Sunday, August 28, 2011

Indians and slavery

(Courtesy of BryBaby)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Garmin Vector arriving in March

(Courtesy of www.slowtwitch and ritten by: Dan Empfield)

Garmin announced today the fruition of a project ardently anticipated by Slowtwitchers. The culmination of Garmin's acquisition, a year ago, of MetriGear has born fruit in the form of a pedal-based power meter called Garmin Vector.

The Vector was MetriGear's product prior to its sale to Garmin. Clark Foy, MetiGear's CEO, stayed with the project and has been its husbander since his company's acquisition by Garmin. (Pics and videos of the Vector are available on the Garmin blog.)

The Vector is a pedal-based power measuring system, similar in concept to the Keo Power Pedal joint project between Look Cycle and Polar Electro.

There are sensors inside the Garmin Vector pedal that measure power transferred to the pedal axle. The left pedal sends a signal to the right, which transmits all data to the head unit. Any Ant+ head unit, including Garmin's Edge 500 and 800, will pick up the signal and display power.

The system will sell for $1500, on par with Quarq's power measuring system. The Quarq company, and its crank-based power measuring system, was acquired by SRAM in May, 2011.

The Garmin Vector announcement—timed to coincide with the upcoming trade shows in Europe and Las Vegas—does not mean the product is ready to ship. Garmin's target date for in-store availability is March, 2012.

This creates a sprint to market for both Garmin and Polar. Each has a pedal-based power measuring system, both have been announced, but neither has shipped.

While Garmin has been stellar in its brand performance, the Vector is afield of its traditional niche. The Vector is less GPS, less microelectronic, and more bike component, than anything Garmin has yet made (though there certainly are electronics in the pedal).

Further, while you get an actual Look Keo pedal with Polar's system, you get a Keo-compatible pedal with the Vector. Garmin chose Exustar as its pedal vendor for this project and, while the Taiwanese cycling shoe and pedal maker has no marks against it, 68 percent of Slowtwitchers prefer either a Look or a Speedplay pedal on their bikes. Another 22 percent choose Shimano. Time Iclic rates 5 percent and all the others—Exustar included—total 6 percent.

Accordingly, Garmin has two sales to make: that of its power meter, and of its carbon fiber, Keo-compatible, Exustar-made pedal.

We have yet more questions. Does the term "factory calibrated" mean that no other calibration is necessary or available? And, what about the placement of one or two 1mm spacers to achieve a wider Q (for those who desire it)? Will this impact the accuracy of the unit? (Our technical gurus say no, that the strain elements—piezo devices—are calibrated against the deflection of the pedal spindle from the spindle flange out.)

For all that, a power meter system that is easily moved from bike to bike is of great interest to triathletes. Further, and speaking of polls, Garmin is by an obscene margin the leading GPS brand among Slowtwitchers, who not only overwhelmingly have a GPS on their bike, 7 out of 10 are sufficiently GPS-enamored to wear a GPS during their runs as well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lee Evans Bohemian Rhapsody - Bloody funny

(Courtesy of Sian Atherton)

In the Fall - Bloody brilliant

(Courtesy of Nick Flynn)

Bloody brilliant

Friday, August 05, 2011

Host Families for The Fresh Air Fund

Simon says: -

The Fresh Air Fund has now managed to find 650 host families out of the 850 families that are needed to fulfil the needs of the inner city and underprivileged children for summer placements with host families. Please take a moment to look at the link below and consider whether you can help.

Sara Wilson from The Fresh Air Fund writes below: -

"Hi again Simon

I wanted to reach out to thank you again for helping to spread the word over the past few months about the Fresh Air Fund's need for host families. With your help, we've been able to find 650 of the 850 host families we need. Right now there is just one week left for us to place the remaining 200 children with a loving host family for a Fresh Air experience that can change lives. I was hoping you could post on Tritwins to keep the issue alive in the minds of your readers and followers. Even a Tweet or Facebook post could help.

Please feel free to use any of the images, graphics, banners, or copy from our microsite - or just share the link:

If you are able to help, please let me know so I can share it with the team.

Thank you again,

Sara Wilson,
Twitter @freshairfund"

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Chavs Prayer

(Courtesy of Ian Hay)

Our Father,
Who art in prison,
Even Mum knows not his name,
Thy chavdom come,
You'll read The Sun,
In Plymouth which is in Devon,

Give us this day,
Our Welfare bread,
And forgive us our ASBO's,
As we happy slap those who got ASBO's against us,

Lead us not into employment,
But deliver us free housing,
For thine is the Chavdom,
The Burberry and the Buckfast,
Forever and ever...... Innit

Catching up, Ottawa & Gatineau Park

(Photos and ride write up courtesy of Lindy)

Simon says: -

This post comes after my Ironman Lake Placid adventure, partly because it was already written by Lindy and secondly because I'm struggling to catch up with everything that has gone on, not only since we left Malaysia for the USA but quite honestly since I completed Ironman Korea just a few weeks ago.

Just a quick update for you. We arrived in New York, a 33 hour journey door to door. We were tired but happy. We spent a few days in New York with Shilpa's cousin Niku, his wife Shweta and their daughter Annya. They were fabulous hosts and we had a wonderful time. While there we took the Staten Island Ferry to show the boys the statue of Liberty, went to see the Broadway show, The Lion King and rode copious times on the subway (much to the delight of the boys).

After a few days we drove to Lake Placid, by which time I had a fully fledged cold which moved to a fully fledged chest infection a couple of days before the race.

I shall do a full Ironman Lake Placid report in a day or so but suffice to say it was great fun, chest infection aside. Post race party was a hoot and then we drove to Ottawa for a party that our good friends Rueban (from Malaysia) and his wife Lindy had thrown in our honour (me, Bryan Payne and our respective families).

(The monster BBQ actually arrived the day of the party but too late to set up. It's a beauty though so I had to include these pictures that were taken subsequently).

The party was awesome, Bryan had to leave about midnight so I tapped him out again. He drank more than me again but just doesn't have the staying power. Rueban and I then moved on to the single malt whisky, NICE!

Bryan kindly took Shilpa and the boys home while Rueban, Lindy and I chatted away until the early hours of the morning (yes I do like the sound of my own voice too much sometimes. Although I have to say that it was very stimulating listening to their plans and ideas. It really got the entrepreneurial juices flowing). They very kindly dropped me back to the hotel at gone 4:30am. Huge hosts!!

Just a few hours later we were back together to go for what turned out to be one of the most wonderful rides of my life. Lindy has done a write-up of the ride under the pseudonym "Joy". She hits the nail on the head so I have copied her post below. And for the record, when Lindy takes the triathlon plunge she is going to be awesome - you heard it here first so be warned ladies.

Joy here...On Sunday, July 24th two of our friends - Simon and Bryan - competed in the Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon. Lake Placid is in New York State and is only a few hours' drive away from our home in Ottawa, so we planned a post-race party for them at our house, and invited all our friends.

That was Tuesday night.

It was awesome.

Simon ended up leaving our house at 4:30am.

Then on Wednesday, Simon, The Man (Rueban), and I all headed out to the park to do a loop. I mean, we figured that Simon is our very first friend from Malaysia to come to our Canadian stomping grounds, and we weren't going to let the opportunity to show off our regular ride circuit pass us up. I just hadn't necessarily planned on riding in the company of someone who has finished NINETEEN IRONMANS!!! Needless to say, he and the Man rode ahead of me, and were kind enough to wait at certain intervals.

The day was hot and clear, and the afternoon summer sun was high overhead. We were all tired after a late night with too much booze, but I have to admit that it was one of the most enjoyable loops that I've done in the park.

Pink Lake Lookout

Champlain Lookout

We rode up to the Pink Lake lookout and enjoyed the view (and took in some much needed hydration) before carrying on up to the Champlain lookout (more view and more hydration).

A happy triathlete out for a ride Ottawa-style!

Most importantly, Simon has said that our Wednesday afternoon ride was "one of the most amazing bike of best ever!" How awesome is that? How awesome is it that we can lure a friend from Malaysia who has done Ironman races all over the world - Ironman Korea, Ironman Langkawi, Ironman Kentucky, Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman China (just to name some of the ones he's completed) - and he was able to say that our regular Sunday morning ride in the local park is one of the best rides that he's ever done? It really doesn't get much better than that as an endorsement for home, sweet home, does it?

So while the three of us were enjoying the scenery, sweating out the excess booze, and getting energized to make up for the lack of sleep while out for a 3 hour bike ride, I was also building my confidence by realizing that I was able to ride with the guys and not make it a painful ride for them. Sure - Simon's post-Ironman, and jetlagged, and lacking sleep etc. etc., but he didn't complain about having to wait and wait and wait for the slow girl to catch up. That was a real boost to my confidence.

Such a boost to my confidence, in fact, that I'm starting to think that I should set my sights on triathlon. Who knows? Maybe I've got an Ironman in me too!

So I'm going to continue riding on Sundays with my "sisterhood" and enjoying the improvement with my cycling. And then maybe instead of setting my sights on a marathon, I should start thinking about a triathlon. Or maybe a marathon and THEN a triathlon. The sky's the limit!

Over and out,
Joy (a.k.a. Lindy)