Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cool gear, places, and tips for 2009

A week into the 2009; hope by now most of you have curbed the tree, purged any of the leftover fudge, exchanged the gifts for the gear you really wanted.

Plenty of great rides, cool people and places to look back on from 2008; but its also time to look ahead to 2009. Started circling the dates and registering for races that I want to compete in;
start laying out my training program; and of course the gear that I must have.

So here is what excites me in 2009; besides the usual post workout peanut butter sandwich and coffee, and spending plenty of quality time on the bike(s);


Running Shoes

ASICS GEL-Kayano 15: The continued evolution of this shoe keeps me coming back for more. I have never been disappointed with a pair of the Kayano product line; 2009 brings more cushioning to the heel along with a lighter shoe thanks to the material used. I use this shoe on both pavement and trail; it takes a beating and holds up.

Cycling Shoes

I had mentioned this on a previous blog in '08; but the most anticipated shoe for me is the Lake MX401. Moldable to your feet, extra support and protection in the shoe, Boa system, carbon sole, light weight, and built for XC racing or Cyclocross.


Mountain Hardwear base layers/pullovers really caught my eye and impressed me in 2008. The 2009 Spring line line offers a half zip base layer that can handle what ever the weather throws at it.

Gear innovations

Ergon how I love thee...great bar ends, backpacks, and gloves that we get teased with from abroad.

Just looking at the BC3 backpack from Ergon one can see that its built to take what the outdoors can throw at it. Erg
on describes this as their Transalp backpack; and is meant to go for days or for the daily commuting grind. Made from a heavy duty water proof material, water proof zippers, black on the outside, white on the inside to make it easier to find things, a helmet holder, along with a detachable organizer. This bag is made gender specific; which means not only the straps are different in size but also the width and curve of the hip belt.

Bicycles (Road, Mountain, Cyclocross)

IBIS Hakkalugi Cyclocross frame

I just like saying "Hakkalugi"; makes me laugh. Seriously though; it was the one element of last year's Interbike show that really impressed me and had me sold. The fact we are looking at a carbon frame around 1000grams; along with the return of the Canti mounts and the hand j*b cable stop; a classic cross geometry; this bike will withstand a year on the 'Cross circuit to say the least. Its yellow frame along with the Flemish emblem is a sign of respect to the region of Belgium called Flanders; where it's people are known for their success in Cyclocross. Welcome back Lugi....we missed you.



Plenty of places across this great continent of ours to go for a trail run, road or mountain bike ride. From the picturesque scenery to the punishing climbs here are a few places that have me thinking of a needed road trip in 2009 My backyard; Marin; for those who are trail runners; should plan a vacation around. One the trails vary in terrain and difficulty; but its the breath taking scenery that sucks you in and makes you forget that you've just run 20 miles. Stay at Cavallo Point; while your here; a new resort on a renovated army base on the Sausalito side of the GoldenGate bridge; its right next door to the start of the Marin Headlands. Besides boxing up the bike; mountain or road; and heading to Europe for some riding; which isn't part of this year's budget; staying close to home is more realistic.

Mountain Biking

The return of singletrack has definitely been on the upswing the last couple of years; and no other area defines mountain biking (sorry Marin) better then the Fort Collins/Boulder/Colorado Springs area. If your a serious Mtber then I recommend planning a vacation in '09 and ride some of the trails in this area, Buffalo Creek (Pine), Trail 401, and Colorado Trail - Kenosha (Breckenridge) are just a few that will push your limits.

Road ride

For an extended road trip; try a trip to the South; Asheville, NC to be more specific. Asheville has become the destination of choice over the past few years to both road and mountain bikers alike; with miles and various trails/routes to chose from. The road around Asheville is relatively flat; with some rolling; but as you head out along the Blue Ridge Parkway and further to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park; the ascents start to become a challenge. Check out Blue Ridge Bicycle Club site for more information and various routes.


Marin County Marathon 04/19/2009; hopefully the first of many for this new comer. Yes its on the same weekend of the big kid; Boston; but its bringing a little trail and pavement to some of the various events. Besides being in my backyard; I like that that its promoters are creating an event that is sustainable; Shouldn't that be a prerequisite for a running event being environmentally aware.

The North Face Endurance Challenge is entering its third year; and it is only getting better. From its 10K to 50 mile course; it offers a challenge to all those trail runners out there. With multiple race dates across various regions in the country concludes with the championship in the my backyard the Marin Headlands in December.

I would like to say Leadville is the race to be at for 2009; but its the race to be at every year; just have to be selected in the lottery. The 50 miler is open to all; just make sure to register early. The race is though is the BC bike race, a seven day mountain bike stage race from Victoria to Whistler; some the best singletrack in the world. June 28 - July 4.


Smaller portions, local, and sustainable. Buy local if you can; support your local CSA; Farmers Market; eat what's in season; you will find that this one change will not only impact how you feel health wise; but it will provide that needed s
upport in '09 to your local economy.

I hope that one positive outcome of this current recession is that restaurants cut back on the portions served versus the quality of food; it would do us all some good.

I can't go without mentioning the beverages of choice and those who I support and hope they continue to churn out a quality product in '09.

Coffee; from a wellness and health perspective; you may find that a cup in the
morning or post workout will help in your recovery. From Blue Bottle Coffee (Bay Area), Stumptown (Portland, OR), and Intelligentsia (Chicago, IL); you can't find better roasters around; supporting both the organic and the local grower movement alike.

Beer; yes it doesn't hurt to have a glass here or there; all in moderation right. For all the local brewers in the Bay Area; I always stop and peer what New Belgium Brewing has produced for a seasonal brew. Not only have they been producing some of the best beer in the country; but their continuing support for the cycling community is an added bonus

Fitness Training

Bootcamps, cross training, kettle bells, educated/certified training professionals, sports specific training, and referrals to trainers by physicans. Trends that will continue to grow in 2009; even with an economic downturn looming out there; people will look for what training has the best cost benefit for them.

On an end note; as another cycling season begins; I hope that 2009 generates increased interest at the grass roots level; and evolves into support for that local bike store down the block and the smaller publications who are promoting the sport such as Cyclocross, Mountain Flyer, and Bike Monkey.

What makes me smile every day in '09

Oh...and I can never forget the dog....one year older in March....but at eight...still a big puppy.

Hope the best for all of you in 2009. Thanks for your support.

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