Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket

Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket

This highly sophisticated cycling jacket is intense. It truly is reflective from 360 degrees.  You are visible while wearing it and a vehicles lights shine on you, you WILL be seen. I swear you would think this jacket is powered with batteries or something, but it’s not. This very well designed jacket is perfect for cycling or really any outdoor activity were you want to be seen in traffic. The jacket is super visible but also has numerous features built in it. First off, it is waterproof and breathable at the same time. There is a liner inside but it is very good at keeping in heat. I’ve worn other jackets that are waterproof, only to find out while out on a ride, they are not. Two outer pockets, up front on the chest, allow for some smaller items (nutrition, keys, cell phone, etc.) to be carried. Both arms  use a velcro enclosure to keep the fitting tight, keeping out cold air. The elastic waist cord is adjustable and keeps body heat in when needed. For help with airflow, the front two chest pockets can be opened and allow air to flow through the jacket with the mesh lining inside. Also to help with ventilation, under each arm are zippers to open vents under there. To continue with the ventilation, there is a upper back flap which allows air to flow out. This jacket is super comfortable and is really not just for riding a bike in.  There is one more important pocket also, it is a pocket on the lower back, which is also able to be zipped. Another place to put your cell phone, nutrition, etc.  The front zippers are sealed, keeping the jacket from letting water in. For the cold wet winter ahead, ride in comfort while being seen when vehicle lights shine on you.  The Proviz Reflect 360 is just another innovative way to enjoy cycling in the cooler and winter months and alerting traffic you are riding also. 
Stay dry when the rain comes, stay warm when it gets colder out and be seen while riding with traffic while wearing this jacket. 
Here is the link to order yours for before the cold winter / fall weather arrives. 

Road Tested

*****After my first ride with the jacket, as the temperature dipped low enough to need a jacket, it was very comfortable. The velcro enclosures on the sleeve cuffs did a great job keeping the cold air out. During my ride I started to warm up, so I easily slide down the chest pocket zippers allowing some air flow in. I would later zip open the arm pit vents, and once again very easy to do while still riding and it worked.  Air started moving through helping me regulate my temperature. Of course the sun would eventually rise and the day became warmer, but by then my training ride was over. As I would ride and then look at my shadow, cast from the sun, I could see the jacket never puffed up, grabbing the air like a parachute at all. Even with the zippers open on the front and under the arms. The flap in the upper back does a great job in letting that air pass through and escape.  *****


Monday, September 26, 2016

Three new Amrita Protein bar flavors hitting the market

Along with one of my all time favorites Amrita’s Chocolate Maca 15 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, they followed it up by introducing three other great flavor combination bars that also have the same amount of protein and fiber, as well as all being gluten free, soy free, dairy free and Kosher.  Dark Chocolate Quinoa, Chocolate Chip Coconut and finally Sunbutter with Jelly.  I have had the honor to not only taste test these flavor combinations, but have used them in training.  First off, nothing was wrong with the Chocolate Maca bar. I still love and use it as my main after ride recovery bar. The new flavors are something now to mix it up with.  Very good combinations of flavors. Honestly who couldn't turn down the sunbutter and jelly combination. Sunbutter is like peanut butter however made with sunflower seeds. For those with allergies to peanuts, you may ask your doctor if sunbutter could be for you.  If you can't find these flavors or bars in a store near you, you can always order them online. 

Order them online through the site and save 15 percent by using the code

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tiny Changes Make A Big Difference

Larry DeMik, at Two Wheel Jones Gilbert, makes an adjustment to my seat height and saddle position while being fit with the Retul Bike Fit System.

Tiny changes make big differences and here is how it goes. Wanting to be more comfortable on my bike yet be more energy efficient I was recently fitted on my road by at Two Wheel Jones in Gilbert. The store offers a Retul fitting in their Velocraft bike fit studio. The fitting first started off with the replacement of my shoe’s cleats. They were moved after some visual measurements were made by Larry DeMik, who also happens to be the bike shop owner. Next, I hopped on the bike, while it was set up in a trainer.  Eight markers were attached to the right side of my body with Velcro dots holding them in place. They were placed on my wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, heel and toe. These markers, turn the body into a stick figure in the computer program being used. Each sensor reflects back an inferred light allowing for the 3D effect. Each sensor was giving real-time data to the computer as Larry would not only watch on the camera recording the movement but capture numbers showing the different degrees of movement of the different body parts.  The next adjustment was to my seat height, as Larry could read from the data being collected, my knee was moving in a lateral position. To fix this issue he ended up raising my seat to remove some of the movement. Data being looked at included 

ankeling pattern  
knee extension and flection 
knee forward to foot 
hip angle 
back angle 

After adjusting my seat, I pedaled with one leg at a time.  Of course during this I found out my right leg is more dominant.  When pedaling with my left leg only, I found my pedaling to be pretty choppy.  Walking away I got homework to work on one legged pedaling drills. I also need to work on not riding on my tippy toes, and while my feet are in my cycling shoes, try and pull my toes up while pedaling. Although the computer program is giving information as a guide, it is really up the the fitter, Larry in this case, to determine if the adjustment is necessary and if so at what degree or level to make the adjustment. After dialing in my seat height and adjusting it a little more forward, he dropped my handlebars by 5mm.  As with anything new, the adjustments will take a little time to get use to but when increasing comfort and efficiency everyone should be fit. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

1UP USA Quik-Rack review w/video

The 1UP USA Quik-Rack is amazingly easy to set up and load a bicycle onto. The super convince of this single bike rack, is incredible. The rack can be folded and stored in the garage, in the trunk folded up or even just left in the hitch on the vehicle.  The two arms on the rack simply tighten up around the wheels and your off. No removing the wheels. The only parts that touch the bike are on the wheels. For those with carbon frames or nice paint jobs on their bikes, nothing touches the frame of the bike at all. it comes complete with everything needed to convert the rack from fitting in a 1¼" or 2” inch tow hitch. At least two inches of the rack must be mounted inside the hitch receiver for the expander bolt inside to grab hold of. The rack can be adjusted in a few angles when a bike is either on or off the rack. Need to get access to your hatchback? The rack easily is adjusted to give you access. The 25 pound rack is very solid when mounted in the hitch receiver. Face the bike in either direction and simply place the wheels in the trays. Open the racks arms before placing a bike on the rack, pull the arms closing in on the wheels and the bike is now securely fastened. 

The ratcheting rails can only be opened (red levers) when you lift up and move them out away from the center of the rack. Although this rack is only for one bike, there is the option to add on up to two other racks, making the total rack fit a total of three bikes.  Each bike can weigh up to 50 pounds. There are seven different levels on each opening arm in which the roller can be adjusted, allowing it to fit road or mountain bikes bikes with wheel bases up to 52 inches (axle to axle) and fit bikes with wheel sizes 16 inch to 29 inches. Special attachments can be purchased separately from the company to allow the rack to fit fat bikes. No rubber straps or cords to worry about and all necessary hardware.  It comes with both a ¼” allen key to remove the two inch receiver, if your going to use it on a hitch 1¼” as well as two, 3/4 inch security allen keys (anti-theft security tools) to securely mount the rack to the vehicle. I love this rack when it’s only been myself headed out to meet up with a group road ride or meet up friends on the mountain bike trails. The only problem I have seen is, if I fold the rack up towards my vehicles bumper it slightly blocks my license plate. Obviously not everyone is going to have this issue as plates are mounted at different heights depending upon the vehicle. If I drive without a bike on the rack, I leave the rack down exposing the plate, but fold it up when I park. I love this rack in that once the allen key tightens the mechanism inside the hitch making it very solid. The rack does not wobble or shake what so ever. The rack comes in black or the anodized aluminum like you see here. This rack would be perfect for students who use their vehicles to get in the general area of their school and use a bike then to get to class. With the security hitch as well as the ability to be quickly folded down and stored in the trunk, its a win/win! 

Check them out at the link below 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Showdown at Usery Mountain Bike Race

I had a great time producing this video, with the local bike shop, about their upcoming mountain bike race here locally. Fun course, which over the years I have ridden quite a lot. I am still on the fence about entering.  Still trying to plan out my fall calendar to see if I would be able to race it. The race is the first weekend in November of this year. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Replacing the watch band on my Suunto Ambit 2S

The band on my Suunto Ambit 2S was showing some wear and tear, so I ordered a new one to replace it with. To switch out the band it required a T6, or Torx 6, bit. I stopped by the watch repair store on my way home from work and the guy there did not have it.  He said stop by next week and he would have it.  He said the charge to swap out the band would be ten dollars. 
I though to myself that is a lot to just swap out the band. So I stopped by the local hardware store just to see if they happen to have the Torx T6 bit I was in search of.  Sure enough they did in a multi-piece mini screwdriver set for only five dollars. I thought to myself that after switching out the band myself, I would have the screwdriver set to work on other projects down the road that might call for the Torx T6 bit again or anyone of the other 23 bits that also came with the set. 

The watchband is on and working a good as new.