Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2008

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas! Hopefully you’ll also get some cool new toys for your bike or some outdoor gear. I also hope you take some time to think about the reason for Christmas.

We went to a Christmas Eve service at the Flying W Ranch this evening. Afterward the kids opened the gifts from us. Tomorrow they’ll be getting many more gifts from grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

It’ll be a busy day since so many of our relatives live in town. Unfortunately my sister from Alaska won’t be here. She was supposed to fly in on Monday but her flight got canceled because of the snow in Seattle. They couldn’t get her rescheduled until after Christmas but at least we’ll still get to see her.

The North Face NFZ Jacket
The North Face NFZ Jacket
Regular Price: $348.95
$233.99 on sale
The North Face Amongstit Jacket
The North Face Amongstit Jacket
Regular Price: $269.00
$200.90 on sale
The North Face Osito 2 Jacket
The North Face Osito 2 Jacket
Price: $82.24
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7 Cycling and Outdoor Gift Ideas

November 28th, 2008

People are searching for the perfect Christmas gift for their family and friends. If you’re searching for gifts for a cyclist or someone into outdoor activities, here are 7 things I have and love or would like to receive as a gift.

Update: 12 More Gift Ideas for Cyclists

Crank Bros Multi 19 Tool

This multi-tool has everything you need for on the road or trail bike repairs. Not only does it have the standard hex wrenches and screwdrivers, it also has spoke wrenches and a chain tool. The chain tool doesn’t work as good as my stand alone ones but it’s saved me from walking many miles.

SPOT Satellite Personal Messenger

The SPOT is one piece of gear I don’t have but have hiked with someone that has one. It is really nice for loved ones that are at home wondering if everything is alright while you’re in the backcountry. It’s a GPS unit that can send your location so others can view where you are on a map online. If you aren’t where you plan to be, you can send a signal that all is Ok. If something does go wrong you can send an emergency signal and rescuers will know your exact location.

Mountain Hardware Windstopper Hat

I like the soft feel of fleece for a hat. I’ve had a regular fleece hat but in the strong winds it doesn’t even feel like I have it on. Not so with my Mountain Hardware Windstopper one. It’s nice and toasty even in the cold wind.

CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack

The Camelbak Rogue is the hydration pack I use the most. Actually I have two of them I like it so much so I can do a quick swap during long mountain bike races. It has enough storage space to carry a jacket, tubes, and my Crank Brothers multi-tool but doesn’t seem bulky. The 70 ounce bladder is big enough on most rides to get me to where I can refill. When I need to carry more gear and water, I use the Camelbak Blowfish.

Garmin Edge 305/705

The Garmin Edge 705 is the ultimate cycling computer. It is a newer version of the Garmin Edge 305. They both have GPS and heart rate monitor and can be bought with an optional cadence sensor. The 705 adds a color screen and maps. With the right maps you can get turn by turn directions.

YakTrax Pro

YakTrax ProYakTrax provide amazing traction for hiking or running on snow and ice. They are easy to slip on and off and small enough that you can carry them in your pocket until you need them. The Pro version has a strap that goes over the top of the shoe to help keep them from slipping off. An alternative is the Kahtoola MICROspikes. I have tried them but they’re all metal on the bottom so they are probably more durable than the rubber of the YakTrax. They also weigh 12.5 ounces versus 4.4 ounces for the YakTrax. The MICROspikes also look like they could stab your shins if you aren’t careful.

Olympus Stylus 1050SW

I’ve been using the Olympus Stylus cameras before they were even digital. They’re compact and are designed to be used in all weather. I ride and hike with one in my pocket. The 1050 SW is a hardened 10 mega
pixel model that is waterproof, shockproof and works in cold temperatures. It has a tap control feature to make it easier to use with gloves on. If you want an even more rugged camera, the Olympus 1030 SW is waterproof to 33 feet, can handle being dropped 6.6 feet and can withstand 220 pounds of pressure.

If none of the gear above is a good fit for your gift buying, check out another dozen cycling gift ideas and the Cycling and Outdoor Gift Card Guide. Also, below are links to some more gift guides for even more gift ideas.

Gift Guides

MSR Lightning Snowshoe Tails
MSR Lightning Snowshoe Tails
Price: $59.95
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe
MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe
Price: $209.94
MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoe
MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoe
Price: $179.94

Merry Christmas

December 24th, 2007

Mountain Hardwear Hoodless Monkey Man Grid Jacket Fleece Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Hoodless Monkey Man Grid Jacket Fleece Jacket
Price: $169.95
Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman 200 Jacket Fleece Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Monkey Woman 200 Jacket Fleece Jacket
Price: $149.95
Patagonia Women's Better Sweater Jacket Fleece Jacket
Patagonia Women's Better Sweater Jacket Fleece Jacket
Price: $138.95
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Scenes From the Holidays

January 3rd, 2007

The last couple weeks have been pretty crazy with the holidays. My brother came with his family plus my wife’s grandparents were visiting. I made one trip to the mountains with my brother and some of the rest of my family that lives here and another one with the in-laws. Unfortunately I got injured on the first trip, so the 2nd trip wasn’t as much fun.

On the first trip, my brother and I skied almost up to the Wild Irishman Mine near Montezuma. It’s part of loop 7 of Montezuma’s Revenge. It brought back lots of memories from the when I raced it. Things like the guy I found on loop 7 laying across a pile of rocks with his eyes shut. It turned out he had gotten his map out to figure out which way to go and fell asleep.

After cross-country skiing we met several more from my family for a night in Idaho Springs. The next day my other brother also skied with us at Loveland Basin. Their kids went to ski school at Loveland Valley. It was the first time in over 10 years that I had skied at a ski area. It made me remember why I ski in the backcountry.

The 2nd trip was to Estes Park at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. We left in a our 2nd big snowstorm in a little over a week. The roads were pretty bad between Colorado Springs and Denver. Estes had over a foot of fresh powder and all I could do was look at it and not play in it. I’ll write another post on what happened.

All 14 of my parents’ grandkids were together for Christmas.

We almost always go to Seven Falls Christmas night. Admission is a donation Christmas Unlimited to provide toys to kids.

Danielle wanting me to come with her up the stairs by the falls. She made it almost half way before I had to carry her.

The top part of Seven Falls.

A Christmas display in the Broadmoor.

Just below the Wild Irishman Mine while cross-country skiing with my brother near Montezuma.

My brother skiing through Saints John near Montezuma.

Loveland Valley Ski Area.

View from the hotel in Estes Park.

A bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Another bull elk in Rocky Mountain National Park.

View from Many Parks Curve in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Sleigh ride at the Aspen Lodge near Estes Park.

View of Longs Peak as it was getting dark.

Moon from the Aspen Lodge.

A couple elk in Estes Park.

Danielle quickly learned how to run with the snowshoes we got her for Christmas.

A bull elk just outside Rocky Mountain National Park.

Crescent Moon Kids Snowshoes Snowshoes
Crescent Moon Kids Snowshoes Snowshoes
Price: $88.99
Tubbs Glacier Snowshoes Kids'
Tubbs Glacier Snowshoes Kids'
Regular Price: $94.95
$71.21 on sale
MSR Denali Tyker Kid's Snowshoes
MSR Denali Tyker Kid's Snowshoes
Price: $59.95


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