Changes at Duke’s Cycle

Dear Friends,

some of you may have already heard the news through the grapevine that Gary Duke is going to retire near the end of February of this year. This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make for Gary, who has dedicated his life to carrying on his family’s business and legacy. As a result, Duke’s Cycle as you have come to know it, will be going through a transition.

We have had an incredible run, 105 years to be exact. Gary and the rest of the Duke’s family and staff are so grateful to all of you who have supported Duke’s Cycle over the years, particularly during our post-fire rebuild. We value the many great and meaningful relationships that we have forged under our roof and out in the community.

While Duke’s Cycle may no longer reside at 625 Queen Street West after February, we are excited to announce that another cycling retailer whose values and mission align very closely with our own will be taking over the space and our core staff members will continue along with them. Many of the same friendly faces that you have come to know will remain here to serve you.

We are not able to disclose more details at this time, but we promise to keep you posted as soon as there is more information to share. In the meantime, our liquidation sale is happening now until the end of February. Please call or visit the shop for details.

Our sincerest thanks,

Gary Duke and the Duke’s Cycle Team

For general questions, please contact: [email protected]

For media inquiries: [email protected]

Get Yer Gravel On!

Gravel Information night, March 28. Brought to you by  Duke’s Cycle, Cannondale and Substance Projects.

Wondering about the gravel bike hype?  Racing Gravel events this year?b Join us for a fun evening on March 28  to  talk about all things gravel!  Topics include choosing a gravel bike,  gravel events,  gravel parts, gravel rides plus take away handy tips on gravel bike retrofits,  gravel bike setup and preparing for a gravel event.

S how and tell on the full line-up of Cannondale SE gravel bikes,  see the just-released gravel bikes from Trek and Ibis .

Dan Marshall  from Substance Events will be on hand to talk about the Eager Beaver and El Bandito races, and what it takes to finish and succeed at these fun gravel events! Register for the series in-store and get something cool from Fabric .

Refreshments- included.  Admission- free!

RSVP HERE er e-mail [email protected], subject line “Gravel Info Nite RSVP”.

IBIS Demo Days July 15 & 16 2017

If you’ve ever been curious about Ibis mountain bikes, come see what makes Ibis riders fans for life! Duke’s Cycle is bringing you two great opportunities to try a few models out on the trails:

Location 1: Saturday July 15, 12pm -6 pm Kelso Conservation Area, Upper Parking Lot

Location 1:  Sunday July 16, 10 am – 6pm Don Valley Trails, Redway Road Loblaws trailhead

What you need: helmet, ID (credit card + drivers license or government photo ID).

The demo is free ( of course(!) but park admission is required at Kelso. details at: http:// entrance-fees

If you are already a happy Ibis owner, come on out to say hello! RSVP on our facebook event page below and check back for updates – list of models and sizes!

Duke’s Cycle 2014 Shop Ride Program

It’s time to start the Duke’s Cycle Shop Ride Program for the summer cycling season. Hosted and guided by Duke’s Cycle Staff and members of our Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Race Team .

Duke’s Shop Rides are meant to encourage our customers to get out and experience the joys of riding in a safe social and supportive environment. Shop rides typically attract riders of all skill and fitness levels and as such are non competitive and no drop.  These rides are about fun and learning -  as such they are a great opportunity for team members to connect with the larger riding community and share enthusiasm, skills and expertise.

Starting on Sunday, June 1st, we’ll be offering a series Duke’s Cycle Shop Rides with options for both Road and Off-Road participation.

Sunday Morning Road Rides, 8:45 am (Ride Leaves at 9:00am)

Every Sunday morning – weather permitting. These rides will start and end at Duke’s Cycle (625 Queen Street West) and will be planned around a 2 hour ride. It is our intention to make these rides a social opportunity as well a chance to work on fitness and group road riding technique.

Our Roster of Road Ride Leaders include:

  • Michael Cranwell
  • Dave Chong, Road Team Director
  • Roderick Grant, Road Team Director
  • Members of the Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Road Squad
  • Special Guests

Sunday Morning MTB Rides, 8:45am (Ride Leaves at 9:00am)

Every Sunday Morning – weather and trail conditions permitting. These rides will be starting at the Loblaws Parking Lot entrance to the Don Valley MTB Trails (Redway Road). Pace will be fun and social, with a chance to work on fitness and off-road riding techniques.

Our Roster of MTB Ride Leaders include:

  • Lisa Stockus
  • Michael Cranwell
  • Members of the Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs MTB Squad
  • Special Guests & Local Reps

Be sure to checkout and “ LIKE ” our Duke’s Cycle Facebook page for all the latest Duke’s Cycle Shop Ride updates, details, times, locations, etc.

Should you have any questions… or wish to join our Ride EMail List , please send a note to [email protected] and use “ Shop Rides ” in the title.

BTW: Helmets are mandatory, no exceptions. And please ensure that your bike is in good working condition (yeah… we can help with that)

A long road back…

Written by Andrew Ryan, Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Race Team Member

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in the Opus Spring Epic 8 hour relay race as a member of a four man team. I say fortunate as unlike the other members of the Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Mountain Bike Race Team, I ride with a disability. Being able to ride in the 8 Hour relay is kind of a big deal as I have not been able to participate in cycling events for half a decade.

A little background regarding to my situation. Five years ago I was a very promising member of the LapDogs race team and was leading my category in the Ontario Cup Mountain Bike series when things took a sudden turn. I was commuting home from work by bike when I was struck by a driver who ran a red light, dragging and then throwing me headfirst into a curb with considerable force. My bike racing career ended right there.

I sustained a traumatic brain injury, nerve damage to my right side as well as plenty bruises and road rash. My helmet was severely damaged and my bike was destroyed. At the time I was unaware of just how badly I had been injured and a few weeks later attempted to return to work and riding. I very quickly realized all was not well and things were not improving both physically and cognitively as I had been told they should. I was told to stop exercise and work and to just focus on my rehabilitation program as the severe fatigue, inability to concentrate, speech and memory difficulties among other issues I was experiencing was a result of a serious brain injury. It was at this time I started a cognitive and physical rehabilitation program through the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and other medical practitioners that still continues to this day.

Unable to ride and having invested so much time and energy into the Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Race Team I still wanted to give back and stay a part of the team so I caught a ride to some of the remaining events and took pictures of the racers. In the state I was in that alone was very demanding and exhausting, it took me days to recover from such outings and I remembered little of what I did those days. Being forced to be sedentary I got out of shape and put on a great deal weight within a year despite watching what I ate. I was not a fan of that and once I got medical clearance to exercise I set a goal to get back into “race shape”. That took a while.

Fast forward four years to Fall 2013 and I set a goal to return to the Duke’s/ Lapdogs Race Team in whatever capacity my health would allow. I made some changes to my bikes to accommodate some of my physical limitations and discomfort issues. A Pro bike fit at Duke’s Cycle is a must for anyone experiencing discomfort on the bike. I also participated in the LapDogs Boot Camp (aka: the spin class from hell) to get as strong as possible for what lay ahead and dropped forty pounds along the way. It was here that race team member Dan Bandurka suggested that I join him and register a team for the Spring 8 hour race. I was cautious and made Dan aware of my limitations, he was very understanding and let me know that all that was expected of me was to have fun. We registered a four man team for the event with myself, Dan, Adam Zietara, and David Biancolin.

Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs team members Lenka Branichova and Alex Sanchez gave me a ride to the event as I am only able to drive short distances. We ended up getting stuck on highway 400 for an hour due to an accident ahead of us, this almost caused us not to arrive in time for the start of the relay. Luckily Adam took a different route to Mansfield, picked up our team’s registration and took care of the first two laps allowing myself, Dan and David to arrive and get ready. I was the last rider on our rotation allowing the field to be spread out so that I would not have to deal with any crowded trails or aggressive riders.

I ran into a great number of racers from other teams who had not seen me in years but know of my situation, all were very glad to see me and I think I got more hugs than another day on record. The cycling community in Ontario is a great thing filled with many thoughtful people.

I actually have very little memory of my first lap, I know I rode very carefully and was courteous to everyone I came across as that is what I do. My primary concern was to be safe, and upon completing the lap with safety in mind I learned that we were in first place. And I was not as slow as I had anticipated, in fact I was not too far off of my teammate’s times. I completed a second lap and then needed a nap back at the team tent. Due to fatigue issues I rely on medication and nap nearly every afternoon and had been making sure to get extra sleep for several days prior to the relay. The relay format works well for me as I am able to stop and rest as needed.

By the time I got up to do my third lap we were firmly entrenched in first place with a considerable lead over everyone else in our category. Again and Adam repeated it that I “just take it easy and be safe out there”, and that is what I did and cheered on the solo riders as I made my way around the course. At the end of the day we had time for one final lap and I finished it just a few minutes before the 6:30pm deadline allowing us to complete an impressive 16 laps in 08:26:27.

My first mountain bike race back after years of rehabilitation ended with a win for our team. I am very thankful to have ridden with my teammates both for their understanding and for their speed of course. At the awards ceremony afterwards Sean Ruppel of Chico Racing gave me a big hug and told me how “damn happy” he was to see me back and winning again, that meant a lot. I am looking forward to future events and hopefully I get a chance to race with the same guys again as we made a solid team.

I then spent the next three days in a “sleep-coma” recovering but it was certainly worth all of the effort. I want to make sure I get a big thank you out to my amazing and supportive wife Jennifer and our kids, everyone on the LapDogs Cycling Club, at Duke’s Cycle, and of course Toronto Rehab for all of their support and help over years as I could not do this alone.

It is good to be back racing with the pack even if a little slower than before.

A.F. Ryan

A Cycling Coach? …For Me? …Really?

Written by Barry Cox, Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Race Team Member

My third season on the Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs mountain bike race team is starting to kick into high gear.  I’ve mountain biked for over a decade and for much of that time have been seen near the back of the field in weekly race series and the occasional citizen event.  However, as anyone who has read my previous pieces on this blog may recall, I took being invited to join the Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs in 2012 as an opportunity to start a structured training plan and improve my fitness generally.

The difficulty was, however, that I had never trained for a sport before and frankly had no idea what I was doing.   I read a couple of books on training, put together a half-assed workout schedule and went at it.   And it was pretty much an unmitigated disaster.   I didn’t know about the importance of taking it easy every few weeks, did too much tempo riding, and not enough high-end workouts.   As a result, my fitness peaked in mid-April and began a low, slow downhill slide for the rest of the season.   I remember speaking to one of my more experienced team-mates, a veteran Expert-level rider about this.   His response really surprised me.  “Barry”, head said, “you seem really motivated to train hard and do well.  You should seriously consider working with a coach”.

My reaction:   A coach?  For me?   Really?

I had always considered coaches as a resource for pro and elite-level riders, not slightly flabby 40-something weekend warriors like me.  It was just something I had not considered.   But it got me thinking.   Mountain biking (and cycling in general) is a huge part of who I am.  It is how I stay in some semblance of shape, how I de-stress, and basically the activity that a large part. Of my social life revolves around.  And now I am showing up to O’CUPs with the logo of one of the city’s most established bicycle stores on my jersey.   Don’t I owe it to myself, the team and my sponsors to be the best rider I can be?

I asked around a bit and learned that many of my team mates and competitors were working with coaches too.   I spoke to a number of them and found out what they liked, and didn’t like, and how it had helped them.  I made a short list of front runners, picked up the phone, and made some calls.   About a week later, I became a client of Smart Athlete, run by pro-level mountainbiker, certified kinesiologist and all around good guy Peter Glassford .   That was 18 months ago and I have not looked back.

The first thing Peter and I did was went on a ride.   No one had ever told me how to ride a mountain bike – I just figured it out on my own.  In an hour, Peter was able to identify three or four things I could tweak in my riding style to get me going faster in the Single-track without improving my fitness.   Win!

The way things work is that I give Peter a list of the races I want to do, I prioritize them in how important they are to me, and I log onto a website which gives me a calendar of workouts.   I do the workouts (it’s not hard for me – I commute on my bike from Oakville to Toronto 2-3 days a week so I do my intervals or whatever has been cooked up for me on the way to or from work).     I upload the data from my Garmin, along with any feedback I have from the workout, to the website and Peter can see whether I am doing things right, and can make suggestions.  I have a busy week at work and can’t fit all my workouts in?   No problem.  I tell Peter and the schedule gets adjusted….it’s not like I’m training for the Olympics here, folks.   Every few weeks, I do a 20 minute threshold test on my trainer and upload the data to the website, and we can see whether I am improving and adjust my workout schedule accordingly.   If I have questions, I email and generally have a response within the hour.  Data from races also gets uploaded, studied by “Coach Peter” ( as my 7 year old son calls him) and feedback/encouragement is provided.

And you know what?  It works.   As I am paying good money (more on that in a second) for a coach, I obviously follow his workouts or suggestions.   And Peter is aware of the constraints on my schedule (I am a litigation lawyer and occasionally, just occasionally, work gets in the way of riding).   My fitness has improved by leaps and bounds, I am 20lb lighter, I can ride my bike faster, and have even landed on the podium at a couple of smaller races.

But it’s not just my fitness that has improved.   Peter has also provided me, like all his clients, with a host of information on nutrition, bike skills, mental preparation and race strategy.   To be honest, I have not adopted absolutely all of his suggestions (no, Peter, I am not giving up beer any time soon) but have incorporated a good many into my lifestyle (ie a really tasty craft beer after a tough race rather than several mediocre beers before) and have found that I sleep better, have more energy, am leaner and most importantly, feel physically better and stronger than I ever have in my life.

And the cost of this?   Well, about what a membership at a decent health club would cost.   And I get so much more benefit out of this.   Having a cycling coach is definitely a luxury and I am fortunate enough that it is one within my means.   But it has benefited me in so many ways… both on the trail and off it.

If you want to see what I am talking about, on May 8 at 7:30pm, Duke’s Cycle is hosting a session at the store on endurance training for busy people , which Coach Peter is presenting.   If you are a racer, considering becoming one, or just want to improve your fitness, I strongly recommend you check it out.

For more information about Peter Glassford, please check out his website:

A LapDog does 24hour Event in the Old Pueblo

Written by Miro Zgavc, Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDog Race Team Member.

2014 is a strange brew for me. I’m not necessarily you’re typical rider. In fact you could make an argument that a guy my size shouldn’t be on a bike at all, let alone be an endurance rider. Yet I found myself on a race team at the invitation of Barry Cox and other Lapdogs after riding 2013 flying the Orange and Black. You probably passed me while I was chugging along to my own beat somewhere in 8h solo single speed bliss… or hell, depends on the angle of the grade you caught me on.

One thing is for certain. I’ve always wanted to ride in Arizona. I’ve always enjoyed the heat, and something about riding in the desert appealed to so much. With my wanderlust in full force it lead to a Google search for “24h race Arizona” turning up Old Pueblo and the video’s that everyone seems to enjoy making about it.

But before that happened, I used to have a Kona Big Unit. Truth be told, I liked my Big Unit but never really did like the way it rode, so I bought myself a new frame and hung my Big Unit on a wall mount and posted the frame up on Pinkbike for what was possibly, 7-8 months till I got a random email asking me about the frame. To shorten the story, I ended up meeting a group of people in Las Vegas after a somewhat comedic attempt to ship the frame for about 2 months. It started with a Facebook invite, followed by Strava stalking, followed by pictures in my feed about riding in the desert. I ended up sending a message to my new Pinkbike buddy as a joke. “Hey you interested in doing Old Pueblo?” which turned into “If you put together a 4 man single speed team, I’ll be your 4th”. I believe it only took him 2 days to hold up that end of the agreement. I then went and spent all of my brownie points pleading my case to my incredibly understanding, beautiful, intelligent, and loving wife about going to a race on Valentine’s day weekend, who then allowed me to purchase the ticket and head to Las Vegas for the race.

… and off I went.

After a warm up session just outside Vegas and some amazing burritos, the 4 of us and our 1 support crew packed up into a 15 person van along with bikes, gear, food, and set off for Arizona to become a part of 24h Town.

We arrived late Thursday night. Arrived is a loose term but to sum it up, we slept out in the middle of nowhere in the Arizona desert because we got lost on our way to Willow Spring Ranch. Once the sun came up we corrected and arrived in an already packed 24h Town.

We unpacked and toured around for a bit, then put together the bikes for a relaxed recon lap to see what we were up against for the next 24h. Also being on a Singlespeed and only knowing what I saw in videos I needed a gear check to make sure I was in something I could ride for the duration of the event. I went with 34:18, seemed to work well. It also worked well because I didn’t have to change anything out from the gearing I run up here.

After a beer recon lap that included a grave site, an abandoned ranch, A-10s flying low altitude, cacti that looked like they had been spawned from hell, and warnings that because it’s been so warm rattle snakes would be out on the course… I knew this was going to be an interesting 24h regardless of how well I rode.

A little about the course:

The start of the course has what’s affectionately known as “The Bitches”. They’re a series of 5 gully dip and climbs that are not aerobically hard, and you get a huge amount of speed heading into them. What makes them difficult is the complete randomness of the ruts, wash berms, and soft gravel that greet you when you get to speed on the uphill. It is treacherous at speed, and at around 2am it claimed one poor soul that had to be airlifted out by helicopter.

Each one has its own distinctive signature with the 4th and 5th being the worst. On both of these there is a berm that you will cross. At speed this will launch you into the air and put you nose first into the hillside, at night they’re marked off with flashing lights to allow people to avoid them. There is also a ride around this section which I did take twice. It adds about 5 minutes to your overall time, but is quite possibly one of the most fun and flowing single track sections that I’ve ridden.

The rest of the course is a mix of small climbs with absolutely stunning views, amazing single track. Lots of rocks and sudden 1m elevation changes will keep you busy during your time out on the course. The final grind out of the course is a 5km steady uphill through single track. Look for the graveyard to let you know you’re almost done.

The final section gives you an option of the rock drop, or the ride around. The rock drop is the fastest option. The ride around is almost 5 minutes of extra time tacked onto your lap for no reason.

The rock drop on the other hand looks fairly simple from the ground or anywhere you look at it, till you’re on a bike at the top. Its deceptively steep and fast, but anyone should be able to ride it. If you’ve ridden at Joyride, this is a piece of cake and a quick sprint to the finish. After the overnight drive and beer lap in the afternoon we recovered on steak tip sandwiches and unlimited Skratch refills to hydrate. The majority of us crashed out under the clear skies and full moon in the middle of the Arizona desert as the sun went down at around 5pm leaving us plenty of night to sleep.

Morning comes, bikes prepped, gear on… 400m LeMans start to the race along with 500 riders. Team captain takes first lap, I decide 3rd is where I want to ride.

Let’s Do This:

Lap 1 felt really good. Bike was in great condition, and I was keeping up with a pack of geared riders on the flats, and I had a fairly strong showing through the hills and single track leaving the majority of them behind. This was until my front tire washed out before a small jump throwing my seat into my arse. I rode the last 10k out of my seat refusing to let my problem have any mental effect on me. On my way through 24h town someone tossed me a beer and congratulated me on finishing the lap seatless, though without a seat I didn’t attempt the rockwall drop on this lap, last thing I needed was an incident there in front of a huge crowd that gathers there practically for the entire event. Seatless and already spending quite a bit on a new helmet light, I was stuck between buying a seat, or borrowing one. I remembered that Cannondale was here so I donned my LapDogs chapeau and made my way to the tent to ask for help. Cannondale came through for me by offering me a new seat to borrow along with some swag. Their mechanic (Demo Bike Guy and all-round Super Hero, Brian Davies – guy in the yellow t-shirt, pictured above) offered to fit me on the seat and install it for me while I rested, but I figured with the warm welcome I didn’t want to take more then I felt obligated for, and thanked them for saving my night.

Lap 2 saw the ride around open up. With my lights on, I left camp and started out on my lap taking the ride around. With the vast horizon being so low you can see lights everywhere. Even though you may be riding alone, you always feel you’re on one big group ride. There’s always a rider that you catch, or that catches you at night, but I never ran into anyone who wasn’t a courteous passer, or allowed for a safe and quick pass on the left.

Lap 3 started having me prep a bit for the longer climb so instead of adding 5 minutes on the go around I decided before hand to do the Bitches at night and use the flat after to recover. The bitches at this point were heavily marked off with lights and tape to avoid the more brutal areas so I was able to get through them without issue and the recovery proved to be a smart choice. The rest of the lap I had someone who just pace lined behind me. Not sure who it was, but once we got to the grind out, I heard a few shifts and then never heard from him again, I was glad he was there, the added light made my lap much easier it sucked to lose my extra light source!

It was my sleep between the 3rd and 4th lap that the helicopter showed up for the air lift out of the race. Unfortunate for the rider, I hope they were okay. The noise from the copter along with the rest of 24h town never sleeping lead to me getting minimal rest but at least I was off my feet.

Lap 4 my legs felt tired and sluggish as I rolled out of the tent. I’m not sure what happened but my 4th lap ended up being my fastest. I rode smooth, quiet, and just grit my teeth through the end climb and sailed down the rock drop at the end to the timing tent and cold beer.

Overall our team placed in 99th out of 500+ teams and 8th out of 15 teams in 4 man Single Speed division with a best held rank of 6th place at 3am. We packed up, and drove back to Vegas stopping at all the terrible places to eat (excellent recovery food providers) we could fine. Along the way home I realized that this has to be on my list of races to do every year. In my mind, it’s worth it to have a race like this under your belt before the spring season shows up.

Simply put, it reminds you to have fun, and ultimately that’s what I’m here for and why I took up cycling as a sport.

Sometimes amid the hours on the trainer, HIIT sessions, and core workouts, I remind myself, you’re doing this so you can have more fun in the summer. It’s nice to have a small bit of summer in the middle of winter just to remind you that the fun is coming and enough of a push to hang on through those Zone 5 nights, and Zone 2 days till it gets here.

On Winter Riding and The Frostbike

Written by Barry Cox, Duke’s Cycle Cannondale LapDogs Team Racer.

Photo: Philip de Vries

Since December I have been going slowly stir crazy.

Let me explain: 2013 was my second year on the Dukes/Cannondale Race Team, and after some disappointing results in my first season of serious racing, I felt the need to up my game. And up it I did! I lost 25lb, started working with a coach, got an awesome Cannondale F29 hardtail (thanks Dukes and Cannondale), did interval workouts and generally got serious about training and racing. It paid off – despite a small hiccup at the Nationals and a broken hand which kept me off the bike for a couple of weeks in the fall, I found myself steadily improving (hey, from DFL to mid-pack still counts as improvement) and even stepped onto a podium for the first time ( during the actual awards ceremony, that is).

So after taking November to ride for fun, it was time to get back to training again. Unfortunately, this coincided with the largest December snowfall since my arrival in Toronto back in 1985. Not to be deterred, I put my cyclocross bike on the trainer and put in a lot of time pedalling nowhere fast while staring at my basement wall. Hence my going stir crazy.

But there was a light at the end of the tunnel – the Frostbike Winter Mountainbike Race. This is an event put on by the Shorthills Cycling Club over Family Day Weekend. The race is run in Port Colborne on a network of trails known as the Hood, which is basically where the folks digging out the Welland Canal put all the dirt they excavated from the canal. It’s twisty, roots, rocky and technical. And when it’s covered under a foot of snow…well, it’s a hoot to ride! I have participated in the Frostbike for the past 3 years, and SHCC runs the event like clockwork.

The race itself is run in a modified time trial format, with registration capped at 100 riders. Riders go off in waves of six, and have the opportunity to ride 2 laps of an approx 10km course. Your fastest lap counts towards your result. So basically, it is like two races at once – the race against the five buddies in your start wave, for bragging rights, and the actual time trial race itself. For me, there was a third race, as Adrian, a friend of mine who has spent the past 5 years mocking me for riding a singlespeed, got his hands on a singlespeed of his own (ok, I loaned him my spare bike) so he could put his money where his mouth is and compete against me head to head.

So many of you reading this may think that doing a mountainbike race in the middle of February is, well, insane. To those people I say that there are 100 riders who showed up in Port Colborne on February 16 who would beg to differ. Sure, it’s cold outside, but you can dress for cycling in the winter just like you can for running, cross country skiing or snowshoeing. All you really need is a jacket, tights, a toque that will fit under your helmet and some shoe covers and toe warmers. And if you don’t have that, our friends at Dukes can hook you up. And yes, the trail is covered in snow, but it is packed down and if you drop your tire pressure a little, it’s pretty much like riding on damp trails in the summertime. You have to pay a little more attention to your lines while cornering, and pedal a little more smoothly through the loose snow, but these are skills that will stand you in good stead all year round. And besides, if you do take a spill, you generally end up landing in soft, puffy snow, which, as every 8 year old kid knows, is a heck of a lot of fun. So for those of you also going stir crazy in your basement pain cave, bundle up, go find a rail trail or conservation area with mixed use trails, and ride!

So about my race…the first lap was great. I felt really strong, didn’t make any big mistakes and mostly stayed on the bike. The second lap was a bit of a gong show as the trails were pretty chewed up, but the fact the sun was shining and I was on my bike in the middle of winter made up for it. Although I finished in the bottom half of the singlespeed open category (9th of 13) I was only about 4 minutes off the podium in a super-competitive field, and would have been top 5 in my age category. I’ll take that as a good start to my season.

The only downer is that Adrian beat me after sneaking past me while I was stopped to put more air in a back tire that inexplicably decided not to seal.

But there’s always next year. I know I’ll be back….

Join the Team @ Duke’s Cycle in 2014

Spring is coming… and yes… its time to start ramping things up for the coming season here at Duke’s Cycle.

And yes… in addition to Sales Associates and Cashiers , we’re also looking for a couple of folks who are good with wrenches… We need Bike Mechanics and Bike Builders who know their way around bicycle builds and technical services.

Are you motivated, enthusiastic and totally into all things cycling? If so, let’s talk,

Drop off your resume or send it to [email protected]

BTW: 2014 is also the 100th Anniversary of Duke’s Cycle… it going to be a big year for us.

Are you Century Ready…?

As cyclists, we all like to set some big goals and aspirations. One of those targets that many folks aim for is the “Century Ride.”

Whether it is a big Club Ride, a metric century (100k), full imperial century (160k), or even an epic Gran Fondo…, preparing for your “BIG Ride” can be a bit of a daunting venture. But have no fear… we’re going to help you make this happen.

With assistance from Sugoi Performance Apparel and Hammer Nutrition, Duke’s Cycle will be presenting an informative evening, covering the following topics:

  • Clothing, Gear, Base Layers, oh my!
  • Food, Fuel and Nutrition
  • Bike Fit & Injury Prevention
  • Bike Preparation (and what to take on the ride)

Please note that this evening is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about pushing their limits for distance. Even if you’re not planning that big ride this season, but just want to learn a bit about the various topics we’re presenting, please feel free to drop by. We believe that you will find the evening informative and entertaining.

And yes… we’ll have a few special deals and treats for all those who attend.

RSVP: Please drop a note to our [email protected] address and put “Century Ride” in the title. This will be most helpful for us to gauge anticipated attendance and numbers.

Or… Please check out our Facebook Event Page to indicate your desire to attend. We’ll also use this page for updates, changes and modifications regarding the event.