Before you get serious about biking…

Before you get serious about biking…

in Cycling by Carl H. Martens

…or even if you already are, there are a few biking basics that are all too easy to overlook and that can save you some serious money, not to mention injuries.  Check out the five biking tips for beginners (and experienced riders) below. 

Ventana Mountain Bikes USA Launches New Website Designed by Zowbie Consulting

Ventana Mountain Bikes USA Launches New Website Designed by Zowbie Consulting

in Cycling by Carl H. Martens

This is news near and dear to our hearts.  Our parent company, Zowbie Consulting has completed the redesign of Ventana Mountain Bikes USA’s website.  The new site which launched yesterday provides many enhancements to their customer base.  The bike frame pages now displays two levels of color options and provides geometry spec charts in both English and Metric.  Members of the Ventana Community can share and submit pictures of their Ventana frames and custom builds.  Registration is now made easy with an online form.  There is even a small store where patrons are able to purchase Ventana branded merchandise.  There is extensive information about the company and their manufacturing processes under the About Us section of the website.  Check out the new design!  www.ventanausa.com  

How to Get Your Girl to Ride (Without Her Dumping You)

How to Get Your Girl to Ride (Without Her Dumping You)

in Cycling by Tracey McCormick

Lucky you. After years of agonizing bachelordom you finally found a great girl. She understands your need to control the universe of the remote. She doesn’t nag you about the toilet seat. She’s a gourmet cook. Maybe she even enjoys Sportscenter. She’s athletic and beautiful and sexy and she loves you.

But she doesn’t ride. Why not?

Maybe she’s not comfortable on a bike. Or maybe she’s comfortable on a bike but has visited you in the emergency room too many times. Could be some past boyfriend ruined any chance of her ever riding again. Probably she thinks mountain biking is too hard core.

But wouldn’t it be great if the two of you could ride together? Wouldn’t it be cool if once a week the two of you could go for a jaunt or if (someday) she could come along on a group ride?

female-mountain-bikerWell, she can, but she’s going to need your help. Below are Tracey’s Top Ten Rules for getting your girl to ride. The rules don’t guarantee success but might increase your chances.

Rule 1 Start the discussion.
Begin talking about how great it would be if the two of you rode together. Promise it’ll be just the two of you until she’s ready to ride with others. If she has girlfriends who ride, encourage her to ride with them a few times before she ventures out with you. If she doesn’t have any female friends of the dirt variety, find a local group of strictly female mountain bikers and drive her to her first ride. She’s intimidated by your riding ability, the sport, and her own insecurities. Tread carefully.

Rule 2 Do not overinvest.
If she doesn’t have a bike, borrow one or get a used one cheaply. Buy only the essentials: bike shorts, glove, and a helmet. A thousand dollars is a lot of money to spend on what could turn out to be only a one-day outing. You don’t want her to feel guilty about the $600 Trek spending the rest of its years in the garage.

Rule 3 Tell her the basics.
Knowing how to corner is important, but not necessary for the first ride. The most intimidating, confusing, and important things about mountain biking are shifting and braking. Give her a lesson on shifting gears and using the back brake. Tell her about cross-chaining so she doesn’t work against herself. Do this in the parking lot right before the ride so she remembers. Teach her trail etiquette and explain why uphill riders have the right-of-way. Stop there. Answer her questions, of course, but resist the urge to tell her about torque and ratios. Her eyes will glaze over under the haze of too much information.

Rule 4 Start slow.
Maybe your girl is a yoga instructor or world-class skier. Doesn’t matter. Take her on a beginner ride. Remember mountain biking is an inherently dangerous sport. Just because she’s in shape doesn’t mean she’s ready for an intermediate trail. She needs to focus on braking, gearing, and trail etiquette. Throw a rock garden or steep uphill into the mix and the chances for failure increase exponentially.