Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Second Thursday 30-30-30 Post (Thirty-Things Thirty-Weeks Thirty-Years-Old)

Well, it is Thursday once again...and so far, two weeks in, I'm sticking with this 30 Things - 30 Weeks - 30 Years Old weekly post.  
Before I get to this week's post, I just have to comment on how awesome the weather was last night!  
Vegas unexpectedly got a late afternoon rain shower that majorly cooled things down here in the valley.  It was 77 degrees as I was driving home.  True, it was humid (for Vegas anyway), but I took advantage of the weather and really enjoyed the heck out of a 4 mile run outside!  It wasn't super fast, but I negative splitted it, so that's a win.

Okay.  Now, to the matter at hand.  

It has been a lot of fun brainstorming new things that I want to try out and accomplish before hitting the big 3-0.  Also, I'm still soliciting suggestions =)
Many of you may remember that I somewhat recently did a triathlon with little/zero preparation other than running.  It was so fun that I vowed to eventually train for and actually try to be competitive in another triathlon.  A later purchased a fancy road bike from craigslist.  However, I've only done minimal biking and really didn't know what I was doing.  Well, I set out to remedy that.  I started by meeting a friend for a 12 mile ride and during that ride, he advised me on some items that I'd want to have with me when I go for longer rides.

Thus, as soon as we finished our 12 miles, I headed straight for one of many mother ships:  REI.  The first item I wanted to pick up was a second water bottle holder.  I had one already, but my bike frame clearly had a spot to install a second.  And, here in Vegas (home of the hottest summers on the planet - ok, that's not true) it never hurts to have a second source of hydration.
The new bottle cage was somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.
I'm sure I could have installed it myself (even though I'm terrible with tools), but the nice people of REI were so kind to go ahead and install it for me.
Now, I knew that I needed to start carrying some replacement and repair products.  So, the next crucial item on my shopping list was a bike bag to hold said repair products.  Now, I envisioned one that would fit under the back of my seat.  However, the people of REI pointed out and recommended this bag that fits on the frame behind the handlebars.  I especially liked this bag because of the top pocket with the clear window so I can see my phone screen!  (Heaven forbid I go for a 1-hour ride and not be able to see who is text messaging me or what MapMyRide has to say about my current ride)
This one was approximately $35.
The next step was a bit of an unknown to me and is the main purpose of this post.  I knew that I needed to have certain items with me when I went on long rides.  Unfortunately, I was pretty clueless as to what said "certain items" included....  Fortunately for me, I can easily head on over to my neighborhood REI.  If, however, I was still living in some of the more rural places I've lived (yes, mom, I just sort of called my home town "rural"), such friendly, helpful, knowledgeable people may not be as accessible.  So, these are the things that the kind REI fold recommended to have with me on my rides:
  1. CO2 cartridges to help inflate a tire, whether you've replaced the tube completely or just re-inflating after applying a patch.  Alternatively (and more environmentally friendly), you can purchase a hand pump that attaches to your frame.  I considered that.  Although the hand pump is certainly more cost-effective in the long run, the CO2 required less outlay of cash up front, so I went that way.
  2. Park Tools & Patches.  Now, I have to be honest, I haven't tried to change a bike tire (or a car tire for that matter).  I know generally how to take my wheels off and I'm hoping that I can just figure it out if it comes to it.  Lucky for me, there are directions on the back of this package.  You better believe that I cut that out and put it in the bag...just in case.
  3. Spare Tube.  Pretty self explanatory.  If I get a flat that is not patchable, it seems like a good idea to have a spare tube to replace the flat.
  4. Valve Adapters.  This allows me to rei-nflate my tires using the air compressors found at gas stations.
After compiling these items, I put them all in my handy bike bag.  There is still plenty of space for keys or some sort of fuel.

In addition to the pictured items, I bought a pump to have at home so I can do a better job of keeping my tires inflated.  Apparently, they were crazy low when I got to REI.  Lucky for me, my friends at REI hooked me up with some air.  I should take a picture of my pump because it is awesome.  You hook it to the bike and pump and it has a built in pressure gauge!!  No pumping and checking and pumping and checking.  So user friendly!

Finally, my REI peeps also gave me a sweet map of the bike paths/roads in Southern Nevada for FREE!  Love that place.  The map is pretty great and it looks like it is distributed by the RTC.
I do still need to invest in a headlight and blinking taillight and I promise I'll get to that, but until then I'm just avoiding riding at or before dawn and at or after dusk.

Oh yeah, REI was having a sale and I decided that I this trip was not complete without an article of clothing to make me look like a *real* cyclist.  Obviously, I needed a cycling jersey!  This was actually a pretty phenomenal deal.  I think it was ~$41! 

Don't mind my handy-dandy nuun water bottle.  It is just there to accentuate the nifty back pockets that come standard on cycling jerseys. =)
In case you're wondering, I have no allegiance to REI other than my appreciation for their great service.  From the number of times this posts mentions the store, you'd think I was getting paid a chunk of money each time I said the name.  I assure you I don't.  I just trust that the people there are knowledgeable and they've never tried to upsell me, unless it was truly necessary.  In fact, they've been known to downsell me by talking me out of expensive purchases in favor of more reasonably priced ones.

Any cycling words of wisdom out there?


No comments:

Post a Comment