||September 13, 2008|
The Best Bicycling of the Year
Now that the days and nights are getting cooler, we are
entering what I think is the best riding weather of the year. It's a
wonderful time to get out on your bike, especially since we know the
"s" word (snow!) is not far off.
But before we look too far ahead, let's look back on
an amazing summer. It's been "the perfect storm" - high
gas prices, concern for the environment, and a desire to be healthy are driving
more people than ever to either take up bicycling or step up their riding to
make a difference. The result was a record summer for Century Cycles and many
other bike stores around the country, plus more bicycles than ever out on the
roads, trails, and paths.
The future is bright for bicycling and for all of us who
love it. That's why we're already working on ways to make 2009 even
better. Our goal is to offer our customers a better organized, easier-to-shop bicycle
store experience, while providing world-class customer service.
Scott Cowan, Owner
Featured Product: Cold Weather Gear
We're starting to feel the chill in the evenings and
early mornings. Now is the time to stock up on full finger gloves, jackets with
reflective strips, booties to keep feet warm and dry, skull caps to wear under
helmets, the warmers (both arm and leg!), and even Overtrousers. Colder temperatures not
scaring you off your bike this winter? That's what we like to hear. Click
for tips on what to wear even when the snow flies.
NEW: The Big Dig
Here's a heads-up for customers of the Rocky River store.
We are starting some major construction at the end of September, as we enlarge
the store's basement to create more workspace and storage. (Bet you
didn't know we had a subterranean
division of Century Cycles, did you?) Don't worry if the back entrance is
closed - we'll keep the side and front doors operational as the
store stays open during the renovation. The Big Dig is part of our plans to
have more bikes in ALL of our stores to test ride in 2009! Thanks for your
STAFF PROFILE: 5 Questions for Derrick Kortvejesi
If you're a regular customer at the Peninsula store, you
probably think Derrick has been there, like, forever. You'd be right.
Hired just after that store opened in 1994, Derrick is Century Cycles'
longest-tenured employee and - having wrenched on bikes since he was 15
- a kind of bike-whisperer. Century Cycles is more than a paycheck for
Derrick, it's also a dating service - Derrick met his wife, Kathy,
on a Night Ride eleven years ago. They've been riding together ever
How many bikes do you own?
Between Kathy and I, we
have about 25 bikes. I really like pro-level, higher-end bikes from the late
1970s and early 80s. Today's bikes work better and are more efficient,
but they don't have as much soul and character as those old ones. My old
reliable is a handmade Tommaso road bike,
but I try to ride a little bit of everything I own, depending on the season.
What's something that customers say that you're
sick of hearing?
We call it "JRA." They are always "Just
Riding Along." Just riding along and the frame broke in half. Just riding
along and 14 spokes fell off the back wheel. Yeah, right. 'Fess up to the
crash, or whatever bonehead move you made to wreck the bike. Crashes happen,
and they happen to us all the time, too. If you don't tell us what really
happened, it's harder for me or any mechanic to properly fix the bike.
What do you do when you're not wrenching or riding?
For about seven years - all through college - I
competed in target shooting. Recently, I've been shooting again with an
What's your favorite trail or ride?
Any ride that I get to spend a whole day on a bike with
Kathy and our close friends. It's more about the social aspect for me.
Hanging out, having fun, ending with a nice meal. I did really like the
Overland Victory Trail in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. It's a mountain
bike trail with an interesting terrain - challenging, yet I didn't
feel like I was going to be killed.
What's your advice for someone looking to buy a new
Buy more bike than you think you need. [Editor's
disclaimer: Nobody on our staff works on commission!] Better bikes are more
fun to ride, and it's always cheaper to buy it up front than to add the
better components later. I tell customers to not sell themselves short. You may
be in awe of someone riding 25-30 miles, but if you start riding regularly,
that will quickly become a normal ride for you. And be realistic with your
price range. If you haven't been in a bike store in 15 years, you may not
have a good idea of what an accurate price range is. If you spend $250 on a
putter, trust me that you're probably going to spend more than that for a
Head over to our website, and click on Derrick's picture to read more, including his first
bike and favorite beer at the Winking Lizard!
Replacing brake pads: In certain conditions, they can
wear out in a day.
TECH TALK: Replacing Brake Pads
tires, brake pads wear out, resulting in very limited stopping power and
possibly a crash. Please keep in mind that the following advice is not for disc
brakes, which are found on some mountain bikes. Disc designs vary widely and,
if you have them on your bike, learn about pad wear, adjustment, and
replacement by studying your owner's manual. Or, come in and ask us for advice
at the first hint of brake trouble.
do you know when your rim-type pads are worn? On most bicycle brakes, all
you've got to do is look at the face of the pads (the part that rubs on the
rim) every couple of weeks. If you train on wet trails and roads, check the
pads every few rides. When new, most pads have several grooves in them. These
help channel water away from the rim on wet rides. However, they're also wear
indicators that tell you what condition the brake pads are in. When these
grooves disappear, it's time to replace the brake pads.
it's possible to wear out a set of brake pads by mountain biking for several
hours on muddy singletrack. The dirt in the mud can grind away pads that fast.
So, if you ride like this, it's important to keep an eye on the pads and
replace them as necessary. In fact, many cyclists like to keep replacements on
hand so they can deal with worn parts right away and not have to make a trip to
most cases, it's relatively easy to install new brake pads, but the designs
vary a lot depending on the make and model of the brake. Installation varies
from simply slipping out old cartridge pads and sliding in now ones (literally,
a fifteen-minute job), to replacing the entire brake shoes and completely
realigning them (you'll probably want to leave this one to us).
stock a complete selection of replacement brake pads and are happy to make
recommendations. If you want to change them yourself, we can explain what's
required in tools and know-how so you can do the job right. And, we're happy to
install the pads for you, if you prefer. Click here
for even more advice and details.
Don't Get Stuck!
Each U.S. rush-hour auto commuter spends an average of 50
hours a year stuck in traffic. What better reason is there to ride your bike to work? Or to the grocery
store? Or on any trip of two miles or less? See your hometown Century Cycles
about gearing up to go by bike. Click here
to see just a portion of our selection of racks, bags, and panniers of all
shapes and sizes, including the shopping panniers
that have been hot all summer! Stop in our stores for the latest selection,
plus don't forget fenders, lights, and bells.
Miles4Melanoma Update: Ray and Kevin are in Texas!
Employees Ray Query and Kevin Madzia departed a few weeks
ago on their epic trip to the southern tip of South America, a 15,000-mile bike
ride to help raise money and awareness for melanoma research. They are now waiting out Hurricane Ike in the
town of Jasper, Texas.
Covered by local TV, radio, and newspapers, their trip was also the focus of
this story in The Plain Dealer.
To help make following their progress easier than ever, you can use the
satellite tracker on their website, which also has a way to donate easily
online. We'll be posting regular Miles4Melanoma updates on the Century Cycles blog, too.
Define your life. Ride a bike.™
1079 N. Court St. (Rt 42, K-Mart Plaza)
Medina, OH 44256
1621 Main St. (Rt 303, Next to The Winking Lizard Tavern)
Peninsula, OH 44264
19955 Detroit Rd. (between Wagar and Wooster Roads, Next to Herb's Tavern)
Rocky River, OH 44116