Saturday, June 25, 2011

Icebreaker Grace Jersey and Rush Bra Review

My review as seen in Spoke Magazine... No need to rewrite I suppose, and this way it has cool pictures to go with it, too!!! The Icebreaker cycle range is a great investment for Winter. Click on the article to zoom in and read.

Adidas Supernova Pro Glasses Review

I was lucky enough to pick up a pair of the new Adidas Supernova Pro glasses a couple of months ago and have now spent some time testing them out and thrashing them to the best of my ability. As you would have read on my blog last year, I was highly impressed with last year's version of the Supernova and the thought of an improved version was enough to have me drooling from the corners of my mouth as I ripped open the packaging.

First impressions... They look really cool. No surprises here. Adidas seem to have a knack for making sexy eyewear and this is no exception. I really like the lime green colour and they also seemed to be slightly lighter than last year's version. The main differences immediately apparent with new Supernova Pro were the addition of a sweatband and a strap and the shape of the lens.

Being a frameless glass, the possibility is always there to experiment with ideal lens shapes and I much prefer the shape of this year's lens to the older version... In a practical sense, the frameless glass still allows excellent peripheral vision but the new shape wraps around the side of the face giving better protection. The new frame shape also rectifies what has long been a small annoyance when I wear glasses riding and that is the tendency for sweat to run down the arms of the glasses, onto the lens and then bead down the bottom of the lens in my line of vision... The new frame shape means that any sweat that makes it's way down the frame drops off the edge of the lens before it has the opportunity to hang around the bottom of the lens. Excellent!!! This coupled with the addition of a sweat band and a slight reduction in weight from it's older counterpart is a reason in itself to look at upgrading to the newer model.

Choices of lenses is still excellent. I found that the addition of the sweatband made lens changeover a little more time-consuming, but the upside to this is that there is a lens available which has a very light tint and can be used quite easily in low-light or bright conditions so I actually haven't had much need to change the lenses out.

Out on the trails, the new Supernova stacked up well. Like I mentioned before, excellent peripheral vision and lightweight. They also sit well under a helmet and similarly, sit nice and still on your face without a helmet if you want to use them for running (a bonus for multi-sporters)... They come in a large and small version and still have all the angle adjustments for the nosepiece and frame which has always made Adidas Eyewear the pinnacle in providing versatility for it's users. The other cool addition that comes with the new Supernova Pro is a strap to replace the arms... Once again, all about versatility... You can remove the arms and replace them with a strap that secures the glasses more firmly to your head. Personally, I found they stayed put quite well regardless, but the strap would be a good option for watersports (kayaking etc) or where you had to wear a full-face helmet and wanted to wear the glasses underneath.

I was a big fan of the old Supernova and I'm highly impressed that Adidas Eyewear have managed to improve on it even further. If you already have the old Supernova, the new ones are a worthwhile upgrade. Check them out on the Adidas Eyewear website

Manawatu MTB Club Winter Series Round 2 - My Intro to Palmerston North

Ooops! This week really got away from me! So thought I best do some blogging on last week's race before it became old news!

I recently packed up and moved myself from Auckland to Palmerston North, following a new job, partner and a fresh riding experience. I suppose the first impression of Palmerston North is that there isn't really much mountain biking around these parts, and admittedly, I felt a bit the same when I first got here... However, once you get in the loop with some local knowledge, there's actually plenty to keep a rider amused around these parts... Some excellent climbs out on Greens Road, Takapari Road and K-Loop, not to mention that being such a cycle-friendly city, most walking trails around here are dual use (although make sure you check which ones before you ride them!!!). And if you grow tired of riding around town, Levin and Wanganui trails are within an hour away and the likes of Wellington, Tongariro national park, Hawkes Bay and Taupo are all within a couple of hours for a day trip.

After some guided tours around the town's trails and K-Loop on Friday and Saturday with the infamous Sasha (Piki) Smith, we headed out to Santoft Forest on Sunday for round two of Manawatu Mountain Bike Club's Winter XC series. What a great bunch of people!!! This was a typical grass-roots event run by a bunch of people who love riding. It was so cool. The entry fee was spare change ($2 for members, $5 for non-members) and there were nearly a hundred riders lining up on the start line on a grey, cold, rainy afternoon! It's easy to see the club is well-established with no agenda other than to provide an amazing environment for people to enjoy their riding (big kudos guys!!!). I had a real moment of truth when I realised that race categories were determined by our age as of 31st of December 2011, which qualified me for VET1 category!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!! I decided to remain in denial and entered the open category anyway...

Once we were off and racing, I spent a bit of time getting into a rhythm and getting to know the trail. With the move and all the travel of late, I hadn't been on the bike all that much, so it was great to get out. The trails at Santoft are sand-based and it's a relatively flat course, so once we were off, there was very little time to gather thoughts or a breath... I pretty much just dropped the hammer from the outset and didn't stop until I crossed the finish line (reflected well and truly by my heart rate figures at the end of the race). The trails are well-built and flowy and FAST! My average speed at the end of the race was 17.5km/hr and I came in third well off the pace from first-placed Fiona McDermid (who is representing NZ at XC world champs this year) but only one minute twenty down on my buddy Sasha... LOOK OUT NEXT RACE PIKI!!! Haha!

Great day out on the trails with great people... I definitely feel like I'm home...