Riding the storm out

Just in time for a Fall storm in Seattle, Ibex sent us their Merino Wool ibex_knickers.jpg Knickers. During the course of an 1.5 hour ride, I rode in gray dampness, a squalling storm cell with 40 MPH winds, blindingly-bright sun, and some bonus hail – I was soaked through in about 3 minutes. Merino Wool and Ibex’s Climawool (stretchy, breathable, wool/synthetic blend) is perfect for a wide range of temperatures.

The Ibex knickers feature Climawool over the knees and mid-weight Merino in the back. They also have a “sansabelt” style elastic in the waist, like their shorts.

The knickers were comfortable, fit well, and most importantly kept my temperate moderate. Where my arms were freezing with lycra arm warmers during the squall part of the ride, I was good on the knees and thighs. The weight of the knickers is good for Fall and Spring, but not heavy enough for the Winter. The pad was OK, worked well for my brief ride, commuting, and errands, but I wouldn’t want to ride a century with it.

We’re big fans of Ibex for casual, travel, and cycling wear. For my trip next week to Taipei, I’m wearing mostly Ibex, Smartwool Socks, and Kuhl pants. More on that trip later.

Also check the Ibex Buzz blog for posts about their clothes and the company.



The Uneasy Road to Change

A bicycle caravan – with the theme, “Money or Life” – travels 500 miles across Europe to join protests in Prague against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Caravan/Prague is a feature-length documentary about the caravan and is available now on DVD.



Cyclocross training in Woodland Park

While you were still asleep, nestled cosy in your warm bed (Ok, maybe it was just me) the hardmen of Woodland Park were doing hard core CX Training in the rain, coached by Todd Herriott and Russell Cree of Herriott Sports Performance. And they’re making it look easy.

The training is focusing on core CX skills (witness Dave Reed’s heroic remount above!), as well as strength building exercises like plyometrics. Workouts are Tuesday mornings early at woodland park, call Herriott if you’re interested (may be full already, but they offer many other services as well). The current attendees include some of the top Cx contenders this year (Nick Weighall) and last (Morgan Schmidt placed 2nd in the U23 nationals last year, wasn’t sure he’d be competing in CX this year).

How, you may wonder, do I know they were making it look easy? Weeeelll, they made it look so easy I rode my little folder down one of the easier hills after they left. It’s ok, only my pride was bruised.

More photos in the BikeHugger stream on Flickr.



Bike Mowers

Tree Hugger posted on Bike Mowers last week (thanks for the tip Paul), including this one from Eastern Washington sent in by Montana Mike. Amazingly, that post still get hits, a few serious comments, and pedal-powered mowers are apparently growing in popularity.

Always on top of the urban bike trends, maybe we should design and manufacture a hugga mower.



Flat Karma

tackweed.jpg While entertaining a crew visiting from Bike Freak Magazine, the Chinook Cycling Club took them on various rides and introduced them to the famous tackweed (goathead) and a site dedicated to eradicating it. That reminded me of all the tackweed flats, running Slime, Mr. Tuffy’s, and it was usually better to leave a goathead in the tire until you got home.

In Seattle, most flats are caused by pinches, glass, staples, nails, and it’s much worse in the rainy season. Starting last year, I stopped using Mr. Tuffy, and instead roll the best tires with the most rubber and replace them as soon as they wear. I carry two tubes, and a tire boot for sidewall blow outs. I’ve also got fast patches and regular old Rema Tip Tops.

I also believe in flat karma, where some years you’ll flat all the time, and sometimes almost never. To put positive flat energy into the universe, I always ask a fellow cyclist who’s stopped if they need help and will give up a tube to the needy. I even bought a tire during a ride for a friend once.

What hazards await you on your ride and how do you avoid them? What’s your flat karma?



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