Monday, February 27, 2012

Cold Avenger Recap

So, I have been getting a lot of emails about the Cold Avenger masks I have been using this winter. I thought it might be time for a recap. All winter these masks have graced my face. As we transition into spring and then summer and the temps have risen they find use less and less. There was not a ride I did below 32 degrees that did not include a cold avenger.

As a reminder, over the years I have been dealing with exercise induced asthma. It hits me worst in the cold, and I found this mask to help counter the cold and dry air in the winter. I ended my first Arrowhead 135 attempt with an attack, got diagnosed, got drugs, and then ended the second Arrowhead 135 attempt the same way. If you have never been through a full blown body attacking asthma attack consider yourself blessed. They are something you do not want to relive.

So anyways, back to the mask. I completed 2 ultra bike races this year: one with the classic, the other with the pro mask. Despite the warmer temps, I still believe it is the Cold Avenger that finally saw me cross the finish line in the Arrowhead 135. I will absolutely continue to use these masks in the winter as they are a game changer for me and my pesky lungs.

The mask in general benefits:
-Inhale warmer air
-Inhale moister air
-Very little resistance to your breathing
-Easy to pull down for water/food access
-Helps prevent asthma attacks (that alone is huge!)

-When at an extreme physical output there is some resistance when exhaling. Not a ton, but noticeable.
-Because the air is warmer from your exhaled air, I can only assume that there is a slightly lower percentage of oxygen you are breathing in.
-I am reaching, but you can't wash it in the washer. Hand wash, air dry.
-On that note, can stink pretty bad if you don't occasionally wash it.
-Like with anything, may not fit all faces well. I guess it runs a little big, which was fine for me.

So here are the different masks available:

I used this mask once. Why? It is VERY warm. I was hot in it at -8 degrees. I would easily reach for this when out in the very cold and not exercising or on extremely cold days. I wish it had been colder this winter for me to play with this mask more. For extreme temps I would easily see me using this.

The Pro
This is my favorite of the three. I could regulate my heat really well and keep my face/ears protected. If it got too cold I could put on a hat. This is the mask I rode with during the Arrowhead. This is THE mask I would use for most athletic adventures as it is wind proof and does not soak up much of your sweat.

The Classic
I used this mask during the Tuscobia 150. After 22 hours it began to stink and collecting frost/ice on the outside of the mask from my sweat. Works the exact same way as the Pro, but the Pro uses a nicer material that works out a lot better for working out in the cold. For more modest activity the classic as fantastic.
So there you go, questions?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pictures and shout out.

So, you may have noticed the new header. After listening to both of the readers of this blog complain that the old picture made them want to cry because of the degradation of society, I made changes. All of these pictures are from Arrowhead and are thanks to Jeremy Kershaw who can be found here, here, and his race is here. Top notch stuff.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 Sandwich 50

Have you ever tasted a rainbow? At the Sandwich 50 you will. The race will have you feeling reborn. Colors will seem more vivid, food will taste better, Obama will no longer be president...

Imagine yourself running with all your might to your bike as you start the race. You are nervous, but excited for what the day will bring as you ride the prologue. Over the ensuing 7 laps your cheeks hurt from all the smiling. Maybe you stop in the hobo camp to partake in PBR and bacon. Maybe you choose to take some of the 'B' lines to test yourself. No matter what you will have a story to tell your grand kids about the day you conquered the Sandwich 50. As your grandkids speed away in their hover cars and you drift into that great goodnight, a sense of calm will before you. You have accomplished a great thing.

Linky, linky.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My morning.

Sometimes friends come to hang out. This is 8:30am in my living room this morning.

Tonight I have some fun plans, tomorrow Frostbike, Sunday I take over the world.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cold Bear Challenge Recap

The thinking went something like this for the race:

-I wish there was snow
-Crap, I forgot my inhaler
-Wow, my 907 rides way different without the 10-15 pounds of gear I've had on it since fall.
-Bad start, big push to get up
-Holy crap this hurts, and I can't freaking breath. Stop, regain breath, go, repeat.
-Wow, there is a lot of freaking dangerous ice out here and I have got no skills at all today.
-I am not use to this XC race mode. Different power outputs and getting use to having to shift multiple gears has me constantly forcing my way uphills in too big of gear.
-Breathing is opening up, but I am still all over the place with this ice and losing more ground because of it.
-I am getting beat down, Arrowhead's effort still lingers.
-Wow, now I am riding worse and have little ability to pedal.
-I am getting sick of getting off the bike because of slipping on the ice.
-I am not even half way through?
-Body is definitely not recovered for this type of effort and it is suffering hard now, and I am having no fun.
-Pull the plug
-These hot dogs are good despite what Guse's reviews.
-Awards are taking for ever, maybe I'll win a cool door prize.
-Nope, won a cutting board?
-I wish there was snow.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I just installed some prototype Really Big Fat Larry's for tomorrow's Cold Bear Challenge at Hillside.  I am gonna run over me some racers.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cross training

Not a lot of riding, but I will tell you my coloring skills are boarding on a professional level.