Far End Gear XDU stereo earbud

Far End Gear XDU stereo earbud
Far End Gear XDU stereo earbud

I avoided riding with headphones for a long time. I simply wasn’t that comfortable with my ears covered – especially in busy San Francisco traffic. I had experimented a couple of times with riding with one earbud in. But this invariably lead to me either hearing only half of the music, or switching back and forth between stereo and mono settings on my iPhone. Neither of these options were particularly appealing.

However, after a little shopping on Amazon I came across the Far End Gear XDU stereo earbud. It plays both the left and right stereo channels it a single earbud.

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Salsa Vaya Claris Adventure Touring Bike

2017 Salsa Vaya Claris with Tubus Cosmo rear rack and Ortlieb Backpacker plus
2017 Salsa Vaya Claris with Tubus Cosmo rear rack and Ortlieb Backpacker plus

The 2017 Salsa Vaya has some updates over previous model years, and one of those is the introduction of a Claris 8 speed build. The bike is being sold as a “road adventure and light touring bike.” I started looking to build up my own touring bike out or Eloise – my vintage Motobecane. As the price point for the SRAM build I was looking at crossed $1000 I started to recall my long unfulfilled desire to own a Surly Long Haul Trucker. That lead me to my favorite local independent bike shop Huckleberry Bicycles. The staff there, continuing their long run of really good service and sound advise, turned me on to the Salsa Vaya.

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Coros LINX Smart Cycling Helmet safely delivers audio

Coros LINX smart cycling helmetRedmond, WA company Coros Wearables is launching a new helmet that comes with more than the usual bells and whistles. The product, launched on KickStarter, has been dubbed the Coros LINX Smart Cycling Helmet. In a nutshell, it is a bunch of useful technology stuck into a bicycle helmet. If you are going to wear a helmet, you might as well use one that comes with a smartphone app.

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Brooks England launching two new bicycle helmets

Island Bicycle Helmet by Brooks England
Island Bicycle Helmet by Brooks England

Brooks England has added two new helmets to their iconic line of saddles, bags and clothing. These are currently being release in pre-order on their website, and are expected to ship by spring of 2017.

Both helmets will be released in two sizes, M (53-58cm) and L (59-62cm).

The ISLAND, our first Commuter Helmet, and the HARRIER, our first Road Helmet, are currently in development. Soon they will be in pre-production, the full commercial release being planned for Spring 2017

https://www.triboom.com/brooks/project/brooks-helmets

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“The Program” – a movie review

The Program - a movie about the career of Lance ArmstrongI just finished watching “The Program” – a dramatized version of the events of Lance Armstrong. The movie itself credits its inspiration to David Walsh and his book “Seven Deadly Sins.” Somehow I had been aware of this movie and had (incorrectly) assumed that it was another in the line of documentary works that come out since the Oprah Winfrey interview with Lance Armstrong. After watching, however, I realized this was a bit different.

This movie was a dramatization in that there were actors playing all the roles. The astute cycling fans will recognize the moments of actual footage scattered throughout the production. But there is no denying that Lance Armstrong, Frankie and Betsy Andreu, Johan Bruyneel and other key figures were played by actors. That sets it apart from the majority of the films published since Lance Armstrong’s admissions. Keep reading →

Garmin GPS vs. Speed/Cadence sensor

Garmin Speed/Cadence SensorMy trusty Garmin GSC 10 Speed/Cadence sensor gave up on me the other day. I think this may be the original sensor that came with my Garmin Edge 500, and I know for a fact that my Edge 500 is the single oldest piece of cycling gear that I still own. I have data on Garmin Connect going back to August 21, 1999. Therefore I am not entirely sad nor upset that my sensor went out. It has served me well for a very long time. It has survived more bikes then I can remember, inadvertently tracked a couple of Amtrak Capitol Corridor trips, managed to NOT be on any of the bikes that got stolen, and held it together through more than a few crashes.

What did surprise me however was what seems to be a change in my overall average speeds since the GSC went out of service. That change, of course, was down. Keep reading →

Ikea selling bike as “car replacement”

News of the launch of the IKEA Sladda urban bike began to spread shortly after the recent Red Dot Design awards. The bike received Best of the Best in the product design category. While we assume that the Red Dot judges had an actual, physical product, as of yet it is only the officially released graphic rendering of the bike and accessories that has been made available.

ikea-sladda-render

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Bike builder Willy Tan

DSC06407One of the bikes seen at the North American Handmade Bike Show this year had the name “Willy Tan” carefully labeled on the down tube. This small framed pink touring bike definitely caught my attention, and if fact was one of my favorites of the entire show. What caught my attention even more was that this bike was in the booth of the University of Iowa – the only academic institution at the show. The bikes on display were on par with the quality and workmanship of the rest of the show – many seasoned professionals with years of experience.

The University of Iowa program is lead by Steve McGuire, Professor of Metal Arts and 3D Design and Studio Division Coordinator in the School of Art & Art History. Thanks to the magic of social networking, I was able to get in touch with the builder Willy Tan and ask him some questions about the program, and this fantastic bike. Keep reading →

Bay Area Bike Share reveals proposed new locations

Bay Area Bike Share station
Bay Area Bike Share station, 7th & Townsend, San Francisco.

It has been over 8 months since Bay Area Bike Share announced their plans to expand and started soliciting feedback from the public. And now, presumably after evaluating usage data and feedback from the numerous surveys, they have started to reveal many of the proposed new stations.

While plans are to expand Bay Area Bike Share tenfold all over the bay area – including east bay – the released locations are all in San Francisco and San Jose. The San Francisco locations are focused in the south-east section of town, including SOMA, the Tenderloin, Mission Bay, as well as Castro and the Mission.

Not only have they published maps of the proposed sites in PDF format, they are also soliciting additional feedback now that the new locations are starting to be known.

NAHBS Headtube Badges

A collection of some of the badges and artwork I found on the headtubes at the 2016 North American Hand Made Bicycle Show.

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