Where Am I?

The geek athlete isn't as rare as you might think. There are plenty of us out there and we enjoy the tech as much as we enjoy the challenge.

I just wanted to take a moment and highlight two particularly interesting, bike mountable, GPS units I ran in to recently.

The first is from Garmin. I like Garmin. They seem to be ramping up their product development lately. Their latest, the Edge 305, has definitely grabbed my attention.

This is not only a tight little GPS, it also performs typical bike computer functions, and can talk to a heart rate monitor or wireless cadence monitor. It even allows you to race against your ghost from a previous trip. If you've played Wipeout or Gran Turismo on the Playstation, you know where they got the idea. I like bikes and I've been looking for a thinner, lighter unit to replace my Garmin eTrex Legend which I mostly use for Geocaching and hiking. The only thing that brings me pause is the cost. Nearly $400. Ouch.

The other device is from TomTom. The Rider is much larger than the Edge, but it is aimed at different functions. Color screen, turn by turn spoken directions, and Bluetooth. TomTom appears to be targeting this mainly to Motorcycles, but you could pimp this on your beach cruiser I guess.

The thing to take note of here is the Bluetooth in the Rider. TomTom is adding this to many of their GPS devices. It allows the unit to gather new info, over Bluetooth, when connected to a Bluetooth enabled phone. This is cool stuff. I've been saying this for years now, but I want to see Bluetooth included more and more in higher end electronics. All you have to do is include the hardware and give us a way to get some software on there and we'll take care of the rest.


Connect the Dots

So I'm watching Breakin' 2 the other day... have you stopped laughing yet? Good, I'll continue. So the movie opens and the credits tell me it is a Golan Globus production. Eh? I know that name. That's a recording alias of Joshua Ryan, a producer I like a lot. Joshua Ryan has the Golan Globus track "Blazer" on his "By Design" mix CD. The mix CD is quite good. I recommend it highly. I love "Blazer" and (trivia alert) MTV was even using it during a few of its jumpy, jazzy, "we're MTV" commercials last year. You can listen to it over at golanglobus.com, or better yet, buy it on iTMS. Version 2 is my favorite.

So who's this other Golan Globus? Well, apparently these two guys, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, produced a ton of films during the 80s including Superman IV. It makes me wonder which movie Joshua Ryan liked so much that he named himself after the producers.

Ziggy Zocky

As part of our recent trip to Colorado, we attended Oktoberfest in beautiful Breckenridge. The weather was great. It was supposed to be cool, but it was sunny and warm. The beer was cold and the food tasted great. We had pretzels, brats, and fish tacos.

I also found the shelves in the porta-potties perfect for holding my beer stein.

A good time was had by all and I hope to attend again sometime.


Bike Camping

Julie and I took a mid-week adventure just to switch things up a bit. I've been talking for a while that it would be fun to go camping, and use our bikes to get there. Given the limited range on our bikes, our choices of places to camp were few. We decided on Pleasant Creek. It's pretty close and we were able to take the Cedar Valley Nature Trail up to Center Point and then ride in to the park from the northeast through the Lewis Bottoms.

The ride turned out to be a little longer than expected (30 miles), but overall not bad. The worst of it is riding on 2 lane county roads which might as well be the autobahn. I swear one car went by at over 80mph.

It's getting dark early this time of year, so we didn't have much daylight to do anything at the park. We attempted to start a fire, but were unable to find any decent brush to burn. Funny thing. You can't really carry firewood on a bike :) I did take some "fire started". I bet you didn't know that MSDN magazine puts up a fight to flame. That stuff just would not burn!

Being the outdoor geek that I am, this wouldn't be complete without talking up the gear that made the trip enjoyable. First off, I'm continually impressed with my Gregory Advent Pro backpack. The backpack is fantastically comfortable and does a great job at controlling loads. I used it before on a weeklong trip, so I already knew it was good, but that didn't stop me from appreciating it on this trip as well. I forgot I was even wearing it at times and it was jammed full with our tent, my sleeping bag, Julie's pillow, some clothes, and my headlamp.

I was also able to finally try out my new bike light. My Light & Motion Vega was great. On the way out, I kept it lit at a low setting, just for visibility to passing cars. At camp, I popped it off the handlebar mount and used it as a flashlight and mini-lantern in the tent. Having a bike light without an added battery bag lets the light serve a lot of purposes, so I was glad I chose that one. The next morning, it lit our way on the 10 mile road ride in the dark in to Center Point. We didn't have any problems with cars being able to see us and the Vega tossed out plenty of light. Even though the sun was up shortly after that, I left it on the rest of the way, just to test the battery life. I was quite impressed. I got a burn life past what they state and this was only the second charge cycle it has been through.

If I had it to do over, I think I would take the following morning off, just to allow for a little extra sleep, but I would definitely do this mini-adventure again. So, who wants to go on the next one? You don't even have to ride. You can meet us at the park with some cold beer... and firewood.

Ride your bike.

Bluetooth as Fashion?

I'm with this guy, gadgets are cool, but, in my opinion, you don't need to wear them on your body when they aren't in use. Just like the goofy cell phone on your belt, don't wear your headset when it isn't in use and you aren't expecting a call.

Be sure to check out the link. It made me laugh.