Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rejoice! A Functional Gadget is Born.

I'm a former cycling addict and as a consequence I still watch races and occasionally keep up with new products that I can't afford.  Well, today I found a new product that was presented at Interbike (cycling industry product show).  John Bradley is at the show for Outside Magazine and reported on a great new innovation that will benefit anyone that uses a hydration bladder.

The Camelbak Flowmeter.

(Photo: John Bradley reporting for Outside Online)

According to John the flowmeter fits inline with any Camelbak hydration hose and should cost $30.  Finally, you will be able to monitor your fluid intake without taking the pack off and checking how full the bladder is.

My own observations: It's digital so it's going to need a battery.  The added weight will probably cause the hose to move (sway) more than usual.  Probably not a problem on the bike, but for running I'll need to figure out how to secure it.  I wonder how the internals will deal with anything other than water, such as Gatorade, Powerade, etc.  Hopefully it's water resistant and works in colder temps.

I perused the Camelbak website and couldn't find any signs of it, which is pretty typical with show stuff.  I would suspect we could see it in stores later this year or early 2010.  Any thoughts?  Too much gadgetry for the trail?  Is this something you've been dreaming of?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Post Wasatch

Well, I'm happy to report that the recovery is going well.  I've been out for a few decent runs and enjoyed some time off relaxing with the family.
I finally got around to posting a race report for Wasatch over here.  Just below my post is Erik's and Jay's who both had great runs.  Hopefully Peter will post a report a before too long, he nailed it as well finally catching the Cheetah with a time of 23:36!  In fact 15 runners broke the sub 24 hour mark this year, even with the heat (full results).
Next up for me is the H.U.R.T. 100 on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.  This one takes place on January 16th-17th, on some of the most technical trails found in a 100 miler.  Greg is doing this as well so it should be a good time.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

DIY Plumbing and Wasatch Taper

Another title I was considering for this post was "Why I didn't get my nap". At this point you have probably put the two together and figured out the answer to the nap question. I'll get back to that in a minute.

With Wasatch coming up I've been in taper mode or more aptly named, anxious mode. The extra rest has left my legs itchin' to run so I decided to join Greg for part of the Brighton marathon loop. I won't go into great detail about the route, but you basically circumnavigate Big Cottonwood using the Crest, Mill D, Days Fork and ridgelines. Greg picked me up at Mill D where I left my car (so I could bail halfway through) then we hit the trail from the Brighton parking lot. We gained the ridge via the Dog Lake trail on our way to Clayton Peak. We took note how Timp was hidden by dark gray rain clouds to the south, no doubt heading our way, but we figured we could out run them. Well, that didn't quite happen. By the time we made it over to Scott's pass the wind was howling and the rain was coming down in sheets. Only a few more minutes passed before we made the decision to bail down Guardsman.

With the run finished early I figured I had some time to knock out a leaky shower faucet that had been brought to my attention last night, easy enough right? Before I go any further let me say that I have tackled most of the common household plumbing tasks, by replacing or repairing just about all the fixtures that either produce or drain water. Having said that, the best DIY advice I can give is don't DIY, hire a plumber, rule #1.
If a plumber is not an option then at a bare minumum pick up the phone and call England Plumbing (801.485.3371 or a reputable plumbing supply store if you're outside SLC, UT) to make sure they are open before you start a project, rule #2. Should you decide to tackle the task yourself and England Plumbing is open, then take a good hard look at the problem to estimate the time you think it will take you. Got it? Now double that time and for every decade old your house is, add an hour. That should get you close to an accurate time estimate.
Now if England Plumbing is closed and you have no choice in waiting until they are open, then you will more than likely be going to Home Depot or Lowes, last resort #3. If this is the case double your last time estimate and make sure you have enough gas to make at least two if not three trips back to the alleged "home improvement" store. If your plan includes getting some advice while you're at the Depowes forget about it, they won't even pretend to know what you're talking about.

Now back to my simple little project. Since my job was "easy" I skipped rule #1 and didn't even think about #2 as I have committed their limited business hours to memory. Skip ahead and there I was pulling into the England Plumbing parking lot, happy to see I was the only car, only to discover they were closed for the holiday weekend (insert a long groan here). I was now left with bottom option #3. In the 5 minutes it took to drive to Home Depot I took some deep breaths and tried to put myself in a happy place. Once inside the store I knew all to well where to go and upon reaching the aisle I pulled my parts out of my pocket as I scanned the pitiful selection of valves. "Can I help you?" one of the friendly employees asked. "I doubt it" I replied under my breath before showing him the part I was looking for. "Hmmm, if I were you I would try and find the best match and if that doesn't work keep your 10 foot long receipt so you bring it back. You know you might consider trying England Plumbing". I was shocked, here was a Home Depot employee referring me to my favorite plumbing store. "Yeah, I already tried, they're closed for the holiday weekend" I told him. I eventually found my valves, folded my receipt 6 times so it would fit in my pocket and went home to finish the job. Valve #1 was extracted and replaced smoothly, however valve #2 was left with the locknut seized to the old valve body. Here comes trip #2. Back in the store I wander aimlessly looking for a new locknut to no avail. Again I am asked if I need some help, this time by a different sales associate. I explain my problem and he proclaims the same as the first, you should check with England Plumbing. Unbelievable.

And that is how I missed the ever elusive post run nap once again. The moral of the story? I think I would rather run 100 miles than fix a plumbing problem. BTW, in case you were wondering, the leak has a temporary fix applied until my favorite plumbing store is open.