No, I didn’t buy one of these bottles because it’s close to the name of the mascot of my alma mata. I bought one of these initially to be able to clean it more easily and to help me stop buying plastic that wears out.
I had noticed that despite some of my best efforts, my standard plastic bottles were getting kind of nasty on the inside. It’s not that I wasn’t cleaning them well, I just wasn’t able to dry them well. In fact, that’s still a difficulty for me in my apartment.
There’s not much to say – it’s a bottle. It’s a metal bottle with a coating. Hopefully it will keep me from buying more plastic long-term.
You may wonder how to drink out of it since you’re not able to squeeze the metal bottle- but it’s fine, the straw piece helps with the flow. They have more info on their site here.
The ONE drawback, if there is one, is that the bottle doesn’t fit well in all bottle cages. It fits great in one of my bikes, but on the other one it’s just slightly more snug. That’s about it.
I know the blog is called RANTS and Raves, but I’m making an effort to rant less and rave more. As part of that I wanted to share some thoughts on something that warrants a positive rave. That something is my AfterShokz Titanium headset. The AfterShokz were one of my most surprisingly used things last year.
another riding shot where you can see the aftershokz under my helmet straps
on gibraltar road, you can see the Aftershokz just in front of my ears
I never used to wear earbuds or headphones when riding. I know other riders who do wear buds and I’ve always been surprised that they could ride with them. About once a year, I’d try riding with one (wired) earbud in place and put on music or a podcast when I was really far away from traffic on a rural ride. But I usually hated it and it felt wrong and I’d shut it off. That said, I never felt that I missed music or input, I just thought it’d be a nice-to-have.
Also- I started to get judgey about people who I encountered on rides who had in-ear earbuds in place. Mostly because as I’d ride up next to them and say hi, they never heard me coming and then I’d wonder about the safety aspect. I also tended to be slightly jealous that they were riding with earbuds that weren’t slipping out. My airpods are great for work, but there’s no way I’m going to risk losing one on a ride. Even cheaper knockoffs I’d be nervous about.
But enough people recommended that I give the AfterShokz a try that I decided to get a pair. I had looked at them years before but I didn’t like them at the time. I’m not sure if they improved or if I was more open to trying them, but they clicked this time.
They fit around your head and sit on your cheekbones, near your jaw hinge. The sound goes to your ear via bone conduction. Because of that your ears are open and you can hear all the sounds around you. They were perfect for walks, jogs and the bike. The only negative is the sound isn’t great if you’re thinking that you’ll have audiophile-level quality, but that’s a minor point. That only effects me when I’m on the bridge where it’s really windy (but I still don’t usually have music or podcasts on when I’m on he bridge out of habit). They’ve been great on really long rides.
The only other possible negative is that they could be slightly uncomfortable if you have other stuff on your face. By that I mean during Covid I typically ride with a Pandana (see this post) or a mask or a regular bandana that I raise and lower. In addition I’ll have my glasses and helmet on too. So it took me a little bit of time to get used to putting things on in an order that I like. Again, a minor point, but something to think about. In the pics below you can see how small they are. So it shouldn’t be a major concern.
So there you have it- a nice Rave to start off the year.
Some people have asked where I got the masks that they’ve seen me wear in my selfies from the bike. Most of those are Eliel Cycling Masks. These are great for my rides.
Quick notes on the Eliel: thin material, like jerseys. Great on rides and during runs. They come in 5 packs too.
The only downside that I can think of is that on my rides that are longer than 2 hours, they do tend to stretch a bit so when I’m on my way home on the bridge, the wind can sometimes blow the mask off my nose. This is likely my fault if I’m on a 2.5 hour+ ride because I pull the mask under my chin when I eat/drink more.
I also got two “Pandanas” recently from Pandana USA based in Boulder. I just got them so I’ve only worn one once on a ride but it worked really well.
I tried the Coolmax one on a 2 hour+ ride that was a mix of SF “summer” and real summer and I wound up keeping it on the whole time like I do with the Eliel masks. It was fine.
The ear hole things on the side helped too when I got back to the windy bridge, but I didn’t really need them.
I’ll try my non-coolmax one soon and report back. I highly recommend these so far.
FYI – We also have two from Rickshaw Bags in SF which we wear while doing less strenuous stuff.
I recently tried a route I’d been scared to do previously. I had no problems, I didn’t cramp up, I took it easy and had fun. I’m not sure why I had waited so long to do it, other than being scared.
My fears come down to: cramping, getting stuck, flatting somewhere remote, running out of water (see cramping), worries I’ll slow friends down, etc.
But when it comes down to it, the worst that could happen (other than a wreck) would be:
Getting a cramp and having to sit down for 10 minutes
My friends may need to ride on and I’d catch up with them at a cafe or another day (aka getting dropped) – not that I’m riding with anyone right now
getting stuck and Senol having to come get me with the car
But all of the routes I’m freaked out about unnecessarily, I’ve done most of them or big parts of them. I’m ready to knock more off my list.
Hawk Hill (yes, an oldie but I used to be freaked out by this long ago)
Muir Woods to 1 – and back to Mill Valley via 1
4C down 1 to Muir Woods back to 4C
17th St up to Clarendon to Twin Peaks
Up Clipper to Twin Peaks
(strikethrough means I’ve done those rides)
Mentally I think my desired routes involve Highway 1 and wanting to explore out that way. And I’m scared of not being able to get back up to Panoramic or up out of Muir back to Mill Valley. But like I said- I’ve done all of the big routes or routes that connect to most of the “1 rides”. I just need to get over it and try them.
I like the idea behind Scoot, I really do. I even think about renting them every once in a while. But once a week I see someone doing jackass crap on them.
This past weekend Isaw two hipsters on Scoots trying to get on 101. C’mon, Scoots aren’t highway compatible. I know people don’t want to look up CA DMV laws, but it even says that on the Scoot FAQ (see below).
Today’s ONE GUY? Riding in the bike lane, then on the Presidio trail.
I get it- I know the spot is beautiful you can see the sunset, and take great pics.
But get off the damn scooter, leave it parked somewhere legally, then walk over to the bench. Don’t ride on the sidewalk, then the trail and then on the overlook.
Also, I’m old and ranty. And I’m sure I do stuff as a cyclist that annoys people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Let’s ride our scoots all over! Get off my lawn. TBH – great spot for pics