The Road Shoes that Wouldn’t Die

img_2285I recently celebrated the 15th anniversary for my SIDI road bike shoes.

They’ve gotten me through downpours, countless centuries, and an Ironman.

While it’s really great that they’ve last this long, I really wouldn’t mind if they suddenly fell apart. Fifteen years with neon green and neon pink is enough. I want my replacements to be just black.

Sometimes bike accessories can be pricey, but as I recall there were no more than $150 or about $10 a year. I go through 2.5 pair of running shoes per year at $80+ each.

Review: Reelight Bike Lights

img_2273I quickly used some of my REI dividend this year on some Reelight bike lights ($49.93).  The unique feature of these is they don’t require batteries.  They generate power as your bike wheels rotating, forcing some powerful magnets past the light assembly.  It doesn’t take much to get them started.  By the time I hit the end of my driveway, they’re blinking.

Unlike the old school wheel-generator I had as a kid, this one is quite and has less noticeable drag. However, it also could be disengaged from the wheel.  The Reelight is always on. 

This Reelight model can store power which keeps the lights flashing even when you’re stopped.  I found they flash for more an a couple minutes after stopping. Of course this means that as you lock up your bike and start walking away, people may say “you left your lights on” — it’s already happened to me.

Yes, they are a little heavy, but it seems like a fair tradeoff in order to have 24/7 increased visibility on an urban bike.

And you never have to worry about batteries.

Avoiding Cold Feet on the Bike

img_1976I made a change recently in my footwear and it’s really made an improvement in keeping my feet warm.

To begin, I wear a very thin synthetic sock as the base layer.

Next is a Patagonia Insulator sock, which is made from 2mm neoprene with sealed seams.  These socks are made for fly fishing, but they work well for cycling because they are waterproof (a vapor barrier) and fit relatively snug.  Best of all they can be rinsed clean rather than washed.  Hopefully this translates into a very long life.

The outer sock is a thick synthetic Patagonia sock, though I don’t recall the name.  Most anything would work here, including wool, so long as it can stretch over the neoprene.

Of course I can’t wear my normal shoe size with this much insulation on my feet, so I wear size 13.5 Lake winter cycling shoes rather than my normal 9.5s.

I could also throw in a chemical heater outside of the neoprene, but it hasn’t been necessary.  I recently rode 15 miles in -20F windchill and my toes only felt a slight but sustainable level chilliness.

I had been using SealSkinz socks, which work well.  The problem is they have a soft lining material that absorbs odor and requires washing.  After using them for a year or so, the socks are no longer waterproof like they once were.

Link: More information on keeping your feet warm while biking

2008 Leadville Trail 100 Run

Looking thrilled just minutes before the start

Looking thrilled just minutes before the start

You know you’re going to be in a death march when bad weather prevents you from driving the posted speed limit on the way to a race start.

Running 100 miles at high elevation in the Rockies is tough as it is. Driving through freezing rain with the occasional lightning hitting the nearby mountaintops makes it surreal.

Fortunately there was only an occasional drizzle in Downtown Leadville prior to the 4 AM start. And unlike the Leadville bike race, there was no jockeying for a good starting position among the 466 runners. Everyone basically stands around nervously making small talk and waiting for Race Promoter Ken Chlouber to fire the shotgun. (more…)

My Review of Brooks Cascadia 3 Trail-Running Shoes – Men’s

Originally submitted at REI

Cushioned for running on tough trails, these Cascadia 3 shoes feature adaptable posts to adjust to terrain irregularities and provide stability.

Needs more work on the heel design

By Todd Scott from Detroit, MI on 7/31/2008
1 star out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Width: Feels true to width

Pros: Rugged, Lightweight, Good Traction, Comfortable

Cons: Unstable heel, Poor heel cushioning

I really tried to make these shoes work as a medium- to long-distance trail runner. After three trail runs (55 miles), it’s apparent that they aren’t going to work. I had hoped to use these at this years Leadville 100 race.

The biggest problem is the apparent lack of heel cushioning for the heel strike. After my run, both my heels are sore for a day.

The shoes are stable on non-technical, flat surfaces. However, on rocky terrain, the heel is quick to twist even after tightening the laces a little past the comfort point.

I’ve been running trail ultras for many years and haven’t experienced these issues with my mainstay, Montrails, which I had purchased at REI.


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