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The Greatest Black Friday and Cyber Monday Bike Deals

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year.  Whether you're buying for yourself or another cyclist on your holiday list, you can take advantage of some significant price drops and doorbuster specials.  I've compiled a list of some of the biggest and best Black Friday bike deals out there for your shopping convenience.

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Predictions for 2015 (Pro Cycling and Beyond)

[dc]E[/dc]ach new year is another chance to start anew.  A chance for reform.  A chance to get done that which fell by the wayside last year.  This year is no different, and in no place is this more apparent than the sport which we all love and regularly attempt to conquer.  From the professional peloton to the local gran fondo, things are set up to change and adapt again this year.  To that end, I'll make a few prognostications as to the direction of the sport of cycling in 2015: I'll cover the men, the women, the pros and the joes.  And in a year, I'll revisit this and see where cycling has actually gone.  Hopefully, some of the things I'll address will come true, and some won't….happy 2015, eh?

Without further ado, in 2015 I believe…

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New Sponsor – The Sufferfest

[dc]A[/dc] few months ago, I introduced a couple of sponsors to The Daily Grind and the Tailwind Coaching Podcast.  You'll remember that I provide ALL the information on this website and in my podcast free of charge: the only cost to you comes if you decide to purchase a training plan or my coaching services.  I give away this information because I love cycling and I love to see people get stronger and enjoy cycling more through their newfound strength.  The introduction of these carefully selected sponsors helps to offset hosting and bandwidth costs, allowing me to provide you free information consistently.

The Sufferfest: Downloadable cycling workout videos. Today, I'm proud to welcome The Sufferfest as a sponsor.  While it may seem a little counterintuitive, the Sufferfest fits perfectly within the Tailwind Coaching paradigm.  When we're lacking motivation, when we're bored with our training, or when we just want to deviate from our training plans for a day, we have The Sufferfest to fill in.  The excellent ASO licensed video, the indie/unsigned artist music tracks, and the amusing in-ride anecdotes help to pass the time on the trainer easily.  The high intensity nature of these workouts ensures that you'll spend your time wisely and get valuable training stress out of your trainer day.

Click the links above or click on the link in the pane on the right to check out their offerings and order.

And a recap of my other two sponsors:

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Please Welcome Our New Sponsors

[dc]Y[/dc]ou may have noticed a few changes to Tailwind Coaching and The Daily Grind over this past holiday weekend.  Namely, there's a pane on the right side of the site that contains two links to new site sponsors.  RoadID and Competitive Cyclist have come on board as sponsors of the site, and specifically of the Tailwind Coaching Podcast, which will help to mitigate the cost of hosting and bandwidth for future podcasting ventures.  

A little information about the new sponsors I hope you'll support:

I've long been a user of RoadID and a proponent of carrying sufficient ID and contact information with you while riding or training.  With the recent rash of injuries on the road, including the death of Amy Dombroski while training in Belgium, it's more important than ever to carry sufficient identification with you on your rides.  This is especially true when riding alone or in more remote locations.  A RoadID is the perfect tool to ensure that your identification is with you in the event of an accident.  By wearing a wrist, ankle or dogtag type ID, the chances of it being missed by emergency personnel is slim, which will result in more thorough care and quicker notification of friends or family in the event of an accident.  My partnership with RoadID will allow me to further advocate for the peace of mind that carrying ID allows for.  

Competitive Cyclist is a leader in the high end online bike retail industry.  While I'm always an advocate of shopping locally at your LBS, sometimes shopping online is necessary these days.  Not all LBS are able to stock the range of items you'll find online, and it's rare to find a LBS that carries the variety of brands that a retailer like Competitive Cyclist does.  Of course, the ability to stretch your dollar further (an important concept in these tough economic times) is always a welcome plus.  On top of the ease of buying online, from a huge selection of brands and product lines, Competitive Cyclist has one of the best customer service departments in the online retail world today.  Having purchased from them a number of times and having had to use their customer service to resolve a couple of small issues, I can safely say that Competitive Cyclist is one of the best bets for online shopping available today.

Check both links on my pages (off to the right hand side, underneath my contact/"follow Coach Rob" pane) periodically for great deals on all kinds of equipment and help support the Tailwind Coaching Podcast (proceeds from affiliate sales go to web hosting space and bandwidth.)

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Counterfeit Cycling Retailers Shut Down

Fake Pinarello

[dc]I[/dc]t's pretty well known that there's a large market of counterfeit cycling products, mostly coming out of China.  What's been debated endlessly over internet forums and group rides are the merits of buying and using these counterfeit products, who it hurts, and if these products are really "OEM" (original equipment manufacturers) versions of the retail products you can purchase at your local bike shop.  Opinions vary from the "sure, I'll try anything" to "you're as bad as a serial killer for purchasing these" and everything in between.

Most interestingly, there's been very little done about these counterfeits thus far.  Sure, Ebay will occasionally take down a listing that's been reported enough times or a major manufacturer (Specialized and Pinarello jump to mind) will issue a release stating that their products are being copied and you should beware of the fraudsters.  Until now, there hasn't been any active enforcement or shutting down of these Chinese retailers. 

Until now, that is…

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