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Now that I’ve been piloting a trike for over a year I’ve accumulated more associated gear. These are merely additions to the slowly but surely growing list of favorite things that make my triking life happier. (previous list of Favorite Things here & more about Icebreaker goodness here)

Still adore those Lake shoes & wish I’d bought two pair of those suckers, but figured I should have another pair of cycling shoes for just in case (I lost or damaged the Lakes) & to switch off the wearing now & again. I’m a Virgo (have I mentioned that?), which means that by nature I’m given to examining details & doing thorough research. After all the online searches, in-store look-sees (not so easy w/women’s-specific cycling shoes) & review-reading, I decided to purchase these:

Pearl Izumi Fuel women’s cycling shoes

I’ve worn them often enough that I don’t think there are any surprises of the negative variety awaiting me, but perhaps not worn them enough to do a complete compare/contrast between these & the Lakes. I still prefer the Lakes & reach for them first, out of habit. Being basic black, the Lakes do pair nicely with any color top I’m riding in. That being said I really do love the bright colors of these Pearl Izumi shoes. They have more reflecty bits than the Lakes & they certainly cannot be accused of blending in. I’m all for being as visible as possible when out riding, so the copious silvery shiny stuff is certainly a plus in my book.

Right now I’d say that other than bright colors & more reflective surface, the main way in which the Pearl Izumi Fuel differs from the Lake cycling shoe is in its basic feel & form. While both have a good sturdy tread on the bottom of them that allow safe, sure-footed walking, the Fuel looks & feels like a running shoe–the Lake more like a traditional walking shoe. Both breathe really well, provide superior comfort, fit the shape of my foot well. I have a bit of high arch & sometimes shoes aren’t supportive enough in that spot for me, but these, thankfully, are. I haven’t weighed them (don’t own a scale & don’t want one) but if I had to guess I think the Fuels are just a smidge lighter.

The other main difference is the lace-keeping mechanism.

The Fuels have a very convenient envelope-style pocket that the tied laces tuck into (right there at the top of the tongue, where you see the Pearl Izumi logo) and the Lakes have the sturdy velcro strap to keep the tied laces over to the side & away from your chainring. Both do their job. Though the velcro does tend to rough up the nap of the fabric on the laces. No big whoop in my world, but I throw it out there in case it might matter to you.

Last of all, I think the SPD cleat of the Lakes is a wee bit further recessed than on the Fuels. So far this hasn’t translated into any noticeable difference when I walk around in the shoes. I’ll let you know if that changes.

For not having tried on either of these shoes before buying them I couldn’t be happier & I highly recommend them both. I paid $40-something for the Lakes & $60-something for the Pearl Izumi Fuels; cycling-shoe-wise, I’m really satisfied with that, too.

I’m CRAZY In LOVE with these Naska arm sleeves.  I swear they’re made with some kind of voodoo magic!

I cannot figure exactly how they manage to keep my arms cooler in blistering sun than if my skin was bare to the breeze. Even better than that, if you wet them with your water bottle or the nearest drinking fountain, the fabric works like freon-fueled air conditioning. I kid you not. (Magic, I say, magic!)

The protection they offer from the heat is truly astounding. The fact that I don’t have to wear sunscreen on my arms–which basically serves as glue that holds onto road dirt, leaves, bugs, etc.–is all the more reason to adore them. And apparently (I’ll let you know soon) the sleeves will keep my arms the same smidge warmer in the cold weather as they keep them cooler in the hell-acious weather. If that turns out to be true, I’ll be so tickled pink I won’t know what to do with myself. Imagine the ease of simply rolling the sleeves down once I warm up on a ride instead of having to stop to take a top layer off. True genius-convenience awesomeness.

I originally ordered the Naska sleeves in go-with-everything light neon green, but once I knew we were going to best buddies I put in another order for the high-vis orangey red (pictured) & a serene but still good & visible blue. At $10 a pair, I can afford to have a variety & coordinate them with my cycling jerseys. You can buy Naska arm sleeves (which sometimes also go by the name Elixir, don’t ask me why) on Amazon or ebay. When you buy two pairs you get a small discount. Sweet.

Last but not least, my most valuable/priceless/prized artifact, my Road ID:

I’d call it “something I wear” or “an accessory” but that would be misleading, severe false advertisement. I consider my Road ID in much the same way I hold dear my wedding ring, in that it’s an extension of me. Beyond that, I never leave home without my Road ID since the day it arrived in the mail! My wedding ring, beloved though it is, stays home whenever I’m out training. 

Safe to say that I have some significant health issues. I take several medications; I have life-threatening allergic reactions to other medications (all of the really spiffy pain meds, if you must know). With this handy-dandy bracelet – comfortable, durable, velcro, visible, fashion-forward – First Responders have access to my complete medical history, current health issues, a full list of all the medications (exact dosages) I’m taking, and the always-crucial info of my drug allergies. All a First Responder has to do is give my code (engraved on the back of the ID tag) to their dispatch officer. EMS and ER docs have instant access to my list of physicians and their phone numbers, as well. No matter how far away from home I am, all the information necessary to treating me, to potentially saving my life, is available to those who need it. How cool is that?

My Road ID gives me great peace of mind. My husband loves it because, in addition to my health/medical information, it also has emergency contact names & numbers listed. I’m going to order another Road ID, a slightly fancier one, to wear when I’m dressed in something other than my usual/preferred casual & comfortable attire. They come in so many colors and variations, and are so affordable, there’s really no reason to make do with only one. Besides which, the idea of somehow losing mine makes me nervous. Like, kitten trapped in a rocking chair display room with the ceiling fans on high kind of nervous.

Another reason Gary loves the Road ID as much as I do is because while he’s able to give some basic information to health care providers in the event I’m unconscious or altered and not able to give it myself, he can’t possibly remember everything, every piece of my medical history and all the surgeries, all the meds I’m taking & their dosages, the names of my doctors and their contact info. So my Road ID is like a gift to Gary, too

If I had kids I’d have a Road IDs on every one of them. If my elderly mother were still around, she’d be wearing one as well. They come in casual or fancy bracelets, anklets, dog tag necklaces, a slider or pouch with ID slider for the laces of your shoes. You can check out the various styles & colors & put your order in here.

PLEASE SUPPORT MY EFFORTS IN THE 2011 NEW YORK CITY MARATHON WITH TEAM LEARY FIREFIGHTERS FOUNDATION

I only have a few weeks left to reach my fundraising goal and I really, really need your help!

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