Take A Closer Look

Take a closer look.

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Are you seeing what you thought you’d see?  Did we peak your interest?  Do you want to see more?

Merchandise.  Displays.  Promotions.  Events.  We continue to mix things up at Shepherd & Schaller, where today “Sports For All Seasons” means something different to you and to us, than it did in the 1950’s, 1980’s, 2000’s and even last season!  When things change it’s good to take a closer look.  GA7A0417-Edit

Right now we’re all about skiing and snow sports, biking, hiking, paddling, yoga, disc golf, footwear, outerwear and sportswear for the trendy, smart Athleisure lifestyle we all embrace.  But you’ll also find handbags, home decor, skincare and unique products that compliment your active outdoor lifestyle.  Surprised?  When was the last time you experienced honest expert customer service, fun decor and cool technical products – all in one place?

Wausau’s local sports store is more than it’s ever been.  It’s time to take a closer look.

 

Fun things to try on the 4th!

The 4th of July is almost upon us, and with that comes planning to make the most out of summer’s favorite holiday weekend.  But if you’re like many struggling to make old traditions fun year after year, why not give some new activities a try?  There’s tons to do outdoors in the summer in Wisconsin, and Shep’s has all the latest gear to get you on your way to a new favorite outdoor activity.  Here’s a few suggestions:

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1.  Disc Golf:  There are disc golf courses popping up all around Wisconsin, and with the start-up cost so low, people of all ages are heading out to throw some discs.  Shep’s carries hundreds of discs from Discraft, Innova, and Disc Mania along with bags and other accessories to get new players started and seasoned players restocked.

You can find a local course here –> https://www.discgolfscene.com/courses/Wisconsin

biking2.  Biking:  With hundreds of miles of city, country, or forest trails available for biking, Wisconsin is one of the best places to get out on two wheels.  And with bikes for people of all ages and abilities, Shep’s is your biking headquarters.  Comfort, fitness, or mountain bikes – we have it all, and we have all the accessories available too.  Already have a bike?  Our mechanic Pete is here to get your bike running smoothly and safely in time for the 4th of July weekend!

Interested in finding a new trail?  Start here –> http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/activities/bike.html

wakeboard23.  Water Sports:  Living in Wisconsin and being on the water go hand in hand, and even if you’re a seasoned water goer, chances are there’s a new activity you’ve yet to try on our beautiful waterways.  Love to kayak?  Why not give stand up paddleboaring a try?  Are you a local pro on a slalom ski?  Wake boarding, wake surfing, and more will give you an awesome new skill to master.  Or if you’re simply heading to the beach for a quick dip, Shep’s has a great line of men’s and women’s swimwear from Prana, Patagonia, Roxy, Quiksilver, United By Blue, Kavu, and more!  Lastly, don’t forget your Sun Bum sunscreen before you hit the water!

Don’t forget to look and feel great this holiday weekend wearing great new apparel for men and women from Patagonia, North Face, United By Blue, Krimson Klover, Prana, Kavu, Toad & Co, and so many more!

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Successful cyclists adopt these smart habits

We like these summaries from our friends at Diamondback bikes and bicyclesafe.com. Keep yourself safe out there and reap the benefits of a two-wheeled commute.

 

Avoid busy streets.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they start biking is to take the exact same routes they used when they were driving.  It’s usually better to take different streets with fewer and slower cars.  Sure, cyclists have a right to the road, but that’s a small consolation when you’re dead.  Consider how far you can take this strategy:  If you learn your routes well, you’ll find that in many cities you can travel through neighborhoods to get to most places, only crossing the busiest streets rather than traveling on them.

Light up.

Too obvious?  Well, if it’s so obvious, then why do most night-time cyclists ride without lights?  Bike shops have rear red blinkies for $15 or less.  Headlights are just as important as rear lights.  And modern headlights use LED’s so the batteries last ten times longer than old-school headlights.


One cyclist tied this bright noodle to the back of his bike, exactly the width of his handlebars, to show drivers how much space he takes up on the road.

Take the whole lane when appropriate.

It’s often safer to take the whole lane, or at least ride a little bit to the left, rather than hug the right curb. Here’s why:

  • Cars at intersections ahead of you can see you better if you’re squarely in the road rather than on the extreme edge where you’re easily overlooked.
  • Taking the lane prevents cars from passing you too closely on narrow roadways.
  • Riding a bit to the left prevents you from being a victim of a door accident.

You might worry about slowing down the traffic behind you if you take the lane.  But if you’re on the kind of street where you’ve got cars blocked up behind you or constantly changing lanes to get around you, you’re probably on the wrong street and should find a quieter neighborhood street.

Taking the lane works especially well in most roundabouts.   The traffic generally moves slower so it’s easy to keep up, riding in the lane makes you more visible to motorists, and taking the lane prevents motorists from right-hooking you as they exit the circle.

It’s perfectly legal for you to take the lane when appropriate.  Most state laws say you have to ride as far to the right as is “practicable”.  Here are some things that make it impracticable to ride to the extreme right:

  1. You’re in a heavy traffic area with lots of side streets, parking lots, or driveways ahead and to your right.  Cars turning left won’t see you because they’re looking for traffic in themiddle of the road, not on the extreme edge of the road.  Move left.
  2. Cars are passing you too closely.  If the lane is too narrow for cars to pass you safely, then move left and take the whole lane.  Getting buzzed by cars is dangerous.
  3. Cars are parked on the right-hand side of the road.  If you ride too close to these you’re gonna get doored when someone gets out of their car.  Move left.

There are risks to both riding to the extreme right as well as taking the lane.  Whether you ride to the right or take the lane depends on the conditions of the roadway you’re on.  On wide roadways with few intersections/driveways, right further right.  On narrow roads with lots of intersections, ride farther to the left.   It’s not always better to take the lane or to hug the curb; it depends on the roadway you’re on.

Signal your turns.

You’re less likely to get hit when your movement doesn’t take motorists by surprise. Let them know you’re about to turn or move left or right by signalling with your arm. Point your left arm out to move left, and point your right arm out to move right. (You might have learned an old way of signaling a right turn with your left arm, but drivers have no idea what that means, so it’s useless. Signal a right turn with your right arm.) Before signaling left, be sure to check your mirror or look behind you before signaling (since a car passing too closely can take your arm out).

Re-think music players and mobile phones.

It’s more important to hear what’s around you when you’re biking than when you’re driving. Whether you want to ride with headphones is your choice, but doing so does increase your risk. Similarly, texting or talking with a mobile phone raises the risk level. When you’re mixing with car traffic, the fewer distractions the better. Also, you’ll want both hands free in case you have to brake suddenly.

Ride as if you were invisible.

It’s often helpful to ride in such a way that motorists won’t hit you even if they don’t see you. You’re not trying to be invisible, you’re trying to make it irrelevant whether cars see you or not. If you ride in such a way that a car has to see you to take action to avoid hitting you (e.g., by their slowing down or changing lanes), then that means they will definitely hit you if they don’t see you. But if you stay out of their way, then you won’t get hit even if they didn’t notice you were there.

On very fast roads cars have less time to see you because they’re approaching so fast. Of course, you should avoid fast roads in the first place if at all possible, unless there’s plenty of room for a car and a bike side by side. And if there IS such room, then on fast roadways, you can practice invisibility by riding to the extreme right. If you’re far enough right that you’re not in the part of the lane the cars are in, then they’ll zoom by and won’t hit you, even if they never saw you.

Here’s another example: It’s a good idea to signal a left turn, but it’s a better idea to make your left turn at a time or place where there aren’t cars behind you that could hit you while you’re stopped and waiting to make that turn. You can hang out in the middle of the street, stopped, with your left arm out, waiting to make your turn, but you’re counting on cars behind you to see you and stop. If they don’t see you, you’re in trouble.

Naturally we don’t advocate running red lights, but if you’re the kind of person who does, then apply the invisibility principle when deciding on whether to run a particular light: Could any cross traffic possibly hit me if I were invisible? If yes, then absolutely don’t do it. Never make a car have to slow down to avoid hitting you (red light or not). Remember, the more you rely on cars to see you to avoid hitting you, the more chances they’ll have to actually do so.

Remember, you’re not trying to BE invisible, you’re just riding with the assumption that cars can’t see you. Of course, you certainly want them to see you, and you should help them with that. That’s why you’ll wave to motorists whom you think might be about to pull out in front of you, and why you’ll be lit up like a Christmas tree at night (front and rear lights).

Remember that in many cases you’ll need to take the lane, in which case you’re counting on motorists to see you.

Pedaling along country roads warrants a specific set of safety considerations. As you roam rural lanes, keep the following in mind.

Don’t expect motorists to see you. In city traffic, dense streets and attentive drivers mean the key to safety is being assertive and using the rhythm of traffic to your advantage. But as your bicycle carries you away from town, the safer place to be becomes the side of the road. Likewise, plan to dodge cars in intersections even when you have the right-of-way.

Look behind you. Glance over your shoulder as you approach every driveway, intersection, and road hazard. Yes, every single one. A common car-on-bike incident is the right hook. This is when a car passes a cyclist, slows to turn right, and obliviously crosses the cyclist’s path on the edge of the street.

Watch for oncoming traffic. Passing motorists often accelerate into the opposite lane without looking for cyclists in their path. Similarly, I shudder to think about how frequently I make fast right turns onto two-lane roads without considering what might be might be fast approaching on the wrong side.

Avoid riding into the sunset. Riding into the sun makes you virtually invisible to motorists. If you’re stuck heading west at the end of the day, try taking a meandering route. And when the sun’s at your back, keep in mind that road users ahead will have difficult time seeing you.

Pause in high-visibility places. Whether you’re changing clothes, fixing a flat, or answering the call of nature, wait until you’re a safe distance from blind corners or hillcrests.

Don’t antagonize motorists. Sure, they might pass to closely, or worse. But on isolated roads, it’s best stay calm and let the incident roll off your back. It’s the only way to stay safe, have fun, and protect our image as cyclists.

Shep’s Team at the Wausau24

Last weekend, our shop staff hung out at Wausau24 at Nine Mile Recreation Area. While it’s known for the 24-hour race, there are 24 different classes to compete in, including 6 or 12 hour options with single, duo, or team combinations.

Our staff guys put together a 4 person men’s team and dominated the 24 hours before them. From 10am on Saturday until 10am on Sunday, they rode 20 consecutive eleven-mile loops.

Way to go, guys!

(A big thank you to Smartwool for co-sponsoring our team! This 24 hour ride was the true test for their gear – the guys stayed comfortable, dry & blister free; looked sharp, and didn’t stink!)

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While You Wait for Snow…. Bike!

Skiers, don’t be sad!

Sure, winter is over, but bike season has begun and it’s an awesome way to take your mind off the snow.  If you’re a skier, it’s likely that your second biggest sport or interest is biking. (It’s all about the leg work outs!) There are many forms of biking, so the options or almost endless.

When the snow melts and the warmer weather starts to creep up, I start to commute to work by bike. Once the local trails are dry and opened, it’s time to hit the single track. Nine MIle Recreation Area, located just outside Wausau (at 24 Red Bud Road), is a well-known cross country ski destination in the winter, but by summer it’s a single track heaven.

New to the term “single track”? Single track is defined as a narrow bike track about as wide as the bike itself. The track is sometimes smooth and flowing, but you may encounter rocks, stumps, and double crosses around trees and other obstacles, too, making it fun as well as challenging. At Nine Mile, there are ratings on the tracks, similar to the ratings on ski runs. Green circle indicates easy, Blue square indicates intermediate, and of course, the black diamond is for experts. An awesome web site and phone app you can use to find local single tracks is simply called Single Tracks, online at Singletracks.com.

If you already mountain bike in the summer and love single track, why not give racing a try? During the summer, there are many single track races that are part of the WORS series. This “Wisconsin Off Road Series” is an awesome way to compete, have some fun, and meet new bikers and friends to ride with.

If you’re not interested in the rough terrain of mountain biking, you have another option! Summer road biking is awesome too. It’s a great way to travel a distance in one day and see some scenery. You can make road biking whatever you choose, whether you’re up for a cardio busting speed drill or a casual family stroll on a weekend afternoon, you can tailor your ride to your desire. Getting out and pedaling the back roads will give you a sunnier disposition, a workout, and some fresh air.

Whether you’re going to bike the trails or the roads, it’s crucial to get into the shop and be sure your bike is a good size for you & is tuned and passes all the safety checks. If you end up with a problem mid-ride, it will take away from your fun. And after all, “fun” is what it should be about… just like in skiing!

If you’re a hardcore skier, I would highly suggest you pick yourself up a road bike or a mountain bike! Make the most out of summer and take your mind off the snow at the same time! Don’t walk, just roll!!!

Post written by our ski & bike loving Brian Trybula. Come chat with him about anything “outdoor”!