Our flagship event, 24 Hours of Booty, is a mere nine weeks away! If you are planning to ride this year, it’s time to gear up and make sure your bike is in tip-top shape. Don’t wait until the last minute! And to do it right, we checked in with long-time Booty partner, Bicycle Sport, and their very own bike aficionado, Carol Vails, for tips.

No stranger to the cycling world, Carol is also no stranger to the ties that bind us at 24 Foundation. She has raised two sons, raced bikes as a pro, battled breast cancer, and worked in bicycle shops across the country before landing at Bicycle Sport. She has won the Florida State Masters Criterium Championships twice and took third place at the Masters Nationals Criterium. She completed Ride the Rockies twice – and rode up Alpe d’Huez with her then 15-year-old son.

Thanks, Carol, for sharing your expertise with us.

What should folks be doing now to get their bikes ready for the ride?
No appointment is necessary. Bringing your bike in sooner rather than later is recommended. We’re about a week out on repairs. Checking tire wear, brakes, and gears is very important before riding this event.

You have crews onsite at Booty, right? Tell us more about that. If you have a busted tube, etc., do you accept cash, cards?
Yes, we have crews on site. We’re set up In Bootyville for the duration. We’ll have supplies and mechanics on hand. We will have a Square Mobile Card Reader that we can charge folks for products such as tubes, lights, etc. I would recommend a card vs cash for payment.

What is the right equipment to have?

Front light, brake light, water bottles, shoes, padded shorts, change of clothes. I would also carry on your bike, tube, tire levers, and C02 cartridges in case of flats. Everyone should have a multi tool and a floor pump.

What is a good bike rack to transport to Myers Park and Bootyville?
Bike racks range from trunk-mounted racks to hitch racks. Hitch racks are very stable and easy to get your bike off and on. It really depends on your vehicle. We can look up your vehicle and recommend the best rack that fits your car and budget.

What are your service hours at your shop? How much time do you need? 

Our service hours are our store hours. The Selwyn location is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our Uptown location is the same except we are closed on Mondays. We’re about a week out on repairs and tune-ups.

Do you align with other local bike shops? Recommend any online vendors for things that cannot be found in your shop?
We can get almost any product from one of our suppliers. If we do not have something our customer needs, we will sometimes contact another local shop for that product.

Bike safety is clearly so important. What do you advise about helmets?
I would definitely check your helmet fit. If your helmet is more than five years old, we recommend getting a new one. We have helmets starting at $50 for adults and less for kids.

Whether riding Booty or just going out for a family spin, what are the proper precautions? 

I would recommend everyone practice riding their bike several weeks before the event. Grease your chains. Check your tires. All of the things I mentioned above. Many people put their bikes away until the following year. 24 Foundation hosts 24HOB Training Rides at 6 p.m. on the Loop on Monday nights beginning June 5. Join them to become familiar with the loop and riding in a group.

Bicycle Sport Myers Park
2916 Selwyn Ave #A
Charlotte, NC 28209

Bicycle Sport Uptown
1432 W Morehead St
Charlotte, NC 28208

For more information, visit BicycleSport.com

Written by Courtney Oates
Courtney is a 24 Hours of Booty participant. She rides and walks with Team GoJenGo.

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