several riders, to help them with their ride.

Our Woodland Hills, CA store showed up in support of the “Crusin the Conejo 2012” event, on a perfect Saturday – with a slight breeze and a cool tailwind for the riders. The event was a multi-tiered road ride from 12K- 100K that lasted the whole day – our team supported a rest stop on the last leg of the century ride, aided by some Boy Scouts. We assisted in gear and brake adjustments, flat repair, chain lubing and anything else to keep the riders on the road.

Our La Mesa and Kearney Mesa, CA stores helped out with an event organized by the San Diego Police Department. The exhibitors included law enforcement, fire departments, recreational groups, an anti-gang bicycle club, and other community resource groups. We were there with Rady Children’s Hospital’s child safety program. They were doing helmet giveaways and a bicycle obstacle course teaching traffic safety. Associates Tommy Iglesias and Jerrin Kelley demonstrated proper helmet fit, and performed safety inspections of bikes, free adjustments, and taught kids some basic bike maintenance. 

Our Greenwood, IN store partnered with JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Members of the local chapter meet up for local rides from our store, and last month we hosted them for a clinic on how to change a flat tire. We welcomed many new guests to our store, and taught folks some new skills.

Keeping with the clinic theme, our Greenwood, IN store teamed up with the Greenwood VFW Post and the Greenwood and White River Valley Fire Departments to help put on a safety clinic for kids. Associates Mary, Dan, and Jeff from our store met with the kids to fit them for a free helmet and have them run through a course that had been laid out to teach them riding safety and the rules of the road. The children had to stop for simulated train tracks, stop and look both ways at an intersection, and run through cones and a figure 8 as part of this learning experience. At the end they were also instructed on proper hand signals while on a bicycle, and treated to free food giveaways and a raffle.

Our Greensboro store was represented by Store Manager Jeff Morrison at the Skills Clinic and Night Ride at Lake Brandt Marina.  The event, hosted by the Greensboro Fat Tire Society in conjunction with the Greensboro Police Department, was attended by 10 riders at the twilight skills clinic and 13 riders at the night trail ride. Jeff offered maintenance on site and provided refreshments for the riders, and had three lights for riders to test during the trail ride.

Our Dayton, OH store provided road side SAG support for the Huffman Spring Classic for the 3rd year in a row. This great event had a turnout of more double last year. This year there was very little in the need of services, but our team still filled up tires, made some minor gear adjustments and checked air pressure before the riders left. As you can see above, there was a tasty meal at the end of this 100 mile ride.

And finally, here are a few shots from our monthly basic bike maintenance clinic. Here’s our San Antonio, TX store.

And here’s the crowd at our Plano, TX store. Remember to check your local store page for regularly scheduled Spin Doctor clinics and other events.

Flashback Friday: Guess the Year Quiz

For today’s Flashback Friday post we’ve decided to create a little historical quiz, in honor of our 30th Anniversary. We’ve combed through our catalog archives to find a series of pages from catalogs through our 30 years in business. Your task is deceptively simple – match the page below with the year it was published. Post your answers in the comments below, and good luck.

Years:

1982

1985

1989

1994

1997

2000

2002

Catalog pages:

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

G.

Wordless Wednesday

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