Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pointy Little Elbows

    It was beautiful weather today. Blue skies, a little bit of wind with touch of cool air in the breeze and the sun was shining and it felt warm. You all know, this was all happening, when most of us, was in work but I escaped at lunch time and sat in the suv with the windows open and sneaked in a nap.

    My original plan was to come home, change and grab my bike and head to the canal path for a spin. I planned it to be an easy ride because I have been super lazy over the winter and I'm taking an advantage of this cool weather to get some of the outside chores done. So I have been neglecting my bikes and riding. I had to make a pit stop, before I got home and get gas because the dam gas light came on, while sitting in traffic and stopping for gas in the morning is ridiculous. When I got home, pizza was waiting for me and oh it looked delicious so I ate a few slices, maybe more than I should have and definitely more than I needed to before a ride. The boys' beg me to play Legos and it's tough for me to refuse them, so we played and I of course laid on top of them. If you think stepping on a Lego, feels bad, there is nothing like laying down on one. Then the boys' wrestled me, 2 against 1 and they repeatedly drove their pointy little elbows into my pudgy side and I had to tap out. Now at this point, it was dark outside, I'm feeling even more sluggish and tired and I still have to do some freelance work before it gets too late. It's Pj time (them, not me), brush teeth, read some books and say pray's & lights out and so goes another chance to ride.

    So what's the moral to my long winded story, bring the bike to work with my gear, change at work and drive to the riding spot. DO NOT GO HOME FIRST!! Hopefully next time, I can do this but more importantly, feel motivated enough to get my $hit together the night before.

    So I like to pretend that, I got money to spend and still look at the "Newest Products" on Universal Cycles website. Some stuff is appealing, if and when I do eventually ride, I may need new jerseys or tech shirts to wear for mountain biking. Dakine Charger Camo shirt, caught my eye and so did the price of $45. It has a mesh back and underarm panels for ventilation and that is key for me because I sweat like a pig, in any season and a extended back hem, to prevent plumbers crack. Then I stumbled upon, Enve Composites Carbon Mountain Stem that is priced at $265!! I mean, that is a lot of cash to drop, on a mtn bike stem! Ok, it says it weighs, 85g –104g but that depends on what length you get. I also know that ALL Enve products, cost a lot of money. I think, the only Enve product, that I could afford or even want to buy is their Enve Black on Black 3D hat for $25. Even spending $25 for a hat, seems a bit ridiculous, to me. I guess if you can drop, $800 to $900 for 1 rim or $2800 for a wheelset, the rest of your bike has to cost at least 8k.

I'm a big fan of Skratch Labs. I like their products a lot and so far everything is delicious and settles really well on my stomach. I just saw, they are releasing Fruit Drops. They're made with glucose and fructose as the carbohydrate sources, with sodium, pectin and real fruit as the primary contributing ingredients. They added more water than usual to make them softer and less sticky than other gel chews. Each pouch has 10 drops for 40g of carbs and 160 calories, which they say is the upper limit of what the fittest athletes (which I'm not) can ingest in an hour when combined with their sports hydration drink. Technically, each pouch is more like two servings and it retails $2.45 per pouch. Read more about it here.

    Be Safe Out There & Happy Trails.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Making Strides

    Well a lot of time has past since the last time I wrote something. My twin boy's aren't so little anymore, they are 6 years old and are in kindergarten. I bought them both a red Strider Balance bike for Christmas. I of course, I was more excited to get it, for them and of course they weren't as excited to receive it. It figures. Since it was the winter, we let them ride, the balance bike, inside the house. NP quickly got the hang of it and zipped all thru the rooms, chasing his brother. JJ had more fun running along side his brother or being the one chased down. I made sure, I taught them the proper safety of wearing a helmet. I won a Specialized helmet in a raffle, a size small, so I gave it to NP to use. What other 3 year old, do you know, rides around on a balance bike, wearing a $200 helmet... inside the house?

    The bike riding inside the house, had to stop because NP was marking up the walls with the tires. So when, the winter and snow, finally disappeared, I took NP outside to ride and he did really well and was even more, fast as hell, on the sidewalk. If someone was mechanically inclined, they could probably install a rear brake lever on the bike, so the lil people, can easily adjust to this sort of braking style, than to Fred Flintstone, their stops. NP quickly outgrew his balance bike and JJ still showed no interest in the balance bike but enjoyed running alongside his brother instead. I of course, lost the battle of taking NP to the bike shop to buy him "real" big boy bike and settled (or lost the battle) and got him a Huffy Disney Planes Dusty bike. He zipped along using that bike but had a hard time adjusting to the coaster brake because, he would still put his feet down to stop himself, which didn't work well, when the pedals mashed into his little calfs. Here's where the idea, of installing a rear brake lever, on this type of bike would probably benefit the most.

    So hopefully this summer, I'll be able to buy him a "real" big boy bike from my bike shop. I'm eyeing, the Cannondale Trail 20 Single-speed bike and I'm loving the green and blue combo, I just hope he likes it too!

    I'm still riding the Turner 5 Spot and still in love with it. I can, finally see the difference with the 29er bikes but still can't let go, of my 26er. The big wheel moving over everything and being much quicker, but I'm still reading, you still can't get that "flick-ability" of a 26er. I could be wrong, and I'm sure, there is some 29er brand out there, that would prove me wrong but what price, as in, how much money, will you have to pay out, to get that "flick-ability" back?

    Single-speed is not my thing. Nothing against those, who can do it, I just like gears and breathing normal. I have tried it and found out, real quick, how out-of-shape, I was on the trails. I want to hear the birds chirping and wind whooshing thru the trees and not hear my heart pounding or feel like i'm going to puke up, all that water, I just drank.

    Fat bikes... really? I can't stand them. To me, it looks ridiculous and I feel like that person is flaunting, that they have, that much more $$$ to burn. I can see if you live in Alaska or Boston and get a tremendous amount of snow and need to ride in 4 to 8 inches of snow but to see them riding around on flat, rocky, or rooty trails... come on!!

    Well that's all, I got for now. Be safe out there and happy trails.