Erik’s Product Managers and Training Staff begin the second day at Specialized Dealer Event in Monterey California today, but they’re not relaxing in the sun. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s first sessions and a look at some cool things for 2015. Take a look and tell us if there’s anything you’re dying to know more about from the 2015 Specialized lineup!
I wish I could say that I got into racing for some noble cause or because a coach noticed how fast I was and recruited me. But I can’t. In all honesty, my motives were much more simple and common than most women probably think. I had just gotten out of an unproductive relationship and needed something else to occupy my mind and keep me active. I knew of a triathlon that was a couple months away and decided to sign up. I had no idea that that one small decision would open up a whole new world to me.
That decision to sign up for my first triathlon led to me opting to sign up for duathlons, another triathlon, and a couple criterium races. While I haven’t been on the podium in a single race, the lessons I’ve learned and people I’ve met keep me coming back for more. In my experience, the female cycling community is absolutely one of the most supportive, friendly, and encouraging groups around. Don’t get me wrong- we’re all competitors once we cross the start line, but before and after races, no one is hesitant to ask you how your weekend was or give you some race tips.
While my decision to start racing wasn’t exactly inspiring or even notable, I’ve come to realize that my initial intent doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I put myself out there, and started racing because I wanted to. I not only gained self-confidence, but also a sense of independence and achievement that I never could have anticipated. I truly do encourage all female cyclists to try out racing. Whether you’re doing it to lose weight, make new friends, or just to face a new challenge, do it for you.
Interested in racing?
If you’re a woman interested in racing (whether that be road, mountain bike, or cyclocross), consider our Women’s Racing Program. In support of women racers, Erik’s will be at select races to provide mechanical assistance, a warm up/cool down area, and other race essentials. For information on this program, check out the link above or join the Facebook group.
Renee is a “roadie”, sales associate at Erik’s Bike and Board, Erik’s Women’s Racing Program Representative, yoga instructor, and outdoor enthusiast. She loves racing her bike and is probably trying to figure out how to adjust her derailleurs right now.
Launched this past fall, The Edge Touring from Garmin is a computer aimed at bicyclists of all different styles and intensity levels, and it has found a good home on many handlebars of Erik’s customers and employees in the recent months. The reasons are fairly simple – it offers GPS in a clean, easy to use package that is not bogged down with additional features that some riders may not take advantage of. The Edge Touring is good for what it is NOT when it comes to a GPS unit and that’s a great place to start.
What The Edge Touring is Not
The Edge Touring is a simple, stripped down version of Garmin’s popular GPS units, taking its body from the formidable 800/810 series. It doesn’t include ANT+ wireless, so it’s not intended for people using popular power meters such as the PowerTap or Garmin Vector pedals among others. It also does not use a speed/cadence sensor; speed is simply measured using the GPS receiver. For the average rider this could be a great improvement on the good ol’ bike computer.
What the Edge Touring IS
The Edge Touring is a customizable GPS computer that sets up and mounts easily to any bike, and is born out of the success of other bike-specific units in their line like the 705, 800 and 810 but is at a level that more people will want to use for recreation. The Edge Touring’s interface is a lot like their car units including the Nüvi, so will be familiar for those users. The Edge Touring is ideal for:
- Touring Bicyclists
- People who ride in areas where they may not know the terrain well.
- People who like to play with data – while it doesn’t have the data of the 500/800 series units, all of it can be tracked via Garmin Connect
What’s in the box?
Each Edge Touring Erik’s sells comes with a head unit, USB cable, 8 o-rings (four large, four medium) and two mounts with rubber pad. This allows you to set your computer up on multiple bikes and have some parts around for spares. While we like the mounts included, a cleaner option is available by purchasing the Garmin out front mount or the K-Edge mount. If you like to know heart rate for fitness purposes, the Edge Touring can be upgraded with an additional HR Monitor Strap.
Setup and Use
Right out of the box, the Edge Touring is ready to go (with a little time on the charger of course). Attach it to your bike, turn it on and tell it where you’d like to go or what you’d like to do. You can avoid hills, do the shortest distance between you and your destination, or go to a Point of Interest (POI). If you’re not headed anywhere in particular, you can just have it record distance, time, speed, etc. Much of this is easily customizable to your needs, and a slot for a Micro SD card allows you to even customize the maps you use. At the end of your ride, you can save the log and upload it via the USB cable to Garmin Connect where you can look at graphs, compare numbers, or just save your total mileage.
What’s a POI? IF you’re familiar with Garmin GPS, you will know about Points of Interest (POI), but for the new GPS users, the idea is simple – want to find a bike shop while you’re on a trip, grab a cup of coffee, or see a local park or attraction? Just like the Touring moniker implies, the Edge Touring is designed to take you places. POIs are preloaded to the unit allowing you to pick something interesting by you and navigate to it – a great feature if you like to explore new places!
Real World Navigation
Navigating with the Edge Touring is pretty straight forward and users have found it pretty accurate (myself included). The similarity to a Nüvi is pretty clear here – you can add in an address, pick a location from the POIs on the menu or create a route on Garmin Connect and upload it via a cable. If you’re using the first two options, the unit will auto-route and pick the best option based on your user preferences noted in the Setup and Use section above. Once you’ve decided where to go, just follow the on-screen prompts to your destination. The chief area where the Edge Touring differs from a car based system is it will not give you voice directions; only a pleading beep and turn indications on screen.
Reviews and Reports
From Ryan – Service Manager at Bloomington, MN
The Garmin Edge Touring is a simple, affordable, user friendly cycling
computer that allows a rider the freedom to literally “get lost” in a ride
without the actual getting lost part.
The main reason I purchased the Touring Garmin was to do more multi-day
bike trips without having to rely on my smart phone for directions. The
Touring has two ways to of allowing me to do this, I can pre-program my
desired route the night before via Garmin Connect or let the unit find a
route for me. Having both options allows me to have control over where I
ride as well as be a little more adventurous. If you do end up somewhere
you did not plan to be, inter your address in the Touring and you’re back
on track in seconds.
The Touring performs well on my daily rides as well. Keeping track of my
basic ride stats that can all be uploaded and saved on your personal Garmin
Connect page. The screen is easy to see, the display can be as bright or
as dim as you want and the fact that it is water proof doesn’t let me shy
away from riding when the sky is a little dark.
The only fault I found with it was the battery life during programed routes
using turn by turn directions. With an as advertised battery life of “up to
17 hours” I would have expected more than the 7 it lasted.
Overall the Garmin Edge Touring cycling computer is great for someone
looking to be a little more adventurous, has multiple bikes, or just wants
a hassle free cycling computer.
From Lainger – Erik’s Marketing and Events
I currently use an Edge 510, but was curious to try the Touring as a more streamlined computer; especially given the ability to let it pick routes, it seems like a great option for exploring. Setup was easy, and I didn’t mess with settings much. For my first ride I decided to test it on an area I am familiar with but to a local co-op for an easy afternoon ride with a stop for a break and some groceries.
I entered the address of my destination, and the Edge found it fairly quickly. Typing in the address took a bit to enter all the information on a relatively small screen, but once in, the course was set quickly. At first glance, the route put us on a busier road than needed, so I deviated a couple blocks to a parallel road with a path. I could have selected this as an option in the preferences, but I wanted to see how it would handle re-routing. Let’s say the Edge Touring was not happy with me – it beeped and told me to turn around a few times over the next two miles before relenting and recalculating. Once we agreed on a route it performed very well and even took us on a slight route deviation that cut out a big hill.
On the return trip, I used it like a regular computer, simply tracking the distance and speed. It was accurate, easy to read and got good reception throughout the ride.
The Edge Touring is really two different units – for the casual, directionally challenged cyclist it is a great way to explore and ride in a variety of places or a good way to find some adventure in a new place. For the tech-minded rider, there is a lot of option for customization of maps and data with the expandable MicroSD card slot, riders can add any number of set routes for a trip or even use different base maps. If you will never need power measurement or cadence, this is a great unit that is easy to use and setup for any rider.
We all ride for different reasons, but one thing we all agree on is that if we can be more comfortable during our rides, or ride more, that would be great. Whether you’re a commuter, casual rider, or aspiring racer, improving your fitness level can make a big difference in your riding. Being more fit is better in life too, with lower risk of illness and disease as well as longer life being potential side effects.
If you use Strava already, you know how it can be a great tool to track your rides. If you’re a competitive person you probably like the ability to compete with others on your favorite segment of road, but really, the app is what you make of it. You don’t need to be competitive, you just need to ride or run for fun to make it worth it. If you use a Garmin device, many can be paired to share your data with Strava, giving you a log of all the rides you do in a year. It also records your personal records on your regular rides, giving you a goal to shoot for on the next one. In my case, that means even if have no hope of beating that elite-level racer up the hill by my house, I can beat my own previous time, and that’s good.
If you want to be a better rider, however, you’ve got to think about it, and your rides along with how you eat and live can take you to the next level. I love being active year-round, and I wouldn’t consider myself a “racer” (more on that in an upcoming blog) just like you may not, but I know that when I am at my ideal weight and eating the right food I feel better. When I feel better, I perform better; I enjoy my ride time, I get more out of my days in general, and I surprise myself by blowing away goals. To track this, I have had great luck with MyFitnessPal. Its database of foods and exercises allows me to track my intake and output with impressive accuracy.
Now it’s possible to combine the two apps for great information sharing across platforms. By connecting Strava and MyFitnessPal (MFP), your ride data is automatically shared to your to your MFP Exercise Diary, allowing you to accurately track your nutrition relative to your rides and runs. Like any tool, the key is in using these to better your performance, but it’s been shown in scientific studies that tracking your progress is not only helpful in losing weight, but tracking via an electronic device enhances weight loss further.
How to connect?
It’s as easy as that – no more manually entering in your ride data and guesstimating how much intensity or effort you put in during a given time period, and hey – even if you’re not looking to best a personal record, isn’t it nice to know if you really EARNED that donut?
What’s your take – are you for or against technology in your cycling? Let us know in the comments.
This past weekend found the Regional Race Team in Wisconsin for events related to the Tour of America’s Dairyland (ToAD). Taking place annually in SE Wisconsin, ToAD is one of the premier cycling events for Midwest Racers. The weekend also was the first race for the Women’s Racing Program. Read on for more reports from the weekend as well as a photo gallery at the end!
East Troy (June 20th)
From Matt Peterson: Decided to head down a day early and do the 2/3 race in east Troy. Pretty strait forward six-corner course and despite a few teams being present no one had any interest in making a race happen the whole time. Surfed the wheels at the front the whole race and jumped onto the Chicago Wheelmen leadout at the end with only a bit of jostling. Started the sprint a bit late but managed to hang on for fifth.
Another race report from East Troy: The women’s 3/4 race got off to a fast start. I worked my way to the front and tried to stay there. A lot of women were surging up on the corners, but I was able to keep fighting back to maintain good position despite a few sketchy corners. Got into a good position heading into the final corner and sprinted for 4th, which definitely exceeded my expectations.
Giro D’Grafton Race Report (June 21)
Erik’s team fielded riders in both the 2/3 race and the Master’s 35+ 1/2 race. In the 2/3 race we had Matt Petersen and Andrew Hellpap line up with over 100 riders to ride the eight-corner course. Matt rode the front of the race and put his nose in the wind several times either pulling back other riders or trying to amp the pace and create a bit of a separation. Towards the back half of the race, Andrew was caught behind a crash in the field and lost contact with the main group. At the same time, two riders snuck away and there was disorganization at the front with no one team willing to chase them down. In the end, the two riders held their lead into the last lap and sprinted it out for 1st and 2nd. The rest of group had to fight for 3rd. Matt finished 13th while Andrew hung in to finish off the race.
Laszlo Alberti, Marc Kermisch, Michael Mardosz, Ben Schinke and Brady Prenzlow all lined up for the Master’s race with 70 other riders. The race got off to a fast start, but settled in to a reasonable pace. We were a bit spread out throughout the group, with Laz sitting top 10, Ben, Marc, and Brady sitting top 30 and Michael just behind. Laz did an awesome job winning a few primes, taking home $150.00. The group stayed together throughout the race with nothing getting off the front. Coming into the last few corners, Intelligensia moved to the front to set-up a sprint train. They swept the last corner inside to outside pinching a rider on the outside who ended up going down. Brady, Ben and Michael snuck through on the inside and Laz was ahead of the crash. As usual Marc “Crash” Kermisch had to lock up his brakes and hit the deck. Though only minor scrapes where to be had and he was able to get back on the bike and finish. Laz rode to a hard rough 7th place, Brady finished top 20 and the rest of rolled in. All in all a good day of racing.
Waukesha Criterium Report (June 22) [From Laszlo].
Once again we had folks in the Womens 3/4 Mens 2/3 and Masters 35 1/2. Maya started out the day for Erik’s riding strong all day at the front. Finishing up mid pack by the end of a hot and humid day. Great effort Maya. During the mens 2/3 race Rob and Andrew started. Rob got to the front with a good starting position while Andrew rolled up to the back as the race got underway. With 100-plus riders it was a tough race to move up. Rob rode strong consistently staying in the top 1/4 of the race and chased a few errant breaks down once they were close enough.
During the Masters race Laszlo, Brady, Ben and Marc rode. Laszlo and Ben went to the front right away knowing that the tight corners were a place to be well positioned as well as the first uphill. Right from the start there were attempts to break away. This made it next to impossible to move up. At the start Laszlo and Ben covered multiple attacks with some having the key players present. After chasing one of the last serious attacks Ben’s seat came loose and he was forced to retire. Ben had the legs today but the equipment didn’t cooperate. Marc came up multiple times and kept the pace hot in a very hot 90-degree day. The tar in the corners made for an interesting dynamic including the second to last corner, which was on a quick downhill 85-degree turn. There were prime laps but not as many so the consensus was to go for the podium. After chasing one prime and successfully crossing the line first Laszlo put some distance between him and the pack along with intelgencia rider Billy. We rode consistently for 10 laps with a large contingent blocking behind us. At one point we had 20 seconds on the group and were out of site. Eventually the pack got itchy and we were brought back with 11 to go. At this point it was critical to stay to the front. With 5 to go people were diving corners and the tar became even more slippery. It was getting punchy to stay in the front. With one to go strong man Albertus Rholing attacked up the hill after corner 1 with 4 of us following. He did get a gap on me and another rider from XXX whom I knew would close the gap. I followed his wheel into the second last corner with Albertus riding very strong on the front. The sprint started early which was good as we had a drag race to the finish. In the end it was Inteligencia with a good margin for first but it was too close to call for second. Eventually it would show the Inteligentsia and Erik’s Bike shop would be 2 and 3. After being in the early break it was a good result and a podium is always nice on the final day of racing. A little Wisconsin cheese is always a fun gift. Sometime soon we will have another cow jersey, but for now back to training and the all-new banana diet.
With race season peaking this month, the Erik’s Regional Racing team found themselves at the Giro de Grafton as part of the Tour of America’s Dairy Land racing series in Wisconsin. While adequate rest, nutrition, and gear are all obvious essentials to having a successful race, when race day rolls around, their focus shifts to their warm-up routines.
Warm up routines can vary greatly depending on the cyclist’s age, experience, race distance, and even the weather (higher temperatures facilitate muscular warm up faster than colder temperatures), but the basic components stay the same.
Components of a warm up:
- Spin at a faster cadence for 10-15 minutes
- 2-5 minute intervals with 2-4 minute rests in between
For the best results, experiment with effort levels during your intervals, pedaling with one leg at a time, using rollers or rear wheel trainers, and wrapping up your warm up 5-15 minutes before the race.
Interested in racing?
If you’re interested in trying racing out, we recommend starting with Erik’s Riders Club, as riding in a group builds great skills you will need if you decide to take the leap to racing, and while not every ride is race oriented, you’re sure to find a ride that can challenge you and help you develop cycling skills. If you’re a woman interested in racing, consider our Women’s Racing Program. For information on either of these programs, check out the links above.
This past weekend was a busy one for Erik’s Regional Race Team; Wisconsin hosted the State Criterium Championships took place in Mukwonago, and Maya Holzman placed 4th in the women’s open category. As one of the top WI residents she received the second place medal as result. Way to go Maya!
In Minnesota, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the events of the North Star Bicycle Festival (Formerly Nature Valley Grand Prix), and while this is a showcase for national professional teams, Saturday’s events in Menomonie, Wisconsin included amateur races. Matt Peterson took home second in a rainy finish, and Ben Schinke took 5th in the Masters division.
This upcoming weekend will find the women and men on Erik’s Regional Race Team in Wisconsin for events surrounding the Tour of America’s Dairyland (TOAD) – with most of the team showing up for the Giro De Grafton on Saturday in Grafton WI. Look for the Erik’s tents at the Start Finish area in Grafton as well as Sunday’s races. Stop by and say hello!
With great weather finally here, now is a good time to put in some miles. If you’re looking for your first road bike, or to upgrade your old road bike, look no further than these great Wilier Bikes. We’re offering a $500 Gift Card rebate on select road bikes in Wilier’s lineup and whether you pick it up at one of our 21 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin or purchase online, you can be out riding in no time.. These savings are in addition to Erik’s already low prices. To claim your Gift Card Rebate, simply fill out this form: http://www.eriksbikeshop.com/rebate-form.aspx
Not sure which one is right for you? Here are some great options below:
WIlier Cento 1 Air Carbon Fiber Road bike
The Cento 1 Air combines aerodynamics and performance in this eye catching machine. Shimano Dura Ace shifters with an Ultegra/Dura Ace drivetrain are the pinnacle of performance. Wilier makes aesthetic as important as performance, so color matched components including the carbon fiber FSA cranks and FSA stem and handlebar top this machine off. Catch people’s eyes while you blow by them on the Cento 1 Air.
2014 Wilier GTS Carbon Fiber Road Bike
Picking up where Wilier’s Gran Turismo left off, the GTS is the perfect bike for all day rides or riders who don’t feel they should have to compromise performance in the name of comfort. Complete with a Shimano Ultegra 11 speed drivetrain, the GTS is a tremendous value any time, but with this rebate, this bike is not-to-be-missed.
2014 Wilier Izoard XP Carbon Fiber Road Bike
The Izoard XP from Wilier is a true “sleeper”; with the $500 rebate you will be blown away by how little it costs to get a carbon fiber race bike. Built up with Shimano 105 components and a carbon frame and fork, Erik’s sells this bike every day at $1699 – with the $500 rebate(in the form of an Erik’s Gift Card), you will only spend $1199 – The Izoard XP was Outside Magazine’s Gear of the Year award winner in 2009.
Whatever you choose of these special bikes, you’re sure to find a great ride. These bikes won’t last long, just like these rebates. Stop in and try one today or order online
We know you’ve spent a lot of time fundraising for the upcoming Minnesota MS 150, and we hope you’ve been logging some training miles through Erik’s Riders Club or on your own, but how much attention to you give your bike?
Set yourself up for success with a free safety check at any Erik’s location before you head out this weekend, and if you need anything on the ride, rest assured that we will be available at various points throughout the weekend to provide mechanical support or quick adjustments.
Erik’s TruFit Staff will also be on hand during the Saturday lunch stop and at the end of the day to perform any quick adjustments to your fit that might be needed. Just look for the Erik’s Tent and Van! If you stop in and say hello or get an adjustment, you can even get a coupon good for your next Body Geometry fit service at Erik’s.
We’re here to make sure your MS 150 is a success. We’ll see you on the ride!
What a weekend! Great weather in Minnesota and Wisconsin means the start of many people’s cycling season, but for Erik’s Regional Race Team, the season is already going strong. Ben Schinke submitted this report from the weekend. Take a look:
Circuit race, started off with Dan Casper trying a couple digs but really overall nothing too eventful as the whole pack stayed together for most of the race. Brady showed he was definitely back with picking up the most intermediate sprint points on each lap. Then in the last lap a Hollywood ride went off the front so we jumped in as a team and helped Revolution bring it all back together by the headwind section where then the sprinters all went to work again in the uphill into the wind almost slow motion sprint with Laszlo finishing it off nicely for us.
TT [Time Trial] – we then all took to the TT and everyone had really respectably good times, and sorry you will have to check results for details on this
RR [Road Race] – going into this we knew Las was in second and that Dan from Revolution was in first so we knew Las had to mark Dan to be sure he was with him when he went as we all knew he would. He jumped a few times and each time an Erik’s ride with him, and then finally the jump that broke away MIchael followed even after being away for some of the first lap to be sure we did not do any work, and then Las also jumped and Michael came back to the group the break of 5 was up the rode and gone. Dan Attacked the break more times than humanly possible but again Las was able to hang on for 2nd. The rest of us brought home the field sprint.
Crit- Just Las and I this time and he was still in second and needed the prime bonus points and to come in at least 2 places in front of Dan to take the overall. I did my best to chase what jumped but kind of screwed up and let two guys off. Did what I could to pull them back, but the Flanders army did not seem to want to help. Las still got a few bonus point in each sprint and one point i threw as much as I had left as we had the break back to within 15 seconds. In the end we were never able to pull them back and in the finish Dan showed just how strong he was to take the field sprint for 3rd. So finished the weekend with a 2nd overall.
The Erik’s Regional Race Team (ERRT) is in its second season, and races across Minnesota and Wisconsin. Team members race on the 2014 Specialized Venge Pro. Are you interested in racing? If you’re not sure how to get started, post a question here and we’ll get it answered!