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Lost some size, don’t care; More on mountain biking gear additions/upgrades.

Saturday, October 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

October
16
2010

The two weeks I took off from weight training combined with the hundreds of miles of bike riding I did during that time (not to mention my unhealthy “vacation” diet) has resulted in some noticeable loss in size. I was looking at myself in the mirror yesterday after my workout, and was surprised by how “small” I looked. I was about to grab my Myotape and take some measurements, but then I realized something: so what? I’m in fantastic shape, I’m happy with how I look and – most importantly – I’ve been having an absolute BLAST riding my bike and doing other outdoor activities. It’s been so liberating not counting calories or worrying about eating a meal every three hours. I’ll never regret all the years I was ultra-strict with my diet and training. Those years were a fantastic learning experience, I accomplished some very difficult goals and I re-learned a valuable skill: self-discipline. I realized yesterday that the bulk I’ve being thinking about doing this winter is not going to happen. Lifting with the primary goal of hypertrophy was a lot of fun for a while, but that’s not something that excites me these days. I train with weights now for two reasons: I enjoy it and it benefits me in life and sport. Does that mean I’ll never bulk again? One thing I’ve learned over the years is to never say “never”. I have no idea how I’ll feel year from now or even three months from now.

So in yesterday’s blog I wrote about some of the items I take with me when I’m out mountain biking, and I also talked about some of the new things I’ll be adding to my pack. I received several excellent suggestions for a few other light-weight, but important, items that I’ll be adding to my pack: some duct tape, electrolytes, waterproof matches, a few Mylar blankets, a couple 24-hour light sticks and a Government Issue Magnesium Fire Starter.

My CamelBak H.A.W.G will be here some time this morning. I want to go ride now (the weather is incredible), but I may wait around until the hydration pack arrives.

My birthday is coming up, and just about everything I’ve asked for is mountain bike related. I want to upgrade some of the stuff I’ve been using since I started riding about a year ago…

First, I want some full finger gloves. Right now I’m using open finger weight gloves that I bought years ago and don’t use (I have not used gloves while weight training in a long, long time). I think these Fox Dirtpaw gloves will provide a lot more protection than my current gloves (with the trade-off of a little added heat). I’m sick of scraping my knuckles as I squeeze by trees on narrow trails!

A hotly debated subject is clipless pedals vs. platform pedals. I love having the freedom of being able to pull my feet off the pedals very quickly. If I were racing then I’d probably be more inclined to go clipless, but right now I’m sticking with platform. That said, there seems to be a very nice middle-ground, and that’s a platform shoe designed for mountain biking. I’ve been reading dozens of reviews of the FiveTen Impact mountain bike shoe, and people just rave about it! I’m going to pick up a pair.

Another item that needs upgrading is my helmet. The helmet I have now works fine (I assume), but it’s pretty cheap and doesn’t fit too well. I have red welts on my forehead after long rides. The Bell Influx helmet looks good.

Darn, out of time again! More tomorrow. 🙂

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