Wednesday, November 28, 2007

King Grips from Rivendale

I went out on a limb and decided to try the new King Grip Pedals from Rivendale. They advertised large platform with excellent gripping power without the need for special cycling shoes. They went as far as to say they could be used with flip flops. They also had the cool factor, a figure 8 design. I have had my Odyssey triple traps on all my bikes for the last 8 yrs and saw no reason to change. They are a bit heavy but grip very well with all shoes and just work for me. Sitting home on a cool wet day I became intrigued with the King Grips and thought they might make a great addition. They arrived yesterday and I was excited to try them out. I weighed them in comparison to my Odyssey and found them grams lighter. So far so good. They are definitely longer than the Odyssey, but are much narrower. I thought that might be a concern. What was a greater concern was my feet were all over the place. No grip what so ever. On a recumbent that could be catastrophic. I have always enjoyed the Gorilla Glue type grip of my Odyseeys and the King Grips had none. I thought the cool factor would be worth the $50, but not at the expense of comfort and safety. So I stay with my Odyssey's and return the King Grips. Only to keep

Enjoying the ride.

Friday, November 23, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes

It has been a full 2 weeks since my last ride. I was very sad. I suffer from seasonal affective disorder. It seems the Gods did not shine upon me and I have been plagued with rain on all my days off except November 11. My daughters wedding and an absolutely gorgeous day. The Gods were smiling.

I was fortunate this year to get both Thanksgiving and Friday off. Rain was in the forecast for Thanksgiving, but was supposed to hold off till late afternoon. I was hoping to get an early ride in before the family gathering. I awoke to a beautiful sunny morning with highs in the mid 60's. It was so balmy I did the ride in my favorite clothes. A T shirt, shorts and sneakers no socks. Since I didn't ride for 2 wks and I needed to get back early for my In-laws, I decided a 30 miler would be perfect. It was so warm, I worked up a sweat casually riding ensuring I wouldn't over exert my unused bent muscles. Obviously it was a great ride and I could smell the kitchens of families preparing their festive dinners. Once home I enjoyed my families company and gave thanks for a great days ride and the traditional family feast.

Today, Friday, I awoke to a different scenario. Temps mid 30's and windy. I rode wearing many layers, my XC pants, a balaclava and a wool hat. I thought I would be shedding some layers but it didn't turn out that way. My clothing was spot on except for my feet. The wool socks and sneakers were not enough. After 35 miles my toes got cold and numb and I had to stop multiple times to regain circulation and warmth to my feet. This is my biggest problem for cold weather riding. I use big BMX pedals so I can wear different shoes, but I still cannot come up with something warm enough for my feet. Despite my cold feet I did a 50 miler. The Maple trees that still had leaves were a brilliant yellow or red. Instead of smelling food cooking for Thanksgiving I could smell the warm wood burning fireplaces.

These 2 days have been a gift and I am fortunate to have 2 great and different days of cycling.

Enjoying the ride.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Annual mileage goal

I hit my minimal annual mileage goal a few days ago. 3K. This year started off slow for the 1st few months and it took a while longer till I got in the groove again. Sometimes life just gets in the way. I should finish with a few hundred more before years end. Last yr was excellent at 4300mi and that was with 4 weeks of non cycling vacations and no week long cycling events.

Yesterday, I got out for a 30 miler in the brisk fall weather. Temps 40, minimal wind, and perfect fall foliage. A great relaxing ride. Cool weather riding does bring down my average, 1/2-1 mph, but I don't care. I still need to get out.

This yr 99% of my miles has been on my ICE T trike. It is so easy to just hop on and go and if need be I can put it in the trunk of my Accent with minimal effort. The T is a great winter ride as I don't have to worry about wheels sliding out. The only problem with trike riding is it does not fair well with other cyclists including bents. It is a bit slower and sits lower making conversing with other riders difficult. All my trike rides this yr have been by myself except for 1 ride with Joel, another trike rider. Unfortunately, my Stratus is collecting dust and has only enjoyed 2 rides. One with old cycling friends on a tandem and one 50 miler by myself. To tell the truth I like the solitude of solo riding. Even when cycling week events like Bikeva or GOBA, I still prefer to ride by myself, at my own pace and let my mind wonder. I do become a social butterfly once we hit tent city and later at the local pubs.

I am starting to think about what rides I might do next yr. Bikeva is always a favorite. I am also considering doing a multiple day self contained trip.

This year is slowly coming to an end and I look forward to what great cycling adventures lie ahead.


Monday, November 5, 2007

$100 Cycling Pants

I can't believe I did this. After a few days of rain and no cycling I searched the web and came across Sporthill XC pants. The reviews posted from various sites intrigued me. A great form fitting pant without being tights. Warm and wicking with zippered pockets and legs. Also sewn in center crease, making them look good off the bike as well as on.

I am not a clothes horse and prefer tank top, regular shorts and sneakers. I use large footprint BMX pedals on all my bikes. I find my wicking T's at local dept stores for $10. My idea is to keep it simple and inexpensive and easy to get out and ride. Comfort and fit are most important to me, so spending $100 on a pair of pants was against my religion.

My 2 favorite cycling pants are a pair of sweatpants from the boys dept 4yrs ago and a pair of women's stretch workout pants. It seems for me, mens work out clothes are made for the tall lanky types. A small sweat pant for me fights waist wise, but has a crotch that hangs down to you knees and a length for a 6' tall person.

I have done 3 rides with my new XC pants and I love them. My wife says for that money they should come with a top. I agree. The fit is on the money. I chose the medium short. The waist is perfect 30-33 and the lenght is a 27" inseam, again perfect for me. When I get off the bike to go into a store I don't feel like I'm from a Halloween costume party. I have used these pants in 40-50 degree weather. I think they would be most comfortable between 35-42.

All in all these pants have an outstanding fit and comfort and are a welcome addition to my winter cycling in spite of there price.