Monday, July 6, 2015

July Updates

July has officially started and Josie has realized the calendar at home still says "June" which indicates that the past few weeks have flown by rather quickly!
We have a big announcement to make that we will continue to share on social media sites for the next few weeks. Travis and Josie will be going to a trade show event called SaddleDrive, which will be in Ogden, UT.

The days of the event are Sunday, July 19th- Wednesday, July 22rd.

It was a tough decision, but they decided to have the store closed in their absence. Please bear in mind we do not take closing the store down for several days lightly. The last time the store was closed for a period of days was for the Interbike trade show in '13. (Yup, it has happened before!)

The store will be open normal hours on Saturday, July 18th.

Travis and Josie felt it was simply too much to put on the shoulders of new helpers who are on their first season at the shop.

The store will resume normal hours Thursday, July 23rd.

At the event, Travis and Josie will be able to demo new 2016 Surly and Salsa products. It's very exciting and they are looking forward to the trip. It will be Josie's first time mountain biking outside of Decorah, sweet!

As a general reminder, we would like to encourage those who opt to rent a bike for 4 hours towards the later afternoon to please have the bikes back before/by the time we close.

We are working on repairs as quickly as we can, but with busy days/weekends it is difficult to get a lot of repairs done with the "small fix" traffic we experience. We are over a week out right now on tune-ups.

Josie has seen interest in her privately led rides, which is great! Please keep in mind that if you would like to schedule a solo ride with Josie it must be done ahead of time. Currently the store is busy enough during most weekdays (and especially on weekends) that she cannot take ride requests on the spot. You can email Josie or fill out the contact form located here.

The Sunday rides have been going great so long as the weather cooperates. We do call the ride off if it has rained enough to make trails fairly slick. The all rider levels are welcome on the rides, however we do emphasize on new riders- we do not want to have the ride changed to "experienced riders only" when trails aren't ideal. We also want to make sure that we don't encourage riders to go out when it's too wet. Not only could ruts be created, but it's also easy for someone to slide off the edge and knock some shoring out of place.

We are running low on our stock of sale Shasta shorts ($30 dollars, originally $75!) so you should stop down and potentially snag yourself a pair (or two!) They are the least expensive padded cycling short we've carried and they are great for new riders! If you want a short that looks casual and feels comfortable, these are the ticket.

Why padded shorts? Well, if you experience discomfort on longer rides, having a padded short can potentially help a lot! Learn more about cycling shorts and chamois, visit these links: Lycra & Baggy shorts.

"I just found the best selection of women's mountain bike shorts! I now have blue, green, & purple! Thanks Decorah Bicycles!"- Michelle
Michelle Barker (Upper Midwest director) from IMBA recently stopped in and loved our selection of women's mountain bike shorts! Thanks for the shout out, Michelle! We love color and are glad to know other women do, too! We have shorts available from Specialized and Race Face. Josie has worn both brands, and if you have any questions you can sure chat her up!

July 5th was our Co-Ed/Co-Led ride and it was a fantastic day to hit up some awesome dirt with fellow riders!
We chose a route that was filled with some fun downhill areas. It was fun to ride some trails in the opposite direction. It's pretty easy to forget that trails can go both ways and they can provide new challenges and fun experiences.

Our ride maybe wasn't the smoothest ride in terms we got separated as a group a couple times- but all who attended had a great time. It was a semi "choose your own adventure" ride which overall I think brought a little spontaneity to the evening.

We also have a couple lost and found items that were turned in over the holiday weekend. If these are yours you can call or email us!

Monday, June 15, 2015

What a Group Ride!

June 14th was our latest Co-Ed/Co-Led group ride, and boy was it fantastic! We had the largest turnout to date along with some new riders who joined. What a fabulous way to end our Sunday!

We've talked a bit about our Sunday Co-Ed/Co-Led group rides before- for those who have missed the blips about it:

Our Co-Ed/Co-Led rides are open to all riders of any experience level, however it is caitered to new riders who would like to get out on our trails. We go a casual pace and do our best to keep it friendly for the newest rider of the group.

It is a no-drop ride. Something we feel is a very important concept- No Rider Left Behind. We will not start a new trail without everyone in the group.

We want our group to be an encouraging environment for all riders, seasoned and not. For those who are new to our trails, they can be a challenge, so we want to do our best to make it a positive experience. Take the fear out and show that the trails can be ridden on two wheels!

For women who are unsure of joining a mixed group (men/women) all other Sundays are FWD rides dedicated to being a women-only ride.

Do keep in mind, if the first Sunday of the month doesn't work for the Co-Ed/Co-Led ride, we do reschedule it the following Sunday. The best way to stay updated on rides/postponed rides would be to join FWD-Fearless Women of Dirt on Facebook or go "Like" our Decorah Bicycles Facebook page.

A little about FWD-
Josie has seen the popularity of women-exclusive groups/rides in other areas and figured having something like that in Decorah wouldn't be a bad idea at all.

Also, sometimes women simply just like to hang out with like-minded women- the Sunday ride is a regularly scheduled event so it's easy to join when you can.

There are times when it's nice to go out on rides and have encouragement from other women as men and women sometimes view mountain biking differently (yet similar) so it's good to have options. Frankly, it's healthy! However, do not completely negate the fun of a co-ed ride, either!

Going out with others is a great way to potentially learn something new that can boost your confidence or help you with your techniques. We saw just that on our Co-Ed/Led Sunday ride where other experienced riders helped coach a couple of the newer riders. It was really fantastic to have a mix of different levels out together. You really do learn a lot! Plus, it's inspiring to see newer riders flourish and make accomplishments.

We would love the opportunity to ride with you, introduce you to our trails, or perhaps take you out on some trails you haven't been on yet. We really get inspired by seeing what other riders can accomplish- find out how rad our trails are and join us for a Sunday ride!

Other FAQs
Rental rates for the FWD or Co-Ed/Co-Led rides are $15.00 (includes helmet) this is a great way to try out a 29" mountain bike or fatbike.
We go a casual pace- this ride is not intended to be a hammerfest!
Encouragement and helpful advice only- no negative comments, bullying, etc.
When in doubt, walk it out- there is no shame in it!
No apologies necessary! If you can't make something or have to put a foot down, saying "I'm sorry" is not needed nor is making a comment on your riding skills (example- "I'm not a good rider, I'm sorry!") we want people to know that these things happen, it's okay to happen in front of others, and don't turn it into a negative. Be positive! "Dang! Next ride I'll get that climb!"

Friday, June 5, 2015

June Updates

We're inching our way into the second week of June, wow! Time sure does fly!
We're continually working on repairs and trying to get bikes back to people asap and we appreciate your patience! We are also working with entirely new staff this year, which makes things a bit stressful. We thank you for understanding and for letting us work with our staff on learning all there is to know about working at a bike shop!

First off, we will be having a floor pump promo starting on Monday, June 8th and it will last until Monday, June 15th. Bring your old, outdated floor pump in to receive $5.00 off of a new, updated pump! It's amazing to see how easy our floor pumps are to use. They will work with both Presta and Schrader valves without hassle (they automatically fit to whatever valve your bike has.)

We are also excited to announce that we are helping to sponsor two fantastic events that will be happening in Decorah.

Coming up on Friday June 12th, bike or walk to the Vesterheim Museum courtyard on Water Street at 8 p.m. and view "Bikes vs Cars"
This movie is only available through the film festival circuit and specially-arranged screenings.
The showing is free and open to anyone, just remember to bring a chair or blanket to sit on!
The bicycle is an amazing tool for change. Activists and cities all over the world are moving towards a new system. But will the economic powers allow it? It’s an uneven fight. Activists and politicians that work for change are facing powerful interests who gain from the private car investing billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business.
The world needs radical changes to save the climate and the environment, but the car industry is selling more cars than ever. Today there are one billion cars in the world. By 2020, that number will double.
The film follows the individuals around the world that are dedicated to creating change. From bike activists in Sao Paulo and Los Angeles, fighting for safe bike lanes, to the City of Copenhagen, where forty percent of citizens commute by bike daily, "Bikes vs Cars" will look at both the struggle for bicyclists in a society dominated by cars, and the revolutionary changes that could take place if more cities moved away from car-centric models and became more bike-friendly.

Bike-touring folk musician, Paul Doffing, will stir audiences to action with songs from perform his new album, Songs from the (quaking) Heart. This concert as well as others Paul is performing throughout Iowa this summer are supported by grants from the Iowa Arts Council, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

In case of inclement weather, Paul will perform inside ArtHaus proper at 508 W Water St. Advance tickets will not able available.
This concert is scheduled in conjunction with the ArtHaus Earth Art Workshops available for ages 4-16 on Friday, June 26. Josie interviewed Paul last year for her blog, you can find that interview here.

Check out the new Decorah jerseys!
Available for $89.99- stop in and get yours today! 

The jerseys fit similar to our Luther College jerseys, which are a more "fitted" style. 
The jersey was designed by Bob and Sandy Bishop of Decorah!


Starting on June 7th (or any Sunday following per weather) if you join Josie on a total of 5 FWD rides you can earn a $10.00 coupon to our store!

FWD is Decorah's local mountain bike group for women. All levels of riders are encouraged to join- you can check out our ad in the latest Inspire(d) magazine!
Even if you are not a Decorah local, feel free to join FWD and celebrate all the Fearless Women of Dirt!

Josie was also recently featured on IMBA's Dig In blog! Dig In is a Women MTB's blog and there is a collection of fantastic posts from women who work for IMBA along with guest posts by others. Josie has been featured on the Dig In blog a few times already and really enjoys being active with such a great organization. Dig In is a great resource, check it out!

Weather permitting we will have our second Co-Ed/Co-Led ride on Sunday, June 7th. However, if weather does not cooperate or trails prove to be too muddy, we will postpone our ride and have the Co-Ed/Co-Led ride happen June 14th.
When the Co-Ed/Co-Led ride happens, as usual we will leave as close to 5 p.m. as possible from the shop. After our ride (near/around 7 p.m.) we will head over to Goodtimes Grill for some eats and beverages!

The ride is casual, no-drop, and will be catered to the newest rider. All are welcome to join! 
Bike rental will be available at a reduced cost: $15.00 helmets required/provided.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May Updates

First thing first, if you are interested in a 2016 Trek Farley you have until May 9th to pre-order with a 10% discount! The prices on our website reflect the MSRP, not the price with the 10% discount. This is a fantastic opportunity to be one of the first with a new 2016 Trek Farley product- and the only time you'll find yourself purchasing 2016 product at a discount for the rest of the year! Fatbikes are great for riding all-year round. We're still selling fatbikes and it's May!

Curious to know what's so special about them? Well, you can stop in and rent a fatbike for 4 hours for $25.00. You can't beat that!

We attended the 25th Annual Decorah Time Trials on April 25th and had a fantastic time! We greatly appreciated the time off to spend with our friends. The weather turned out great, the trails were super awesome, and Josie placed 3rd in the women's category! Wow!

We are having great success with our weekly women's rides, so we wanted to extend the fun to the guys, too! On the first Sunday of the month (weather permitting, of course) stop by the shop and join us for our Co-Ed/Co-Led mountain bike rides! These rides are for anyone to join, however we emphasize this is a casual pace, no-drop ride. We will go the pace that works with the newest rider who joins, and there will be stops along the way for catch-up time/breaks. Travis leads the guys while Josie leads the FWD- we will all meet at a specified location at the end of the ride route. From there we'll head back to the shop to drop off any potential rental bikes and then head over to Good Times (or another eatery of choice) for post ride eats/beverages. We hope you can join us!

Start: As close to 5 p.m. as possible
End: ?- but likely close to 7ish or so.
Where: Decorah Bicycles parking lot
What to ride: A mountain bike. If you are in need of a bike we will offer special pricing on our mountain bike rentals ONLY for FWD and DB specified rides. You can rent a fatbike or a 29'er for $15.00 (original price- $25.00)

This rate applies for our Sunday FWD and Co-ed/Co-led rides or scheduled FWD rides.

On May 3rd we had our first Co-Ed/Co-Led ride and had a grand time! We were able to lead a person out on the trails for their first dirt ride on their new mountain bike. It was a great experience to have a group of riders, all varying in experience, giving a positive and encouraging environment for a new rider to explore in. Really, we've all been there at one point or another- and a positive group experience can really open doors for everyone to learn something from someone- be a new skill or perception.

In the event of a rain date, the ride will be postponed to the following Sunday. This will happen until we have held our Co-Ed/Co-Led ride for the month.

For all other Sundays, so long as weather cooperates and there are interested persons, Travis will lead a ride for the guys! Start time is the same as the FWD rides- 5 p.m. We hope you can join us!

May is Bike Month and we are doing something super special to promote those who ride but for a local group who helps to maintain our awesome mountain bike trails.
From now until end of day May 31st we will be doing a fundraiser to raise money for DHPT (Decorah Human Powered Trails)

Donate $5.00 and you will receive a raffle ticket that will put you into a drawing for 3 fantastic prizes!

Grand Prize- $500.00 gift certificate to Decorah Bicycles
Second Prize- Silver level tune-up valued at $79
Third Prize- A helmet valued at $40 and a pair of SockGuy socks of your choosing!

Enter as many times as you like, there is no limit on how many tickets you purchase.
All money is donated to DHPT
Goal amount- $500 or MORE!

You've likely seen us posting a photo of a really awesome Decorah-themed jersey on our Facebook and website. The jersey was designed by locals Bob and Sandy Bishop, to simply bring together and celebrate cycling and what makes our town shine!

You have the opportunity to pre-order a Decorah jersey to ensure you have your size when they come in. They will be priced at $89.99 and will fit similar to our Luther College jersey (Still worried? Stop on in and try a Luther jersey on!)

This is the perfect gift for someone who loves riding bikes, and the colors will be excellent for the hot day rides that you'll encounter during the summer months. Want to represent Decorah during your ride, race, or cycling-related event? We will have you covered! (RAGBRAI, anyone?)

Calling everyone who has purchased a bike from us!
Would you like to have your bike (purchased from Decorah Bicycles)
featured on our Facebook page? Yeah? AWESOME!
Send an email to Josie-

Whatever information you want to give: name, bike, area where you took the photo
(Take a photo on your next bike ride!)

Bikes will be featured as emails come in!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Ins and Outs of Chamois Cream

Chamois cream, it seems just about as mythical as padded shorts, both of which struck fear into my heart as a budding bike rider. Do people really use those things? What are they for? Will I look and/or feel silly?
Well, after time in the saddle you eventually learn that having both of these products will aid you and your comfort on the bike exponentially.

Shorts or liners with chamois are great, it turns into something akin to Captain Planet calling forth the additional powers from his friends when you put chamois cream into the equation.

There are MANY types of chamois creams and all-purpose balms out there.

At our shop we carry products from Chamois Butt'r:
The Original Chamois Butt'r, Chamois Butt'r For Her, and Eurostyle
Chamois Butt'r products are paraben and gluten free. They also do not test on animals.

We have sample packets available of each for $.99
Tubes of Original Chamois Butt'r and Butt'r For Her are available for $17.99
You can also get a box of 10 packets for $10.99

Why For Her?
"Chamois Butt'r For Her utilizes aloe vera, green tea leaf extract, tea tree oil, shea butter & lavender oil for their natrually occurring beneficial properties. There are no artificial colors or fragrances."

Eurostyle we have available in sample packets for $.99 or in a tub for $19.95
Eurostyle has witch hazel and menthol, which will provide a cooling/tingling sensation when applied. Some people like this, others look for products without. It's all personal preference. 

We have a Chamois Butt'r Go Stick available for $14.99- Use this for areas similar to the Body Glide products. It's best used on areas other than the chamois.

We also carry Body Glide, a 3 pack of pocket size balm for $1.99 available in both original and For Her formulas. This is more for runners or those in contact sports and used on areas were straps and fabrics would contact your skin and cause friction/blisters.
They are formulated to not be wet or oily. The Body Glide products do not have petroleum or parabens.
Made with natural ingredients, they do not have animal products nor do they do animal testing of their products. They are also neoprene safe and water resistant. 

What is the purpose of these products? Help eliminate friction!
Think about it, if you spend hours doing a physical activity (swimming, hiking, running, even working!) you will find that over the day (especially when temps are high) you will experience friction. Don't think you're safe in the winter months! Friction can happen any time of year, in any temperature.

Just about any physical activity or sport done over long periods of time can cause skin irritation. Particularly when weather is hot and humid.

Apply the cream or balm to areas that have regular contact. It's pretty self explanatory! Some products also say you can apply directly to the chamois liner, however most people say just apply it to yourself.
Use liberal amounts as the cream will be absorbed while you ride. Sample packets on extremely long rides are helpful to re-application if you under-applied.

The Chamois Butt'r website says: "Apply Chamois Butt’r Original liberally to skin and chamois before each ride. May be applied to any skin areas that rub together or against clothing."

Per the question on where to apply-
"Fifty percent of the riders we talk to put Chamois Butt’r on the pad of their shorts and fifty percent put it directly on their skin."

They suggest to put 1/6 to 1/3 oz of Chamois Butt'r on your skin or pad of shorts before you put the shorts on.

What you choose to use is based on personal preference. As stated before, there are many different types of chamois creams out there. If we do not have a particular product in stock, but you would like to inquire on if we can order it for you- let us know!

No sport or activity is enjoyable if you have to deal with skin irritation due to friction. Even tho the products sound a little strange, maybe even foreign, we can help you understand them. That's our job! We want you to be happy and comfortable regardless of what you're doing- running, hiking, or biking!