As an endurance athlete, I have a love/hate relationship with carbohydrates. On the one hand, I need carbs to fuel my training and racing efforts. Carbs = energy/fuel. On the other hand, the wrong type of carbs can be a triathlete’s downfall.
Competing in triathlon requires you to carry an obscene amount of bulky gear to races: helmet, cycling shoes, running shoes, wetsuit, tri suit, nutrition, sunglasses, before and after clothes, pump, tools, GPS/computer, etc.
I’ve seen everything in transition areas, from garbage bags and Home Depot buckets all the way up to specialized duffel bags/backpacks that cost more than almost as much as my road bike. I also wanted something that I would be able to carry to transition, unload and put back in my vehicle (there’s a big call for “clean” transition areas these days, which I appreciate).
Being ex-Army, I have this need to militarize everything when it comes to equipment transport, storage, etc. I like things neat and orderly; military equipment tends to be centered around there. Enter the A.L.I.C.E. pack (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment). I was issued a “medium” sized one as an infantryman, and it fit (easily) a week worth of clothing, food and ammunition. So what about using one as a transition bag?
Waaay back in 2012, I discovered a then up-and-coming company called Spruzza. They didn’t have a product yet, but they had a vision. And that vision was pure awesomeness: a personal cooling system for cyclists. Genius! Small, light and portable, it’s designed to keep the rider cool and improve performance and comfort. From the website:
Spruzza is an on-board cooling system that attaches quickly and easily to your bike. Spruzza “air-conditions” by allowing you to spray just enough water to cover and cool your head, face and neck. The relief from the heat is immediate.
They finally started shipping at the beginning of May of this year, and I got my tester at the end of that month. I’ve used it on several rides and (almost) one race so far. How has it performed?
June was a great month of training and racing. 22 hours of tri-specific activities, compared to 20 hours in 2013. Per Strava (again, only swimming, biking and running recorded there) I’m already up to 102 hours, 906 miles, 30 records and 140 activities for the year. Compared with 139 hours, 1252 miles, 42 records and 185 activities in 2013, it looks like I’ll be setting a new record for the year. :)
Let’s see how I did in June…