Blevins Bicycle Co. CX Training

Like… you could go set up “training” barriers or pretend that jumping on and off your saddle dosen’t rack your nuts or lady parts time and time again… or you could go huck off at the skatepark. Either way you’re skills will improve. The only thing that will change is the level of fun you’ll have. Brice and Brandon of the Blevins Bicycle Co. CX team know what I’m talking about.

No Harm In Gettin’ A Garmin

imageWell… the time… has come where I breakdown and nab a Garmin. I wanted something that had more purpose than just being attached to my bicycles so I did my homework and ended up with the Forerunner 235. Now I know what you’re thinking… “um… Matt, that’s “for runners”, but really the FR235 only resembles a running watch when in reality it is a one stop shop for ANY activity.

After using the FR235 for a couple weeks I’ve found the heart rate calorie counter to be very helpful. Instead of guessing what nutrition I need each day, I can look at Garmin Connect app and know exactly what I’m working with to reach my goals. Those fun facts mixed with sleep tracking help me understand why I feel like crap during a ride and what I need to change. PLUS… I don’t have to carry my phone with me anymore!!! My rides, and yes runs, will upload directly to Strava. BAM!!

With all that being said, there are tons of less expensive options out there that will do the exact same thing, but in my opinion, the FR235 looks the best and Garmin has incorporated a great social UI with the Garmin Connect app AND you have Garmin’s supreme GPS tracking that will give you some really great options to map/track rides.

So why not an Apple Watch instead? They’re about the same price:

Great question. Although Apple Watches look amazing and I’m sure function really well, they have the worst battery life of all the smart watches I researched and no GPS. For me, that just isn’t going to fly. The FR235 is light weight with heart rate optics, and about an 8 day battery life, depending on daily activity use and setting options.

OH and… you can either create your own HR Zone training plan or just download one from Garmin that is pre created based off of your activity level. HOW KILLER IS THAT!!

If you’re in the market for a watch that will do it all and assist you with your riding, running, lifting, swimming, hiking, sleeping, etc. goals… look no further; the Garmin Forerunner 235 has you covered.

RIDE x CREATE

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Ride Recap With Radu In Bucharest

Riding in Bucharest, Romania is something I never thought I would say I’ve accomplished. I mean, I know a lot of other bloggers and/or cyclists travel to ride all the time, but me, not so much, well… not outside of America that is. So when I got connected through Jon Woodroof with his international cycling pals I got to meet up with Radu and cruised through the Bucharest streets.

Romania is a beautiful country no doubt and I’ve only seen a few areas in the south. I’m hoping to make it up north into the mountain during my invasion. So far I’ve seen A LOT of people touring which makes me wish I had my gear to join in on the fun. I ran into a pack of folks that were 500km into a 2000km tour. AMAZING!!!!

Anyways… here’s a few shots from my ride with Radu. Radu is a great dude with a passion for cycling that made me feel right at home. It’s amazing to me that no matter where I am in the world, there is always a new cycling pal to high-five and share stories with.

Thanks again Radu for your hospitality and loaning me one of your bicicletas yesterday. I’m hoping to make it back your way before I leave your great country.

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Review // Elder’s Knifeworks

imageNEXT. LEVEL!

So, if you didn’t know, I’m kinda into knives. Not in a weird “lets go on QVC and buy 100 knives for $19.99 but act now and we’ll double it” kind of way; more so on a handcrafted utility cutters from small business artisans… level, if that makes sense.

My Dad introduced me to the love of knives when I was young. To find out about a pal in Atlanta, GA starting is own handmade knife company with skills passed down from his father, it was a no brainer to pick one up as a solid piece that will be used day in day out and passed down to my son one day.

Sincerely In love with your work Mike!!! Although this is a little bit bigger for a daily carry, I wanted something larger to take on my 30 day trek across Romania in the coming month. I can see where I’ll be emailing you soon for something a little smaller. Until then, I’ll do my best not to gloat on how bad ass this knife is.

Go check out more on Elder’s Knifeworks IG page. So many beautiful knives for your purchasing pleasure!

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Ritchey Too Good

imageNo. Brainer!

There are a ton of options out there for upgrading your rides. Ritchey is easily a go to for maximum style/function at reasonable cost. The fact that Ritchey has been doing this “bicycle thing” for 40 years is way too impressive. I know when I buy one of their low end or high end products I receive the same level of detail; and for me, Ritchey’s COMP series line is PERFECT! Simple, clean, functional and it won’t break the bank.

Go to Ritchey and check out all of their goodies. Then go to your local shop and order what you need.

Support local / Buy local/ Love errybody

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State Bicycle Co. // Undefeated II

state_bicycle_co_undefeated_II_track_bike_16I’m in love with this!! I’ve enjoyed watching the progression of State Bicycle Co. In my opinion, this is big step in the right direction.

“Straight out of the box – the Undefeated II is a race ready, beast of a machine. Building upon the original Undefeated’s winning pedigree, The Undefeated II comes stock premium SRAM Omnium Cranks, Michelin Tires and Ritchey Components stock while featuring new and lighter rounded 7005 Aluminum Double Butted Tubes. The stiffened front end features a newly oversized-tapered head tube and matching Essor USA full carbon fork for superior handling and responsiveness. These new features make The Undefeated II the perfect tool for mastering fixed-gear crits. The Essor USA Bolt 31 wheelset is an added bonus – being both lightweight enough to race (1736 g) while still being durable to take a beating on the street.”

Go to State Bicycle Co. and check out more on the Undefeated II.state_bicycle_co_undefeated_II_track_bike_18

Review // Crankbrothers M5

It’s simple. It’s inexpensive. It gets the job done.

“The ultimate trailside companion” per Crankbrothers, and I agree.

I’ve had a bunch of different tools from super elaborate down to the M5. Honestly… most of the other junk that comes on the larger more elaborate tools will never get used by the average consumer, in my opinion. I’ve been riding for as long as I can remember and when I’ve needed to pull out a tool, it’s typically because my grips came loose, I hit a tree and need to realign my brake leaver/handlebars, or readjust my saddle/seatpost.

With that being said, for the long hauler touring type… never leave home without something that can break down/repair your entire bicycle… you may need it 100 miles from nowhere. But, for the local trail or road ride, the M5 is perfect. I refer to it as the pocket knife of multi-tools.

Go check out more at Crankbrothers. They have a magenta / black color option that’s pretty sick.