I mentioned that the day before ORAMM Leyonce and I went out for a ride around the Kitsuma loop. I finally had a chance to try out the new Camelbak Charge 450.
An actual bike ride with a piece of equipment as opposed to just snapping photos of it in my bike room like I did awhile back? You must admit that's some pretty thorough journalism.
What's amazing is the pack never looked that big when I held it in front of me, and it sure didn't feel that big on my back, but in comparison to my relatively small ass the Charge 450 looks large'esque. Since the panel between the bladder and my back was sorta thin (with elevated ridges to keep it directly off my back)I filled it with ice and then topped it off with water to see if it would feel cool... not Fonzie cool, but more like Al Roker cool. It worked. I could feel the effects for the short 1.5 hour ride, and the water stayed cool for hours later on our trip to Subway and while I was in the hotel room packing drop bags. Very nice. I was able to fit my camera in one of the side pocket mustard holsters, and access to it was fair to midland. Had I a cool little pink camera like Peter it would have been a better fit. Mike Piazza did safely fit in the jewelry/iStuff pocket, and he stayed there for the entire ride.
All in all the pack was as comfortable as packs get, even with all my overprepared-for-a-mountain-ride stuff (minus cold weather clothing). I'd still rather wear nothing at all, but when the time comes to wear a pack this one will be replacing my venerable circa 2000 Blowfish. It is officially retired. The king is dead, long live the king.
One of the top secret things I did before ORAMM was mount up a Rotor 33 tooth ring that George from Bike29 was kind enough to force on me.
There's all kinds of science on the website that you can peruse later, but I can attest that there has to be something to it since I was able to push a 33X19 over 63 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing in my state of disrepair. Normally when I'm feeling "on it" I only push a 32X19 at ORAMM, and that's when I'm feeling "on it". Just less than a month ago I was walking up sections of Curtis Creek with my 32X19. The new not-so-round ring certainly adds something to my ability to keep turning the gear over when things get hard. Like I said, there's some science behind it... I don't entirely understand it, but I was impressed with all the graphs and science stuff. George can get some more Rotor Rings if you want to take advantage of this new technology (it's not warmed over Biopace), and he has operators standing by. Call now (unless you're reading this during non-Bike29 business hours) since he doesn't have it in his online store for your shopping inconvenience.
I got a new watch to compete with Peter's giant watch that talks to him.
It is an actual men's watch, fitted to the smallest notch, and since I won't be racing seriously anymore it is merely a fashion accessory that matches my rims, brakes, helmet, shoes, saddle, stem, and crabon frok. I look incredibly professional for a retired unprofessional cyclist.
Also in monumental news, I moved my Awesome Strap to a lower position recently.
Some folks believe that mounting your shit high up on the seatpost is not such a good idea, especially on a single speed. It kinda makes sense when you consider you rock your bike back and forth on climbs, and that means you're moving that weight through more space with every rock back and with the following and subsequent forth. I think I can notice the difference, but without cool Rotor-like bar graphs I can't claim to have scientific evidence, but if you think it does make a difference go ahead and try to mount your saddle bag down there (assuming you're one of the people still using lame ass saddle bags). After you get pissed at your inability to move your saddle bag to this extremely logical position buy yourself an Awesome Strap and throw that POS away (or if you live in Asheville, throw it in your compost bin).
BTW: If you want an Awesome Strap like the one you see above you are currently, as Aesop once said, "Shit out of luck." The new, even more awesome 2011 Awesome Straps are on the way, so be patient while you try to enjoy your less than awesome saddle bag.
I also got to use my new "Genital Non-Displaying Device" at ORAMM.
Local Charlottean Kellie Muddiman created this bad ass personalized "Genital Non-Displaying Device", or as she would probably prefer it to be called... "Changing Towel." It's got a buckle so it doesn't fall down while I'm naked underneath, and it's ultra-absorbent which came in handy since I was covered in three gallons of sweat when I was finished riding. It's also personalized so I won't mistake my friend's "Genital Non-Displaying Device" for my "Genital Non-Displaying Device" when I unload my car after a weekend trip. While you may not be self absorbed enough to buy a personalized changing towel for yourself they do make a great gift for loved ones or for that riding partner that shows you his junk after every ride. Kellie can be reached at KMUDDIMAN@EARTHLINK.NET if you wanna hook a naked, not so humble brother up, and she also makes ones that are more appropriate for lady folk who want to cover up the goods as well.