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I'm a gadget queen so I had to work out something to keep my kit going during my upcoming extended cycle tour.  Now, there's a lot of dynohub-and-battery-charger arrangements coming to market, but I lack the dynohub and don't want to tie stuff to one bike (or any bike).  Solar is the obvious candidate, and most of the commercial "backpacking solar" is expensive and rather underpowered.  Here's what I settled on:

Where does he get those wonderful toys? )
andygates: (Default)
For today's run, I went out with my regular rucksack and a Platypus bladder.  This was all state-of-the-art in 2002 when I bought it for hiking and biking, but the bag (loaded with a dummy load of fleece et al) was pretty bouncy on the run and worse than that, the platty bladder was crinkly like unto a heavy crisp bag.  A very chatty load.

So, dear flist, what running hydration backpacks do you like?  Is the current generation of Camelbak bladder quieter - would swapping the bladder alone be a smart fix?  Are there running backpacks that really do stay put like unto a blasphemous monkey/limpet hybrid?
andygates: (Default)
First impressions on the Petzl Myo RXP pimpy headtorch:  "Oh, bloody hell yeah"   Cool

On Bastard Mode (3W LED) with the diffuser it floods the whole field of view, hedgerow to hedgerow with just a little deliberate cutoff .  Without the diffuser the spot is such that you can see to the bottom of the hill (pick your hill!).  Moths have spectacularly shiny eyes when hit with it.

On the lowest power setting it's camp-friendly. 

The battery box is nicely curved from slightly squishy plastic and sits just under my occipital ridge with no movement at all.  The lamp likewise is light and steady.  I ran for 35 minutes and it was a dream, letting me open up as fast as I can go downhill with no worries.  Like a good bike light, it ticks the "you can go as fast in the dark as you could in daylight" box, and that's exactly what I wanted.

Some nice details in the cord clip and the way that the lamp can be positioned for transit so that the power switch is blocked by the frame.  I haven't tried the programmable modes because "Bastard", middle, lowest and SOS seem like sensible defaults for now.

It's heinously spendy (still less than the Hope!) but I firmly believe in good lights.  Good lights let you play.  I'll scrimp elsewhere.
andygates: (Default)
I want to do more running this winter than I did last winter, and that means I'm going to need some illumination -- the gym will kick me out eventually, and I'm rural, and I like running on country roads at night.  Right now I've got two head-torches that aren't up to the job: an old camping one with a regular bulb (man, I feel old) and a tiny emergency one that's ace for emergency repairs / tent fun, but doesn't throw enough of a beam to run freely.

So, what do folks recommend?  I'm looking to run on and offroad in pitch darkness, so powerful light scores more highly than burn time (this isn't for overnighting).  The Petzl Myolite 3 is looking good, so's the CatEye Tora.  Any opinions?  Any other brands to suggest?
andygates: (Default)
That's you, [personal profile] ravenbait and [profile] ehutch!  The archery is going well, good coaches and nice steady improvement (oh, that's what you mean by an anchor point!).  We rounded tonight's session (three noobs to a target, three arrows each, so that there's fast rotation and nobody gets bored) with a full house: nine golds at fifteen metres.  It's nice to leave with a smile.

Anyhoo, I'm asking about sights for the wooden TS4 I have.  The existing sight is lacking the business end - it's just got a rail, mounted to the front of the riser.  Most modern sights seem to fit to a standard threaded hole on the side of the riser.  How do I proceed?  Are front-mounted sights available from some secret dealer out there, or do I just have to go to Quick's and try sliding the various sighting ends onto this rail until one fits?
andygates: (Default)
Finally got around  to stringing and test-drawing the recurve bow I got on ebay a while back.  It's mid-1970s (a Marksman TS4, apparently designed for the UK Olympic squad and everything) and a wood-and-fibreglass laminate so there's plenty of layers to fail and stuff to crack, go brittle with age or delaminate.  It's only a couple of years younger than I am.

Creak twang kerblooey? )

Goggles

Jul. 29th, 2006 09:42 am
andygates: (Default)
One for the swimmers out there: my trusty Speedo Futuras have finally started leaking - and that's a showstopper with contacts. Time to go shopping.

I *want* some of the hardcore racing sockets. Speedo Swedish mirrors. Mostly 'cos I still wanna look like Ranxerox and that's just a comix thing from, crikey, 1991? Tiny mirrored penny eyecups are so cool. Gods, I'm such a saddo. Does anyone even remember Ranxerox except me?

So... do any of the swimmers here use the hard Swedish style gogles? Are they sane or totally bonkers - I've heard both? And if not, what do you use (and what sucks)? And tri-wise are these things going to have any peripheral vision (not that the Futuras did)?

(Or shall I shut up and go shopping, they're just a tenner!)

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