Saturday, September 22, 2012

Things I dig ...

Autumn is my favorite time of year. It always has been. The cooler temps, perfect weather for outdoor activities, riding at night and, of course, Oktoberfest beers. And since this is my favorite time of year, I thought it would be fun to post about a few of my favorite things right now ... so here's a list of a few things I've been digging lately:

Rail Trails/Gravel Rides

Wednesday night I got out for a ride along the Perkiomen Trail. I rode from Green Lane to Collegeville and back. I like riding that trail -- it's a great ride on the single speed when I'm running a bigger ratio than I'm used to. And as an added benefit, I had a late meeting at work and didn't get home until about 6, so I started with less than an hour of sunlight left (break out the lights!) All in all, it was a great ride.

I've been really getting into the idea of rail trail or gravel rides lately. Just point your bike and go. Perk Trail is a great example -- you can do over 50 miles between Green Lane and Valley Forge round trip. It's not a "challenging" ride unless you kick up your pace, but that's the idea: you can do it any way you want. Want to take it easy and enjoy the scenery? Done! Want to hammer a singlespeed gear at 15 mph for hours on end? Go for it! Plus, at this time of year, the temps were cool enough the whole ride that I actually felt a cold burn on my arms by the end.

Above Perkiomen Creek

Rolling along the Perk Trail near Salford Station ...

Coming back in the dark!

So, yeah -  the idea of gravel or rail trail riding is growing on me.  I want to do the Heritage Rail Trail near York with my buddy who lives in Glen Rock. That trail goes all the way to Baltimore.

Jett MTB Cyclone Rain Jacket

I picked this jacket up as a rain jacket for my morning commute, but I've been wearing it as a pure windbreaker on nice days as well as it's started to get cooler. Since I usually go to the gym or yoga before work in the morning, I leave my house around 5, and right now that means temps in the high 50's -- perfect for a windbreaker. And this jacket is great -- pockets both inside and out, and super lightweight. I'll be honest -- I'm surprised by this. I kind of thought of Jett as one of those companies that were all about the image of being "free ride" without having the quality to really stand up to abuse. I took a chance on the jacket because it was on sale, and I'm really glad I did. It's a great jacket, and the gloves that I got with it are great too. I'll definitely be a repeat customer of Jett MTB!

T6 Back Sack

I picked up the back sack as a commuter bag. I am a huge fan of all things Twin Six -- I own probably half of their jerseys already, and I have never been disappointed with anything I've purchased from them - I even joined the Metal Crew this year. So it's not surprising that I like the back sack. I love this thing. Tons of storage space, and easy to carry. Every day, I fit my my headphone carrying-case, workout clothes and a pair of sneakers, a towel, a laundry bag, tools for bike repair, my lunch, a lock and emergency gear in the back sack for my daily commute. And it fits snugly on my back with two straps (waist and chest) for support. And the bag is durable as hell -- I can't recommend this strongly enough for anyone who commutes. It's a perfect bag!


As I mentioned in a previous post, I picked up a fixie Langster for commuting. The bike is great -- although after a day glued to my desk, the 3:1 ratio sometimes feels a bit much for the ride home. Most of the time, it's great. And so far, I love commuting by bike. It really is the best part of my day - I leave my house at 5 a.m. and ride to my gym about 4 miles from my house, do my workout, swim about 10 laps in the pool, and then ride the mile form the gym to the office. It feels like my day is half over by the time i hit my desk, and that's awesome! I've commuted in the rain twice and that's admittedly not so great, but I'm getting used to it. I just need to pick up some reliable waterproof shoe covers.

So there is a short list of things ol' 1Speed has been into lately. And now I'm working on one more ... more on that next week. But I will say this: I'm super excited about this one! Until then, enjoy the best season of the year and get out and ride!

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