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Brantford Cyclepath Blog

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June 2016

Happy Retirement Roger!

Dear Roger,

Thank You!

After many dedicated years, you deserve your retirement!

We cyclists all have tales to tell, and here’s mine. In 1998, we had these strange looking, Specialized Body Geometry saddles show up at the shop. The sales rep waxed poetically about them. He told us these were the “New Thing”.  In an industry full of “New Things”, including regularly reinvention of the wheel, I was highly skeptical. What could Specialized know about bike saddles beyond slapping their logo on the side?

“Lighter is better” I believed! My worn and well-enjoyed Selle Italia Flyte TI railed suede saddle was comfy! I had saved up my meagre bicycle mechanic’s salary to buy it. I was proud! One day, the Specialized sales rep suggested I try the BG. I looked at him with disdain! I was mortified at the thought! Give up the Flyte!? No, I think not! The Flyte gave my bike some pizzazz, and those saved grams were worth it!

After a very a short conversation with my girlfriend, she insisted I give the BG a whirl. How bad could it be?

SpecializedSaddleLarge.jpg

I installed one on my Specialized Stumpjumper. The saddle covered with black vinyl, was way too plush and was a boat anchor. There was nothing sexy about the thing! Thank goodness my butt would cover it, saving me any embarrassment when my riding chums saw me perched awkwardly upon it. I rode on it for a few weeks and thought very little of it at the time.

This was 1998. The MTB Ontario Cup race at Hardwood Hills was coming up. I needed to do my best! I gave my Stumpjumper a full service. I was ready to rock that course! The saddle? I pulled the Flyte out from my “Box of Bike Bits” where it have been enjoying a short reprieve. I quickly took the BG off and re-installed the Flyte with care, making sure to brush it’s suede finish. It was time to get back to riding a real saddle and race my best!

I went for a training ride…..

Out onto the road in front of the shop, I headed towards my usual training trail, known locally as “Hardy”. That Stumpy was light, efficient, and a sheer joy to ride (1993 Stumpjumper M2 in Dark Black, I really loved that bike). I stopped at the first stop sign. The saddle felt too high. I lowered it and rode on. Now it was too low. I raised it again. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, but I was numb in all the wrong places. Surely my much-loved Flyte couldn’t have been bad!? It was broken in! It had never let me down! I rode on.

I had ridden a total of 1.2km (we know exactly how far from the store the Dairy Queen is!) I turned right around and pedalled back to the shop, standing the whole way. I threw the bike up on the workstand in disgust and proceeded to pull the Flyte off…. and re-instal the BG which had been unceremoniously thrown onto a greasy workbench. I was perplexed! I went straight back out for that training ride without incidence.

I have never ridden anything other than a BG saddle since! They are a sexier now, (thanks for that!) and much lighter (Yay!) and have gone through many obvious improvements. These days we don’t carry any other saddle in the shop!

IMG_1034Without a BG Saddle (I rode on a few early models, eventually settling on a Romin, then recently switching to Power), I don’t know if I’d be riding today! Our business and my career have been enhanced, in a large part due to your innovatons. I no longer race, but I am now a Certified Body Geometry FIT Specialist, which, as you know, all starts with the saddle! Many of our customers now take the Minkow Wedge for granted, but your contributions to our beloved sport are not lost on us!
Thank-you Roger. You have earned your retirement! I look forward to enjoying more of your photography!

Trying to find something witty to say…… Here goes! “Many asses have you to thank for their cycling happiness”

Cheers.

Stuart Querney

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The Family That Plays Together…

FAMILY RIDE

Other than the obvious well known health benefits of riding a bicycle, an additional one to add would be the benefit of cycling being a family activity. It’s interesting to note that most of the more traditional recreational activities for children, those such as soccer, baseball, and hockey etc, are more or less spectator sports for the parents. We go to watch our sons and daughters play. Cycling is different. We become active participants in the activity along with our children.

When our children are very young, we can tow them along behind us in child trailers. These trailers boast plenty of cargo space for diaper bags, teddy bears, extra sweaters and picnic baskets. There are infant slings that can be placed inside for families with young babies. Many trailers can be converted for strolling or jogging. Some have ski kits available for year round fun.

Trail-a-bikes are the next step in riding as a family. These are essentially the rear half of a bike that attaches to the seat post of the lead bike, creating a tandem bicycle of sorts. Since the drive train of a trail-a-bike is separate, the child can choose to either coast or pedal. The amount of extra push that can be generated by a small child when pedaling can be surprising. There have been some instances where the lead bike is pulling a trail-a-bike which in turn is pulling a child trailer. This makes for quite an attention getting passenger train!

TANDEM TRAIN

It can be a very proud moment in the life of a parent when their little one moves up to riding their own bike. How time flies! It is important to bear in mind that the smallest bikes are only capable of moderately slow speed and short distances. For children that still require a bicycle with 12″, 14″ or perhaps even some 16″ and 18″ wheels, the trail-a-bike may still be the best option for longer family rides. For those on 20″ wheels or larger, this is where the fun begins. These bikes are more than ready to go the distance at a decent speed. BMX bikes are popular with most boys and while many parents voice concern over the lack of multiple gearing, rest assured that it’s usually the child on the single speed bike that is leading the way and setting the pace.

TORY NYHAUG

Speaking of pace, be sure to reserve a decent amount of time for the outing. Be prepared for numerous stops to pick flowers or look at squirrels, chipmunks, ducks and geese. It’s important to keep the mood light and the pace casual. Frequent rest stops allow for an “I can do it!” experience rather than a “I can’t keep up!” disaster.

DUCKS

Preparing to ride with children is much the same as riding solo, but with a few differences. Carry more water than you think you’ll need. Snacks satisfy hunger and give added boosts of energy. It’s especially important to make sure that you have inner tubes or a patch kit for not only the adult bike, but the trail-a-bike or child trailer as well. Mechanical failure on a hot day can be serious for a child. Don’t forget the tire pump.

Riding as a family can set the groundwork for future competitive or lifelong cyclists. Many dedicated riders start conversations about biking with the phrase “when I was a kid…” You can never tell where the next future winner of the Tour De France or world champion might come from. Maybe he or she is living in your house at this very moment!

CANADIAN JR TRACK TEAM

 

 

 

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