Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tried and liked - 2008

Grand Bois tires - I've gone on about these tires in previous posts. I have the 42mm Hetres on my Rawland and the 28m Cerfs on my 747. I'm ruined forever now on the tire front. I'm a true tire snob now. Add that to the list. I'll still run the Panaraer Pasalas on my "urban bike," but only because I have about 4 pair.

NiteRider MiNewt - Liza bought this light for her commute and I borrowed it on the Midnight Century. It lasted 7+ hours and lit up the dark country roads of the Palouse like a stadium. A fantastic light.

Ibex Dash Hybrid jacket - My buddy Alex turned me onto the vest version of this jacket, which I also love. The design is a pretty normal bikey jacket design: weather proof in the front and breathable in the back. But the Ibex uses wool in all the right spots, so it breathes well and doesn't stink so bad. And it keeps you warm when wet. This jacket made the "best of" list on my long, cold, rainy ride to Kettle Falls a couple months ago.

Rainlegs - Kent sang the praises of these ultimate dork gear pants a couple years ago. I finally got some this year and they rule. I also use them in this crazy single-digit weather as a way to block the wind.

Century ride -I've done a few 100+ mile days, but until this year, I'd never done an organized century. Mr Blaine's Midnight Century was an intriguing idea and I'd done part of it in 2007, but when he organized the Midnight Century as a country, dirt-road ride, I was in. This was the single best ride of the year for me. The route was wonderfully remote and challenging. I had the new Rawland, which turned out to be the optimal bike for the combination of pavement and dirt. The company was great. I'm looking forward to next year.

Cyclocross - Ever since watching the races a couple years ago, I really wanted to try racing cyclocross. I'm a convert. I had a great time. I look forward to doing better next year. I even bought some running shoes to do some cross training. Crazy.

Daily commute - This is new for me. It's been about 4 years since I've had a daily commute. So far I'm really enjoying it.

Mountain biking - I bought a mountain bike from 2 Wheel Transit (when it was up on 29th) when I was a senior in high school...uh, nearly 20 years ago. I skipped school with my buddy Lucas who showed me the trails out to Riverside State Park, when you could ride all the way out there on trails by the river. Over the last 10 years or so, I've not really done much mountain biking. With the Rawland this year, I've really been doing a lot more trail riding. I've always enjoyed riding dirt roads and easy trails on my other bikes, but it's been fun to have a fat tired knobby bike for faster runs through clumpier terrain. This year, I also met Ben, who showed me some new trails and gave me a crash course on downhill riding. I'm not a downhill convert, but I really enjoy finding new trails. I want to finish my "perimeter trail around Spokane" project next year.

Riding with Maddie -Now that she's an expert bike rider, it's so great to ride to school with her. She's really gained a lot of confidence and she loves being one of only two kids in her preschool that can ride a bike without training wheels.


Pat S said...

Great post, John.

Based on your glowing reviews, I bought a pair of rainlegs a couple of months ago. So far they're un-tested, but I have put them on and looked in the mirror. If I posted what I really thought, they'd throw me off the internet.

stevep33 said...

Great picks.
I second the Dash Hybrid Jacket. Ibex gear is outstanding.