Over the next several days we  will be sharing several blogs Ernest wrote about cycling accessories and components. While they aren’t intended to be full on “Buyers Guides”  We do hope they will help you think about things to consider when thinking about them or to view them a little differently. Then in future post we will dive deeper into each one of these.


As I wrote in Don’t Stop and Lose Your Fitness there are plenty of good reasons to keep riding year around. Unless you live in a southern climate a trainer is an important piece of equipment to make that happen. If you do live in a climate that is warmer year around the trainer may still be an essential piece of equipment for the days that are simply too hot to ride outdoors. They are also great to use when you have a time crunch and want to get a great workout in a defined time period. Or maybe you simply have run out of daylight in your day and still need to get your workout in.

Wahoo Kickr

Smart Trainer – Wahoo Fitness Kicker

All of these are good reasons to be using a trainer. More good news, there are more and more tools available to make indoor training more fun and to improve your overall fitness level. Some examples: Zwift, Trainer Road, CycleOps Virtual Training. Many of these programs are designed and work best with a smart trainer but will work with a non-electronic trainer. There are also plenty of video based options (Spinervals and YouTube) to keep you engaged and focused on your training goals while you ride. Time will certainly pass by a lot quicker. No matter your riding style and fitness goals there are solutions available. When considering and selecting a trainer it is important to think about how you want to use the trainer and the goals you have. Are you just going to be riding it to build your base and maintain your fitness? Are there specific types of workouts that you want to do? Intervals, hill climbing, power based, heart rate based. How often are you going to be using the trainer? How many hours a week will your training be? All of these questions will help us in helping you select the perfect trainer for your needs.

More about trainers – Indoor Trainer Sessions Keep Them Fun

From Jon Korin of Bike AAA:

The weather is perfect so if you’re not already out riding, now is the time to dust off your bike, pump the tires, strap on your helmet and ride!    There are a variety of events coming up so pick one or more and start pedaling!

Bike 2 Work May 15 Ride to work on National Bike to Work Day!    There will be a variety of meetup points and pitstops around the county with a main event with County Exec Steve Schuh, Mayor Mike Pantelides, County Councilman Chris Trumbauer (all biking) and others  at Market House Annapolis at 8:30 AM.   More details at www.bike2workcentralmd.com – Editors Note: Crofton Bike Doctor will be at the Odenton MARC/Amtrak Station

Ride of Silence LogoMay 20 Ride of Silence.  a global event in memory of cyclists killed or severely injured.    Our first Annapolis Ride of Silence in memory of Trish Cunningham and Tom “Doc” Heslin, both lost
in 2013, will begin at Bates Middle School in Annapolis with meetup at 630pm and a slow, silent 10 mile ride to Bay Ridge and back.    An important way to remember the fallen and convey a message of safety to drivers and cyclists.   Details and free registration at www.bit.ly/annapolis-ros


Lifeline LogoLifeline100 Earlybird Registration until June 1.   The second annual Lifeline100  on October 18, 2015 offers 100 and 65 mile scenic rides through the county as well as 30 and 15 mile trail-only rides plus a free children’s bike rodeo and Make Health Happen health fair, all at Kinder Farm Park in Millersville.    Discount registration is open until June 1.     For details visit www.lifeline100.com . Editors Note: Bike Doctor is a proud sponsor of this ride and I we are looking forward to it this year!



National Bike Challenge.  Every year from May to September, People for Bikes runs the National Bike Challenge – free registration at  www.nationalbikechallenge.org.   This is a fun way to log your miles and participate as our county competes with other areas of the country .    Prizes are randomly drawn from participants, but you have to score more points to be able to win the top prizes. This isn’t a speed contest, as points are awarded for daily riding and total miles.  You can manually log your rides, or the challenge can now sync with your Strava, Endomondo, or Map My Ride accounts.  You can look at where you stand within your city, county, or state, as well as nationwide.



Bike AAA Logo

Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County  (“BikeAAA”)

A 501c3 non-profit promoting safe cycling for transportation, recreation & fitness




For 2015 we have some exciting things planned to keep you cycling comfortably as possible. I am excited to announce that a few of them are beginning to be implemented in the store but not yet fully “rolled out”.

I can’t think of many more important contact points on the bike, then the saddle. Hands and feet are important contact points but we certainly have more conversations around the saddle than any other area on the bike. Over the years there has been a lot of development and researched focused in this area with great advancements in the last several years.

For 2015 we will be carrying Assos cycling apparel. I own a few pieces of Assos and I can tell you that it fits like a second skin when you wear it. I have never worn a better pair of cycling shorts in my life. In fact I credit the Assos shorts for making me a clothing snob when it comes to cycling apparel. A lot of little details add up to really set their clothing apart. They focus on making sure the clothing stays where you want it to, in doing so their strap design on bibs don’t keep them stationary and bunch free which is really refreshing. Durability is a great characteristic of Assos products, they design their shorts to be five season shorts where many other shorts are only lasting a year or two. A little known fact about Assos is many cyclists in the pro ranks send their team kit shorts to Assos to have the chamois removed and an Assos chamois hand stitched in. All of Assos chamois are hand sewn into the shorts. With the latest redesign of their shorts Assos has increased the breathability, reduced the volume, offers less genital pressure and the modified the design allowing for less friction through fewer seams. Assos has long been a leader in cycling apparel and we are proud to carry their products. I’m looking forward to adding more Assos to my cycling wardrobe.

Lots of shorts vary pad size based on short size. In fact to be a player in the market and offer a quality product you need that. Endura has taken that a step farther, they now offer three different pad sizes per short size. Pad size is no longer tied to short size. Just as you select your saddle size based on your bodies anatomical needs you can now do the same with your cycling shorts. Additionally they offer two length shorts, a regular and a long. This makes perfect sense to me and I am super excited to try out the FS260-Pro SL Bibshort. To help you select the proper size pad for your riding needs they have come out with a cool little chart:

Endura FS260 Pad Fit


Sorry this image is so poor, we are working on a better one, only get worse when you enlarge it.

This is an advancement in clothing fit and design that I think could really be a game changer in comfort for the cyclist. Assos has another innovation that will be available spring time and I am excited to try it out. Once I have more of an opportunity for saddle time I will be back with a more thorough review versus an overview. As always thank you for reading.

Maybe you have heard the term “balance bikes” “running bikes” or “kick bikes” and wondered what they are. They are the easiest way to teach your child to ride a bicycle. Best of all they are fun for the kids. At the store we carry Strider Bikes.

Most children are ready in the 18 to 24 month age range but if your child can walk they are ready for a balance bike. In the beginning the child just straddles the Strider holds onto the handlebar and begins to walk around with the Strider. With a wheel in the front and a wheel in the rear they are safe and stable. I call this the Fred Flintstone stage. Many families have their children use them around their house to get started. As the child gains confidence on the Strider they will begin to experiment with sitting on the saddle a little more and running with the Strider. Now the fun factor is increasing and their confidence is building. At some point they naturally will pick their feet up and realize they can coast. If they are unsure at all, all they have to do is put their feet back down.

Read the rest of this entry »

by Ernest Freeland

This is the second part of Why Purchase from your Local Bike Shop

In the previous post we outlined reasons to purchase from and support your local bike shop. In this post we are adding some details.

  1. The Right Fit: Every bike that rolls out of Crofton Bike Doctor has a frame and component group that is anatomically proportioned to its rider’s size and intended use. We then make sure to adjust the bicycle to properly fit the rider. Next we show you how to use and operate your new bicycle.
  2. Ride Before You Buy: Ride a few different models to help you pick the perfect bike, either outside or on our indoor riding station.
  3. Selection: We do the research so you don’t have to. To make it on our showroom we have reviewed the options available and selected the best products to offer our customers. We’ve narrowed it down to a few options making your decision easier.
  4. Trained Sales People: We love to ride and our team is trained to help you select the perfect bike for your riding styling. We’ll show you the different options and explain the features and benefits to you. We will ensure you are selecting the proper size and fit for your new bicycle. Then demonstrate and install any accessories you may want to personalize your new bicycle.
  5. Professionally Assembled: Our bikes are delivered professionally assembled and ready to ride. Each bicycle goes through our assembly by a trained bicycle mechanic. Our mechanics love to work on bikes and it shows.
  6. Free Lifetime Tune-Ups: For as long as you own your Crofton Bike Doctor bike, our Lifetime Free Adjustment Program will make sure the fundamental systems of your bike are operating properly.   If you feel your bike is not working right, just call for our Tech Center.  We will answer your questions or schedule an appointment for your bike.
  7. Quality Accessories: We’ve offer great accessories that will make your riding safer and more enjoyable. These accessories are ready to stand up to the challenge you will bring them.
  8. Extended Test Ride: We want you to be riding the perfect bike for your cycling needs. We believe our pre sale support helps you select the perfect bike but just in case we offer an Extended Test Ride. Ride your bike for 30-days and if it is not perfect bring it back and we will exchange it for a different bicycle.
  9. Warranties: All our bicycles come with a lifetime warranty that covers the frame and a warranty covering the components. If you ever have an issue please bring us the bike and we’ll take care of the rest.
  10. We LOVE to RIDE!: We love to ride and there is nothing more we enjoy doing then sharing our love of cycling with you!

by Ernest Freeland

Part One

Today you have many options of where to purchase your new bicycle but the local bike shop is still the clear choice.

The bicycle is not something that you just pull out of the box and it is ready to go, like your new baseball bat or soccer ball. A lot of human input is needed to perfect your ride, first it needs to be assembled and then fit to its rider. A properly fit bike is like your favorite pair of shoes, you can wear them all day, so in the case of your bicycle you can ride it all day. To many people have memories of bicycle riding that wasn’t comfortable. With the help of your local bike shop that doesn’t have to be the case.

Your local bike shop is full of people who love bikes and love to ride bikes and they bring that passion to work with them every day. They will discuss your cycling goals, needs, your riding style any injuries you may have. With that information they will help you select the perfect bicycle for you. Once you have picked out our new bike the local bike shop (LBS for short) will perform a very important step, fitting you and your bicycle to each other.

Read the rest of this entry »

So that you can get to know us a little better we will be sharing our cycling profiles over the coming weeks. Here we will share some of our cycling thoughts and stories. We hope you enjoy them.

The first one is myself.

Why do you ride?

Ernest FreelandI love the feeling of freedom and the ability to explore while being outdoors.

  • Most memorable riding experience? / Favorite riding moment.

As a kid growing up we lived at the bottom of a hill. So I worked on riding to the top without stopping. Setting a goal to get to a certain driveway or further than the last time. I’ll never forget the day that I finally made it all the way to the top without stopping.

  • Least memorable riding experience?

I don’t really have one. I’ve had days that you would think would be bad days, like riding in the rain. It’s funny in many ways they have turned out to be great days! You know the type of day were you really feel that you have accomplished something.

  • Favorite place to ride?

St. Michael s and Oxford area as well as the C&O Canal.

Rides you dream about doing?

I’ve always wanted to ride across country and regret not doing that right after graduating from college. I want to ride from Pittsburgh home on the Great Alleghany Passage and C & O Canal. There is also a route along the St. Lawrence River that is interesting. Here is a blog on my cycling bucket list.

How has riding affected your life?

Positively. I’ve been lucky enough to ride with a lot of great people and create great memories. A summer camp I was doing as a kid got me interested in the sport and then from there it grew.

Who is your favorite person to ride with?

My wife Amanda

What one thing can you not ride without?

A bike? I have to have a cycle computer on the bike when I ride. It really bugs me not to know how far I went that day, yet on the same token I am not one to log or track my annual mileage.

Funniest thing that has happened while you are riding?

I was riding the C&O Canal with my Uncles when we came across a trail closed sign. Did we honor it, of course not. My Uncle said he thought we could get through. We reached a point where the trail was really no longer there and were passing bikes across the next thing I know I am in the water up to my waist along with my bike. We had just purchased a dozen eggs and they were strapped on the back of my bike. The amazing thing was that my bike was leaning up against the river embankment and the eggs were unbroken. My uncles said my bike had done a full flip falling off the side before coming to a rest.

Do you remember your first bike? If so what was it?

A red and white Schwinn.

You consider your season a success, done the rides, the miles and are enjoying your fitness level. The early season rides that once were a struggle you now complete with ease. Then something happens totally out of your control, the lights get turned off much earlier than normal and the thermostat gets turned down outside. Don’t you just love Daylight Savings Time and the arrival of fall? Getting in that ride is now more of a challenge. If you are like many you simply put the bike away and wait for spring.

Big mistake!

That is a mistake many cyclists make. It is like hitting the reset button on your fitness. It takes a lot of work to develop your fitness and it quickly disappears when you stop riding. When you get back out on your bike those rides will be challenging again. Why go through that every year when all it takes is a little work in the offseason?

By maintaining a workout schedule, even if smaller you will retain some of the fitness you worked so hard for this season. The good news is it is easier than ever to do so. If you prefer to ride outside, the clothing technology is amazing and staying warm is easier than ever. Indoor trainers are the perfect tool for helping you maintain your fitness during the off season. Using the trainer a few times a week will position you well for those spring rides.

Read the rest of this entry »

There is no lack of trails to explore in the Maryland, Northern Virginia and District of Columbia. Below are just a few of them. Looking for areas in Delaware? Rick is a great resources for areas to ride in Delaware.

Fountainhead Regional Park:

The park also boasts one of the most challenging mountain bike trails in the region, which features a stacked loop system, with a beginner level loop that newer and younger riders can stay on, or riders can continue on the connecting intermediate loop, and then on to an advanced loop.   The course includes the beginner and intermediate loops and boardwalk, trail bridges and technical trail features to create a challenging and exciting ride for cyclists of all abilities.

Learn More or visit the Facebook page which is a great resource.

Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania:

The Jim Thorpe area in Pennsylvania offers mountain biking for beginners and advanced riders.  Trail lengths vary from “epic” to “cake walk.”

The  Lehigh Gorge Trail is nearby: here where you can enjoy 3 – 5 hours of down hill on crushed gravel.  Stop by the shop to pick up a brochure. Jim Thorpe offers too many other activities to list.  If carriage rides are your thing, you got it.

Learn more about  Jim Thorpe.

Patapsco Valley State Park

Nationally known for advanced off-road trails, its nickname is “Moab of the East.”  But there are trails here for all skill levels, like the paved, circuit trail to the Swinging Bridge, a 300-foot walkway over the river. We can recommend trails, based on skill and trail conditions.  This park is just off Route 1 South.

Maryland DNR information on the park, click here.

Rosaryville State Park:

Rosaryville is a 982 acre day-use park and is the location of the historic Mount Airy Mansion. Miles of trails for hiking, biking and horse riding. This park is suitable for all riding levels.  It has some of the coolest, smoothest single-track in the area. The main loop is approximately 10 miles. For a real challenge there’s an inner loop trail that is tight and technical.

This is a great trail system for the first time mountain biker or beginner.

To enter the park, make a right, just south of Osborne Road while traveling south on U.S. 301. Maryland DNR information is here.

Arundel High School Trails

Arundel is a great place for beginners to start to develop their mountain biking skills. The trail head is located behind the school and many of the trails make up the schools cross country trails. Consisting of  two parts; one behind the school and then another set of trails with a fire road on the other side of the creek that runs through the woods. A great feature of Arundel is the variety of terrain represented in such a small area. You won’t get super long segments but something to test your skills on or learn new ones. The loops don’t have to be so long that if someone wanted to sit out a loop they certainly could. There is even a work out circuit along the back side of the fields if you are so inclined. The best place to park is by the courts between the high school and elementary school.

We have plenty of other great places to recommend for riding. Just stop by or give us a call and we will be happy to help.

Another installment of our Places to Ride Series. Hybrid bicycles are especially versatile, so check out our Places to Ride posts for fitness bicycle and dual sport bicycles. Some of those locations are appropriate for hybrids bicycles as well

Torrey C. Brown Trail – Formerly the Northern Central Railroad Trail (NCRT):

Twenty miles long.  Blissful pedaling on smooth, hard-packed gravel, through quiet countryside. It begins at Ashland Road in the Hunt Valley, and goes to the MD state line.

You can begin at Ashland Road, but on weekends expect heavy use and limited parking. There’s less congestion north of the old Monkton Railroad Station, which is now a kiosk with restrooms.  There’s a café here, too, serving something for everyone.

At the MD/PA line continue all the way to York, PA, if you’ve got the legs, on the York County Heritage Trail.

Click here for more information or York County Heritage Trail.

Cross Island Trail, Kent Island, MD:

 A 5 mile ride from Terrapin Nature Area to the Chesapeake Exploration Center, at Kent Narrows.  Walk, bike or skate.  Great views of Chesapeake Bay and tributaries.  Just off Rt. 50, decent parking, we recommend parking at the East end and not in Terrapin park.  Click here for more information.

Western Maryland Rail Trail:

This paved trail begins just west of historic Fort Frederick State Park and follows an easy grade along 25 miles of the Potomac River. You can also make a circuit with the C & O Canal trail.  Click here for more information.

Check out our Places to Ride Fitness Bike post to learn about the B&A Trail, BWI Trail and WB&A Trail.

We have plenty of other great places to recommend for riding. Just stop by or give us a call and we will be happy to help.