Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CC-RD200 | CATEYE - The Tale of a Computer Lost

                                    By: Jeff

I bought my Cateye Strada Cadence last year when I bought my bike.  Generally I like it. It keeps track of my mileage and average speed.  For training purposes it also shows your cadence and has a nice little arrow to show whether you are above or below your current average speed.  It has a simple interface that is fairly easy to setup and operate.  This is a wired model, so you will have to run a wire from the stem of your bike down to chain stay, with the included sensors.  All in all fairly easy to get up and going.  The other nice thing is the price, you can easily get these units for around $30.

So as I was riding, about a month ago, I look down and the Cateye is missing!!! ARGH!  This was about 20 miles in to a 30 mile ride.  I road back a little ways, knowing that I had checked it within the last mile or so, and never did find it.  I had noticed that it had seemed to not be clicking into the holder unit as tightly as it had in the past.  Here is where I get to praise Cateye.  I wrote them an email stating what happened.  Within a day I get an email response from a customer rep named Jeff. The email states that they are sorry for my situation and they are sending me a new unit for free!!!  No questions asked, just great customer service!!!  Within two days I received my new Cateye.  I tried to put it in the old holder and noticed it was still loose, so I will hook up the new holder and wire.  All that can be said is, wow! Cateye customer service rocks.  This is most certainly a great buy if you are looking for a simple to use device with great customer service.

My next bicycling computer will most certainly be GPS based.  I have to admit I have been spoiled by using my friend's Garmin 500 while figuring out what to do about my Cateye.  If Cateye would come out with a GPS model I would be most curious in trying one out.  Do you hear me Cateye!?! Now that I see what kind of Customer service Cateye has, I would also be interested in using some of their other non-computer products.

Thank you Jeff at Cateye.  Job well done Sir!!!

'via Blog this'

Saturday, July 16, 2011

2nd ride. Loop 6

This is Brent before we went down a hill on loop 6. Count another 30 miles in the books.

Top of the world loop

The first official ride has been accomplished.  Absolutely beautifull area. We'll do another loop this afternoon.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

7 Days Until Wisconsin!!!

Looking west at Trempealeau Mountain at Perrot...Image via WikipediaBy:  Jeff

Brent and I have exactly one week until we go on our grand tour of Trempealeau, Wisconsin.  We have been adding the miles and making final preparations for our trip.  Last week was one of my best cycling weeks ever.  In 7 days I covered 140 miles!  In the next 7 days I hope to cover a few more miles and let my body get just a little recovery in before we log some big miles in the rolling hills of West Wisconsin.  I have to admit I am a little nervous about the hills, but I know I will be able to eventually get over them.  Now all we have to do is to pack, and pray that the weather is great, or at least decent! I'm not sure we have a proper name for this tour yet, Brent suggested Tour De Wiss, but I'm not so sure on that.  Any suggestions? We will be riding six different loops over three days while we are there. For the fun of it we are calling them stages.  Anyway, I am really looking forward to this trip. I will have my bike in the shop early this week just to make sure everything is in working order before we go on the trip.

Here is the group ride I did with the Elkhart Bike Shop this Wednesday:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, June 20, 2011

Race Report: EcoFest Criterium 2011... and more...

By: Brent  

Hello friendly readers, it has been a while. As you may have noticed I have been slightly absent from the Pursuit of Fit for a while. Life ganged up on me a bit and I was in a spot I needed to focus on me and my family. I needed to vent and I needed a release and to my surprise that seemed to happen the most in the saddle of my trusty bike. I have logged miles, there is no doubt. Memorial day weekend through that week was my largest mileage week ever at 132.83 miles moved. That included the 2011 version of the Indy Mini Marathon where I turned in a respectable 2:19:12 with no real training and honestly, no real interest. Running really lost its flair after the marathon last April. Luckily riding has become a first love to take running's place.

Along this journey I am on, I have met some great people. One of which, who we will call AT. AT is a leg shaving, hard riding, fun personality, Cat 4 racing, golfing pro of a guy. We hit it off immediately at the bike shop while Jeff was getting fit for his new LOOK Keo pedals. It all started with a simple conversation about leg shaving, which I did not participate in. In what seemed like 3 minutes we were exchanging numbers and planning on meeting for the next group ride.... and we did. The more we talked it was obvious his love for racing, and my interest was sparked and I kept asking questions. Fast forward a month, many miles, a couple books on racing, and more miles in the saddle. On the weekend of the 11th I was informed of a Crit race the next weekend in South Bend. The best part of this was the location. Crit racing is maybe the most popular version of bike racing but that's like trying to find a pick up game of cricket in Fargo, ND.

Essentially "crit racing" which is the cool way to say Criterium Racing, is located on a small course blocked off in the streets. Normally .6 to .8 of a mile long, that goes for a rough amount of time that gets converted over to laps to reduce confusion when the finish is. Every American starts as a Category 5 racer. Yes, you too Lance. The move from "Cat" 5 up to Cat 4 happens just based on participation. After 10 races, you have the option to become a Cat 4 racer. After Cat 4, to move to Cat 3, we will need to start seeing some results. Top 10's and what not. So with not a lot of mental planning and proper training other than just logging miles, AT and I arrived downtown South Bend for a day of riding and watching racing. We rode the course a couple times to check some worry spots that I had concerning a turn and just locating the nasty spots in the road, which the volunteers at least walk the course ahead of time and spray paint in bright orange.

So its GO time. The field of 37 lines up and the US Cycling official tells us the rules. He informs us of the 2 different primes (pronounced preems) that are prizes for one particular lap, both being $25 in this case. This race was listed as a Cat 4/5 race so AT rode in it with me along with a couple other guys I knew of. I had a couple goals in this race.

1) Just be a part of it. Expect nothing, just take it all in.
2) Get used to it. 37 guys all want to be in the same place. Learn your location.
3) Know you have more in you. Know you can push more.
4) Be safe.

The good thing is that coming from a running race background, You start YOUR race and you finish. I was at best an 8 minute miler. Never a 5 minute miler. In biking I am a 19 mph guy, not a 24 MPH guy, so I rode expecting to get lapped, but hoping for the best. When the official announced he would let us get 2 or 3 laps down before we got pulled I felt fine with that. I get you have to be safe and having some loner on the course in a bunch sprint isn't a good practice. As the race started and we were following the Ferrari pace car, by turn 1, I knew this was going to burn. after turn 1, its a long sweeping curve that starts down hill and at the apex kicks back up. By the next turn, where I was concerned being that it is tighter than 90 degrees, I was about 10 from the back of the pack. No problem. You climb a small hump in the road and take the last turn. By the end of lap 1, I may have only had 3 guys behind me. MAYBE. As each lap carried on I watched the field slip away that much more. I knew I had a guy on my wheel, but I couldn't get him to come up. Even after 3 or 4 laps, the announcer called out, "come on you two, work together!" Alas, he never came up. I think he pulled himself out of the race after that lap. I pedaled on and after 6 laps was seeing another guy falling off the back that I felt good I could catch. As I finished my 7th lap, yet to be lapped but knowing it was coming this next lap, the official stepped out into the road and spread his arms out pulling me from the race, after 7 laps.

Ummmm, what just happened? What happened to "2 or 3 laps?" The field was still together, after the long sweeping corner, they all would have been by and I could have gone another 5 or 6 laps and not been in anyone's way! I was not impressed, but chalked it up to my rookie debut and just went along with it. Either way I achieved my goals. I got out there and rode among guys that were MUCH better than me. I also averaged 20.5 mph and felt good about how I dug deep and kept of fighting. I actually topped out at 31.3 mph.

It was a great experience and I look forward to next weekend's crit race. AT and the others did great. I think the "bug" has bit me.

And yes, I shaved my legs.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pre Race

Brent and Andrew are making final preparations before the race.  Good luck guys!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Brent Is Racing Tomorrow!

By:  Jeff

As I have been recovering from my hand surgery Brent has been logging some serious miles.  He has been training with our fellow cyclist and bike racer Andrew.  After watching a couple of crit races this year he has been bit by the racing bug and will try his first crit race tomorrow.  We have a couple of friends racing tomorrow, so I will be there cheering Brent and them on.  Also I will have my camera taking pictures and will live blog some of the action.  Good luck Brent, Andrew, and Kris.  (Brent will be in the cat 4/5 race).
EcoFest Criterium | Register Online at

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Product Review - ProLogo Choice

By: Jeff  

One of my Christmas items that I received this year was a new saddle for my road bike.  Now that I have spent five months time with this saddle I feel like I can give it a proper review.  The ProLogo Choice saddle has a very interesting look.  It has consistently been one of the most asked about items on my bike.  But, as we all know, bike saddles are more about comfort than looks.  ProLogo makes road saddles in three profiles; round, semi round, and flat.  The Choice saddle fits in the semi round profile group.  It also has four different versions; TS, TI 1.4, Gel TI 1.4, and Choice Max.  The version I received is the TS.
When I first started riding on this saddle I was only riding on the stationary trainer.  So at first I was very concerned that there was not enough padding on this model.  However, now that I have been able to get it outside and on the road several times, I have not once noticed any lack of cushioning.  If this was a concern for somebody then I would recommend upgrading to the gel TI 1.4 or the Max version of this saddle.  The Choice TS has a microfiber cover and is 270 x 123 mm weighing in at 214 grams.  This is the lightest of the Choice line up.  This is probably due to the minimal padding compared to the other models.  The holes in the saddle are designed to provide ventilation on hot days to your, ummm sensitive areas.  Honestly I have not noticed the "ventilated" difference, but maybe on a smaller person then myself it may have an effect. These Prologo saddles also contain the Prologo Clips system, which allows for all kinds of Prologo accessories to be attached to the saddle.  Overall I have been very pleased with this saddle.  I will always be up for trying to find that "perfect" saddle (any manufactures that would like us to review their product, please do not hesitate to let us do so!!!).  So if you are looking for a semi round saddle with good looks, very affordable price, and decent comfort, then I would highly recommend getting one today. [If you do decide to purchase one, please click on our Amazon link and help us out. Thanks!!!]
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, May 16, 2011

Continuation of the Metacarpal Mishap

By:  Jeff  

You might remember that in November last year I broke my hand in a mountain biking incident (read about it here).  When the bone healed, it did so slightly misaligned.  It was more of an annoyance than painful, but I decided to procede with getting it fixed correctly.  Things like playing ball with my son and being able to shake hands was difficult.  So after CT scans and talking things over with my doctor, we decided that surgery was the best option for getting my hand back to normal.  On Friday I had that surgery.  They just blocked my arm, so I was awake for the surgery ( I was blocked from viewing the surgery by a tent like sheet).  It is really wierd though to see your hand and arm, and no matter how hard you try you can not move it!!!  They placed two screws in my bone to hold it in the correct position. So I will have a few weeks of not being able to ride my bike.  My doctor did approve me using my trainer though.  It is 60 days until Brent and I go on our Wisconsin bike trip.  So I will continue to log miles on the trainer, and I will ramp up my running in preperation for this years Sunburst 5K.  Just because you are limited is no excuse to not keep going!!! I am hoping to be really focused during this time of hand recovery.  Plus Brent has told me "no excuses for not keeping up in Wisconsin!"  So he has thrown down the gauntlet, and I will not fail!!!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, April 11, 2011

Race Review: Winona Lake Ultra Trail 50 Mile Race

This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...Image via Wikipedia
    By: Brent

At 2:10 I arrived at beautiful Winona Lake to get signed in and receive my swag. White running gloves. Very nice. I have always been given shirts and other odd things so a pair of legit running gloves was a nice change of pace. As I met my teammates, mostly for the first time, I could tell this was an enjoyable group and we were going to have a good time at this run. The plan was to shoot for 90 minute, 10 mile loops. I knew from the beginning I was going to struggle with that 90 minute formula for a couple reasons. First off, the furthest I had run in quite some time was 5.5 miles and secondly, when I launched, at best would be around 9 p.m., so I would be dealing with the dark.
As the field lined up there were 3 groups. The 10 milers lined up and launched, 5 minutes later the 30 milers and then another 5 back started the 50 mile runners. If you were in a relay, you still started with the distance overall you were competing with. I thought that a little odd. You would think you could pace better with the 10 mile runners, yet with the breakdown of people it was probably better. There was roughly (60) 10 mile runners, (30) 30 mile runners and (10) 50 mile (fools) runners. Impressively this race, in its second year of existence about doubled in size. The field was from all over. From Wisconsin, Georgia, Ohio and everything in between.

As the 50 mile group took off you could tell fairly quickly how people were going to do. There were all sorts of runners. Some that looked like they did this every weekend, and of course some looked like they had made a wrong turn out to this trail and had no intention of doing this. Alas, everyone left the chute. Knowing I now had about 6 hours before my lap, I then ran into town and grabbed a Subway. Some for now, some for later. It was going to be a long wait.

Whilst partaking of my tuna sub, the first runner from the 10 mile race came through at a BLISTERING 1:00:29! Insane! I didn't know the course at that point in time, but looking back at it now, I can't even begin to figure how someone does that. Second and third came in at 1:05 and 1:06 looking just as impressive. A short time later, the future first place 50 mile runner came in for his first lap running it at 1:10! Our first runner came around our figured 90 minute time frame, handed over the bib and runner 2 took off.

As time went on the parking area cleared out significantly. You could see the faces of the support groups and family members who were in for the long haul. People sleeping in cars with doors wide open. It looked like a Grateful Dead concert without the grilled cheese sandwiches. Temperatures jumped up 10 degrees from the day before so Indiana was touching its first 80 degree day of the year. Time kept running and so did the people. Runner 2 stomped out a time a bit over our 90 minute hopes, but there was no cares in the world. Runner 3 put in our best time just under 90 minutes. As my friend Trevor was heading out I tried talking him into taking a light of some kind. He refused saying he knew he would be back in time.

When 8:30 started rolling the sun really started hiding. Temp's started dropping so I made a wardrobe switch to long sleeve's and stood in the chute, headlight ready, flashlight in hand. Finally the stomach started telling me how nervous I was getting. Nervous for 2 reasons. One, Trev wasn't back in yet and most of the runners crossing at this point were wearing headlights, and it was now over 95 minutes in to his lap, and second, I was next. A few minutes later Trev popped into sight and you could only see him because of his "please don't hit me with your car, neon yellow" shirt that must have lit his way on it's own. I grabbed my GPS watch from him, the bib with our timing chip, clicked on my lights and began my trek out in to the wild.

All started fine. I had not seen this course before but luckily I have ridden on mountain bike single track before so I at least had an idea what I would be running on. The down side to it is that the bikes that are normally on these trails really dig a groove so when you are running on them your ankles constantly fall inward.

At roughly 2 miles in I came to a spot that stopped me. I figured I missed a turn so I went back. Nothing. After running back and forth and shining all my lighting on anything I could, I never found the trail forward. As I was becoming frustrated and debating starting to head back to regroup and find my trail, I saw another headlight in the distance. I hollered over to them to figure if they were coming up behind me and they were so I waited as patiently as I could. Finally the other runners headlight poked out from behind a hill and I started running toward him. I got turned in the right direction and went on. I probably gained a minute on him and kept pushing. The Winona Trails are impressive. On bike I can't fathom some of their climbs. You had to side skip down some hills and get a running start on some of the ups. I was grabbing trees on the way down one stretch just so I didn't face plant. I ended up catching and passing 2 girls along the course. One at about 6.5 miles who still had another 10 mile lap to go and one lady at about 8 miles that had 2 laps still to go! After seeing the results the next day the first girl I passed finished at 1 a.m. and the other finished at 6 in the morning. 15.5 hours after starting!

After the results coming in here was the breakdown...
Runner 1 1:31:19
Runner 2 1:38:21
Runner 3 1:29:40
Runner 4 1:37:47
Runner 5 1:59:30
Total time 8:16:37

How did first place do in the 50 mile SOLO? 7:00:40!!!!!

I had a great time. Our team was great and everyone did very well. I told the team before I went out "just know now, if I come in at 90 minutes, I cheated like crazy!"

Nothing you can do about getting lost in the dark of night. I feel I could hit 1:45 on the same course, in the same conditions, but you can't make up for walking around for 10 or so minutes. Either way, I look forward to doing it again next year.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shoe Review - Asics GT-2160 / Update on

      By: Brent

Like father, like son....

As I entered the running lifestyle, the first REAL pair of shoes I bought were the Asics GT-2140. I had had other "running shoes". The gimmicky Adidas and Nike, and even a couple random generic Asics. This was a real running shoe though. I slipped this on and angels sung, everything seemed brighter and I was know in understanding of what a good running shoe was. You slid into the GT-2140 and it fit like a glove. You felt the gel. The support was seamless and you didn't feel it pushing on you, and you never had any pain, so you knew it worked. It wasn't the lightest shoe you have read about, but I wasn't entering the next Olympics or even high school meet so it was going to be fine for my training. The shoe was going to function for many miles and not need to be replaced in 200 miles.

Sadly, even the finest shoe will wear down and break down over time. 210 pounds of constant pounding. 100...200...300...400 miles getting tacked on, you start noticing the end is near.

Starting back into running, one perk is getting new shoes and I made my attempt with Mizuno. It didn't go well and you can read about it here. Not that it was a bad shoe, but it wasn't for my foot.

I filled out my exchange paperwork and information to The easiest part was that both shoes were the same price so I did not have to get into the whole charging the card again process. In about 5 days I had a brand new, different, and what would turn out to be better shoe for my liking.

The Asics GT-2160. This years version compared to the well used GT-2140 was very similar. design was perhaps a bit nicer. I can't begin to tell you the difference in the technology. I'm sure it involves letters like "X arc" and "HI Flow this and that" and "ZX Q Form" and more crap that means "We didn't know when to stop with the fancy talk but you'll be fine." The one thing that I seem to read every year on Runner World is "...they added more memory foam...." Well when I put on the new GT-2160, I thought, hmm, "must have added too much memory foam!?!"

The GT-2140 hooked onto your foot, especially in the heel section. The GT-2160 sat up against your foot. I took off for my mileage in the 2160 and after my warm up walk and started into my jogging motion I never again thought about the heel section and the feeling of not being snugged into the shoe. Even after all the extra mileage to date, I don't feel that instant "love" feeling I did with the 2140, but it doesn't stop me from putting them on and heading out for a run.

All in all, I like the GT-2160 but I do like his dad a bit better. After 2 miles it is the same shoe as its dad. Same weight, same build and the same feeling of durability. The son is a little more finicky. Sonny might be a little more worried about the tech than the functionality of itself but all in all, he's a good kid.

As for, I will continue to send them my business. I have now bought 5 pairs of shoes, shorts and some random gear, all flawlessly. Now having just dealt with my first exchange of a shoe I had no issues and I have had a clothing return in the past that also went without a headline, I dare you to find another source that has the selection, pricing, and customer service that can offer you. Did I mention free 2nd day shipping and every shipment already comes with a prepaid return label? Good luck beating that.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, March 28, 2011

De Ronde Van Vlaanderen

Belgian Roger De Vlaeminck climbing the Koppen...Image via WikipediaBy Jeff:  

Here at Pursuit of Fit we have not blogged about professional cycling.  It's not that we have not wanted to, but it has not really fit into our mission of covering our goals of becoming healthy and fit individuals.  That being said there is nothing like a good bike race to get you motivated to put more miles on your bike!!!!  Last year I began watching a couple of cycling road races, and after watching the Tour Of Flanders I was hooked.  It is because of this race that I now watch and follow professional cycling.  The Tour of Flanders combines short steep hills with stretches of cobblestone paths.  The race is considered one of the great spring classics, and for good reason.  It covers 262.3 km, has 15 named hills and is just brutal.  I have always been in awe of people that take on epic challenges.  These professionals take a little over 6 hours to complete this race.  First of all '6 HOURS ON A BIKE'!!!!! Then combine the hills and being beaten up by the cobblestones, it is cold, think if it rained (which it has on occasion). Finally really look at that 6 hour ride time, that works out to an average speed of 40.799 km/h, AMAZING!!!!  Some of those hills have a max gradient of 20%, holy gravity!!!! I would be rolling backwards.  40.799km/h works out to 25.339 mph.  So the next time your on a flat, nice smooth road, and averaging 18mph, just imagine 15 hills, bumpy pave, and an extra 8mph worth of effort, ouch!!  So the great thing is that I just found out that Versus is covering the race again this year (I'm sure probably just the highlights), but at least I will get to see some of it.  So do yourself a favor, if you have never watch professional cycling before, turn on Versus this Sunday April 3 at 4pm est, and watch De Ronde Van Vlaanderen! ...... Click on the link below for last years highlights:
Cancellara wins Tour of Flanders - Versus
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The things we can say "Yes!" to....

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park comes ...Image via Wikipedia
By: Brent

So I was talking with my good friend and co-worker Trevor, and he says to me, "Hey, wanna try a 50 miler!?!" My swift response, "NO!!!!" yet the more he talks about it, the more interesting it becomes. It is a trail race at Winona Lake on the mountain bike trails. The biggest kicker is that you can enter into relays so Trevor and I have entered in with 3 others so all we have to run is 10 miles apiece. Mind you, I have only run one time since my 5k on the snowy golf course, but still, It's not like is could snow in April in Indiana..... I think. So we get our 5 guys that all say YES to this hair brained idea. Then Trevor says to me, "You run at night a lot, how well does your headlight work?" I respond curiously, assuming that he is planning on starting to run after hours and he says "Oh no. the race doesn't start until 2:30 p.m., so by the time the fifth guy starts, it could be 10 o'clock at night and the runner are responsible for their lighting." AWESOME!!!!! For some reason, NOW I am more than interested. I requested the last leg of the race, with no argument from the team.

So today Trevor officially signed us up. Last year there was 66 "groupings". There is multiple ways to enter this trail race. 50 mile solo, 3, 4 or 5 man groups or they offer a 30 and 10 mile option also. As of our sign up there are 77 entered, with our team being the only 50 mile 5 man. I have no idea what to expect. My understanding is that you run on the mountain bike trail that follows a days worth of mountain bike races. If that is the case, there should be pretty good clearings and watching the roots in the ground should be the only major issues. My understanding is that Winona Lake does a very good job hosting races that are run and ridden so I have a lot of faith this will be another great new experience.

As of today I have 19 days to get a bit of running endurance built back up. I know you can't turn into a real trail runner in 19 days, but I figure if this is at midnight, I shall start working on my list of excuses as to why it took me so long to finish my leg of the race.

1) I got chased off the trail by Big Foot

2) I made a wrong turn and ended up in Illinois, then turned back and ran back

3) My headlight batteries went out a mile in and I ran the rest in the darkness

4) I was in the line at the port-o-potty at mile XX (find port-o-potty)

5) Mexican sample platter dinner was a bad idea

6) I found a portal that led to a mystical land

7) In all the excitement, I must have gone around twice

8) I may have dozed off

9) I waited at the wrong checkpoint for so long

10) I thought this was a preview of the course so I walked and took notes. I am ready now though.

This year has been interesting for me and fitness. I am so focused on riding right now I can't seem to get all worked up about running. Yet, I have done a trail/snow 5k run, this 50 mile trail relay, I am signed up (yet NOT training) for a road half marathon, and I want to do the 10k Steve's Run that is half trail and half road. I have a handful of biking events I want to do also and I would like to find a couple sprint triathlons this summer so very different from the last 2 years that I have run 14 road races and one of them being trail.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Outside Finally - First Group Ride of the Year

group rides are funImage by neotint via FlickrBy: Jeff

This is just a real quick post to mention that the weather has finally warmed up enough in northern Indiana to ride outside!!!  Last night four of us from the bike shop went out for the Wednesday night group ride.  It was a blast!!! I/we are so ready for spring to be here, and to be outside.  Here is the data from Brent's garmin, from last nights ride:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Have Bike, Will Travel - Trempealeau County Wisconsin

Map of Wisconsin highlighting Trempealeau CountyImage via WikipediaBy: Jeff

Brent and I have been planning for some time now to take an extended weekend biking trip.  Last year we talked about taking such a trip, but just ran out of time.  Then Bicycling Magazine ran this article on Trempealeau County Wisconsin.  As we read and re-read the article, it became more clear to us that this might be a great area for us to try our first cycling trip. We acquired brochures in the mail, which is mandatory for any traveling excursions, plus as much as I love technology, there is nothing like a good travel brochure!!!

Here is what the Tempealeau County Bike Club has to say about the cycling in their county, "Breathtaking scenery, rolling hills, narrow ridge tops, and broad valleys with rural farm settings are part of the seventeen (17) carefully planned loops within the Trempealeau County Bicycle Loop.  There are loops for all occasions and all types of bicyclists.  The paved back roads with little traffic and willing folks to help you along the loops add personality to a beautiful rural setting along Western Wisconsin's Mississippi River Valley."  Sounds intriguing right?  The review from Bicycling Magazine also favored it in a positive light, "It's pretty, sure enough. For the past hour, we pedaled through a patriotic anthem's worth of scenic cliches— spacious blue skies, amber waves of grain, even a fruited plain or two—and from this vista there is lots more of the same, bathed in late-afternoon sunlight."

I for one am very excited and ready to try it out.  Who knows it might just be a really good marketing job.  Either way we will be cycling for the weekend, in a place that is not Indiana.  We have our trip scheduled for mid- July.  That gives us exactly four and a half months to train properly for this outing.  So here are the trip preliminary plans:

  • We will be doing six of the seventeen available loops
  • Trip will be 4 days
  • Cycling will cover approximately 196 miles
  • Cycling will include climbing of approximately 13,070 feet
It is time to start training.  The hotel is booked, plans are underway.  We have plans for blogging about our trip preparation, live blogs from the trip, photos, and obviously a thorough review of our trip.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Service after the Sale. Part 1.....

By: Brent

I had a very good holiday season. VERY GOOD. I would imagine so did Garmin. I know this because between gifts and gift certificates, I got TWO devices to feed my running / biking / geeking habits. The Edge 500 I have spoken about which sits on my bike and is an amazing little creation. The second item I bought on my own will with a gift card to Best Buy. The Garmin Forerunner 305. This little critter handles it all, in a wrist mount version, but unlike the Edge 500, it can handle multiple sports so when I am running, it talks to me in minutes/mile and when it is in biking mode it is in miles per hour mode. This 305 is MANY triathletes go to devise because of how easy it switches from sport to sport. I love this devise a lot, yet for different reasons than my Edge 500. Other than being in a Tri, I doubt I would use it on the bike because it is a bulky piece to have on the wrist while riding the bike. I also love it because as far as GPS watches, no matter what amount of sport you are doing, the 305 can cover it, for "only" $150 dollars. It really is a great watch.

I have used it 4 times. 2 training runs and 1 trail race, then I also went out on Sunday for a training run, getting ready for the Indy Mini in May. The weather called for snow to start up in the late morning so I chose to get out before it all started. I thought I would shoot for a 6 mile run or so. All was going well. A bit windy but until I made the turn back on my out and back route, no issues. Well as the turn was made to head back, the big FAT flakes started in, but the best part of running outdoors, now I had to finish. Again nothing really amazing to report, but all went well. As I was finishing up my route I stop at the same point every time and walk the last 1/4 of a mile for my cool down. On this last stretch there is a little half circle road that adds next to nothing to the distance, maybe a 1/10th of a mile, but since this was the longest I had gone in a while I figured the extra cool down would be good for me. As I was wrapping up this little bonus cool down, I started to slide on my left foot. I rushed to get my right foot down and thought, "Okay, everything melted and I am on the smoothest ice ever created" So I safely stepped to the right to get off the ice and started to repeat the process. As I was doing the boot scooting boogie, Gravity decided to get involved and hurled me to the ground.

As I stood up I did a quick dust off and glanced at my beloved Garmin Forerunner 305 watch only to see the display was smashed. I hit some buttons and heard it was still beeping telling me it was on, yet I could see nothing. I was just a short walk from home, and while evaluating myself and deciding I was fine I was really annoyed with myself and what I had just done.

This morning I hopped on and sent the service depatment a letter to see what can be done. The good news is it still works, I just have no idea what it says until later when I log it into but on the run, I would much rather know what is happening.

Yes, I am okay. Yes, I will be better when garmin gets back to me in "3 working days"
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, February 14, 2011

Race Day: Frosty 5k, Elkhart, IN

Running in Snow 2Image by koocbor via Flickr
By Brent:

Talk about an unplanned event. Not the race organizers, ME!?!

I have not run in a good 3 weeks. That was a slow 4 mile outing learning about my Garmin 305 GPS watch. Well low and behold I was told about the Frosty 5k 2 days before it was happening. I am in pretty good "biking shape" but I have lost a lot of my running ability. It was a nice cheap $20 entry fee but it wasn't that I knew people so much running it that interested me. It was the course. Running in the snow around Sim's Oak Hills Golf Course. Even golfing there can be a challenge. You can park in the fairway and lose your golf cart in some of the "potholes" they have in the fairways. The thought of running there was kinda fun.

I knew I should stretch myself out a bit and get the legs moving a bit so I told myself I would go for a short leisurely paced run Friday and then the race would be Saturday at 10.

Well, I did go out and run but I did too much, too fast. I ran 2.5 miles averaging 9.30/mile. I was thinking more like a mile or 1.5 miles around 11 minute miles.

Race day I was already feeling the tenderness from the day prior. The course was quite snowy. In fact it was a lot snowy. At all times your were running on at least 3 inches of snow. At 220 lbs I don't exactly float across the white stuff so needless to say you were constantly catching your traction as you went along. Add in the hills and 30 degree weather for that matter and you can imagine it was no ones personal best time.

I think for $20 this is a race that next year I would be interested in again just because of the challenge and to see what more I could do to my time. A couple things I would do different next year? A few, but honestly the big thing would just be the fact of running more prior to the day before the race. Also I think I would have worn my Yak Trax. I only didn't because the race called it "part paved and part trail" so I figured more like a snowy version of Steve's Run in Dowagiac, MI. Well, it was ALL trail, but now I know. Knowing the course always helps to so I hope this happens again next year.

The race organizers need to advertise this race a bit better would be the only thing I have to add to the preparation of the Frosty 5. This was the second year and there were 39 runners. I have no idea how anyone knew about the inaugural event, but alas, it must have happened.

Well, my ankles are still sore but it nice knowing the race season has already started!!! Keep on melting snow!!!!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, February 11, 2011


By: Jeff

This post is mainly just an excuse to try the new blogger app on Android.  As you can see from the first picture we have had a ton of snow this year in northern Indiana.  I cannot remember the last time I have road my bike on the road.  The last time I road that wasn't on the trainer was when I broke my hand trail riding.  Now that being stated I have had an excellent time stiring the eggbeaters on the trainer this winter.  In January I had over 144 miles on my stationary trainer.  An excellent time you say?  Actually yes. Brent and I have been able to join a couple of indoor group rides, where we watch training videos and share in the training with other people.  The nice part about training like this is that you get to work on specific techniques. I feel like I will be so much better at the beginning of this spring then what I was at the end of last fall.  So grab your trainer, find a group, and have fun waiting for the snow to melt.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weight Weenies

Shimano 7-speed sprocket showing 'Hyperglide' ...Image via Wikipedia
By Brent:

I love my bike. I love that it's carbon. I love that it looks like it's moving 62 kph all the time. I love it so much, it makes me speak of things using the metric system.

However, I am a weight weenie, kinda. I am constantly aware of all the weights of some of the products on my bike. Every little part still adds SOME kind of weight. This can drive me crazy. To think adding 2 bottles of water can weigh half as much as your bike itself. Keep in mind being 6'3" I ride a size 60 bike, which is one of the biggest sizes out there, so I am instantly penalized for having to have the larger frame. This made me want to do some investigating. Lets take some of the most popular and heavy products on a bike and shop around and see how much weight we could lose if we picked a "reasonable priced" item and quality brand and see what it would total out to. Notice I used air quotes? This is still cycling we are talking about. A cyclist sees a tyre for $45 and sees a DEAL! A normal consumer sees a "bike tire" for $20 and freaks out. The one thing I will not put on this list is wheelsets. They don't start until you hit the $700 price range and there are almost too many options. The costing would come from 2 sources: and Honestly I have never bought from "" but they carry tons of brands and do a good job listing weights.

The line up will follow this format:

Product / Current Brand / Model / Weight
NEW Brand / Model / Weight / Savings price / Amazon price

Stem / Cannondale / C2 / 128 grams
Ritchey WCS 4 Axis OS / 122 g / 6 g
$75 / $51

Handlebars / ControlTECH / ONE / 315 g
PRO / PLT Compact II / 257 gr. / 58 g
$60 / $60

Brakes / Tektro / R580 / 314 g
SRAM / Rival / 288 gr. / 26 g
$115 / $79

Saddle / ProLogo / Scratch Pro T2.0 / 279 g
Fizik / Antares VS Kium / 208 gr. / 71 g
$180 / $162

Seat Post / Cannondale / C2 / 268 g
Easton / EA70 / 220 gr. / 48 g
$90 / $70

Crankset / FSA / Gossamer BB30/ 808 g
SRAM / Force BB30 / 658 gr. / 150 g
$355 / $249

Cassette / Shimano / 105 / 245 g
SRAM / PG-1070 / 229 gr. / 16 g
$95 / $79

Front Derailuer / Shimano / 105 / 95 g
Shimano / Dura Ace / 66 gr. / 29 g
$159 / $85

Tires / Vittoria / Zaffiro Pro Slick / 250 g ea.
Continental / Ultra Sport / 235 gr. ea. / 30 g total
$67 for both / $36 for both

Pedals / Shimano / R540 / 330 g
LOOK / Keo Classic / 256 gr. / 74 g
$120 / $85

So the totals are as follows....

508 grams saved at a price of $1,316 through OR $956 by luck shopping on

508 grams? Umm.... here in the States, that means 1.1 POUNDS!

For $1300 you save 1 pound. Really? So how about hitting the road, or treadmill or put the cookie DOWN!

Thanks for not shopping!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shoe Review, Mizuno Wave Inspire 7

By Brent
I have learned, as with the Brooks Ravenna, just because it looks good and feels okay walking around the house, means NOTHING compared to running in a shoe. Being signed up for another half marathon again I knew I needed to check my mileage in my current line up of shoes. I logged onto where I have for the past year logged all my mileage running, biking or swimming (year to date, 0 miles!). The line up looked as follows...

Brooks Ravenna, 1,XXX miles due to being my everyday walk around shoe.

Asics Nimbus, 408.45 miles, semi retired

Asics GT-2140, 489.29 miles, retired
Asics DS Trianer 14, 260.49 miles, active but aging

So knowing that a bigger fella like myself is going to flatten a shoe out quicker than say, Usain Bolt, I knew that one aging pair of shoes wasn't going to do the trick. LET THE SHOPPING BEGIN!!!

I have said before, with size 15 feet, I don't have the same luxury as most folks who walk into a store and point out the prettiest thing on the wall and try it out, so the best luck I have had so far is on or Going through I entered my specs and it shot out a fair amount of shoes to choose from. I also appreciate that there is no shipping and handling, 2 day air standard freight, and return label already shipped with the shoe, and almost every time, the best price you can find anywhere!

One option that popped out was the Mizuno Wave Inspire 7. I have wanted Mizuno for quite some time. I was pleased with the $85 price and they had my size in stock. The other perk was that the shipping time line worked out perfect for a family vacation we were taking that weekend down to see my uncle, and Boston Marathon runner, and I could use his True treadmill and not have to touch mine.

"Is True the best brand treadmill?" you ask. I don't have a clue. I know they have gotten good reviews from runners world magazine, but for me, my height makes me love it more than mine. I have to turn the treadmill 90 degrees, slide an acoustic drop ceiling tile to the side and run very steady with in a span of 24" front to back and 16" center to center.

So the Mizuno's arrived and I put them on. The only feeling better than a new pair of sneakers is a new pair of socks. As I walked around I thought they felt good. Not a noticeable amount of cushion, but still a good feeling shoe. snug on the heal, roomy in the toe. Very solid. I felt good about this one.

The family made its trip south and Saturday night was the big event. I got all dressed out and put on the Mizuno Wave Inspire 7 and began the walk. A slow, boring 3.5 mph walk. As I walked I did feel a disturbing amount of rub on the very back of the right heel about the sock line. So after a half mile walk I stopped and moved my socks, which were a no show sock, but were now pulled up rather high and looked fairly dumb. Either way, I wondered if maybe it was just this type of sock. So I got back on and walked another quarter mile and wasn't pleased with how things were panning out. I wondered if speed was the issue so I pressed the preset speed button on the True (wishing that I myself had one) and tried them out at 5 m.p.h. No better so after stopping and readjusting I hopped back on and tried out 8 m.p.h. No better. Another sock tweak, and another 5 m.p.h. lap and things were looking like my relationship with Mizzo was going to be null.
After 3.25 miles I decided that I will be sending the Mizuno back. After a side by side comparison the back of the Mizzo's do run up a good bit higher than my current Brooks or Asics and didn't have nearly the same ACL cut out section. I will be exchanging these and going back to my brand of choice, Asics and bringing in the GT-2160. What could possible go wrong?!?!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daytona Beach, Warmer (Slightly) Than Indiana

Hilton Daytona BeachImage by Joe Shlabotnik via FlickrBy Jeff

Last week I took a business trip to Daytona Beach.  I know, I know, sounds exactly like a business trip right?  With air travel, convention setup, and working the convention, I was only able to get out and run/walk once.  So a nice run along an ocean walk in sunny Florida ----- Ya Right!!!  How about 45 and windy!!! Ok so nicer than -6 in Indiana, but still not typical Florida weather.  Immediately I could tell that I have been doing a lot more bike riding than running. But with running by the ocean, early morning with no one around, it was rather peaceful. In addition it made for a great opportunity to test the Google My Tracks app on my phone.  So there I was, running along, feeling good about myself, smelling the ocean breeze.....and, wait for it........BACON!!!!  Come on Jeff keep running, breakfast isn't for another couple of hours......Conrad Hilton was up cooking though.  Man what a distraction.  That man makes some seriously good smelling bacon.  After a few minutes I was able to regain my focus and complete my run.  Over all it was fun, and the change of scenery was an added bonus.  And yes I did order bacon at breakfast.

From My Tracks Phone App

View 2011-01-21 06:13 in a larger map
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas Catch Up

By Brent:

Well the holiday season was good to me. I hope you all had great holiday's also. Typically, when I am into a hobby, I am overwhelmed by it. It's all I do and think about. This year was no different. This post is just an informative post to let you in on future posts that will be, umm, posted.

The Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer is an ingenious creation that knows more about my cycling abilities than I do. This little gizmo has the capability to give you so much information on the go, plus hooks you up to a free service on Garmin Connect that douses you with even MORE information.

The Garmin Cadence sensor and "upgraded" Heart Rate monitor. This work along with the Edge 500 to give me more information indoors on a trainer, telling me how fast I am spinning, and the heart rate monitor so when I collapse, the doctors can see where it all went wrong.

Cycle Ops Magneto trainer. This will be a difference maker during the winter months. This little beauty will hold me up and still while I continue to log miles indoors while its 4 degrees outside and the roads are caked with snow.
DZ Nuts jersey. Plain and simple. A new short sleeve jersey for the summer. This is my first true biking jersey. It's a little dumb how excited I am about this. Yet what could be more dumb.....

Castelli Leg Warmers. Yes. LEG WARMERS. (Enter images of me in Flashdance) Leg warmers because they are simple to put on and server a great purpose. Castelli because they are marketing GENIUSES and used a scorpion as their logo.

Castelli socks. Because nothing compliments Castelli Leg Warmers better. And seriously, look at that scorpion logo!

Paceline Chamois Butt'r. This was a lovely gift from mom and dad. The best part is they had no idea what it was, so when I informed them it was for your "undercarriage" they were a bit shocked. Ahh the grossness that comes along with almost all fitness activities.
I probably have forgotten something, but this was a great year for biking. Hope you all had a great holiday also! Look for future reviews of these hopefully great products.
Enhanced by Zemanta