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Art is planning on writing a full article on this subject, but I wanted to give some teaser shots of a recent project he did with his GoPro.
I didn’t want to spoil Art’s article. So I’ll leave you with a final photo.
Art is planning on writing a full article on this subject, but I wanted to give some teaser shots of a recent project he did with his GoPro.
I didn’t want to spoil Art’s article. So I’ll leave you with a final photo.
So RL and I were talking the other day when he tells me a little story. He tells of how he was just riding along with the lovely Lady P when they see a fellow mountainbiker suddenly eject himself from his bike. This poor soul decided to do a little helmet testing right there on the trail. RL being the stand-up man of action he is immediately renders aid. He calls for a helicopter, clears an LZ, stabilizes the victim by placing him in full c-spine, establishes a large bore IV, advises the trauma center of their in-bound patient, and tunes up the guy’s bike so it will be ready for him upon discharge from the hospital. He then asks me, “Albacore, not everyone who reads this site would be able to jump into action without hesitation like I did. They may be scared or unsure of what to do when someone rattles their noggin. Would you mind putting together a little something so our fine readers may be able to help a downed rider like I did?” “Of course!” I replied.
Firstly, if you or someone you’re riding with takes a spill, remain calm. Once you start spinning you make a manageable situation spiral out of control. If said unlucky rider bumps their melon, don’t wail like a banshee as you jump and down. You remain calm then you keep them calm and still. If you are unsure if you can manage the situation then get help. Call 911 or flag someone down. Don’t move him unless there is an immediate need to do so. Establish his mental status. Yes, I know, he was nutjob before he got hurt. But find out if he is kookier than usual. Ask simple questions he is sure to know. What is your name? How old are you? Do you know where you are? What hurts? If he can not answer any of those questions readily of if he repeats the same questions or statements over and over, annoyingly so, that is a sign of a more serious injury. If he has pain to his neck or back keep him still. Do not move him unnecessarily. Again, no screaming and dancing at the sight of blood. Lacerations to the scalp bleed moreso than cuts to your legs or arms. Apply pressure to control any serious bleeding but don’t freak out. It is the bleeding within the skull, that you can’t see, that will kill you; not the superficial cactus needles you wear on your forehead from Aliso. Look at their helmet to clue you in where his injuries may be. Scratches, dents, and cracks will say a lot about what part of his head suffered an impact and how hard.
People often say, “He hit his head so I made sure to keep him awake.” Big deal. Again, if he is tired after an OTB smackdown it doesn’t matter. He was riding his bike, he should be tired. It is when he unresponsive upon crashing that is a concern. If he crashed hard enough to knock himself out don’t yell and shake to wake him up. Instead, keep him still and in a position that will keep his airway open and allow him breathe. If possible, while supporting the head, roll him to his back while keeping his head inline with his spine. Watch that he doesn’t vomit while unconscious. If he starts to throw up gently roll him to his side while still keeping his head in line with his spine. Your concern should be keeping his airway open until help arrives. If he is awake but feels nauseated watch that he doesn’t lose consciousness. Keep him still and calm. Again, he may have bits of brain and lint and dust rollin around up there. You don’t want him to suddenly decide to HTFU and walk or ride himself out only to DFO (pass out), fall, and now add to his injuries. Support him so if he loses consciousness you can gently lower him to the ground.
You are not going to fix Joe Lawndart on the trail if he has a serious head injury. The trauma docs at the hospital will do that. You want to minimize any injuries and keep him stable until help arrives or you determine his injury is not that serious and you can carry on. If in doubt, get help, call 911, find a ranger, flag down another rider to get someone to help. I often get asked about ridiculous calls we go on. I say we respond whenever someone calls 911. It may not be something I consider an emergency but to that person who called it is. Do not be afraid to ask for help or call 911. Head injuries can be troublesome because so much can be going on inside that you can’t see. Remain calm, keep him still and breathing. Next time I’ll discuss simpler topics like broken bones and gaping wounds.
For years I’ve rolled my beautiful brown eyes at weight weenies (WW or dubyadubya) and even considered them the Trekkie of the bike industry. Why? Well, the dubyas I’ve met seem to be willing to do anything to shave off a few grams on a bike. I’m sure we could sit here and discuss the benefits of a lighter bike and etc. But we won’t, we’re going to talk about how you dubyas have had a big influence on me, but I’m not fully converted yet because I lack the most important thing about being a dubya, the funds. Light weight stuff adds up super fast.
Let’s talk about my progression on this dubya thing. Truthfully, I’ve been a dubya for years. But not to the extent where some of you might be. I basically want my bikes to weigh less than 30lbs, unless its my downhill bikes. I know for you folks out there 30lbs is a fat pig. Ya I agree, so 25-28lbs is pretty light in my book.
The most recent dubya experience I had was with LadyP’s Airborne Hobgoblin. I weighed it this afternoon and it came in at 30lbs (with pedals). After installing a new-to-her FSA XC 209 wheelset, it dropped the weight down to around 29lbs. With the 1 pound loss, I was pretty excited! Now I’m trying to figure out what else I can do to shave some weight off. Perhaps some lighter tires?
One thing I had toyed around with was the idea of going retro with a 9 speed drive train. I know that 9 speed isn’t exactly retro, but with more and more people switching to 2×10, 1×11, 9speed just isn’t as popular. Anyhow, I have a Stylo/XO/X9 drive train that I wanted to install on the Hobgoblin, but I found out the Stylo cranks wouldn’t fit. The reason why I wanted to go with the 9 speed, this drive train is way lighter(by 2.5lbs) than the X7 2×10 drive train that came stock on the Hobgoblin.
You know what’s interesting about this whole subject of being a dubya. I can certainly appreciate the practice a bit more, but I certainly will not go the length of some of you who spend hundreds of dollars just to save a few grams and with that said, it’s safe to assume that I’m almost a weight weenie, almost.
Check it out kids, here’s the most recent addition to Burt Reynolds. I picked up this neat little upgrade from the most recent Fullerton Loop Swap Meet from non-other, Adam “Albacore” Spik. He hooked me up with a killer deal that would be equivalent to 5 large Pho bowls or a dinner for two at a local sushi restaurant, or half a tank of gas.
I also swapped out the brake rotors with some Dirty Dog MTB rotors, thanks Nick DeBeer!
Here’s how Burt’s new headset looks. I swapped my greyish/silver stem with a black one and went with a wider KORE Torsion bar. Cuz’ I like big, black things that are wide…(wink wink)..
I also swapped out the tires with a used set that I found from the swap meet. Oh and I also upgraded his wheels! You see my favorite Fireman, Albacore GAVE…yep, GAVE me a set of FSA XC-209 wheels. But I decided to install those on LadyP’s Airborne Hobgoblin, then I took her old wheels, the WTB SpeedDisc I-19 Alloy Double-Walled. The parts transplants yielded a total weight loss of 2.5lbs!
About 10 days ago I took a spill while taking a flat turn at Whiting Ranch. This little crash resulted in a road rash on my forearm, knee and finger. I started off with bandages to treat them, but found that those things were sticking to my wounds. So I went to the local CVS and found this, 3M Nexcare Tegaderm. If you’ve never heard of it, basically it’s a wound dressing that’s clear. The idea is to keep your wound sealed from the outside world to prevent infection and from you hitting/touching it on other things.
The cost for a box of 4 hovers around $17, sounds pricey for fancy “band-aids” right? Below is the worst of my wounds, on my forearm.
I applied 3 of the 4 dressings on the would in a period of 8 days. During that time the wound would ooze out some nasty clear/brown/yellowish fluid. It didn’t smell or anything so it wasn’t infected. The gross thing about this dressing is that the fluid would collect inside and sometimes gravity would cause it to ooze down your arm. The directions say if the dressing starts to leak, replace it.
Here’s the wound after 7 days of being under the Tegaderm. Looks good so far right? No scabs! By the way, one dressing can be left on the wound for up to 7 days. But since I was oozing, I replaced one after one day and the second one after 3 days. The one on the photo was on for at least 4 days.
The dressing did a great job in allowing the wound to heal without scabbing. Here it is after 10 days.
I actually liked using the Tegaderm for my wound because I could take a shower, sleep and even go riding while this thing was on my arm. I highly recommend stocking your medicine cabinet with a box in the event you do crash, you’ll be ready.
As I’ve mentioned before I moonlight over at BikeCommuters.com as one of their Editors and Staff Writers. One of the pieces I just published over there was about my adventures with Craigslist. Through the years I’ve slowly weened myself off Ebay as a seller. I’ve gotten tired of the shipping and fees involved. So after so many failed and successful attempts in buying and selling things through Craigslist, I’ve figured out what works for me and I feel that it maybe useful for others. Read it and enjoy, it might just save your life someday!
Read the full article about my adventures with Craigslist at BikeCommuters.com
If you’re familiar with our other website, BikeCommuters.com, then you’ll be familiar with some of the community service projects that I’ve been doing. Back in the Fall of 2012 I got some help from Planet Bike, they donated a huge box of bicycle lights, bells, and locks for me to give away to some of the homeless folks in Santa Ana, Ca. that used their bicycles as their main mode of transportation. From that experience I invited other companies to join my effort because I felt that it was very rewarding and a valuable lesson giving back to the community. Then around Christmas time, Planet Bike sent another box of donations and James Thomas from Serfas came out with a huge bag full of product that he wanted to give away. You should have heard some of the stories that people would tell us on how having a light could help them not get hit…again. Yes, many of the people we met back in 2012 talked about getting hit multiple times by cars or how their bikes got stolen.
While I was out there, I had asked some of the people we helped out what else they needed. Some said tubes, patch kits and even seats. They needed basic things that you and I would often times take for granted. But I also noticed that many of the bikes they had were in disrepair. Some bikes had bent wheels, brakes that didn’t work and most just needed lube on their bike. With that in mind, I came up with the Mobile Bicycle Repair Unit. I joined Operation Feed the Homeless 2 Sundays ago and got to work on fixing bicycles. I was pretty overwhelmed on how many people needed help once they found out my service was free.
After my first experience in fixing bicycles, I wanted to share it with others. I then put it out on Facebook, sent emails to my local ride group and solicited people to come and join me the following Sunday to come back out to Santa Ana, Ca. to service more bicycles. I wanted to form a small team so we can take care of more bicycles while we were out there. I actually had quite the response from people wanting to help. Some were riding buddies, others were readers of both sites. But since it was a bit of a late notice, many couldn’t make it but promised to be there the next time I coordinated the effort.
However, I was every encouraged to have my friends, The Moe and Artie-The One Man DH Party by my side on that Sunday. We had a total of 3 work stands busy the whole time. I started losing count on how many bicycles we serviced. At one point, we had a homeless man come up to us wanting to see if we can fix the brakes on his walker.
Art’s thoughts from Sunday.
This weekend RL asked me if I would like to help him repair bikes for the homeless over in Santa Ana. RL had did this the weekend before and said that he had a great response to this need and that the help would be appreciated, I agreed and when I got there RL and our other buddy The Moe were already set up with there bike stands and tools.
We were busy right off the bat and I couldn’t believe how many homeless people that rely on their bikes as there main mode of transportation were in need of tune-ups, parts, flat repairs, and any other basic thing they may need to travel. This is an amazing need for the homeless and I it felt good to help those who are in need.
The one thing that would have been great to do is be able to have replaced some of the most basic parts like brake pads, chains, and cables. I felt bad sending someone on there way knowing they had a bike that wasn’t 100% safe. It was amazing that some of the bikes we repaired were running at all.
This is an amazing service to do and all that we helped were so glad to have us there you couldn’t help but feel good. I have been involved in the cycling industry in one form or the other and this is a genuine need and I look forward to helping RL when I can with this feel good operation.
One of the things that we were doing was getting these bikes back on the road. Some of them were really bad condition that the only thing we could do was to lube their chains and check their brakes. This bike came to us because the owner said his chain was skipping. Upon closer inspection, his whole chain was rusted out and seized. Though, you and I would probably just replace the whole drive train, the owner didn’t have that luxury nor did we have parts to give him. So The Moe and I went to work on this bike by applying a liberal amount of lube, degreaser, then lube again. Then I had to take 2 pairs of pliers and try to get each chain to start moving again. This was no easy task. Eventually I got each link to start moving again and got the bike pedaling. Not as smooth as I would have liked, but 5 times better than before.
We had a pretty good day, you would not believe how many people thanked us. In fact, one person I helped out the previous week came up to me to express how grateful he is to me for fixing his bike. On another occasion while we were all busy fixing bikes, a man comes up and says, “Wow! This is such a great idea! Who came up with this? This does so much more for people than just simply giving them a plate of food to eat. This ultimately gets them from one place to another, you’re helping people maintain their livelihood!”
Even as we were leaving, people still thanked us for what we did for them. I’d like to invite our readers who are in the SoCal area to join us next time we head out. All you need is basic bicycle mechanical skills, a workstand and a desire to help. The plan is to do this at least once a month to coincide with the efforts of Operation Feed the Homeless. I’ll be posting at least 1-2 weeks prior to the date we’ll be heading out on MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com as well as our fanpages. It really is a great opportunity to give back, I guarantee your experience will be rewarding.
You could also help by donating parts such as brake/shifter cable/housing, brake pads, grips, tires tubes and other things that you may have on your spare parts bins that you no longer need. You could also donate funds so we can go out and purchase some of the items ourselves. We’d love to get companies involved by donating hard parts so we can be more effective in our efforts. Feel free to comment or contact us directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE AMXC NO SLIP GRIPS
While at Sea Otter we ran into Loaded Precision Inc. If you have never heard of them they are a precision bicycle component manufacturing company based out of San Diego California.
They make everything from handlebars, stems, headsets, seatpost, wheelsets, and hubs. This is a company that has a lot of really cool products. Their products stick out because of the beautiful anodizing and precision machining that is just a part of what and who they are and one of their products that caught my eye early on while at Interbike this last year was the AMXC grips No Slip Grips. It was this unique grip surface that was on them that made me stop and look at them. It looked like something that the military would use and I’m not just talking our ordinary military, but Special forces, namely our Navy Seals. Sure enough when talking with the guys at LOADED they did confirm this was a material used by them and in what way I can not say. The other part of the grips you have is the clean looking machining of their Lock-Rings & end caps.
GRIPS WITH GRIPSION
OK I made that word up and what does gripsion mean, simple “Ultimate Grip”. I know looking at the LOADED grips one would think their just another pair of lock on grips, but I’m hear to tell you these things hook you up like a fly stuck on flypaper. LOADED was kind enough to give us a pair to test and seeing that I was racing the downhill at Sea Otter what better place to do a first test.
When you feel them for the first time bare handed you can tell off the bat that they do have a tacky surface on them, one I have never felt on a grip before. It almost feels gummy to the touch. With gloves on you get the same feel, so what is it with the surface that makes them unique. Well its the material of the grip, as I had mentioned earlier this grade of rubber is used by a part of our US military and what does the NoSlip Grip offer, no matter what the weather condition is, snow, rain, mud, dirt, or something like grease the LOADED NoSlip grip ensures rider hand contact to the grip. This is as important to the rider as it is to a soldier gripping his weapon or vital item he is using in the field.
ON THE RACE RUN
Once I fit the grips on and tighten them they locked on like any other lock on, but they do have an extra ring that comes with the grips that give them better lock to the bars, end caps go in with no hassle. Now I’m use to a fatter grip, but I really didn’t mind the feel of the LOADED NoSlip grips, yes they were slimmer, but they felt really good in the hand and with my gloves on you had no slipping at all.
Now I didn’t have any practice to get a feel with the grips, so my race run was a cold one with these babies and the first thing I noticed out of the gate was my hands were stuck to the grip till I would release them. On my run moving the bike under me, pulling on the bars to jump or maneuver was like having clips on my hands. After my run I thought about it and I was truly impressed with these grips, they preformed as stated. Now I really like to pick apart a product before I will say this is the best thing next to ice cream or tacos, but I may have to lean this way.
I did want to give them one test while I was at Sea Otter, so I poured water on the grips and sure enough the water beaded right off the grip and when I poured the water over my hand and grip there was no slippage. again “Wow”! I’m sold and as time goes on I will be giving these grips an extreme mud, dirt, water (again), and grease (well maybe) test for a long term.
Here’s the tech on the grips.
Material: NoSlip rubber / Clamp: CNC 6061 Alloy Lock-Rings & End Caps / Weight: 118g / Clamp Diameter: 29.5mm / Length: 130mm / Colors: Black, Blue, Red, Gold, Green
WHAT’S THE PRICE FOR GRIPSION
To have ultimate grip from LOADED and their AMXC NoSlip grips the msrp is $29.99. Yes this may be a little on the high side for a set of grips, but well worth it if you ask me. They come in five colors, so I’m sure you can find a color to make you stead look cool.
You can go to the LOADED website to check out all their cool products at www.loadedusa.com.
We wish to thank LOADED PRECISION INC.
WHAT’S IT MEAN TO BE BEST IN SHOW
Well I thought hard about this, asked my editor and chief RL Policar, “should we do a best in show” and he said sure why not, this would require tons of hours combing Sea Otter for a best in show bike and what would be the criteria, do we only count factory race bikes, one off bikes, bikes that use green materials, bikes ridden by that regular racer that put an edge on it to make it just a little cooler, and we can’t forget that funny cool bike that we see and tell ourselves I want that, but really if we had it we probably never ride it.
Sea Otter has such a plethora ( just like that word) of bikes that you will find to choose from.
So the hunt started and while I looked at bikes, listened to people talk about the coolest bike they saw with my ear just over their shoulders, trying to weasel my way into a team pit to take a pic of a super secret bike up close, or some prototype model.
I still had to ask what is going to be the criteria, how to do this, should it be part tech, style, useability, fun factor, what!
BEST CHOICE FOUND
After seeing a lot of bikes the whole week I was there it was a tough choice and you’ll be surprised of my choice.
The bike if choice grabbed quite the attention by all or it could have been the rider on the bike that was receiving high praise.
SMALLEST S-WORKS EVER
The Specialized S-WORKS Hot Walk is the choice for “Best in Show”. This little bike caught all the attention as it’s rider pushed along with his dad at Sea Otter. This had to be one of the smallest S-WORKS bikes I have ever seen. I talk to the little tikes dad and found out that he worked for Specialized and dad was at Sea Otter to road race, afterwards son Luca showed off his mad skills pushing along side dad while all the girls couldn’t keep their eye off little Luca looking good. Could be this little future factory rider is on his way with this bike.
Seeing that dad worked for Specialized his bike has the same paint scheme as dad’s road bike. I guess it pays to be in the know.
ABOUT THE BIKE
This little S-WORKS has a custom matching paint scheme with name custom painted on the bike just like the factory guys, 12″ A1 Premium Aluminum frame to stay lite for hours of fun, foot platforms to give sheer stability while hitting the big jumps, alloy blade fork helps keep the weight down, adjustable bar height, lightweight alloy rims for a curb-hopping blast of a time , Specialized Rhythm Lite Sport tires for traction on and off the dirt, and alloy flat bar that come equipped with soft Kraton grips.
Well this was my Sea Otter “Best in Show”. There were many choices and it was a hard pic, but I just had to give it up for this cool custom S-WORKS. Lets see what next year will bring.
Our long time friend of the Bike Industry, James Thomas of Serfas, has graciously accepted our request to have him review Skratch Labs Sports Drink. Read his review below and make sure you watch the video too!
When RL asked me to do a product review on the Skratch Labs sports drink, I was very excited. I follow the bike industry news pretty closely and had actually seen Skratch Labs hilarious marketing video before RL asked me to review it.
The truth is, it was probably just a matter of time before I would have purchased some Skratch Labs hydration mix because I am an electrolyte replacement junkie. I have tried them all – Gatorade, Pedialyte, Nuun, Hammer, Clif, Powerade, Heed, Cytomax, etc. Well, I can honestly sum up this review of Skratch Labs Sports Drink by quoting my favorite foodie: Guy Fieri – “Welcome to Flavortown”! The Skratch Labs Lemons and Limes has amazing fruit forward flavor that will blow your mind. I know it’s a cliché, but it really does taste like a pure lemon and lime drink without all the extra sugar and calories.
Two things that I dislike about electrolyte replacement drinks in general:
- The thick phlegm left in your mouth that causes your spit to come out sideways and land on the arm of your jersey while riding
- Leftover residue in your bottle that makes it taste like said sports drink for the remainder of that bottles’ lifespan
I found that when mixed correctly, the Skratch Labs Lemons and Limes to have a clean aftertaste – no phlegm issues and it rinsed clean from my bottle without a heavy aftertaste. Both of these traits make Skratch Labs a winner in my book. Big Kudos to the folks at Skratch Labs for creating a sports drink that is more flavorful with less sugar and calories than other brands on the market. I highly recommend you try it out and see what all the buzz is about.
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