s
Pedal Chic Blog
Caroline's Story

You Ladies Are Going To Love Pedal Chic Bike Store in Greenville, SC

Fellow women pedal pushers I want to tell you my story about the amazing Pedal Chic Bike Store in Greenville, SC. However, I first have to tell you my story. I use to ride my road bikes miles before I had to have surgery on my right leg. After 45 minutes of surgery unbeknown to me my life as I knew it would be forever altered. After the first few weeks of healing and physiotherapy I thought that I would be back at my job teaching students and carrying on a hectic life with my family. However, that was not the case. My right quads started to atrophy and no physiotherapy that I tried would stop this happening. I went from doctor to doctor in the hope that something they could do would stop the atrophy. It only got worse until I had to be in a wheelchair and standing on my right leg became unbearable. There I remained for three years unable to do any form of exercise including my beloved biking. I tried different alternative methods together with my allopathic path. Nothing made my leg better. I was told that the surgery had damaged my femoral nerve and that a nerve only regenerates very slowly every year (growth in mm).

After my three-year wheelchair sentence I found a doctor and a special physiotherapist who allowed me to inch my way out of the wheelchair and to start walking with a cane. Over the next 5 years I slowly started to get better. 7 years after my initial surgery I started to ride my bike again. However, we are only talking six minutes every other day because there was too much pain if I tried every day. Over the next year I got up to 30 minutes every other day. As I rode further I found that I had issues with my tailbone and my soft tissues which in a nicer way than saying your lady parts. That is when I found Pedal Chic Bike Store in Greenville. I walked into the shop and found to my surprise that it was a bike store that deals only with women. In fact, it is the only bike shop in the USA that caters to women. As soon as I walked in and looked around I realized that the store was staffed by women. That is when I was introduced to Robin who owns the bike store. For the first time I could talk to another woman about my soft tissues issues and bike seats. Other bike stores I had tried before Robin’s were staffed by men and I did not feel comfortable talking about my seat problems with men. Anyway let’s be honest how would they know since they are the opposite sex and do not have the same soft tissue!!!! Robin explained to me that there were a number of options and that the best thing I could do was to come in for a bike fitting. This means that you get undivided attention with Robin and her mechanic. So I made a booking for the next day.

At the bike fitting the next day, I met her mechanic the only token male in the store. Scott has a great knowledge of bikes and is very professional. Robin carefully measured me for a saddle/bike seat. This entailed me seating on a gel pad so an exact measurement of my sit bones could be made. I found out from this that the saddle I was currently riding on was too wide which was causing many of my problems. We then measured range of motion, length of bike seat, distance to handlebars, width of canal in a saddle and other dimensions. Once that was done my bike was put on freewheeling blocks so I could pedal with different bike seats. Robin has a vast number of demo bike seats and according to her scientific measurements the correct saddle can be found. I was there for a while as different bike seats were tried. Robin and I talked privately about a number of things like soft tissue and tailbone issues, bike shorts and biking shoes. It was a tremendous rewarding experience.

I would say to you my fellow women pedal pushers that if you are looking for a bike store that completely understands you, Pedal Chic is your answer. Whether you ride 2 miles or 100 miles this store will completely outfit you so that you feel comfortable when riding. If you don’t live near them use the website (pedalchic.com) or contact Robin and her friendly staff by phone (864-242-2442).

 See you on the trail!!!!!!

You Can Ride!

You Can Ride!

 

Frequently, I hear from women that come into our shop

 
“I’m not really a cyclist”
“I’m not really strong enough to ride in a group”
“Surely , I’m not as strong as everyone else”
“I don’t want to hold anyone up”
 

For this and many other reasons, our staff decided to host the Pedal Chic Summer Training Team.  We want to provide a fun, motivating and encouraging training environment to build your confidence on the bike.  We all have different goals – to join a charity ride, to enter a gran fondo, learn to ride on the road, increase our skills, etc.  Learning the basics of riding, handling, understanding your pace, nutrition while riding and finding a riding buddy make the journey so much more fun! 

 Consider joining us … if you do not live in Greenville, but would like some encouragement or have any questions please reach out to me at info@pedalchic.com.  We would love to help you discover the joy of riding and transform your life by bike!

Best to you!

Robin     Founder/CEO Pedal Chic

 

 

Be good to YOU…It’s Not just okay, It’s Imperative
 
I know - another one of “those” messages.  Everyone always telling us that as women we need to make ourselves a priority.  But in reality it is difficult.  And I am the world’s worst offender.  As a single mom with three kids and owning a business - “me time”?  Seriously?  And I’m a huge multi-tasker.  The thought of sitting down to get my nails done makes me nervous and seems like a huge waste of time and money.  But that’s just me…now, planting my yard full of flowers or going on a long ride - that heals my soul.  But when I get home, I’m exhausted.  I need to feed the kids, do laundry, work more…I always feel the need to work more. 
But bear with me …  
My first job out of college was as a flight attendant.  The required PA message states upon losing cabin pressure when the masks fall from the overhead panel one should place the mask over yourself first, and then assist those near you.  Even the children.  The reason for this is that when cabin pressure is lost, the oxygen levels can change very fast and one can quickly lose consciousness.  You don’t feel a thing.  So the seemingly selfish act of taking care of yourself first now makes sense.  You can’t help your child next to you if you’re passed out…
When my kids were little, sometimes they would say, “Please mommy, go on a run.  You’re nicer after.”  And I was.  The stress was relieved a bit.  The problems in my mind seem to be a little less daunting.  Running or biking with a friend was/is even better.  We share stories and our lives.  We build stronger bodies and stronger spirits.  I
It is difficult in our crazy, hectic, busy lives to remember to make time for ourselves.  Or to even justify the time and expense.  A few days ago I finally went for a long overdue haircut and color.  I felt sorry for my stylist because I sat in her chair, talked a blue streak and cried my eyes out.  I was super stressed and just sitting down and being quiet (well, she was quiet….) released something.  Then, it healed me in some small way. I looked so much better and felt better about me.  The next day I actually took some time off work on a Saturday afternoon, in our busy season no less, and went out to lunch and a bike ride with my son.  It was awesome.  We talked and laughed and connected.  I remember why I do what I do.  And I remember that I do it because I truly believe lives can be transformed by getting out on a bike - I also work hard for my kids and … for me.
You are good enough.  You are valuable, worthy and loved.  Love yourself, take time for yourself.  It will make you a better you for those you work so hard to be there for…you have permission.  
 -Robin
(photo, Robin enjoying the day with her son Max) 
A Note From Robin - Interbike Recap


A Note From Robin:

Interbike 2015 was probably the most valuable and productive show I have been to in the years of shop ownership. As a Women's-Centric bike shop, it was thrilling to see so many new products that will appeal to women not only from a fashion/fit perspective, but a technological perspective.


Attending Interbike was important to me for a variety of reasons:

  • This business is about relationships - over the years, we become like family.  It's good to connect.
  • Connect with vendors
  • Educational Seminars
  • Connect with other retailers - share ideas, growth opportunities, frustrations and successes
  • Finding new products!

I had a list of things to accomplish which was hard to do in such a short time, but got my checklist complete!  Went to a great Bike Fit Symposium and learned a great deal.  Found a great new fitting system for our shop and, as we sell many, many saddles, got the Switchit from Bike Fit to make the process easier!  Found a great new system for measuring sit bones which we needed... love the new technology for measuring power and indoor training.  Loved the new superbones from Saris.  Finally a trunk rack that is easy to install and locks!!

Trends!

Clearly, the commuting/urban bike lifestyle is a growing trend as we discovered many new products to make this lifestyle easier and more fashionable such as:

  1. Club Ride urban apparel - always a winner and adding great options for the urban cyclist.
  2. Revo Lights
  3. Linka Auto-Unlocking Smart Lock
  4. Colorful and functional commuter bags
  5. COLOR!  Love the Knog "pop" lights
  6. Beautiful color in bikes with Fuji, Breezer, Jamis, Linus and Bianchi

Women's Market!

  1. I'm biased, but very excited to see the growth in all the products for women - the selection this year was so exciting and refreshing.
  2. Lots of beautiful styles and COLOR!  Especially colorful bike capri's with an integrated chamois from LiftCycleWear.  Tonik takes in consideration all body types and the designs are wonderful.  Love what Sugoi is doing for kits for women.  So many great products - will be blogging about in the coming days.
  3. Great to see the Women's Collective area sponsored by Interbike.  The seminars they held were mostly standing room only which solidifies the need for attention to this growing demographic.

My favorite part was the Awards Night - grateful to Interbike for providing such an elegant evening to celebrate not just the athletes, but also Independent Bike Dealers that work countless hours on a passion type business.  It was such an honor to win, but also wonderful to be in the company of others working to provide excellence in all regards and to be the best!

Product Highlight - Chamois Panties!

Chamois Panties Product Highlight

At Pedal Chic we strive to stay on the cutting edge of all products and trends for the women’s market. We love our new find - the Urbanista Chamois Panties! They come in multiple stylish prints and offer maximum comfort for commuter or recreational rides. These panties are moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, quick drying and have full saddle support. They come in two styles – The Brigitte and The Daisy. The Brigitte is more of a regular panty cut with elastic around the leg and stomach area for fuller coverage and support, while the Daisy is more of a boy cut with no elastic around the leg. All styles are available in our Greenville and Nashville stores, and online!

Life's a Bike - A Guest Post by Reba Campbell
When I made an impulse purchase of a shiny yellow bike during a recent trip to Greenville, I had no idea how much I'd learn from those 30 pounds of metal. Just to be clear, this isn’t some fancy multi-speed bike that requires special shoes, flashing LED lights and an expensive water bottle. Think Pee Wee Herman on his cruiser not Lance Armstrong speeding through France.
 
Swamp Rabbit Trail
I'd bought the bike after spending two afternoons in Greenville riding the Swamp Rabbit Trail on a rented bike that was a perfect fit for my small frame. The trail is a converted rail bed that runs nine miles between downtown Greenville and Travelers Rest. It's a ride peaceful with scenery as diverse as the back of industrial buildings to the rolling campus of Furman.

Curiosity about the bike I'd enjoyed riding led me to ask the folks at the rental shop about it. The shop, with the cool name of Pedal Chic, focuses on bikes and equipment for just for women. The sales people and the owner were willing to give me lots of help, time and insight, even though I had made it clear I wasn’t in the market to buy, just learn.

Pedal Chic in Greenville
was particularly drawn to the shiny yellow one that stood out among the more high-end racing and mountain bikes. The curves of the slanted center bar screamed girl power, and the seat held me like it was made for me. I test rode that one and several others but kept coming back to that yellow one. The practical side of me kept thinking this is like buying a pair of shoes - don’t buy the sassy cute wedges even if they don’t quite fit just because you like the color.

I learned from the shop’s owner that this yellow bike’s frame is slightly smaller than a typical woman’s bike. Perfect for someone whose driver’s license fibs that I’m five feet tall.

The petite size sealed the deal. I knew that bike was meant for me. Fortunately, the bike fit in my convertible with the top down, so I headed back to Columbia with a huge smile on my face and my new yellow bike wedged into the back seat.
The ride home

After riding this bike almost daily for two months now, I've been pleasantly surprised to learn several things:

 



1 – Don’t’ avoid the hills. Yes, they require a climb. But life is a climb and, just as with any challenge, there are different ways to approach the climb using gears, pace and speed. I've decided there's no disgrace in having to walk the bike up a particularly long or steep hill. I just start at the bottom with a slow steady pace, deep breaths and an eye on the next few feet in front of me.

 


2 – Slow down and enjoy the ride. Riding a bike allows a more intimate experience with what’s around me at that moment. I can smell the cut grass longer. I can differentiate the sounds of cicadas, crickets and birds. I stop and experience things I would never have slowed for from a car…ducks crossing a road toward a pond, an impromptu prayer vigil at the State House after the Charleston shootings. I didn't just watch those happen, I experienced them. I didn't fly by them in a car. 

Taking a breather at Litchfield
This yellow bike has showed me a whole new way to slow down and love the beach. When riding my bike, the salt air smells saltier and the crunch of shells under the tires feels crunchier than they do on foot. It's not about speed when riding on the beach. It's about  negotiating around the various types of packed sand and gullies from the tide or watching the egrets dip in the water for food.

3 – It’s OK to ask for help. The first time I tried to take the bike somewhere I wedged it in the back of my car. After arriving at my destination and struggling to get the bike out without getting grease all over the seats, I realized the chain had become dislodged. I had no idea how to re-string the chain onto that complicated looking gear thingie. 

 



A guy unloading his bike asked if I needed help. I quickly told him I was fine. Ten minutes later, I realized I wasn't fine and didn't have a clue what I was doing. I forced the bike back into the car and drove back to the bike shop where the mechanic quickly restrung the chain…and patiently showed me how to do it myself next time.

 


4 - Getting caught in the rain doesn't have to ruin a ride. The rain started as a gentle drizzle after I'd been riding for about 15 minutes. By the time I arrived back in my driveway, the drizzle had become a downpour. I wasn't cold and I wasn't in danger of a lightening strike.  I was soaked…but I knew I wouldn’t melt. The bike was wet but it would dry off. So I just enjoyed the sensation of rain blowing in my face, beating down on my helmet and rolling down my back. 

 


5 - Do the hard part first. Ride into the wind and take the hard hills at the beginning.  Just like a kid does his homework before watching tv, I found a ride to be much more enjoyable when I work hard and sweat a lot at the beginning. Then I get the downhills and wind at my back on the return trip.

Lunch view at Murrells Inlet
6 – Discover new things in familiar places. I’ve been going to Hilton Head and Litchfield all my life and never noticed all the bike trails threading behind trees alongside main roads. 

What a pleasant surprise to learn it’s possible to ride on a paved, safe trail the six miles from Litchfield to Murrells Inlet to enjoy a quiet lunch on the water. I had no idea Hilton Head is the only "gold award" bike friendly city in SC and one of the top 25 in the US. I was able to get to my shopping, dining and even yoga classes by bike on the island without getting in my car once over a weekend. Good exercise plus experiencing things I never noticed before.

Central Park Rental
On a recent trip to NYC, I rented a bike in Central Park and rode the six miles around the perimeter of the park. Admittedly Central Park isn't a daily familiar place, but I'd been there on foot enough to know I'd only seen a small part of the park. Rolling hills, a public swimming pool, a zoo and numerous music venues surprised and delighted me on this hour-long ride around the park. I never would have thought to do that without the help of my yellow bike.
7 –Trust the rack. Once I realized I'd like to travel with my bike, I grudgingly decided to invest in a bike rack. I just never trusted those things.

 


Looking at a bike rack on a car speeding past me on the highway always gave me visions of the bike coming unhooked and sailing across the interstate to slam into another speeding car. To think about mounting a rack on my precious blue convertible and trusting those straps would hold completely terrorized me. 

 


At the bike store, the sales person battened down the rack’s four straps and clips and positioned the rubber feet on the trunk. She showed me how to place the bike on the rack and strap it in with three…yes just three..buckles and a few bungee cords. I slowly drove the car home with the bike attached certain it would have flown off by the time I arrived in the driveway. But before long, I was confidently lifting the bike on the rack by myself, strapping it in, bungee cording the wheels and setting off without so much as a second thought. Not only did I learn to trust the rack, but I also learned to trust my own ability to get the bike locked in safely.

Never would have imagined 30 pounds of yellow metal could teach me so much.
Pedal Chic Blog

A Chic Pedalist's Guide to Keeping Your Bike Clean

Muc-Off Bike Cleaner and Bike Spray as well as WD-40's Foaming Wash are just some of the awesome products we use at Pedal Chic to keep our bikes looking brand new.

Alright, let’s have a show of hands - who’s cleaned their bike in the last week?  Hmmm, thought so - the simplest and quickest maintenance task is the one that’s done the least by most riders.  And yes, keeping your bike clean IS a maintenance task - it’s the best way to become familiar with your bike’s parts and components, to spot changes caused by time and usage, and to identify potential safety problems before they become serious.

Spend three minutes wiping down your frame and wheels with a few clean shop towels and our excellent Muc Off or WD-40 Bike cleaners once a week, or after any wet or muddy ride.  Look for loose parts or cracks, or anything else that seems irregular.  Pay particular attention to areas subject to sweating or energy drink spillage - both can have corrosive effects on frames and components.  It’s not necessary to floss every nook and cranny each time you clean (but some of us do anyway).  Finish off by applying a light coat of polish to the frame - Muc Off Bike Polish is excellent.  Your bike will reward you by riding better, being more reliable, lasting longer, and costing you less in maintenance. Your mechanic will appreciate it too - working on grungy bikes is not one of our favorite things.  Keep it clean!

If you have any questions about your bike and its upkeep, drop by the store or give us a call.  We love talking bikes!
2015 Bicycle Friendly Business Awards: Going for Gold

Well the paperwork got turned in, our application accepted, and we are proud to announce that Pedal Chic is now a certified League of American Bicyclists recognized Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB)!

This means joining a cutting-edge group of more than 950 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

“Visionary business leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of businesses for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their employees.”

Learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program at bikeleague.org/business.

 

 

Ok, that's the generic press release. But this award is just the start of something BIG. At Pedal Chic, we believe in the transformative power of bicycles. We have seen right here in Greenville that getting out of a four wheeled rut and onto two not only increases health and happiness, but creates community and truly changes lives. 

So, we have our sights set on Platinum Level. This year we will be brainstorming ways to grow bicycling awareness, confidence, and infrastructure (hint: we're not just talking about Greenville!). 

We also want to challenge YOU to take part in this initiative however you can:

- Make sure your place of business, university, city planners, and community leaders know about the Bicycle Friendly America program, and encourage them to apply online. 

- Contact the League of American Bicyclists for free information packets to use in promoting and spreading the word about the program.

- Become a member of the League of American Bicyclists. They exist to make biking fun, smarter and safer for everyone, so it's a wonderful organization to be a part of. 

Ride onward,

Robin

Guest Post: Georgena Terry and The Wild Goose Chase
We are honored to share this post from our good friend Georgena Terry to bring you some background on the Wild Goose Chase ride in Cambridge, Maryland May 16-17, 2015 - we are very much looking forward to this ride and meeting the amazing women who are making it happen!
.
.
The Wild Goose Chase began in 2008 as a one day ride with 300 cyclists.  I came up with the idea for the ride after cycling around Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on a Saturday morning excursion before joining the family for a cousin’s wedding.  Even though the terrain is flat as a pancake, there were times when I could barely turn the pedals because the beauty and magnificence of the area simply overwhelmed me.  
.
This was something I had to share with others.  Even better, share it while benefitting the Refuge.  Thus the Wild Goose Chase was born as a women’s ride (because the culture of a women’s ride is so supportive of all women) with the profits from the ride contributed to the Friends of Blackwater.
.
Since 2008, the ride has expanded to include two days of events -- cycling, a tent sale, exhibits, raffle and a Saturday night dinner.  The number of riders has expanded, too.  We’ve had as many as 800 cyclists and hope to have at least that many this year.
.
I’m thrilled to be working with Pedal Chic, a shop embracing the concept of a bike shop as a community for women.  Their spirit captures the essence of the Goose -- women supporting women and, in the process, helping preserve critical habitat at Blackwater.
.
Most people think of me as a bike designer, but I’m equally as passionate about protecting the environment.  The Goose is my opportunity to bring together both of these worlds.  I hope you’ll join me and other cyclists at this unique event.
.
For more information or to register, please visit:
.
- Georgena
Introducing Levi's Womens Commuter Denim!

We are thrilled to be one of the selected shops to launch Levi's Womens Commuter Denim this spring! Our first round will hit the floor this week, and you can check out the collection and preorder your favorites here now!

Any woman who has cycled for transportation has experienced this problem: women's wear is typically made without consideration of an active lifestyle. Denim fashion is a great example. Growing up, I remember the angst of ripping my flared jeans in my chain, and later the discomfort of low rise waistbands that are not so flattering while in the saddle.

Levi's Commuter Denim changes all of that. Sleek design with practical elements such as reflective accents, reinforced seams, high waisted fit and stretchy, water resistant material make these pants perfect for everyday wear. We got our own pairs yesterday and we are thrilled with the comfortable fit and sleek design.

 

 

Right now we have select pieces in the shop and the collection is online here. A limited number of pieces have been cut, so don't miss out on this limited time opportunity! Stay tuned for detailed product reviews here and on our facebook page - we're off to test the Commuter Skinny in Cityscape now!

Enjoy the Ride,

- Robin

  • Page 1 of 3
  • Page 1 of 3