Friday, April 27, 2012

Previewing My ATOC Stage 6 Ride

Tomorrow I preview my planned ride of Stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California. I want to ride through the first KOM and turning around at the second one at Mountain High near Wrightwood. Should be a great place to see the riders. It's 74 miles round-trip with 7100 feet of climbing. I'm not worried about going up the hills so much (though that is going to be a lot of climbing for 37 miles). It's the descent that has me wondering. It's probably going to be a mix of nice coasting and 50 mph white knuckling. I'll make sure to take my Garmin so, afterwards, I can find out my top speed.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Time to Bike Home, Again

Daylights Savings Time and sunny weather are both back. It is, once again, time to start my weekly rides home from work. This year's route (28mi total) is a few miles farther than last year and starts off a bit more urban. Thanks to Google Maps, though, I'm taking advantage of as many bike lanes as I can.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wish List Gear: Arundel Mandible

This is the first in (what I hope is) a series of articles on gear that I'd like to get...when I get money saved up. This is real stuff I plan on getting...hopefully. In other words, I'm not going to be talking about a P5 here.

First up is the Arundel Mandible bottle cage. What could possess me to want a $50 water bottle cage (two, actually)?

It all started with my first saddle bag, the Specialized Wedgie, bought back in 2008. First, it wore a hole in my shorts (which may have had more to do with the fat on my legs than the bag but still...). Then, after a couple of years, the zippers wore out. The zippers wore out? Yes. When I needed to replace that bag I wasn't so keen on big zippers anymore.

Around that time I rode a preview ride for the Magic Mountain Man Triathlon. It was hot and very hilly and by the time we hit the turnaround, I had emptied both of my water bottles. If I had tried that ride myself I would have been in serious trouble because there is nothing out there. Thank goodness I chose a supported ride.

So, that and my penchant for riding for several hours by myself led me to the XLAB Super Wing. The bags would be attached to the wing, well behind my thighs, and I could mount two water bottles back there for those long rides. I bought a couple of regular water bottle cages and did some rides with them and, while bottles weren't being ejected left and right, I did have to keep an eye on them because they were coming loose. I bought another type of cage but I couldn't even get 1/2 mile before the bottles went. Clearly, I had to get cages with serious grip.

I first considered XLAB's Gorilla Cage, which is made just for the Super Wing. However, down in the warning section on the web page it says that the cage won't work with the Camelbak Podium bottle. I am sorry but I'm not going to give up my favorite water bottle because of a cage so I gave up on the Gorilla and searched the net for something grippy.

That's when I found the Arundel Mandible. The consensus is that the Mandible is the grippiest cage on the market. So, that's what I want to take with me on my long rides. When I can save up some $$ for it.