Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How to Wax Ski's

Waxing skis can get expensive if you take them to a shop on a regular basis. This is a fairly simple task to accomplish on your own. You need the following three items to start with:

1) Can of wax (look at hardware or grocery stores)
2) Solid bottom iron (these can be purchased for $20 or less online or at a local store. I prefer the mini irons. Do not use one of the irons with the steam holes in the bottom.
3) Small piece of plexiglass. Slightly longer than the width of the ski.

Here are the steps:
1) Let the iron heat up for a few minutes.
2) Push the wax on the bottom of the iron above the bottom of the ski and let it drop on the ski. Drizzle the wax all over the ski. Be cautious of the amount of wax. Its not to put large amounts of wax on the bottom of the ski.
3) Place the iron on the ski and iron the wax so it covers the entire bottom of the ski. Be careful not to hold the iron in one place too long and burn the wax.
4) Let the wax dry on the bottom of the ski.
5) Use the plexiglass to scrape the wax off the bottom of the ski.

That's it. Enjoy your newly waxed skis.

You can cut a little square notch in the corner of the plexiglass and use it on the edge of the ski to scrape the wax off the steel edging. However, this isn't absolutely necessary and I rarely do this.

Be sure the skis are securely fastened to a table or something before attempting to wax and iron. You can also use a set of wooden horses.

This same technique works for both skiboards and snowboards as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Wolf Gap Recreation Area

Just about every year for the last 20 years I would take a trip to Wolf Gap Recreation Area. I've been taking my son there since he's been a baby and it is one of our favorite places.  We've gone there a couple times this year and it appears to be loosing its luster due to over crowding.  We usually either go backpacking or camping. 

Due to the advent of the internet and sites like, which is a great site, everyone in the world is easily able to find all the great trails with the click of a button.  Unfortunately the downside to this is that it causes over crowding of some of the best places.  This is one reason I favor backpacking over camping.  Backpacking enables you to go off the beaten path if necessary and find a spot away from others if you so choose.  This is another great benefit of using a hammock.

To give an example of what I mean just a few years ago we would go to Wolf Gap and see a handful of campers.  Now it seems every time we go there are anywhere from 25-50 people.

This is a great place to hike and a great place to camp.  I totally understand why it has become so popular.  It provides easy access to various popular trails.  A few years back they build a new bridge crossing over a steep ledge on the Mill Mountain Trail. 

If you enjoy reading my blog please tell your friends about it, visit my online shop, sponsor ads, like my Facebook Page and join my social networks (Facebook Group, YouTube, Instagram). Thank you so much for your support.

Friday, October 21, 2016

To Quilt or Not To Quilt - Hammock Insulation

I have been using a hammock for backpacking for a very long time.  Well before they became mainstream.  I have owned and still do own a multitude of gear related to hammocks.  One question I often hear is, "How do you stay warm".

There is definitely no shortages of gear on the market for keeping warm in a hammock.  To answer the question you really must understand where you are going and how much money you have to spend.

Determine the climate and temperatures you plan on hanging.  If you are doing a backpacking trip in the fall or winter you want to be prepared if the temps suddenly drop.

I will discuss 3 basic types of insulation, which can be used for hammocks:

1) CCF (closed cell foam) pads
2) Air Pads/Mattresses
3) Quilts

A single bottom has one layer of material on the bottom of the hammock.  This can help conserve weight.  However, it's not ideal if you plan to use a slippery pad under your back for insulation.

A double bottom hammock has two layers of material on the bottom which are sewn together like a pocket.  The space between the two layers is where you want to put your insulation if you are using an air or a CCF pad.

The purpose of the double bottom is to help keep the pad in place and prevent it from shifting.  A shifting pad can be extremely annoying when trying to sleep, especially in colder temperatures. It still takes a little practice to properly adjust your pad.

Both types of pads are great if there is any risk of having to go to ground during your trip.  This can be common at higher elevations and areas where there isn't any trees or places to hang a hammock.  Fortunately most hammocks can easily be setup on the ground similar to a solo-tent or bivy.  This is where the use of pads really shine.

CCF pads are generally lighter than air pads, but are usually not nearly as comfortable.  The true purpose for a CCF is to keep you insulated from the ground so you stay warm.

Air pads on the other hand keep you insulated with the added benefit of comfort. They are more costly than CCF pads but well worth  the extra money in my opinion.

CCF and air pads work similarly in a hammock as they do on the ground.  CCF pads may be more comfy in a hammock, however.  This is because you don't have to worry about rocks, and such,  sticking in your back.  There is nothing worse than sleeping in that one lumpy spot you cannot fix. 

One common issue with pads in a hammock is they tend to curve around your body leaving your shoulders and hips exposed to cold spots.  Wider pads can work, but tend to fold which can cause some discomfort. Some companies make special attachments for your pads to get around these issues.

My preference is to use an under quilt.  Under quilts connect to the bottom of a hammock and when adjusted properly provide superior warmth.  They are very light weight as well.  There are both down and synthetic quilts for your hammock.

The downside to quilts is they cannot be used if you need to setup your hammock on the ground if you don't have trees.  Some people carry small pads in addition to quilts if they are in areas where trees may be an issue.

In all honesty it all comes down to purpose and personal choice.  For me I usually only carry my quilt unless I think there may be an issue with trees then I bring and air pad, or a CCF pad + quilt.

Keep in mind, even if you have an under quilt you will still need a top quilt, or a blanket of some sort.  I like down top quilts because they are very light weight.  The downside is if they get soaked they won't insulate.  Synthetic will keep you warm even if its wet.

There are quilts that wrap around your hammock, but the drawback is you cannot use a hammock which has a built in bugnet, or weather shield.

If you enjoy reading my blog please tell your friends about it, visit my online shop, sponsor ads, like my Facebook Page and join my social networks (Facebook Group, YouTube, Instagram). Thank you so much for your support.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Backpacking in Full Swing

Sorry folks, after I recovered from my back injury my father was in a pretty serious motorcycle accident.  With all the travel and hospital stuff I have not had much time to post.  Everything is pretty much squared away at this point and my father is doing much better so now I'm back to my regular scheduled program.

Backpacking season is now in full swing and I cannot wait to get out and enjoy the foliage this fall.  My wife and I attempted to go on a backpacking trip this past weekend, but had some issues getting out of the house at a reasonable time.  Thus, we ended up hiking a bit of our trip in the dark.

Hiking in the dark was totally fine with us and was nothing new.  However, what was new was the trail we were hiking.  Unfortunately it was extremely overgrown and there were various dangerous sections on the side of the mountain.  We had our dog with us too, which was even more difficult because he was having trouble with all rocks which were sliding down the side of the mountain as he was walking.  He slid down with them a few feet on several occasions.

This just goes to show that my previous words still hold true, "proper planning is everything".  No matter how much experience you have, or what kind of mood you are in it always pays to plan ahead.

As a result of this hectic trip we have decided to plan out 10 trips and store all the details in the filing cabinet.  We have one bin for each of us containing the contents of our packs.  I'm currently  making enough dried foods for the rest of the season and will vacuum seal them in convenient meal size bags.  This way if we decide to go on a trip last minute we just stuff our gear in our pack, throw some food in, get our trip details and head out.  No more stressing over last minute planning.

Normally we would plan our trips a few days ahead of time, but its much more convenient to have several trips planned far in advance for our hectic schedules.  Also, this gives you the opportunity to do more research and order some reasonable maps.

That being said I am on the search for a new compass since my Silva compass has been sent back to the factory because it is developing a bubble.  Silva have agreed to replace it for free, but in the meantime I don't have a backup so will be getting another one I can use until my replacement arrives.

Silva has a lifetime guarantee for their compasses and they always own up to to so I am a definite customer of their products.

Checkout my top picks for Silva compasses below:

If you enjoy reading my blog please tell your friends about it, visit my online shop, sponsor ads, like my Facebook Page and join my social networks (Facebook Group, YouTube, Instagram). Thank you so much for your support.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wider Softer Tires and Performance

My back is feeling much better and I finally had the opportunity to test my new Clement X'PLOR USH tires.  My concern was that thew would slow me down as a result of being wider and softer than the original  Continental Ultra Sport's that came standard on the bike.

I've been doing a lot of reading lately and many tests are starting to prove that wider softer tires have better rolling resistance.  I expect there would be a point of diminishing returns if the tires are too wide and soft.  After reading many articles on this topic I was skeptical so decided to do my own test run.

I took my bike on a portion of my normal route to see how the tires would handle.   My back was still a little sore so I was taking it a bit easier than normal.  I must say I was quite impressed with the results.  Surprisingly he new tires didn't seem to slow my performance.  Considering I was not pushing as hard as normal due to my back injury I was expecting my times to be very slow.  See for yourself.  I've created a map video with all the stats down below.

Here is an interesting article discussing performance of a wider tires on

The videos are below.  On you way down please check out the ads.  Thanks.

Here are the USH tire stats.

Here are the Stock tire stats.

If you enjoy reading my blog please tell your friends about it, visit my online shop, sponsor ads, like my Facebook Page and join my social networks (Facebook Group, YouTube, Instagram). Thank you so much for your support.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Choosing Bicycle Tires

 Choosing new tires for you bicycle is probably one of the most difficult tasks you can undertake.  Well, it is for me at least.  Then again I am super picky and tend to go overboard doing research.

There are so many different style and brands of tires to choose from.  Each tire designed with a specific purpose in mind too.  For example: pavement,  gravel,  mud,  sand, multipurpose, etcetera.  There are a variety of styles too: tubular, tube, clincher, tubeless, etcetera.

The thought of having multiple sets of tires is nice, but expensive and can be a pain in the neck when you have to change them out.  Especially if you don't have a spare set of wheels to go along with them.

For my purposes I immediately ruled out tubular tires because I don't want the hassle of putting them on, taking them off and repairing them if/when I get a flat.  Basically for me it came down to deciding between tube tires, and tubeless.  Each of which have their pros and cons.

Tubeless tires are nice for several reasons.  One major benefit, in theory, if done correctly flats are not a problem.  Tubeless tires have a sealant inside so if a sharp object punctures the tire it will immediately get sealed so minimal air and repair time will be lost.  In general this does actually work quite well.  The only issue here is that if its a large enough hole you will have to repair it by putting a tube inside the tire.  This means you still have to carry a spare tube while riding.

Another great benefit to not having tubes is that you can have minimal air in the tire and never have to worry about a pinch flat.  This is great if you love to ride with soft tires.  Soft tires are nice because they give you a fair bit of cushion for comfort and better traction to some degree.

Last, but not least a benefit of tubeless is weight.  Not having a tube in your tire can save a bit of weight.  However, its debatable that this is any benefit to the average non-racer.  Also, the sealant in the tire does add some extra weight, but not quite as much as a tube.

The downsides to tubeless tires art that they require more maintenance and have a learning curve to get them setup correctly.  If you don't have rims specifically designed for tubeless tires it takes even more effort to get them right.  This is generally referred to as ghetto tubeless.  Tubeless usually cost a bit more than tube tires as well.  They are definitely more expensive if you are going ghetto tubeless. A tubeless conversion kit will run you $50+.

Tubeless tires many times require you to add air regularly.  Much more often than on a tube tire.  Some people I have spoken with claim they add air every day, and other's say weekly.  In general you should be checking the air in your tires at least once per month on any type of tire.  Tubeless tires can do what's known as burping, which is when air escapes through the seal between the tire and rim.

Here is a really good article on pinkbike that explains why wide rims with low air pressure are better than narrow rims and high pressure when running tubeless.

Tube tires may be slightly heavier, but generally require less maintenance than tubeless and are much easier to install and repair.  Definitely if you don't have tubeless rims.  If you really want to you can even put slime inside.  I prefer to carry patches, and/or an extra tube on my rides in case of a flat.

During my research of choosing a new set of tires for my gravel bike I went through dozens of popular models and brands.  It was actually quite daunting.  I read article after article on each product I researched, checking the reviews on each.

Here are a few of my top picks from the dozens of tires I researched while shopping:
Clement X'Plor MSO
Clement X'Plor USH
Schwalbe G-One
Gravel King SK
Flintridge Pro

Each set of tires have a very different footprint, or profile.  For example, the MSO have a pretty meaty tread.  This is good for loose, or slightly muddy conditions; it has more bite.  I was looking for something that could be used well on road and off road.  All the above tires are great adventure tires, but it depends if you are looking for something more road worthy, or dirt worthy.  I wanted something 1/2 in between.  No matter what you choose there is always a compromise when selecting a multipurpose tire for your bicycle.

For me I already have an MTB for the rough trails and was looking for something I could basically ride anywhere, but would still be efficient on the roads.  For this reason I chose the USH's.  They are not the best in wet and muddy conditions, but I am interested in something for mostly dry conditions with the ability to go on gravel and moderate single track.

The USH is slightly better on road than the MSO and the MSO is slightly better off road than the USH.  Since I plan to do most of my riding on the street, gravel and light dry single track the USH was a better fit for my application.  They are also wider than my 28" tires.  This may add some comfort and control, but the side effect is reduced efficiency.  See, its always a compromise.  I chose the USH's for my new bike based on the intended application.

It may be true that tubeless are the future of tires, but I'm sticking with my tubes for the time being.  The cost and maintenance free setup is well worth it to me.  I am definitely not anti-tubeless by any means.  Its just at this time the cost and tires were right for me.  The big decision maker for me is that my existing rims are not tubeless and I don't want the extra hassle of the ghetto setup, or cost of new rims.

If you like my posts please subscribe, visit my sponsor ads, and visit my store.  Thanks for your wonderful support.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Meadowood Grand Tour MTB Trail System

Sorry for not posting for a few days. I'm recovering from a back injury and have been in a bit of pain.

I've been going out and exploring for places to have group rides. I'm interested in setting up rides for road, gravel and mountain biking.

I checked out the "Meadowood Grand Tour" this passed weekend and was quite impressed. They have some really nice trails and decent raised platforms. It was pretty wet when I was there because it was after a heavy rain. There are a fair amount of roots and mud puddles. The wood platforms are nice, but can be very slippery when wet. If you are not comfortable with the platforms there are plenty of trails without and there are dirt trails along side the platforms on most, if not all routes.

I debated taking my gravel bike or sticking with the MTB. In the end I decided to stick with the MTB, which was a good choice. My gravel bike isn't really setup for wet muddy trails. Its more for dry hard pack, loose gravel and such. I did see several other individuals riding on this trail with their gravel bikes, which was pretty exciting.

Anyways, the trail conditions at this place are really nice. It looks very well maintained and has multiple parking lots.

This is definitely a place I plan to revisit in the coming weeks, that is if my back feels up to it.  I was reading a bit on the website for Meadowood Grand Tour and it mentions they are building connector trails to the Fountain Head trail network.  This is great news!!!  It appears they are planning to build a large network of trails all over in the area.

Meadowood is definitely suitable for beginner mountain bikers.  There's even plenty there for advanced riders.  For beginners you may want to go on a dry day if you don't have a lot of experience.

There are plenty of hills, but I did not come across any monster mountains or steep declines.  According to the website the ascent is 586' over 7 miles, which should not scare anyone away.  It's a very enjoyable place to ride.  You do have to be aware that its single track with two-way traffic.  It can sometimes be annoying to have to stop and way for groups to pass, but wasn't much of an issue.

On trails like this I like to wear bright colors to make sure riders come from the front can easily see me before its too late.  Be cautious around the turns.  There are few hairpin turns so you should definitely look at the make to make sure you don't go too fast in these areas.

Ok, I have to sign out for the night.  Enjoy!  Keep an eye out for upcoming local events.

Oh, yea, please subscribe, like and visit my store.  Thank you for your wonderful support.  :)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tatical Flashlight - Review

There is a definite craze going on with tactical flashlights right now.  Not a day goes by that I don't see ads for these awesome little pieces of gear.  When I recently purchased a new bicycle I discovered my existing CatEye Headlight was due to be replaced.  It was getting a little beat and wasn't as bright as I would have liked.

As a result I decided to look around for a replacement.  I was originally overwhelmed by all the products on the market.  I was strapped for cash and didn't really want to spend a lot of money on a headlight, since my time riding at night is limited anyways.  So I decided to look at some lower cost tactical flashlights with bicycle mounts.

Wow, I was really surprised at how many are actually on the market.  One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted something bright.  After owning a few other, which were not very bright I began to get frustrated when I really needed to see where I was going at night.

As I scoured the internet looking for different lights and reading reviews I started getting exhausted.  I'm the type of person that when I plan to purchase something I do extensive research to the point most people would go insane.  I enjoy doing that sort of stuff, so for me its great.

I was very hesitant due to the low cost, but I figured why not get a few different ones to try out.  After all they for the price of a handful of them I could get one more expensive light.  At least if I have several other people in my family can use them and I can put them in different rooms of the house for emergency purposes.

When my packages arrived and I opened them I was pleasantly surprised at the quality for such an inexpensive item.  It just goes to show competition is good for the market.  It forces companies to build better quality products for lower cost.  Its a win/win for the consumer in this situation.

The only issue I had was the bicycle mount, which came with one of the lights didn't fit my fat handle bars.  However, I was not concerned because one of the other mounts fit the bike and both flashlights.  Now I was even more excited because I have the option of which light I want to bring.  The lights I have are two different sizes.  My suggestion is to get something between 300-500 lumens unless it is adjustable.

My favorite pick is below.  Its small, light weight and easily fits in my pack.  It has multiple modes and the beam width can be adjusted to your liking.  It even fits my fat handlebars.  This one even comes with a taillight.  Its as durable as other light's I've used, but may not be as durable as the really hight end bicycle light setups.  For the price and quality of this item I highly recommend it.  It's definitely hard to go wrong with this price.

Please visit my store and tell all your friends about my great content.  My ads and store are how I'm able to keep all this content come for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Eye Protection

sun glasses
Many people wear sun glasses because its bright outside.  As a cyclist I wear a pair of Scattante glasses for two main reasons.

The first reason is for protection.  This means protection from the suns UV rays.  Over exposure to UV rays is not only bad for your skin, but is also bad for your eyes.  According to my eye doctor a person can actually get cancer in their eyes from over exposure of UV rays.

Protection also means from debris.  For example, insects are terrible little creatures to get smacked in the eyeball with at 25 mph, or any speed for that matter.  The lager the bug, the more the danger and pain.  I've had friends get stung in the face while riding.  I got stung in the armpit once while riding wearing a t-shirt.  The bee got trapped in my shirt when I rode through its flight path and stung me.  Anyways, that's off topic.  My point is that when riding you want to take every possible means you can to protect your peepers.

Wearing glasses when on the trails and in the woods is extremely important.  You can easily get poked in the eye with a stick.  When I was a kid, before helmets and glasses were even considered for riding a bike, or even skiing I scratched my pupil on a branch while going down a trail. A scratched pupil is not pleasant by any means.

Secondly I wear glasses for visibility.  That's right, visibility.  They prevent my eyes from tearing up and getting blurry from the wind.  Another aspect of visibility is the shade lens you use.  The of Scattante's I have come with three shades of lenses: clear, orange and tint.  The tint are great for when its sunny outside and you need to block some of the brightness to see where you are going.

The clear can be used anytime just to protect your eyes if you don't need the shaded versions.  Last, but definitely not least is the orange shade lenses.   Many people don't know the purpose of orange lenses so I will do my best to explain.  The orange lenses help to make things more visible in times of low light.  For example, in late evening, early morning, or at night.  Apparently they block blue light from your vision, which helps clear things up.  This is why hunters use them while shooting.  It helps clear up their view.

There are some articles on the dangers of blue light rays to the human eye, but I will leave this for your further research if you are so inclined.

I'll do my best to keep posting all this great content.  In the mean time please visit my store,  visit my FB page/group (share, like, share, like) and tell all your friends about  Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bicycle Safety Tips

Click Photo - Flashlight with Mount

  1. Always wear a helmet and make sure its buckled while riding.
  2. Visibility is key.  Always wear bright colored clothes.  I wear a bright orange t-shirt and have a bright orange camel-bak when I need to carry stuff.  If you are riding in the evening, early morning or late at night make sure you have lights and reflectors.  A decent flashlight with a bicycle mount works well as a headlight.  It won't cost nearly as much as a light marketed as a bicycle headlight.  For example, I use a very high powered  flashlight with a mount I bought for under $12.
  3. Ride your bike like you are driving a car.  This means to follow all the same traffic rules you would driving an automobile.
  4. Keep your mobile phone in your bag where it belongs while you are riding.  I've lost track of the number of people I've seen talking on their phone, or texting while riding a bicycle.  THIS IS DANGEROUS!!!  Especially on popular routes with traffic.  I'm astonished at the number of people I see riding or driving while texting and swerving all over the place.  None of this Pokemon stuff on your bike please.  Headphones are also almost always a bad idea.  They may not even be legal in certain areas.
  5. Watch out for less thought about hazards.  There are many dangers to be aware of while on the road, or trail.  One of the most frequent dangers of trail riding are animals (rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, deer, etc.).  I have animals jump out in front of me on a daily basis.

    Animals are unpredictable and can cut back in front of your wheel in an instant.  I've actually accidentally run over squirrels because they panic and run back and forth.  It would be a tragedy if one was heading down a hill at speed and a groundhog ran into the spokes of the front wheel.

    A few years ago I was going 25mph and a deer jumped out of the bushes, ran along side me then cut right in front of me.  I could have been seriously injured or even killed if it ran into me at that, or any speed.

    Dog walkers on bike paths are also very dangerous.  I've come to the realization that most people do not train their dogs and use really long training leashes to walk their dog.  You have to watch out that you don't get tangled in these things.

    Another danger while on the trail are hidden holes, sticks, roots, rocks, and other debris.  Take it from me, its no fun when you are cruising along on an overgrown and a hidden stick flips up into your spokes causing you to fly over the handlebars.

    Depending on the areas you ride in walkers could also be a potential hazard.  Be familiar with the people on the path and the path etiquette in the area.  For example, while riding in Western NY with my nephew I noticed the people on the bike path along Lake Erie don't know the simple rules of multi-use paths.  When a biker comes from behind and passes while saying, "on your left", this means they are passing you on the left.   It does not mean jump to the left in front of my bike and run me off the path.

    This is a very different than riding on the W&OD in Virginia where people are very knowledgeable, away and respectful of others on the trail.  Most people know what it means when you say, "on your left", and will move to the right or stay put.  You sill have to watch out for children, and pets however.
  6.   Always use hand signals while on the road and/or when riding in a group.
Please ride safe!!

Please support me by telling all your friends about my blog and online shop.  Please share my posts on Facebook and other networks you are part of.  I really appreciate all your support.  Thanks.

Monday, August 1, 2016

DIY Bicycle Action Cam Mount / Selfie-Stick

DIY Action Camera Mount - Modified Version

Here is an idea for making your own bicycle mount or a selfie stick for your action camera for about $10 in parts.  It takes only a few minutes to build and works really well on paved roads.

This is not a mount I would take mountain biking.  However, it may hold up for gravel grinding depending on the weight of the camera you plan to mount on it.
The camera I mounted is pretty heavy so it tends to want to fall forward when I hit bumps due the the inexpensive tripod

Parts for Camera Mount

  • 2' - 3/4" piece of ABS plastic pipe
  • 1 3/4 inch PVC 90˚ insert elbow
  • 1 3/4" PVC insert end plug
  • 1 tripod mini-ball head
  • 1 bicycle flashlight mount or 1 mount with flashlight.
  • 1 #4 2-2.5" break-off machine screw.  This is the screw to hold the tripod ball head onto the mount.
Modified Version
Above is a diagram of the parts and how they fit together.  To the left is the same exact diagram with parts circled in red.  The parts circled in red can be excluded.  The reason is because I modified the mount after testing it and found the top leg is better when its cut short.

I didn't realize this until after i put everything together and it was too difficult to take apart to retake the photos.  See the directions below.  On your way down please check out the flashlight mounts in the ads.  Thanks.

1) Cut the pieces to the desired length.  Must be long enough to be held in the flashlight mount.
2) Drill a hole vertically through the elbow large enough for the screw to fit.  I made mine a bit snug so the screw would fight tightly in the elbow.
3) Put the screw through the elbow with the head on the bottom of the elbow.
4) Fit the ball-head then snap the screw at the correct length.
5) Put all the pieces together.

Another tip is that you can put a piece of rubber between the wall of the flashlight mount and the horizontal member of the camera mount.  Another idea is to put a small bolt or two through both the wall of the flashlight mount and camera mount to prevent the mount from turning sideways due to the weight of the camera.  I went with the piece of rubber because this way I can still used the flashlight mount for the flashlight.

To make a selfie stick instead just make the horizontal leg on the mount arms length instead of short enough for the flashlight mount.

If you like the content in my blog please visit visit my sponsor ads, and make your next purchase through my shop.  Please tell all your friends to visit my shop and help support me so I can keep posting all this awesome information.  You can also like my FB page and checkout my youtube channel.  Thanks.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

CatEye Wireless Cycle Computer Review - CC-MC100W

I've owned the Cateye CC-MC100W Micro Wireless Cycle Computer for as long as I can remember.  I bought this as my first bicycle computer a very long time ago.  I've owned it so long I cannot even remember when I bought it.  I believe I got one of the first made.

This is definitely a rock solid piece of equipment.  I've used it mountain biking, commuting and recreationally.  It basically is my speedometer/odometer.  Whenever I ride I like to know how far I've gone, how long it took and how fast I am going.

This is an awesome little computer if you don't want to spend a lot of money and just need the basics.  It has configuration settings for multiple bikes with different tire sizes.  Each bicycle has two different modes similar to a trip odometer in an automobile.

This computer is extremely small, but the numbers are large and very visible, even in sun.  One feature that I really like is that it keeps track of the mileage of my bicycle over its entire life.  Its always great to know how many miles you put on your bike over the years.

It holds up to the elements very well, is easy to install and isn't even noticeable on the handlebars while riding.  Its great if you are looking for something light weight and inexpensive.  Its well worth the cost and can definitely hold up long term.

The battery in this computer seems to last forever.  I don't recall ever having to replace it.  The only issue I had was that the light stopped working after several years for some reason.  I don't know if its because I dropped it too many times or what.  To be honest the light was never really that great anyways.

I used to do a lot of night riding, but I usually never look at my computer unless I'm stopped anyways so it was never a problem for me.  If it was a GPS that might be a different story.  For what it is and the purpose it serves it's awesome.  I do believe this device is a bit more accurate than a GPS, plus you don't have to worry about acquiring a signal just to know how far you've gone or how fast you are going.

Cateye now carries a variety of these beautiful little computers.  I'm a big fan of Cateye products just because I own so many and have come to know their products as being extremely reliable.  I highly recommend this and all Cateye products.

Please check out my store for good deals on products, and to support my site.  Thanks.

You may find some good prices on the Cateye Micro Computer here.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

G-Shock Watch Review

The G-Shock GDF100 is a fantastic watch.  It is water proof and super durable.  Its even mud proof.  I've had this thing caked with mud on more than one occasion.  If I had to pick a favorite feature it would have to be the barometer.  It's important that a barometer and altimeter must be at rest in order to be accurate.

This is because they calculate with air pressure as a variable.  If you are ascending or descending the air pressure is constantly changing so you will get false data.  The trick is to let it sit for about an hour.  While backpacking, when I get to my campsite I hang it outside my hammock.

The temperature gauge on modern day watches is not accurate when the watch is on your wrist because it tends to measure your body temperature instead of the ambient air temperature.  I love being able to know what the temperature is inside of my hammock when I am backpacking so I will hang it on the ridge line in my hammock down by my waist.  This way my ex-hailing won't interfere.  This probably wouldn't have much of an affect, however.

Another cool feature is the ability to set a different timezone.  For example, last year I was in Colorado so I just changed the timezone to match my location.

When in one of the other modes, such as, altimeter the time is displayed at the top of the watch instead of in the normal spot, which is very convenient.  Also, when in time mode, the barometer becomes a second hand.  It has a stop watch, timer, thermometer, barometer, clock, date, elevation, and 5 different alarm modes.

This particular watch does not come with a compass, which I do like to use from time to time.  I have another watch with a compass, but generally tend to stick with my G-Shock when I am out on an adventure.  Then again when you have a hand-held GPS a compass on a watch isn't really necessary.

Please take a look at some of the watches in the ad below if you have an interest. Otherwise continue on with the post after the ad.

  I abuse this watch day-in and day-out and it still looks brand new.  My wife bought it for my on my birthday and it was on of the best gifts I have ever received.  If you are in the market for a watch I highly recommend taking a look at a G-Shock by Casio.

This is my main every day use watch.  Its great for just about any outdoor activity.  Have no fear with this watch it will stand up to a great deal of abuse.

I highly recommend this watch for anyone in the market, or looking for a gift for someone.  The only negative is the LED to view the screen doesn't stay on very long and if you hold the button the light doesn't stay on.  You push the button, the light comes on for the count of 3 then goes off.  I suppose this is fine, but I would prefer to be able to hold the light on while cycling through different modes.    It doesn't really matter though because this watch is awesome.

If you like my posts and want to support me please visit my shop, and click my ads to make an order or read more about the items of interest.  Thank you very much for your support.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Camelbak Lobo Hydration Pack (100oz) Review

The CamelBak Lobo Hydration Pack is probably one of my favorite pieces of equipment.  It's designed for mountain biking, but I use it for gravel grinding, and long road rides as well.  It has plenty of storage for tools, electronics, tubes, pump and all sorts of extras.

I originally bought this bag so I could carry my gear along with a rain jacket.  There is definitely plenty of room for everything I need and then some.   I also carry my sun glass case with 3 extra pairs of different shade lenses.

My wife and I have a couple Camelbak Blowfish Hydration Packs, which are quite a bit larger.  Mine is a bit worn out so I decided to get a new Lobo.  I am very glad I did.

The straps enable me to hold it tightly to my back so it doesn't bounce around while I'm on rough trails. Holding the pack snug against your back is ideal for balance and comfort.  The hydration tube has a magnetic hook so it can easily be pulled off and put back on when you need a drink.

The coolest feature of this pack are the helmet hooks.  Many times I'll be riding to a destination where I plane to park my bike and to a bit of walking or site-seeing.  The is where the helmet hooks come in.   I just clip my helmet onto the pack and I don't have to worry about carrying it, or worry about it bouncing all over the place.  There is a hook on each side of the bag; one for each strap on the helmet.

Another cool feature is the that the outer pocket has straps enabling it to move out away from the pack so you can conveniently store things like your mobile phone.  This makes for really easy access to your phone.

The pockets have internal mesh pockets, and a keyring hook for your car keys.  I use the mesh pockets to hold my snacks.  They can be used for tools, sunscreen, your phone, or anything around that size.

Here is the CamelBak video for this pack.  After watching the video please continue with the review below.

The pack comes with a huge 100 fl. oz. large mouth water bag.  The large mouth makes it possible to fill it with water without first removing it from the bag.  This is very convenient.  It also has a thin plastic divider down the middle, and drying arms.  These work great when you want to store the water bag.  The drying arms hold the bottle opened so every last drop of water can evaporate.  I usually wash mine out with baking soda before storage.

The mouth also has a little handle on the bottom, which makes it nice when filling, or carrying the bottle outside of the pack.  It even has a little hanging hook built into the top of the mouth for hanging when in storage.

The hose is a standard CamelBak tube with a quick release on the bottle so the hose can be disconnected.  The mouth piece has a lever to open and close flow.  This is great and prevents it from dripping while you are riding.

In summary, I love this bag and take it on most of my trips, long or short.  The bag can hold up to 100 ounces of water, tools, snacks, pump, rain gear, keys, phone, and a wallet with plenty of room to spare.  It comes in a variety of cool colors and is made out of durable water proof material.

I would highly recommend this pack to anyone who rides a bike no matter what style of riding you do.  It is especially great for mountain biking, skiing, hiking, long road trips, and gravel grinding.

If you like my posts and want to support me please share on FaceBook and subscribe to my blog.  You can also support me by visiting my Amazon shop and doing any shopping you would normally do on Amazon.  You can visit the sponsored ads on my page and make a purchase if you are interested, that is a great way to help me stay online.  Thanks for your wonderful support.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sony AS-15 Action Camera Review

This has been my goto camera for several years.  I loved it when I bought it and I love it now.  It is great for everything.  I use it for Skiing, Cycling, Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking and just playing around.

This camera is definitely larger than the Polaroid Cube I own, but it has many more cool features.  Size can be an issue if you are an ounce weenie like I am.  However, the weight is well worth it in this situation.

This camera has a digital display so you can change the settings and connect to WI-FI amongst other things.  The WI-FI feature is really cool and can be used with Playmemories Mobile, which is Sony's free software.  This software enables you to see the view of the camera on a mobile device, such as, a phone.  This is great when you are trying to get the camera setup, or in line with something.  I use this software quite often.

There is not shortage of accessories for this camera.  I have a bunch of them too.  I highly recommend the Sony Waterproof Case for this or any of the Sony action cams.  I have literally beat the heck out of this camera for years while in the case.  While wearing this camera I've crashed on ski jumps, crashed on my bike and done all sorts of similar things.  IT IS ROCK SOLID when in the case!!!  I have never had a single issue with it.

The video quality is superb.  Take a look at any of the videos in my older posts and you will see.  I shot them at 720P HD.  YouTube tends to have a grainy effect due to streaming so be advised.  I can assure you this camera has incredible video quality.  In fact, I chose this over the GoPro at the time for two main reasons, it was less money, and the video quality was better.

You do have a slight fish-eye effect as expected with any action cam.  It isn't really noticeable in most situations, however.  Unless of course they specifically have a no fish-eye lens.

You may get a slight sun glare if you point it directly in the direction of the sun while the case is on.  I believe this is due to the protective case being made from plastic instead of glass.  This is not an issue if you are not pointing into the sun.  Any action cam with a case over the lens that I've seem to do this.

Sony now has a few big brothers to this camera, and like I said there is no shortage of accessories. Take a look at some of these on my Amazon shop:
The price is definitely right for this camera and if you are in the market for a great inexpensive action camera look no further.  If you want to spend a little more for one of this cameras "Big Brothers" take a look at them in the ads above.  You cannot go wrong with one of these.

The image stabilization for this camera works extremely well, which is my favorite feature.  Oh, I love the helmet mounts, but they are an accessory.  A great feature of this camera is that you can carry multiple batteries and video cards so you can record all day.

To be honest I'm not sure how long the record time is.  It usually lasts until I'm exhausted, which is really good.  You should get a couple hours if not more out of one battery.  I usually record for about 30 minutes at a time then take a break, then get back to it.  By doing this one battery will last me all day, but I always have a backup anyways.  I carry a couple Kingston Digital 32 GB Class 4 microSDHC Flash Card with SD Adapter (SDC4/32GBET)at all times as well.

So if you want to know, do I recommend this camera???  The answer is a HUGE YES!!!  If you are in the market for a great action camera don't know where to start this is a great pick.

If you like the content in my blog and would like to support me simply go to my store, or click on one of my ads to make your order.  Thank you very much for reading and tell all your friends about my site.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Polaroid Cube Review

The Polaroid Cube HD is a tiny light weight action camera that can be used to film your favorite activities while your on the move.  I've been using this camera for a little over a year now, and love it. This camera is amazingly compact, this is the main reason I love it so much.

The button operation is very simple.  Hold for the count of three to turn it on, then click once for photo mode and twice for video mode.  To turn it off you just hold the button for the count of three.  Super simple operation makes this camera extremely attractive for anyone who may be pre-occupied participating in a sporting activity.

I do not have the protective case for this camera at this time.  However, it is fairly durable out of the box, and is water resistant.  I would not submerge it in any liquids, however.  Also, if you bang the lens on something it will likely break.  Its durable for most light to medium activities.  I use  it for mountain biking, and adventure cycling.  It would definitely be much better with the Polaroid Waterproof Shockproof Case.  After going over the handlebars on my bike the other day I am now definitely planning on ordering a hardcover case for my cube.  No, the camera was not destroyed in the crash.  I was lucky though and should've definitely had the case on that type of terrain.

On to the rest of the review after a word from our sponsor.

The cube can shoot video or take photos in either 1080P or 720P HD.  It does have a slight fish-eye effect, which I thought would be a serious issue when I first bought my camera.  It is not an issue and most of the time isn't noticeable.

The cube does well in different light settings.  An issue I had with another camera I own is that the quality isn't very good in low light settings.  The cube tends to do pretty well in low light.  This is another plus as far as I am concerned.

Sun glare is a huge problem with cameras, but the cube does a pretty decent job handling it.  Another camera I have, which was more expensive tends to blur out the video when its pointing in the direction of the sun.  The cube will have a slight glare, which is to be expected, but it doesn't usually blur out the entire frame.

Here is a sample video to show different lighting conditions.  This video is playing on YouTube so be advised, the quality can vary dramatically depending on your connection.  I can tell you for certain it video is clear and crisp when playing directly as a file on my computer.  When I play the file on YouTube, it isn't as clear as it is on my computer.

I decided to create a link so you can download the video, which may prove to show the true quality.

I highly recommend this camera.  Its very compact, light weight, captures great video and photos.  The fish-eye effect is much more visible in close range photos.  Here are a couple of examples:

In longer range photo's, such as, mountain scenes the fish-eye is not as noticeable.  For me though, I'm not to concerned with photos since I really only use it for video.

I usually use a 32 GB card and set the camera on 720P HD.  This will give me adequate video for YouTube, or making home videos for my computer or TV.  You can get about 90 minutes of video recording out of the camera.

If I am going on an adventure longer than 90 minutes I will take a portable phone charger with me so I can charge it on my trip.  Below are some examples of good portable chargers.

Here is a shot of the back of the camera.  You can see their is a switch to flip between the 720P and 1080P modes.  The top slot is for the memory card and the bottom is to charge it.

For a little bit more cash you can get a Polaroid Cube+, which is Wi-Fi enabled, has higher resolution, image stabilization, and comes with an app for changing the settings.

You cannot go wrong with this camera.  It would also make a great gift for someone.  I highly recommend it.  The price is reasonable, the quality is great, it's super simple to operate and its really compact.  It even comes in a variety of colors.  I chose red in case I drop it in a field or something I can easily find it.

If you are interested and plan to order one I would ask to please order it via one of my ads on this page or by visiting my Adventure Shop.

Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for great future posts, or subscribe to my blog via email to get them sent directly to your inbox.

Mac Owner Quick Tip:
1) Plug your card into your camera and turn the camera on.  This will setup the card to work on the cube.
2) Then take the card out of the camera and plug it into your mac.
3) Then unzip the polaroid app zip file on the card, not on your computer.  This step is very important.
4)  Run the app from the card and sync the time/date with your computer.