Amazon, Baa Code, Bell Sweep helmet, BIKE NASHBAR, BROL Bent Riders Online, Icebreaker clothing, iPod, Lake mountain cycling shoes, Nashbar, Purple Sky Flags, Real Cyclist, recumbent, TED, TED active, Texas, visibility
These are women’s mountain cycling shoes made by Lake. They are by far the most comfortable and the most walkable cycling shoes I tried. They are also by far the most reasonably priced. I love it when that happens! These shoes are obviously made to fit a woman’s feet, unlike some of the makers of women’s cycling shoes who seem to have just used really tiny-footed men for crafting the dimensions for the female version of their men’s shoe line.
I got my Lakes at BIKE NASHBAR (along w/a few other goodies) – they have coupons and sales going on all the time, and their prices are deals even before you get the discount of sale pricing and input your nifty-neato coupon codes.
This is my BELL SWEEP helmet that I got from REAL CYCLIST via Amazon Marketplace. I don’t know about you, but I’m a comparison shopper because I’m usually living on a teacher’s salary. And since we moved back to Texas I’m living on an unemployed teacher’s salary, which, when I think about it, is really not that much different. My point (yes, I knew I had one!) is that whatever I’m shopping for, I check the price (and reviews) on Amazon and several other vendor sites before buying. The advantage to buying through Amazon Marketplace is that very often you don’t have to pay for the shipping and oftentimes the price is less than it is on the actual storefront’s website. I don’t know why that is, but obviously I like lower prices and free shipping. Who doesn’t?
This helmet is oh-so-light, it’s got a butt-load of ways to adjust the fit, and my favorite thing about it is that it keeps my head cool. MS symptoms are exacerbated by heat; the lower I can keep my core temperature the longer I can ride; simple as that. So this blue & green BELL SWEEP helmet isn’t just versatile in fit and spiffy looking with it’s alien tech design, it really is a necessity in my cycling arsenal.
Check out REAL CYCLIST here. They seem to get a lot of clearance items and pass that on to us at outlet prices. I like that. A lot. www.realcyclist.com
I cannot begin to describe the love affair I have going on with ICEBREAKER clothing made from Merino wool. And the truth is that because I’m such a frugal wench I never would’ve discovered ICEBREAKER if I hadn’t been lucky enough to be awarded a free pass to the TEDactive conference in Palm Springs in 2009 (http://deniselanier.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/kids-write-to-ted/). When you check into the conference they give you a goodie bag – much like they must give at the Golden Globes – chock-full off of super-yummy stuff. There was a chocolate brown, long-sleeved ICEBREAKER shirt in my gift bag, which really came in handy during the chilly early mornings and after the sun went down behind those gorgeous, guarding mountains. If you ever have an opportunity to go to a TED conference (or Palm Springs), GO! No matter who you are or what you do for a living, what your hobbies, political or religious persuasions are – TED will open your mind and heart in ways you cannot possibly imagine. The people there – those who run the events, the speakers, the attendees – are among the most gracious, intelligent, generous, funny, laid back, full of passion, service oriented – I have ever met. If TED were a commune I would move there today.
But back to the ICEBREAKER:
It dominates anything else I’ve worn before or tried since. On a teacher’s salary it’s not easy to come by, but little by slowly I’m willing to invest because their product makes such a difference to my comfort, which in turn enables better performance. As I mentioned above in regard the Sweep helmet, MS symptoms are exacerbated by heat so the cooler I can keep my body the longer and more efficiently I’m able to ride. Which is all to say that I’ve put a lot of time and effort into finding active wear that breathes & wicks (& lasts) because it’s *really* important to me. I can even wear my long-sleeved collared ICEBREAKER top in the Texas summer heat (for sun protection) and be as cool as if I were wearing a tank. Well, “cool” isn’t the accurate word, but you get my drift .
They have a superfine Ultralight for use in the hottest conditions, on up to a weight worthy of Alpine ski conditions. The layering options are near-endless & they even have advice on layering for specific activities/conditions on their web site (one of the most beautiful/educational/helpful I’ve encountered). These garments breathe & wick & look better than any other Merino wool garments I’ve had and they get softer with every wash. Merino wool can be expensive, but that’s because it’s superior in quality & wear & performance. I look at buying what I wear when I’m exercising the same way I approached the purchase of my recumbent trike, I’m willing to spend a bit more for stellar quality, for something that outperforms & outlasts the other, slightly-less-expensive options.
I heard Icebreaker is coming out with a special line of highly visible garments for runners & cyclists with lots of reflecty bits – sports bras, running & cycling shorts/tights too. I can’t wait. OK, I’ll stop sounding like ICEBREAKER’s unofficial spokeswoman for now. But, seriously, go buy some. You won’t be sorry! I’ve gotten pieces of ICEBREAKER from Amazon, Backcounty, REI and, of course, ICEBREAKER’s own web site. Make sure to get on their mailing list so that you can take advantage of the seasonal sales. And check out their blog, the story of how they came to be the company – the community – they are. I’m crazy about what they stand for and believe in, how they craft their products and their organization, the mission to which they hold true: www.icebreaker.com