Feb 19 WWW: True a Wheel at BiciCoop!

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What: This month’s Wine, Wenches & Wrenches will be at Bici Bicycle Cooperative, and we’ll be discussing the zen-like art of wheel truing! Wine and snacks will be provided by MC3. Please bring something to share with the group if you feel so inclined!

When: February 19, 2014. Snacking and socializing will begin at 6, and we’ll start the discussion around 6:30.

Where: Bici Bicycle Cooperative, 1211 28th Street South, G2, Birmingham 35205

Details: What is wheel truing? Basically, bike wheels are straight and round because of spoke tension. Normal riding causes certain spokes to losen, and in turn causes the rim to become “out of true.” This leads to less smooth riding and braking. The way to fix this is by tightening certain spokes where the wheel wobbles, and getting the wheel back in proper alignment. Wheel truing can also be used for rims that have gotten hit (like if you got hit by a car or got a bit too rad on the trials) or developed a site-specific hop. For more info, check out this article from Park Tool Co. Or watch this video:
What to bring: Feel free to bring a wheel that you feel needs truing, but we might not have time for everyone to work individually. Bici has plenty of wheels at the shop to practice on as well, which might be a wiser so you don’t mess up your own :) Also, we encourage you to bring something tasty to share if you can, but don’t worry about it if you don’t have time. 

If you’re on Facebook, RSVP here so we have enough food. Otherwise, we’ll just see you there! Email us at magiccitycyclechix (at) gmail (dot) com if you have questions.

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Road Riders: Women’s Training Races 3/2 and 3/9

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Our group last year

Who: Alabama women road cyclists

What: Team GSMR and MC3 are kicking off the season with two women’s training races on low-traffic country roads. This event is NOT about competition. It is an opportunity to discover what road racing is about, learn about team strategy, and practice skills like riding in a pace line and using the power of the group to chase down a breakaway. All levels welcome. We will have female ride leaders there to explain, guide, and encourage.

When: 1:15 p.m. on March 2 and March 9

Where: Camp Sumatanga, located 50 miles northeast of Birmingham. The course is 20 miles — 2 laps of a 10-mile loop of gently rolling hills, with course marshals stationed at intersections.

How much: $20 USA Cycling license required (1-day license available at registration).

Directions: Take I-59 north from Birmingham to exit 166. Go north on Hwy 231. 3 miles turn right on Gallant Road. 4 miles, right on Sumatanga Road. Registration is 2 miles on your right.

Contact: Bill Seitz, 205-222-2663; weseitz@hotmail.com

***Proceeds benefit MC3!***

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DECEMBER 19: Holiday Stress Buster at Sweat & Gears

Free MC3 Event! Sweat & Gears Spin Class

THURSDAY DECEMBER 19

Join us next Thursday, December 19, as we sweat off the holiday stress with a FREE spin class at Birmingham’s new indoor cycling studio! Housed in the former Iron Tribe Homewood gym, Sweat & Gears features hi-tech spin bikes equipped with power meters and heart rate monitor sensors (BYO ANT+ chest strap). “Compete” with the class or lose yourself in the video of the open road unfolding before you on the big screen.

6 p.m. Mingling and snacks (changing rooms available)

6:30 p.m. Spin class begins (45-minutes. Bring water!)

7:15 Class ends. Change clothes and head next door for…

7:30-ish Apres-spin margaritas and dinner at Little Donkey (at your cost)

There are only 29 spots available for this class. The class is posted on the Sweat & Gears website, but if you want to attend you need to sign up to reserve your spot. The studio offers all first timers 3 free classes so you will not be charged. Sign up now via the link below!
Sign up for the Sweat & Gears MC3 Event

Sweat & Gears Studio, 2809 Central Ave., Homewood, AL 35209

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Holiday Mixer

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You are cordially invited to the Magic City Cycle Chix Ladies’ Holiday Mixer! This is an opportunity to meet and drink with fellow cycling ladies at Cahaba Brewery, and try your hand at skeeball. We might even have a skeeball tournament! Cantina On Wheels will be on site for all of your dining needs.

Please consider joining the fabulous cycling chix, and Happy Holidays from MC3!

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Nov 8-9: Wine, Wenches & Wrenches AND Liv/Giant Demo Bikes!

The Liv/Giant demo truck is coming to Birmingham, and it’s filled with the 2014 line of women’s specific road and mountain bikes! We’re welcoming them with a special Wine, Wenches & Wrenches event at Bob’s Bikes in Homewood on Friday (Nov 8) and a MTB mini-clinic and instructor-coached ride on Saturday (Nov 9). The Liv/Giant truck will let you take them out for a spin—road bikes on Friday and mountain bikes on Saturday. (More details below.)

If you’ve never been to a Wine, Wenches & Wrenches event, it is our signature mashup of happy hour + seminar. Our goal is to lower the barriers that prevent women from riding bikes, and show you all the different ways to plug into the local cycling community. You’ll learn mechanical skills or meet a guest-speaker a local organization that has something to do with cycling. As with all MC3 events, it’s hosted by women, for women. (Though we welcome well-behaved dudes on occasions, including this one.). In short, it’s a great way to learn something new, sip and schmooze with your friends, and meet other women who ride. Best of all, it’s free! Compliments of our sponsors (This month: Bob’s!)

For this month’s WWW, Teresa Boyle from Liv/Giant will give a little clinic on the brand’s 3F philosophy: Fit, Form, and Function. You will learn how to pick the best bike for your riding style and ability and how to minimize aches and pains with minor adjustments that can be made to any bike. She’ll talk about women-specific bike design (today it means way more than “shrink it and pink it”) and share highlights from the new 2014 line. One we’re excited about? The new Lust, the first women-specific full-suspension bike with 27.5-inch (aka 650b aka “tweener”) wheels. The deets:

Women’s Road Bike Demo
What: Test-ride a road bike from the 2014 line, no charge
When: Friday, November 8, 12-6 p.m.
Where: Bob’s Bikes, 205-879-2258, 1944 28th Ave. S. Homewood, Ala.
What to bring: Helmet (required!), bike shoes (if you have ‘em), credit card and driver’s license (collateral while you have the bike)
Why: Because the more bikes you try, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to choose one. And: It’s fun. And: There’s swag.

Wine, Wenches & Wrenches with Liv/Giant
What: Sip, socialize, and learn what women-specific fit really means
When: Friday, November 8, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Bob’s Bikes (see above)
What to bring: A beverage or snack to share (Optional! Bob’s is providing libations and hors d’oeuvres)
Why: Do you really need an excuse for wine and bikes?

Women’s Mountain Bike Demo Day
What: Test-ride a mountain bike on Oak Mountain’s award-winning singletrack trails
When: Saturday, Nov 9, 8:30-3 p.m.
Where: Oak Mountain State Park, South Trailhead (by the BUMP shed)
What to bring: Helmet (required), bike shoes (if you have ‘em) or other close-toed shoes, credit card and driver’s license
Why: Because you can’t really size up a fat-tire ride that well by jumping curbs in a parking lot. You need to get those tires in the dirt!

Women’s Mountain Bike Mini-Clinic
What: IMBA-certified instructor Kim Cross and Liv/Giant instructor Teresa Boyle will lead a short clinic and group ride designed to hone your bike-handing skills and build confidence on the trail. First we’ll practice fundamental skills drills in a soft, grassy field, then take you on the trails to let you apply those skills. These include cornering, bike/body separation, riding over logs/roots/rocks, and more. All levels welcome. No chick left behind!
When: Saturday, Nov 9, 3 p.m. (BYO bike. If you wish to use a Liv/Giant demo bike for the clinic, reserve one by contacting Kim Cross! Otherwise, it’s first-come, first-served.)
Where: Oak Mountain State Park, South Trailhead
What to bring: Helmet (required), water, sense of humor, eagerness to learn
Why: Because even experienced riders can refine their ride. A little coaching goes a long way in building comfort and confidence on the bike.
NOTE: The clinic is BYO bike. If you wish to borrow a Liv/Giant bike for the clinic, YOU MUST RESERVE ONE to guarantee there will be a bike the right size for you. There are a limited number of bikes available. Email kimhcross (at) yahoo (dot) com to reserve one in advance. Otherwise, on Saturday, it’s first-come, first-served!

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Fall is here… What do I wear???

As the weather starts to cool down and light disappears earlier each day, I start getting questions from new cyclists (and new to cold weather cyclists) about what to wear.  Here is a primer and a few links to get you started.

I’ll start with the most versatile and lower cost things to add to your cycling bag as we ease into the fall and winter.

  • Long fingered gloves.  Keeping those fingers protected goes a long way toward comfort on a chilly day
  • Arm warmers.  Great for those days when the ride starts chilly but ends warmer.
  • Wind breaker.  One with detachable sleeves gives you even more flexibility
  • Wool socks.  Keep those feet warm.
  • Toe covers.  Those fancy cycling shoes are well ventilated, but that means they’re not warm!
  • Knee warmers.  Warm knees are happy knees!
  • Grocery bags.  It sounds crazy.  If it’s cold and you don’t have anything to protect your feet, grocery bags over your socks (but under the shoes) will keep that cold wind from freezing your tootsies!

Bicycling Magazine has a pretty cool “What should I wear” tool here. It is a good guide for those days you just aren’t sure what to pull out of the cold weather stash.

I recommend taking more clothing than you think you’ll need to ride start.  I keep a box with cold weather essentials in my car all fall and winter long.  Not only has this saved my bacon a few times, it has also allowed me to help out a fellow cyclist.

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MC3 3rd Annual Mulberry Gap Trip

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Ladies! It’s time for the 3rd annual MC3 Mulberry Gap trip: Sept. 13-15. This women-run mountain-bike retreat in the mountains of North Georgia offers bunk-style cabins, home-cooked meals, hot showers, and ride-in-ride-out access to the Pinhoti trail system. This will be our third annual fall trip, and spaces are limited, so book soon. Here’s the plan:

Friday: We’ll leave Birmingham around 9 AM or so to caravan and stop in Chattanooga to ride the Enterprise trails. After a 2-3 hour ride of smooth, non-technical singletrack on rolling hills, we’ll continue towards Mulberry Gap in Ellijay, Georgia, and arrive in time for dinner home-cooked by our hosts and camaraderie.

Saturday: After a big breakfast, we’ll get in a full day of riding: about 18 miles and several hours; riding with a bigger group increases photo ops and regrouping opportunities, so plan to be out for a while and bring a good water bladder/backpack for water and granola bars. Most likely we’ll do Bear Creek, Pinhoti 1 and Pinhoti 2. Get ready for screaming legs on the 5-mile fire road climb to the Bear Creek trailhead (or just take a shuttle, courtesy of Mulberry Gap) followed by screaming and squealing fun on the well-deserved downhills. There will be a bit more climbing coming your way, but just pace yourself and marvel in the beauty of the North Georgia mountains. The trails are suitable for ‘advanced beginner’ and up; if you’ve been to one of our clinics, you are well equipped to handle anything that the trails will throw your way. When we’re done, there are hot showers, hot tubs, and a hearty dinner awaiting us back at camp. BYO beverage for enjoying around the fire pit.

Sunday: This morning we’ll have time for a different, shorter loop, after which we’ll shower and make our way back to Birmingham.

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Details:

Accommodations: We’ll share rustic, bunk-style cabins that sleep 4 to 6. Prices including breakfast and dinner, are $85/night. Camping along a pretty stream is $40/night, including breakfast and dinner. You must bring your own camping gear.

Book now: To reserve your spot, you MUST call in a credit card to pay for your first night (706-698-2865). You can pay the remaining balance upon arrival and check-in. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE SPOTS WITHOUT PRE-PAYMENT. If you must cancel, they will offer a credit that can be used on a future trip within the next 3 months.

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