11 January 2016

Outdoor Retailer - Winter Edition

When I first went to Outdoor Retailer last week, I wasn't expecting to post anything about the show. Usually, I can find a handful of cycling-related products that warrant a post or review, this time hardly any.

Then, I went back for a couple of hours on day 2, and found something that made my cycling geek day.

Hidden down an aisle that I missed on the first day, I found the gem that I was looking for. Bern, one of my favorite helmet manufacturers (I have three Bern helmets), has entered into the soft goods market!

Jeans and shorts have stretch fabric, gusseted crotches, and photo-reflective hits for safety. 

The shirts shown have a cool chain link pattern, and come in short and long sleeve versions.  

The Bern/Masterlink line features jeans, shorts, shirts and jackets that reflect the urban commuter/messenger style that Bern has become known for, while incorporating the performance features that cyclists need.

Unfortunately, this is just a quick post, I am hoping to get some samples and additional information so I can write a full review.

06 January 2016

You Need a New Bike Poster

Happy Freakin' New Year!!!

Yeah, I'm faking the excitement. Sorry. I know you expect more from me, but I can't help but phoning it in right now. Still recovering. Trying to find the motivation to ride indoors. Wanting to commute, but scared of breaking myself more due to ice, inattentive drivers, etc...

I could go on, but reading about me whining is not why all four of you read my blog.

The real reason you are reading this has to do with an email I recieved earlier today.

My Outdoor Alphabet has a poster available on their site which will answer that age-old question, do you need a new bike? This poster would be invaluable for convincing that stubborn significant other (love you, babe! I'm not talking about you, I'm referring to other peoples stubborn significant others) that you really do need a new bike.

Not my desk, It would never be that clean.

This poster by Bozeman, MT based illustrator Seth Neilson humorously explains that no matter how many bikes you have, or the condition of said bicycles, you ultimately do need a new bike. 

Aside from making your workshop look a bit sharper, this poster also helps others. All of the proceeds from this poster go to support the Afghan Women's Cycling Team.

So, for a measly $20, you get a quality poster, and the knowledge that you are helping a group of hard-core women.

11 December 2015

Friday Videos

Bait bikes. Bikes that are intentionally left unlocked, or poorly locked in order to tempt unscrupulous passers by. Often these bait bikes are left by the police in a sting operation. Other times, they are left by regular people in order to prank unsuspecting bike theives.

There is something oddly satisfying in watching some piece of slime bike thief taking 10,000 volts or so in the nether-region, or having his junk violently thrown into the stem of the bicycle. 

22 October 2015

Back in the Saddle Again (reprise)

Yes, I know I've used that post title before, in fact I'm sure that if I wasn't too lazy to check this morning, I've used it more than once. Still, it stands as the title today. 

Several days ago, I was walking (still limping, but it's getting better) up the street to feed the addiction with large quantities of ice cold Dr. Pepper. As per usual, I was longingly looking at all the passing cyclists, and feeling the need to feed another addiction - the type that riding on a trainer indoors isn't satisfying. 

Recently when I've felt this pull, my body responds back "Not yet, buddy, you still need some more healing." This time, the response was, "Why not give it a shot, what's the worst that could happen? You have to return the bike to the docking station and walk (limp) back."

Emboldened by my body's laissez-faire attitude, I decided to give it a shot. 

The addiction also likes salty snacks, specifically 7-Eleven's Maple Bacon chips.

And it felt... surprisingly normal!

I don't know what I was expecting, maybe to get on the bike, discover that all of my balancing skills had evaporated over the past 4 months, and fall over. Or, learn that I don't remember how to steer a bicycle, and suddenly dart into traffic. Thankfully, neither of those scenarios played out, and I successfully rode the city bike back to the docking station near the day job's office. 

Success can be addictive, and just like my craving for caffeine, I soon found myself wanting more outdoor riding. The next day, I rode to and from the 7-Eleven! I'm still slow, and I can feel that the strength isn't completely back in the right leg, but it feels good to ride! 

After a couple days of caffeine runs, I decided to up the ante - multi-modal commuting. I could take the train by my house into the city, and ride a city bike the 1.4 miles from the central hub to my office. I don't feel strong enough to do the full 9 mile commute yet, but I know I could handle the shorter ride. 

Every day this week, I've ridden to and from the train station. It feels good to be a commuter again!

07 October 2015

Product Review: Bolle The One

Yes, I did make it to Interbike this year. Yes, I did slowly limp around the show floor for two days, and yes, I did see some friends and some cool things at the show.

And yes, this is an actual product review post!

One of the friends I saw was Jim Katz with Bolle. Jim told me that he had something really cool - and unexpected - to show me. I was assuming it was a new sunglass line.

Instead he showed me Bolle's entry into the performance cycling helmet field - The One.

What sets this helmet apart from all the rest is how modular they have made it. The One is an apt name for the helmet because Bolle has created it to be "the one" helmet for every situation.
The One comes with detachable air foils to block its 31 vent holes if a more aerodynamic profile is needed, a visor for those days where you want to venture off the asphalt on a knobby tired bike, a detatchable integrated rear LED light for commuting when the sun is not in an optimal position, and interchangeable liners for all season riding.
It also has a "sunglass garage" to securely hold your sunglasses when you don't want them on your face.
Has anyone seen my sunglasses?
The One, and its scaled-down sibling, the Messenger, will be available to the public in Early 2016, I will post another review once I am able to get a model for a hands-on test. The price for The One will range from $129.99 to $169.99 depending on if you choose the standard or premium trim.
I have to say that Jim's email telling me about something unexpected and cool turned out to be correct. It is a good looking helmet with tons of functionality. Right now, I switch between 3 helmets depending on the season, and type of riding that I am doing. I can see this helmet taking the place of all of them.

Look for The One on the noggins of the SmartStop Pro Cycling team this year and next.

07 September 2015

Interbike Bound!

I probably should seek help from someone in the psychiatric field, but instead I've decided to go to Interbike next week.
But only for a couple of days. I'm skipping the Outdoor Demo days, because what would be more fun than limping around in blistering heat, in the dirt and not being able to ride any of the bikes.
If you're going, look me up. I'll be the one limping with the cane.