Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stuff I Really Like Lately

I've been doing a lot of different types of riding lately, from road commuting, to that road-like 50 mile race to long, technical, epic Santa Ana rides. During all this riding, I have found myself super stoked about a few of the products that either sponsors have hooked me up with, or that Brendan bought for me (because, let's be honest, I just don't buy stuff for myself). I want to share a few of these things because I keep having the thought 'everyone needs this...', and because my riding has honestly gotten better/been more enjoyable since they came into my life.
I've also been riding with these weirdos every Weds!
Love my front tire too, but man is that rear tire amazing!
1. Continental Mountain King 2.2 mountain bike tire (sponsor). This is probably the one thing that changed my riding the most in the past 3 months. I threw this bad boy on my trail bike for Downieville, but didn't really ride that bike much for a bit after that, and forgot about it. Fast forward to dry, dusty, base rides in Laguna and the Santa Ana's with Carl and something magical happened. Suddenly loose, steep, sandy, choppy climbs I couldn't clean before were not a problem! With this tire on my rear wheel I can climb almost anything, it loves the crappiest of crappy loose trails. I am seriously stoked on this tire, and I think anyone who lives in SoCal should try it out!

2. Light & Motion VIS 360+ headlight/tail light (Brendan bought this for me at Interbike). I've been commuting with this teeny tiny headlight tail light combo since Sept, and it has made my life so much easier. First off, it is seriously small, and light, and has a great helmet mount, so I never have to take it off my helmet. Second, it is rechargeable with a smooshed USB, so I can just plug it into the wall a few times a week, and it's ready to go. Lastly it's super easy to adjust the angle of the light, and it's bright enough for my pitch black commute every day!

3. Stan's No Tubes tire sealant (Stan's was my wheel sponsor last year, but we buy the sealant by the boatload with our own dollars). I think almost everyone who rides bikes knows how rad this stuff is, but I am seriously so stoked every weekend when Carl and I finish our 6+ hour rides in the Santa Ana's (full of sharp rocks) or Laguna (full of cactus) and don't have to fix a single flat. We have been doing long rides together for over a year now, and I remember 2 flats, seriously, just 2. Also at some point in that 50 mile race I did last weekend I ran over a nail, but didn't even know until I looked closely at my tire today, because the Stan's stepped right in and sealed that bad boy up. I never even had to put more air in it!
Can you see the nail? I can't believe I never knew it was there. How rad is that?!
4. Oakley Radar Lock Sunnies in the real big lense size (not really a sponsor, but kinda a sponsor, I'm not sure, they are very generous and kind those Oakley peeps). I actually just got hooked up with a new pair of these last night, but holy heck are they good. I took my old Smith Piv-lock's off and put these guys on to instantly feel like a blind person being given the gift of sight. I wore them till well after sundown last night, and never felt like they were inhibiting my sight, and today they made the ride home a ton more enjoyable. 

5. Marin Mt. Vision (sponsor). Well the cat is out of the bag now, that Marin is not sponsoring me next year, but I don't think I want to ride any other bike because I have absolutely and completely fallen head over heals in love with that Mt. Vision. I've spent 6+ hours in the saddle on that bike every Saturday for the past 4 or 5 weeks, and I have never once been unhappy with that rig. It climbs like a beast, descends like a champ and is just all around fun to shred on. I like the super slack front end, even when I'm climbing, and it's light enough to get me QOMs, but heavy duty enough to withstand a good Pinos beating.

There are a ton of other super cool products I use, like that beyond delicious GU Energy Labs Recovery Brew, and the Pearl Izumi X-Project shoes that hike and ride like a second skin, but the above list is stuff that I cannot stop thinking about. I seriously tell random people out on the trail about that rear tire, it's that good. 

So that's a quick report on what's been keeping me rolling, and smiling for the past few months! I hope you get the chance to try one or more of 'em out! 

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