No, it is the Cold Avenger! Alright, so I am not the biggest fan of body wrecking asthma attacks. After last year's Arrowhead attack I set out looking a fix. I think I have found it. I have purchased the Cold Avenger last year soon after the race and then used it in 2 subsequent shorter, but much more intense events. After my agent sifted through all the endorsement deals that are brought forward, we decided this would be a great product to put my name behind (sorry Nike).
Here is my conclusion. This thing works! I started using it just as an experiment, not expecting much. I read online that it seems to be the mask with the least resistance to the constant inhaling and exhaling. There is an adjustable yellow thingy inside that determines how much warm air and humidity is captured. Looking for the least resistance and to play with the "settings" I actually removed the yellow thingy (one of the options). Boy was this mask nice. I felt no resistance to breathing except for when I would be totally red lined. At that point I could feel resistance as I exhaled, but not inhaled (Bill Clinton, are you reading this?). The 2 races I used it for, Hillside and the Decorah World's, went swimmingly. The mask only came off for the hardest of efforts, and that was simply pushing it down below my face. The air I was breathing was noticeably warmer and more humid, JUST WHAT I WANTED!
I purchased this mask in desperation assuming I would use it on the coldest of days. After experimentation, I found it is a definite benefit whenever it is cold. Soooo, it will get use whenever the temps dip below 30F. I would recommend this mask for anyone out in the cold, not just those with breathing problems. It really does work that well.
They now sent me all 3 models to play with; the Classic (what I already had), the Pro (nicer version of the classic), and the Balaclava. I will get to be testing more soon, and I couldn't be happier. BTW, the balaclava fits nicely and seems gangsta warm. All 3 seem very well put together and very durable
Not proof enough? Read more here. Overview of products here. People use these masks for many different purposes in the cold, and I can see why.
The crazy warm "balaclava".
The high end "pro". I am guessing I will be using this a lot.
The inside with the yellow "thingy". To gain more warmth and moisture you turn the yellow do hicky, but that in turn increases resistance I assume. You got it? Good.
A view of the same race from a different angle. Our high flying expert takes off at 1 minute in, with added slow-mo. Looks like he reached down too late for the top tube and never got a good grip. BTW, that is Greg Heath, whom I had the pleasure to ride and work with in my years in LaCrosse, getting air on the ramp in the first heat.
After hours of chaos and present opening, we have this. A three year old, hunched over in her chair passed out; never wanting the party to end. Abi would have continued sleeping like this if Dad had not hauled her up to bed where she slept more comfortably.
First starting with the Tuscobia 150 miler in late December, then the famous (and bitterly cold) Arrowhead 125 in early February, and wrapping up with the new Tour De Cheesehead 300 in early March. Then somewhere in there is the Triple D in Iowa I'd like to sneak into. This winter will be "off da hook" as the kids say.
Well, I thought my update I sent out yesterday worked, but I guess not. So here it is again, predated.
So my projects have been time consuming, here is a picture giving a better scope of the work done.
The entire house was painted beige when we moved in, now the dining room that you see is a slate blue (with some extra patching that will be painted soon), kitchen is "fun yellow". This is the only area I had help, thanks Dad!
There is no window to the outside in the kitchen, but a large set of windows in the dining room. I cut the hole you see here in the wall (and then sheet rocked/mudded) and installed a concrete countertop. This added counter space and lets in a lot of light from the dining room window. If not for the return vent going up through the wall, I would have made this opening bigger.
The kitchen got the concrete countertops as well (replacing the beige laminate counter tops), plus a magnetic steel back splash (replacing the beige tile). The dishwasher holds Abi's magnetic letters and dinos.
The dining room in the foreground had beige carpet. I am not sure why people thought carpet in a dining room was a good idea, but I ripped it out and installed slate tile. I need to reinstall the trim and grout at this moment.
Now, all of these improvements have been done on the cheap. The slate tile was a craigslist find. The countertops are relatively inexpensive when you do them yourself. I think total I have a little over a grand invested in all this. Considering hiring someone just for the counters or the floor would have gone well over that and there is less beige in my house, it was well worth it. The rest of the house is still beige, as well as the tile at the front and back door. I have just enough tile to do the rear entrance and plans to paint more of the house.
And since this blog is mainly about bikes, I should add something bike related. How about a prediction? Twentynineinches.com will include at least one Salsa product as there best in show recap. Not exactly a wild guess with that site though....
I am not going to go into details here, but we have had some small complications with Sea Monkey that look like they are in the past. Looks like baby will be arriving approximately October 10th. The baby's momma is kicking pregnancy's butt.
So my bike stable is mostly in a state of disrepair. This is the canabalized snow bike, 9:ZERO:7. My time on fat bikes has not been great, but compared to the Pugsley I rode for awhile this is a rocket ship! You see it pictured with my modded 29'er rear wheel and the Flattop 80 rimmed wheel on the front. 9:ZERO:7 has a new frame design that looks to be even better, and I am lucky enough to have my name on one of the new frames coming in! I am not sure the fate of this frame (and possibly fork), but looks like it may be up for sale soon.
Here hangs the Superfly 100 all dished out with XX. It is crazy fast on mountain bike trails. This bike will be for sale soon as I make way for next year's model. This bike blows me away with it's awesomeness.
This is the beater bike; a repainted GF rig. I need to work some on the front wheel, so a Race X-lite was brought into service. When I say beater bike I truly mean it. If this bike were a child, social services would have it in a foster home by now. This is actually the only bike I can literally hop on and ride without any work at this moment.
This is the newest bike to the clan. The carbon Cronus Cx is redonkerously fast. I hope to regain my former glory at Ragnarok on this beast, while taking a stab at Transiowa. Thanks to a stick at the practice cross race it now waits for a new der hanger, rear der, chain, and wheel true. I am a fan of not acquiring bike after bike, so usually when I buy a new bike an old bike has seen a new home. In all reality, this is the only way I can afford to get nice bikes.
Now, the new 2012 stuff is being test ridden in Las Vegas. It takes me a good hour of fiddling with most bikes before I really start getting it dialed for me and noticing the benefits/drawbacks. The "test loop" our faithful reporters are riding is a washed down, rolling, 20 minute test loop (1/4 on the gravel road climb). Bootleg canyon has a ton of fun trail, but the test loop is certainly not one of them. I had the opportunity to get led around some of the great trail there by MN's bad boy of mountain biking. The good trails take significantly longer, thus, these editors ride the test loop (plus that is where the demo area tells you to ride).
Sometimes a person just needs to get back into old habits, and for me that is getting out the good word of me. Soooo, what do you think about a post a day for the rest of the month?
Anyways, I have been a busy beaver. I am in full time stay at home dad mode for the school year. In between fixing pb&j's, "playing", walks, etc I have been working on the new house. As a reminder we bought a foreclosed property not too long ago and I set about with projects. It is bad enough that Abi asks, "Dad, are you doing projects?".
So this is a taste of some of my work lately... You are looking at a poured in place concrete countertop, steel back splash, and new faucet. All of this I did myself, none of it had I done before. I still need to caulk the base of the back splash, and yes, that is a gel flask holding dish soap.
I was raised in the "hood", self-taught to survive on scraps of old inner tubes and changing bike tires with my teeth. Life is a struggle for me not to be another statistic that so many become after being raised in a caucasion middle class family. I now am a husband, bike mechanic, land lord, stay at home dad, and wannabe mountain bike racer.