Archive for category Tools and Gear

Bike GPS logging and tracking web sites

So I saw this tweet today:

 Anybody ever use http://ridewithgps.com/ ? Worth signing up for an account?

Someone responded as such:

@misterfonzie haven’t seen that one before. This one has been talked about on cycling podcasts lately, strava.com

Well, the strava.com site definitely looks like it’s worth checking out. Although I already log all my stuff to GarminConnect.com and also DailyMile.com. And another log isn’t all that appealing. But if it offers the right features it might be worth it. Looking to get into more riding. Might be worth it to hang out at a cycling-specific site. I’d like to do at least two century rides in 2012. Probably Tour de Palm Springs (which I did last year) and the Solvang Century Ride.

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iPhone App for tracking workouts

Here’s a new app I recently bought for my iPhone to track my strength training workouts.

Gym Buddy

(It’s available in the App Store.)

I will be trying it out for the first time tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

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Massage your Back – BackIt Ball

I think I want one of these BackIt balls. Looks like a medicine ball, weighs 8 lbs, but intended for massaging your back. You put it under your neck and roll on it, roll it down your back. It can also be used as a medicine ball for other exercises as well.

I saw it in a video on the GoSwim.tv website that was about practicing dolphin kicks for butterfly. They used the ball for the drill.

I suppose in the meantime, until I can bring myself to order this and part with some money, I could just try rolling my back on the foam roller. This ball sure looks WAY better, though.

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Share the Damn Road

Great cycling shirts with a message for motorists:

Custom Cycling Jerseys. Click the tabs to navigate. | Share The Damn Road

I like the one that says, “Don’t Honk at Me.” I’ve had several cases of motorists honking at me lately. Like, I’m pedaling as fast as I can and I will move out of this lane at my first opportunity, believe me!

Anyhow, gonna have to buy some of these shirts.

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Newton Running Shoes

So there is something of a buzz surrounding the new Newton running shoes. They have a unique type of construction and design, and are designed to promote forefoot running. They also have a sizeable price tag.

Here is a video from their company that explains the idea:

It is a good video but one thing that is funny about this video is they run in barefeet and then tell you to put shoes on to help you run as though you were barefooted. Why not just run barefooted if that’s so good for you? I know, I know, some people have concerns about that too. I just think it’s kind of a funny point in the video.

Well, I bought a pair of these Newton shoes on Wednesday and just took them out for a short run today. Read the rest of this entry »

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First Swims in my New Wetsuit

Me on the left, Nina Twitter friend on the right, before Santa Monica Ocean Swim.

Me on the left & Nina (Twitter friend) on the right at Santa Monica Ocean Swim.

So I bought an xTerra Vortex 3 last Friday, June 26, 2009. And I was eager to try it out. Wanted to make sure it fit properly and was easy to move around and swim in it. So I planned to go to Huntington State Beach on Monday and get in a short ocean swim.

The original plan was to hit the beach before noon, short swim, picnic lunch with Jenny on the beach, play and relaxation time before heading home. Unfortunately, due to a comedy of errors, we didn’t actually get to Huntington until 3 PM. I talked to the Life Guard briefly, put my wetsuit on, and ventured out.

In watching the surf before I suited up, the breakers hadn’t looked too large to me. So about 20 minutes later I was wading into the surf. Life guard had said water temp was 62˚. It didn’t feel cold to me at all, especially with the suit on. Waves still looked ok, and I proceeded out to my chest. I felt the cold water coming through the suit at the zipper on the back. Just interesting, not a problem. Kept going and got out past most of the breakers. But there was one row left to get past, and they seemed pretty big. I was not comfy with it. I decided to go back in and try ocean swimming in my suit another day.

Read the rest of this entry »

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In Which Sheila Brings Home a Wetsuit for Keeps

At Moonlight Beach in Encinitas after Wetsuit Purchase 

 

Jenny at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas after Wetsuit Purchase

So I’ve been going back and forth over the whole wetsuit thing for a while now. To buy one or not? Finally decided to buy one. Then which one to buy? And how to buy? Or to rent? 

Basically, I plan to do enough tris that rental costs would add up quickly and be more than a purchase price. Plus I want to have the suit available to me for practice and to become comfortable in it. And even though I have a few friends who’ve done a number of tris with no suit, I have so many people encouraging me to get one not just for warmth, but for bouyancy as well, that I decided to go ahead and buy.

Early in June someone on Twitter posted a sale link to xTerraWetsuits. Half price deal on some of their popular, top-of-the-line suits (sale ends June 29, 2009 but Read the rest of this entry »

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Wetsuit adventures or Sheila vs. The Wetsuit

So as a result of one of my previous posts/questions here about whether to buy a wetsuit online or mailorder, I was urged by several people on Facebook and Twitter to NOT do that and to go to a local shop and try suits on. Someone else also suggested using wetsuitrental.com as a good alternative to try a suit and have the rental fee go towards the purchase of a used suit. Which sounds good.

So today I went to the San Dimas location of Incycle Bikes. I called first to ask if I could come in to try on wetsuits, and they said, “Sure.”

When I walked in I was asked if I needed help by the same guy I’d talked to on the phone. He sized me up visually and decided I should wear an xsmall. Which kind of surprised me, because Read the rest of this entry »

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Should I Buy a Mail Order Tri Wetsuit?

So I am planning to buy a tri wetsuit at some point this summer. I’m always the cautious type, who generally buys from local vendors (rather than mail order), especially clothing, so that I can try it on and make sure it fits. But this is such a good deal on a wetsuit… regularly $400 for half price ($199). Seems like good quality. XTerra brand. On sale until late June. 30-day money back guarantee, and size switch options/guarantee. I’m usually between 115-117 pounds (trying to take it down a few) and 5’3”, so I just fit into the WS size, on the borderline really with WM.

Vortex 3 Fullsuit $199 (Reg. $400)

I’m so nervous about choosing the wrong size or something that doesn’t fit me right. I’ve never tried on ANY wetsuit before, nor obviously swum in one. What should I do? Buy this one? Or give it a miss and go to a local tri shop and get fitted for one there? Help? Advice?

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Triathlon Checklist

So when I was preparing for my first triathlon last week, I made up a checklist of my gear. To make a list I searched Google on the phrase “triathlon checklist” and used these sites for my list:

racechecklist.com — Triathlon Race Day Checklist

Triathlon Checklist

Triathlon Packing Checklist | Triathlon

http://www.triathica.com/resources/triathlon_checklist.pdf (PDF)

So from the above, I came up with this list for my first Sprint Distance Tri:

Wear these things in the morning:

  • tri suit (tri top/tri shorts)
  • socks/shoes (running shoes for me)
  • sunscreen
  • body glide (I actually forgot to put this on but didn’t matter)
  • Boston jacket (wear any jacket you like)
  • watch (Garmin 305)

Bring these things in a bag

  • hat/cap for the run
  • sunglasses (for bike/run)
  • sweatshirt (for after)
  • crocs (after race shoes)
  • flip flops (slip on sandals)
  • sunscreen
  • goggles
  • extra pair goggles
  • swim cap (they give you one but…)
  • race belt
  • water bottles, filled (one to drink from in transition, one to clean feet with)
  • bike bottle, filled
  • sweat pants (for after race)
  • bicycle
  • bike helmet
  • toilet paper (we were told they run out sometimes)

So I went over that list above twice before we got in the car and drove away. And my hubby still had to remind me to bring the bike helmet at the last second!

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