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"
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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!!!!

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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!
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