Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Performance Bicycle Wants Used Rubber For New Tualatin Store

Friday, August 6th, 2010

PERFORMANCE BICYCLE CELEBRATES POPULAR TUALATIN RELOCATION WITH ‘BIKE TUBE BLOW OUT’

The nation’s largest specialty bicycle retailer will host a bike tube recycling drive to headline the relocation of its Tualatin, Oregon store

CHAPEL HILL, NC, August 6, 2010 Performance Bicycle (www.performancebike.com), the nation’s largest specialty bike retailer, is sponsoring a bike tube recycling program to coincide with the relocation and expansion of its popular Tualatin store.

During the weekends of Aug. 13th-15th and Aug. 20th-22nd, Performance (www.performancebike.com) will celebrate the relocation grand opening with the Bike Tube Blow-Out, a recycling program sponsored by Performance and Liberty Tire, the largest scrap tire recycler in the country. During the weekend, anyone can bring their used or blown-out inner tubes to the store and receive up to three $5 money cards for the tubes they recycle.

Liberty Tire Recycling, the nation’s largest collector of used and scrap tires, will turn the bike tubes into mulch for playgrounds, athletic fields, railroad ties and highway asphalt, among other uses. The company collects and recycles nearly one-third of all of America’s annual scrap tire material and has cleaned up more than 150 dump sites littered with nearly 40 million scrap tires—more than any other organization.

“We estimate that a major city can annually generate several tons of used rubber just from blown out bicycle inner tubes alone,” said Jim Thompson, CEO of Performance Inc. “Our aim is to make bike inner tubes a proven reusable resource for playgrounds, manufacturing and other applications.”

The new Tualatin relocation, at 7071 SW Nyberg Street in the Nyberg Woods Shopping Center, joins 3 other stores in the Portland area, and 92 Performance stores nationwide. The new Tualatin store is based on a new store design that makes it easier for anyone to find the bike or equipment they’re looking for. The new expansion will include a Spin Doctor™ Department to provide a go-to cycling resource for avid and casual riders alike.

“Our new stores are designed to demystify cycling,” added Thompson. “We want to help more people make cycling an everyday part of their lives, and turn Performance Bicycle into the top destination for anyone who loves biking as much as we do. The metro Portland area is already one of the top bicycle-friendly places in the world. If we can make our stores a fun and friendly place, we can help even more people embrace the joy and benefits of cycling.”

The all-new Spin Doctor™ service departments offer free bike fittings with every purchase in addition to repair and customization services. Spin Doctor departments are staffed by experienced and certified mechanics who are able to service and repair all bike brands and offer advice on everything from bikes to great places to ride.

Performance offers free Lifetime adjustments for every bike purchased, and every item Performance sells is backed by a 100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee and a Low Price Promise. Kids bikes come with Free Custom Size and Safety Fitting. Performance’s own Kid’s Bike Growth Guarantee offers discounts on new bikes when kids have outgrown their old ones. Guests can also join the Team Performance® Buyer’s Club, cycling’s number one buyer’s club, to get ten percent back on every purchase, free second-day shipping upgrades and other exclusive offers.

Where to Find Performance

Performance offers three great ways to shop: by store, by catalog and online at PerformanceBike.com. Guests can always check the Deal of the Day on the Performance Web site or by following Performance on Twitter, @performance_inc, and on Facebook.

About Performance Bicycle

Performance Bicycle is the number one bike specialty retailer in the U.S. and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Performance Inc. Performance provides a multi-channel cycling retail experience that spans catalogs, a website at www.performancebike.com and 92 nationwide stores that cater to both the avid biking enthusiast and the recreational rider. Performance Inc. is majority owned by North Castle Partners of Greenwich, Connecticut. For more information about Performance Bicycle, please visit www.performancebike.com.

Watching the Tour at St. Honore

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Even though I detest heat, July is one of my very favorite months. That’s because I love to watch the Tour de France. Fortunately, I live in a place where I’m not alone in this regard. It is no secret that Portland is one of the very best places to ride a bike. It is also a town where people get way into pro bike racing.

When it comes to watching the Tour in Portland (or Lake Oswego) one place comes to mind — St Honore. St. Honore is a bakery/cafe that serves pastries and other delectables that even a Frenchman would be proud to eat.  And every day in July, both St. Honore locations open early so customers can watch Le Tour.

The Portland location opens at 6:00 and the Lake Oswego location opens at 7:00. Thanks to the magic of digital video recording, they are able to show every stage from start to finnish. Cycling fans can be found every day in both locations. On the weekends (or days featuring major climbs) the crowd spills out onto the sidewalk.

If you want to enjoy the excitement of this great event with fellow tifosi, this place to be. But if you want to watch this great event and blog at the same time, you had best stay home. Apparently the owner is dead set against providing Wi-Fi access.

Portland Ride of Silence May 19, 2010

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Portland is an awesome cycling town and has all sorts of biking events. One of the most noteworthy is the World Naked Bike Ride. Supposedly, one of the main reasons the World Naked Bike Ride exists is to increase driver awareness about bicyclists and the dangers they face. As I witnessed last year, however, the event seems like more of a party than anything else.

The Ride of Silence is another global event with a similar goal. It was created to draw attention to cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding on public roadways. And, while it might not be as much fun as riding with 5,000 naked revelers, it is probably more effective at communicating its important message.

As one would expect, there will be several Ride of Silence events in Oregon. The Portland Ride is being organized by the same people who organize Butts on Bikes, which means it should be well attended.

The Portland ride starts at Holladay Park, at NE 11th and Holladay in the Lloyd District, and rolls out shortly after 7 p.m. after brief remarks by whomever wants to speak. If you can make it, you should.

Butts on Bikes — Organized Riding for All

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Riding is fun that is amplified when shared with others. But what do you do if you are new to cycling and you don’t (yet) have any friends who ride? There are plenty of cycling clubs and group rides happening all the time, but most of these are geared more towards serious/hardcore riders.

Understandably, this might be intimidating for a lot of folks. In Portland, that’s where Northwest Butts on Bikes comes in. Butts on Bikes — or BOB for short — might just be the answer.

The coolest thing about BOB is that it is truly open to all types of riders regardless of experience, equipment or anything else. Some rides are geared toward more experienced riders and some are geared toward complete beginners. There is truly a little something for everyone. And that is pretty cool.

According to the Website, BOB exists to:

  • Create a group that welcomes and supports anyone that wants to ride no matter what they wear, or what kind of gear they have, if they are a fair weather rider or the hardcore. Whatever the end goal a rider has, when it comes to riding a bike all should be welcomed!
  • Create a calendar rich with events that are diverse to all levels and groups within the great cycling culture we have in the Portland area. You should never be with out something to do cycling wise! Please pass on events to be added to the calendar!
  • Create a place for individuals to network with other cyclists in their local areas so if a rider is tired of riding alone, they can easily find others to ride with.

While I haven’t ridden with this group personally, I know a few people who have and they are big fans.

Viva La Vuelta!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

This week I had the pleasure of attending an incredible cycling event. Its official name is La Vuelta Lighthouse Tour of Puerto Rico, but most people simply call it La Vuelta. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t there to ride — there’s just no way I could handle an event like this (at least not right now). Instead, I rode along in the Tour Director’s comfortable and air-conditioned mega-truck, which gave me the absolute best seat in the house from which to watch the whole ride unfold. I’ve often wondered what it would be like be in a team car in the Tour de France or La Vuelta a Espana. I think this was probably pretty close. Either way, it was amazing.

The Ride

Calling this event a “bike tour” is kind of like calling the New York Marathon a jog. I imagined it would be something like Cycle Oregon where people cover a lot of ground, but have the chance to stop, chat with the locals, snap a few photos and, perhaps, get an ice cream cone at some point. It wasn’t like that at all.

La Vuelta seems more like a multi-day stage race minus the sprint finishes. If you’ve ever fantasized about riding in the Tour de France and happen to be an extremely fit and capable cyclist, you will simply love La Vuelta. They hammer all day every day with a few quick stops for water and fuel.

Hammering hard and loving every minuteIn 3 days, La Vuelta encircles the entire island of Puerto Rico. The total distance is 375 miles. The shortest day’s ride is 94 miles. And, while the total elevation gain for the entire ride is only 11,000 feet, the few serious climbs on the route are STEEP. Some of the grades exceeded 15% and go on long enough that they’ve got to hurt. Riders are divided into three pelotons. The fast group rode at 25-30 M.P.H., the middle group at 20-25 M.P.H. and the “slow” group at about 18 M.P.H.

Police escorts and emergency vehicles formed rolling roadblocks so the pelotons could keep moving. Motorcycles carrying photographers darting everywhere and, for a while, even a helicopter added ambiance.

Barely breaking a sweat on the steep climbsThe Riders

Every rider – including the slow pokes in the 18 M.P.H group – is an elite athlete. The only place you are likely to see more Iron Man Triathlon bracelets, jerseys, shirts, skullcaps and tattoos is at an Iron Man Triathlon. They are beautifully sculpted and bronzed and are a sight to behold in cycling gear. Most were wearing full team kits, which did a lot to add to the illusion of this being a stage race. Watching them ride was educational and inspirational. Most of them barely seemed fazed by the heat, mileage and difficulty of each day’s ride (though I’d like to think that at least some of them were at least a little tired). I do know that the maniac who founded La Vuelta got up at 3:00 a.m. the day after the event for an hour-and-a-half “spin.” I suspect he wasn’t the only one to do so.

The Bikes

The 30-person pre-ride the day before the big event was representative of the kind of bikes ridden in La Vuelta. High-end bikes all around. Many were pro team models. I’ve never seen this many Colnagos, Pinerelli’s, DeRosas and custom Ti bikes in one place in my life. Specialized was also well represented. To my surprise, there were very few Treks. It would seem style plays as important of a role at La Vuelta as does performance. There were also three Bike Fridays, which stood out like turds in the proverbial punch bowl. However, all three foldiphiles rode admirably, which I’d bet gave them a great deal of satisfaction.

The People

It is clear that, as a spectator sport, cycling gets more respect in Puerto Rico than it does in the U.S. Cheering fans lined the streets in most towns. More importantly, most of the drivers caught in the rolling roadblocks, many of whom were more than a little inconvenienced by the ride, took it all in stride. It would sure be great if that same sort of attitude worked its way to the States someday.

The Island

While there was very little time for sightseeing, there are many beautiful parts of Puerto Rico. Some of the most stellar towns apparently get very few foreign visitors. Instead, they serve as weekend retreats for locals.

Puerto Rico is definitely a place I’d like to go back and visit. Who knows, if I remain as inspired by the whole event as I am right now, I might even someday attain the level of fitness required to ride this mother. That would be something. The travel editor from Bicycling Magazine who was there to write about the event old me if I ever did, he’d come back again and ride with me. Be careful, Bill, I just might cash in on that promise someday.

To see more photos, check out my flickr page. There’s a great photo montage done by a real photographer in 2009 on La Vuelta’s Website. To see the short posts I did during the ride, check out La Vuelta’s blog.

Update: I checked with some of the riders who were using Garmin bike computers. The steepest bits were somewhere between 17% and 20%.

This Week, PDX Cycling Online is Going to be La Vuelta de Puerto Rico Online Instead

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

La Vuelta founder, William Medina commands a lot of respect on and off the road

Greetings from sunny (and warm and humid) San Juan. I’m here helping out with La Vuelta de Puerto Rico this week. La Vuelta is a three-day bike tour that is not for the faint of heart. This is a 3 day, 375 mile bike ride around the entire island. And that tally doesn’t count today’s optional 40 mile spin around San Juan. Tomorrow’s ride goes from San Juan to Ponce. This leg alone is 148 miles. Riders are split into three pelotons. The fastest group averages 20 M.P.H. The slowest group averages 12 M.P.H.. In my mind, that’s still a far cry from slow — particularly when you are talking that sort of distance in the heat.

It is not surprising that the riders getting ready for tomorrow’s challenge appear to be extremely fit. Not a clydesdale in the bunch. These guys and gals are also packing some serious hardware. High-end, high-dollar bikes as far as the eye can see. Lots of Colnago, Pinerello, Campagnolo, Dura Ace, custom Ti and carbon fiber to go around. There is even a wood-framed Renovo (Portland, OR in the house!).

Oh yeah, there is one dude keeping it real on his Bike Friday. I saw him drop a guy on a Pinerello on the one climb this afternoon, which should please the lovers of these peculiar foldable mounts.

These cyclists have inspired me to redouble my fitness efforts in hopes that I might be able to come back next year as a rider. This time, I’m happy to hang out in the rear with the gear in an air-conditioned vehicle and take in the sights of this beautiful place. I’m exhausted, so I’m going to leave it at that. I’ll be posting updates when I can over the next few days. In the meantime, you can check out my photos on flickr.

Update: I was very wrong about the speeds — the “slow” group averaged 18 M.P.H. The Fast group was 25 – 30.

Team Fartlek Looking Ready for Cycle Oregon

Friday, September 4th, 2009
Time to see if all that training paid off. I have a feeling that it has.

Time to see if all that training paid off. I have a feeling that it has.

Portland Spin Class With Decent Music. Is That Too Much to Ask?

Sunday, July 12th, 2009
A truly great spin class requires an instructor who is part fitness guru and part D.J. who is not afraid to "spin" great tunes

A truly great spin class requires an instructor who is part fitness guru and part D.J. and is not afraid to "spin" great tunes

Group indoor cycling a.k.a. “spin class” or “spinning class” is a great way to get fit (or stay fit), prepare for the cycling season or just blow off some steam. There are several elements  that make up a good spin class. These include a knowledgeable instructor, well-maintained bikes, a good sound system, climate control and fans to keep the air moving. Another important component is music, which helps set the desired pedaling tempo.

Good music is the one thing that can turn a mediocre spin class into a truly great spin class. It can create a mood, energize and inspire. The right tunes can even help distract participants  from the physical suffering that is inherent in this form of exercise and help them get to their happy places much more quickly. Unfortunately, it seems like most spin instructors don’t understand or care about this little tidbit. In my experience, the overwhelming majority of spin instructors play absolute crap. In fact, at my gym the very best spin instructor (from physical training perspective) plays the worst music — stuff that can turn a 55 minute workout into a 5 hour workout. One tragic class of his started out with three selections by Five for Fighting including this P.O.S song. I can’t think of any situation where I would ever want to listen to Five for Fighting, but it certainly isn’t while I’m trying to get psyched to exercise.

I realize that the instructors aren’t the only ones responsible for the bad music played in class. Most gyms these days are run by big corporations. They try to appeal to the masses and certainly don’t want to run the risk of offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities. Moreover, I know that there are a lot of people without any real appreciation for decent music. This is why boy bands, 80s  music, Brittney Spears — and especially Five for Fighting — are able to exist in the first place.

Perfect Spin Class

For me, the perfect spin class soundtrack would consist primarily of a mixture of hard rock, punk, heavy metal, techno, trance and angry rap with a smattering of psychedelic jam music, bluegrass, gospel and classics (and possibly even classical) thrown in to help keep things interesting and diverse. I know this works for spinning because it is something that Shannon Corey of Lake Oswego Fitness Designs experimented with a few years ago.

In addition to playing great music (she’ll play pretty much anything her clients want), her spin classes were an hour-and-a-half long and included 30 minutes of strength and core training. These classes were awesome. While she isn’t currently doing spin classes it is something she would offer again in the future if the interest was there. Ultimately she is looking for a group of 20 people that will commit to twice a week for 6-8 weeks.

So, if you like the music you hear at an average 24 Hour Fitness or Bally’s spin class, consider yourself fortunate (and boring). If you have more discerning tastes and would like to be part of something truly awesome later, drop me a line. Together, we can get Shannon to bring her brand of spin class back before the 2010 cycling season gets going.

Update 9/11/09 — Shannon put this class back on her calendar. Check out the Shannon Corey Fitness Website for all the gory details.

Night Ride

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

As expected, it was a lot of fun. And, as expected, there were a lot of real knuckleheads on the ride. But that was OK. We tacked on a few extra miles by starting and finishing in SE Portland.

Night Ride 1

Night Ride 2

The Portland Night Ride

Thursday, July 9th, 2009
This man has a large and fuzzy seat

This man has a large and fuzzy seat

And the Night Ride is pretty fun. It is a fundraiser for the BTA, which is a good thing. It is more of a party on wheels than a proper bike ride. Lots of riders are in costume. If that is your bag, then show up early so you can be in the costume contest.

MLK Fashion Plaza Fashion

MLK Fashion Plaza Fashion

The ride starts at 9:00. To avoid congestion, riders are started off in groups. It is easy to get split up. If you are riding with other people, keep them close by at the starting area. For those who don’t ride at night much, it is a very pleasant switch from riding under the hot sun.

There are several stops along the way. One stop is a bike-in movie theater. Another is an outdoor disco (note the location of the disco — it is in the parking lot of MLK Fashion Plaza). If you haven’t been to MLK Fashion Plaza when it is open, it is worth the trip.

The route is a relatively flat 15 mile loop. The steepest climb is the run up to N. Mississippi. The only other uphill section comes toward the end on Vancouver.

There are only two negatives. First, a lot of participants don’t regularly ride in groups and are clueless about some of the dynamics involved. Ride defensively. The other is the doughnut feed at the end. The doughnuts that are served are not fit for human consumption (at least this was the case last year). It is a good idea to register in advance.