Joyfully Ride this Winter

October 30th, 2014

Joyfully Ride this Winter on a Great Winter Bike

by Patria Lanfranchi

What is the first thought that pops to mind when you hear someone talk about a winter bike? For me, I imagine a beaten up old bike that is already so worn out, there won’t be any guilt in riding it through the salty slush of a New England winter.

Why should the winter bike be this “B” bike? Why would it make any sense for it to be any less comfortable or fit less well than the summer bike? The last thing any of us need during the winter is yet another excuse not to get outside or to have riding become something of misery at any point in time.

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The Honey All Roads rides like a road bike in the summer and takes on dirt roads with glee. Here it’s shown with Nokian studded tires when it was on the snow and ice-covered trails of the Fells this past winter. This is one of our demo bikes you’re welcome to take out to see how fun it can be.

I subscribe to the school of thought that there’s no such thing as a bad ride or a bad day on the bike. Feel free to argue with me on that — but at least let’s discuss it while out riding bikes.

Can Winter Riding Be Better Than Summer Riding?

Redefine what a winter bike is and not only will this translate to being safer and more comfortable in harsh conditions, but it will also open a new world of fun riding that means winter days that last longer than summer ones. In tearing down the barriers to riding, the feeling of freedom and independence goes up. Isn’t the feeling of total freedom one of the greatest perks of riding?

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Photo of a Rapha Festive 500 ride last December 30th. Cold out? Maybe so, but everyone was having a great time being outside riding together.

I don’t mean to imply that that everyone should ride in harsher conditions, but I am challenging you to just shift your thinking while you read this. If it means getting out on a day you wouldn’t have gotten out previously, it’s all been worth it.

One of the best bits of riding advice I’ve gotten is this: if you don’t feel like riding, convince yourself to go out for only 10 minutes. Thinking in this way will lead you to riding you would never have done otherwise. Why? The hard part is getting ready for the ride. If you have the right bike and clothing, 10 minutes will easily turn into an hour or more.

The Winter Bike Defined

A winter bike is made to handle the various weather and lighting conditions gracefully. This bike presents solutions to problems that challenge a fair-weather bike. I’d argue that the winter bike should be the coolest bike you own because its list of features is so much longer than that of a good-weather road bike. Its “fun” factor should be particularly high, to more than compensate for the bad weather that might attempt to deter you from riding.

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Now that the bar has been raised impossibly high for this mystical winter bike, here is why it’s not built of unobtanium and why it is really possible to have a ride that is so good, you look forward to the next rainy, snowy, icy, and/or dark ride.

What it has that other bikes lust after

 Clearance for Wide Tires

Wide tires provide more traction on dirty roads, make roads riddled with potholes far more comfortable, make hitting a pothole feel like a bump rather than result in a blow-out or worse.

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This Honey All Roads has a Jack Brown 33c blue label (tougher than green label) tire and ample clearance for knobby and studded tires.

Room for wide tires also means having room for studded tires. Studded tires make it possible to ride on the ice without falling. I’m speaking from experience: last winter I spent many miles riding on studded tires on the thick Boston ice and they worked really well. I’m already looking forward to mounting the studded tires on my bike. Studded tires are heavy, but for the stability on ice, it’s a trade-off I don’t mind.

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Close-up of Nokian studded tires as mounted on an All Roads bike just before the wash.

Fender Mounts

Use fenders to help stay dry. Full-time fenders – those that are mounted on the bike via mounts on the dropouts – are less likely to break and are the ones that will provide the best coverage. We have suggestions on which fenders/tires go well together. Start with making sure your winter bike has the proper mounts for fenders. If your bike has a carbon fork and no front fender mounts, there is a crown mount coming soon to allow a full-time fender to attach well to the front – assuming the fork is wide enough for the fender.

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This Honey bike boasts painted fenders, belt drive, internally-geared Shimano Alfine hub, rear rack, and even extra reflective tape on the spokes. It is a bike ridden daily all year getting to/from Boston; its rider swaps the tires in the winter for studded ones to keep it running.

Fenders we’ve had great luck with are the SKS Longboard fenders and Portland Design Works full metal city fender.

Rack Mounts

If your winter bike is also a commuter bike, I highly suggest taking the load off your back and putting it on a rack-hanging pannier. There’s nothing like having to deal with a load on your back adding to saddle pressure, raising your center of gravity, and even making for a sweaty back on a frigid day. The combination can add to not enjoying the commute. Racks can really come in handy, I suggest giving one a try to see how it changes what and how you carry things.

Carrying Capacity

Whether your winter bike is in need of carrying all of your work-related items or not, it will often be necessary to change clothes during a ride. It’s never a bad idea to have a second set of gloves, rain jacket, another base layer, waterproof shoe covers, warmer hat, two extra tubes in case of flats just in case.

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My top recommendation in this arena is the very versatile and large-yet-light Revelate Designs Viscacha saddle bag. I use this saddle bag all of the time. It’s really easy to put on almost any saddle and I don’t notice it’s there, even when I have it fully loaded. Having everything I could possibly need just adds to my feeling of self-sufficiency. A side benefit, too, is it acts like a rear fender keeping me significantly cleaner when the road is a mess when I’m not using fenders.

Cleanability

Salt, chemicals, and road grime are terrible for most bike components, namely anything that touches anything else like brakes and rims, chains and cassettes, cables and housing, all bearings. Minimizing the number of moving parts that are exposed to the elements extends the life of those parts. Also, using parts that are better sealed or less affected by salt is helpful. There are many factors, though, such as where the bike is being ridden (on flats or hills, city or country), and how much weight will affect the enjoyment of the rider on the bike. So, all of these are options, but there will be a different combination for everyone depending upon how and where the bike is being ridden.

We wrote an article on our blog about how to clean a bike. Take a look for a reminder, we’ve included some helpful tips that make it easier and faster.

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This Honey sports a front generator hub, rear internally geared Shimano Alfine electronic-shifting hub, Gates belt, SKS Longboard fenders, Shimano XT disc brakes, Shimano mtn bike pedals, and rear rack.

  • Gates Belt drive – The belt doesn’t corrode or get dirty like a chain, it lasts 2-3 times as long as a chain, and it’s particularly easy to just hose off and not worry about otherwise. It also rides very quietly. The performance is impressively good: feel the instant acceleration. A belt can be used with a single-speed or fixed-gear setup or an internally geared hub for 3 to 14 speeds. We have a belt-driven single speed bike here for demo if you want to see what I’m talking about.
  • Internally Geared Hub – Going with an internally-geared Rohloff or Shimano Alfine hub means no exposed cassette. It’s far cleaner than traditional gears. There is very little upkeep or maintenance for the rider to be concerned with, but these hubs add weight that may not be desired.

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  • Single speed bike or some variation – The less shifting a chain has to do, the better. A single-speed bike doesn’t have any shifting issues so that’s one less thing to worry about! Another option many people are turning to now made possible by new technology is a single chainring accompanied by a larger cassette – so no front shifting issues but still a bike with the necessary gears.
  • Headsets and Bottom Brackets – Choosing Chris King headsets and bottom brackets ensures you’ll get the maximum possible life out of these components since they’re sealed and really well built. Many people enjoy Chris King headsets, bottom brakets, and hubs not just for their quality, but also their colors. We have color samples here of everything they offer.

Believe it or not, there is a high-end bottom bracket on the market that is designed to be cleaned and re-lubed every single time the bike is ridden in rain. Unless you have a personal mechanic, this sort of bottom bracket simply doesn’t have a place on what should be a worry-free bike.

Frame Material

The frame material of the perfect winter bike has less to do with the material as it comes to handling salt and road grime – since most materials stand up to harsh conditions. Even steel, though it can rust, assuming it’s painted and has been treated with framesaver on the non-painted inside portion, stands up just fine to salt and whatever muck is on the road. It has a lot more to do with whether the frame is painted or not. This is where titanium stands above other materials. An unpainted frame is easier to clean and doesn’t have to be concerned with chipping paint if rocks are thrown up against the frame.

Other considerations where it comes to frame is the design: it should be more stable than a race bike and the bottom bracket should be a little lower (to aid in the stability). A slightly longer wheelbase adds to the feeling of stability. A more relaxed position can be more comfortable (have a professional fitting done to understand what’s ideal for you); there isn’t a good reason to ride super fast in the wintertime, so don’t worry about aerodynamic concerns. This is the time to enjoy base miles, build fitness at a lower heart rate, and let the body recover from a long summer of riding hard.

A stiff frame will jump around and not be as able to maintain contact on the ground. The plushness and liveliness of steel and titanium translate to being more sure-footed and giving the rider confidence with the feeling of being connected with the earth. A way to compensate for a stiffer frame if you have one is to let air out of the tires and allow them to be a little softer than usual. Again, fatter tires will offer a better ride and lower possible air pressures.

Ability to Brake: It’s About More than Just Braking

Originally, I was a road biker and I’ve since grown into an avid off-road rider. Therefore, I never used to think much about brakes until I started to get off-road and I grew to appreciate the difference between good and not-good brakes. There are many options out there and most of them lead to cramping hands and not stopping as well as desired.

Bad weather means braking becomes more difficult with precipitation between the brake pads and rims. Add road grime to the mix and now braking means wearing down a rim fairly quickly. If you were to use sand paper instead of brakes on your rims, how long would the rims last? We’ve seen many of the rims on wheels destroyed as a result of braking in bad weather. Braking shouldn’t mean shortening the life of your wheels!

Dirty Bike with Clean Disc Brake

After a dirty trail ride, this bike is a mess, but the rotor is perfectly clean. This is the TRP Spyre mechanical brake system.

This is where disc brakes come in handy. The braking power of these is really good even in bad weather. The rotors are separated from the ground so they don’t get nearly as dirty as the rim on a wheel does. And if it were to get damaged, all it takes is to replace the rotor, not the rim or wheel. Brake pads last longer and are easy to change on disc systems. Hydraulic disc brakes have proven themselves on mountain bikes. Now they’ve shown themselves to offer awesome braking power on road-bike setups.

Winter riders and people who are often on messy trails are perfect candidates for disc brakes. I still believe caliper brakes on good-weather road bikes are the best in a pure road situation due to the lighter weight and that road bikes usually don’t need the braking power that off-road or bad-weather bikes need.

Consider long-reach caliper brakes if you want a setup closer to road, but the ability to run a 33c slick tire. It’s the best of all worlds for those who are more road-centric. Velo Orange Grand Cru brakes are particularly nice with great braking power.

Lights

Lighting is a subject that can get complicated quickly but doesn’t have to be. Extend the riding day from sunlit-hours to all of the hours with bright-enough lights! Night riding is fun; some of the best riding experiences in my life have been long after the sun dropped. It goes without saying that there are hazards at night so I highly recommend going with someone else, but with fewer cars on the road and the obviousness of lights to catch the attention of vehicles, some potential daytime issues are lessened.

The easy light solution is this:

Screenshot 2013-12-17 15.39.36Front Lights:  Try Light & Motion’s Urban series of lights. They are so easy to attach to handlebars via a strong rubber strap, and (thank goodness) there’s no difficult mount to have to wrestle with. Use these on all of your bikes – they move from one to the next so easily. These are my go-to lights. They are making them with more lumens than ever and has dropped the price at the same time. A lumen equates to a candle. So, an Urban 350 with 350 lumens will light up a very dark road well at lower speeds. The Urban 650 lights up dark woods, and is ample light on a dark road traveling at higher speeds. (It’s important to know that the light you use won’t let you “outrun” it. The Urban 200 is perfectly adequate for a commute that runs along a generally lit road. All of the Urban lights have various settings from blinking to bright allowing them to last anywhere from 1.5 hours to 12 hours. Being USB rechargeable, they can always be ready to go.

There are a lot of options for AA or AAA battery-operated lights that warn cars of your presence but aren’t enough light to see by.

Rear Lights: I’m not a big fan of needing to recharge my rear lights regularly like I do with the front ones. Planet Bike’s Superflash rear light is my go-to rear light. I ride with at least two rear lights. They blink so as to get the attention of drivers and the batteries seem to last forever (100 hours on the set of AAA batteries that comes with the light). Being able to go to a convenience store and buy batteries is important to me because I see the rear light as an absolutely necessary safety device (front and rear lights are required by law before the sun rises and after it sets).

Complicated Lights

In case you were wondering what the complicated solution to lighting is, it involves a front-wheel generator hub and a semi-permanent light mounted on the crown of the fork. This way, the bike will always cast light in-front of it when it’s being pedaled. There are a few really nice systems (hubs/lights – front and rear) out there that mean the bike can actually ride through the night without running out of power.

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The front generator hubs can also be plugged into a USB charger so that a cell phone, Garmin or other electronic device can be recharged during the ride. We’re happy to talk with you about these if you’re interested in pursing this option. A few of us here ride with such wheel/lighting systems.

Pedals & Shoes

Any time there’s a chance walking will be involved with your bike ride, mountain shoes and pedals are the best choice. Shimano SPD mtn pedals work great. Couple these with a pair of mountain shoes – or even better – shoes made for wet/cold conditions. Keeping your feet happy is one of the best possible ways to stay happy during the ride.

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Mavic offers both road and mountain winter shoes that keep the elements out and toes warm. They are built tough. We have them on our shelves for you to check out.

 

The Reward

Eating a bowl of hot chili post cold ride is extremely satisfying. A mocha or hot chocolate is, too. So is that hot shower. The winter will be significantly more pleasing if you stay active throughout it. It also won’t feel as cold. (I tested this theory last winter, which I’m happy to report was one of the most fun winters of my life.) Enjoy riding throughout the winter and discover a side of riding that you may not have yet experienced. See how particularly beautiful and peaceful the woods are during the winter, and try a night ride in Boston. Having the world to yourself as you silently pedal through the fresh air is a truly wondrous place to be.

Building Your Winter Bike

We are here to help you put together a great winter bike. We can help you outfit a current bike or you may demo ride a Honey or Seven. Both of these companies make bikes that are perfect for fun winter riding that are capable of everything you want of them and more. We as a shop make sure you get the perfect combination of fit, components, and aesthetic so you have the best bike for you. We have a depth of experience that translates to you have the best possible experience.

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My winter bike and I have a lot of fun off-road in the warm weather. As soon as I pop on the fenders and studded tires, this bike is my go-to fun winter bike and commuter. This is a Seven Evergreen SL, S and S coupled for traveling, it has disc brakes, RSC hand-built wheels with Chris King gold hubs, headset, and bottom bracket. The rack is a Seven travel rack, the saddle bag is the Revelate Viscacha, and for the summer trail riding through late fall I ride the Clement XPlor MSO 40c tires. The bike rides fast yet it’s been the secret to giving me confidence on trails.

From now until November 15th: If you order a winter bike here, we will supply you with a set of studded tires of your choice free with the bike. Take advantage of this and have the best winter of your riding life!

This Week in Coffee

October 26th, 2014

This Week in Coffee

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We were thrilled to have a full house this past Thursday for our Coffee Night with George Howell of George Howell Roasters. With his wealth of coffee knowledge, George spoke about the entire coffee production process from farming to roasting and through to brewing. He described some of the factors that contribute to the very different tastes of different coffees: elevation, weather, region, varietal, processing (natural versus washed).

 

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No need to fret if you missed the event. The entire talk was filmed and will air on Lex Media. We will be sure to update the blogosphere when the air date is set. In the meantime, feel free to direct any coffee questions our way. Next time you are here for a cup of coffee, feel free to ask any of our baristas for more coffee details. We are eager to continue the coffee conversation and education here at Ride Studio.

Now, back to our weekly topic of the coffees themselves. This week we continue to serve espresso options from our guest, Tandem Roasters of Portland, Maine. Currently in the hopper is Time and Temperature seasonal espresso blend of Ethiopian and Guatemalan. This espresso presents with sweet flavors of blondies and red berries. Later in the week we will return to serving a single origin option, La Esmerelda from Guatemala.

This week we have some new pour over options available from George Howell Roasters. First up is La Piramide from Colombia. This rich roast presents with flavors of Cherry, Dark Honey, and Wintergreen.  We are also serving Santa Clara from Guatemala, with fruity notes of mango, papaya, and cherry.

Hope to see you in the cafe soon, sipping a delicious cup of coffee and chatting with us about the wonderful complexities of our different roasts and brew methods!

 

This Week in Coffee

October 19th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: George Howell at RSC!

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We cannot wait for coffee night this Thursday eveing! George Howell, one of the pioneers of the specialty-coffee movement is coming to Ride Studio Cafe for a very rare, and very informative evening of discussing coffee. Are you interested in knowing what the difference is between coffee beans? How does the elevation where the bean was grown affect its flavor? How about the humidity and the drying techniques employed by the coffee growers? What is the difference between a Kenyan and Ethiopian, for example? What characterizes light, medium, and dark roasts? How do the various coffee making methods change the flavor of your cup of coffee? What is the life-cycle of a coffee bean from plant to your cup? George will answer these questions and many more. To learn more about this event and RSVP click HERE.

This week, as always, we are serving up some wonderful George Howell Coffee roasts. Our pour over options, Borboya from Ethiopia and Karatu from Kenya are the same favorites we had to offer last week. To read more about these coffees and their distinct flavor profiles, check out last’s week’s post.

Our espresso options this week are brought to you by Tandem Coffee Roasters of Portland, Maine. Starting tomorrow, we will be serving Tandem’s seasonal espresso blend: Time and Temperature. This blend is characterized by sweet flavors of blondies and red berries. Later in the week we will be trying out a new option: La Esperanza from Guatemala. We can’t wait to try it out and see what this new roast has to offer.

Come on by for a warm and soothing cup of coffee, tea, chai latte, or perhaps a hot apple cider. Hope to see you all on Thursday!

This Week in Coffee

October 12th, 2014

This Week in the Cafe: Introducing Housemade Chili!

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With the chilly weather this weekend, we are pleased to announce that we are now serving house-made hearty vegetarian Chili! Come warm up with a scrumptious bowl of this new offering accompanied by a olive roll from Iggy’s Bread of Cambridge.

We are also currently serving up some seasonal flavors from Moochie’s Macarons. Now available are Fig, Vanilla, and Pumpkin Spice (yum!).

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For coffee offerings this week we continue to serve espresso from our guest, Tandem Roasters, of Portland, Maine, and pour over options from George Howell Roasters. Currently we are serving a familiar seasonal espresso blend, Time and Temperature. Other espressos that will be rotating in throughout the week include: Ixhuatlán Del Café from Veracruz, Mexico and Deri Kochowa from Sidamo, Ethiopia. Ixhuatlán has become a new favorite with its  bright and soothing flavors of Blue Raspberry, Candied Lemon, Grape, Roasted Fruit, Dark Cocoa. We are excited to try the Deri Kochowa in the hopper for the first time and taste its fruity flavors of mango, honey, and blackberry.

Despite both being African coffees, our two George Howell pour over options are quite different from each other. Borboya from Ethiopia is smooth and light with sweet lemon, lavender, and green tea flavors. Karatu from Kenya is bold with blackberry, floral, and citrus.

Interested in learning more about coffee? We are thrilled that on Thursday, October 23rd George Howell will be here at the studio to speak about coffee and roasting! To learn more about this exciting event and register to attend, click HERE.

Lazer Photochromatic Sunglasses: See Where You’re Going…

October 8th, 2014

Lazer Photochromatic Sunglasses 

 

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Out for a night ride, the lenses adjust to allow for maximum visibility of the roads and trails.

Usually, especially at this time of year, my rides will begin when the sun is bright and end long after the moon is illuminating my path. It’s nice to have darker lenses for the earlier part of the ride and clear lenses are essential for seeing after dark. There are so many bugs/twigs/random things out there, I worry about the safety of riding sunglass-free. And during the colder months, it’s nice to keep the cold air off of sensitive eyes.

I’ve never been one to bring a second set of lenses for the sunglasses that have interchangeable lenses. I don’t quite know how a second set of lenses can survive being switched out mid-ride or even make it that long without being scratched or broken. Besides, I do not want to have one more thing to have to think about stuffing in my pockets before jumping on my bike for a ride.

The best glasses I’ve encountered that satisfy my need to keep my eyes covered at all times during all lighting conditions while I’m riding are the Lazer sunglasses with crystal photochromatic lenses. There are a few different models to fit well for a variety of people, and they are unisex, as well.

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Photochromatic lenses darken enough when the sun is shining to provide shading and protection without altering the view of the world. This is the Solid State SS1 model.

After trying another manufacturer’s pair of clear sunglasses a few days ago that caused me struggle to see in broad daylight, though they were perfectly new and clean, I became aware of the importance of the quality of lenses. I’d been taking my Lazer sunglasses for granted. In fact, it was this recent experience that inspired this blog post. Lazer photochromatic glasses offer perfect clarity to see the road or trail, and they change darkness to adjust to light conditions.

The Magneto model has a particularly large lens and with the ability to swap the arms of the glasses with magnetic clasps to hold the glasses to helmet straps, they work really well for someone who experiences the arms of glasses typically pinching or rubbing.

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Magneto glasses offer great eye protection while not obscuring the view. These are shown with the arms attached.

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This pair of Magnetos is shown with the magnets – so they can be attached to helmet straps via magnet without the arms to pinch or be snapped. Magnetos come with magnets and arms so it’s the rider’s choice of which to use.

I really like gifting these glasses to friends and family and I’ve bought a few pairs for myself. At $90 for the SS1 model to $120 for the Magneto, it’s not terribly angering if something were to happen to cause the glasses to get lost or broken. It’s possible to buy replacement lenses, as well.

Note that whether Lazer sunglasses are shaded a little or a lot, they protect completely against both UVA and UVB rays. The lenses are made of shatterproof PC material. Both of these models of Lazer glasses can also be outfitted with prescription lenses (normal RX lenses fit in a bracket behind the sunglass lens).

Same glasses and lenses, they're just darker since I was out on a sunny ride.

Same glasses and lenses, they’re just darker since I was out on a sunny ride.

 

Travel to Mallorca

October 7th, 2014

Travel to Mallorca with RSC and Punto Tours in 2015

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Mallorca is the perfect place to shake out the winter and get some solid, glorious riding in early season. While it’s still cold in Boston, Mallorca is typically in the 70s with blue skies and the roads are ideal for cyclists with huge bike lanes and few cars. In 2014, we traveled to Mallorca with Punto Tours and our local favorite guide, Cristiano Bonino. Everyone loved the tour so much, we decided to offer it again in 2015 at the same time of year.

 

Highlights of Mallorca Include:

  • It’s an ideal place for early-season training and fitness building
  • Soak up the sun in an already-warm Mediterranean island
  • Savor Spanish cuisine with tapas, local olive oil and wines
  • Log ~320 miles and 28,000 feet of elevation gain during the trip
  • Exhilarating rides on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Serra de Tramuntana
  • Ride across Mallorca with beautiful coastal views and pristine landscape inland
  • Experience a real cyclist paradise with plenty of other groups of riders from all over the world
  • Learn about local history and traditions
  • Explore small villages inland and a coastal town with Roman remnants
  • Top guides (which include Cristiano) make the experience more fun with their sense of humor and professionalism
  • A group no larger than 17 people

Dates

  • April 12-18th, 2015

Price

  • Registrations made through November 15, 2014:
    • €1,450 (in today’s dollars, this is a very reasonable ~$1838) & includes a free RSC custom-embroidered Rapha jersey (a $250 value)
  • Registrations after November 15th:
    • €1,600 & RSC-jersey is an additional €85

Terrain and Riding Level

  • Mountainous terrain treats riders to 28,000 feet of climbing. This averages out to 4,670 feet of climbing per ride.
  • The trip is geared toward riders who are comfortable riding 50-60 mile rides during the in-season at a 13+ mph pace.
  • The trip assumes everyone is going in after a long winter! Don’t worry if you’re not as fit as you’d like to be going in.
  • Everyone rides at his/her own pace. It’s a supported trip so all are supported and are free to ride within one’s ability.

Registration

 

More details and registration is located on the Punto Tours website. Questions? Email us: mallorca@ridestudiocafe.com. We’ll answer your question and gladly connect you with professional guide and Mallorca specialist Cristiano Bonino.

Register Now

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Dramatic landscapes are easy to find and fun to ride in Mallorca.

 

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Uninterrupted training miles means starting the cycling season right! All levels of cyclists are welcome to come on tour, this is for training, but attendees are typically amateur club riders.

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RSC Mallorca trip participants in 2014 sport RSC-embroidered Rapha jerseys with sunny skies and a warm sea in the background.

More beautiful Photos of our Mallorca 2014 trip are available at our Flickr page.

 

 

This Week in Coffee: Seasonal Delights

October 5th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: Seasonal Delights

Fall is now in full swing and we have many smooth and cozy beverages to keep you warm as the chill sets in. Local Apple Cider is back for the season, mixed with spices and steamed to perfection. Savor a Chai latte or one of our other great tea options from Mem Tea and Rishi Tea.  Come by and warm up with a rich cup of hot chocolate (or perhaps a mocha) made with our house made chocolate syrup. And of course, we also have several full bodied and soothing coffee options.

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Our current guest roaster, Tandem Coffee Roasters of Portland, Maine, continues to impress with frequently rotating espresso options. Today we are pulling the Ixhuatlán Del Café from Mexico. This bright and flavorful coffee roast presents with flavors of blue raspberry, candied lemon, grape, roasted fruit, dark cocoa. Early this week we will switch back to Tandem’s seasonal espresso blend: Time and Temperature. A 50/50 blend of Ethiopian Kochere and Guatemalan La Leguna, this roast has deep rich flavors of blondies and red berry. These and other Tandem roasts and George Howell Coffees fill our retail shelf.

For pourover drip options we are currently serving up George Howell’s Borboya from Ethiopia and Santa Clara from Guatemala. Borboya is bursting with flavors of lavender, sweet lemon, rosemary, and ginger. Santa Clara is a smooth fruity alternative with tasting notes of mango, papaya, and cherry.

Come on by and relax with a cup of any of these amazing and warming drinks!

George Howell Live at Ride Studio Cafe October 23rd

September 29th, 2014

George Howell Live at Ride Studio Cafe October 23rd

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George Howell is coming to Ride Studio Cafe for a very rare, and very informative evening of discussing coffee. Are you interested in knowing what the difference is between coffee beans? How does the elevation where the bean was grown affect its flavor? How about the humidity and the drying techniques employed by the coffee growers? What is the difference between a Kenyan and Ethiopian, for example? What characterizes light, medium, and dark roasts? How do the various coffee making methods change the flavor of your cup of coffee? What is the lifecycle of a coffee bean from plant to your cup? George will answer these questions and many more.

George Howell was one of the pioneers of the specialty-coffee movement in the United States in the early 1970s. He then founded the Coffee Connection. One Coffee Connection was located in Lexington Center and is still fondly remembered today by residents.

Today, George travels the world looking for the best farms and coffee beans to supply his roastery located in Acton, Mass. He builds relationships with farmers that have committed to the highest levels of consistency and quality, and he is committed to paying for the quality and time they dedicate to cultivate their coffee beans. He holds the best farmers with the highest respect. He buys only the finest regional and single farm-sourced coffees.

Because George spends so much of his time searching for coffee and cultivating relationships with farmers, it is a rare opportunity to find him here in person!

The producers of a LexMedia show entitled “What’s Cooking” are taping George during the evening. They will be airing portions of the evening on LexMedia for a new show entitled, “What’s Brewing?”. They may also capture attendees on camera, therefore, attendees should be comfortable being on film and possibly being included in the show or in show-related materials.

We hope you join us for this very special evening. We guarantee you’ll never look at coffee quite the same way again after hearing George talk all about it.

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Holy Week Cyclocross Party: Sept 30 7:30-10pm

September 23rd, 2014

Holy Week Cyclocross Party

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Photo: KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival.

The New England Cyclocross season is beginning and everyone’s celebrating together Tuesday, September 30th at the Ride Studio Cafe! Come with your friends, family, and anyone who likes dirt. We’re serving ample food and brews; enjoy them with all of your cycling and NECX friends!

A very special bonus of the evening is that we’ll be joined by Dave Wilcox and the Rapha Mobile Cycle Club.

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Dave Wilcox serving up espresso and the Tour de France at the Colorado Rapha Gents Race this summer.

Please RSVP below so we know to expect you!

This Week in Coffee

September 21st, 2014

This Week in Coffee: Tandem Coffee Roasters Help Us Welcome Fall

Happy Autumnal Equinox! Come by the studio and welcome fall with a delicious cup of coffee and scrumptious pastry from Iggy’s Bread (it is hard to resist those sticky buns! yum).

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For the past few weeks we have had the pleasure of serving up some wonderful espresso roasts from our new guest roaster, Tandem Coffee Roasters of Portland, Maine! Not only is their name coincidentally bicycle themed, but Tandem roasts delicious coffees with complex flavors, making them a perfect match for our cafe.

Currently in the hopper is Ixhuatlán Del Café from Veracruz, Mexico. This bright option presents with flavors of blue raspberry, candied lemon, grape, roasted fruit, and dark cocoa. Next up, starting later today, will be the Time and Temp seasonal espresso blend. This espresso intrigues your taste buds with both bitter and sour flavors mixing together to perfection and highlighting flavor notes of red berry and blondies. These two options and other coffees from both Tandem Roasters and George Howell Coffee are available on our retail shelf. Pick up a bag today and savor these delicious soothing coffees in the comfort of your own home.

Our current pourover options are wonderful favorites from George Howell Coffee. First up is Karatu ABm, a lovely light Kenyan bursting with flavors of blackberry, blueberry, honeyed lime, and plum.  Our second option is La Piramide from Colombia. This smooth roast offers tasting notes of cherry, dark honey, and wintergreen.

Is it the good weather? Or something more…

September 9th, 2014

Is it the good weather? Or something more…

This summer, we have been riding bikes.

It was appropriate to have Patrick Brady of Red Kite Prayer here to do a book reading and discussion on his new book, “Why We Ride.” His talk came on the heels of our successful completion of a wonderful weekend riding out to Mt Greylock, pedaling around perfectly beautiful farmland in Massachusetts, into Vermont and New York, then returning home–a two-night, three-day adventure.

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Henry experiences the awesome vistas, one after the other. Photo by John Bayley.

Oh there was a lot of riding, but there was even more eating, group lunches and dinners, vistas and abundant natural beauty galore, and a wonderful massage therapist to make it all agreeable to our bodies and minds.

The Tully Lake food stop allowed us to meet the very friendly rangers who work there.

Everyone has their own reasons for accomplishing a ride of that length (some people rode 75 miles each way, others did 115 miles, and a group did the full ride from RSC to the top of Mt Greylock in a day – 163 miles there, 170 miles home).

Group shot.

Group photo at lunch in Erving State Park. Most people were here at the same time, but some riders and Highpoint staff are not pictured.

I was thinking about Patrick’s words (I read much of his book prior to the Mt Greylock adventure) when watching people leave here at 5:15 am for a 163 mile ride to Mt Greylock.

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5:15am rollout. Destination: Mt Greylock 163 miles away! Their spirits stayed high all day.

Why do we do this? Wouldn’t have sleeping in late have been a better option that Friday morning? Of course not, otherwise, we all would have slept in. I didn’t ride this year, but I did last year so I know what it is to ride all day long and finish at the top of a mountain where a warm dinner, fire, and friendly faces await.

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Warm fire, relaxation, and good conversation warmed riders and staff after dinner at Bascom Lodge. Photo: Leon P.

But going in, no one knows what to expect or how it’ll feel to log all of those miles, or even if it’ll be possible to climb 14 -16,000 feet in a day. Is the gearing on this bike adequate? Maybe. There’s support and a van to drag you to the top if there is some misjudgment involved. However, and this has to be one of the many reasons why we ride: bikes help us do things that don’t seem possible and they get us to where we definitely would not have traveled otherwise.

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Finishing the climb on Mt Greylock. Just a few meters left!

Some people, those in and out of the cycling world have often described what we do as an “addiction.” An addiction has a negative connotation. As Patrick explains, people who have an addiction push everything else out of their lives. Cycling, as he says, makes us more available to our families when we come back from a ride. It puts us in a better mood, it often is the time where it’s possible to sort things out, it’s quality thinking time. It’s so much more than that, too. For me, it’s quality socializing time. I  had a very good discussion with Patrick over his inaugural Seven Cycles Airheart Bike ride which was all off-road and mostly all in Lexington.

Along the river

But everyone rides differently so it’s hard to say exactly what happens on a ride, it just translates to good results more often than not for those who surround us. This summer has been full of really great times and so many “highs” on the bike and off. Now we can only hope the fall lasts as long as summer did.

I’ve been getting asked frequently for photos and stories from Highpoint and the many other rides we’ve been doing. As is typical for this time of year, the moment we returned from Highpoint, we had to quickly change gears and get ready for the next set of rides, events, and Patrick’s book talk. Hopefully some of these photos here help tell the story. Our Flickr album has more photos you’re welcome to browse. All of the photos we post on Instagram also all go into our Flickr photo stream.

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Jenny, Cathy, Patria, Michele a moment after Vermont Overland GP concluded. Julie was there, she finished a little earlier in the top ten in a really strong field.

The Expedition Team has also been busy competing in the Vermont Overland Grand Prix (VOGP) and Dirty 40, both in Vermont, and a week apart. We all had so much fun at the VOGP and in Woodstock, it made a nice transition from all of the fun dirt riding we’ve been doing to kicking it up to race pace.

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Julie Wright earned the winner jersey, Dirty 40 teddy bear, and Honey Bikes hand-made trophy.

Then, at Dirty 40, having Julie Wright stand on the top spot on the podium for the Overall Women’s win and Cathy Rowell on the 3rd step in the 40+ age group category, was a real highlight for the team. Why does this team exist? It’s about a group of women who are into riding mixed terrain, riding hard, fast, competing, going on expeditions on bike, but, at the core of the team is that each member just loves to ride. At the end of the day, if we’ve had a great ride together (like the day when we went to Pac Mondadnock for 80+ hard miles), we experienced the high of a win. We didn’t need to beat anyone, but we did need to love every minute of the shared expedition on our bikes – which we did.

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Without skipping a beat, we’re now anxiously anticipating the Honey 100 which is coming up this Saturday, September 13th. Honey embodies positive reasons to ride. They are all about taking the path less traveled, getting into the woods, experiencing the joys of being off-road and in unusual places.

Cyclocross began this past weekend and the road racing season isn’t over yet. There are many events, parties, and rides coming up, too.

We’ll blog more as the fall turns to winter and there is more time to reflect back and look forward to spring though we’ll still be riding. My tires will be swapped out with those that have studs and a few more layers will be added. The dark, cold nights of Boston’s winter are a cyclist’s playground with the right attire and equipment.

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In the meantime, get prepared. Remove the obstacles that might dissuade you from riding when the weather turns.

Pick up a copy of Patrick’s “Why We Ride” book (we have copies on our shelves and all proceeds go straight to Patrick). His book is the fuel that helps a chilly day feel warmer, keep your well of motivation full! It will possibly add another perspective with which to wrap around your next ride that may make it feel even better, taste sweeter, and be more fulfilling.

Why I Love to Ride

July 14th, 2014

Why I (Love to) Ride

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This cyclist is found on the bike path fueled by Enerchi bites in her back pocket of her Rapha Souplesse jersey. Photo by Michael Lovely.

This coming Sunday, July 20th, Rapha is encouraging women across the globe to ride 100 kilometers or more. A great chance to get together to spend a day riding on beautiful roads between here and Mt Wachusett? We wouldn’t miss the opportunity. We are very excited to be hosting very fun rides of 100 kilometers and 100 miles in length. Each ride has a group riding at a more casual pace, one moderate, and one quicker. Choose the distance and speed that’s right for you. We have many wonderful women who are leading and sweeping so no matter your pace or comfort level, you’ll have others to ride and share the day with.

More reasons to come out to ride on July 20th:

  • We have a very special and unique Rapha apparel promotion just for you on July 20th.
  • Receive a discount for a massage with Kimber Green – she is an outstanding massage therapist who practices in Lexington and Somerville who understands what active women and men need.
  • Enjoy Enerchi Bites as fuel on the ride – these are well formulated whole food and active nutrition created by local women who ride. (As seen in the Rapha souplesse jersey in above photo. Taken by Michael Lovely.)
  • Meet the RSC Expedition Team – this is a group of six ladies who love to ride and have deep experience in most kinds of riding, racing, juggling work, life and riding, and who are more than happy to answer questions, or simply give you confidence.
  • How is your bike working? Any day leading up to the ride, anyone registered may have her bike serviced by our pro mechanics. This week we’ll treat your bike to our “Rapha Women’s Ride Pro Bike Prep” service: we’ll adjust your derailleurs, lube your chain, fill your tires with air, and give the bike a safety check – so you’re ready to go on Sunday for $35. Please call ahead so we will expect you (339) 970-0187.
  • Have the chance to buy Molly Hurford’s book Saddle, Sore - a book written just for women addressing issues and questions that women have on the bike.

Register Now

Why Do You Ride?

We ask those who register, “Why do you ride?” Here are some of the responses we’ve received from the ladies who will be riding out of here on July 20th:

Allison:  It makes me feel stronger. I’m exhausted after a long ride or race, but I feel accomplished. If I can get through a grueling ride, I can do anything!

Christina:  For fun and triathalons!

Helen:  It helps clear my head after a long day and after using up all my energy from my ride I can sleep like a rock at the end of the day! This is my first big ride with so many people and it is really exciting to get out on the road and train for it!

Courtney:  I love it!

Kelley:  I ride because it feels good! I like feeling the wind in my face, my legs working below me and the general feel good vibe that comes from exercising. Also by riding I get to explore new routes and see new parts of cities and towns I would have otherwise missed. Riding in groups doubles the fun as you have other people to share the experience with!

Charlotte:  I ride because it makes me feel independent and empowered.

Melissa:  It never gets dull.

Ashley:  I ride because I love its freedom. Freedom to go wherever you please, from being stagnant, from connection to technology, from being on the grid, freedom from life’s distractions and the ability to just enjoy the ride!

Dana:  Being on a bike is joyful. it is meditative. it is simple. it allows me to do something i love with people i love and get to places i love and go swimming. it is shared with my littlest nephew, age four, and my oldest grandmother, age ninety-one. i know my strength and joy on a bike.

Jessie:  The way you experience the world on a bike is like nothing else, and it is one of the best feelings there is.

Portia:  Friendship, competition, speed; wind on my face and burn in my legs

Zabeth:  Because on a good day my legs, my heart, and my breath are in harmony and all is right with the world as I fly along just above the ground.

Laura:  Fun!

Jeanette:  Because it is liberating & a blast.

Liz:  Joy, freedom, fitness, obsession, you name it!

Emily:  Cuz it’s a gnarly fun time.

Mona:  Exercise and for fun!

Paula:  Because I feel so healthy and alive!

Agnes:  Because it is a great way to stay fit and active and have fun with friends at the same time!

Jessica:  I ride because I love seeing how far my legs can take me. And I love climbing hills!

Nancy:  It’s awesome… like flying like a bird

Laurie:  It feels like flying sometimes! A sense of freedom It’s like being a kid again, playing with friends

Sarah:  I ride to keep my mind, body, and soul at ease.

Heather:  Relaxation, fitness, sights, smells, sweat

Michele:  It helps me clear my head.

Brittany:  I love to ride for the workout and to enjoy being outside. I love the reward of a downhill after a difficult climb.

Emilia:  Riding is my freedom

Katia:  To save on hair products. Wearing a helmet does wonders to my hairdo! Also, padded spandexed shorts are the new little black dress! Don’t take my word for it, just take a look around you :)

RSC Expedition Team pedals through a peaceful apple orchard in NH.

RSC Expedition Team pedals through a peaceful apple orchard in NH.

 

This Week in Coffee

July 9th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: Delicious Decisions and New Food

 

We’re halfway through our current guest roaster cycle with Commonwealth Coffee. From here on out you’ll find them on the pourover bar. Currently we’re brewing up Commonwealth’s Finca la Providencia from Guatemala, and their Konga from Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia. Both coffees are absolutely great. The Finca la Providencia is really impressive. It’s fruit forward with tasting notes of strawberry, orange, and honeysuckle, all rounded out with a marzipan-like finish. The Konga is a stunning example of a Yirgacheffe with tasting notes of rose, meyer lemon, and sweet herb all held together with the clean sweetness of cane sugar. coffees George Howell Coffee is back on the espresso machine this week. We’re featuring their Pulcal espresso from Guatemala. This single origin has a great balance of citrus, grape, sweet lime, and milk chocolate to round it out. You may have noticed that our pastries have changed recently as well. We’ve switched to a selection from Iggy’s Breads out of Cambridge, MA. The croissants are light and soft, and the pecan sticky buns are an addicting treat! Iggy’s is also supplying us with the fresh bread we are now serving with all sorts of great toppings. There’s something to please every palate. Of course, we still have oatmeal and cold gazpacho all day. Come enjoy our air conditioning and treat yourself to one of these fine coffees, and some of our new food options.

This Week in Coffee

June 16th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: New and Returning Cafe Favorites

This week in coffee…we are continuing to serve a new favorite espresso, the Ontology Blend, from our current guest roaster Commonwealth Coffee of Denver, Colorado. This bright blend of Rwandan Kabirizi and Guatemalan Providencia presents with flavors of stone fruit, green tea, cherry, and marzipan.  As always, if you are craving espresso but hope to avoid  caffeine, we have George Howell’s Costa Rican decaf, smooth with flavors of chocolate, walnut, and caramel.

photo 1 (3)This week’s pour over options are brought to you by George Howell Roasters. The first option, continuing from last week, is Reko from Ethiopia. This roast presents with flavors of earl grey, clementine, and honey dew. The second option is El Vergel from Guatemala. This smooth coffee presents with strawberry, white grape, and milk chocolate flavors.

Also avaible when you need a refreshing kick on a warm summer day, we are serving up cold brew coffee, iced lattes, iced americanos, and a fequently changing variety of iced teas. This week’s iced teas include: English Breakfast (Black), Bancha (Green), Lemon Chamomile (Herbal), and Peppermint (Herbal).

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This week in the cafe…As was announced in the cafe post last week, new food items are now available! You can now order a slice of bread with side options of sliced ham, cheddar cheese, mustard, vermont creamery butter, or almond butter. Also available are hard-boiled eggs. New this week, with the warm weather we have switched gears in the soup department. Currently available is a cold Gazpacho. This vegetarian option is refreshing on a hot day with its tomato base and fresh veggies including cucumbers and peppers.

 

This Week in Coffee

June 9th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: New Coffee and New Food!

This week we are serving up some recent favorites and new delights in the cafe.

In the espresso hopper we have the Ontology Blend from our wonderful current guest roaster, Commonwealth Coffee of Denver, Colorado. This bright blend of Rwandan Kabirizi and Guatemalan Providencia presents with flavors of stone fruit, green tea, cherry, and marzipan. Come on by and try a shot on its own or mixed to perfection with your desired amount of milk or almond milk. As always, if you are craving espresso without the kick of caffeine, we have George Howell’s Costa Rican decaf, smooth with flavors of chocolate, walnut, and caramel.

This week, changing things up, we have two new pour over options for you to enjoy. From George Howell comes Reko from Ethiopia. This roast is perfect in the emerging summer weather with light fruity and tea-like flavors of clementine, honey dew, and earl grey. From Commonwealth Roasters comes Fina la Providencia from Guatemala. This new crop has been roasted to highlight more natural summer flavors of strawberry, orange, honeysuckle, and lime sherbet.

Of course, with this warm weather, we are also offering cold brew iced coffee in our usual 4 ounce and 12 ounce sizes. Also availabe are mason jars of cold brew to take with you on the go. Grab one while on the move or grab a few for your fridge at home. Looking for enough cold brew to fuel your week from the comfort of your home or give you a midday jolt at work? Reserve a growler of cold brew today.

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Other changes in the cafe this week include new additions to the food menu! Now joining our oatmeal and soup offerings are some refreshing cold food options more appropriate for the upcoming summer weather. We are continuing to serve slices of sourdough and olive bread with vermont creamery butter or almond butter. Now there are also new sides to accompany sliced bread. Come by and build your own snack or meal with sliced ham, cheddar cheese, honey dijon mustard, and hard-boiled eggs.

Seven Cycles at Pioneers Day

June 6th, 2014

Seven Cycles at Pioneers Day

Innovating yet again, Seven Cycles is creating a bike built to recreate the past: to honor and remember those who began racing and who established the culture we now enjoy. And in this very same bike, Seven is doing what’s never been done before.

We are the honored ones, to have the deep talent of Seven manifest itself in this one-of-a-kind absolutely amazing bike. This head badge, which incorporates gold leaf, says it all. It and many other Seven spy shots of the bike in the manufacturing process are found on Seven’s Instagram feed: http://www.instagram.com/seven_cycles

Don’t miss this bike on display at the Studio Saturday, June 7th at Pioneers Day. It will be ridden in the 111 mile ride by Fear Rothar, then on display for the rest of the day.

Brunch begins at 7:30, Rides begin at 9am, Party for all is at 6pm. We’re also very excited to be joined by Rapha and Rapha Continental riders for the day.

Join in, this is a not-to-be-missed event of the year! Details and RSVP:  http://www.ridestudiocafe.com/pioneers

Riding is the Best Kind of Meeting

June 3rd, 2014

Riding is the Best Kind of Meeting

by Patria Lanfranchi

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This past weekend, I had the chance to ride for Team Shimano at the Best Buddies Challenge from Boston to Hyannis, a 100-mile ride that raises a lot of money for Best Buddies. You’ve likely heard of them, but you might not know the impact that they have in the lives of people. They are dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Having two days with Shimano meant talking a lot about what’s happening with technology and the future of Shimano and all sorts of related products. I was amongst a group who are very technically minded and they geek out on the cool stuff. The hot topic is Shimano electronic Di2 shifting. Soon mountain bikes will be equipped with Di2 and, with a small addition of a sensor, your bike computer will be able to tell you what gear you’re in–no more looking down to see which cogs your chain is sitting on. I saw a lot of Di2 bikes ridden amongst team members (I’m one of those riding Di2 on my Seven Evergreen and I have been extremely impressed with how well it works*).

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Team Shimano was comprised of riders from New England bike shops and Shimano tech and sales reps and national-level support staff who helped out the Best Buddies riders throughout the event. Photo by Mark McCormack.

We had a good time talking about what’s coming out as well as how Shimano and other bike shop owners and fitters solve interesting challenges. The new technology and options are making riding better in very noticeable ways. There is a lot of solid engineering and testing behind the new products we’re seeing. 

Among what’s new is: 11-speed drivetrains, disc hydraulic road brakes, electronic shifting, impressive lighting options battery- and generator-driven, new action camera options, and fancy technology in GPS, touch-screen bike computers. These are the first to pop to mind, there are so many others.

Is it a blessing or curse that we in New England have so many roads that go in many different directions, constantly changing names, that it’s nearly impossible to do a long ride without a multiple page cue sheet or a GPS bike computer?  I’ll leave the answer to that for another day, but it’s yet one more excuse to buy a new toy: the Garmin Edge 1000 which I used for the first time on this ride. Coming from spending a lot of time with the Edge 800 and 810 models, moving to the 1000 is a breeze. I’ll post my full impressions of this unit as soon as I’ve had a chance to give it a test in a less structured environment (read: when I get to go off-road with it). Between this unit, the Garmin Touring Plus, and the simple, economical Garmin Edge 200, it seems there is a bike computer out there that will strike a good balance for every kind of rider who values some kind of mapping functionality. (We have all of these and a few other models on our shelves.)

Watch for more posts, photos, news, everything, we’ve got a lot going on that we want you part of and we’re sharing it via our blog (here), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and our newsletter – catch it all, we want you to join us!

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John Adamik of Riverside Cycles and I cranking out the miles along scenic roads. Top photo taken by John.

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Team Shimano crossing the finish line at the century having a lot of fun along the way. Photo by Mark Budreski.

 

This Week in Coffee

June 2nd, 2014

This Week in Coffee

This week, Commonwealth Coffee has continued to impress with a variety of espresso and drip coffee options. This week we have returned to serving the Ontology Espresso Blend of Rwanda Kabirizi and a new crop of Guatemala Providencia. This deservedly popular roast presents with flavors of stonefruit, green tea, cherry, and marzipan. Once again, following Ontology in the hopper in the coming days will be Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kongo. We love this roast and its simultaneously sweet and savory flavors of  meyer lemon, rose, sweet herb, and cane sugar.

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For pour over options this week we continue to serve Commonwealth’s Finca la Milagrosa from Panama and George Howell’s Kanzu from Rwanda. For more information on these two options, see tasting notes included in last week’s post, or come on by and chat with us. To look forward to in the coming weeks, we will be changing things up and serving a Burundi Kinyovu from Commonwealth Roasters as one of our pour over options. Keep a look out for this exciting new option!

This Week in Coffee

May 25th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: Introducing Commonwealth Coffee Roasters

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This Week we began serving espresso and pour overs from our newest guest roaster, Commonwealth Coffee Roasters from Denver, Colorado! We are very excited to be serving roasts from this recently founded roaster that was established in the Fall of 2013. Learn more about Commonwealth and their goal to share amazing coffee with the masses, at there About Us page.

Currently in the hopper is a Commonwealth espresso blend you may have tried a couple of weeks ago, called Ontology. It is a blend of Rwanda Kabirizi and Guatemala Providencia that presents with flavors of stone fruit, green tea, cherry and marzipan. In the coming days we will begin serving a different espresso from Commonwealth: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Konga, which tastes of meyer lemon, rose, sweet herb, and cane sugar. We are also continuing to serve our decaf espresso, a Costa Rican from George Howell Roasters, that presents flavors of chocolate, caramel, and walnut.

For pour over options we are serving up one coffee from each of our current roasters. From Commonwealth, we have a Panama bean called Finca la Milagrosa. This sweet and smooth roast presents with flavors of peach, cinnamon, honey dew, and sweet cream. Also available is George Howell’s Kanzu from Rwanda. This roast highlights flavors of raspberry, citrus, and light caramel. These options, along with others from Heart Roasters, are also available for retail sale and home brewing. Come on by and grab a bag today!

This Week in Coffee

May 11th, 2014

This Week in Coffee:

After a bit of a writing hiatus, we are back to tell you about our coffee offerings. The “Parklet” is fully assembled and we are now  equipped for outdoor seating, so come by and enjoy a cup of your favorite brew in the warm sunshine!

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This week we are brewing up two wonderful Peaberry Kenyan roasts from our guest roaster, Four Barrel Coffee. Don’t be fooled by the shared country of origin, these two coffees  provide a great variety of flavor. The first option, Ndaroini, presents with aroma of quince jam and cranberry, followed by lemon lime flavors and cane sugar sweetness. Our second option, Karatina,  presents with flavors of rose and raspberry in a syrupy cup, replete with stonefruit. Come by and try one of these rich options while they last.

Pulling on the espresso machine, we have Deri Kochoa from George Howell Coffee. This roast is a great bright spring option, bursting with flavors of jasmine, rosemary, and chocolate. Special this week, on Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon, we will be sampling the Ontoloay Espresso Blend from a new roaster, Commonwealth Coffee Roasters in Denver, Colorado. We are excited to taste this blend with notes of stone fruit, green tea, cherry, and marzipan. Come by to try this new roaster and tell us what you think!

 

 

Ever Changing Evergreen

April 16th, 2014

Evergreen-Mixed-Explore

The Seven Cycles Evergreen is an incredible bike in its simplicity and extreme versatility – both achieved with absolute perfection. The number of us at RSC who are riding this bike is an indication of its tremendous value to those who like to ride on the road and, without thinking twice, jump onto trails, dirt roads, or practically anywhere – in the world.

We will be writing more about this bike in the coming days, but for now, begin with this comprehensive photo essay on Seven’s blog:

http://www.sevencycles.com/blog/2014/04/10/the-ever-changing-evergreen/

This Week in Coffee

April 13th, 2014

This Week in Coffee

This week we continue to connect with the west coast with our guest roaster, Four Barrel Coffee from San Francisco, California. We are serving up two of their wonderful drip coffee options: Iquisivi from Bolivia and Hunda Oli from Ethiopia. You may remember the Iquisivi from a few weeks back. We loved it and brought it back for a triumphant return to our menu.  This flavorful roast helps us welcome in spring with lemon fragrance, disappearing into fig and cherry flavors combined with a caramel sweetness. The Hunda Oli is another fantastic option. This brighter coffee begins with red plum fragrance followed by acidity of watermelon and fruity notes of lemon and rhubarb finsihed off with bergamont. Come by today to try these  roasts while they last.

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After a few consecutive weeks pulling La Bendición from George Howell, we have switched over our espresso to George Howell’s Borboya from Ethiopia. This amazing roast bursts with flavors of candied lemon, blueberry, and ginger. We also continue to carry George Howell’s Costa Rican decaf espresso, a roast that presents flavors of chocolate, caramel, and walnut.

Looking for a flavorful cup in the comfort of your own home? We have retail bags from George Howell, Four Barrel, and a past guest roaster, Heart Roasters from Portland, Oregon.

Come stopby  for one of these roasts while you are out and about on one of these gorgeous spring days!

 

 

 

 

This Week in Coffee

April 7th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: Spring is Near and Cold Brew is Here!

growler and cold brew

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and while it may still be a bit chilly outside, spring is in the air. After warming up on your ride in the sunshine, stop by the cafe for some cold brew. It is ready to serve for relaxing at the cafe or taking on the go. As you can see above, we are also well stocked with growlers! Reserve a cold brew growler today to enjoy cold brew at home or at work.

Of course, cold brew is not our only coffee brewing in the studio. This week we continue to serve amazing drip coffee options from Four Barrel Roasters of San Francisco, CA. Our first option, Inquisivi, is a Bolivian coffee. Perfect for spring this well rounded roast bursts with lemon fragrance which transforms into fruit notes of fig and cherry melded together with a caramel sweetness. The second option, Musabiymana, is a Rwandan coffee. This brighter option presents with currant and dark fruit in a balanced cup with candied blackberry sweetness.

This week we continue to serve a favorite George Howell espresso, La Bendición from Guatemala. This espresso offers flavors of lime-tinted chocolate combined with almond and fig and combines flawlessly with milk to become your favorite choice of espresso drink. Longing for a coffee taste without the kick of caffeine? We continue to carry George Howell’s Costa Rican decaf espresso, a roast that presents flavors of chocolate, caramel, and walnut.

 

Going (Ever)Green – The Making of the Bike

April 7th, 2014

Excitement is hard to contain. There is something about a new bike that gets the wheels turning, pardon the pun. We still find ourselves getting caught up in that anxious energy with each bike that we help design and build. All the new technology means we are well suited to meet each individual’s requirements since we start with a custom Seven frame and work our way out. When straightforward solutions do not present themselves, we pride ourselves on meeting the challenge.

  • Disc brakes

  • 11-speed compatible

  • Wide rim profile for large tires

This was the criteria we needed to meet when looking to complete a recent Evergreen build. The Evergreen is designed for all day riding on imperfect roads, so sacrificing a wide rim was not an option. After a few hours in the saddle, rolling on wider tires can make or break your comfort and confidence levels.

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Disc brakes were chosen since they offer loads of stopping power. To be more specific, it’s the range of control that disc brakes offer over rim brakes that often times makes them seem more powerful. They offer modulation beyond what is typical of conventional caliper brakes. We are also able to minimize and virtually eliminate brake fade due to prolonged activation. Sure, descending can be thrilling, but that thrill can quickly turn into horror when you approach a hairpin and squeezing the lever results in zero loss of speed.

Shimano Ultegra 6800 completed the checklist. Ultegra was a sensible choice as it offers a huge range of gearing options for tackling loose dirt or gravel climbs. Weight also drops over the older generation, even with the addition of an 11th cog. As is typical on Shimano levers, shifting is smooth and requires little effort. The ability to adjust brake reach is also an added benefit.

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Since this mixture of requirements drew upon many great features of new product advancements, it was difficult to find a factory offered solution. Rather than sit idle until a wheel came along that fit the bill, we started from scratch. Doing so, we would be able to dial in every last component to RSC standards that would exceed the customer’s needs. HED C2 rims, DT Swiss spokes and nipples, and a Shimano hub that was both disc and 11 speed compatible. The result is an extremely durable and reliable wheelset that does not scream for attention. Rather, it gets the job done with the sort of humility that is customary for products built from the ground up in New England.

We at RSC were not as reserved. There were lots of high 5’s going around that day.

This Week in Coffee

March 30th, 2014

This Week in Coffee

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This week we are continuing to serve the same delicious roasts as last week. From Four Barrel Coffee we have two pour over options: Gaturiri from Kenya or La Montañita from El Salvador. Our Espresso, from George Howell Coffee, is La Bendición from Guatemala. For more details on these coffees, our decaf espresso, and retail options see last week’s post.

Though it may be raining today, spring days are (we hope!) just around the corner. With April beginning this week, beautiful days for long rides are coming and we have many wonderful options for recovery snacks to rehydrate at the end of your ride.

Rich, creamy Highlawn Farm natural Chocolate Milk is a great recovery option, delivering the proper amount of carbohydrate and protein in a delicious form.  Important in your refueling process are complex carbohydrates and our Oatmeal is a great way to access this necessity. Add flavor to this breakfast option with brown sugar, dried fruit, pecans, and/or almond or regular milk.

Another satisfying option is a thick slice of fresh bread (either olive or sourdough) accompanied with a generous portion of almond butter or Highlawn Farm butter.

New in the cafe are EnerChi Bites. These all natural gluten-free vegan treats will help give you a boost of energy when you need it most. We have all flavors available for individual sale, so come on by to try the apple cinnamon, coconut oatmeal raisin, and cocoa date, then buy a bag of your favorite flavor to take with you on the road or trail.

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Honey All Roads Video and Brief Review

March 28th, 2014

Honey All Roads

by Patria Lanfranchi

This winter, I decided it was a good time to do a long test ride of Ride Studio Cafe’s All Roads Honey demo bike. This bike kept me riding this winter and that’s saying a lot considering the winter was particularly harsh and very icy. Here it is pre-dirt/mud/ice/crud:

all-roads-main

The All Roads comes equipped with disc brakes. Almost all of the riding I’ve done prior to this bike involved cantilever or caliper brakes so I was ready to be a critic of the disc braking system. The brakes we put on our demo All Roads with SRAM Rival shifting are the Avid BB7 SL disc brakes with 160mm rotors. I quickly understood why discs make so much sense for bikes that are meant for all-terrain and all-weather riding. Not having to fit a tire inside the brake meant that running wide 40mm studded tires was easy and there was ample room to spare. Had I wanted to use fenders, they would have been relatively easy to install and fit between the tire and frame.

Why didn’t I use fenders? No one was behind me when I rode and my large Revelate bag saved my back from the spray. Not a good reason and yes, I am putting fenders on my next All-Roads-like bike.

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I appreciated having braking power when out in snowstorms. It’s nice to not have aching hands from squeezing hard on the brakes, especially when it’s freezing cold out. (A good pair of lobster gloves kept my hands warm on the coldest days and nights.)

If you want to talk about weight, that’s where the biggest difference and reason to not ride disc comes in. There are other small considerations, but I’ll save that for another post. These brakes versus TRP Mini-V linear pull brakes are a little over a 1/2 pound heavier. That would be significant if this bike were being raced in the Tour de France. Considering what the All Roads is all about, this is a small price to pay for all of the added functionality (and added wheel life). I didn’t notice this weight on the bike and is spunky like a good steel bike should be. The rolling weight of studded tires is what’s noticable…but going more slowly on a really cold night is something I appreciated while the studded tires were necessary.

Right now this All Roads demo bike is outfitted with Clement MSO X’PLOR 40mm tires. Those are the right choice for most people who are interested in sketchy spring trail riding. When the conditions improve, the sky is the limit as to the tires that are the “right” ones. Don’t forget that if 650B is your desired wheel size, this bike supports those as well.

I rode the All Roads with a set of 33c Green Label Jack Browns on a pleasant road ride that included a small amount of dirt road. The bike rolled very well with those tires and I enjoyed the ride a lot. I wouldn’t hesitate to put skinnier tires on it and from everything I felt on 500+ miles I put in on this bike this winter, I know the bike would do be a willing participant on a 100+ mile road and/or dirt day.

As with all of the frames that we build up into bikes here, the shifting, gearing ratios, bar tape, wheels, etc. are selected by the rider. What’s amazing about the All Roads is that it presents so many options without sacrificing ride quality. It’s up to its owner to choose the proper components for its future purpose(s). Neither Honey nor us sets those boundaries – the options are nearly unlimited!

Alas, with my demo ride over, this bike is now being demo’d by others. Fortunately, this past Tuesday, the conditions on the trails were good and the bike was in the hands of rider Thom Parsons who put together this great 2-minute video where he shows you the fun this bike serves up to whoever is on it:

Basically, this bike saved my winter. It opened my eyes to what a great bike that can do everything I like to do feels like. I can appreciate how unique this bike is in the world of bikes. Riding a carbon fork mounted on a well-designed steel bike makes for a fast, fun, worry-free bike that can do everything from commute year-round with rack and fenders to zip around on the trails and everything in between.

If you’d like to take the All Roads for a spin, let us know! (We’re found at connect@ridestudiocafe.com.) We’ll get you out there on a demo ride of your dreams. Ride without limits or boundaries, and see just how good that kind of riding freedom feels!

This Week in Coffee

March 23rd, 2014

This Week in Coffee:

New in the café this past week, our current guest roaster, Four Barrel Coffee, from San Francisco, has transitioned from being our espresso to now bringing wonderful drip coffee options your way. Come on by the café and try out Gaturiri from Kenya or La Montañita from El Salvador. Helping us welcome spring (or perhaps continue to dream of the spring weather that has yet to truly arrive) Gaturiri is a delicious floral coffee with flavors of geranium, rose, and hibiscus with hints of custard and roasted cherry sweetness. A very different option, La Montañita is an earthy roast with deep exciting flavors of molasses, cocoa, and pear.

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Our espresso today is brought to you by George Howell Coffee. La Bendición Espresso from Guatemala stands well on its own with lime-tinted chocolate combined with almond and fig and mixes fantastically with milk to become your favorite espresso beverage. Hoping for a coffee taste without the caffeine? We continue to carry George Howell’s Costa Rican decaf espresso, a roast that presents flavors of chocolate, caramel, and walnut.

For home brewing, we have a  shelf full of whole bean bags from George Howell, Four Barrel, and Heart Roasters. Come by for a bag (or two, or three…) for enjoying a delicious cup in the comfort of your home.

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Century Takeaways

March 21st, 2014

Beyond the Century with John Bayley and Pamela Blalock

The cyclists have spoken: March 20th, the first day of spring after a harsh winter, is not too early to be thinking about riding over 100 miles on bike. We had an incredible turnout for John Bayley and Pamela Blalock’s talk entitled Beyond the Century, an evening co-sponsored by The Charles River Wheelmen (CRW).

 

BeyondTheCenturyTo ask John and Pamela to share their 30+ years and hundreds of thousands of miles of cycling experience in 1 hour and 15 minutes isn’t a fair question. They did a terrific job of presenting a lot of information and, even better, they’ve written a lot that really goes into many nuances of being prepared for, and executing, a very long ride.

Here is a summary of resources they’ve made available to you and other events mentioned throughout the evening.

As John and Pamela emphasized, long rides are just a series of shorter rides strung together. It’s possible for anyone with any level of experience and almost any bicycle that works well. And, maybe as they did, you’ll find it fun (and addicting), and then the mileage just seems to add up naturally.

John&PamelaJohn and Pamela had a slideshow running on the screen before their presentation. Check out their photos taken on some of their many long adventures in many incredible places.

The Slideshow Photos

Countless people have told us how they are students of these two. Much of this is due to how they try practically every setup, almost all of the equipment there is, and test everything in all weather, on all terrain.

They wrote a very detailed blog post to supplement their talk. Check it out:

Beyond the Century: What’s the right bike?

and the slides they spoke to are here, in PDF format:

Beyond the Century Slides

People who were introduced during the evening were:

Dan Greene: President of New England Randonneurs, NER (Website: nerandonneurs.org where you’ll find many long rides for people of all abilities/speeds)
Jake Kassen, Regional Brevet Administrator for NER
Jon Doyle – Membership coordinator for NER
Emily O’BrienDill Pickle Gear and fixed-gear bike endurance rider

Eli Post from CRW. Note the many organized (and long) rides CRW hosts including their Spring Century on May 18th. CRW Rides Calendar.

Matt Roy (endurance rider and John Bayley’s RSC Endurance teammate) of mmracing –  He announced their End of Season Party and Raffle for a great cause – win a new Seven Cycles full bike, Honey All Roads frameset, fork, and stem among other great prizes.

Many Thanks To: Mark McMinn of LexMedia – He video recorded the presentation and we will post the link here when it’s available online.

Want to ride from here to Mt Greylock and sleep at the top of this beautiful mountain? Consider our Highpoint Ride coming up in August!

Like riding long and on dirt, too? Honey Bikes’ 2014 calendar is awesome.

Thanks to all who showed up for the talk. We’re looking forward to going on many long rides with you this year!

Evening Seminar: Beyond the Century, Thurs. March 20th

March 17th, 2014
JohnBayleyRandoMan

John has all of the right gear for very long days and nights on the bike.

Beyond the Century: Thurs. March 20th

Now is an ideal time to think about this coming riding season and learn what you need to

know in order to accomplish the great rides that are coming up. Don’t worry that you’re probably not going to be doing a century or longer ride tomorrow, few people are ready at this moment for that kind of mileage. Not only is it inspiring to meet others who are interested in long riding, but it also shows how do-able it is to hear about what people do in order to accomplish long miles on the bike.

This Thursday, March 20th, John Bayley and Pamela Blalock, two of New England’s (and arguably the US’s) most accomplished endurance cyclists are speaking here at Ride Studio Cafe. Social hour begins at 6pm, the talk and

Q&A will be from 7-8:15. Pizza will be provided by CRW.

Complete details about the evening are below, please RSVP via email or by clicking the button below to let us know to expect you!

rsvp_buttonComplete Description

PamelaRiding

Pamela can always be found smiling on a bike no matter the time of year or length of the ride.

Learn how you can enjoy very long rides in this very informative seminar which will cover what to bring with you, how to carry it all as lightly as possible, how to continue into the after-sunset hours well-illuminated. What should you eat and what additional challenges do you need to be ready for during your long ride? John Bayley and Pamela Blalock have accomplished many long, very challenging rides unsupported. They will share their experiences with you and the countless things they’ve learned as they’ve ridden across the US and throughout the world. Come listen to John and Pamela, bring your best questions, and meet like-minded cyclists who are interested in the limitless opportunities granted to properly prepared cyclists of all ages and abilities. You might be surprised at where you can go on bike!

 

This evening is co-sponsored by CRW (Charles River Wheelmen). They are supplying pizza and beverages, to make this learning in a party atmosphere. Please email RSC (connect@ridestudiocafe.com) with questions, or if you want to receive more information if you have to miss the evening.

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JohnPamelaTandembyJasonDevarness

John and Pamela can often be found riding or competing as a team on their Seven tandem steed. Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Cafe Manager & Part-time Barista Openings

March 11th, 2014

 We’re Hiring in the Cafe

130814-0149Be part of the Ride Studio Cafe team and on the cutting edge in the coffee world. If you’re inspired by great coffee and food and have experience in both, we want to talk with you!

We have an immediate opening for a cafe manager and part-time barista. Check out the positions’ postings for more information, we hope you are interested in joining our team. Email careers@ridestudiocafe.com for more information. Tell your friends, too!

This Week in Coffee

March 9th, 2014

This Week in Coffee

This week we have a new espresso in the hopper! Brought to you by our guest roaster, Four Barrel Coffee of San Fransisco, California, is a Rwandan single origin espresso called Coproca. This flavorful option brings out floral flavors of lily and lilac accomapnied by fruit note of Fig, grape frangrance, candied lemon, and pomegranate. All these flavors combine with hints of sugar cane to produce a fantastic coffee experience. Come by a try some and/or buy a bag for home brewing.

This week we continue to serve some amazing roasts from George Howell Coffee.  New this past week was Kiawamururu, from Kenya. This limited roast, light and fruity coffee presents with flavors of strawberry, blueberry, and pomegranate. It has become a quick favorite in the cafe. Get it while you can! We are also continuing to serve a classic favorite, George Howell’s Deri Kochoa from Ethiopia. This bright option presents with flavors of jasmine, white peach, and honey.

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Craving coffee in the comfort of your own home? Our retail shelf is well stocked with fresh roasts from George Howell, Four Barrel, and a favorite former guest roaster, Heart Coffee Roasters from Portland, Oregon.

 

 

Bikes Not Bombs Documentary Screening Party

March 5th, 2014

Bikes Not Bombs Documentary Screening Party

bike-salePlease join us and Bikes Not Bombs Thursday, March 6th from 6-8pm to watch a 10-minute documentary about Ability Bikes, a micro-enterprise bike shop that is completely owned and operated by people with physical disabilities.

Schedule 
6-7pm: Dinner, bikes, and social hour. Don’t be late, make sure to bring your appetite!
7pm: Film and commentary
7:15pm: Learn about Bikes Not Bombs
7:45pm: Raffle!

We are providing a catered dinner of build-your-own tacos complimented by craft beers. We are offering vegetarian and vegan options all beginning at 6pm.

Bikes Not Bombs ships used bicycles to Ability Bikes where the mechanics rebuild, refurbish, and sell them at affordable prices to community members. In addition to shipping bikes, Bikes Not Bombs provides mechanics training and strategic advice to the worker-owners of the bike shop. 497-bnb-30th-anniversary

In November 2013, Bikes Not Bombs sent a field worker and retail shop employee, Derek McIntire to Ability Bikes to lead advanced mechanics workshops. He produced a 10-minute documentary which features interviews with Ability Bikes staff and community members.

Bikes Not Bombs will be selling tickets to their Bike-A-Thon happening June 8th. The Bike-A-Thon is an amazing ride that fundraises for their Youth Programs and International Programs. Hundreds of cyclists join together to ride for social justice while riding an optional 80 miles, 50 miles, or 10 miles. This ride tends to fill up quickly so don’t miss your chance to sign up early at this event! To learn more about the Bikes Not Bombs programs the Bike-A-Thon supports, visit their website: https://bikesnotbombs.org/

Raffle

We’re raffling more than $2,500 of cool items and services. This may be the biggest and most valuable raffle that the Studio’s ever done.  We’ve put together ten cards, each of which offers the receiver the choice of one of the following – so you’re sure to win something you like!

Tickets are $10 each or 5 tickets for $40. Odds of winning are really high! All proceeds from raffle ticket sales go directly to Bikes Not Bombs. Great prizes for a great cause!

  • Professional Spring Overhaul valued at $180. Get your bike ready for an amazing spring of riding. Ride Studio Cafe will make your bike feel like new again. Your bike will really appreciate this service after our long winter.
  • Professional Bike Fitting valued at $250. Few items are of more value than being properly fitted to your bike. Do you have any pains or injuries you’d like to eliminate? Let the Studio help you.
  • Summer Tires & Tubes installed valued at $200-240. Starting the spring riding season with new high-end tires is always a joy. Let the Studio take care of this for you.
  • Coffee Tasting for Four valued at $300. You and three friends get a private ninety minute coffee tasting by one of the Studio’s professional baristas. Priceless.
  • Complete Coffee Kit valued at $230. This kit includes everything to make coffee at home. This pourover brew method kit is for making the perfect cup of coffee – the way the Ride Studio Cafe does it.
  • Bikes Not Bombs Clothing Set valued at $150. Show your support for BNB by sporting all the clothing they offer, includes a hoodie, scarf, cap, and cycling jersey.

Please be sure to RSVP via email (connect@ridestudiocafe.com) or on Facebook. We hope to see you here for this fun evening!

Honey 100 Video

March 5th, 2014

The Honey 100 ride highlights the amazing dirt trails, paths, and out-of-the-way roads beginning and ending from Ride Studio Cafe. Portions of the ride were captured on camera. Check it out…go off-road and back to the wonderful memories so many people made on the Honey 100.

Have you ever ridden on dirt? Most people with only a road bike haven’t seen what new world of riding opens up off pavement. We’re not talking about hard-core mountain biking. Dirt trails, paths, and roads don’t demand a rider to be highly technical, they only require a tire that’s wide enough and proper pedals/shoes for ease in clipping in and out as well as walking for obstacle avoidance.

Honey’s featured bike of the 2014 launch is the All Roads. The All Roads is the ideal adventure bike and the ideal bike to go everywhere, rain or shine; nothing holds this bike back. There are many trails, dirt roads, and special event rides that demonstrate why someone who rides the All Roads can have all the fun and not feel limited by pretty much anything. Honey has just made two very Special Edition All Roads bikes available. The Hammer and Cycle is pictured below (photo: Russ Cambell). The Clover is a SRAM Rival version with mechanical disc brakes painted to be reminiscent of riding through the morning fog-covered clover field trails.

Dirty 40/Raspitutsa All Roads "Hammer and Cycle" bike equiped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 & hydro disc brakes

Dirty 40/Raspitutsa All Roads “Hammer and Cycle” Special Edition bike equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 & hydro disc brakes and 40 c MSO Clement tires mounted on RSC hand-built wheels comprised of HED Belgium C2 rims and Chris King R45 hubs!

We are looking forward to the return of Honey 100, Diverged, new rides like Rasputitsa (April 19-register soon!), and many others this year. We hope you join us! If you are looking for a bike that will take you off road with confidence, we have the All Roads available here for you to demo.

Honey Calendar

March 4th, 2014

Honey Bikes values awesome riding and racing that’s different – much of it includes dirt, other riding is simply the kind that takes you to amazing places with others who like to get off the beaten path, too!

Check out the calendar Honey put together. Hard copies are here on our table – this is worth taping to the front of your fridge. Click on the calendar below to get the full PDF, it’s a full calendar, and that’s not everything…

Honey Bikes Ride Calendar

This Week in Coffee

March 2nd, 2014

This Week in Coffee

This week we are continuing to serve the wonderful and flavorful coffees that were available last week. Brought to you by our current guest roaster, Four Barrel Coffee is Friendo Blendo espresso. From George Howell we have a Costa Rican decaf espresso, and two pour over options: Deri Kochoa from Ethiopia and Gachatha from Kenya. Check out our post from last week for more details on the flavor profiles of each of these delicious coffee options. Also, keep an open eye for a new coffee option, George Howell’s Kiawamururu, from Kenya. This limited roast, light and fruity coffee presents with flavors of strawberry, blueberry, and pomegranate. Get it while you can!

New in the cafe, this week marks the return of stellar barista and owner of The Coffee Trike, San! San will be joining us in the cafe throughout the month of March before his Coffee Trike season kicks into gear. Come by, say hello, and grab a delicious coffee beverage from him.

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Baristas Catherine, Ariela, and San

 

Spring Tune-Up Time

February 26th, 2014

GetATuneUp
Your happiness on the bike is our primary concern. It’s why we do what we do here. Since this has been a particularly long winter, we figured we’d better remind you that the bike riding season isn’t very far away. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Honey Bikes are Here!

February 24th, 2014

RCP-140222-00212014 Honey Bikes made their debut at Ride Studio Cafe this weekend inspiring countless ooohs and aaaahs. (Photo by Russ Cambell.)

There is so much to say about each bike, and Honey Bikes, in general. We will talk about each bike and each build in the coming days. For now, here’s a high-level overview so you are up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of amazing bikes, and Honey bikes, in particular.

Read the rest of this entry »

This Week in Coffee

February 23rd, 2014

This Week in Coffee

20140223_175431This week has seen the return of our newest guest roast, Four Barrel Coffee, from San Francisco, California! Espresso in the hopper is their Friendo Blendo, a blend of  Guatemala las Cañas, Kenya Kangocho, and Ethiopia Aricha. Prominent flavors in this delightful bright blend include stone fruit, molasses, and hucklberry with an underlying honey sweetness. If you crave an espresso drink but prefer to avoid caffeine, we are also offering our usual  decaf Costa Rican espresso from George Howell, with lovely notes of chocolate, caramel, and walnut.

For pour over options this week we are serving up some of our favorites from George Howell Coffee. Deri Kochoa from Ethiopia is light and soothing with flavors of jasmine, honey, and white peach. Gachatha from Kenya is a smooth and calming coffee with notes of white honey, cranberry, and plum.

Looking to brew some delicious coffee in the comfort of your own home? Our retail shelf is currently full of options from George Howell, Four Barrel, and one of our favorite past guest roasters, Heart Roasters.

Come on by to enjoy one of these fabulous coffee options along with a bowl of our oatmeal, soup, slice of bread or chocolate chip cookie — and take in the new Honey Bikes now on the showroom floor! More on those in our next article.

This Week in Coffee…

February 16th, 2014

This Week in Coffee

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This week we are continuing to serve some of the same wonderful coffees that appeared on our menu last week. As promised, our new Guest Roaster, Four Barrel Coffee, has provided our customers with wonderful espresso drinks throughout the week. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the Latest RSC Guest Roaster: Four Barrel Coffee

February 10th, 2014
Four Barrel logo, image c/o spridge.com

Four Barrel logo, image c/o spridge.com

by Ariela Rose

We admit it, we have quite the sweet gig here at Ride Studio Cafe. We have the chance to taste some of the best coffees in the world, from some of the best roasters in the world, and most excitingly, to share these coffees and roasters with you. Read the rest of this entry »

This Week in Coffee…

February 9th, 2014

This Week in Coffee: The Arrival of Four Barrel!

We are very excited to announce the arrival of our next guest roaster, Four Barrel Coffee! Already on the retail shelf for home brewing, by the end of the day today or early tomorrow we will begin serving Colombia Andino single origin espresso. We can’t wait to try this wonderful new option characterized by mango frangrance, orange, strawberry acidity, and caramel sweetness.

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Meanwhile, today we are serving up the last of our Daterra North espresso from George Howell Coffee. We have been loving this espresso’s milk chocolate, macademia, and dark cherry flavor profile. Come in and try some while it lasts! Also available is our standard Costan Rican Decaf espresso from George Howell, with flavors of chocolate, caramel, and walnuts. Read the rest of this entry »

Rapha Winter Gloves and Februrary Promo

January 31st, 2014
by Roger Kim20140130_142458
Just the other week you might have heard me proclaiming winter was over. I believed the worst of it had expired and it was all downhill from here on out. It didn’t help my iphone app was reading in the high 30s, which, to me, is like saying it’s t-shirt weather.
These cold conditions can test one’s fortitude (and sanity), but there’s no reason to throw in the towel until spring.

This Week in Coffee

January 26th, 2014

This Week in Coffee…

This week at Ride Studio Cafe it is all about George Howell Coffee! For espresso we are pulling Aranzazu, a new Colombian espresso with citrus, tropical fruit, and milk chocolate flavors that pairs delightfully with steamed milk and stands well on its own for those who crave the simple kick of a double espresso. As always, we are also serving our standard decaf espresso, a Costa Rican coffee by George Howell, with flavors of chocolate, caramel, and walnuts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Make 2014 your Year for the Smoothest Shifting and Best Braking

January 22nd, 2014

Treat Yourself to the Smoothest Shifting and Best Braking

We’re excited as ever about this upcoming year and the new technologies and bikes you will have the incredible experience of riding for the kind of adventure you seek out.

Shimano has taken electronic Di2 up to the next level. While prices have dropped, performance has only improved. Di2 is more programmable and feature-rich than ever. Shimano doesn’t deliver anything that isn’t 100% tested and trusted to market. This next generation of Di2 is no exception. Shimano has always been very receptive regarding user feedback, and it shows as small details have been addressed from previous generations.

P1050535

Seven Axiom SL with Dura-Ace Di2 shifting was made for quick, nimble climbing and speed on the flats.

Read the rest of this entry »

This Week in Coffee

January 19th, 2014

This Week in Coffee…

It is a new week and we have new coffee!

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Our espresso today is brought to you by our guest roaster, Ceremony Coffee Roasters, of Annapolis, Maryland. Read the rest of this entry »

Know how to train

January 13th, 2014

Know How to Train, Lactate Threshold Testing Saturday

Screenshot 2014-01-13 16.38.55by Patria Lanfranchi

Training to reach a goal, whether the goal comes in the form of wanting to ride a certain distance, beat a time in an event, edge out a competitor, or gain muscle mass/losing unwanted weight, all entails needing a structure of some sort. Read the rest of this entry »

Keep your bike clean, forget about weather

January 8th, 2014

Keep your bike clean, forget about weather

Snow, salt, slush, rain: none of these should stop you from riding nor make you feel guilty that you’re doing something that will hurt the longevity of your bike.

Are you riding in this weather or are you too worried about your bike being eaten alive by the salt and road grime to get it outside?2013-12-21 07.49.05

Read the rest of this entry »

The Coffee Line, Part I: Coffee Farming

January 6th, 2014

20130925_114856by Ariela Rose

Perhaps what I love most about the coffee industry is its hand-to-hand, assembly line like process. Starting with the dedicated farmers who plant, nourish, and harvest coffee plants, and ending with the creative baristas who grind, brew, and share exhilarating drinks with eager customers. Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Coffee

January 5th, 2014

Happy New Year! The snow has passed,  the sun is shining, and it is a wonderful day to get out of the house and enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee.

pour in Read the rest of this entry »

Now Served Daily: Hot Soup

January 2nd, 2014

FoodCarousel

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