Subaru XV Crosstrek, Perfect Vehicle for the Outdoorsperson?

Back in January, my wife and I placed an order for a Subaru XV Crosstrek Premium with the CVT and a couple of the smaller options. We timed the order knowing it would take probably 4 months for delivery, anticipating that my car would be paid off before we got the car, giving us only one car payment and possibly a little time where we don’t have any payments. We took delivery of our Crosstrek today and timed it so our first payment is not due until June. My car has just under 50,000mi on it, so we should be able to pay off the Subaru before I need another. And with it being a Honda, it sure would be nice to get even longer out of it so we can enjoy a couple years at least without any payments.

Running and Town Run Trail + Ft Ben + Garmin Forerunner 310XT

I wrote a few weeks back that I had lost my Garmin Forerunner 205 after a trip to Texas. I thought it had to be at my house in Texas. I have made do for the past few weeks, borrowing my wife’s Forerunner and even using my Oregon 450 on an 8mi run in Houston. That became a real pain because I have been unable to sustain a long run in the past couple weeks because of some knee pain setting in around mile 5 or 6. I haven’t been able to track myself otherwise. I broke down and ordered a Garmin Forerunner 310XT refurb. It retained the training features of the 205 that I like, added the HRM sensor compatibility and foot pod compatibility I want to upgrade to (maybe next season) and had the bonus of also being compatible with my Tanita bc-1000 scale so I can finally start transferring metrics to Garmin Connect. I’m not sure how I’ll like tracking my metrics there or not. I’m going to give it a try. Tanita’s software is only okay.

SRAM/Zipp Wheels Factory Tour

SRAM/Zipp Wheels Factory

I recently got the opportunity to take a tour of the SRAM/Zipp Wheels Factory in Indianapolis, IN. All you get is a picture of the exterior of the factory because I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement because of the proprietary materials, processes, and as-yet unreleased products I might see inside.

I gotta say it was a pretty cool opportunity. I’ve visited and worked in a number of factories over the years and this one was pretty clean by comparison. Zipp Wheel tech is pretty cool, I’ve gotta say. And these things are handmade. Laid up by hand, finished by hand, and assembled by hand. With hubs that are built in Mooresville, IN. They even assemble some of the SRAM mtb wheelsets here.

Offseason Maintenance Projects

It’s getting close to the “offseason” for many outdoor activities.  Or, at least, the shorter days and holiday business tends to reduce our enjoyment of some of these things.  It also happens to be a good time to take care of any maintenance you might need to take care of.  Several years ago, I made use of the winter offseason to sew a couple of down quilts.

I’ve been working on a master’s degree the past few years and so I haven’t had much time for winter gear projects, but I did give the shocks on my mountain bike some maintenance a couple years ago.

Early Aug Night Ride at SFA and New XT Shadow Rear Derailleur

Shimano M772 XT Shadow Rear Derailleur

After my ride in Indy and the mechanical I suffered (being the second time I had that particular problem recently), I decided I needed to replace some worn parts…particularly my 9 yr old XTR M952 rear derailleur.  It still “works”, but I’ve had to bend the cage twice recently.  It’s on its last legs, I believe.

The Bike Shop in Nac had a NOS XT Shadow M772 rear derailleur in stock.  Not sure how old, exactly, but it’s probably been on the shelf for 5yrs or so.  I negotiated a deal for it with the owner and went home to install it.

Paul Components Stem Cap Light Mount Review

I ordered a Paul Components Stem Cap Light Mount to use on my On-One Pompetamine commuter bike, and it arrived via USPS today.

Zombie Apocalypse: TheGPSGeek-style

Let’s face it, zombies are cool. Zombie films and books are entertaining. But thinking about and actually preparing for a zombie apocalypse actually encourages us to think about other potential disasters like floods, storms, earthquakes, epidemics, and the like. Taking real preparations improves our ability to deal with any future disaster – hypothetical zombie-caused or not.

 

Is My Bike Worth Upgrading?

You’ve had a bike for awhile and you’ve decided the bike has some limitations. You want to upgrade it because you like it otherwise. “Is it worth upgrading?” you ask.

Well, it depends.

It depends on what it is and what you plan to do with it. How old is it? Do you plan to keep the upgraded parts longer than the frame?

Road Bike Commuter Project

I picked up an old Trek 420 road bike from the Bike Shop recently with the goal of turning it into a better commuter than the one I’ve been using. My old commuter is just an old mountain bike with some lights, reflective tape, and a horn. Not especially fast on the road.

Commuter Bike

I did a post about it earlier this summer. Like I said, it’s not fast. I use it because I have it, and that’s pretty much about it. My goal with the Trek is to turn it into a simple, reliable commuter with fenders, a rack, and a new life.

Upland Island Wilderness

I’ve been planning to visit the Upland Island Wilderness for awhile.  I ordered a map from MyTopo for this area last summer and I’ve been trying to get out here since.  On the 4th, with the wife out of town, I figured I’d go hike in the Upland Island Wilderness. I wanted to see the longleaf pine savannas and the spring-fed bogs at the exposures of the Catahoula Formation and photograph some of the carnivorous plants.

The trip didn’t work out how I had hoped. The trailhead area was pretty dilapidated. Something public isn’t available, but I don’t know what.