Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Down, but NOT OUT!

Late this past Sunday afternoon I started having a sore throat.  I thought I was just allergies but I seem to have come down with a cold or some type of sinus infection.  It moved from my throat to my nose and ears and today, Tuesday, hit my chest.  I am trying to rest as must as possible and am taking a few over the counter medications to help kick it. There are a few bigger rides I had on my calendar this weekend and I am hoping to be back riding and running this weekend.  I am listening to my body and will take it easy as I want to bounce back from this as fast as possible.  Pounding the liquids to try and flush it from my system. When the weather is good, even though it is hot, it stinks to be sick.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Saturday Morning's Training Ride of Just Over 40 Miles

A quick overview of this morning's just over 40 mile ride. 

It was humid but not really any wind to fight. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Terra-Ride’s R1 Racing Lubricant made by KAEPS Sports

Keeping your chain in great shape is very important, as your chain is constantly moving when you are riding (unless you are coasting). Regular maintenance of your chain and bike will make it last along longer. The Terra-Ride’s R1 Racing Lubricant made by KAEPS Sports is an eco-friendly bike lubricant not only for chains but for cables, derailleurs and shifters. After a good washing of your bike, protect its moving parts with an application of the Terra-Ride R1 Racing Lubricant. It was developed for extreme conditions. The lube creates a good bond with the chain after applied and does a great job of repelling water. It can be used on both mountain bikes and road bikes.  Not to mention it is great for cyclocross bikes, as those courses tend to get a little muddy. Simply apply to the chain as you run it backwards and wipe off the excess. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

MUNK Athletic Hand Strengthener

This adjustable resistance hand strengthener by MUNK Athletic is made of high quality plastic. The adjustment ranges from 22 to 70 pound of resistance. It says the handles are anti-slip but it would have been better designed with some type of rubber injected in both sides of the grip. It is very small and compact measuring only four by six inches. Very convenient to throw in a gym bag or backpack.  Mine travels with me in my car to use while sitting at red lights or in my desk drawer. The stainless steel spring is easily adjustable as well as the wheel on the top of the device. The strengthener is perfect for those wanting to increase their forearm and hand strength or use as a rehabilitation exercise. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kewl Systems Camtrek Pro DLSR 8CXi Camera Sling Bag

 This is my review of the Kewl System Camtrek Pro DSLR 8CXI sling bag. Photographers always have some type of bag or backpack with gear in it.  I set out to use the KewlSystems sling bag as a way to downsize the amount of equipment I carry with me. It can fit one DSLR comfortably in the main pocket of the pack. Besides the main zippered pocket, there are four other zippered pockets of various sizes.  An extra lens, really reaching the size of your typical 70 to 200 mm zoom fits very well.  The other zippered pockets sizes go down from that. A pocket for your memory cards, or cell phone, point-and-shoot camera or small flash units, microphones, etc. The sling strap tightness across the front of the body can be adjusted and the padding in shoulder area is very comfortable. There are a few convenient straps or attaching hooks or other gear to, while there is also an adjustable buckle which in a few other photos of the sling bag I have seen a mono-pod carried inside. Obviously the mono-pod I have an use is too heavy and doesn’t collapse down far enough without being awkward and wanting to fall out. There is a water bottle holder mesh pocket on the bottom of the sling bag which is a nice added feature. The Camtrek Pro DSLR 8CXI sling bag was designed by photographer for photographer.  Like anything new, it will take some adjusting to working out of the bag, but with its limited space, the bag will do what it was designed for, not wanting to carry an entire camera kit. 

For carrying a GoPro camera and a bunch of attachments, this sling bag will work great for mountain biking and hiking. 

*Note -- I received the product for free or a reduced price for my unbiased review and opinion. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

40 mile training ride from this past weekend.

A quick GPS video showing my training route this past weekend. The ride was great with a local group I have met up with the past month.  Aside from someone in the group having a flat with in three miles of the start, we all stopped to wait. The humidity was pretty high, but once moving through the air it was tolerable. The planned route was a little over 40 miles, so I packed three 23 ounce hydration bottles. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ultimate Fitness "Ultimate Roller"

The Ultimate Roller is very well constructed and measures 14 inches long and roughly four inches in diameter. Like numerous rollers on the market, the dense foam provides a deep tissue massage. Using properly the roller can release tension spots or knots. Each knob on the Ultimate Roller sticks out about one half inch, and is better at getting deep into muscle tissue as a flat foam roller would not do. The size of the roller makes it very well portable and the stiff knobs seem to be holding their shape and structure. It is backed by a one year warranty so buyers can relax on how well it will hold up. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Pratico Good 10 Liter Dry Bag

The Pratico Outdoors ten liter DrySafe dry bag is great for keeping your essentials dry. For an individuals belongings its the perfect size for keeping a towel, keys and wallet in while out on a kayak. The very well constructed stitching and 500D PVC is heavy duty.  The adjustable should strap is comfortable and can easily be unclipped and removed if you don’t care to use it. The top edge that rolls down before buckling is very stiff with a reinforced top seam. This is a great feature which helps keep the top stiff when rolling. 

 Pratico Goods 
"Dry Bags"


*I received the Pratico Good Dry Bag for free or a reduced price for my unbiased review and was not paid. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Relaj Water Bottle

 Its textured outer feel can still be wet, due to condensation, yet won't easily slip out of your hand.  What many bottles miss is a valve that stops them from leaking if accidentally tipped. With the Relaj there is a LeakLock Valve that prevents this from happening.  Another aspect in which a lot of bottles miss is the ability to be fully disassembled for cleaning.  The Relaj fully disassembles for cleaning to get all those hard to reach areas where germs can hide and better yet is both top and bottom rack dishwasher safe, or the bottle can simply be washed by hand. 

Esky ES-PS01 Backlit LCD Display Electronic Digital Scale

Esky ES-PS01 Backlit LCD Display Electronic Digital Scale
Tape Measure on the side of the scale 

I have been weighing my bikes lately trying to figure out where to get rid of extra weight.  The Esky ES-PS01 Backlit LCD Display Electronic Balance Digital Scale is a great start to first of all figuring out what my bike weighs. It came complete with two AAA batteries.  The maximum weight this scale will read is 110 pounds or 50kg. The backlit blue display is easy to read. With the tare button, it allows you to hook up a strap or a container you are going to put the item you want to weigh and zero the scale, therefore giving you the net weight of the item. Although it can be used for weighing many things, the hook, which stores conveniently on the back of the scale, is very small at just an inch big. It is difficult to attach straps or objects to it. The handle can easily be tucked in the top of the scale, when not in use.  There is also a convenient tape measure built right in the side of the scale. 

12 Rung Agility Ladder from Ohuhu

I have added the 12 rung agility ladder to my fitness routine, or if anything my son and daughter are getting active using it. Of course with the heat outside, any workout outside is hard enough. Each of the 12 rungs is spaced out about 15 inches apart from each other. The ladder is being used to help my acceleration, lateral speed and agility. It’s a great warm-up tool before going running or jumping on the bike for a ride. Why I like the Agility Ladder from Ohuhu is it stores nicely in a nylon bag it comes with and is very portable and can be set up pretty much anywhere. 

Quality Sound Hand-Free HIMBOX

The HB01-Plus, HIMBOX bluetooth car kit is incredible. The kit allows you to connect your smartphone to play either phone calls or music through your cars speakers. First off it comes with a adapter for your cigarette lighter with a USB port for the device itself, along with two other USB ports for charging or to power other devices in your car. Pairing the HIMBOX with your smartphone is fast and simple. Keep in mind, this device must be plugged into the USB to power it and be used. The HIMBOX controller itself has three simple buttons on it. The large, center  main button is used to turn it on as well as it is used when first pairing it with your smartphone. The two smaller buttons on the device also can be used to control volume up/down, previous music track/next track.  When music is being played through it the center button then becomes a play/pause button. To play the audio from your smartphone whether for music or phone usage you also need to plug in the 3.5mm audio cable into your AUX (auxiliary) port, then select the AUX band in which your radio will receive sound from.  The HIMBOX controller unit is magnetic on the back. The unit comes with a magnetic base in which the flip side of it has a sticky pad in which you can removed and adhere to your dashboard or wherever. Conveniently the unit comes with a metal clip, this is what I have been using, as it allows the controller unit to be magnetically attached to the clip.  I have the clip on my sun visor. Two reasons I have it mounted here. One, it keeps the microphone close to me and second, with the heat in my car, sticking the mount to my dashboard would slowly slide off. The sound quality of music being played through the device through the cars speakers is great. Even better is the quality of the phone conversations you can have while being hands-free. The person on the other end of the phone has their voice come across the car’s speakers, very clear. SIRI and Google functions can be controlled through voice activation when connected. The total cord length from controller to end of USB / 3.5 audio output is 51 inches with the Y split in the cord coming at about 33 inches. From the Y where the USB / 3.5 audio output split each individual cord is about 18 inches long. So when split the distance reaches 36 inches. I am making you aware of this, as being it needs to be plugged into a charging port as well as the AUX input, cars or SUVs typically have these close to each other. In the three vehicles I have used the HIMBOX in, there is plenty of cord.  The HIMBOX also comes with an easy to follow guide to setting up the bluetooth car kit. I like the quality of the sound both voice and music and the connivence with the HIMBOX HB01-PLUS hands-free while driving. 


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

GOMA Industries SQUID Flexible Tripod

The GOMA Industries SQUID flexible tripod for use with smartphones, GoPros or other small point and shoot cameras. First off this very light flexible tripod stands seven inches high (each of the three legs are five inches tall and the 360 degree rotating head is two inches).  The pivoting legs can be set up in numerous angles, not just straight out from under the body of the tripod. That being said, the legs are also flexible and can be wrapped around or hung from objects, getting your camera in very difficult spots. Don’t overload the tripod, as it can only hold cameras/smartphones just over a half a pound. The tripod is packaged with a FREE smartphone adapter which can expand when pulled to three and three quarter inches to insert a smartphone inside as well as the tripod comes with a FREE GoPro adapter. The quarter twenty screw on the tripod will also fit the bottom of point and shoot cameras. The GOMA SQUID flexible tripod is a must for GoPro users who want to place their cameras while out and about or for those vlogging with small cameras. 

Taylor Smart Digital Scale

A sample shot of the screen shows in the lower half near the left the BlueTooth symbol showing information is transferring to the smart device it is paired with. 
 The Taylor Smart Digital Scale, model #7222F.  Smart in the name means it connects with the use of Bluetooth to a Smartphone or Bluetooth 4.0 enabled device. In my case I will be explaining it synching with Bluetooth to a Samsung Galaxy S5.  Even without downloading and pairing with a smartphone you are still able to get full use out of the scale and its ability to read your weight, body fat percentage, percentage of water in your body, your muscle mass and cal-max ( this estimates maximum calorie intake to maintain your current weight, so this can be used to set daily calorie goals for weight loss). The scale itself runs off of three AAA batteries. In order for the information to synch with other apps, the Taylor SmarTrack app must be downloaded to your device from either the Google Play Store or Apple iTunes. The scale/app will then link/share information to various fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper etc. This is done by pressing “unit of measure" or "connect button” on the back of the scale for five seconds. When the scale is paired or synched with the smartphone you can input up to eight profiles or people in. Each profile you set up will ask for your gender/athlete as well as your height/weight/age. It will also want your goal weight you want to achieve and an activity level (AC) of one to five, with five being extremely active to one being very sedentary. These can be inputted also manually but with it connected it is a little faster.  To get a good reading on the scales platform it is recommended your feet have a little moisture on them, this helps with the body calculations and readings being taken. When you first step on the scale it will cycle through reading your weight, followed by a moving zero pattern. Next the scale will give the readings of body fat, body water, muscle mass, calorie estimate and goal weight in the smaller numbers below your weight.  A blinking “Bluetooth” icon will blink, letting you know the scale is connected and preparing to send your data to your app on your smartphone. Then a square book like symbol will appear letting you know your information is indeed being transferred. Wait for the book like symbol to disappear as this is when you know if the transition of data was successful. If the book like symbol stays on the screen, wait as data is still being transferred. The maximum weight the scale will read is 400 pounds and auto shuts off in ten seconds. I would highly recommend this scale to anyone already using a fitness app on their Smartphone. The set up is very quick. 
Here are a few screen grabs from the SmarTrack App after being synched with the scale and the information it sends across.

Fat Mass
Muscle Mass
Body Water
Calories to maintain my weight
Another screen in the app that charts your progress and can be viewed showing weekly, monthly and yearly progress on a graph.