Hydration hasn’t really been an obsession, but it’s nice to have a nice water bottle, and to use it daily. Ever since I first started buying Camelbak bottles a few years ago, I’ve been keen to finding the best ways to keep drinking water all day. Ensuring that your water bottle is also BPA free is a must. That way, you’ll keep the ingestion of harmful chemicals at bay, at least those coming from your bottle.
I was way too tired last week to go out on bike rides. I was back at teaching fulltime, around 28 hours a week, on top of that, I was covering some freelance blog posts at Unplggd. That meant that I was going to bed very late and waking up early. My system included a three to four-hour night, a 30 minute noon-time nap, and a 2-hour nap after work. I don’t think this system works well. I totally broke down on Saturday and slept 16 hours.
You may wonder why I keep posting all of these Kuota KOM images. The answer is pretty simple. It’s the bike that I’m trying to get.
So I was supposed to do at least 100 km, but only managed to do 70. The advantage of doing loops is that you have the flexibility of stopping when things get hairy. After 60 km, I started feeling groggy and tired. I knew that I would make a mistake soon. I decided to stop and not go for 100 km.
Well, I finally managed to go out and train. Since I came back from Hong Kong last Monday, a typhoon devastated Southern Taiwan and we have been plagued with rain.
So basically, since Tuesday the 4th of August, I have been waiting for the rain to abate. I need to get another training solution so that I can still work out inside. Probably some kind of flywheel thing. I’ll check that out over the weekend.
There is something pretty neat about the new Osprey Raptor hydration packs: they use hydraulic pressure to bring water through the tube. No more sucking. It just flows. There is also a hiking/running line called Mantra. The Raptor is available in 4 sizes, (6, 10, 14 and 18), and uses a customized integrated Nalgene hydration bladder that has a solid back, which locks into the pack easily, even when it’s full. There is a system that puts pressure on the bottle, which in turn spouts the water. That is a great idea. They also have a bungee helmet button system to hold your helmet. They will range form $80 to $120.
That looks like a smoking pack and would be excellent as a day pack on rides. My hydration bladder broke last year. I have been meaning to get another. Instead, I’ll just get a Raptor pack. Seems like a win-win situation. This has teh benefit or being able to work on road rides and MTB rides. Once I get a training road bike, I’ll mount my stubby tires again and go MTBing. Now, all I have to see if a few odds and ends, like a notebook and a laptop, can fit into the pack as well. I’ve been using a Osprey Atmos 25 and 35 since 2007 as my main packs. They are slim and streamlined. I usually wear them on my scooter or on my bike. Though they Atmos is great, it’s not a bike specific pack and I’ve been meaning to find something.
The Atmos 25 is pretty gruddy and needs to be washed. The Atmos 35 has been used less since I almost always take the 25 out. They aren’t great for books, as they are streamlined. I get the idea that this is true for the Raptor as well. However, I’ve got a 13″ notebook, so it might not be that much of an issue.
The new Arc’Teryx hydration bags, which will only be available in the spring of 2010, look pretty darn ordinary compared to this Osprey.
I found an ad on tealit which mentioned an Oakley backpack for sale. It didn’t mention the model, but I called the guy. He didn’t know which model, but after a few questions I knew that it was the Oakley Kitchen Sink backpack, Oakley’s top of the line model which I have had my eye on for a few years.
I spotted it when it came out and almost bought it in 2006. However, I decided that I would get more backpacker gear, from companies such as Arc’Teryx. I did get an Arc’Teryx Acrux 40. Oakley makes some nice stuff, but it’s in-between true outdoors gear and urban gear. It’s actually a lot more urban gear, when it comes to their packs, which is why I could never justify the cost of the Kitchen Sink. For the price, you can get a full on backpack from a reputable outdoor brand. Some of the Arc’Teryx packs, like the small Bora 35 and others, are available for about 150-250$. The Kitchen Sink isn’t really worth that much money in my book.
However, this was an ad for a used Kitchen Sink. It hadn’t been used much and was about a year old. I met the guy and inspected the bag. It seemed almost pristine. I bought it for 70$. That was a pretty good deal.
My wife told me that the Kitchen Sink looks like an expensive pack. It looks very sturdy. It has an expandable bottom, which is handy. It comes with a shaped top lid, where you can store glasses, shades, or multimedia gear.
There is a nifty pocket in the front which can easily house my Nikon D200. It doesn’t have any dedicated water bottle holsters per se, but it does have two large pockets on the side which are perfect for water bottles. I had no trouble fitting in 1L Camelbak bottles. I guess if you aren’t using the laptop sleeve, you could fit in a hydration bladder. I will have to try it out.