Belle Bio: Nora

Although she spent her childhood riding her bicycle up and down neighborhood streets in Omaha, Nebraska, Nora did not become a true cyclist until she moved to Fort Collins with only her bicycle as her vehicle.  Once graduating from Colorado State University, she found she had more spare time than she was used to and began volunteering with the Fort Collins Bicycle Cooperative.  Motivated by fellow volunteers, she made it a personal goal to make the bicycle her primary form of transportation.  She loves to be part of the Fort Collins cycling community and building connections through bicycles.

Aside from riding her bike Nora enjoys painting with lots of color, backpacking in the Colorado wilderness, cooking, taking walks through neighborhoods and spending time with her family of friends in Fort Collins.

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Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 5:02 am  Leave a Comment  

The Sprocket Podcast

Sunday evening Jordana and Nora had a great chat via Skype with Brock Dittus and Brandon Rhodes of The Sprocket Podcast out of Portland, Oregon.  They spoke about the Belle Starrs bike gang and how we fit into the world of cycling here in Fort Collins and beyond.  Oh… and you can hear it here:

http://thesprocket.podbean.com/2011/04/18/the-sprocket-e22-the-belle-starrs/

The Sprocket Podcast brings you “somewhat irreverent conversations about the intricacies of thinking locally with a global perspective, and enjoying the best that life has to offer along the way.  This includes day to day life, food, alcohol, bicycles and alternative transportation, arts and culture, communication and the Internet, camping and travel, and many other things!”

Thanks again to Brock and Brandon from The Sprocket!  You guys are totally rad and look forward to more conversations on stimulating topics!

Published in: on April 27, 2011 at 5:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Second Wrenching Class

Our second installment of the Ladies’ Wrenching Workshops was a fantastic success!  Claire and Co. from the Fort Collins Bike Co-op were so great to lead the workshop once again.

This was the intermediate workshop where we went over brake systems, the drive train and deraileurs.

These workshops were such a great success we’re going to try to plan more for the future!  Keep an eye out for them!

We started out by patching tubes

Gotta find the hole first

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 12:25 am  Leave a Comment  

BEAN to BEAN

The Belle Starrs took advantage of an 80 degree Saturday afternoon by riding out to the Bellvue Bean.  We met at another cycle-friendly coffee shop, the Bean Cycle, before heading west on the Poudre Trail.

And it was all smiles on the ride out there!  It was so warm you couldn’t even tell there was a head wind.

We found some great bike parking at the Bellvue Bean.

We let a Dandy Lion tag along… but only because he was escorted by a sassy lady carrying a firearm.

Stopped in to Bar SS on the way back to Fort Collins for a cold one…

… and then home.  Glad to have a few new ladies show up for the ride as well as those beautiful familiar faces!

 

 

Published in: on April 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm  Comments (1)  

First Wrenching Class

Saturday afternoon the Belle Starrs gathered at the Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op for a ladies’ wrenching class.  The class was put on by some lovely female volunteer mechanics from the Bike Co-op; Claire, Teresa and Brenna with the Belle Starrs’ own Stacy.  We covered the basics of bike anatomy, safety checks, bike fit, troubleshooting and introductory maintenance.  The class was geared for the beginner with limited mechanic experience.

Karie started things off with a great introduction to the Belle Starrs and bringing up some issues specific to women when it comes to keeping your bike in good condition.  A common issue for many ladies was they wanted to learn how to fix their own bikes, but the mechanically-inclined males in their lives would just do all the work for them.  A very nice gesture, but doesn’t help them become self-reliant.

Claire then took over and started the class with a very informative slide show.  Even more experienced mechanics benefit from reminders on basic topics.  Everyone agreed Claire did an excellent job running this class.

Then it was off to the workstations!  Claire, Teresa, Brenna and Stacy lead small groups of ladies covering a variety of topics and answered questions.  We all had fun learning how bikes different than our own worked.

The next wrenching workshop will be Saturday April 16th from 2-5pm.  We will pick up where we left off in the beginner class, but it’s not a requirement to have come to the first session to attend this class.  Space is limited, so we are asking those interested to RSVP to thebellestarrs@gmail.com.

Thank you so much to the Bike Co-op!  This local non-profit is a community bike shop dedicated to keeping our community riding, refurbishing bikes, keeping bikes out of the landfill by recycling, educating the community on all things bike, and so much more!  For more information on them visit their website www.fcbikecoop.org.

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 2:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Ladies’ Wrenching Sessions

Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Belle Bio: Karie

Karie fell in love with riding bikes at the age of 11 when her pops took her on the rocky single track of the Sierra Nevadas. After cleaning her first creek crossing at the end of a steep descent, she was hooked!  She loves wrenching, dorking out on sexy bike parts, and promoting female empowerment and education on bicycles.  Now that she doesn’t work in a bike shop, the Belle Starrs gives her the opportunity to do this.  And she loves every moment!

Karie is enthusiastic about sustainable forms of transportation and enjoys most every type of outdoor adventure.  She loves being in nature, far away from people, but isn’t complete without the art and diversity found in the city.  Karie believes in creating international bridges between cultures that promote cultural understanding and intercultural education.

Favorite things:

– Reading poetry on top of peaks

– Self-expression through art and music

– Throwing on a pair of cowgirl boots and stompin’ round to The Devil Makes Three

– Growing her own food

– Starting the mornings with the newspaper, sitting in the sun with a cup of delicious organic, fair trade coffee

– Dance parties with good friends, alone down the street, and most importantly on her bike

– Jumping in an ice cold alpine river after a long mountain bike ride

Published in: on February 5, 2011 at 7:14 am  Comments (1)  

Windy Saturday

Oh the weather outside is… weather.

They say that in Colorado if you don’t like the weather just wait 15 minutes.  Today was definitely testament to that.

We had planned to ride out to Lory State Park, a short little jaunt west of town.  Once there we were going to take a hike up to Arthur’s Rock.

Plans changed this morning once we looked outside and saw the very dark snow cloud located right over Lory State Park.  It was also very windy.  This made us think riding to Lory was not the best idea.  Instead, we decided to ride out to the Bellvue Bean again.

The wind was definitely picking up as we were leaving but that didn’t stop us.  Once we were about 20 minutes into the ride the occasional gust of wind became a constant battering… and it started snowing.  But hey, we were already into the ride and might as well press on.  Remember, a headwind on the way there means a tailwind on the way back.  That thought was a little difficult to keep in mind with sand and debris pelting you in the face.

Well, it took a little longer than usual, and we practically got blown off our bikes into traffic a few times, but we made it to the Bellvue Bean and enjoyed a nice break in the warm cafe.  There were even a few other cyclists there that braved the wind as well.

And wouldn’t you know it, when it came time to head back the sun was shining and wind had let up.  We enjoyed a speedy ride with a slight tailwind and were back in a quarter of the time it took us to get there.  Must have been the bike gods rewarding on our efforts.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm  Comments (2)  

1.20.2011

“The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.”  – Ann Strong

Published in: on January 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Friday Chili Ride

The calendar may say that it’s winter here on the Front Range, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.  With these sunny 55 degree days any flat-lander would think it’s early spring.  We cyclists live for days like this, especially on days you don’t work.

We took advantage of the weather last Friday afternoon and got the gang together for the Friday Chili Ride!

Our destination:  The Bellvue Bean.

The Bellvue Bean is a new cafe that just opened in the historic Bellvue Store.  It would end up being about a 15 mile round trip, with a big climb over Bingham Hill and a stop at the cafe.

The winter sun is on it’s way down as we get to the top of Bingham Hill.

Umm… watch out for goat heads….

Here are Jordana, Nora, Karie and Stacey at the top of the hill.  Onward to the Bellvue Bean!

Approaching the Bellvue Bean we ran into some other Fort Collins cyclists just leaving.  The cafe is located at the mouth of Rist Canyon (a popular cycling road if you like to go UP) so the owners can get used to area cyclists stopping for a post-ride bite.

Arriving in Bellvue…

We signed up for a frequent buyer card.  Any Belles that ride out to the cafe make sure to get a punch.  If you’re lucky you might be the one to get a free drink!

And it’s back to the Fort!  Thanks to the Bellvue Bean for the delicious coffee (roasted locally in Fort Collins) and tasty snacks!  This place is definitely worth the ride there.

But, hey!  Didn’t you mention chili???

That’s right!  We ended the ride at Stacey’s place where we enjoyed some scrumptious chili that was stewing in the crock pot during the ride.  I assure you it tasted gooooooood.

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment