I’ve decided to go with a catlike helmet … either the mixino or whisper model

You may know that I’ve been in the market for a new mountain bike helmet, and I’ve decided to go with either the Mixino or Whisper by Catlike.

Here’s a video showing both models:

Catlike Mixino & Whisper Helmet Reviews

I settled on Catlike after a friend of mine showed me his scrapes from a wreck he had the other day … his fingers are thrashed and so is his pelvic bone. He said he was going about 20mph when he hit the pavement and … he was wearing a Catlike helmet.

Even though the helmet doesn’t look too terrible, it split open at the point of impact but still held together pretty well. All things considered, it did its job.

I haven’t decided if I want to go with the Whisper or the Mixino … I’ll need to go down to the bike shop to try them on and figure out which one is more comfortable.

They’re both run around $250, although I think one is a little more expensive than the other … although, truthfully, I don’t remember which. They don’t actually look at all alike.

I think I like the red and black of the Mixino more than the green of the Whisper, but I could live with either one. I’d rather have it be a comfortable helmet than a pretty one.

Anyhow, what do you think? Should I go with the Catlike Mixino or the Whisper? I found out just today that Catlike is a Spanish company … so hopefully, the helmets will make me more exotic and my wife will hit on me more.

Is it worth paying that much for a helmet? After looking at my friend’s beat up helmet after his crash, I think so … I’d rather pay $250 for a helmet than $250,000 for a hospital bill.

That pretty much settles it. I might go down to the bike shop this weekend to try on Catlike helmets. Wish me luck!

New cycling gear that I need

You must admit there are times when it is just too something too ride … Last week I didn’t go for a ride because I didn’t have a pressure gauge to check my tire pressure on my bicycle. There always seems to be a reason not to ride. It’s too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry, too windy or it’s all up hill! A friend told me he didn’t go riding because his chamois was still damp from the washing machine. Really?

There are some who would ride anyway. Look at those people who did the Iditabike. That race was 350 miles in too much snow. I guess it doesn’t get too cold for some. Then there is that group that does the “Tour Divide” every year from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Can you believe 2,745 miles in one stage. That one has to much everything snow, sleet, rain, wind, dust, up mountians, rocks you name it.

While I was thinking about this weeks ride I knew what I needed. Besides a reason to go. New sunglasses, but not just any sunglasses. The ones that Assos makes. I’ve been told they make me look skinny. Well slimmer … so that’s what I got, and while I was at the bike shop I picked up a new Mavic helmet.  More reasons to ride!

Maybe a new bike?

For me it’s always hard staying motivated about my goals. Like when I was a kid and I wanted to play the guitar like Eric Clapton, it just didn’t happen. Or the time I had a goal to make the chess team in high school, I didn’t make it.

I’ve always heard you should give yourself rewards along the way, to help you stay focused. You know small goals or mile stones, that way you know your headed in the right direction. Like the goal of making your first million bucks, at say $100k you should buy yourself a new car. Not an 85 Toyota but something nice … like a Volvo XC90. Like when you lose the first 20 lbs. of the 120 you want to lose you could have dinner at Outback. Keep it fun!

My mileage goal is not to high but I’ll have to push myself. The real reason is to feel better anyway. I’m going to do a reward system for myself to stay in the saddle and get more miles. So if I make my mileage goal for 2 months I can buy a new bike. That way I will stay jazzed and want to ride more.

I know I just got a Orbea last spring, and that helped but I was at the bike shop last week.  There was this Cannondale! It made me weak in the knees, you know like when you got your first bike and knew you could ride it anywhere.

It was amazing, sleek lines, perfect fit and then I rode it. Man … aluminum is a smooth ride, it wasn’t stiff or harsh just real smooth.

See this way I can stay motivated for at least 2 months. The bike first then, two more months a new roof rack and two more months a new car.

Time to get un-fat … off my lazy butt

Well, it’s been a crazy 2013. I’m a little slimmer than at the beginning, but that’s not saying much. I should really take fitness more seriously this next year

I’ve decided that I’m actually going to try cycling this winter a bit. My efforts up to this point have been meager and I’m tempted to just say “well, I’ll try again when it’s warm” but that’d be procrastination and I NEVER do that. Heh.

Anyhow, this winter, I’m going to cycle at least once a week as long as the roads are safe. I’ll probably shoot for Saturday afternoons as my goal day to get it done. Who knows how much I’ll actually cycle, but I found some really cool resources for cycling routes near me … in fact, they’d probably be great for you. I think they’ve got routes all over the country.

The Web site is Map My Ride and they’ve got a surprising number of options. You can filter for all sorts of different things and get exactly the sort of route you’re looking for.

Anyhow, I know it’s been a while since I posted, so please forgive me. I promise to update you more with my progress.

OH! By the way … I ate at Denny’s last night with my family. We don’t go out often, but we did this time and the food was terrible. It was all cold, and, to top it all off, I was a full 8 pounds heavier on the scale this morning than I was yesterday. What a WASTE! Made me want to pull a “groundhog day” and reset to try again. Sheesh! I’ll probably get rid of it today in the little boys room at some point, but totally not worth it!

You really didn’t want to know that, but there you have it. Anyhow, check out the cycling routes at Map My Ride and let me know if there’s good stuff in your area.

5 Features To Look For When Purchasing A New Pair Of Indoor Cycling Shoes

So you want to purchase a new pair of indoor cycling shoes for a spinning class or something related, but you don’t know what kind of features you should be looking for. This article will guide you in the right direction so you can find a pair of indoor cycling shoes that are functional, and perfect for your own personal use. I will help you pick the right ones, I promise.

There are my guidelines:

  • Does the shoe have stiff soles? This is important because your shoe needs to have stiff soles if you want proper power transfer during your exercise. With a good pair of stiff soles you will be able to effortlessly transfer power from your feet to the pedals of the cycling machine.
  • Does the shoe offer practical use? This is not nearly as important as other features but is still quite important to me. If I am going to spend 100$ or more on a pair of top quality indoor cycling shoes, I want the shoes to be able to perform when I am walking from my home out to my car. Try to find a pair of cycling shoes that will perform during your exercise session while still providing the luxuries of a normal pair of shoes so you can use them outside of your exercise sessions if needed. Make sure you would feel comfortable walking to the store in your new pair of cycling shoes.
  • Does the shoe offer great ventilation? This is a very important feature and you can probably guess why. When you are working hard during an intense workout you want a pair of indoor cycling shoes that will properly ventilate the heat generated from your body. A pair of cycling shoes that can properly ventilate so as to prevent hot spots in the shoe during your exercise session this is excellent.
  • Does the shoe weigh a lot? When it comes to cycling indoors the lighter the better. You want a pair of cycling shoes that is not going to make you feel like you have lead weights tied to your feet.
  • Does the shoe offer supreme comfort? Since you are likely going to be doing some intense exercise in these shoes you want to make sure that they provide excellent comfort. The added level of comfort will keep you feeling great even when your body is telling you to give up during the workout.

Hopefully this article gives you great insights so you can make extremely efficient and educated buying decisions when the time comes. Remember to think of any personal preferences that you can add to this list that will allow you to purchase a pair of indoor cycling shoes that will last for a lifetime. If you have a specific recommendation, list it in the comments below.

On a side note … you might want to also find a great shoe for after your workout … if so, you might also want to take a look at Regev’s barefoot shoes. They seem so comfortable!

3 Reasons Orbea Bikes are The Best

As I’ve been researching Orbea bikes a little more, I’ve decided that I’m going with one for sure …

The three main reasons for my choice …

Orbea Sells Well-Made Bicycles

Carbon-fiber from a company that’s been making bikes since 1930 (and rifles for 90 years before that). As I’ve been researching bikes on forums, it seems that almost no one is dissatisfied with their Orbea.

The Guy At The Orbea Shop Says …

… They’re light than most, but built with comfort as the primary focus. So, while I might be able to find lighter bikes in the same price point, or bikes with more rigidity, these machines are built to be super comfortable.

The Price Is Reasonable-ish

Yeah, so I’d rather pay less, but who wouldn’t. Overall, I feel like I’m getting excellent value for the price …

Which brings me to the real question … which one do I buy?

Which Orbea Bike Is The Best?

On my post where I expressed my amazement regarding the sheer number of bicycles offered by Orbea, a reader commented and made a suggestion that I go with the Orbea Orca Bronze Ultegra Di2, and that’s what I was already considering.

Orbea Orca Bronze Ultegra Di2

What do you think? It’s on sale right now for just $3.799.99 … $400 off if I buy it right now. Pretty enticing.

Let me know your opinion in the comments below. The money is burning a hole in my pocket!

… And London Wins!

I read an article today about how big cycling has become in London, especially during the work-day commute.

The London Evening Standard reports that “Bikes now account for 24 per cent of all road traffic in central London during the morning peak and 16 per cent across the whole day.” (source)

I’ve got to tell you, I think that’s awesome.

Not only do Londoners talk with such a great dialect, they also ride my favorite 2-wheeled vehicle.

The only thing cooler than visiting London would be to ride around all day on a bike. Taking in all the sights and trying to stay alive while riding on the wrong side of the street.

Here in Reno, NV, where I live, it seems like no one rides a bike. The city is getting with the program when it comes to installing bike lanes, but there are still plenty of poorly designed intersections that make it so that you’re taking your life in your hands the moment you get out of your residential neighborhood.

I wish I were more into mountain biking … I’ve got great trails just out my back door … actually that may be just the thing I should consider … buy a mountain bike and ride up and down empty trails with no cars to worry about …

Probably shouldn’t drop a bunch of money into a mountain bike till I’m sure I’ll use one, but I can probably pick up something decent on Craigslist … time to check that out!

Cycling Tops Head Injury List

Well, now that I’m getting back into cycling, I’ve got to start accumulating gear again. I really wish I still had everything from my last attempt at getting back on two wheels.

I’ve always been a firm believer in wearing a helmet, especially since I saw my dad fly 30 feet of his mountain bike once into a ravine and land smack on the side of his head. The fall separated his shoulder and split his helmet clean in two, but his brains stayed put. Helmets save lives … I saw … I was there.

Anyhow, I sat down to start researching cycling helmets, but I came across a study that was released at the end of 2011 by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. I had no idea, but it turns out that cycling tops the list of sports-related head injuries.

Apparently, each year, around half a million people visit the hospital for cycling-related injuries. Of those visits, a whopping 85,000+ are head injuries. There are nearly twice as many head injuries from cycling each year as football and 5 times as many as all winter sports combined.

The study also explained that wearing a helmet can make you 85% less likely to have a head injury when cycling. Wow. Who knew?

Fortunately, I was already planning to get a new helmet for my upcoming summer of fun, sun, and lactic acid buildup, but I was truly shocked to learn that cycling is at the top of the list for sports-related head injuries … and by such a wide margin, too.

So, please, teach your kids to wear a helmet. It’s critical that you help them learn good cycling habits. Lead by example.

Oh, and, let me know what your recommendations are for helmets … I got so busy digesting the details of the cycling head injury study that I blew away my time for bicycle helmet research.

What brands are your favorite? What do you look for in a brain bucket? Aside from fit, what are the most important features to you?

 

Begin With the End in Mind

One of the main reasons I’m getting back into cycling is because I want to accomplish my life goal of riding a bicycle across the United States.

I know that a fat guy like me shouldn’t really be thinking about that sort of adventure, but I can’t think of a better way to get into shape than to force myself to prepare for this trip.

Which Route to Take?

If I’m going to start preparing for the journey, I’ve got to get serious about which route I’ll be taking. Will I begin on the east or west coast? Will I go through the northern States, the southern, or right through the middle?

Well, I live in Reno, NV, so it might make sense to begin the journey in San Francisco, closer to home. That way, if it turns out to be too much, it’s easier to call it quits. But, at the same time, it might be nice to end closer to home, in which case I should probably start on the east coast.

My wife and three sons will probably drive along the route as I go … camp with me along the way and have adventures of their own while I’m on the road.

I’m drawn to the classic TransAmerica Trail, which covers just over 4,200 miles and runs between Astoria, OR and Yorktown, VA. The Southern Tier route is also appealing, though … after all, it stays far away from the cold, is much shorter, and has fewer serious mountain ranges to deal with. If I’m just trying to cross something off my list, this would be the route to take, but I also don’t want to be a sissy about it — as if only riding 3,000 miles to get from sea to shining sea is any less of an accomplishment.

The other route that looks great would be to start off with the Western Express route and then hook up with the TransAmerica trail in Pueblo … that would take me right across the middle of the country and pass closest to my home in Reno. Combining the routes like that would put the trip at a respectable 3,762 miles.

Holy cow, did I just actually suggest that I’m going to ride 3,762 miles? That’s serious. The last time I rode 40 miles was about 5 years ago and I could hardly climb the stairs to take a shower when I was through (don’t get me talking about the next day … yow).

Where to Get the Best Maps?

I’ve done a little digging and I feel that the best maps I’ve found come from Adventure Cycling … I’ve linked to several of them above.

It seems that they have really put a lot of work into their maps. They not only have solid routes, but they’ve got great supplementary information as well … it’s like a super-map and a travel guide all rolled into one.

I’m leaning toward the Western Express + TransAmerica route … what do you think?

If you were going to ride across the United States, which route would you take? Comment below!

 

Too Many Orbea Bicycles to Choose From

Earlier today, I was looking online at Orbea bicycles …

I think I’ve decided to go with them due to the recommendation of a good friend of mine who is in WAY better shape than me and rides about 30x more than I ever hope to.

orbea-bicycles

He’s the kind of guy that quit his day job and went to work for himself just so he could have more time for cycling. He’s managed to pull it off and even moved to a new house so he could be closer to his favorite riding spots ((Insert envy here)).

Anyhow, he’s got several bikes and says he loves his Orbea most of all … which is why I’ve got to take them seriously.

So, I jumped online and started my research. The nicer bikes that are available are a touch outside of my price range, but I’d probably be happy to settle for mid-range bike or a previous year’s model …

You can imagine my surprise, however, when I found that Orbea makes 32 different road bikes, 26 mountain bikes, and 6 street bikes (remind me to ask my friend what the difference between road and street bikes are …)!

I don’t even really know where to begin, so that’s actually why I’m writing this post … to see if you guys have any recommendations. My cycling buddy will simply tell me to buy the nicest one (he’s got the money to do that), but that probably won’t give me the results I’m looking for.

Which Orbea would you recommend for me? I’m just getting back into cycling after a prolonged absence. I’m overweight, but I think I’m pretty serious about the return to the land of chafing and pain. I’ve got a bucket list item to ride across the United States, so I need to get going sooner rather than later.

I prefer riding on pavement and I don’t have to have the absolute latest gear, but I do like to be sort-of current.

I know that the components will significantly change the price of any bike I get … so what do you recommend? Should I go for a super-nice Orbea frame and modest components or should I get a cheaper frame and top-of-the-line parts?

In the beginning, I was actually a little disappointed at having so many models to choose from, but now, I’m actually looking forward to learning the ropes and figuring out what I really want.

So, let me have it folks … which Orbea should I buy?

 

It’s a Pleasure to Be Here!

Hello, welcome everyone to my new Napy Fabulous blog of cycling news and new bike reviews.

bike-lane

The goal of this site is to really be a sort of a place for me to collect the information I gather as I geek out about cycling and bike gear in my daily life.

Hopefully some of the information I post here will be useful to the rest of you … crossing my fingers for now.

A little about me? I’m an old fat guy who has made the goal to ride a bike across the United States.

I used to cycle a lot when I was a teenager, mostly with my dad. The longest ride I’ve done to date is a 150 mile ride benefiting MS … well this new ride across the U.S.A. that I’m working up to will at least benefit me, but maybe I’ll get some organization involved … if it seems like people are interested in participating, that is.

Well, there you have it. It’s about time for me to wrap up this boring post and get on to the exciting stuff.