Articles by Monica

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Shorties tend to get a lot less bike love then the average height’d, even less when it comes to what I have termed a Does Not F*ck Around Bike. You know, what you can take down a shitty middle of nowhere fire road or bad/oh so good decision single track, carrying all the stuff you need to live, without aches, not having to constantly pray that your bike doesn’t explode, or screaming “OH MY GOD I AM GOING TO DIE WHAT HAVE I DONE!” while going down a mountain at high speeds, or even going up a mountain at slow speeds. I guess the boring terms are bikepacking or adventure bike.

BUT HOLY CRAP we are getting some great new options this season and an old classic got some really nice updates.

Requirements for a DNFA Shortie Bike

  • Standover of 29″ / 736mm or lower.
  • 2.3″ / 55mm or wider tires.
  • Ability to put on a rack. While my preferred set up is bags I still want the option to put on a rack if I need. A girl needs her options.
  • Steel


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Now that I have this bike, how do I get it tourable? Not just tourable but Little Monster TOURABLE! Outfitting a small bike (lets say for someone 5’4 or under) has its own, sometimes unforeseen, challenges so I’ll cover some of those and what I did to get around them.

Before outfitting.

Clean, clean, clean and basic maintenance.

If you are getting a used bike on the cheap, chances are you will have to do some maintenance to it, but thats ok. It will make it feel like YOURS. A good cleaning and re-greasing will do wonders. Little touring Monsters drive train was covered in grease that had sat there for years.
Cleaning is pretty basic but a couple of tips I have:

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I am, what I would call, an avid cyclist. I am also, what I would call, hella short. These two things often do not mix, especially with touring bikes. I don’t mean a road or CX bike with racks hobo-ed on, but A REAL touring bike fit for me that can take me on the gravel less traveled.

I wanted to feel like these ladies on my touring bike:

And not like this:

I was also not Demi Moore, Indecent Proposal, rolling around in bills so it needed to stay under $1000 total, which means used. Luckily, while I am not rich in dolla bills, I am rich in the ability to search Craigslist and Ebay multiple times in a day. The hunt was on.

But first, what was I looking for? What makes a good touring bike?
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Tough.      credit: Ben Wong

Tough. credit: Ben Wong

On June 14th 2014 we held our 4th All-Girl Alleycat, Girls of Summer. Its crazy to think we have done four of these things, but we know for sure this one was the biggest and best. 65 Seattle bicycle women climbed Beacon Hill just to get to the start at Dr. Jose Rizal Park to then race through the Seattle city streets to checkpoints where the volunteers would make sure they fill the requirements, kill at the very best route for 22 tough miles (our longest yet), and of course enjoy each other’s company. The day started out with all our stop volunteers meeting at the park before the ladies showed up to get their top secret assignments and equipment.

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The ladies kick ass times:

Name                    Time

  1. Marcy                    2:10
  2. Megan                    2:11
  3. Jessie K.               2:11:30
  4. Jessica Wa.          2:13
  5. Alice L.                 2:16 (First Single Speed)
  6. Genevieve           2:17
  7. Kristen F.             2:19
  8. Margaret B.         2:19:30
  9. Jenna H.               2:23
  10. Theresa B.           2:34
  11. Rebecca Reebs  2:34
  12. Maile  M.             2:24
  13. Loretta                 2:41
  14. Sandra W.           2:41
  15. Sarah F.                2:41
  16. Hailey                    2:50
  17. Elizabeth C.         3:03
  18. Christa F.             3:03
  19. Cayla                     3:03 (First Fixed)
  20. Leslie                     3:03
  21. Madi                      3:07 (First Masters)
  22. Linette                  3:08
  23. Jessica Wi.           3:10
  24. Olivia R.                3:11
  25. Emily L.                 3:12
  26. Rebecca S.          3:12
  27. Kelly H.                 3:12
  28. Lisa E.                    3:14
  29. Ayla A.                  3:14
  30. Alexa                     3:14
  31. Elisa Z.                   3:15
  32. Lisa D.                   3:15
  33. Sarah G.               3:17
  34. Angie                    3:17
  35. Faye                      3:21
  36. Keri                        3:21
  37. Jennifer L.           (so sorry missed your time)


Ok! Ok! If you insist.  We will have some celebrating to do! After you race/volunteer head  down (or maybe up, don’t want to give anything away) to theTwilight Exit (2514 E Cherry St). They have food and and an amazing back porch. We are super stoked to announce that this year Verity Credit Union is sponsoring our after party. What does this mean to you? Racers for a lowly $5 you get two drink tickets.   And our amazing volunteers you will also be rewarded with two drink tickets. What I mean is everyone involved in the race really deserves it. They will be good for well drinks, a tap beer, or soda. Verity is one of only two credit unions that offer bike loans and are obviously super supportive of the Seattle bike community.  Want that custom build?  Tired of that beater?  Talk to them. Hang out with this towns amazing cyclists, swap war stories with the other racers, and thank the dudes who manned the stops for hours.  We will do the prizes/awards at 6pm.

Info and amazing sponsors to be announced soon!

Ok, it may be Seattle’s only all night scavenger hunt, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. You will go places you have never been and procure stuff you could never imagine. I did this for the first time last year and had a blast. It was easier to stay up then I thought. The adrenaline of the scavenger hunt is way more powerful then caffeine. I never thought I could feel such a sense of exhilaration from finding things like a photo of Gary Coleman or an Alaska t-shirt from the 90s. Plus the Go Means Go boys do a great job of periodically spacing out meet ups to break up the night and fuel you up for a another few hours till the next meet up. Telling yourself you just need to make it to the next meet up instead of 5am makes it a lot easier.  At the end while I was grubbing on the delicious provided breakfast I felt a sense of accomplishment that I rode all night, even hit a different town while getting to know my team mates better. It made the pain of sunday totally worth it.

While you can definitely ride it solo, it is one of the only chances for us non-racers to work as a team so try to make new friends at the start or bring your own! Check-in starts at 8pm Wednesday at Gasworks park, and preregistration is encouraged (but not required). Check out Go Means Go for more info.


Yesterday I dropped by Pinup Salon, one of our fab sponsors for the Girls of Summer race to pick up the amazing gift certificate they donated. I wont tell you how much they donated. You have to come to the race to find out, but it will say some lucky lady is going to look amazing.

This was the first time I had been to their West Seattle location, they also have one in Ravenna, and it was so cute yet felt comfortable immediately. It was like going to your stylish best friends house.

There are only two chairs in the space to give you an intimate and personalized experience. This is not your mother’s beauty salon chain with a million stylists and clients herded in and out. They really focus on the client and take pride in really listening to the their needs.

While I was there Jen, the owner, was performing a color on a client always making sure they were the center of her attention. I know next time my roots show….. I mean roots… what roots, just getting a cut I will be heading down to Pinup.

Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday. It was great to see all the guys and gals who support the race. We drank some beer, chatted and had a few drawings. Gave away two knog gloves, a t-shirt, and a cycling cap.

Check out some pics that Greg of GoMeansGo (who is also putting on the 9to5) took.

Incase you missed your chance to grab some flyers, here is a 4up PNG that you can print out at home. Remember if you take a pic of you putting the flyer up somewhere or handing it to a lady then post it on our twitter or facebook you get entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate from Naked City Brewery & Taphouse.

Last night we also announced our awesome grand prize for the race. BOOSH
Raleigh was incredibly generous and donated a Capri 2.0 road bike. The bike will be delivered to fit the winners size. If you don’t think you’ll be first girl don’t worry we will have LOTs and LOTS of other rad prizes.

Of course come to the race. June 23rd at the I-5 colonnade. Registration is at 2. Race starts at 3 sharp.

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