Race Vista Brings Bike Race Photography & Video To You

Race Vista solves the problem of finding bike race photography/video by creating a centralized platform to share and view visual media from race events.  The site was created by Brad Boyd from Ride Enterprises, LLC who also brought you RideFatbikes, The Fatbike Gallery and the Fatbike Frozen 40.

"Race Vista is an interactive platform to showcase the visual media from bike races.  It was created to allow racers, spectators and photographers to have a common resource to share bike race photos and videos.  We also highlight featured athletes, giving them a spotlight beyond what is found on other race websites.  We encourage race directors to contact us to find out how they can get their race featured on Race Vista!" - Brad Boyd, Ride Enterprises, LLC

Race Vista covers it all featuring Cyclocross, Track/Velodrome, Gravel Grinders, Fatbike, Road and Mountain Bike races.  Races aren't all that's highlighted, Race Vista also features deserving racers on its Athlete Spotlight page giving them their own page that includes a bio, race photos, videos and links to engage cycling fans and the race community.


For photographers, race directors, spectators and racers to contribute their photos and video, a hashtag (#) is assigned to the event for them to tag their media in Instagram and Flickr.  The tagged media can then be viewed on the Race Vista website under that featured race, in Instagram or Flickr.  It's a simple, yet effective way to pool all of the photos and video for a specific race so everyone can enjoy them.  "We are changing the way bike racing is viewed, by bringing races and racers into focus in a unique platform. See bike racing from a new perspective."

Image Credit:  Race Vista  #metalcrossrv

Would you like your race showcased on Race Vista or have an Athlete Spotlight page for you or your team?  Go to the Race Vista Contact page and let them know about it.  "We can feature your race with as little as 1 week notice, and we can even develop a photo slideshow or showcase after the event has concluded."

Image Credit:  Race Vista

Race Vista can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr.


New App Delivers Mountain Bike Radio to your Android Smartphone

Mountain Bike Radio has introduced the Mountain Bike Radio app on the Amazon App Store for Android.  This handy new app will keep you connected to all of your favorite Mountain Bike Radio Shows right on your smartphone.  Stream or download episodes at your convenience in high quality while the app keeps track of played/new shows.

Get a full description of each episode, download, stream or share it with a friend.

Contact Mountain Bike Radio by emailing the show, get in touch with them on Facebook & Twitter or visiti the website from within the app.  If you would like to know more about a topic or product discussed on an episode, check the show links to get connected to more information.

Mountain Bike Radio Shows 

Girls & Gears is the only women's specific mountain biking show out there! Danielle Musto hosts the show and brings the world of women's mountain biking to you!  Show topics will vary from gear talk, to interviews with women, to female-specific training. Anything women are interested in, it'll be here!

On “The Dirt with Drew Edsall", Drew will be discussing training, nutrition, equipment choice, racing, and other mountain bike related topics. Drew will be joined by other professional mountain bikers, as well as others throughout the mountain biking community as he brings the latest and greatest mountain biking info to you every month.

"Just Riding Along," with Andrea, Full Face Kenny, and Pool Boy Matt is bike talk from educated and experienced bike mechanics. While it's based on mechanic talk, don't expect it to be kid-friendly, bland discussion about technical specifications.  Listeners are always welcome to call in to the live show to say "hey," ask questions about their old junker, new parts, Craigslist bike deal, or just talk about beer.

The Guitar Ted Show
Guitar Ted joins Mountain Bike Radio to offer a biweekly show about whatever is happening-news, reviews, maybe even other guests. He brings a wealth of knowledge and industry experience and can express his thoughts well to all of us everyday riders.

"Into Enduro," hosted by Macky Franklin is dedicated to all things Enduro. Macky will be discussing the who, what, why and how of Enduro mountain biking as well as equipment choice, what races to attend, training for Enduros and why you'll love it.

The Ride Fatbikes Show is the only fatbike specific show and it'll cover all things fatbike - bikes, equipment, racing, advocacy and more!

The Apex Nutrition Podcast
Kelli Jennings, the founder of Apex Nutrition, brings a wealth of nutrition knowledge and personal experience to Mountain Bike Radio.  This podcast is a regular show discussing all aspects of endurance sports nutrition.

And More

Never miss an episode of your favorite Mountain Bike Radio show by downloading the app today.  The Mountain Bike Radio app is available on the Amazon App Store for Android for only $1.99.


Outdoor Tech Buckshot: Big Sound, Small Package

When I came across the Outdoor Tech booth at Interbike, a new product  called the Buckshot caught my eye and I had to take a closer look.  The Buckshot is a compact, rugged, water-resistant Bluetooth speaker that can be mounted to your handlebars or any other similar profile.

It wirelessly connects to your phone or other Bluetooth-enabled device and has a range of 33'.  Outdoor Tech states that it meets the IPX5 Dust and Waterproof Standard making it splash resistant and able to take on those rides in the rain.  If it becomes dirty, simply rinse it off.  The rubberized coating and shock-resistant properties of this little speaker protect it from drops, bumps and the occasional mishap.  The Buckshot is powered by a USB-rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that provides up to 9 hours of music or talk time.  With a built in microphone, it allows hands-free calling on your ride.

Out of the box, the Buckshot comes with a USB recharging cable, handlebar mount accessory and easy to follow User Guide.  The instructions made it simple to power up, pair my phone and quickly learn how to handle calls and music functions.  After a 3 hour charge, it was ready to join me on a ride.

At first I was skeptical of it's sound and volume performance until I took it out on a long gravel road ride.  Riding gravel is much noisier than riding on a paved surface, so I thought this would be a good way to see if the Buckshot would be loud enough to be heard.  After just a short time riding I was pleasantly surprised.  Even with the sound of crushing gravel beneath my tires, I could still hear my favorite podcasts and music loud and clear.  Music played on the Buckshot had crisp treble without sounding "tinny" and supplied a decent amount of bass for such a small speaker.

Battery life on a single charge with the volume up about ¾ of the way (to compensate for the noisy gravel) was enough to keep me listening on a couple of 3½ rides and for about an hour off the bike around the house.  After this, about 15 minutes into a third ride the battery went dead and was in need of a charge.  In my opinion, it lived up the the manufacturer's battery life claim.

Taking calls on the Buckshot was easy and the person on the other end of the line came through loud and clear.  I didn't have to shout to be heard, either.  It allowed me to carry on a conversation while keeping my hands on the bars.

The silicone mounting accessory could be better.  Rough roads/terrain caused the Buckshot to slip until it pointed upward (usually stops at this position) requiring frequent repositioning to get the sound aimed more towards me.  While riding on smooth paved surfaces, the mount held more securely.  Other than sliding slightly into the upward position, it didn't bounce around or move horizontally.

In conclusion, I like the portability, size and convenience of the Buckshot.  It provides nice sound at a volume that can be heard even on windy days or gravel roads.  I prefer using the Buckshot to earbuds for the simple fact that it allows me to hear approaching cars and be more aware of my surroundings.

The Buckshot can be purchased from Outdoor Tech or Amazon for $49.95.

Disclosure:  Outdoor Tech provided the review sample for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.


New Riding Gravel Forum Provides a Place to Talk "Gravel"

From Colorado comes a new website created for those that are interested in the gravel riding scene.  Riding Gravel is for the gravel enthusiast or anyone interested in what has been termed as "not quite mountain biking and not really road cycling".  Whether you're a rider, racer, commuter, enjoy touring or gentleman's rides, this is the place for anything "off-pavement".

While the Riding Gravel website is more Colorado specific, the Riding Gravel Forum is not.  It is a place for anyone to discuss what interests them about this increasingly popular style of cycling.  The forum contains general discussion topics that include Bikes, Components, Accessories, Gravel Racing and is also a place to share your gravel adventures and photos.

Beyond the General Discussion section is the Regions section that has state specific gravel discussion topics.  So far Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and New England provide a place to start or reply to a thread about local races, places to ride and to post race or ride photos and links.

There is even a classifieds section for those looking to buy or sell frames and bikes, components or to start a thread if looking for something specific.

Whether you're a long time gravel enthusiast, racer or a newbie, you are invited to join the Riding Gravel Forum and share your knowledge, experiences and photos with others that like to crush gravel.  Join in on the conversation or start a topic today.  Stay up to date on all things gravel by liking Riding Gravel on Facebook or following on Twitter.


Fix It Sticks: A Compact Multi-Tool with Leverage & Torque

Aluminum Version
After hearing all of the buzz before and during Interbike about Fix It Sticks, I had to find out more about this innovative new multi-tool.  I found myself drawn to the smallest booth at Interbike to meet with Fix It Sticks inventor and founder Brian Davis.  He told me how this small tool went from an idea he had one day after having a front derailleur snap off of his trainer to becoming a Kickstarter funded reality. Then he demonstrated how the design will provide the leverage and torque needed that many multi-tools lack.  "All the benefits of a 3-way wrench and a folding multi-tool without any of the compromise." - Brian Davis

Steel Version
Brian sent me a set of the steel version (aluminum version also available) of Fix It Sticks after I told him that they would come in handy for swapping out pedals.  I have had trouble removing pedals with my current multi-tool because it just didn't have the leverage and torque needed to do so.  Brian told me the steel version was a little heavier but had a higher torque rating.

The Mountain Set sent to me contains the tips I need to make most adjustments on my mountain bike.  The first task to put them to the test was to remove my clipless pedals and install my flats.  The Fix It Sticks' T-shaped design made easy work of popping the pedals loose and installing them tightly.  While I wouldn't need this kind of torque for other adjustments, it is nice to have such a small multi-tool that can handle tasks that may require a 3-way tool.  They are able to get into tight spots using just one of them to start a bolt and then inserting the other into it to tighten.

Their small size makes them very easy to stash away in a seat bag, top-tube bag, stem pack or jersey pocket.  Each set comes with a convenient carrying case made from a recycled tube that keeps them from clanking around in your pack or pocket.  I no longer use my old bulky multi-tool that didn't have the leverage I needed and had a bunch of other stuff I didn't.  I ride some long distances on gravel roads out in the middle of nowhere and I have to carry all of the necessary tools to get me out of a jam and back in the saddle.  Fix It Stick are now a vital part of my rescue pack because they don't take up much space and get the job done.  Be prepared for the unexpected, don't get caught out on a ride without them. 

Fix It Sticks are made in the USA, come in many versions and are available in Aluminum or Steel.  Sets include:
Fix It Sticks retail for $29.99 and can be purchased on the Fix It Sticks website or from select dealers.

Disclosure:  Fix It Sticks provided the review sample for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review. 


My Filthy 50 Experience

As soon as I heard of this new gravel race, The Filthy 50 back in June I knew I wanted in.  The Dirty Lemming was supposed to be my first gravel race but a scheduling conflict at my job kept me from being able to compete in it.  So, I jumped at the chance to compete in The Filthy 50 and registered right away.  I was really looking forward to it because I knew it would be challenging with elevation changes and a very scenic ride, too.

I immediately got in touch with race founder and organizer Trenton Raygor because I wanted to do whatever I could to get the word out and help make it a success.  The concept of a 50 mile gravel race with a good amount of climbing could attract many cyclist to try a gravel grinder that may otherwise feel a gravel century race beyond their abilities.   After seeing the large turn out on race day and hearing all the talk from other first time gravel racers, Trenton had something special going on here.

I have been riding the gravel roads near my home pretty regularly since last summer so I knew I would be ready for whatever The Filthy 50 would throw my way.  I stopped by the Penn Cycle tent and got a quick shifter adjustment and talked with Penn Cycle president/Filthy 50 sponsor, Pat Sorensen before the race where he introduced me to fellow blogger Josh Peterson ("Full On").

After a quick briefing and rundown of the rules from Trenton it was time for the roll-out to the starting line.

The dry Filmore county gravel made for a dusty ride and now I know why Trenton named it The Filthy 50.  Before the race was over my bike and I would be covered in a layer of white gravel dust.

My goal was to finish under 3½ hours so I kept riding only to stop for a few seconds to snap one photo along the way, the rest of my pictures were taken while riding.  The scenery along the course was a feast for the eyes with its rolling farmland, Fall colors and the weather couldn't have been any better.  Thanks to 2WheelWeather for providing the CycleCast for race day.

I was feeling pretty good and maintaining a solid pace all the way up to about the 30 mile mark where my quads and hamstrings started to cramp up just in time for the big climb on Nature Road.  I wanted to get up out of the saddle and attack that hill but leg cramping kept me seated so I took it slow and steady.  After the big hill the cramping subsided and I was able to get back on pace for the rest of the climb out of the valley.

From here on towards the finish line I held the pace set by Pat Sorensen and Josh Peterson (pictured above) until about mile 45.  I was staying plenty hydrated but fatigue was setting in and I felt like I was running out of steam.  I tried my best to hang with Pat and Josh but they began to slowly put some distance between us.

Once I saw the Stewartville water tower off in the distance, the finish line would come quickly so I kept on rolling with the remaining energy I had left.  I knew I wouldn't make my 3½ hour goal but it would be close and I tried to shave off as many minutes to stay on the short side of that time as I could.  Trenton congratulated me on my finish as I crossed the line and Brad from Race Vista, who had finished the race a few minutes before me, snapped the photo below.

Image Credit:  Brad Boyd, Race Vista

I stuck around and watched as Trenton congratulated every racer as they crossed the line all the way up to the DFL, Andrew Gruhn who made the cut-off with just barely three minutes remaining.

The inaugural running of The Filthy 50 was a huge success and I heard someone ask Trenton if he would do the race again next year and he responded "I kind of have to now."  I would like to thank Trenton and his family, the volunteers and sponsors who made this event a success and helped to introduce gravel racing to a whole new group of cyclists.  I'll see you there next year.

Race Results can be viewed here:  http://thefilthy50.tumblr.com/results

To see all of my photos from The Filthy 50, visit my Flickr photo set.  My Filthy 50 Runtastic Road Bike Pro session with geo-tagged photos of the course can be seen here.


Detours "The Slice" Keeps Items Close at Hand

The Slice from Detours is a a great add-on for that gravel century, long ride or a short trip around town to keep items within easy reach.  It's a wedge shaped pack that mounts easily with Velcro to your top tube and has an elastic strap that goes around the stem to keep it securely in place.

With dimensions of  7" x 1.5" x 3.5" and 25 cubic inches of storage it's the perfect size to store snacks and gels for long rides.  The inside has enough room to fit a cell phone or wallet and features a clip for keys and a side pocket for money, credit cards or ID.  It will also make a nice tool pack for storing a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, CO2 inflator/cartridge and multi-tool to be prepared for the unexpected.  The zipper pull is very easy to grab for opening and closing while riding and the slim design keeps it out of the way when getting up out of the saddle to tackle hills.  The Slice will fit on almost any mountain or road bike giving you that extra needed space without having to stuff your jersey pockets.

On long rides I use the Slice for storing my external battery pack to recharge my phone on-the-fly.  Data and GPS use can eat up a smart phone battery quickly and its nice being able to just plug it in and keep riding without my phone dying mid-ride.

When riding on gravel roads out in the country I often have run-ins with aggressive dogs and I will keep a can of Halt Dog Repellent in the Slice for quick access.  I found it is easier to grab from here than trying to get it out of my jersey pocket.  I haven't had to use it yet, but it's nice to know I can get to it quickly if I need to.

The Slice comes in three colors (red, grey and black) and can be purchased directly from Detours for $19.  It's a reasonably priced, quality design that puts items within easy reach while riding.  I love its convenience and use it on every ride whether it's to store snacks, my keys, battery pack, dog repellent or wallet.  If you need that little extra storage space for the small things, the Slice will suit you perfectly.

Disclosure:  Detours provided the review sample for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...