Saturday, March 10, 2018


The Roubaix home base at the "Chambers Farm"

If you have never seen any footage of the European road racing classic, the Paris-Roubaix,  I highly encourage you do a little a searching on Al Gore’s internet and find some time to watch a few minutes of this cycling frenzy.  Have your bike close by while you watch, hopefully these videos will stir your cycling heart and make you want to ride some of the fine gravel roads we have in our surrounding counties, just like it did for me 15 plus  years ago when we dreamed up the Harris-Roubaix. For years, a few of us would gravitate to the gravel roads while out on our afternoon road rides, but it was often hard to convince the thin tire lovers that gravel roads are an option for road bikes.  There is no better way to get folks out of their comfort zone than hold an event, that is why a few us started the Harris-Roubaix almost two decades ago. The venue has changed from its original meeting point at the Greenmount Church and the group has increased in size from the 10 or 20 so folks who would join in the first few years but, the great gravel roads of the North remain.

The Roubaix is a fun family day on the bike.
Our great local events have few key ingredients; options for many level of riders, smiling faces and food, all these are at the heart of the Harris-Roubaix event.  After dropping off their potluck donation at support vehicle the riders will enjoy the a slow group pace ride from Court Square to the “Chambers Farm” just east of Singers Glen. After regrouping at the farm the official Roubaix route will start consisting of paved and gravel roads with a loop distance ranging from  12 to 17 miles. The “racers” of the group will set a fast pace while they battle to lead the peloton into the first “Roubaix” (gravel road) section of the ride. For the majority of the group the riders cruise the north hilly valley roads with their heads held up high while the soak in the beauty of the fresh green fields. The lead riders will cruise by the fire ring and  pot luck tables then head out for another lap, hoping they will be crown the king/queen of that years edition of the Harris-Roubaix, given to the male and female rider who finishes 3 laps first. Most of the peloton will be enticed by the food spread, lawn chairs and friendly conversations and get off their bikes after a lap and enjoy the afternoon among new and old friends. This year’s Roubaix is right around the corner, Sunday April 8th.  Grab your road bike, or any bike, air up your tires, bake some food and join our local bike community in what has become our spring “Classic”.

-Thomas Jenkins...a lover of 28c tires and great gravel roads!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Super Bowl Sunday Ride...Why is it always so good...even when it is not!
For 25 years I have annually returned to Flagpole Knob in the tradition of the Super Bowl Sunday Ride, a ride that is well over 3 decades old.  

Super Bowl Ride 1996
This year the pilgrimage to the wind swept clearing was extra special due to the weather conditions, the determination of folks to make it up the mountain, and the encouragement and help riders gave each other to get back to safe conditions.  

Snowy Conditions on this year's Super Bowl Ride
Leaving from my house this year started more innocent than most, with temperatures in the upper 20’s and a few snowflakes dropping from the sky. As I rolled  into the Mr. J’s parking lot to hook up the “Ride out” crew I  noticed only a few bikes leaning against the storefront glass. Did folks know something I did not? Where was the 20+ possie that usually rolls from town? Five hours later, we who did roll from town would be grateful that our crew was small. The ride from town is always chill and friendly but the pace slowed even more as we rode the last several miles up to the Briery Branch Community Center , I think we were trying to savor the beautiful snow covered roads and keep our conversations rolling.

One of first years of a big crew riding from town, 18 degrees at roll out time. 

For several years now the Briery Branch Community has served as the official starting point for the Super Bowl Sunday Ride replacing the old “Hamburger Heaven” restaurant which was located across from the 257 market.  The Community Center provides a large parking area for pre and post ride conversation and enough car space for the 100 person ride.  Instead of a tightly packed gravel lot we road up to just a few cars spread out with their riders doing the last minute preparation for the mountain.  The crew rolled out in waves along the straight stretch of road that heads west from the Branch. This is always the first opportunity to gauge the size of the ride crew, it is when my excitement for the ride buzzes strong and brings me back to my first several Super Bowl Rides.  It is the feeling of a happy and confident team heading into battle against the mountain and elements that brings me smiles.
The tires of our two wheel group broke fresh tracks once we passed the “Deer Parking Lot” just after Tillman Road, not even the four wheel drive crews had ventured up the mountain yet. The frozen lake of Briery Branch is always the perfect first pit stop of the ride. It is here riders remove layers, eat some food and peer up to Reddish Knob glooming 2000’ above. This year the mountain top was hidden in the snow clouds that were blanketing the mountain we were beginning to tackle.  Our 10am departure timing was perfect as we rolled up and join forces with the crew that ascend Wolfe Ridge and come down the Lynn Trail. Their stories of snow covered trails and hiding layers of ice would be pale in comparison to the conditions we would experience over the next 2 hours of our ascent.

Enjoy the warm sun after the skiing  to Flagpole on Super Bowl Sunday!

Every year as I ride up the steep 4 mile climb to the saddle I think of all the riders spread out over the mountain ascent. It is this thought of so many different friendly folks of various skills, fitness and equipment that keeps me coming back each year.  I usually pace this portion of my ride so I can get to the next stop at the saddle with a little time to spare, but not enough to let the cold settle over my body. It is the last 2 turns before the saddle that let you what the real conditions are on the upper slopes of Shenandoah Mountain. With the snow getting deeper and the ice layers spreading wider through these two turns we knew this was to be a “real” year for the ride. The tire tracks from the saddle showed evidence that folks were not hanging as usually done at the State line rest stop, and there certaining was no food truck to warm your insides. The next 3 miles were a battle of ice, snow and wind, a time when winter riding lessons are learned and forever etched in your mental mountain bike manual. As the conditions intensified the smiles grew wider, folks dug deeper, and the pain of the wet and cold conditions increased. The periodic hollar of a rider could be thought of as a scream of joy or even “rebel yell” as the battle was just really just beginning.
A little football time on Flagpole..I think New England won that year!

I laid my bike down on the last flat pitch before Flagpole, it was time to put of all the layers for the cold descent to follow, this needed to done before being exposed at the mountain top. The final pitches were a sure walk for all, with snow falling at a rate seldom scene.  At this point we knew we would make to the top, another year of praying to the mountain bike gods on top of Flagpole. Some made the decision to continue directly to Red Diamond, some folks entered the lower slopes of the Knob beforing turning their bikes down hill. I knew I  had the gear, experience and will to take a few minute retreat to the fire ring on top, so along with Mike Carpenter we made the final push, never had the last bit seemed so challenging.  

As we were traveling off the the mountain on Red Diamond we had a change in conditions that I have never experienced in my many years of mountain biking. We went  from 6” of fresh snow  to slush and river bed in just over a few minutes. The discomfortment of dumping snow was replaced by the pain of pouring rain and spraying tires. I sat at the bottom of Red Diamond for 15 or 20 minutes waiting for riders, giving words of encouragement and getting a pulse of what still remained on the upper slopes. Every time I thought I was unforgettable I glanced at other riders that went by and knew I was in good shape. There were folks who braved the conditions in cotton, 3 season gloves, sneakers. Attire for a fall ride not a full winter assault of Mother Nature.  These are the heroes of the Super Bowl Sunday Ride, folks who braved the conditions and did so without complaining.  During the next few miles of drenching wet conditions I was so happy to see our mountain bike community join forces and returned with vehicles to bring the last riders off the mountain. The warmth of a vehicles and comfort of a new or old friend ended this Super Bowl Ride experience with a smile.  
Yes, we had a little help that Ski...The trucks got us just shy of the intersection at the gap, then the 5' drifts got them too!

I am constantly  asked by many folks why would one ascend to the highest mountain top in Rockingham County in the middle of winter. I usually hold back from giving the 2 hour answer and verbalize the quick single sentence response, “because of the number of great folks spread out over a mountain dealing with whatever the mountain has to offer that day”.  

What happened to you bike after taking a 5 minute break this year!

See you next year on Flagpole!


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Cycle Central... Powered by SBC!


For years SBC has been advocating for more cycling opportunities at JMU. In 2016 JMU expanded UREC, and with this expansion the University provided an opportunity for JMU's first cycling hub - "Cycle Central powered by SBC". Cycle Central is a small bike shop in UREC operated by SBC. At Cycle Central we offer sales, service and bicycle information/support for the beginner to advanced cyclist. Cycle Central is not just for students, but also also for faculty, staff, and anybody with UREC access.

A university is an educational institution, the learning goes well beyond the classroom. At SBC we believe cycling is one of the life long lessons and experiences that a University needs to share with it's students.  Making bicycling more accessible for students, staff and faculty will increase ridership and exposure to cycling. We don't believe every person has to ride a bike but we do believe we all need to learn to coexists and share the space we used for transportation and recreation.

At Cycle Central we have the ability to fix most any level of bicycle repair that your machine might need. From simple tire inflation, brake adjustments, shifting adjustments to full overhauls, we can do it at Cycle Central. We will also get your repair turned around as possible with most repairs able to be done the same day or within 24 hours. At Cycle Central you will find a well rounded selection of bicycle accessories and parts, our offerings are increasing on a daily basis. If we do not have it at Cycle Central we can check our inventory at our downtown location and have items transferred that day. 

We believe Cycle Central is the next step to help Harrisonburg and JMU become a bicycle community.

Come by Cycle Central and say "Hello"!

Cycle Central in UREC
M-TR: 4pm - 8pm
Fri & Sat: 11am - 5pm

Monday, August 14, 2017

City's Youth Try...What a great event!


Ethan all smiles as he finished the bike leg!
Some events you just need to be there to get the full feel, The  City's Youth Tri is one such event. Go once and you will be motivated to put it on your calendar for next year.  This is the 4th year the City has put on the Youth Triathlon, a unique event, designed to introduce kids to Triathlons.  With age groups ranging from 5 to 17, there is a spot for any kid. There is no emphasis on winning or losing but just getting kids to finish and try something new.

SBC, tuning up the bikes for the kids.
Ethan & Carter after their first Tri

SBC has participated each year making sure the kids two wheel machines are ready to take them from the swim leg to the run leg of the event.  Supporting local events like this is an important part of the SBC business. The event is held each year at Westover Park. A big "THANK YOU" to the City Parks and Recreation Department, the HPD and all the volunteers who made this such a memorable day for the kids and the parents.

Monday, July 31, 2017

SBC is now selling Trek's Roscoe. This bike is extremely fun and perfect for riding trails without breaking the bank! The Roscoe has a slacker head angle, 120mm fork, 27.5'' wheels, plus sized tires, and a 1 x 11 drive train. 

Come to the shop and test ride it! You won't regret it. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017



If you ever wanted a full suspension fat bike this is the day. Fulfill your dreams and get a great deal on a great riding fat tire bike.

X01 Aluminum (sizes SM, MD, LG, XL) was $4999 Now $2799

GX1 Aluminum (sizes MD, LG) was$3999 $ Now $2299

Call or stop by SBC today to place your order!

Monday, May 15, 2017

HDR"s Friendly City Fortune!

If you haven't heard about the $250,000 raffle that Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance is  hosting then you better listen up! For $100, you can enter for a chance to win some crazy prices (cars, bikes, cash, getaways,etc). All the proceeds will go right back into supporting the growth of downtown Harrisonburg through beautification projects, community-building initiatives, and business assistance programs. Shenandoah Bicycle Company will be contributing a Trek Lift + Electric Bike! There are still tickets left so stop by SBC and get yours before they're all gone. 

Also, make sure to come by the shop any time before Friday this week to enter a drawing to win a FREE Friendly City Fortune raffle ticket. Harrisonburg Radio Group will be here on Friday from 11:30 am- 1:00 pm to announce the winner! 
Here are some of the awesome prices you could win in the raffle! Winners will be announced on July 4th. A price will be drawn every 5 minutes for 4 hours so you have a big change of winning!