Cranky's Corner

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Month: April 2014 (page 1 of 3)

Weekend Wasteland

Bike RackUnfortunately, thanks to a couple of overnight work shifts, not much riding was done this weekend. I did manage to squeak out ~12 miles yesterday morning. I planned to ride longer but it was cold, windy and miserable so I packed it in a little early. Had I not gotten home at 4am and slept more than 5 hours I probably would have stuck it out but I was just feeling beat and not enjoying myself. I was able to catch a quick nap before helping the girlfriend pack up her apt.

My Velo Stickers “Fighter” name decals finally arrived on Saturday, so that was exciting. Now all the steed in my stable are easily identifiable. Not that they weren’t before but I thought the decals were a nice way of personalizing my bikes.

It looks like another crappy week weather wise. Hopefully I can get a few after work rides in before the weekend.

Bibs v. Shorts

Cycle Lane signI remember back in the early 90’s when I bought my first pair of cycling shorts. I was riding more and more and realized that for any distance over a few miles I needed to cushion the bottom side. At that time about the only store local to me that carried anything like that was Sport Authority. I went in, looked at a few pairs and ended up with a pair that were made by Nike. They were far different then the shorts we have today as they were more of a cottony blend, not smooth and slick by todays standards. From that moment on I realized what I had been missing – comfort! But other than that single pair of shorts I really had nothing to compare them to, but they worked for me and I wore them a lot!

Up until last year I had always worn cycling shorts when I went out on rides. I started mountain biking in the early 2000’s so I had accumulated a few baggy pairs of cycling shorts but would sometimes break out those old Nikes and wear them under cargo shorts.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Or so I thought.

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Review: eLoad Endurance Drink

eLoadThe second item from my April Bike Loot box I’m going to review is the eLoad Endurance Drink. I had the opportunity to try this out on my 30 mile jaunt on Saturday. Like all sports drinks they replace lost electrolytes due to sweat. They claim to be the sports drink for the heat due to its mix of electrolytes that help to prevent and control heat stress. Now I’m no scientist so I won’t speak about the actual ingredients and science behind the drink but they do have a handy comparison chart to other popular sports drinks if you want to see where your usual brew stacks up.

With that said the usual questions about sports drinks are “how does it mix?” and “how does it taste?” The packet I received was enough to make 16oz of the drink. I poured the contents of the packet into my water bottle followed by 16oz of water, replaced the top on the water bottle and shook it. Since I was using a clear water bottle it was easy to see that it all dissolved and nothing was left at the bottom. All too often that is not the case and you end up drinking a bunch of powder when you get to the bottom of the bottle.
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Weekend Review

Ride SmartWe had fabulous weather this weekend for riding. The rides in the mornings started off in the high 50sF and temps climbed well into the mid 60F range. That meant no leg warmers and only a short sleeve jersey with arm warmers. It was perfect. There were certain parts of each ride where it got a little breezy so a wind vest might have helped but thankfully they were short-lived.

In total I did just under 60 miles of riding over the weekend. Saturdays ride was an even 30 miles with lots of climbing! The original cue sheet said about 1800′ but all the Garmin devices were reporting 2800′ by the end of the ride. To the legs it felt more like the later.  Sundays ride was with a slower group so it was a much more social 28 miles with few climbs. It was a good time and to make things interesting some of us stronger riders would start at the back and make our way though the pack and play catch up with each other until the next regroup. A couple of us probably would have logged some additional miles at the end of the group ride because we were all so amped but it was late in the day so we called it quits. There is always next weekend.

I was able to review/try some new products while I was out on the rides as well. These include 2 items from my April Bike Loot box; eLoad Endurance Sports Drink and Upfront Nutty Granola which I already posted a review of. The other items I was able to try were the new Performance Ultra SL Bib Shorts and the Ultra Short Sleeve Jersey. I hope to get my thoughts up about my experience with them later this week.

Just a word about safety as I saw a lot of boneheaded moves by both drivers AND cyclists this weekend. I thought I was going to have to jump into first responder mode a couple of times because I thought for sure a collision was going to happen right in front of me. The first was an older rider making a left turn. Except he was riding on the right, never signaled his intention to the car approaching from behind, he cut out in front of them causing them to take evasive action just missing the rider. The second was a rider starting from a standstill perpendicular to the direction of travel (on a road with zero shoulder), which meant they basically pedaled into the lane of traffic before turning the proper direction.  What is worse is both these riders were just totally oblivious to the oncoming traffic, they had complete tunnel vision which can be a recipe for disaster. Ride smart, ride safely, signal when turning and don’t run lights or stop signs.

Review: Upfront Nutty Granola

Upfront Nutty Granola

Upfront Nutty Granola

I received a package of Upfront Nutty Granola as part of my April Bike Loot box which I reviewed here. To my surprise I had never tasted or even heard of this brand before, but after looking at Upfront Foods website it doesn’t appear to be in any stores in my area yet.

The first thing that struck me was the packaging; it’s the perfect size for a snack (or even putting in a cycling jersey) and all the ingredients and nutritional information are right on the front (hence the company name Upfront). Because of upfront labeling it’s very easy to see that it contains all natural ingredients with no hard to pronounce artificial ingredients or preservatives.

If for nothing else, the packaging size had me sold. Most other granola is sold in larger bags and when you love it as much as I do that quick snack turns into 3/4 of a bag. Oops. Plus if you want to take some cycling with you that meant separating it into small baggies – far too much work for me. This neat little packaging solved both those problems. But I did wonder how different is this going to taste from all the other granola I’ve had in the past?

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