Sunday, November 22, 2009

MTB El Tour de Tucson and Trips for Kids

One tank of gas in a month, I think that is a first. You can ride your bike everywhere in Tucson. This week the El Tour de Tucson and ~9000 people came to town. I was debating doing part of it but heard way too many injury stories. Instead we hung out at the tour expo on Wednesday...
Recovery Socks at the El Tour Expo
...and did an around-and-over Mt Lemmon ride on mountain bikes Saturday.
Top of Mt Lemmon with Todd, Rudy, Tom and Dejay. All downhill from here.
ride profile (Topofusion).
From "home", across Tucson, up to the town of Oracle, up the backside of Mt Lemmon (dirt), stop at Summerhaven store for fudge then down the pavement, back "home".
Kids on bikes
Sunday was spent with a group of kids riding in the Saguaro National Forest (East) thanks to Trips for Kids Southern Arizona.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

FRS Deal

If you want to try out the FRS product (see my review below) here is a promotional coupon code. FRSVIP30 I am not sure how long this will be good for. Go to the FRS website click on the "purchase" tab then "buy online" to see selection.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Todd and I dance the Oakley dance. From our wonderful friend Bri... video

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reviews: FRS, ipod Shuffle, Compression Socks, Hydrapak, ZeroGoo, The Stick, Handlebar pack, etc.

Of the new small items I have been testing this is a list of my favorites: FRS drinks and chews. I got hooked on the FRS drinks at interbike when I was running on no sleep and had the typical Interbike all-day/all-night schedule. I used it after Interbike while trying to fit too much into a family week complete with training, wedding, lunches, dinners, and nights on the town. Now I use it for training and recovery. Basically, it gets me going and keeps me going. Try it if you are heading into the conference room and know you are about to fall asleep, or before getting on your bike to do intervals at the end of a draining day.

Zerogoo's Fuel Injector is a great gadget. It allows you to regulate the quantity and timing of gel and water mix. I have even used it on hard group road rides (no, I don't look roadie with my pack, but I can get to my gel when no one else can). Zerogoo is working on perfecting this system with various size re-fillable/collapsible gel containers. I have ridden ~1300 miles with this setup, I don't even notice it is there and actually prefer the way the hose is now mounted. The pack and Fuel Injector are usually left in my car (with gel) between rides (25-120 degree temps). If you do this a lot, and never clean it out, eventually the gel will clump and not flow through the valve, my solution was to just shake the entire thing, pack and all. I should probably clean it at some point... But it still tastes good, so I haven't. . Next I plan to try it with other gels. I hear it works just as well with CarbBoom, GU, Clif, PowerBar, and EFS gels. Another thing to try is Gatorade powder, fill the bottle with the dry powder and screw it on, sounds cool.

Here is my injector pictured with Hydrapak's new magnetic hose holder and Surge bite valve. The magnet is great, just place the hose close to the right spot and the magnet "grabs" it. The Surge bite valve is great, no more leaking; if you have the old one replace it now, see details below. .For a $1 deal from Hydrapak:

"How to get the Deal: Click to order our old Easy Flo Bite Valve You will see the $1 Dollar Price Add to shopping cart When checking out use the code: surge (case sensitive) You will then see the Free Shipping applied We ship the Surge!"

Close up of new Surge bite valve:

New ipod shuffle. I do love the controls, they make sense and are easy to use. The pink Shuffle is pictured here tucked in my helmet with the extra wire wrapped up and the controls left in easy reach. No more wires to get in the way. However, I do not like the ipod ear pod (it falls out of my ear). I plan to cut off the ear pods, shorten the wires and replace with a single Memorex EC100 Sport ear piece. That is the issue with placing the new controls inline with the headphones. Although there are adapters, I will just cut and solder it the way I want it. . . The Stick Wheel (for feet). This is one of those things you never knew you needed. I have never cared to have my feet massaged, but this makes me realize I have tight muscles or small knots in the bottom of my feet. I now leave it by the couch and use it when I watch TV, I just leave it on the floor and roll my foot back and forth on top of it. Swiftwick's arm warmers. I really like these arm warmers, they do not fall down and are not tight, they have a perfect level of "compression" which is not noticeable (unless you add too much of a new electrolyte product and your arms swell up, don't ask...). They seem to be warm in cold weather but don't get hot in warm weather, I'm not sure how that works but I like it. Guys, if you have really muscular arms they may be too tight, so try them on first if you can. .
I love my pink Recovery Socks. Turns out these guys are out of Tucson so I have been seeing other people running around in "my" socks. These are the first pair I have tried that are long enough, don't feel tight at the top, don't fall down (ever), and hold up to washing and drying. They recommend not drying the socks, but since our washer automatically dries after washing, I never get them out between cycles.
.
JANDD handlebar pack. This is a really functional pack and great for extras like gloves, arm warmers, jacket, map, etc. I can stuff a lot in the pack and get in and out of it while riding. It's great for the road bike, but I had issues off-road on the MTB. First, the straps loosen. Second, although it doesn't move around too much, when full it was heavy enough to bounce up and break my handlebar computer mount. For the MTB I am going to try the Mountain Feedbag by Epic Ride Research.
.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Erika Powers Cross Racing

My Sister Erika is tearing it up in the Utah cross races, read about it here.
Erika leading the pack, photo taken from MTBRaceNews.com
.
MTBRaceNews.com also covered the Iceman Cometh and the pro athlete's comments on why this race draws so many racers and spectators.
.
I had a great weekend here in Tucson, AZ including spending Saturday at the Trips for Kids race and joining the 82-mile option of the GABA Silverbell century ride on Sunday.
.
Just a few of the kids pose for pics with me at the Nov 7th Trips for Kids event