Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Review of Brooks PureCadence - Men's - Shoes - Red

Originally submitted at

The Brooks PureCadence running shoe will appeal to guidance to support runners who want to experience a natural foot strike but still require support and stability. Part of the Brooks PureProject collection, this streamlined, flexible men's running shoe is assembled using Strobel construction a...

Perfect shoe for me

By Slow Runner from Cary, NC on 12/5/2012


5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Width: Feels true to width

Pros: Breathable, Comfortable, Cushions Impact, Durable, Good Arch Support

Best Uses: Running

Describe Yourself: Athletic

I bought these because I'm a mid-foot striker, and have been using VFFs for the past year. I wanted to find a shoe with more cushion for running on harder surfaces, but without a big chunky heel.

These are perfect for me. The VFFs are getting relegated to trail running, walking, and casual wear.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cool Idea to Retrofit Rear Discs

Keeping a weather eye on the horizon: Equipment: A2Z DM-UNI Disc Brake Adaptor: My full suspension bike is a 1997 GT LTS-1 that was originally designed around cantilever or V-brakes. I wanted to upgrade to disc brakes, ...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tour de Cure: Reflections, Part II

Saturday night, we were told the 'official' start time for the Sunday ride was 7:30, but anybody who wanted to get an early start was welcome to, as long as they understood that they would be riding unsupported until the rest stops opened at the normal times.

With a weather forecast of "unbearably hot, with a 40% chance of thunderstorms", I thought starting early was a good idea.  I decided to leave my fenders on, even though they were making annoying noise on rough roads.  After all, nothing prevents rain better than being prepared for it.

While getting ready, I realized I'd forgotten to pack one item: extra chamois cream.  I dreaded a 100 miles without it, on a rear that had already taken a day's worth of abuse.  I did the best I could with what I had, and resolved to check my handlebar bag for my emergency stash.

We got to the start around 6:30.  Bikes had been brought out of overnight storage, but there were so few people about that it looked like the rapture had come and taken all the cyclists.

I'd eaten breakfast, and only had to fill my bottles before I hit the road.  Well, that, and find my bike.  After locating it, I tip-toed through the Treks, then gingerly picked it up and carried it out of the way of bikes that probably cost more than my car.  My one bike splurge - a Brooks B-17 leather saddle - had been laying on the dew-kissed grass, which pleased me not at all.  But it hadn't been there THAT long, and I regularly apply proofide to it, so I dried it off and left it at that.

I checked my bar bag for my emergency chamois cream - no luck.  Well, there was nothing for it.  With a kiss and a wave to my lovely wife, I headed out for the 2nd day a few minutes before 7.

That turned out to be the perfect time.  I passed the first aid station before it was open, but knew they'd be ready when I passed it again at the end of the 25 mile loop that was the difference between century riders and 75-milers.  I rode with one gentleman for about 10 miles; we chatted amiably as we rode, both of us more interested in enjoying the relatively cool morning than we were in hamming down the road.

After I turned off for the loop, I spent a good deal of Sunday riding alone.  Some cyclists may dislike that, but I find it peaceful.  Twice, I saw a gray fox, but otherwise enjoyed watching the countryside go past in the quiet morning, accompanied by the sound of the wind rushing past my ears and the susurration of my bicycle chain.

I suppose that's one of the many things that is so special about charity rides.  If you want to ride alone, you can.  If you want to ride with a group, you can.  If, like me, you enjoy both, you can mix it up and do a little here and there.

As the day progressed, I started seeing the effects of the weather and the miles on other riders.  There were quite a few who sagged out - called a support vehicle for a ride to the next rest stop or the entire way to the finish.  Some had mechanical failures that stopped them, but it seems like quite a few were simply worn down by a combination of dehydration, exhaustion, bonking, and the relentless heat.

I didn't realize how much it was affecting me until about 85 miles into the ride.  With about 20 miles to go, my hands and rear were both in pain.  I couldn't find a comfortable place on the saddle, and that in turn kept me from adjusting my hands on the bars as much as I needed to.  My pace dropped from a stately 15-18mph to a lethargic 12mph, and it became obvious that I was getting tired.  I upped my liquid intake, popped some electrolyte tabs, ate some fast-acting energy, and hoped that my shotgun approach would fix the problem.  When I pulled into the last rest stop, I felt more energetic, but still in pain.  I finally found my emergency chamois cream, applied it to where I hurt the most, and looked forward to the end of the ride.  It helped.

When I got to the finish, I was greeted by the best sight ever: my wife, grandson, & as many of our kids as could fit in our van were waiting for me, cheering me on.  It felt good to finish; it felt better that it was all for a good cause, but it the best thing was a kind and giving wife waiting for me at the end of it all.

In the end, my fenders worked as expected: it never did rain all weekend.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tour de Cure: Reflections, Part I

It's hard to believe that the 2011 Tour de Cure has come and gone.  I'd like to take a moment to thank everybody who supported the American Diabetes Association with a donation; overall, the NC riders raised over $200,000!

Anjela & Richard
When I signed up five months ago, the thought of riding 100 miles was a stretch; doing it two days in a row was insanity.  After all, I hadn't ridden more than 40 miles in over 25 years.  Getting past that 40-mile mark was a real challenge; I had a number of obstacles to overcome, and with the help and support of my family I was able to face each challenge and find a solution.  I'd especially like to thank my brother William for his help in developing nutritional and hydration plans that worked for me, and my wife for being so supportive in so many ways.  It's not easy to be married to an aspiring long-distance cyclist; I spent many a Saturday or Sunday away from home for 8 to 10 hours; it's cut into our 'us' time, and her sacrifice is truly appreciated.  Even though she worries every time I get on my bike, her thoughtfulness and support has kept me going, and made each post-ride recovery much, much easier.

Clyde the Commuter
Our Five year wedding anniversary was the day before the Tour; we spent much of the day running errands together to take care of pre-ride details; In an effort to have a somewhat normal day, I left getting Clyde squared away until late that night.  I had my pre-ride oatmeal at 2 a.m. before I went to bed, and then had a yogurt the next morning, which left me the ability to drink plenty right before the ride.

As a result, I got to bed so late that I got less than five hours of sleep.  You can see why I love coffee so much.  I made a pot Saturday morning, drank a couple of cups before I went out the door, and took two travel mugs with me so I could drink them before the start.  At least this time I wasn't too full to drink it all.

We arrived a little before 7 a.m.  I spent the next 10 minutes getting everything put together.  There were many more people there than I anticipated; I later learned there were 535 riders; it seemed like over half of them were riding the 75/100 mile course on Saturday.  There was a wide variety of bikes, but I'm pretty sure mine was the only commuter.  The starting line got quickly crowded; when it came time to leave, it was elbow-to-elbow, which made avoiding collisions an interesting way to start the ride.

Fig Bars: Inexpensive,
Effective, Dry, and Tasteless
My plan for the ride was the same I'd used previously: Aesop's Tortoise.  This has three parts.  First, have as few stops as possible.  Second, keep stops as brief as possible.  Third, keep the pedals turning without blowing up my knees that I'd need on day two.  To that end, I had two water bottles to keep hydrated, plenty of fig bars to keep my energy levels up, and a firm determination to stay in the saddle while climbing hills, unless I needed to stretch my legs or back.

Crossing the Finish; I'm not tired;
I'm checking my odometer.
I was able to stick with that plan for the first forty miles; after that, the temperatures rose enough that I was going through my water much faster than anticipated.  That meant an adjustment in stops, but other than that things went swimmingly.  That is, until I missed a turn, and ended up adding a couple of miles before I got back on track.

I spent most of Saturday riding with one group or another.  I'd be overtaken by a group of slightly faster riders, and I'd stick with them until the next rest stop, where they'd stop while I kept riding.  Often, the same riders would catch up to me again about halfway to the next stop, where we'd repeat the process.  There were a some who must have passed me a half dozen times.

OK, maybe just a little tired.
By the end of the ride, I'd stopped for water four times, had two stops to deal with a loose rear fender, and had my own personal detour.  I finished about 109 miles in 7 hours, 30 minutes, and found my beloved wife waiting for me at the finish.  After the ride, there was lunch, some activities, dinner, prizes, awards, and an update from Tony Cervati on his Tour Divide preparations.  He's a great guy and great advocate for living life to the fullest, regardless of diabetes.

As Anjela drove us back to our hotel, I was glad the day was done, and was looking forward to a good night's rest before the second day of the tour.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tour de Cure: Day Two

107.7 Miles.

8 hours, 19 minutes.

Overall: 216.7 miles, 15 hours, 49 minutes.

I was much slower today, which was to be expected.  The volunteers were GREAT!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tour de Cure: Day One

109 miles, 7 hours, 30 minutes.

The route was supposed to be 101 miles, but some road work detours extended it... then a missed turn due to a bad cue sheet added a couple more miles.

I stopped twice to fix an annoying rattle coming from my rear fender; it's better, but still there. I'd remove them, but there's a forecast for rain tomorrow.
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Must. Have. Coffee.

Woke up @ 5:30... already running late, but have to stop by Sbux on the way to the TdC start...
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