Monday, October 4, 2010

EmBROcation, Rain/Cold Tips, and Flauntin'

Thinking of take a bike trip soon? Check out Joao Correia's tour company inGamba. Ride like PROs, with PROs.

--The other DZNuts product I bought at Interbike was the "In Heat" emBROcation. I've never used "Belgium knee warmers" before so I was excited to try it out. This also means I have no basis for comparison, but anyways...

Yesterday morning I squirted a sizable dollop of the stuff in my palm and began rubbing. I noticed almost immediately a warm tingling, almost like Icy Hot. I quickly found a lot goes a long way and was left with some excess. Instead of wiping it off I just rubbed more in. After I had a solid, Ulle glisten going I kitted up and headed out.

The temperature was 59 and wet. I noticed a slight chill up top but nothing on the legs. I got to the bridge and the legs were fine. Normally they would have been slightly chilly but the emBRO kept them nice and toasty.

By the time I made it to Tiburon it was about ten degrees warmer. The nice thing was it seemed to keep the legs warm when it was cool but didn't overheat them when it got warmer, unlike knee or leg warmers.

I got home three hours later and the tingles showed no signs of stopping. I started a warm shower and began washing. Since the stuff is designed to keep cold and water out, it doesn't wash off easy. The warm water on my legs stung a bit and it didn't seem to be coming off.

The tingles only lasted another 30 minutes or so after showering.

Rating: I'll go conservative and give this a 4 out of 5. I'll definitely use it again but I'm eager to try other brands. (I've seen some on Belgium Knee Warmers before that looked interesting.) Also, if you happen to have razor burn I would recommend not using it until that subsides, or until you man up and stop getting razor burn. That could really burn.

--Props to Universal Sports (@universalsports) on its continued pay-per-view cycling coverage. I bought the Worlds package over the weekend. I tried the video on demand when I got home Saturday night and it didn't work for about ten minutes. I sent an email to their customer support and by morning I had a full refund, no questions asked.

Contrast that to my repeated awful experiences with (they lost coverage of the 2009 Giro then refused to refund my money despite having bought the "Grand Tour" package).

--Contador, oh Contador. L'Equipe has brought up the presence of a type of plastic in his sample that is found in blood transfusion bags. Boulder Report has some good questions for the French newspaper as well as others involved.

In the meantime, Chavanel will be throwing stones...

--Those of you who know me know I'm not one to toot my own horn, especially with respect to turning the pedals, in which case it would be more like a kazoo. That being said, I had something worth tooting happen this weekend. So, as Tupac Shakur said, "If you got it betta' flaunt it..."

On Saturday I was riding up Camino Alto solo. Last time I went up it I was with Oliver and he smoked me by a good 100 yards. So, in order to prep for our next encounter, I was going about as hard as I could.

I crested the top and began descending. Unfortunately, there were a few cars ahead so it wasn't a clean descent. I made it to the stoplight at the bottom of the hill and as I was about to turn right towards Paradise Loop I heard:

"Hey dude!"
I turned me head left as I prepared my response for the berating that was sure to follow.
"You were Mr. Badass on that climb back there!" said the woman in the passenger seat.
I smiled ear to ear, gave her a thumbs up, and headed on my way.

Toot, toot. Not PRO, but the closest I'll get...

--Before I forget, Sunday's ride reminded me we're entering the rainy season. Here are a few tips:

1. Decrease air pressure when it's wet out (5-10 psi depending on weight).
2. Buy some clear glasses. These are cheap and worth every penny. When it's dreary out sunglasses make things too dark but it's smart to keep the eyes covered.
3. Beware of all metal covers on the road, as well as paint. These can be super slippery if you try to turn on them. Which brings up another good point:
4. Turn slower. Roads are wet and coefficients of friction are low which means you'll slip easier. Whether you're turning a corner or cornering on a descent, it's best to go slower.
5. Always carry a plastic bag. I'm in the habit of carrying my phone and credit card in one of these and it comes in handy on wet days.
6. Buy a warm pair of gloves. The cheaper the better. I have pair of leather Performance gloves from the 90s I bought for like 5 bucks which I wear on really bad days. Although they don't meet the J Bone (@jwbender) "Look fast" standard, they're really practical. For my money, the expensive gloves never seem to be worth it. I had a pair of those really cool, wetsuit material Specialized gloves you see guys wearing in Roubaix (they look like something an Alaskan fisherman would wear). My hands still got wet and cold. On that note, my warm weather gloves are a pair of Pearl Izumis I bought three years ago for $20. They still are in great shape. I digest.
7. On rainy days, wear your old kits. Chances of going down in the rain go up exponentially and there's no reason ruining your good stuff. This shouldn't keep you indoors, but it's definitely worth keeping that Mapei kit in the closet for a drier day.
8. Buy a thermal. These are those really thick cycling jackets. I only used my long sleeve thermal a few days last year but on those it was well worth it. I also have a thermal vest which is super useful on most days. If you don't mind wearing an unknown team's gear, mine are both Webcor ones I bought at a team sale, you can find these on eBay super cheap.
9. Bag your feet. I've heard this tip for skiing where you put plastic bags over your feet, usually between two pairs of socks. I tried this once last year and it worked quite well. It helps keep the heat in. We rarely have days that cold but for some of you this could be of use.
10. Hot tea. I've heard this one from VDV who yes, still lives and trains in Chicago of all places. I know. Anyways, make some hot tea and put it in your insulated bottle. That'll keep you warm for an hour at least.

Any other tips? Please leave them in the comments, I'd love to hear.

--So I thought I had fun with Jens at Interbike. Well, that was nothing compared to what Drunk Cyclist got Jens and the Cannibal into. Very funny.

--In my last post I mentioned a bird at Interbike told me that BBox was going to be just fine. Well, a recent article confirmed this and fortunately Voeckler will be sticking around.

--In a bizarre form of punishment handed down by CONI, Elisa Basso has been banned from attending bike races, as well as other sporting events, for four years!!! I don't think I could live with that. And if you take a look at the pic, I'm not sure that's a good thing...

--Looks like Holloway will be heading to Kelly Benefits along with Creed. These guys are set to be a serious domestic team and I'll be psyched to see how they do in next year's Tour of California.

--Speaking of Creed, I'll leave you with this uber-awkward interview from Interbike.


  1. I totally agree with the "always carry a plastic bag" advice. I swear by Ziploc because they're so darn durable.

    Nice post.

  2. The summer showers are ending now that fall is kicking in and the temperatures are dropping. But it used to be like clockwork: every afternoon you could bet on 30 minutes to an hour of rain.

    Will have to remember going down to 85 psi next time it rains.


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