Where to Buy Your Next Bicycle – Direct or via a Bike Shop

Over the last few quarters I have published a bunch of articles covering various aspects of the bicycle buying process.  In many cases newcomers to the sport are overwhelmed by the number of choices of brands and bke types – so these articles have added at least some help.  Here is a short listing of those:

Now, in this article I would like to discuss briefly what are your options for picking up a bike — and whether you should buy one direct from a manufacturer or get the help and expertise of your local bike shop…

Well, the reality is that you will have to decide by yourself and that decision will most likely be based on your mechanical abilities.  The bicycle you would buy direct — for example, I just added a new listing to the database of mountain bikes on this blog – Airborne Bikes – will require you to make the adjustments for your hight and body type by yourself.  You will most likely need to have access to some replacement parts – like the stem for the handlebars, the seat post, the seat itself, pedals, as the ones you would get from the manufacturer may not fit you best. 

In the case of the direct order option, most of the manufacturers will work with you via phone, email or by offering sizing charts on their Web site, to help you decide on the size of frame for your bike.  With respect to the assembly process, many of the subsystems for your new bike will come assembled, but you still will be required to tune and adjust the final assembly.  

So as you can see – the process requires you to do some work!  

Of course your alternative is very simple — just find the store in your vicinity that carries the type and brand of bikes you would like to test and buy.  Most of these stores will help you decide on what particular bike will fit you best and after you make your selection — they will tune / custom fit the bike to you.   This is a very important procedure for most of us as it will help you avoid significant future strain and pain !!! 


Bicycling in Bulgaria – Explore Etara, Sokolski Manastir Area

Mountain Biking – Etara, Gabrovo, Near by Balkan mountains

Well folks I am sure you would like to get information on yet another beautiful site in Bulgaria where you can test your skills and physical endurance.  Which is this area / place?  Well it is on the north of the Balkan range (on the north side of the Shipka Mountain pass) and South of the town of Gabrovo.  The map below shows the location I am describing.  

By biking here you can have a great experience both where exercise is concerned as well as experiencing the history, art and culture of 18-19th century Bulgaria.   

Here is a set of images to give you an idea as to what you would experience.  First a quick view of the open air museum of Etara

Beautiful Architecture in Etara  Etara near Gabrovo

Here is a link to the official Web site of the Etara museum –  you can use it to to get a list of the various activities and exhibitions you can see while visiting.

Etara Crafts




Bansko Mountain Biking

Bansko Mountain Biking – an Excellent Location

The summer is here!  The temperatures are rising…the sun is getting really hot…so what do you do?  Well, one option is to head into the mountains and getting both the great biking as well as experiencing a cooler weather.  If you can make it to Eastern Europe this summer – then here is another recommendation for a great mountain biking location.   Check out the town of Bansko, Bulgaria and the Pirin mountain! Bansko mountain biking is great and a must do!

Mountain Biking in the Pirin mountain  Mountain biking and views

Bansko is located in the Southwest corner of Bulgaria – about two and a half hours south of Sofia.  

There are many things to do in Bansko – you can enjoy several days of biking around different trails in the near by Pirin mountain park, you can use the chair lift and get high in the mountain and get a rush from a downhill ride or you can just ride up into the mountain and enjoy the natural beauty of the forest, fields and views;

Accomodations-wise, the Kempinski hotel in Bansko is top notch — here is a photo – judge for yourself. I doubt you can find many as spectacular locations and views:

The pool at the Kempinski Bansko  View of Kempinski Bansko

Here are some of the places in the near by Pirin mountain you will likely experience:

Pirin mountain biking trails  Biking in the Pirin mountain, Bulgaria



Road Cycling – The New Way of Business Networking

I always thought bicycling has the potential to be a good social and business networking activity.  Why?  Because it allows for a group of people, sharing similar pasion, to get together on a regular basis, share ideas for how to get things done better, faster, more efficiently and how to achieve better results.  Wait, are you talking about cycling?  Or about business?  About both – as the sport allows the players to achieve both…

So now we have one of the premier business magazines – The Economist – reaching the same conclusion.  In an article they published recently – the main conclusion is "Cycling is the New Golf".  Does it get any more prescriptive in how good the sport is in facilitating business objectives…

A growing number of corporate-sponsored charity bike rides and city cycle clubs are providing an ideal opportunity to talk shop with like-minded colleagues and clients while discussing different bike frames and tricky headwinds. Many believe cycling is better than golf for building lasting working relationships, or landing a new job, because it is less competitive.

Yes, indeed – biking allows for exactly that – meet with like-minded individuals, exercise and share ideas.  And according to the article The Economist put together – even allows for business deals to get closed effectively.  

A day in the saddle, racing uphill and downhill, creates a bonding experience that endures. “If I walk into a meeting and somebody says ‘I’ve done Cycle to Cannes’ it’s a done deal really,”

How about that for efficiency and network building….?  Sounds pretty impressive 

So, for all of you who enjoy the bicycle saddle – take notice and leverage those biking opportunities.  Here is the link and the est if the article.